FAO and participatory forestry

FAO has a rich world-wide experience, knowledge and credibility in supporting national efforts to enhance community participation in forestry management. This expertise has been deployed to strengthen countries’ capacities in facilitating participation of a broader range of stakeholders (local communities, private sector, Civil society organizations, academia and research, traditional institutions etc); and from across other sectors, in decision-making and implementation of national forestry programmes.

FAO has developed tools, methods and approaches that countries can use at community and national levels in enhancing stakeholder participation in forestry decision-making. Through a joint initiative with the NFP Facility, FAO embarked on a process of strengthening in-country capacity of actors at national and sub-national levels, for inclusive and participatory planning and policy development processes through the provision of targeted training and guidelines. FAO is also addressing increased broader stakeholder participation in forest policy formulation and implementation.

FAO’s work in participatory forestry aims at enabling countries to achieve:

  • Improved management of forest resources in ways that maximize benefits to all stakeholders, particularly alleviate poverty among the poor (often marginalized) communities living near and within forests.
  • Increased local ownership/control, rights and responsibility for forest resources management, thus reducing conflicts over forest use and management.
  • Increased support for the forestry sector through engagement with a wider group of stakeholders – both inside and outside government - and involving them directly in planning and implementation of policies.
  • Vibrant multi-stakeholder platforms as a mechanism for enhanced participation of key stakeholders, improved coordination and stronger partnerships in forestry policy development and implementation.

FAO’s work on participatory forestry focuses on the following areas:

  • Provision of support to develop and strengthen national forest programmes, particularly through emphasis on participatory multi-stakeholder processes. This work is undertaken in collaboration with the National Forest Programme Facility and is mainly executed through training; technical back-stopping; provision of supportive materials and guidelines; and facilitating multi-stakeholder platforms.
  • Supporting knowledge sharing and information exchange at country, regional and Global levels on matters related to participatory forestry. This is done through formal and informal networks with regional partners and collaborators around the world.
  • Supporting country efforts to enhance the contribution of forestry to poverty alleviation (including food security), especially among poor forest – dependent communities. This work is undertaken by conducting analytical studies and providing technical support for field level interventions.
  • Strengthening country capacities to deal with natural resource-based conflicts in a collaborative manner. This is carried out by strengthening capacities of individual trainers and mediators, and by supporting internal structures that deal comprehensively with conflict.
  • Elaboration and implementation of the community-based forest enterprise development approach to meet the needs for improved livelihoods of local stakeholders through environmentally, socially and technically sustainable use of forest products
  • Supporting regional and national level initiatives aimed at piloting or strengthening participatory forestry
last updated:  Monday, June 6, 2011