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J. People Plants Environ > Volume 25(2); 2022 > Article
Forest Therapy & Recreation
Journal of People, Plants, and Environment 2022;25(2):227-237.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11628/ksppe.2022.25.2.227    Published online April 30, 2022.
Why Social Capital Matters for the Success of REDD+ Programs
Woon Gwan Jung1, Heesung Woo2  , Yohan Lee3 
1Assistant Deputy Director, Global Forest Resources Division, Korea Forest Service, Daejeon 35208, Republic of Korea
2Research Professor, College of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea
3Associate Professor, Department of Forest Resources, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 38541, Republic of Korea
Correspondence:  Heesung Woo,
Email: whs1608@gmail.com
Yohan Lee,
Email: johnlee@yu.ac.kr
Received: 7 April 2022   • Revised: 14 April 2022   • Accepted: 20 April 2022
Background and objective: We quantitatively estimated the impact of social capital on poverty reduction using a survey conducted on 335 randomly selected households in 6 villages running REDD+ programs in Bago Province, Myanmar. Our central question is whether the effectiveness of REDD+ programs is associated with social capital, including networks, trust, cooperation, and social inclusion.
Methods: We developed a tool to measure social capital while considering forest conservation activities, and quantitatively analyzed the impact of social capital on poverty levels in 6 villages running REDD+ programs in Myanmar.
Results: Our results reveal that social capital has a significant effect in alleviating household poverty in Myanmar. Thus, investment in social capital may help alleviate poverty. REDD+ training participants and community forestry members showed a relatively higher level of social capital than those who did not participate. We also found that forest dependents were statistically significantly more likely to live in poverty, which implies that socially marginalized residents tend to rely more on forests and that collecting forest products has limited effects on overcoming poverty.
Conclusion: The local strategy for implementing REDD+ programs should target community forestry members to promote their social capital by supporting forest tenures and benefit sharing among marginalized people.
KeyWords: social capital, REDD+, poverty, community forestry, Myanmar
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