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Abstract

This paper summarizes results of the evaluation of 11 forestry activities in Central America using a framework of factors related to long term sustainability of the benefits flowing from forestry development activities. Identified problems included: the lack of continuity of support to project sponsored activities once formal projects end, the short term focus of many projects, the lack of interest or capacity of host governments and institutions to provide continued support to these activities, and restrictive permit procedures and legislation that discourage tree management. Factors that contribute to sustainability include the participation and training of local farmers as promoters, trainers, and employees of projects. Another factor is farmer participation in demonstration plots using technologies that provide obvious short term benefits. Also important is flexibility and agility in the management of projects. This allows inputs to arrive efficiently and permits changes in project design as problems occur. As a result of this review of forestry activities, we present lessons for future project development and policy formulation and reform.

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