Due to the observed success of community-based management strategies, countries around the world have reformed forest policy to focus upon decentralization and community participation in forest management. Nonetheless, despite the commonly lauded benefits of communal forest management, not all community forest programs successfully achieve the dual goals of forest conservation and income generation. In an era when communal forest management is gaining global popularity, understanding factors that enable or constrain communities’ communal forests and community forest enterprises will help ensure their success. A significant amount of academic research has focused upon identifying and summarizing factors that facilitate or impede community-based resource management. Understanding these factors is an important first step for individuals interested in understanding community forestry operations. The goal of this article is to guide individuals interested in delving deeper into an existing community forestry case. This article provides a framework that can be used to develop community-forestry case studies and guide analysis. The framework highlights the interconnection between community resources, national-scale policy implementation, and markets and provides key factors to consider when analyzing the local context of community-based natural resource management cases.

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