New tool for policymakers and practitioners provides step-by-step guidance on social forestry

RECOFTC launches the Knowledge Tree for deploying the power of social forestry to reduce food insecurity and poverty and combat climate change
A tree in a forest, "A Knowledge Tree for decision making for effective, efficient and equitable social forestry"


RECOFTC today launched the Knowledge Tree, a tool for decision making for effective, efficient and equitable social forestry. This interactive resource is available in RECOFTC’s Learning Centre.

“Close to 140 million people in Southeast Asia depend on forests for their livelihoods,” says David Ganz, RECOFTC’s Executive Director. “By investing in social forestry we help them secure their land tenure, overcome poverty and food insecurity, and contribute to stopping deforestation and mitigating climate change. That’s why the Knowledge Tree is important. It helps us find and use up-to-date, research-based insights and guidance to capitalize on the power of social forestry to achieve the goals of ASEAN Member States, the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

The Knowledge Tree is an initiative of the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC), a 10-year collaboration to boost social forestry in ASEAN member states to address the linked challenges of food insecurity, poverty and climate change. 

The Knowledge Tree is designed for national government officials, civil society, social forestry researchers and funding agencies. It organizes resources by six real-life challenges:

  • Understanding and responding to the aspirations of local people
  • Achieving recognition of land tenure and rights to use forests
  • Building the capacities of communities and institutions
  • Identifying and making best use of the forest’s potential to serve multiple uses
  • Ensuring an enabling environment through good policies
  • Work with markets and external actors, such as the ASEAN Economic Community

“What excites me most about the Knowledge Tree is the abundance of resources,” says Indah Waty, an author of the Knowledge Tree and a research consultant at CIFOR. “The Knowledge Tree hosts all kinds of social forestry resources from policy briefs to comprehensive manuals on topics like tenure, gender and capacity building.”

The ASFCC helped ASEAN Member States develop, reform and implement social forestry policies through its support for the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF), an advisory body to ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) who set the policy and cooperation agenda for forestry in ASEAN. The ASFCC has five implementing partners: RECOFTC, the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Non-Timber Forest Product Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). Together, these partners conducted research, provided policy advice, implemented training, funded pilot projects, organized learning exchanges and supported deliberation among forest stakeholders from governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and communities. 

Explore the Knowledge Tree here.

For more information on the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership visit the ASFCC page.


The ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), in coordination with the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF).

RECOFTC’s work is made possible with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).