The livelihoods of over 2.4 billion people depend directly or indirectly on forests for the generation of cash and non-cash income, providing a wide range of social, economic, cultural, spiritual and environmental benefits for local communities. Beyond the wide range of products and services forests and trees provide, their significant contributions to rural livelihoods and alleviation of hunger and poverty make it a must to have a people-centred approach to forestry. Recognizing local people as key forest stakeholders and promoting their involvement in decision-making and sustainable management of forests, generates positive outcomes for livelihoods, rural development and forest conservation.
FAO has over the years spearheaded the concept of community-based forestry as key element in achieving social, economic and environmental objectives to sustainable forest management. This support includes decades of strengthening capacities in countries for ensuring participation of key stakeholders in sustainable forest management.
FAO’s work on community-based forestry aims to deliver on the following outcomes: