Devolution, refers to:

• “The transfer of ‘natural resource management to local individuals and institutions located within and outside of government’  though some people use ‘devolution’ only in reference to direct community transfers” (Larson)

• “The transfer of rights and assets from the centre to local governments or communities. All of these processes occur within the context of national laws that set the limits within which any decentralised or devolved forest management occurs”.

• “The transfer of governance responsibility for specified functions to sub-national levels, either publicly or privately owned, that are largely outside the direct control of the central government” (Ferguson and Chandrasekharan).

• “One form of administrative decentralization which transfers specific decision making powers from one level of government to another (which could be from lower level to higher level of government, in the case of federations, or government transfers decision-making powers to entities of the civil society. Regional or provincial governments, for example, become semi autonomous and administer forest resources according to their own priorities and within clear geographical boundaries under their control. Most political decentralization is associated with devolution” .