Community-based forest enterprise development
Support to forestry development at the community level
PROJECT OBJECTIVES and DESCRIPTION: In spite of the prioritization of poverty alleviation, government efforts and tools aimed to combat rural poverty have struggled, particularly in the poorest mountain communities with fragile ecosystems. The lack of natural resource management by both local people and authority has also encouraged the migration of the poorest rural communities.
To confront this, the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) in 2000 developed an initiative to train its professional and technical staff in participatory planning with rural communities. Staff were then assigned to rural communities. In order to build a foundation for the decentralization of forestry activities, the Government of Chile requested the support of the FAO.
The project developed by FAO to support forestry development at the community level intended to improve forestry production and commercialisation, the conservation of natural resources, and the use of participatory planning and territory management methodologies in selected municipalities with rural communities. A training component was included to target municipality officers and peasants. A community-based enterprise development component of the project, using the Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) approach, was also carried out.
PROJECT PARTNERS AND STAKEHOLDERS:
- National Forestry Corporation (CONAF)
- peasants in poorest rural communities, municipality officers
- Organize and implement training workshops on the MA&D approach for the technical staff of participating municipalities and institutions, and carry out joint practices with the communities, especially in the micro watershed of El Maqui;
- Assist and supervise the technical personnel of municipalities and peasant communities in the implementation of MA&D and identify potential markets for their products;
- Facilitate cooperation and synergy with private enterprises and institutions that may provide services to the enterprises or that may become a potential market for the project area products;
- Prepare a management report and support the preparation and publication of a manual on MA&D approach aimed to the communities and the technical staff of municipalities and institutions.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND OUTCOMES: In the micro watershed of El Maqui, outcomes included the implementation of the MA&D approach to create a tourist footpath in the framework of ecotourism services and the formulation of a ecotourism working plan.
The ecotourism project had several objectives: carry out Phase 3 of MA&D approach; discuss and formulate the project with the families living in El Maqui; provide instruction on building the tourist path and provide information on how to request financial support, training etc; promote the establishment of relationships between institutions in order to launch the project, and help in finding other agencies that may provide additional support.