Community Forestry International Projects
Community Forest Management Support Project-Phase I
This five-country project implemented in collaboration with the Asia Forest Network was designed to help facilitate forest sector transitions underway in the region. The project responded to needs at the regional, national, community, and field levels through a variety of interventions. At the regional level, CFMSP organized a series of workshops and cross-visits to stimulate exchange between countries engaged in developing community forest management policies and programs. At the national level, CFMSP provided financial and technical assistance to country working groups, NGO networks, and donor dialogues that were developing policy frameworks and national strategies to encourage forest sector transitions that engaged communities as principal partners. At the field level, CFMSP worked with partner organizations implementing community forestry initiatives, by providing small grants, technical assistance, and support for documentation.
One component of CFMSP was to collaborate with field project partners to produce one case study from each of the five participating SE Asian countries including, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The creation of resource management partnerships linking communities and local governments is a strong theme in each of the five case studies. The case studies primarily examine changes occurring in the past five years. For the most part, the progress made in stabilizing local resources, building community institutions, resolving conflict with local government and neighboring villages, and in establishing a sustainable system of management was dramatic. These experiences from five corners of Southeast Asia indicate that the trust that planners, NGOs, development agencies, and the larger civil society is gradually placing in the region’s rural villagers is not misplaced. At the same time, it is apparent from each of the cases, the need for financial, technical, and political support is vast. A great deal of damage has been done to the region’s forest in recent decades due to national policy, as well as field-level management failures. An equally extensive effort will be needed to restore these critical ecosystems and community relations with them. The case studies suggest that a long-term investment in building the capacity of communities and local governments to sustainably manage much of Southeast Asia’s forests would be a strategic one. In addition to the individual case studies, CFMSP produced a regional review of its project findings.
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