Rural development policies lately take an inter-sectoral area-based approach. This turn raises questions relating to governance on the one hand and issues relating to the participation of different sectors therein on the other. In this paper I present a case study from Germany, focussing on three area-based rural development funding programmes, two temporary pilot programmes and a mainstream scheme. The concept of regional governance is shown to play a crucial role in the implementation of pilot programmes, while mainstream policy only partly is affected. Forestry as a sector was found to only play a minor role in such processes of regional governance. This paper reveals sector – internal as well as – external causes of this phenomenon and closed with conclusions on how to (sector-internally and – externally) enhance forestry participation to area-based rural development programmes.
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