Developing a Project Proposal
We are concerned with raising funds in support of SFM. As we have already seen SFM is complex, from both the conceptual and practical aspects, and may involve contradictory or counter posing elements. Achieving SFM, in a given context, presents a complex problem which needs to be conceptualized in order to formulate viable solutions, which can in turn be implemented in the real world by a project. Attaining the goal of SFM is dependent, therefore, upon the correctly identifying the problems, formulating the solutions and realizing the results; a process achievable through the wise acquisition and application of knowledge. Practically, many other factors, technological, social and economic, are involved.
All projects, whether small or large, require time to develop a project proposal. Frequently this investment will need to be borne by the proposing organization. Large projects, and in particular those that involved multiple organizations or even countries, may require substantial investments to be made in project preparation and may themselves need to attract funding. Bilateral and multilateral donors have their own procedures for developing feasibility studies and for project preparation. For example, the GEF Project Development Fund funds project development up to US$ 350,000 over the period of a year, in order to clearly identify problems, formulate their solutions and develop a full and substantial project proposal.
The work of the international community over the past decade in developing the concepts, principles, criteria and indicators for SFM goes a long way in helping to formalize the problem identification and solving process. These tools can all be put to good use in helping to formulate a proposal, in presenting a good case for funding and in implementation. In the following discussion we will use the ITTO Criteria and Indicators for SFM of Natural Tropical Forests to illustrate the problem identification and solving process. Local variations of the Criteria and Indicators may exist for your specific region or country. Criteria describe "a state or situation which should be met to comply with SFM", whilst Indicators provide measures with which to monitor compliance or progress towards it.