As community forestry grows, our challenge is to unleash its potential to make forest communities strong and resilient centres of flourishing nature and circular economy.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020–2021 demonstrated the transformative power of community forestry and the wisdom of investing in this nature-based solution.
In the Asia–Pacific region, community forestry is expanding quickly. The amount of forest area managed by Southeast Asia alone doubled between 2010 and 2020. We could reach 30 million hectares of community forests by 2030—a fivefold increase in only 20 years. As the area under community forestry grows, our challenge is to unleash its potential for making forest communities strong and resilient centres of flourishing nature and circular economy.
This annual report features stories about communities, governments, civil society organizations and many others who are on this journey.
Khea Sokchea, a local leader in Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary, tells us how community forestry moved from a fringe idea to a pillar of policy in Cambodia.
We read about how a Nepalese municipality applies principles of community forestry to pioneer adaptations to climate change, prevent disasters and overcome poverty.
Women and men explain how they are increasing gender equality in forestry through RECOFTC’s WAVES initiative.
We discover how civil society organizations can be effective advocates for good forest governance.
We learn about the shortcomings of forestry education in the Asia–Pacific region and how RECOFTC’s e-learning program is reaching thousands of learners.
Lastly, we meet the new Explore research network that is building a cadre of skilled researchers, 50 percent of them women, who are devoted to improving forest landscape governance in the Asia–Pacific region.
I am inspired by these highlights. But we must do more, and we must move fast. The transformation we seek is urgent and intimately linked to the security and well-being of millions of people who live not only in and near forests but also in urban settings.
Over the past 35 years, we have developed models of community forestry that deliver multiple benefits. Let’s scale them up!