Publication: Supporting Pathways to Prosperity in Forest Landscapes – A PRIME Framework

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Shyamsundar, Priya
Ahlroth, Sofia
Kristjanson, Patricia
Onder, Stefanie
We develop a framework to conceptualize the multiple ways forests contribute to poverty reduction and inform development interventions in forest landscapes. We identify five key strategies for reducing poverty in forest landscapes: a) improvements in productivity (P) of forest land and labor; b) governance reform to strengthen community, household and women’s rights (R) over forests and land; c) investments (I) in institutions, infrastructure and public services that facilitate forest-based entrepreneurship; d) increased access to markets (M) for timber or non-timber forest products; and e) mechanisms that enhance and enable the flow of benefits from forest ecosystem services (E) to the poor. We test the utility of the framework through a review of the forestry portfolio of the World Bank Group, the largest public investor in forestry. Many of these projects include several, but not all, PRIME components. We devote particular attention to forest-related investments in two contrasting countries, Vietnam and Mexico, to examine synergies among the pathways. Results suggest that each strategy in the PRIME framework may play an important role in alleviating poverty, but pronounced impacts may require multiple pathways to be jointly pursued. The PRIME framework can guide research to address knowledge gaps on pathways to prosperity in forest landscapes, serve as an easily remembered checklist for managers, and nudge forest program designers in government and development organizations, who are interested in poverty reduction, to focus on the importance of both a comprehensive framework and synergies across different pathways.
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