One of the most important functions of the Asia Forest Network is providing a forum for professionals from governments, development agencies, NGOs, and universities to exchange experiences and gain a broader vision of regional shifts in forest management policies and practices. AFN meetings provide a rare opportunity for practitioners to step back from routine tasks to meet with colleagues from neighboring countries and gain new perspectives regarding the immense changes taking place around the public forest domain, and to see the roles they are playing in the process. Over the course of five regional meetings, the AFN, as a body of concerned individuals from nations of the region, has created a clearer picture of the forces drawing communities into public lands management and reshaping state agencies, and of the challenges faced in this process. The research and discussions of Network members illuminate strong parallels in the way country forest policies, which largely excluded community participation in management for decades, are being reformed to re-engage forest user groups. This broader understanding of the past and emerging vision of future directions that public lands management may take are extremely useful to those individuals who are acting as change agents in their own countries and who are influential in shaping new policies and programs.



The meeting identified the following regional trends:

Policy, procedural, and professional reforms are badly needed in many forest agencies. Flexible funding is required for designing and implementing new collaborative management systems. Staff reorientation and capacity building within forest departments require high priority. Greater transparency and openness should be created within forest agencies, with promotion based on merit to reduce corruption. Greater clarity is essential in defining the roles of forest agencies, local government, and forest management groups, with strategies to improve communication and facilitate joint decision making.

Greater attention needs to be given to promoting natural regeneration as a method for ecological restoration. Forest re-establishment costs through natural regeneration are frequently only 5 to 10 percent of those of monoculture plantations, yet development agencies and forest departments still channel the majority of their funding into costly plantings of fast growing species. These resources could fund national strategies involving new policies and extension programs to encourage, support, and empower rural communities to establish closure over degraded and threatened natural forests, halting disturbances and facilitating regrowth.



During 1996, Asia Forest Network secretariat activities brought attention to India's lively and emerging joint forest management program. Village Voices, Forest Choices was published by Oxford University Press, and brings together the experiences of 14 professionals who chronicle India's public lands management transition. Grassroots Forest Protection was completed shortly after the book and published in the AFN monograph series. Research Network Report #7 documents the history of forest protection committee formation in the states of Orissa, West Bengal, and Bihar, the heartland of this grassroots movement. Asia Forest Network members also worked with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to help bring community forestry experiences to the attention of the United Nation's Inter- governmental Panel on Forests (IPF). The AFN contributed to an IUCN Publication entitled Communities and Forest Management that examined global trends and forwarded recommendations to the IPF.

In 1997 the Asia Forest Network will continue to focus its attention on documenting, analyzing, and communicating ongoing transitions in public forest lands policy and practice. Illuminating strategies and experiences that improve forest management through greater involvement of communities will remain a primary goal of the Network. The Network will also create opportunities for professional exchanges between the region's countries through formal meetings, cross-visits, and publications. Some new areas of Network development include exploring possibilities for smaller sub-regional meetings over the coming three years including for South Asia, upland Southeast Asia, and insular Southeast Asia. The Network will also continue to assist in the formation of country-level community forest working groups to synthesize field learning, inform policy makers, and monitor ongoing transitions.

The Network publication program anticipates the completion and distribution of the following volumes in 1997.



Facilitating Collaborative Planning in Hawai'i's Natural Area Reserves.

This report documents a process of mediation that is allowing greater community participation in the management of a state-protected area on the island of Hawaii. The case describes the issues and process that guided the Natural Areas Working Group, comprised of local community members, representatives from environmental organizations and the staff of state agencies. The account verifies the effectiveness of mediation in facilitating collaborative planning, even in contexts where conflicting interests exist.

Inventorying, Planning and Monitoring for joint Forest Management: AFN Methods Manual - Volume III

These easy-to-use techniques for participatory community forestry inventorying, planning and monitoring are designed by and especially for forest agency staff. The manual outlines a process for identifying community-forest spatial relationship, demarcating boundaries, and creating micro-level management plans.

Communities and Emerging Upland Forest Policies in Vietnam

This AFN country case study examines recent shifts in national forest policies, and then explores how they are influencing community forest interactions among ethnic minority communities living on the margins of Bavi National Park and along the Da River in the northwestern province of Son La.

Asia Forest Network Newsletter

Published by the AFN's Southeast Asia regional office in Manila, the newsletter selects one major topic for each issue and has already discussed community forestry issues in India, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, as well as reporting on AFN meetings and activities. Currently the Newsletter is being published six times each year.

Asia Forest Network Working Paper Series

jointly published by the Asia and U.S. AFN offices, the series will examine the effectiveness of emerging community forest management policies, and review experiences from development agency projects.

Asia Forest Network Web Site

Developed at the University of California at Berkeley, this new home page at a history of the Network, its goals, activities and membership.



Appendix 1: An Analysis of the Workshop

The Organizers' View - Achievements

The multi-country representation (50% from India, and the remainder from overseas) and a mix of participants (Forest Department staff, NGOS, academics, and community leaders) worked out well.

There was good country group dynamics, particularly within the Philippine and Indonesia teams, and interaction among various country teams including the Southeast Asia group coming together on the uplands issues, which cut across geographical boundaries.

Discussion groups were effective, generating broad recommendations. These general recommendations could be sharpened further by a small group of experts (e.g., benchmarking organizational changes).

Country reports helped reveal the evolution of community forestry changes in policy and practice-particularly in Nepal, Philippines, and Thailand, providing a perspective on broad regional trends.

Formulation of practical plans for follow-up by participants. These include staff exchange to be arranged by the Philippines participants for their Indian counterparts to study experiences in forming national support groups. Also exchanges were discussed between Nepal and Philippines and Nepal and India. Follow-up on developing benchmarks on organizational change in the Forest Departments is also planned by EDI, ODA, and CIFOR. Nepal and India (Andhra Pradesh and Kerala states) have shown interest in testing these benchmarks in their Forest Departments.

Exposure to first-timers. Cambodia and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh were exposed to an international workshop on community forestry for the first time. Those participants plan to follow up on some of the recommendations from the workshop.


The Participants' View - Achievements

The workshop agenda, structure, and focus was excellent. The guidelines for panel discussions and instructions for moderators were very clear. The moderators did a good job. The panel discussion on donors' programs, in particular, was very useful, though additional time was required.

The multi-country participation and the mix of participants was good.

The location of the workshop away from New Delhi, India's capital, was appreciated. It was a good idea to have accommodation and conference at one location.


The Organizers' View - Limitations and Lessons

Uneven participant preparation. Though guidelines for presentations and group discussions were prepared and distributed in advance, several participants did not come well prepared. A number of formal presentations were of poor quality. Several recommendations from group discussions similarly were fairly general. In the future, organizers should try to obtain a month in advance the papers that are to be formally presented by participants; this would help to review the papers and offer advice on presentation.

Group domination. The 50:50 formula (50 percent Indians, 50 percent others), though well-intentioned, resulted in Indian participants tending to dominate the group and plenary sessions. This issue generated several complaints from non-Indian participants (see below). In the future, representation from the host country should be restricted to, perhaps, a third. Moderators and session chairpersons should be briefed on some of the cultural nuances to avoid domination by any one group.

Limited time. While the structure for the workshop won praise, the limited time (10 minutes) allotted to each speaker turned out to be inadequate. Few speakers were able to do justice to the topic within the limited time. In the future, the number of speakers and topics should be reduced and the time allocated to each presenter increased to 20 minutes.

Coordination problem. Overlapping responsibilities led to occasional confusion. Posting an assignment sheet in the seminar hall, spelling out the responsibility of each member of the organizing committee, would have been helpful to the participants.

Workshop venue. Holding the workshop outside Delhi was a good idea. The physical location of Surajkund was wonderful. Unfortunately, the daily wedding receptions in the evenings disrupted the bonhomie among participants and occasionally their sleep. In the future, it would help if one of the organizers spends a few days at the venue prior to reserving the place for a workshop.


The Participants' View - Limitations and Lessons

Inadequate time. At least 10 participants mentioned that the time allotted for presenters was insufficient to do justice to their topic.

Group size too large. The total number of people who came to the workshop exceeded 80, though at least 60 people were in attendance at any one time, limiting more intimate dialogue.

Location problems. Among the issues mentioned were a "lack of consideration of technology" in the conference hall; microphones did not work well; good slides and pictures were needed for country presentations; and too much time spent on bussing people around.

Country representations should be equitable. The large contingent from India created problems.

Structured, well-facilitated discussions on a few topics. Several topics and many speakers with limited time did not find favor with participants. It was suggested that presenters should be properly guided and that country teams should do a better analysis of the problems in their presentation.

More group discussions for a longer time period. The preference was for issue- oriented discussions involving several countries.


Comments on Asia Forest Network (AFN)

Participants commented favorably on AFN; it was seen as a "relevant body to influence governments" on forest policy, "inter-country forum," and as a mechanism to "provide a positive direction" to its members. "AFN is going in the right direction"; its objectives are "more clear than in early years."

Workshops should be held regularly - Nepal was suggested for the next meeting site. AFN could support a 'comparative analysis" of community forestry in the Asia region reviewing each country's strengths, weaknesses, direction, and constraints. Management and technology issues should also be included in the agenda, suggested two participants. Overall, it was a "well done, wonderful workshop."


Appendix 2: Participant List

  • Mr. Ma Soktha
    Deputy Chief of Reforestation Office
    Department of Forests and Wildlife
    MAFF. 40 Preah Norodom Blvd.
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
    Tel/Fax. 00855 23-360661
  • Mr. Chay Sakun
    Deputy Chief of Forestry Office
    Mondulkiri Province, MAFF
    40 Preah Norodom Blvd.
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
    Tel/Fax, 00855 23-360661
  • Mr. Zuo Ting
    Deputy Director
    Institute of Rural Economy
    Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences
    No. 45, Qixiang Road
    Kunming, Yunnan 650032, China
    Tel: 86-871-4154722
    Fax: 86-871-4142394
  • Xu Jianchu
    Research Fellow
    Kunming Institute of Botany
    Department of Ethnobotany Heolongthan
    Kunming, Yunnan 650204, China
    Fax: 86-87-5150117/3101871
  • Dr. Mustofa Agung Sardjono
    Faculty of Forestry
    Mulawarman University
    Kampus Gunung Kelua
    Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur
    Tel: 62-541-31106
    Fax: 62-21-570 1232
  • Dr. Vo Td Chung
    Nguyen Huy Dung
    Forest Inventory and Planning Institute
    Thanh Tri, Hanoi
    Tel: 84-4-613858, 615530
    Fax: 84-4-612881
  • Peter Walpole
    Karen Lawrence
    Gilbert Braganza
    Manila Observatory
    Environmental Research Division
    P.O. Box 1231
    Manila, Philippines 1062
    Tel. 632-924-1751
    Fax: 632-924-4414
  • Romie Acosta
    Ernie Guiang
    Foreign Aid Assisted Projects
    Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources
    Visaya Avenue
    Diliman, Quezon City
    Fax: 632-963487Tel: 928 7273/9737
  • Bruce Harker
    Nick Uriarts
    Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources
    Visaya Avenue
    Diliman, Quezon City
  • Dr. Komon Pragtong
    Community Forest Department
    Royal Forest Department
    Bangkok 10900, Thailand
    Tel. 662-579-5416/Fax: 661-579-5416
  • Emmanuel D'Silva
    Economic Development Institute
    The World Bank
    Washington, DC 20433
    Tel: 202-473-6408
    Fax: 202-676-0977
  • Claudia D'Andrea
    1400 16th Street, NW
    Washington D.C. 20036
    Tel: 202 797-5454
    Fax: 202 797-5461
  • Andre Laletin
    Friends of Siberian Forests
    P.O.Box 26779
    Academgorodok 28-13
    Krasnoyarsk - 36,660036
  • Mr. Lu Xing
    Deputy Director
    Yunnan Institute of Geography
    28 East Jiaochang Rd.
    Kunming, Yunnan 650223
    Fax: 86-871-514-6912
  • Mr. Ramesh C. Mukalla
    Swedish Intl. Devt. Agency
    Swedish Embassy
    Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri
    New Delhi 110021, India
  • Mr. lrshad A. Khan
    Forestry Specialist
    The World Bank
    70 Lodi Estate
    Max Mueller Marg
    New Delhi 110003, India
  • Dr. N. Kaji Shreshta
    P.O. Box 5723
    Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Mr. Shekhar Singh
    Dr. Vasumati Sankaran
    Mr. Ashish Kothari
    Indian lnst. of Public Admin. (IIPA)
    Indraprastha Estate
    New Delhi 110002, India
    Fax: 91-11-3319954
  • Ms. Shyamala Hiremath
    Indian Development Service
    Halyal Road, Saptapur, Dharwad
    Karnataka, India
    Fax: 91-0836-46241
  • Dr. J.K. Rawa
    CCF & Project Director
    Aravalli Project
    Gurgaon 122001
    Haryana, India
    Tel: 91-0124-328680
  • Dr. K.C. Malhotra
    Indian Statistical Institute
    203 Barrackpore Trunk Road
    Calcutta 700035, India
  • Mr. Deep Panday
    Dy. Conservator of Forests
    Kota Forest Division
    Rajasthan, India
  • Mr. G. Raju
    Nehru Foundation
    Taltej Tekra
    Ahmedabad 380054
    Gujarat, India
  • Dr. Nihal Jain
    23 Jhinirst Ki Gali
    Rajasthan 313001, India
  • Mr. G.B. Reddy
    General Manager (Commercial)
    Orissa Forest Development Corp
    Orissa, India
    Fax: 0663-33018
  • Dr. P.K. Biswas
    Indian Institute of Forest Management
    Nehru Nagar
    Bhopal 462003, India
  • Mr. M.D. Sinha
    Deputy Conservator of Forests
    Ravalli Project, Rewara
    Haryana, India
  • Dr. Chatrapati Singh
    Ms. Devaki
    Ms. Rashmi Bajaj
    Mr. Daman Singh
    Ms. Sarvan Sarkar
    Ms. Chitra Gupta
    172-B Lodi Estate
    New Delhi 110003
    Tel: 91-11-4647751/Fax: 4626837
  • Dr. S.K. Puri
    Director, IGCMC
    172-B Lodi Estate
    New Delhi 110003, India
    Tel: 91-11-4691764
  • Mr. Ajit Bonerjee
    Forestry Expert
    Calcutta, India
  • Mr. R.N. Kaul
    F-8, South Ext II
    New Delhi 110049
    Tel: 6442482
  • Dra. Hadanti Yudomustopo LIPI
    Jalan Jand. Gatot Subroto No. 10
    Jakarta 12710, Indonesia
    Tel. 62-21-525 1542 ext. 348
    Fax. 62-21-,570 1232
  • Ir. lsmayadi Samsoedin
    Litbang Kehutanan
    Jalan Gunung Batu No. 5
    P.O. Box 165
    Bogor 16610, Indonesia
    Tel & Fax. 62-251-325 111
  • Latipah Hendarti
    RMI (The Indonesian Institute for Forest & Environment)
    Jalan Sampur No. 64
    Bogor 16154, Indonesia
    Tel. 62-251-320 647
    Fax: 62-251-320 253
  • Raudatul J. Suraya
    Yayasan KEHATI
    (Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation)
    Patra Jasa Building, 1 st floor
    Jalan Jend. Gatot Subroto Kav. 32-34
    Jakarta 12950, Indonesia
    Tel. 62-21- 522 8031/522 8032
    Fax: 62-21-522 8033
  • Carol Coffer (Indonesia)
    Center for International Forestry Research
    P.O. Box 6596
    Jakarta, Indonesia 10065
  • Dr. Ruanchi Pausaija
    Office for Promotion of Reforestation
    Royal Forest Department
    Bangkhen, Bangkok 10900
    Fax: 662-579-5588
  • Dr. Amrit Lal Joshi
    Chief Planning Officer
    Min. of Forests & Soil Conservation
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    Fax. 97-71-220067
  • Jeff Cambell
    Ford Foundation
    P.O. Box 2030
    Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Delbert McCluskey
    Ernie Wijangco
    Ramon Magsaysay Center
    1680 Roxas, Manila 1062
    Tel: 632-521-5254/Fax: 632-522-2512
  • Mark Poffenberger
    Jenny Sowerwine
    Asia Forest Network - CSEAS
    2223 Fulton St, Room 617
    Berkeley, CA 92720-2318
    Tel: 510-524-3085
    Fax: 510-643-7062
  • Alison Schwarz
    Angana Chatterji
    Asia Forest Network
    733 Stannage St, #1
    Albany, CA 94706
    Tel: 510-525-6133
  • Mr. Arvind Khare
    Dr. A.K. Malhotra
    Mr. M. Satyanarayana
    Mr. Samar Singh
    172-B Lodi Estate
    New Delhi 110003, India
    Tel: 4642972/Fax: 4626837
  • Mr. Sushil Saigal
    Mr. Chetan Agarwal
    Society for Promotion of Wastelands Devt.
    1, Copernicus Marg
    Shri Ram Kala Kendra
    New Delhi 110001, India
  • Dr. N.H. Ravindranath
    Centre for Ecological Sciences
    Indian Institute of Science
    Bangalore 560012, India
  • Ms Neera Singh
    VII - H/130
    Bhubneswar 751016, India
  • Mr. P. Guhatakurtha
    K-38, City Home
    South City Complex
    Gurgaon 122001
    Haryana, India
    Fax: 91-11-2405931
  • Dr. Janet Seeley
    Overseas Devt. Admin.
    British High Commission
    B-2/16, Vasant Vihar,
    New Delhi 110057, India
  • Mr. A.L. Joshi
    Community Forestry Dept of Forest
    Babar Mehal
    Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Ms. Nandini Sunder
    Research Coordinator
    Joint Forest Management Research Project
    340, Mandakini Enclave
    New Delhi 110019, India
  • Mr. Kinsukh Mitra
    Jayesh Bhatia
    Tata Energy Research Institute
    Darbari Lal Seth Block
    India Habitat Centre Building
    Lodhi Road
    New Delhi 110003, India
  • Dr. N.C. Saxena
    Minorities Commission
    Lok Nayak Bhawan
    5th Floor, Khan Market
    New Delhi 110003, India
    Fax: 91-11-469-3302
  • Mr. S. D. Mukherjee
    Chief Conservator of Forests
    Government of Andra Pradesh
    Forest Department
    Aranya Bhawan
    Hyderabad 500004, India
  • Prof. S.B. Roy
    Indian Inst. of Bio-Social Research & Devt
    3A, Hindustan Road, Gariahat
    Calcutta 700029, India
  • Dr. Abhash C. Panda
    Operation Research Group
    F-10, BJB Nagar
    Bhubneswar 751014, India
    Fax: 91-674-430145
  • Mr. R.A. Sharma
    IFSDirector Swed Forest
    16-A Palam Marg
    Vasant Vihar
    New Delhi 110057, India
    Tel: 91-011-6886398
  • Mr. S.S. Rizvi
    Palam Vihar
    Gurgaon 122017
    Haryana, India
  • Mr. Sanjiv Chadha
    Divisional Forest Officer
    Athgarh Forest Division
    Athgarh, Cuttack
    Orissa, India
    Fax: 91-6723-20235
  • Ms. Madhu Sarin
    48 Sector 4
    Chandigarh 160001
    Haryana, India
  • Mr. S.K. Palit, IFS
    Chief Conservator of Forests
    Forest Department
    New CIT Building, 3rd Floor
    P16 India Exchange Place
    Calcutta 700073
    Fax: 91-033-225-3258
  • Dr. R.C. Sharma, IFS
    Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests
    Satpura Bhawan, Tulsi Nagar
    Bhopal 462005, India
  • Mr. S.S. Patnaik, IFS
    Chief Conservator of Forests
    Arunachal Pradesh
    Tel: 91-0360-22361/Fax: 0360-22361
  • Mr. Sankarsan Hota
    Orissa, India
    Fax. 91-4450-06762




Research Network Reports




Sustaining Southeast Asia's Forests, June 1992.


Community Allies: Forest Co-Management in Thailand, August 1993.


Communities and Forest Management in East Kalimantan: Pathway to Environmental Stability, August 1993.


Upland Philippine Communities: Guardians of the Final Forest Frontier, August 1993.


Proceedings of the Policy Dialogue on Natural Forest Regeneration and Community Management, April 1994.


Transitions in Forest Management: Shifting Community Forestry from Project to Process, August 1995


Grassroots Forest Protection: Eastern Indian Experiences, March 1996


Facilitating Collaborative Planning in Hawai'i's Natural Area Reserves, December 1996


Other Publications

Field Methods Manual, Vol. I. Diagnostic Tools for Supporting Joint Forest Management Systems, 1992.

Field Methods Manual, Vol. II. Community Forest Economy and Use Patterns: Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Methods in South Gujarat, India, 1992.

Case Study Training Modules Series, Bangkok: Asia Forest Network and RECOFTC, 1995

Village Voices, Forest Choices: Indian Experiences in joint Forest Management, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Go back the Table of Contents


1. This country review is based on the paper by Hijiang Xu, "Forest Resources in China"

2. "Forest Restoration in Asia: An Overview," Worldwide Fund for Nature-India, New Delhi, 1996

3. "Forest Restoration in Asia: An Overview," Worldwide Fund for Nature-India, New Delhi, 1996

4. This case draws primarily from A.L. Joshi, "Community Forestry in Nepal: 1978 to 2010"

5. This country report includes information from Ma Sok Tha, "Community Forestry in Cambodia."

6. Seth Mydans, 'To Control Cambodia, Rivals Are Stripping It Bare," The New York Times, December 22,1996.

7. Global Witness, "Cambodia, Where Money Grows on Trees, " October 1996.

8. Global Witness Investigation, September 1996.

9. New York Tunes, "To Control Cambodia, Rivals Are Stripping It Bare, "December 22,1996.

10. New York Times, "To control Cambodia, Rivals Are Stripping it Bare," December 22,1996.

11. This summary is based on Nguyen Huy Dung, "Country Report of Vietnam," and Vo Tri Chung, "Indigenous Peoples Development Plan."

12. General Statistics Office, "Statistical Data for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries." Hanoi. Statistical Publishing House, 1994.

13. This section draws on Sushil Saigal, "Country Report of India," Ajit Banejee, "Inaugual Address," and Patnaik, Barik, and Shukla, "Arunachal Pradesh."

14. This section draws on Sushil Saigal, "Country Report - India," Ajit Banejee, "Inaugural Address," and Patnaik, Barik, and Shukla, "Arunachal Pradesh."

15. This country review is based on B.D. Nasendi and Ismayadi Samsudin, "Recent Development in Community-Based Forest Management Policies and Operational Activities in Indonesia."

16. This review summarizes the paper of Komon Pragtong, "Community-based Forest and Water Resource Management."

17. This text is based on Ernie Guiang, "Guiding National Transitions in Forest Management: Some Experiences from the Philippines.'

18. This discussion is drawn from presentations by Romy Acosta, Kaji Shrestha, A.L. Joshi, S.K. Pande, S. Palit, C.G. Mishra, R.C. Sharma, D.N. Pandey, and S.D. Mukhejee.

19. "Forest Restoration in Asia: An Overview." Worldwide Fund for Nature - India, New Delhi, 1996.

20. "Forest Restoration in Asia: An Overview." Worldwide Fund for Nature - India, New Delhi, 1996.

21. This section draws on presentations by Jeff Campbell, Janet Sealey, Delbert Mcluskey, Ramesh Mukulla, and Irshad Khan.

22. This summary is based in part on presentations by Madhu Sarin, C. Raju, Neera Singh, and Sankarsan Hota. It draws on contributions by Karen Lawrence, Angana Chattejee, and Alison Schwarz.