NFP Facility, FAO, and Growing Forest Partnerships
- GFP in Guatemala, Prepared for the 2011 IUFRO Small Scale Forestry Conference, May 2011
Facilitating support for forest dependent communities
Growing Forest Partnerships (GFP) has been established as a mechanism to support partnerships and initiatives developed by forest dependent people and those who use, manage, or regulate forests.
GFP initiative aims to:
• Build upon existing or establish new, effective partnerships, with emphasis on bringing typically excluded groups into dialogue fora;
• Engage with stakeholders at all levels to garner support for locally controlled forestry;
• Improve access to finance in collaboration with donors and investors through local and national capacity building for investment preparedness and practical, innovative finance mechanisms;
• Share learning locally, nationally, and internationally.
GFP is facilitated by a Catalytic Group of partner institutions, namely the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the World Bank, who is also funding the initiative. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is playing a supporting role to the Catalytic Group as well as to the Reference Group, a decision-making body consisting of a diverse group of experts.
FAO offers particular value addition to the Growing Forest Partnership initiative given its unique linkages with the NFP Facility, hosted by FAO. FAO’s GFP activities utilize the existing strengths and processes of the NFP Facility, continuously seeking and identifying synergies among the two initiatives and contributing to mutual goals. For this purpose GFP counts on the expertise of nfp Coaches in the regions and FAO Forest Officers for supporting related technical subjects.
Training on wood production of small enterprise community
FAO is facilitating processes in several of the five pilot GFP countries. The most prominent support of FAO is being given to the processes in Guatemala, Liberia and Mozambique. With the help of the national partners, the NFP Facility and Coaches, and the other implementing organizations of the GFP, many promising activities started off in these countries.
Discussions with stakeholders in Guatemala have identified four pillars of work to address their key challenges that new partnerships might address:
• Governance and participation;
• Financing instruments;
• Information and communication;
• Strengthening capacity for forest management with communities, for both government and non government organisations.
A national co-ordinator has been appointed following terms of reference defined by a group of Guatemalan forest actors, and has supported these groups to develop a work plan. Key achievements include the establishment of a national Alliance of indigenous and community forest organisations from across Guatemala, convened for their first national meeting in August 2009. The Alliance is already helping the voices of marginalised groups in the country to be heard more clearly at national and international level. And within the Guatemalan forestry authority, a Forest Finance Intelligence Unit (UIFF) has been established and has start working on ideas for finance instruments that can benefit smallholders and forest communities.
Community based forest organisation presenting their products in a local trade fair
GFP in Liberia was announced to the forestry stakeholders during the National Forest Programme Facility Partnership Agreement launching workshop in September, 2009. The need to strengthen the coordination of the Community Forest Development Committees (CFDC) and the capacity of the different CFDCs was one of the key priorities identified. A first General Meeting of CFDC’s was held in November, with the financial support of the GFP. The meeting of the CFDC was attended by over forty participants from various CFDC in Liberia as well as Forestry Development Authority (FDA) representative observers and media institutions. The GFP launching workshop was held on 4th February 2010. The GFP Liberia concept note has been prepared and a work plan for 2010 approved, focusing on:
• Capacity building of the FDA;
• Promotion of NTFPs;
• Linkage of decision-makers with communities;
• Regulatory management of Chain Sawing;
• Stakeholder Consultation process.
In Mozambique, GFP with local facilitating partner CTV has developed a work plan focused on events that are being planned in the forestry sector for 2010 and which present a good opportunity for expanding policy discussions initiated under the GFP diagnosis phase as well as discussions raised during the drafting of the National CBNRM strategy, the National REDD Strategy, and other important documents for forestry management in Mozambique. The work plan gives attention also to the need for documentation of existing information in the form of research reports and other forms of information in order to facilitate knowledge sharing and also to facilitate the use of such information in decision making processes. Finally, the work plan will assist in capturing the reality of the people living in and with forests, by documenting and disseminating their practices, culture, concerns and hopes.
The GFP is also advancing in Ghana, and Nepal. For more information on the ongoing country actions, please visit the Growing Forest Partnerships website.
International level actions
FAO, along with the other GFP facilitating institutions and particularly IUCN, is supporting the international initiative ‘Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry (ILCF)’. ILCF is represented by the International Family Forest Alliance, the Global Alliance on Community Forestry, and the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of Tropical Forests, acting together as the Three Rights-Holders Groups (G3). In recent months, significant activities have taken place, including:
• Five dialogues, convened by The Forest Dialogue :
- one scoping dialogue in Brussels (2009);
- three field based dialogues (2009) in Panama, Nepal, and Macedonia, hosted by IAITPTF, FECOFUN (member of GACF), and CEPF (member of IFFA) respectively , and
- one dialogue in London (2010) on mutually-productive investment opportunities that would enable communities and indigenous peoples to realise their rights to sustainable livelihoods from forest resources.
• Support provided for ILCF forest rights holders groups activities at the World Forestry Congress 2009 (Buenos Aires, Argentina), COP 15 Copenhagen (2010), and a working meeting of the G3 (2010) at FAO headquarters in Rome.
What’s next for the NFP Facility and the GFP...
2010 and 2011 will be crucial years for the GFP, and in country efforts will have to link all the more closely with the ongoing country nfp processes in order to achieve sustainability in bringing marginalized voices into national dialogue on forest policy, as well as for identifying and maintaining investments into the forestry sector that bring benefits to all stakeholders. Further, at the international level, efforts on locally controlled forestry and its appropriate and effective investment mechanisms will have to be further promoted, analysed and mainstreamed.
The Facility considers the actors and the issues related to “locally controlled forestry” as a key part of its mandate and well linked to its increasing support to National Forest Financing mechanisms.
For more information on the GFP initiative, please visit the Growing Forest Partnerships website.