The International Conference on Managing Forests for Poverty Reduction: Capturing Opportunities in Forest Harvesting and Wood Processing for the Benefit of the Poor, would not have been possible without the energy and dedication of a core group of people, who jointly conceptualized, developed and organized the conference. These include: Thomas Enters, Patrick Durst and Pernille Lausen Hansen (FAO), Sango Mahanty (RECOFTC), Arthur Ebregt (SNV) Simon Greenaway and Vu Nam (TFT), and Ms Pham Minh Thoa (MARD).
Staff from SNV (Pham Thu Hang), RECOFTC (Wallaya Pinprayoon and Boontida Moungsrimuangdee) and FAO (Pernille Lausen Hansen) provided logistical and administrative support to facilitate participants’ travel, prepare supporting materials, and coordinate program arrangements.
Viet Nam was an excellent venue for the conference. The support of the Department of Forestry (DoF), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam (MARD) in hosting the event was greatly appreciated, in particular: the Director General of DoF, Nguyen Ngoc Binh and his colleagues Pham Minh Thoa, Vo Dinh Tuyen, Do Tien Dzung, Trinh Thi Thanh Ha, Kim Thi Kieu Anh and Bui Tuan Giang of DoF, and the Deputy Director of International Cooperation Department of MARD, Mr. Tran Kim Long and his colleagues Pham Trong Hien and Nguyen Thi Luan.
The engagement of our MARD colleagues helped to create a positive atmosphere for discussion and to arrange a good selection of field trips for participants, with the valuable cooperation and support of the Sub-Department of Forestry of Ho Chi Minh City, Can Gio Reserve Zone in Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Mai Paper Company in Dong Nai Province, Nam Trung Joint stock Company and Long Viet Joint stock Company in Binh Duong Province. Support for the field trips was also provided by Catherine Mackenzie and Harm Duiker (SNV), and Vu Nam (TFT).
The conference included many stimulating presentations by a wide range of resource persons who generously shared their experiences with the participants. Katherine Warner (IUCN) and Gary Dunning (TFD) did an excellent job in setting the scene for discussion on the days that followed with their keynote addresses. We also thank all of the other presenters: Pascal Cuny (SNV), Patrick C. Dugan (Bagong Pagasa Foundation) and Juan Pulhin (University of Los Banos), Bao Huy (Tay Nguyen University), Steve Gretzinger (WWF), Padam Chand and K.B. Ghimiri (former Nepal Australia Community Resource Management and Livelihoods Programme), Mark Kelly (URS Forestry), James Bampton (Livelihood Forestry Programme), Krishna Acharya (Department of Forest Research and Survey), Hans Beukeboom (Helvetas), Ben Vickers (SNV), Bernhard Mohns (Lao German Programme on Rural Development), Michell Pinard (University of Aberdeen), Anda Akivi (PNG Forest Research Institute), Jim Birkemeier (Timbergreen Forestry), Scott Landis (GreenWood), Duncan Macqueen (IIED), Robin Barr (TFT), Christoph Muziol (SPC/GTZ Pacific-German Regional Forestry Project) and finally John Marsh (Oxfam). Thanks also to Juan Puhlin for facilitating the working group on the Conference Declaration, and Hartmut Holznecht for facilitating the working group to identify follow up actions.
The editorial team for these proceedings included: Robert Oberndorf, Sango Mahanty, Kenneth Burslem and Erica Lee of RECOFTC, and Regan Suzuki and Patrick Durst, FAO.
Last but certainly not least, the conference would not have been possible without the generous financial support of ITTO and the Netherlands Government (DGIS), for which the organizers express their sincere gratitude.