Related FAO Forestry Department initiatives

Forest extension, the facilitation of platforms of negotiation and support towards more equitable partnerships between multiple stakeholders, are also instrumental in the following FAO Forestry Department initiatives.

Forestry, trees and food security

The role of agroforestry and the tree component of integrated farming systems in enhancing food security is increasingly recognized. This initiative focuses on the role of trees in food security through farmer-centred research and extension approaches, local and national institutional capacity building, farmer field schools and sustainable livelihoods programmes.

Agroforestry in the Himalayan foothills, Nepal: Rice terraces and fodder trees.For more information on agroforestry, forestry and food security:

HIV/AIDS, forestry and food security

The initiative focuses on the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the forest sector and the possible responses of the sector to the pandemic including:

  • support to short-term agricultural production;
  • support to long-term sustainability of agriculture production;
  • forestry training and education and human resources development strategy support;
  • safety measures and HIV/AIDS awareness;
  • continuing and youth education.

Discussing the role of customary woodlands in the provision of medicine and nutrition to HIV/AIDS affected households. (Photo: C. Holding Anyonge)

Responses contribute to FAO's multisectoral corporate strategy development in HIV/AIDS mitigation of saving time and labour, ensuring social and economic protection, strengthening institutions, influencing policy and transferring knowledge to the next generation. Specific responses of the forest sector include:

  • Access and use of customary woodlands - economic and social safety nets for food, income and medicine.
  • Agroforestry for the future - securing land tenure, low labour requirements.

For more information:

Communications for development

Rural radio and evolving communication and information systems, including the Internet and village telecentres, are potentially powerful tools with which to facilitate two-way communication with marginalized rural and forest dependent communities. FAO works closely with partners in the development of approaches and methods aimed at bridging the digital divide and enhancing the contribution of information and communication technologies in rural development forestry and sustainable forest management.

Information and communication systems in Zimbabwe: tools for sustainable forest management (FAO/20300/G. Diana) FAO. 2003. Agricultural extension, rural development and food security challenge. Rome.

For more information, please visit thecommunications for developmentWeb site of the FAO Sustainable Development Department.

Extension in support of sustainable forest management

A key element of FAO┬┐s work in forestry is its support to countries in the development and implementation of criteria and indicators (related to environmental, productive, protective, social and economic functions of forests) which provide a framework for defining sustainable forest management and assessing progress towards that goal. While the initial efforts have primarily been focused at the regional and national levels, criteria and indicators are now being adapted for application at the forest management unit level. If these forest management tools are to contribute to addressing issues of social injustice and ecological sustainability, there is a need for greater commitment to effective participation to capture the perceptions and impact on livelihoods of small producers, forest workers, forest dwellers and adjacent populations.

Amazon forest, Brazil.

A current focus of extension is thus to enhance the role of local populations in the development and application of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management at the forest management unit level. The forest extension programme undertakes to strengthen the capacity of extension services of private industry, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in this regard.

More information on this topic can be found on the FAO Forestry Departmentsustainable forest managementWeb site and theInternational Model Forest Network Secretariat.

National forest programmes

The activities described above are developed in the context of and in support of national forest programmes.

For more information, please visit the FAO Forestry Department Web site onnational forest programmes.

last updated:  Saturday, November 19, 2005