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Science. 2011 Mar 25;331(6024):1606-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1199343.

Social and ecological synergy: local rulemaking, forest livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation.

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School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, 440 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Causal pathways to achieve social and ecological benefits from forests are unclear, because there are few systematic multicountry empirical analyses that identify important factors and their complex relationships with social and ecological outcomes. This study examines biodiversity conservation and forest-based livelihood outcomes using a data set on 84 sites from six countries in East Africa and South Asia. We find both positive and negative relationships, leading to joint wins, losses, and trade-offs depending on specific contextual factors; participation in forest governance institutions by local forest users is strongly associated with jointly positive outcomes for forests in our study.

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