A pro-poor approach to building capacity for community forestry in Asia and the Pacific
Community forestry is now widely acknowledged as a powerful solution for many of the challenges facing local people and the wider society, especially in improving rural livelihoods, enhancing community governance and empowerment, transforming forest-related conflict, protecting and enhancing the environment, and helping to fight climate change.
A Pro-Poor Approach
For community forestry to advance in Asia and the Pacific, governments must develop pro-poor forestry policies focused on clear and strong rights, good governance, and fair benefits for all forest-dependent communities. Intensive, ongoing support is essential to ensure that these policies become a reality.
As a capacity-building organization, RECOFTC improves the ability of people and organizations to conduct community forestry effectively and sustainably. Over the past two decades, we have trained 10,000 people from more than 20 countries in devolved forest management — from national policy makers, researchers, and practitioners, right through to local forest users. Training and other learning events are central to all of RECOFTC's work. We support these efforts with on-the-ground projects, critical issue analysis, and strategic communication.
Four Thematic Areas
RECOFTC works toward its mission through four thematic areas:
- Expanding community forestry: Through our frontline country programs, RECOFTC works to secure rights for forest-dependent communities to manage their forests. RECOFTC-supported sites — maintained in close partnership with communities, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and all levels of government — demonstrate good practices and develop key lessons, which are shared nationally and internationally to accelerate the scaling up of community forestry and its impacts.
- People, forests, and climate change: In the Asia-Pacific region, local people hold the key to forests fulfilling their potential for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Community forestry is also an effective means of increasing communities' resilience to the impacts of climate change. We advocate for pro-poor climate change strategies and policies, working to ensure that all forestry stakeholders, especially those at the grassroots level, are prepared to meet the social, economic, and financial challenges that lie ahead.
- Transforming forest conflict: Marginalized communities, powerful commercial plantation developers, corruption, unclear land tenure laws — stories of local people involved in conflicts over forest resources regularly fill the pages of the region's newspapers, exposing the scale of damaging impacts. By analyzing and better understanding conflict dynamics, this program promotes lasting solutions at both the policy and community levels.
- Securing local livelihoods: RECOFTC's innovative livelihoods program seeks to realize the full potential of forest-related resources. By analyzing the opportunities and constraints of local people's access to market-based forest activities, this program proposes solutions that are socially just. It helps to ensure that local people have the skills and knowledge to engage meaningfully in emerging opportunities, such as Payments for Ecosystem Services, carbon markets, certification schemes, and non-timber enterprises.
For more on our approach, please see RECOFTC's Strategic Plan for 2008–2013.
For more on the progress we have made with our Strategic Plan, please see RECOFTC's Program Results Overview 2008-2011.