Community-based forest enterprise development
Reducing poverty by linking small and medium forest enterprises with national forest programmes, markets and service providers
Small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) are critical to the poor. They generate local wealth, help to secure local resources and environmental accountability, promote local creativity and help to preserve indigenous cultures and market niches. But while the number of SMFEs starting up in least developed countries is high, keeping them going sustainably is a major challenge. They face problems such as too much bureaucracy, unstable policies and regulations, insecure land rights, lack of bargaining power, insufficient business knowledge and difficulties accessing credit, market information and technology.
Forest Connect is an international alliance dedicated to tackling the isolation of small forest enterprises. Established in late 2007, its aims are to avoid deforestation and reduce poverty by better linking sustainable small forest enterprises to each other, to markets, to service providers and to policy processes such as National Forest Programmes (nfps).
It currently involves partner institutions with funded facilitation plans in 12 countries: Burkina Faso, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Laos, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal and Liberia plus a broader network of supporters in 58 countries linked by an international social networking site (http://forestconnect.ning.com).
Forest Connect supporters:
Forest Connect national websites