Forest Connect

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.
Many SMFEs work together in associations to reduce transaction costs, adapt to new market opportunities and shape the policy environment in their favour. But in many developing countries, support structures for such forest associations either do not exist or fail to reach those who need help most.

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 (


Join the Forest Connect online network!
As part of this alliance, a new online network has been created to share news, tools, tactics, and documents to help improve the prospects of SMFEs around the world. Membership of the network is free and open to everyone working or interested in SMFE issues.

 Forest Connect supporters:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Multidonor Partnership Programme 
Contact: Jeremie Mbairamadji

International Institute for Environment and Development                 
Contact: Duncan Macqueen

World Bank Program on Forests (PROFOR)


last updated:  Tuesday, July 29, 2014