Forests managed through peoples' participation can help to achieve a number of sustainable development goals (SDGs). This paper, drawing data from four participatory forest management (PFM) projects in south-eastern Bangladesh, explored: (a) the factors that influenced the outcomes of PFM; and (b) contribution of PFM towards achieving selected SDGs. The research used observation, semi-structured household interviews, group discussions, vegetation survey and Ostromʼs design principles for data collection, Divergent forest conditions and factors in four PFM sites have had differential contribution to SDGs. Heterogeneity of user groups, insufficient coordination, absence of motivation, and land tenure conflicts had affected the attainment of SDGs. The PFM helped to achieve 9–11 SDGs comprising poverty reduction (Goal 1), improving food security (Goal 2), maintaining health and well-being (Goal 3), enhancing childrensʼ education (Goal 4), fair access to jobs and committees (Goals 5 and 10), sources of clean drinking water (Goal 6), affordable energy for cooking (Goal 7), increased household economy (Goal 8), climate change through carbon sequestration (Goal 13), forest conservation (Goal 15), and partnerships with relevant institutions (Goal 16). In order to achieve SDGs, PFM could be viewed as an integral part of government development strategies, which needs sectoral coordination and integration of relevant policies.
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