Public-Private Partnerships in Forestry Management in Sri Lanka: Emergence, Influence and Legitimacy

Mangala De Zoysa


Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are considered as “win-win” solutions to both government and market failures in sustainable forest management. PPPs in Sri Lanka are filling a regulatory gap resulting from withdrawal of government from the management of forest resources. The national forest policy has emphasized afforestation, conservation and protection as the main components of emerged government-community, donor–recipient and public–private partnerships with local people, rural communities and other stakeholders. Timber and fuel-wood plantations, and agro-forestry woodlots have been established through partnerships. Eco-tourism has been given special emphasis through partnerships between the government agencies, private sector and communities. Private sector involves in forestry as a business through sustainable agro-forestry, imparting financial gain. The government has identified risk mitigation as an integral part of the government–community partnership planning process. Investments of private sector in forest management are committed to enhance inflow of foreign exchange earnings through the export of value added forest products. The Forest Ordinance has empowered Forest Department for the management, protection and development of forest resources. PPPs are far less frequent in rule-setting and implementation of timber and fuel-wood plantations and agro-forestry woodlots. Work undertaken by community based organizations in PPPs occurs on a minor scale. Private-sector involvement in forest resources management has raised serious concerns by public perception about conflict of interest. The Government needs serious efforts and amendment of forest policies to promote public-private partnerships for the sustainable development of forest resources.

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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