Countries: Cameroon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, South Africa, Uganda, and Vietnam
Donors: Department for International Development (DFID)
Partners: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED);
Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (Uganda); African Model Forests Network (Cameroon); Center for Development Management (Malawi); Center for Public Integrity (Mozambique); Inspirit (Indonesia); Civic Response (Ghana); Enviro Legal Defence Firm (India); Forestry South Africa (South Africa); SOS Sahel International (Niger)
The Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG) is an informal alliance of in-country groups and international partners across seven African and three Asian countries. It addresses the need for citizen empowerment and public accountability in the face of the complex challenges currently facing forestry.
The EU and DFID funded FGLG project, aims to address the challenge of how to put the right leadership, institutions, policy decisions, and practical systems in place to improve forest governance. To be more specific, it aims to deliver four main results:
This will be achieved through:
FGLG is facilitated / coordinated by IIED (UK) and is funded by EU and DFID. It was established in 2003 and is currently in a five-year phase that started in 2009.
RECOFTC is a member of the Steering Group, and provides support for project development and implementation in Vietnam and Indonesia. Our activities include forming country teams; collating participatory knowledge; networking and capacity building; engaging in policy dialogue; testing options for governance improvements; and disseminating ideas and findings. RECOFTC also coordinates regional learning events and workshops in Asia, facilitates exchange visits, and contributes to international learning events.
FGLG Vietnam focuses on sharing experience and learning on poverty alleviation through community forestry. Together with the IIED and Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry, RECOFTC organized the 8th Global Learning Event for FGLG in March 2012. Representatives from 10 countries in Africa and Asia were judged by a panel of peers for performance, impact and innovation and lessons learned were shared. Read the press release and a blog reflecting on the event.
Specific recent activities have focused on promoting the allocation of forest title to local communities; engagement in national FLEGT processes; and strengthening links and participating in REDD networks and national REDD program development in Vietnam. Among the highlights for 2012:
Assessing forest tenure and benefit sharing arrangements in Back Kan, Thua Thien Hue and Dak Lak provinces
Work began in Thua Thien Hue province with a number of meetings with local (district) officials on allocation of the sandy forest to Pho Trach villagers. However, the ‘sandy forest' does not qualify as forest under the forest law of Vietnam (the height of the trees is too low and the canopy is not closed and is thus not part of the district plan for allocation of forest to the local community. Nevertheless, the district will prepare an official letter, requesting that Pho Trach and other villages with ‘sandy forest' be recognized as a type of vegetation cover particular to this sub-climatic area, which has important value for environmental protection and local culture. The FGLG team in Thua Thien Hue will closely monitor the process and follow up with the district officials.
Also in Pho Trach, results of study tours and information provided by the team to district and provincial officials have helped the villagers receive financial support from the provincial budget for conservation of the sandy forest. The money is not very large but has significant implications for the work the FGLG team in Thua Thien Hue has been doing for the last few years. In addition, it can be seen as one step toward recognizing the rights of Pho Trach people to the sandy forest that they are managing.
In Dak Lak province, the team conducted exploratory visits to three sites to understand issues related to forest tenure and allocation of forest rights to local communities. This is the first step toward promoting allocation of rights to communities and the information collected will help the team understand the tenure situation in the project site and prepare for advocacy efforts in 2012. FAO and RECOFFTC organized a five day awareness raising program for local communities on forest tenure governance.
Building capacity for pro-poor climate mitigation and adaption efforts:
FGLG Vietnam is the national convenor for the REDD network and national REDD Program development and implementation. It has been actively participating in different REDD/ climate change work with partners including UN-REDD Vietnam Program, SNV, CCWG, VNGO-CC, GIZ, JICA, and Norad , which funded the REDD+ capacity building for grassroots program and the Participatory Governance Assessment (PGA) initiative from UNDP.
FGLG Vietnam is involved in numerous awareness raising activities including two training of trainers (TOT) in climate change and REDD+ that were organized in July and August 2011 in Bac Kan, Thua Thien Hue and Dak Lak. After the training, a plan was made for FGLG Hue members who attended the TOT training to conduct training for provincial partners.
FGLG Indonesia (coordinated by the NGO Inspirit) is focusing on various areas of forest governance, with particular emphasis on REDD+. The aim is to ensure REDD+ is a driver for good forest governance in Indonesia, with the specific objective of creating an efficient, equitable and effective REDD+ program in Indonesia. Focus areas include:
View a video on FGLG in Vietnam published in March 2010. Although many communities in Vietnam have been managing their forests for centuries, it is only recently that the government has been experimenting with a system of legal ownership at the community level.
For more information, please see IIED's Forest Governance Learning Group project page.
This brief discusses achievements to date by the Government of Vietnam in REDD+ readiness, issues in the seven safeguards defined by UNFCCC, and the need for a flexible, nationally-owned and inclusive process.full story
Do stronger rights result in greater benefits? This study from Vietnam examines whether the granting of legal forest land-use titles resulted in better protection and management of forest resources.full story