Understanding forests' contribution to poverty alleviation: a framework for interventions in forested areas

This paper develops a broad framework to conceptualize the multiple ways forests contribute to poverty reduction and inform interventions in forest landscapes. The paper identifies five key strategies for reducing poverty in forest landscapes: improvements in the productivity of forest land and labor; strengthened community, household, and women's rights over forests and land; regional complementary investments in institutions, infrastructure, and public services that facilitate poverty reduction for the forest poor; increased access to markets for timber or non-timber forest products; and mechanisms that enhance and enable the flow of benefits from forest ecosystem services to the poor. The practical utility of the framework is tested through a portfolio review of forestry lending by the World Bank Group, the largest public investor in the forestry sector. The paper concludes with a discussion of some key issues that need to be addressed for forest-related investments in poverty reduction to succeed.