Community Forestry 101

A free e-learning course on community-led forest management for sustainable development and climate change solutions that leave no one behind
Community Forestry 101

Please revisit the page for the most recent information regarding the enrollment date for the year 2024.

The free e-course introduces community forestry as a pathway to solving the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges.

Countries around the world and in the Asia-Pacific region increasingly recognize the contribution community forestry makes to inspire climate change solutions and sustainable economic and social development. But what is community forestry? What forms does it take? Why do we need to involve local communities in forest management? What makes community forestry successful? What are the constraints to realizing the potential of community forestry?

Community forestry 101 will answer these questions and more. It focuses on the Asia-Pacific, but the concepts can be applied throughout the world. The journey through the course includes experiential and reflective activities based on real-life conditions. You will also have opportunities to share your ideas and collaborate with others. 

RECOFTC ran the e-course in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. 

Key features

  • Learn for free and differently through experiential and reflective activities based on real-life examples
  • Study at your own pace, dedicating six hours for online work and two hours for an offline assignment at a time most convenient to you
  • Join a community of learners with opportunities to share ideas and collaborate with others
  • Receive a certificate if you achieve 75 percent or higher in the assessment 

Course schedule


Eight hours 

8 March 2023 - 16 May 2023

Online and offline, self-paced

Click to enrol

22 February 2023 - 22 March 2023


Who is this course for

Participants are people who work in forestry and related careers, students and graduates of forestry, environmental science and development studies, extension workers and many others who want to engage with and support indigenous and local communities to achieve sustainable development and mitigate climate change. 

Participants should have a working knowledge of English. Typical learners are professionals in the forestry and natural resources sectors in government, the private sector and civil society interested in participatory forest governance; students in the Asia-Pacific who want to gain additional knowledge on the use of community forestry, a course that is not offered in traditional university curriculum; academics looking for research resources who want to build professional networks and connect with researchers across the Asia-Pacific; organizations that  seek opportunities for their employees to gain skills and  learn how to engage with forest communities and how community forestry can help them achieve their goals. 

Topics the course covers

  • The concept and practice of community forestry in the Asia-Pacific
  • The relationship between people and forests 
  • Models of community forestry
  • Principles underlying community forestry and factors that make community forestry models successful 
  • Challenges to achieving the full potential of community forestry

Competencies you will gain

  • Recognize community forestry as a way to increase local people’s engagement in governing and managing forests 
  • Recognize the diversity of community forestry models in the Asia-Pacific
  • Use the principles of community forestry to review models of community forestry
  • Identify challenges to community forestry in your own context

Certificate of completion

This course qualifies for a RECOFTC Certificate of Completion. Achieve 75 percent or higher in the assessment and become part of a global community with competencies on the basics of community forestry.

Community Forestry 101 is produced with the financial support of the European Union (EU), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The contents of this e-course is the sole responsibility of RECOFTC and does not necessarily reflect the views of the EU, Sida or SDC.