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Contributions of community forestry to COVID-19 response and recovery in seven Asian countries

21 Jun 2021
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Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic on 11 March 2020, close to 3 million people have lost their lives and economies around the world have buckled. To date, marginalized people have suffered most. But amid the chaos, there are optimistic signs that communities with the rights to use and manage a nearby forest have better weathered the storm of COVID-19.

RECOFTC and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations teamed up to conduct this study to inform policy-makers and others on the value of community forestry, especially in times of crisis. To do this, RECOFTC spoke with hundreds of people across seven Asian countries with different community forestry regimes: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Viet Nam.

The study shows that strengthening community forests now will help build the resilience of marginalized people to endure the ongoing social and economic disruption. The study also makes a strong case for putting support for community forestry into post-pandemic recovery plans.