In 2010, the Forestry Commission (FC) began a process to update or develop and document new management plans for all forest reserves in the country, which are meant to reflect on the socio-economic, cultural and environmental values of forests to communities. This was intended to demonstrate the way forward for sustainable management and development. They have been prepared in consultation with local communities, and set out forest resources, production and protected areas, and community rights. These plans are required only for forest reserves and are available at the offices of Forest Services Division, but in many cases still need to be updated.
It is important to differentiate between the reserve management plans which are strategic in nature and the operational plans which inform logging. The operational plans, which include details on the felling cycle and yields, are rarely informed by the reserve management plans. Most do not provide trends and are not informed by previous management performance. They are not produced in consultation with civil society or communities and are not in the public domain. In some cases, hard copies have been made available by district offices when requested, but there is no obligation on the authorities to provide them. Consequently, communities often do not have access to them.
With regard to off-reserve areas, strategic management plans are not required. Communities should be supported to develop and establish Community Resource Management Areas as well as community-owned natural regenerated sites to reduce illegal activities.