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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2020) 65(2): 44
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Shifting the culture of development policy

Chris Perley

Forestry is not about trees, it is about people. And it is about trees only insofar as trees can serve the needs of people. (Jack Westoby, 1990) A fellow forester and I were having coffee – which he complained about because it wasn’t sourced green from some hillside plot in Uganda or Ethiopia and then mixed and roasted quite to his taste – and discussing the policy framing of what is unfortunately called ‘development’. He has worked in Africa and Asia on behalf of mainly European countries and world policy organisations like the World Bank. We were talking about ‘the experts’ to whom life was simple. You establish something primary, shove it through a linear processing chain, link it to a market, and Bob’s your uncle, ‘Development!’
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