Foreword (by. Prof. Misa Masuda, Tsukuba University)
This research project was conducted from April 2001 to March 2005. We selected three countries to study: China as a case of centralized forest administration system, India as a case of decentralized one, and Indonesia as a case in transition. These three countries alone indeed have dominated the world’s population, 40.1 percent in 2002 (UNDP, 2004), while the total land area and forest cover accounting for 10.8 percent and 6.0 percent respectively in 2000 (FAO, 2001). How to realize the compatibleness of growing population pressure and the scarcity of natural resources have been one of the key issues for developing countries, and the outcome of the policy measures of these three countries may affect not only the domestic environments but also the environments of surrounding countries.
The members of this project have diverse specialties: forest economics, political science, social ecology, forest ecology, and soil ecology in regard to the discipline, and also various research careers in Asia, Africa, and South America. Therefore, the results could not be compiled as an interdisciplinary study on specified topic and location.
Although the discussions are incomplete and many data still remain unprocessed, yet it is expected to be helpful leads to finding impacts of the ongoing political process of decentralization or centralization. Decentralization as a whole has been urged since longer before, and recent tones on forest
(full report can be downloaded here)