Published: June 16, 2020

Krister Andersson, University of Colorado Boulder; Kimberlee Chang, University of Colorado Boulder 

Published: October 4, 2019


Social, biophysical, and institutional contexts affect forest users’ incentives to work together to restore forests. With renewed government commitments to support such activities, we argue that effective interventions need to consider several context-specific factors – such as the user groups’ future discount rates, opportunity costs, and collective-action capabilities – because these factors will help determine the effectiveness of such interventions. To test the effects of a suite of contextual factors, we analyzed observations from 184 different groups in 133 forests across eight developing countries. We find that the combination of certain enabling factors increases the probability of users undertaking forest improvement activities, and that social contexts can condition the effect of institutional and biophysical contexts. Our findings carry implications for the design and implementation of future interventions to restore forests in developing countries.

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