FFF Summary report 2012-2017 2 May 2018 Focusing on strengthening forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) as the primary agents of change works in practice. That is the most important message following more than four years of experience by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), a proven implementing mechanism set up as a partnership between FAO, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and AgriCord. The first Phase of the FFF (from December 2012 to December 2017) has focused on strengthening FFPOs as primary actors, delivering major impacts through support to 937 FFPOs on the ground in 10 countries: Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Guatemala, Liberia, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, The Gambia, Viet Nam and Zambia. It has also engaged with producers and their organizations and government in 25 additional countries through exchange visits, south-south cooperation, regional and global conferences and direct support to a number of regional and global federations of forest and farm producers. FFF has catalysed 51 government processes and helped governments and FFPOs to contribute to 51 specific policies in support of those impacts. With generous support from the governments of Germany, Sweden, Finland, the US Department of State, AgriCord, through its Farmers Fighting Poverty Programme, and funds from the EU-FLEGT programme and FAO through the FAO Multi Partner Programme Support Mechanism (FMM) (supported by Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland), the FFF has expended just under USD 16 million (approximately USD 4 million/year). This summary attempts to highlight the major impacts and learning at the global project level. [more]
Strengthening women’s roles in producer organizations to combat rural poverty 16 April 2018 Stronger women’s leadership roles and improved gender equality in forest and farm producer organizations can make a critical contribution to overcoming rural poverty and building community resilience. Participants at an international panel discussion on gender equality, organized by the Forest Farm Facility (FFF), based at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, and Swedish-based development organization We Effect, said that greater equity within forest and farm communities and their producer organizations could lead to better rural livelihoods. That is partly because women invest almost all their income in their families’ well-being, the session heard. The discussion was held as part of the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality, which opened on Sunday and has drawn almost 800 people from around 100 countries, representing civil society organizations, governments, industry and academia. Worldwide, as many as 150 million people could be lifted out of poverty if women were provided with the same access as men to productive resources, according to research cited by FFF and We Effect. Rural women make up almost half of the global agricultural workforce, but suffer disproportionately high levels of poverty. There is an urgent need to scale up the advantages created by women’s leadership, so that these can be used more widely to advance gender equality, promote communities’ resilience and fight climate change, said speakers representing the two organizations. The conclusions of the recent UN meeting, Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) are clear: the rights of rural women need to be recognized, fulfilled and affirmed. Also on the agenda were potential solutions for some of the special challenges faced by women. These include a heavy workload, due to responsibility for childcare, household tasks and rural labour, as well as minimal access to education and financial resources, and discrimination in legal terms, which can excl... [more]
Jeffrey Campbell shows where forests fit into the agroecology landscape mosaic 4 April 2018 Jeffrey Campbell, Manager of the FAO Forest and Farm Facility, brings to the fore the acute agroecological knowledge that people who have lived in or around forests possess. [more]
FAO helps Bolivian smallholder farmers produce sustainable world-class cocoa 4 April 2018 In Bolivia, FAO and its Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), is working with El Ceibo providing human and financial support to the Confederation of Bolivian Producers and Collectors of Ecological Cacao (COPRACAO), an organization that represents the five Bolivian departmental federations where cocoa producers and collectors operate. COPRACAO represents around 5,600 cocoa producers and collectors, 40 percent of its members are women. Through a partnership with El Ceibo and COPRACAO, FAO and FFF have contributed to the establishment of the legal status of all Bolivian cocoa associations and organizing national and departmental meetings where COPRACAO' statutes and regulations can be discussed with the base associations. FAO is also working closely with the Bolivian government and the representatives of cocoa associations for elaborating a National Cocoa Program, which aims to strengthen the cocoa's productive system, taking into account regional specificities. Finally, in 2017 FAO worked in partnership with El Ceibo and Roma Tre University to document El Ceibo's good practices in terms of organizational, economic and financial sustainability and related contribution to the setting up of COPRACAO. This initiative also supports FAO's activities in the framework of South-South Cooperation so that El Ceibo's experience can be shared with other producer organizations and policy makers outside Bolivia. [more]
Agroecology, its importance for holistic management of life systems 3 April 2018 Bolivia has established as a strategic part of its development model the "holistic and sustainable management of life systems", in compliance with Law 300 Framework Law of Mother Earth and Holistic Development for Living Well” and Law 3525 of Farming and Ecological Non Timber Forestry Production. In this framework, the Forest and Farm Facility - FFF implemented by FAO Bolivia between 2015 -2017, has contributed with the implementation of two successful experiences. The first one through families and intercultural communities settled in the tropical forest of Yungas and associated to the Agricultural and Industrial Cooperatives Regional Central (known in spanish as El Ceibo RL), and the second one, in the Chiquitano Forest with native indigenous peoples organized through the Joint Working Groups Association - MINGA . Based on the experience developed by El Ceibo and the participation of the Confederation of Cacao Agroecological Producers and Harvesters of Bolivia, the experience of cacao production under "Organic Agroforestry Systems" has reached a national scale in the "Strengthening of Cocoa production National Program in Bolivia ". To develop the experience with MINGA, the technical support of FFF has been addressed to draw up "Forest and Lands Integrated Management Plans” for an approximate surface of 30,000 ha. where areas are precisely identified to established agroforestry and silvopastoral systems using wild fruits under the agroecological production guidelines developed by MINGA. Producer organizations identify common elements in the lessons learned as determinants of their success: the holistic management of the forest and lands; the establishment of ecological productive systems (agroforestry or silvopastoral); the interaction between ancestral and scientific knowledge; the revalue of forest wild fruits and native species; and organizational strengthening. [more]
FFF's partner IIED marks international forests day with major new research report and toolkit 21 March 2018 Forest business incubation is a process that accelerates the development of successful, sustainable forest businesses that serve both people and forests. The process is critical for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, strengthening forest economies, increasing rural incomes and improving climate resilience. Peter de Marsh, chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance, explains the significance of this work: "The FFF Partnership is building hope for our families, our communities, and the planet. "The encouragement from FFF is not just about support for our efforts to replace bad, unjust, and dysfunctional government policies and market distortions with better ones. The new book and toolkit on business incubation help take our work a step further, from creating the potential for new directions, to actually moving towards them." IIED has been studying how different organisations around the world are going about incubating sustainable forest businesses. This research has culminated in a major new report, titled 'Forest business incubation: towards sustainable forest and farm producer organisation (FFPO) businesses that ensure climate resilient landscapes'. The 300-page report, free to download from the IIED website, analyses why forest business incubation is both challenging and different from business incubation in urban settings. The publication includes detailed case studies of efforts to deliver business incubation services in forest landscapes in Asia, Africa and Latin America. IIED is also launching a practical toolkit for developing business incubation capabilities. The toolkit, 'ForBInc: a forest business incubation toolkit by and for Forest and Farm Producer Organisations', shows how to develop business incubation capabilities within an existing institutional structure, such as an FFPO or NGO or government extension agency. It offers a framework specific to forest and farm ... [more]
Mass mobilisation: boosting businesses and protecting forests 21 March 2018 As Phase I of the Forest and Farm Facility partnership closes, Duncan Macqueen (principal researcher in IIED's Natural Resources research) group reflects on its impressive achievements and the role that the mass mobilisation of forest and farm producers has played in its success. FFF is a partnership between FAO, IIED, IUCN and Agricord contributing to the climate-resilient landscapes and improved livelihoods demanded by the Sustainable Development Goals. But its real constituency are the women and men, smallholder families, indigenous peoples and local communities with strong relationships to forest landscapes. FFF's niche is the direct financing of Forest and Farm Producer Organisations (FFPOs) for business and policy engagement, bypassing inefficient intermediaries. Its motto is 'organise to thrive'. Since 2014, FFF has channelled funds directly to 947 FFPOs, primarily in 10 partner countries, but including three regional and three global federations spanning 30 more. In total, these organisations represent more than 30 million forest and farm producers. Phase one success: improving livelihoods Since 2014, FFF has delivered on its objective to 'improve livelihoods through strengthening of sustainable forest and farm business' by facilitating links between 279 group businesses and 80 new financial or business service providers, as well as offering its own market analysis and development training. As a result: 262 businesses added value, diversified products and increased income, and More than 158 FFPOs accessed new finance. Following 17 international FFF peer-to-peer exchanges, 56 FFPO businesses have adopted improved practice, design, plans or systems. This is real change for hundreds of thousands of people: ranges of increased livelihood incomes documented for members of FFPO businesses are, for example, between 35-50% in Gambia, 46-65% in Kenya, 12-18% in Myanmar, 30-50% in Nicaragua and 10-20% in Vietnam. Several outliers show increases... [more]
The power of partnerships through training forest and farm producer organizations 8 March 2018 In this video interview Vu Le Y Voan, Vice Director of the International Cooperation Department of the Viet Nam National Farmers Union (VNFU), explains how market and analysis development training supported by the Forest and Farm Facility has empowered small-scale forest and farm producers. Such training at grassroots level helps smallholders, farmers, indigenous peoples, women members of producer organizations to generate more income and business. By getting organized, producers become more powerful and are able to advocate for their interests. Richard T.A. Dorbor, President of the National Charcoal Union of Liberia explains that through Forest and Farm Facility small grants, the charcoal producers are now recognized as important contributor to the local economy and their voice is heard at policy level in the regulation defined by the government. [more]
New book on Forest business incubation 5 March 2018 IIED has just published in collaboration with FAO and the Forest and Farm Facility a research report on Forest business incubation: Towards sustainable forest and farm producer organisation (FFPO) businesses that ensure climate resilient landscapes. How can forest business incubation deliver a win-win-win for the economy, society and the environment? That is the question that this book seeks to answer – drawing on established literature and 11 forest business incubator case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America. The aggregate gross annual value from smallholder producers within forest landscapes may be as much as US$1.3 trillion. And it is difficult to see how the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals will be implemented without better forest business incubation that strengthens economic inclusion for forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs), increases rural incomes, diversifies those incomes to improve climate resilience, and incentivises forest restoration and sustainable management to mitigate climate change. Forest business incubation is also needed to help meet market demand for vital products in sectors such as green energy, low-carbon construction, nutritious food, medicines, cosmetics and ecosystem services. It can also help pool lower-risk investment opportunities for financiers. Download PDF version of the book on IIED website here: [more]
Small-scale forest and farm producers: a strong ally to halt deforestation 2 March 2018 Vu Le Y Voan is Vice Director of the International Cooperation Department of the Viet Nam National Farmers Union (VNFU) and Facilitator of the Forest and Farm Facility programme in Viet Nam. In this video interview she explains how small-scale forest and farm producers can contribute to halting deforestation and to maintaining a healthy and productive ecosystem that is beneficial to their local communities and to the environment. [more]
AgriCord and FAO join forces to enhance support to farmers’ organizations 28 February 2018 New partnership will focus on developing smallholders’ capacities to tackle climate change and improve livelihoods. FAO and AgriCord, a global alliance of agri-agencies mandated by farmers' organizations, are joining efforts to facilitate the engagement of family and smallholder farmers in decision making and policy dialogue, increase their institutional and organizational capacities and improve their access to markets and finance. Doing so will unleash their potential in improving livelihoods and combatting climate change, FAO and AgriCord said. Building on years of successful partnership, AgriCord and FAO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to intensify joint efforts aimed at building the capacities of farmer's organizations to increase their vital role in reducing rural poverty. The new agreement signed by Daniel Gustafson, FAO Deputy Director-General, and Jean-François Isambert, President of AgriCord, lays out terms and conditions for joint projects over a five-year period. The agreement focuses on supporting rural and producers' organizations in providing access to markets and finance for family and smallholder farmers and developing relevant technical capacities to adapt to climate change. This will be realized through farmer-to-farmer learning and knowledge exchanges as well as South-South Cooperation , enabling the parties to expand the geographical focus of their collaboration. "At FAO we place a high value on our partnerships with farmers' organizations who are central to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals," said Gustafson. "We are pleased to renew and expand the catalytic relationship with AgriCord which will link its many agri-agency partners to the work of FAO programmes. It will help rural and producer organizations improve their businesses, increase gender equality, access markets and value chains, engage in policy advocacy, sustainably manage farms and forests and improve information sharing, in th... [more]
Empower small-scale forest producers as allies in halting deforestation 21 February 2018 With their uniquely placed frontline role in sustainable natural resource management, forest and farm small-scale producers and organizations should be enlisted as key allies in reducing deforestation and increasing forest cover, a panel session heard on Wednesday during a major international conference at FAO headquarters in Rome. Session participants emphasized that empowering small-scale producers — including indigenous peoples, communities, youth and women — and their organizations, while assisting them to establish equitable links with the private sector, would make a significant contribution to reducing deforestation. The session, ‘Strengthening small-scale producers and their organizations,’ was part of the three-day international conference organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, “Working across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area – from Aspiration to Action.” Several of the more than 300 representatives of governments, NGOs, the private sector, civil society, and organizations representing indigenous people, local communities, youth and producers attending the conference participated in the session. Small-scale producers described how, with the right incentives, their engagement can help sustain and even increase forest area and tree cover. Participants also discussed how well-designed policy frameworks, instruments and programmes are key to enabling forest and farm producer organizations to gain better access to business skills training, financing and other services that are crucial for the sustainable economic growth of their communities. “We know that forest and farm producers, and their organizations, are integral to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their day-to-day work on the ground,” said Jeffrey Y. Campbell, Manager of the Forest Farm Facility, based in FAO, and moderator of the session. “Drawing on experiences shared during our session, we can now outline ways to expand the reach ... [more]
Monitoring progresses and learning from experiences in The Gambia 11 December 2017 Forest and Farm Facility initiative (FFF) together with stakeholders, have recently met at Tendaba Camp in the Lower River Region, to assess progress in programme implementation in 2017 and to brain storm on how the country will benefit from the second phase of the initiative next year. The initiative was launched in March 2013 and the Gambia has been a beneficiary of the initiative, through the National Farmers Platform of the Gambia, for the organization of forest and farm producers at the national and subnational levels, to engage in policy dialogue, review, monitoring and implementation of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy, and to engage with Government institutions in A cross-sectoral, multi stakeholder platform with nine small grants to primarily women groups. In addition, a total of 24 community forestry committees were trained in MA and D in 2015 which led to the identification of six “main products” (ecotourism, handicraft making, beekeeping, nursery management, timber and firewood production), described in 50 community forestry management plans. The outcomes of the two-day National Stakeholders Meeting on Forest and Farm Facility Monitoring and Learning Framework, will enable stakeholders to assess whether the expected results were met or not, and prepare for further interventions. [more]
Forest rights create new livelihoods in Myanmar 5 December 2017 In Myanmar, the National League for Democracy (NLD) is transferring the rights to forest land – and all its potential bounty – to local communities. On his blog, Duncan McQueen, from IIED, explains how this important move, supported by peer-to-peer learning, is helping to establish new long-term livelihoods. [more]
Community Forests Ownership transfers of 4,000 ha in The Gambia 28 November 2017 Four days national-wide tour of the Honorable Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECCNAR0), Hon. Lamin B. Dibba from 23rd to 26th November 2017, witnessed the handing over of Community Forest Management Agreements (CFMAs) to Thirty Nine (39) Forest Areas covering total land area of 4,073.49 Hectares (ha). The CFMA confers legal ownership status to participating village or villages on natural forests for indefinite based on an iterative forest management planning every 5 years. Lower River Region tops the list with 11 Community Forest Areas covering 1568.19 ha, followed by Central River Region South with 6 CFs total land area is 930.4ha, Upper River Region bagged 553.5ha managed by 5 communities, West Coast Region 423.4ha, Central River Region North, 362.8ha and the North Bank Region with the lowest 235.2 ha. In the handing over the CFMAs, Hon. Minister Dibba, reminded the Forest Management Committees and their Local Government Authorities to adhere to the rules governing the management of natural forests by the local communities as enshrined on the Management Agreements. He re-assured the continuous support from Department of Forestry in the implementation of their respective 5 year forest management plans. “Commercialization of Forest Products and Resources should be based on an agreement forest management and enterprise development plans. He urged the beneficiary communities to protect other natural forests within their village jurisdiction such that more forest could be put under sustainable management. In the same vein, another 30 Preliminary Community Forest Management Agreements (PCFMA) was awarded to 30 communities in the North Bank Region by the Director of Forestry. The PCFMA serves as probation period for local communities to demonstrate their capabilities in forest management and organizational group management. After 18 Months and maximum 36 Months they will be subjected to an evaluation based on the recommendation... [more]
Asian Forest and Farm Producer Organizations call for increased support to scale up their businesses, more secure land and forest tenure 24 November 2017 Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) from more than 10 countries across the Asia and the Pacific region have called for increased support to scale up their businesses, more secure land and forest tenure rights, and enhanced collaborations with the private sector, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Greater involvement by women and youth, stronger networks of FFPOs, as well as innovative and improved access to financing and credit — all aimed at improving livelihoods and advancing sustainable development — were also recommended at the second Asian Regional Conference of FFPOs, which ended Wednesday. With the theme, “From Users to Producers: Scaling up FFPOs businesses to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in climate-resilient landscapes,” the conference focused on business incubation and helping smaller enterprises to grow. Participants from local and global forest and farm-related organizations shared best practices that contribute to the implementation of the SDGs and to the enhancement of climate-resilient landscapes. At the core of this work are strong producer organizations, which can offer a wide range of services to small producers — from management of natural resources to education, training, innovations in technology, access to markets and financing. “Producer organizations are strategic partners for FAO in achieving its mandate and SDG targets on food security and poverty reduction,” said Xiaojie Fan, FAO Representative in Myanmar, who spoke at the conference. “FAO supports existing dynamics in countries by strengthening producer organizations’ capacities at global, regional and national levels. Drawing on its global resources and expertise, and programmes such as the Forest and Farm Facility, FAO facilitates knowledge generation, organizational capacity building, legal and policy reforms, partnerships and South-South cooperation,” she added. For more than 450 million people across Asia and the Pacific, ... [more]
Asia-Pacific forest and farm producers pivotal to improving smallholder livelihoods and achieving regional SDGs in climate-resilient landscapes 20 November 2017 Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) from more than 10 countries of Asia-Pacific are gathering today in Myanmar for the second regional conference to accelerate and scale up implementation of the SDGs in climate-resilient landscapes for the benefit of local farm and forest communities. The conference: “From users to producers: Scaling up FFPO businesses to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in climate-resilient landscapes” is a three-day meeting providing an opportunity for representatives of local, regional and global forest and farm-related organizations to share best practices that will help improve livelihoods through collaboration and networking. At the core of this work are producer organizations with their strong organizational and operational structures and proven ability to offer a wide range of services to smaller producers — from management of natural resources to information, technology, business skills, market access and financing. “Producer organizations are strategic partners for FAO in achieving its mandate and SDG targets on food security and poverty reduction,” said Xiaojie Fan, FAO Representative in Myanmar. “FAO supports existing dynamics in countries, by strengthening producer organizations’ capacities at global, regional and national levels. Drawing on its global resources and expertise, and programmes such as the Forest and Farm Facility, FAO facilitates knowledge generation, organization capacity building, legal and policy reforms, partnerships and South-South cooperation,” she added. For more than 450 million people across Asia and the Pacific, forests are an integral part of their lives, with forest producers — through their key contributions to local economies and rural development — among the primary actors working daily towards the achievement of the SDGs. FFPOs also play an important role in increasing the resilience of the most vulnerable rural communities who are socially or economically excluded, ... [more]
Strengthening women’s participation in forest and farm producer organizations 13 November 2017 The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) has been increasing its efforts in 2017 to strengthen the participation and leadership of women in forest and farm organizations within FFF’s partner countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Activities have particularly aimed at strengthening enterprises and organizations led by women. On-site learning opportunities through exchange visits and training were a few of these activities, which were also linked to the network Women Champions in Business. This network has been piloted in several countries to encourage women entrepreneurship and peer-to-peer learning. FFF Nepal spearheaded several activities to strengthen the role of women in leadership and to share experiences and lessons in boosting the capacities of female-managed Forest Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs). For example, a two-day national workshop in August 2017, “Strengthening the Role of Women in Forest and Farm Producer Organizations”, was organized by FFF Nepal for partner FFPOs, governments and civil society. The session Sharing of Capacity Building Activities highlighted experiences drawn from an earlier visit to India’s Self Employed Women Association (SEWA) by representatives from 17 apex FFPOs. A video from the visit was used by participants to help describe the training in India and the impact that has had on FFPOs in Nepal. One powerful lesson identified was the reminder that age is no barrier for women in terms of learning; another was the impact of the SEWA bank, which is run by women for women. [more]
When you want to go far: farmers and foresters from 15 African countries unite in Tanzania 9 October 2017 If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. This African proverb was fittingly applied by Jeffrey Campbell, manager of the Forest Farm Facility, from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., during the opening of an African conference for forest and farm producer organizations. During the course of the event, “going far” turned out to be nearly as literal as figurative. In a valley among the imposing hills of east-central Tanzania, the city of Morogoro was host to the 2nd African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs). Over 160 leaders from farming and forestry organisations, engaged government representatives, and scores of passionate farmers, foresters and smallholders traveled from 15 African countries to commiserate, commune and set a course for their futures. They came to share their stories – their successes and struggles – and most importantly, to learn from one another. Many left inspired – inspired by reaffirming the strength that FFPOs provide to individuals all over Africa – inspired to see that their travails accessing markets, delivering education and technology, securing tenure over land, confronting the realities of both strong and poor governance, and coping with a changing climate are not unique – but shared. During the three days leading up to the conference “going far” together took on a more literal meaning. More than half of the conference participants, mostly strangers at the beginning of the week, boarded a series of busses to travel 15 hours through the countryside beyond the dusty timber industry town of Mafinga on a demonstration field trip. Read the story on IUCN website: [more]
Forest experts call for climate related financing, reduction of legal barriers for commercial tree growing in Africa 3 October 2017 Forest experts have called upon African governments to recognize the importance of and facilitate financing including climate related financing for tree growing and use in sustainable forest and farm management by smallholders and their producer organizations to enhance rural livelihoods and enterprises, as well their contribution to national economies. The call is found in a joint declaration made at the conclusion of the Second African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) meeting in Morogoro region, Tanzania. The meeting provided a platform for forest and farm producer organizations for exchanging experiences on business, innovation, youth and gender; and was hosted by the Tanzania National Network of Farmers Groups (MVIWATA) and the National Tree Growers Association of Tanzania. With the theme - Strengthening Forest and Farm Producers’ Organizations in a Changing Climate’ the meeting attracted the participation of 160 forest experts from at least 15 countries from across the African continent. It was preceded by a three-day field tour to Iringa region, where participants were able to visit forest and farm producer associations and their activities in the field. The forest experts urged governments to reduce legal barriers for commercial and sustainable use of forests and trees and non-wood products by smallholders and do everything possible to improve land access and to strengthen land tenure legislation that incentivizes tree growing and sustainable forest and farm management. They pointed out promotion and ensuring of widespread acceptance of trees as an asset both in the growth and use of wood from sustainable forests as a prime contributor to climate change action. They thus advised their governments to see the initiatives of all participating FFPOs as promising efforts to contribute to the restoration of forest and farm landscape for the benefit of people as a source of income and a as positive for the environm... [more]
Tanzania urges Africa forest experts to educate farmers, forest communities on carbon credits trade 29 September 2017 THE Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism for Tanzania, Prof. Jumanne Maghembe, has called upon forest experts from Africa to educate small holder farmers and forest communities about carbon credits trade in order to assure them of income that would reduce their actions that negatively impact on forests. Prof. Maghembe was speaking while officiating the Second African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations meeting currently being held in Morogoro region. With the theme - Strengthening Forest and Farm Producers’ Organizations in a Changing Climate’ the meeting attracts with participants from 16 countries from across the African continent. “Farmers can’t sustainably use their forest resources if they don’t have assurance of their livelihoods and income,” he said adding: “Very few experts and communities know how carbon credits are calculated or even sold. So it’s important for you the experts to help farmers to access markets so that they can have an option for income as they wait for their trees to grow they can earn income from the carbon markets.” The Natural Resources and Tourism Minister said that it’s important to move farmers to another level of development to be able to cope with challenges that are currently there including climate change effects. “Climate change isn’t necessarily the only cause. People abuse the management of natural resources and hence exacerbate the problem of climate change. Therefore it’s important to work seriously on the models that improve income for small holders especially those who live in the margins of forests in order to mitigate the problem,” Prof. Maghembe added. Food Security Improvement and Poverty Alleviation On his part, the Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Fred Kafeero, appreciated the Government of Tanzania’s acceptance to host the meeting saying that the meeting is part of efforts to improve food security and poverty a... [more]
African forest and farm producer organizations outline vision for production in changing climate 29 September 2017 African forest and farm producer organizations have been outlining their vision for increasing the market share and value of member products, increasing opportunities for women and youth, all while coping with climate change. Some 160 participants from at least 15 African countries attending the 2nd African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) also discussed successes and challenges and shared experiences, with the goal of improving business strategies that meet their members’ aspirations. Guidelines for developing markets as well as models for business incubation and innovation were high on the agenda. Among success stories presented was an FFF-facilitated series on “Contacts and Collaboration” fairs in the Gambia. These brought together FFPOs and players along the value chain with the shared goal of increasing the market value of goods from producer organizations. Another successful model examined the expansion of regulations for cooperatives allowing Ethiopian honey producers to diversify into Eucalyptus pole production and other forest products. Participants also examined ways to promote more livelihood opportunities for rural youth through local production activities, thus providing incentives to reduce migration to cities. During the conference, entitled ‘Strengthening Forest and Farm Producers’ Organizations in a Changing Climate’, FFPOs also considered the best ways to improve policy environments which address the need for cross-sectoral coordination as well as securing access to resources and finances, thus removing barriers for forest and farm producers. Developing more climate-resilient operations was a critical topic at the conference – particularly the role of smallholder associations in landscape restoration and in combating desertification while supporting adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts. Participants reviewed experiences in many countries, including Niger, with the Action Against Dese... [more]
Smallholder Training on Sustainable Timber Production and Value Chain Creation in Myanmar 28 August 2017 The third training for smallholder farmers on “Sustainable Timber Production and Value Chain Creation” was opened today at the Yuzana Hotel, Yangon, Myanmar. It is designed for smallholder farmers, specifically Community Forest User Groups and Community Forest Products Producers’ Association. At the end of the 4-day training, including one-day field trip to forest plantation managed by a private company and a study visit to timber factory, the 30 participants will have the knowledge and experience about seeds collection, producing seedlings, establishing plantations, harvesting the timber and producing the value-added products. Resource persons for the training came from the Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-conservation Network (MERN), the United States Forest Service, from the Central Forestry Development Training Center of Forest Department, some NGOs and Private Forestry Service Companies. The opening session started with Dr. Kyaw Tint, Chairman of MERN, then on behalf of Forest Department, Mr. U Thein Toe, Director of Yangon Region Forest Department. Mr. U Ye Khaung, Program Officer of FAO Myanmar gave some opening remark on behalf of the Country Representative of FAO Myanmar. Finally, Mr. Robert Kenny delivered opening remarks on behalf of the US Forest Service. The training was organized by MERN with the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) and technical support from the United States Forest Service. [more]
Greening Zambia’s charcoal business for improved livelihoods and forest management through strong producer groups 23 August 2017 In Zambia Charcoal is one of the most important sources of energy for the majority population with over 80% of the population in the urban and rural areas depending on it. The demand for charcoal is driven by the increase in population and the slow rate of electrification which still lower than 5 % of the population per year. The charcoal industry is worth approximately 2.3 % GDP of the country (Chidumayo 1990). However, most Charcoal players in the value chain are illegal leading to huge Government loses of revenue and also contributing to forest degradation. The organisation of the charcoal value chain players in Zambia is highly sort to improve government collection of revenue for investment in the sector and also establishing sustainable production systems for improved livelihoods and environmental management. This new case study describes how the Forest and Farm Facility is working with the Forest department to pilot organising charcoal producers into producer groups and an Association recognised by the Forest department for business and policy dialogue. The pilot has resulted into the Choma Forest District office improving its revenue collection by more than double a record never reported before and increased collaboration with Charcoal producers for capacity development. This pilot has further intrigued Government leading into development of a charcoal regulation based on the experience in Choma. [more]
Sowing the seeds of sustainable growth through partnerships 27 July 2017 Approximately 1.5 billion forest and farm producers around the world are responsible for feeding their families and local communities. This is unquestionably a laudable and rewarding task, since reaping the benefits they sow is manifold: their work not only helps to fight hunger and poverty, but also contributes to building greater resilience to climate change and encouraging the sustainable management of natural resources. What’s more, the fruits of their labor are further magnified when these producers work closely together, thereby leveraging their size and scaling up their efforts. This is exactly the raison d'être of the Forest Farm Facility (FFF) partnership, formed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and AgriCord (a network of agri-agencies providing support to farmers’ organizations in developing countries). For the past five years, the FFF has funded partnership agreements in 10 countries, allocating grants to producer organizations, governments and regional apex institutions, thereby serving as a catalyst to help smallholders, rural woman’s groups, local communities, and indigenous peoples transform their production concepts into action. It all comes down to maximizing synergies through collaborative alliances. In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), there are multiple case studies that clearly demonstrate the benefits of what forest and farm producers can achieve when they join forces.Numerous producers in several LAC countries are currently improving the lives of youth through education and training projects, empowering indigenous women to better their livelihoods, and strengthening their business skills in order to influence government policies, all with the FFF’s support. Read the full article on the FAO Agronoticias: Agriculture News from Latin America and the Caribbean. [more]
Cooperatives ensure no one is left behind 14 July 2017 At the occasion of the 2017 International Day of Cooperatives, the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) developed a video which presents how cooperatives eradicate poverty and promote prosperity in an inclusive way. In this video you will learn about the cooperative movement and how it impacts lives. The Forest and Farm Facility supports the association of cacao producers El Ceibo in Bolivia which counts 48 cooperative members and include 1300 producers. In 2016, FFF has helped El Ceibo together with other cooperatives in Bolivia to form the National Confederation of Cocoa Growers and Gatherers (COPRACAO - 3785 men and 828 women). This video features an interview of a cacao producer woman, member of El Ceibo. She explains how being part of a producer organization helps her community to grow and to become stronger [more]
Supporting Family Farmers to reduce rural poverty 11 July 2017 There are still 2.1 billion poor people and other 900 million living in extreme poverty, most of which live in rural areas. Most of the poor live in rural areas and 95% per cent of the rural poor live in East Asia, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the rural poor are smallholders and family farmers, who depend on agriculture for their food and income. FAO works through a multi-dimensional approach to address the challenges that poor family farmers face in their daily lives and increase their income generating capacity. At the policy level, FAO helps countries shape poverty reduction policies and programme that improve family farmers’ participation in decision-making, increase their access to resources, financial services, markets and technologies while increasing decent employment opportunities and promoting better social protection coverage in rural areas. At the community level, FAO empowers poor family farmers to participate in policy dialogue and decision-making processes that affect their livelihoods, and improves their capacities to access resources, services, markets, technologies and economic opportunities through agricultural, organizational and entrepreneurial skills. The Forest and Farm Facility supports poor family farmers and to strengthen their organizational and productive capacities, while increasing their bargaining power, access to markets and entrepreneurial skills. [more]
Forest and farm producers: first responders to climate change 19 June 2017 What comes to mind when you think about climate change? The impact of fumes from all the traffic on your commute to work? Maybe erratic weather, with flooding in some places, severe drought in others? Perhaps you also think about solutions to climate change and to the very real crisis it is creating. Because solutions, sometimes large and sometimes very small and very local, do exist. Consider Duong Van Huynh and his forest farm in northeast Vietnam's commune of My Phuong. He grows a variety of species of trees, which are all absorbing atmospheric carbon and storing it in their wood and in the soil. He also knows that by planting a mix of fruit trees, magnolia timber, and star anise spice trees, he is protecting the soil and conserving water on his sloping farmland. How is that for down-to-earth climate-change mitigation? And Duong Van Huynh is not alone. Some 1.4 million other smallholder forest farmers across his country are taking similar measures and learning new techniques through affiliation with the 10 million member Viet Nam Farmers Union (VNFU). Around the globe, there are about 1.5 billion smallholder forest and farm producers, many of them organised so they can better protect their rights and the productivity of their land - which very often includes managing and conserving forests. Like Duong Van Huynh, they see immediate benefits for their families as well as benefits for the global environment. When trees absorb carbon dioxide - which is linked to climate change and all of the associated disastrous effects - they store that carbon; but when forests are destroyed, that carbon is re-released back into the environment, reversing previous gains. This means when forest and farm producers not only plant, but also conserve, protect and actively manage forests, they’re also playing a vital role in responding to climate change. Read the article by Jeffrey Campbell on the Thomson Reuters Foundation News. [more]
“New models of production are needed and possible”, ETFRN News 58, Interview Jeff Campbell 19 June 2017 This silver anniversary edition of ETFRN News brings together 40 contributions from 100 experts and practitioners. They share their experiences, and suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of zero deforestation commitments through public-private collaboration and other models. ETFRN News 58 presents different views across a range of commodity value chains, including how companies and smallholders are working together to build deforestation free supply chains. Jeffrey Campbell, Manager of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), in his interview in Section 3, Engaging with smallholders, shows that by getting organized, smallholders can gain secure tenure and access to land and resources, have a seat at decision making and policy-making tables. “Smallholders, who represent a vast and under-recognized proportion of the private sector, must demonstrate that they can more efficiently produce deforestation-free commodities and ensure high returns and benefits to their communities and members.”, he says. Jeff Campbell explains that a more holistic approach towards landscape-scale mosaics and complex agroforestry production systems is needed. ETFRN News 58 can be downloaded on this link: [more]
Smallholder forest producer organizations innovate amidst changing climate, study shows 13 June 2017 Smallholder forest producers are playing an important role in mitigating climate change, both through innovative practical action and political efforts via their producer organizations, according to a study presented at this week’s World Farmers’ Organization (WFO) meetings in Helsinki, Finland. “Smallholder forest producer organizations in a changing climate” highlights the efforts of smallholder producers and organizations. The publication was coordinated by the FAO-hosted Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), which works to support national organizations and networks of smallholders. “Forest producers are the backbone of rural economies around the world and, supported by their organizations, contribute to action to counter climate change, which hits them especially hard,” said Jeff Campbell, Manager of the FFF, a partnership between FAO, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and AgriCord. The world’s 1.5 billion smallholder producers are particularly exposed to the effects of climate change as they are directly dependent on natural resources, are predominantly located in vulnerable tropical regions, and may be restricted in their ability to cope because of social and economic factors, according to the study produced by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE with the Finnish Agri-Agency for Food and Forest Development (FFD), and FFF. The study demonstrates that many national organizations and networks of forest producers in tropical developing countries are harnessing their potential to support smallholders in mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts, while enhancing the resilience of rural livelihoods and ecosystems. The study, which cites numerous examples of networks and individual producers, shows how efforts by smallholders and their organizations to mitigate and adapt to climate change can also have significant benefits for similar, global work. [more]
Strategic decisions for the producers of Bolivia at the Regional Agroecology Meeting 25 May 2017 The Plurinational State of Bolivia will have a public certification body for organic production, said Hugo Bosque, adviser to the Ministry of Rural Development and Lands (MDRyT), at the opening of the VII “Latin American and Caribbean meeting of ecological and organic agriculture: agroecology and sustainable management of forest to build food sovereignty” which takes place from 22 to 25 May in the city of Rurrenabaque, Beni. More than 300 actors from the agroecological movement, from 10 countries in the region - among producers, organizations, authorities, researchers, academics and experts - participate in the meeting with the central expectation of moving towards the processes for the approval of alternative systems of certification or participative systems of ecological guarantee in Latin America and the Caribbean. [more]
Planning for FFF Phase II 9 May 2017 FFF’s work planned for 2018-2022 (Phase II) comes at a time of renewed global efforts toward sustainable development when more and more governments are developing integrated climate responses and strategies for sustainable rural economies and reducing poverty. Collectively, forest and farm producers have the transformative potential to achieve sustainable development and respond to climate change at landscape scales. Empowering Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) will be critical to delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for fighting climate change as part of the Paris Agreement. FFF is responding to the tremendous potential of forest and farm producers by focusing on FFPOs, which represent smallholders, rural women’s groups, local communities, and indigenous peoples’ institutions as the primary actors of FFF. Evidence from the last four years and strong demand for FFF support from FFPOs and governments in more than 50 countries worldwide has shaped the planning for Phase II to support forest and farm producers and their organizations to enable ‘Climate Resilient Landscapes and Improved Livelihoods.’ From 2018 into the future, FFF will significantly increase the scale and range of its impacts by building on its past support to FFPOs and governments. This will strengthen forest and farm producer organizations and capacity, deepen engagement in innovative cross-sectoral processes in government, and increase the delivery of landscape-scale climate responses. [more]
Launch of the Rural Agroforestry Business School in Guatemala 18 April 2017 Today in Guatemala was launched the Rural Agroforestry Business School (Escuela Rural de Negocios Agroforestales (ERNA). Since 2015, FFF has supported the cooperative FEDECOVERA (Federación de Cooperativas de Las Verapaces, Responsabilidad Limitada) to develop this rural school of agroforestry business with a focus on youth and women as a contribution to rural development in Guatemala. FEDECOVERA designed and developed the school model on organizational development, productive entrepreneurship and value-chain development and facilitating linkages and collaboration with leading universities and research centres in the country and knowledge exchanges with other countries. FFF worked with FEDECOVERA on the design of the curricula of the school. This development will provide an important professional training school for up to 90 rural youth per year. Three main themes for the training models have been agreed focusing on agroforestry, entrepreneurship, and cooperative values and development. [more]
Filling the gaps in rural development - FFF Annual Report 2016 13 April 2017 This Annual Report for 2016 provides detailed information on the FFF work in ten partner countries – the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Guatemala and Nicaragua in Latin America; the Gambia, Kenya, Liberia and Zambia in Africa; and Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam in Asia – and at regional and global levels in 2016. Updates on communications, knowledge generation, exchange visits and the M&L system are provided along with a short discussion of the Mid-term Evaluation (MTE) and the broad outlines of the Phase II. The MTE in August 2016 found that FFF was well on track to meeting the outcomes and impacts projected; and was doing this in a very efficient manner – in terms of the quality of delivery, the coordination of the implementing partners, and the value for investment. FFPO partners surveyed during the MTE mentioned how unique FFF was because it provided direct funding to producers, backed by the more typical capacity building efforts of many other projects. The MTE found that FFF was improving businesses and livelihoods of producers on the ground, of women and indigenous peoples and family farmers and that results were evident across a range of additional “capitals” other than economic. In a number of countries the work of the FFPOs in identifying and advocating for priority policy related change and implementation has helped focus FFF’s support to the country. This is the case in Guatemala with the roll out of the Probosque legislation, in Nepal with policy changes related to marketing of trees from private farm lands, in Myanmar to new Community Forestry Instructions and their implementation, in Bolivia to incentive programmes for different FFPOs commodity producers (cacao, coffee, amazon fruits) to name a few. FFF has continued to improve the tenure security of FFPOs through ongoing work to prepare an additional 60 community forestry groups for their official recognition in The Gambia and through the development of territorial management plans and commun... [more]
Farmers Union Network of Liberia helps reduce rural poverty and improve food security 3 April 2017 To strengthen the capacity of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) in Liberia, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) programme on March 28, 2017 signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with the Farmers Union Network of Liberia (FUN) value over US$98,000. Specifically, the agreement is aimed to establish and strengthen the forest and farm commodity associations, improve communications and advocacy at local and national levels as well as enhance their business and marketing capacities. Mr. Julius Bass, National Coordinator of Farmers Union Network signed the agreement on behalf of the FUN while FAO was represented by Mr. Marc Abdala, the FAO Representative. During the ceremony, He recounted the longstanding partnership between FAO-FFF and the Farmer Union Network in working with forest farmers for sustainable livelihood. He added that the funding provided will enhance the capacity of forest producers and add value to their production. “We are going to work with forest producers in the target counties, adding value to their production and thereby ensuring that the forest is protected.” He said with support from FAO through the FFF, FUN will engage smallholder forest producers and women’s groups through capacity enhancement exercises to reduce rural poverty and deliver food security, sustainable management of the forest, biodiversity and climate change. Mr. Bass noted that the agreement will bring together small holder and community-based farmers in a more organized way so that they will be stronger and more effective to increase their voices on policy issues to improve their business opportunities. “This will help organize farmers to get more structured and direct support and will give FUN the mandate to advocate for more enabling national policies and lobby for direct support from government and development partners to the forest and farm organizations,” he added. [more]
Empowering Local Communities from Forest Based Enterprises in Nepal - Policy Brief 20 March 2017 Nepal has three decades of experience in community governance of forests, which is one of the most successful examples in the world. There are around 19,000 Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs), conserving around 1.7 million ha of forests with the involvement of more than 11.6 million people. CFUGs generally tend to harvest very small, negligible quantities of forest products - mainly for household consumption and there has been little effort in harvesting products for commercial use, which has undermined actual economic value of the resource and diluted potential contribution to local/ national economies & address poverty issues. There is need to expand community forest based enterprises to enhance livelihood of the local people. Development of community based enterprises in community forests through sustainable forest management can be a bridge towards increasing the economic status of local communities and the nation as well. Policies should be favorable for community based enterprises development and a community’s practices should be promoted to become more business oriented. Effective and integrated planning and implementation to promote community based forest enterprises can be achieved through multi-stakeholder cross-sectoral platforms. [more]
Community Forestry Forest Products Producers Associations strengthened in Myanmar 16 March 2017 A signing ceremony with fifteen community forestry forest products producers associations (CFPPAs) at village and township level to sign new partnership letters of agreement (LoAs) took place on Friday 10 March, 2017 at the FAO office in Yangón, Myanmar. Ms. Xiaojie, FAO Representative in Myanmar, U Bo Ni, focal point for Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) in the Forestry Department, Dr. Kyaw Tint, chairman of MERN participated in the opening session of the event. During the ceremony, the FAOR highlighted the importance for FAO of working together with the government and communities at national and local level to improve the livelihoods of the people of Myanmar. FFF, working together with the government and NGOs members of MERN, supports the establishment and strengthening of smallholder producer organisations and businesses at village, township and sub-state level. The 15 CFPPAs were selected as result of an open call for proposals for organizing forest and farm producer groups for business. The CFPPAs will receive funds from FAO – FFF that will enable them to strengthen their internal capacities on governance and financial management, help establish a revolving fund, and work towards value addition of their forest and farm products such as bamboo, coffee, tea, etc. [more]
Sustainable Timber Production and Value Chain Creation - Training course in Myanmar 16 March 2017 Within the framework of FFF’s capacity building and learning program (“pillar 3”), the FFF team in cooperation with the Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-Conservation Network (MERN) and the Myanmar Forestry Department had organized the second one-week training course on “Sustainable Timber Production and Value Chain Creation” for 31 persons from Community Forestry User Groups. The training focused on learning opportunities to improving the livelihoods of rural communities by engaging in business-oriented nursery and planted forest management, agroforestry production systems, processing and marketing of wood and non-wood forest products for commercial and subsistence purposes. Building technical and commercial capacities in these subjects will finally contribute to create employment for community members, contribute to a higher family income, improved food sufficiency, and reduced deforestation in poor rural areas of Myanmar. The training program comprised a number of classroom lectures, practical classroom exercises, group work and a one-day field trip to a 834 acre large planted forest established by a community forestry user group, a sawmill and moulding factory for the processing of teak hardwood, and a privately owned agroforestry farm comprising forest plantations for the production of wood and non-wood forest products, fruit trees and animal husbandry. The participants showed high interest in the training program and confirmed that they would apply the acquired knowledge for their professional work in their home institutions. [more]
Deriving landscape benefits through forest and farm producer organisations - IUCN Forest Brief No.15 14 March 2017 When smallholder farmers and local communities organise, they can benefit by restoring the functionality of deforested and degraded landscapes, enhance food production, increase the availability of forest products and access to markets, and effect change. Organising to overcome barriers. Forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) can include many different groups, such as indigenous peoples and local community organisations; tree-grower and agroforestry associations; forest owner associations; producer cooperatives and community forest enterprises; and their umbrella groups and federations. When small producers organise themselves in cooperatives or associations they can aggregate production and raise their profile among buyers while reaching economies of scale. Strong FFPOs can also train members on business development and production techniques, and help their constituency understand the markets tied to planting specific trees for timber or non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Unlocking restoration potential through FFPOs Restoration opportunities often occur on or near agricultural lands, so rural communities have a direct impact on local restoration potential through the associated mosaics of sustainable land uses that they choose. However, as smallholder farmers and local communities engage in FLR, they are often confronted with common barriers to participation, including: inadequate business development and market access; insecure land tenure and rights; weak smallholder organisations or lack of freedom of association; and reduced access to technical knowledge crucial to restoration. Since FFPOs play a central role in unlocking these opportunities, involving FFPOs in restoration initiatives helps smallholders connect their needs with the benefits of FLR and foster a positive environment for on-ground restoration. Read the Forest Brief published by IUCN: [more]
Charcoal, fertiliser and vinegar: Producer organisations turning forest products into sustainable energy 14 March 2017 When farmers and small land holders organise into producer groups to support both livelihoods and forests, remarkable things can happen to a landscape – including a system to sustainably harness energy from forests. That is exactly what happened in a small agroforestry venture in Thailand – and now others are learning from them. Celebrate this year's International Day of Forests (21 March) by learning about these forest champions. Read the full story on IUCN website: [more]
VIDEO - Mayangna indigenous women in Nicaragua are not afraid of thinking big ! 8 March 2017 This video presents the impact of Forest and Farm Facility activities in the empowerment of Mayangna women. Through its support, FFF helped Mayangna women to reduce poverty and improve food security in the indigenous Mayangna community. The Mayangna group is the second largest indigenous group in Nicaragua, with over 18,000 individuals mostly located in or near the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve. The Mayangna community faces important problems with illegal timber extraction and agricultural expansion on its territories. The Forest and Farm Facility engaged with the indigenous Mayangna forest-farm producer organization MAYARING to improve its organizational, business and natural resource management capacities. [more]
First ever National Tree Nursery Associations Workshop held in Kenya 26 February 2017 “The time has come for us to unite and address our challenges together as tree nursery operators” . This is the statement done by about 120 participants, women and men, ranging from tree nursery operators, agro-forestry farmer groups, county government and national regulatory and research institutions, national and international development organizations gathered on 22 - 23 February, 2017 in Nakuru, Kenya to discuss challenges and opportunities for tree nursery enterprises in Kenya. The event was organized by FAO, Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) in partnership with Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Farm Forestry Smallholders Producer Association of Kenya (FF-SPAK), Nakuru County Tree Nursery Association (NCTNA) and We Effect. Kenya has witnessed the proliferation of tree nurseries across the country, especially around urban areas. The increase in tree nursery production has been attributed to increased demand as result of growing environmental awareness and adoption of agroforestry practices. The emerging enterprise is providing income and employment opportunities to thousands of Kenyans and the potential is huge. However, the small-scale tree nursery operators have been facing policy, institutional, technological and socio-economic related challenges. Tecla Chumba, tree farmer and treasurer of National Alliance of Community Forest Associations (NACOFA) called upon the government agencies to provide viable business enabling conditions for tree nursery operators to be able to achieve their objectives. One of the key challenge is the accessibility to quality seeds that would guarantee better productivity. Other critical challenge of tree nursery operators is the lack of structured market and undeveloped value chain. As a way forward the participants agreed (i) to undertake an inventory of tree nursery operators at County and National level and mobilize all tree nursery operators to gather themselves and stablish viable business entities like county associations, and... [more]
Video interview - Local communities and indigenous peoples managing their territories 24 February 2017 Boris Fernández Arancibia , FFF Facilitor in Bolivia, explains how territorial management plan is a great tool to contribute to reduce poverty and increase food security. FFF support to the Association of Joint Working Groups on natural resources management, mainly coffee and Chiquitana nut (MINGA) has allowed for the piloting with the Ministry of Environment and Water (MMAyA), specifically the General Directorate of Forest Management and Development (DGGDF), of Comprehensive Forest and Land Management Plans for communities peasants and indigenous people settled in the Chiquitano forest of Bolivia. A national manual for the elaboration of these plans has been approved by the responsible institutions of MMAyA in charge of forest management to help indigenous peoples and local communities participate in the process. The Bolivian Land Authority (ABT) approved early November ten Integrated Forest and Land Management Plans developed by local communities and indigenous peoples, in collaboration with MINGA. These plans are good examples of an integrated sustainable management of the territory which increases the productivity of people’s forests and lands, and contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation. [more]
Forests and trees supporting rural livelihoods: Case studies from Myanmar and Viet Nam 13 February 2017 More financial support to invest in plantations and in improved techniques for harvesting and processing are needed to increase the contribution of forests and trees to rural livelihoods in Southeast Asia, according to recent case studies published by FAO. The report, Forests and trees supporting rural livelihoods: Case studies from Myanmar and Viet Nam, also identifies a need for more technical support and training and for a strengthened value chain. The case studies were produced as part of a study trip that brought government officials, university staff and farmers from Myanmar to northern Viet Nam to learn about the experience and expertise of Vietnamese farmers in the areas of forestry, agriculture and agroforestry in order to improve the livelihoods of Burmese forest and farm producers. [more]
Improving livelihoods of indigenous women in Nicaragua 24 January 2017 Over 370 million indigenous peoples live in more than 70 countries across the world. While they constitute about five percent of the world’s population, they account for approximately 15percent of the world’s poor. Such is the case with indigenous Mayangna women living in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve in northern Nicaragua, who face poverty, isolation, domestic violence and triple discrimination based on their gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic situation. The Forest and Farm Facility has supported Mayangna women to sell local products and improve their livelihoods. Capacity building workshops have taught the women how to improve product quality and equipped them with market knowledge, while also helping to preserve their culture. At the same time, the FFF helps Mayangna women gain social and economic empowerment by strengthening the position of women’s producer organizations. This enhanced productive and organizational capacity is giving hope to many women in the community for a better future. [more]
A tale of a community forestry enterprise 12 January 2017 Nearly a decade has passed since a small group of farmers gathered around a fire to lament the increasing costs of their trade, and the toll that modern practices and inputs was taking on their land. As the embers of the fire settled, they resolved to take action to improve their farms, livelihoods and the community by contributing their individual skills into what would eventually become the very successful Khao Chakan Agroforestry Community Enterprise (KCAE). Now they are sharing their model of successful community forestry with peers from Myanmar, Nepal and Viet Nam. In the eastern border province of Sa Kaeo, Thailand a regional group of farmers, foresters and farmers’ association representatives met with Thai colleagues at the Khao Chakan Agroforestry Community Enterprise (KCAE) to learn from each other and share ideas. Read about the exchange visit, sponsored by the Forest and Farm Facility ( FFF ) and hosted by RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests. [more]
Charcoal Association formed in Choma, Zambia 5 January 2017 A Charcoal Association has been formed in Choma District in Southern province and tasked to be engaged in legal production of the commodity using sustainable methods. The Association has been formed after a two day workshop organised by the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and the Forestry Department in Choma. The Association which was the first in the district would be headed by Mr Ackley Munga who was the chairperson and vice-chairperson being Ms Stella Nguni. FAO Forest and Farm Facility Facilitator Vincent Ziba said they decided to organise the workshop so that the charcoal business could become sustainable. Mr Ziba said charcoal business was allowed in the country as long as it was done legally and the workshop was organised for participants to sensitise them on sustainable methods of the environment in charcoal production. “Charcoal business is allowed in the country but the problem is they do it illegally,” he said. Participants had been urged to participant in tree planting and on the right procedures of cutting trees. Read the full article here, on Lusakatimes: [more]
In the king's wake - IIED's blog 20 December 2016 As part of a recent meeting in Bangkok, forest and farm producers heard about initiatives that add value to forest products and motivate farmers to plant trees – particularly significant in light of progressive ideas on sustainability championed by Thailand's late king. Thailand's beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, died in October 2016 . Among the many things for which he was adored by his people was commitment to a ' self-sufficiency economy '. This involved enhancing the multi-purpose benefits of forests – fruit, timber and firewood for daily use – for which he thought it "essential to grow different types of trees". It was fitting that in the year of mourning following the king's death, 80 representatives of forest and farm producer groups from eight countries across Asia met in Bangkok. The aim of the knowledge exchange forum was to promote rights and livelihoods of foresters and farmers through producer organisations. It was funded by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) through IUCN, one of the FFF alliance's three partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IIED. Read more on IIED's website: [more]
Value we see in trees: innovation and exchange of ideas 13 December 2016 Innovation is a key to improving the rights and livelihoods of farmers and small land holders while encouraging them to plant trees and effectively restore landscapes. During a regional knowledge exchange in Thailand, the Tree Bank offered one such innovation. Tree Bank is a shining example of locally driven innovation to increase the livelihoods strategies of small farmers and small holders while genuinely incentivising people to plant trees as part of a diverse set of land use approaches. As the international group of farmers and small holder organisations from the knowledge exchange gathering in Bangkok learned of the Tree Bank concept, many considered its applicability in their own countries. In the end, regardless of what a similar endeavour may look like in Myanmar, Viet Nam or in another one of the exchange participant’s countries, lively and intensely knowledgeable discussions of innovations in the Asian small farmer and land holder sector were sparked. The millions of farmers and others represented by the gathering stand to gain from this sharing of ideas, and in turn, so do the rest of us as we each continue to build upon the value we see in trees. The Asian Knowledge Exchange Forum on Promoting Rights and Livelihoods through Forest and Farm Producer Organizations, was held from 7 to 9 December, in Bangkok . As a outcome, participants agreed on a Strategy document available on the link below. The event was organised by the International Family Forestry Alliance ( IFFA ), the Asian Farmers Association for sustainable rural development ( AFA ), and was hosted by RECOFTC - The Center for People and Forests. The event took place with support of the Forest & Farm Facility ( FFF ). [more]
Forest Connect Global Workshop on risk management of locally controlled forest businesses 28 November 2016 Managing risk is a great challenge for local producers while growing a forest business. In March 2016, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) launched a book and a toolkit which develop a framework for proactive risk self-assessment and management for locally controlled forest-farm enterprises. Practitioners who supported the implementation of the toolkit were selected to share their results in the use of the toolkit. Coming from 18 countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, 23 participants gathered in Quito, Ecuador from 14 to 17 November for the 5th Forest Connect workshop focusing on risk management. The objective on the workshop was to revise and validate the implementation of the risk management toolkit, and to build further on successes. During the first day, several participants of the workshop presented the preliminary findings from their attempts to test the risk management toolkit, which served to suggest some revisions to improve that product. The second day, a field visit was done to the Ecuadorian Chocó-Pedro Vicente Maldonado to visit the bamboo plantation and operations of Allpa-Bambú, a family enterprise that produces bamboo for the local and international markets in cooperation with other small enterprises and producers´ associations. It also undertook a risk assessment process using the Forest Connect toolkit and this concrete case gave ample opportunity for discussions on risk management amongst the participants of the field visit. The third and final day of the workshop, the participants were invited to reflect further – building on the risk management framework - and explore how to develop metrics for success. In an era when many business models still maintain a narrow focus on financial metrics, the intention of Forest Connect is to develop metrics that can also reliably track the contribution of locally controlled forest business models to a broader set of social and environmental impacts -and there... [more]
How indigenous peoples and local communities sustainably manage their forest and land in Bolivia? 10 November 2016 The Bolivian Land Authority (ABT) approved early November ten Integrated Forest and Land Management Plans (General Integral de Bosques y Tierras, PGIBT, in Spanish) developed by local communities and indigenous peoples, in collaboration with MINGA, an association of joint working groups on natural resources management, mainly coffee and Chiquitana nut, which receives support from the FFF. MINGA was created in 1983 to represent the indigenous peoples of the communities of Velasco province in Bolivia. At the beginning 32 working groups from the same number of communities were affiliated. Today, MINGA counts 86 working groups and around 1400 affiliated families. The video illustrates the achievement of MINGA trough FFF support since 2015 which aims to strengthen the organizational capacities of the association for the management of the forest and well-being systems. With the implementation of these plans, the local communities and indigenous peoples will manage the natural resources and guarantee a sustainable landscape approach, producing livelihoods and income. Appropriate financial support from climate change initiatives, would allow this approach to be replicated at a larger scale. Another important achievement through the partnership between MINGA and the FFF is the development of a training course for youth in rural area. Indeed, the University Gabriel René Moreno in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno) designed a course for young leaders from rural area on the development of community entrepreneurship and integrated management of forest and land. Pilot implementation of the course was tested with success by 30 young leaders in their communities affiliated with MINGA. [more]
Exchanging business ideas and learning from each other between forest and farm producer organizations from Liberia and The Gambia 24 October 2016 As part of FFF’s peer to peer learning and South-South cooperation, an exchange visit took place in the Gambia - from 18to 23. October 2016 -where 24 representatives of smallholder and community-based forest and farm producer organizations and government representatives from Liberia and the Gambia engaged in an exchange of knowledge and experiences through field exposures and in-depth discussions.. The FAO Representative to the Gambia, Mrs Perpetua Katepa Kalala as well as representatives from the Gambian Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources welcomed the visitors and highlighted the relevance of the Forest and Farm Facility in particular with its integrated landscape approach. During a three day field visit, the participants had the opportunity to meet and exchange with several forest and farm producer and processing organizations, among them beekeepers groups, rice and fish farmers and a women’s poultry association. One particular highlight of the field trip was the visit of Tumani Tenda. This small community is actively engaged in community forestry and successfully established an ecotourism camp ( whose profits are directly benefiting the community, for example through the construction of a primary school. The reflection of the field trip lead to the formulation of concrete recommendations and action plans for both countries’ participating organizations on internal management, business ideas and management and policy engagement with a special focus on the inclusion of women and youths as well as climate change. The participants highly appreciated the exchange visit and will take their experiences back to their organizations and institutions. Ethel Wion, member of FUN (Farmer’s Union Network) Liberia was very impressed by the structure of the Gambian National Farmer’s Platform that included producer groups and associations from different sectors and commodities. [more]
Formation of a Community Forestry Practitioners’ Network in Myanmar 3 October 2016 During a workshop held on 27 and 28 September 2016, in Myanmar, at the Central Forestry Development Training Center, the Coordinating Body for a Community Forestry Practitioners’ Network (CFPN) was successfully formed with a total of 54 members. According the consensus agreement at the workshop, Forest Department was elected as Chairperson, representative of Community Forestry Users Groups (CFUG) as Vice-Chairperson and representative of NGOs as Secretary. The workshop was organized by the Forest Department of Myanmar together with The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC)-Myanmar and Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-Conservation Network (MERN), with the support of the Community Forestry National Working Group (CFNWG), the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) of FAO and Pyoe Pin Program. U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, Deputy Director-General of Forest Department and Chairman of CFNWG which is being supported by FFF and RECOFTC, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation delivered the opening speech highlighting the importance of the meeting for the establishment of the Community Forestry Practitioners’ Network (CFPN). About 140 representatives from government such as Forest Department and Dry Zone Greening Department, Community Forest User Groups (CFUG) including Community Forest Products Producer Associations (CFPPA) from several States and Regions, facilitative national and international NGOs, and delegates from private sector participated actively in the two days event. The participants agreed on next steps for the formation of Community Forestry Practitioners’ Network (CFPN), which will be led by the Coordinating Body. Additionally key findings and recommendations from community forest practitioners for better supporting community forestry in Myanmar were discussed and will be submitted to Forest Department, related government departments and supporting agencies, Civil Society Organizations and development agencies [more]
Bolivian government committed USD 35 million for organic coffee producers' programme 22 September 2016 President of the Republic of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has committed Bs 250 million (USD 35 million) from the Government of Bolivia to implement a national programme to strengthen the production of organic coffee in Bolivia during the next five years. The National Association of Coffee producers (ANPROCA) had prepared together with the government, with support from FAO and the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), the national programme proposal to strengthen the production of organic coffee in Bolivia. ANPROCA organised the National Quality Cup Tournament "Presidential Coffee Evo Morales Ayma 2016". During the award ceremony of the Tournament, the national programme to strengthen the production of organic coffee in Bolivia, jointly prepared by the producers and government, was presented to the President of the Republic of Bolivia. The ceremony was held in August 2016 in the presidential palace with participation of the President of the Republic, the Chancellor, the Minister of Rural Development, some representatives of coffee producers, the FAO Representative and some representatives of development agencies. The winner of the Tournament was the Association of Ecological and Integral Producers of Apolobamba which will have the opportunity to provide its coffee products to the presidential office for this year in recognition of the quality of its coffee. [more]
FFF-AgriCord partnership helps farmers to improve their ability to leverage resources 15 September 2016 In this video interview, Jeff Campbell, FFF Manager, explains how the small grants deliverd directly to forest and farm producer organizations, under the the FFF-AgriCord partnership, has helped producer organizations to enhance their businesses for livelihoods and to improve their ability to leverage resources. [more]
FFF meet with President of SEWA to discuss collaboration in Nepal under new FAO-SEWA partnership. 14 September 2016 Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and FAO have signed in Rome, on 13 September, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which focuses on the empowerment of rural women and youth. FFF Manager, Jeff Campbell, met with the President of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Ms Kapilaben to discuss the collaboration to support country progresses in Nepal under the FAO-SEWA strategic partnership. The following activities will be developed with FFF collaboration: 1) Leadership training to women leaders of the Federation of community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN), 2) Exchange visits between female forest products based entrepreneurs of SEWA and women entrepreneurs in Nepal, and 3) Capacity development on financial literacy for women and how to access appropriate finance. [more]
FAO Director-General meets Agricord's President 12 September 2016 FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with AgriCord's President, Jean-François Isambert, to discuss fruitful cooperation in the framework of the FAO-hosted Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) partnership, which has enabled direct support to forest and farm producer organizations to develop their capacities, particularly relating to business, organizational and policy advocacy skills. AgriCord is a board member to the FFF, launched in 2012 and aimed at promoting sustainable forest and farm management by supporting local, national, regional and international organizations for engagement in policies and investments that meed the needs of local people in Asia, Africa and Latin America. [more]
New FAO video on forests and agriculture - land use challenges and opportunities 12 August 2016 Agriculture remains the most significant driver of global deforestation. Large-scale commercial agriculture and subsistence agriculture currently account for 73 percent of deforestation in the tropics and subtropics. However, it is possible under certain conditions to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security while also halting deforestation. A new study from FAO - The State of the World’s Forests 2016: Forests and agriculture - land use challenges and opportunities - identifies more than 20 countries that have maintained or increased forest area, and improved food security since 1990. This video focuses on successful methods in Costa Rica, Viet Nam and The Gambia. [more]
Sharing knowledge about cooperatives’ financial management 8 August 2016 In Myanmar, a three days national Exchange of knowledge and experiences was organised between forest and farm producer groups on group creation and legal status, with a special focus on cooperatives’ financial management and governance and access to markets organized by CCS and MERN with the support of FFF in Pathein. The main objective of Pathein National Exchange was to strengthen forest and farm producer groups’ technical capacities, notably on organizational development, financial literacy and financial management as well as access to finance and markets. The specific objectives of work of the national exchange were: i) Group creation and legal status, with a special focus on cooperatives; ii) Internal management with a focus on gender and governance; iii) Financial management and access to finance; iv) Market management and access to market. Thirty seven people from CFPPAs, cooperatives and Apex organizations, as well as NGO and Forestry Department (FD) and Cooperative Department (CD) staff participated to share their respective experiences. Participants shared their best practices on the four thematic areas of focus of the exchange. To stimulate collective reflections, activities were mainly carried out through focus group and plenary discussions. Six groups were formed and in each group participated at least one CFPPA, cooperative/apex organization member, as well as FD and CD NGOs staff. This has allowed positive and constructive interactions between different actors and has enabled CFPPAs and cooperatives​ to learn from each other experiences, bridging the knowledge gap between the forest associations and agricultural cooperative respective systems. [more]
Infographic on the Enabling Actors to Address Climate Change 2 August 2016 Climate financing programmes such as REDD+, the Green Climate Fund and other efforts aim to provide global climate benefits while operating at local landscape levels. Failure to find the best way to engage and channel resources to local stakeholders and align their interests with forest conservation will significantly compromise the chances of achieving the carbon sequestration and mitigation targets, and could further marginalize poor and vulnerable people. It is here that forest and farm producer organisations play a pivotal role Local communities and smallholders have shown an enormous potential to preserve forest landscapes and generate economic and social development benefits. But they require critical enabling conditions to be in place which include not only secure commercial forest tenure, but also local organization with technical and business capacity to restore and sustainable and profitable use forest landscapes. For this reason, as REDD+ and other programmes are moving from planning to implementation, the role and participation of forest and farm producer organisations ought to be given much more prominence both in adapting to and mitigating climate change. By building inclusive partnerships, programs like REDD+ could channel the enabling investments that will secure tenure and build the organizational capacity to make resilient use of it across a range of sectors. [more]
Making agriculture and forestry more productive in The Gambia 27 July 2016 FAO through a Forest and Farm Facility grant of USD 86,820 will support forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) in The Gambia for improved livelihoods and sustainable national resources management. The National Farmers Platform of the Gambia (NFPG) signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with FAO on 27 July which will improve the capacities of Apex FFPOs and will also help to support the revitalization of Firewood Producers and Vendors Associations. During the signature ceremony, the FAO Country Representative Dr Perpetua Katepa-Kalala highlighted the “successful collaboration between civil society and government to address critical development goals”. Mr Mboge, NFPG President, explained how the implementation of the first LoA has shown that empowering key actors in communities is an effective tool for developing the capacities of local communities to tackle issues within their own environment for enhanced sustainable natural resources management, food security and nutrition”. [more]
Indigenous peoples central to efforts to combat climate change 21 July 2016 Governments must do much more to provide the enabling conditions required for indigenous peoples, local communities, smallholders and their organizations to restore degraded landscapes and achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation in practice, according to FAO. Speaking at an event on the sidelines of the 23rd session of the Committee on Forestry, FAO Assistant-Director General René Castro Salazar warned that the issue of indigenous rights to land and territories was ‘critical' for the success of climate change initiatives. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said at the event that very few countries have so far made a clear commitment to a requirement in the Paris Climate Change Agreement that countries undertaking climate change activities should ensure the rights of indigenous peoples. In an outcome statement issued at the close of the event, participants urged governments to provide the enabling conditions required for local communities, indigenous peoples and local producers - with special focus on women and youth - to manage larger territories, from securing and enforcing tenure rights to creating favorable business incentives and offering technical, financial and business extension services. They also called on global financing mechanisms, government programmes and private investors to direct investment and support towards local communities, indigenous peoples, smallholders and producer organizations. The event was co-organized by FAO and the Forest and Farm Facility, a partnership between FAO, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and AgriCord. [more]
National Programme for cocoa producers and collectors launched in Bolivia 13 July 2016 The Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Alvaro Garcia Linera, the Minister of Rural Development and Land, César Cocarico, and FAO Representative in Bolivia, Crispim Moreira launched on Sunday 10 July, in the municipality of Alto Beni, Bolivia, a National Programme to strengthen the Cocoa Production in Bolivia. Hundreds of members from producer organizations, and indigenous peoples of municipalities of five departments producing organic cocoa in Bolivia participated in the event. The programme within the National Policy for cocoa production will provide technical assistance to 8,200 farmers and family farmers in five departments of Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, Pando, Beni and Santa Cruz), 55 municipalities and 661 communities over the next five years (2016 -2020). The government of Bolivia will contribute to more than $ 46 million to implement the programme. FAO, through the FFF, has provided catalytic support the cocoa producers to play a decisive role in the development of the National Programme. Indeed, the El Ceibo cooperative, with an FFF grant, facilitated the formation of the National Federation of Cocoa Producers and Collectors of Bolivia (COPRACAO). COPRACAO's members contributed to i) the validation and approval of the National Policy for Cocoa Production, and ii) the preparation and design of the programme on cocoa production. Read the FAO Bolivia's Press Release in Spanish: [more]
Mr Macharia has made millions from the growing and sales of seedlings in Kenya 7 July 2016 This article from the Daily Nation tells the success story of Mr Charles Macharia who started the business with 25 Kenyan Shilling (about 25 cents USD). Now Charles is the president of the Nakuru County Tree Nursery Association (NCTNA) with more than 1.800 members. The NCTNA will host the first national Conference towards the establishment of the Kenya Tree Nursery Association to be held this year with the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) support. “We all build our lives together, day by day, without leaving anyone out. Success for each one of our county’s residents, means joy and happiness for the entire County and this keeps unemployment at bay”, says Mr Macharia. To read his story, click here: [more]
Community Forest Product Producer Associations reinforced in Myanmar 1 July 2016 A three days Training of trainers on organizational self-assessment for Community Forest Product Producer Associations (CFPPAs) was organised by the Forest and Farm Facility and the CoOPequity programme of FAO and MERN, in cooperation with the Forestry Department (FD) of Myanmar and the Community Forestry Development Training Centre (CFDTC). The main objective of the training was to familiarize the 39 participants from CFPPAs, FD and NGOs from four regions of the country on the process to conduct organizational and business self diagnosis and develop an action plan for improvement. The training registered high satisfaction level among attendees, and CFPPAs at village level will replicate the process learned in the training in their respective CFPPAs to develop and agree on an action plan with all the other members. The NGOs that attended are keen as well on including this training in their activities to support the development of action plans in CFPPAs at township level. As a result of the Training, CFPPA members who participated in the training are able to conduct an organizational and business diagnosis of their CFPPAs and develop action plan for improvement. In addition, the Training has helped to increase cooperation level between CFPPAs members, and knowledge sharing about the process of organizational and business self assessment and action plan for development. [more]
Learning on charcoal and tree nursery value chains from Kenya 29 June 2016 An exchange visit was organized in Kenya to share knowledge and improve capacity of the FFF partners in Zambia in supporting the charcoal and tree nursery value chains. Major areas for improvement in Zambia include the organisation of charcoal and tree nursery producers, the business development in charcoal and tree nursery value chains, and the policy framework supporting smallholder charcoal and nursery producers. As a result of this visit, a meeting with the National Forest commodity committee with tree nursery producers in Zambia will be organised to form an association under the Forest Association as an umbrella organisation which will benefit smallholder producers. [more]
Farm Forestry and EverGreen Agriculture are Gaining Ground in Africa 24 June 2016 With the participation of representatives of national and county governments, forest and farm producers, development partners and a delegation from Zambia, a seminar was organized on Wednesday 22 June jointly by FAO and ICRAF on Farm Forestry and Evergreen Agriculture. The overall objective of the seminar was to bring together practitioners, researchers and support organizations from Kenya and Zambia to share experiences related to Farm Forestry and Evergreen Agriculture and brainstorm on a national programme. In Kenya, FFF is working in partnership with the Farm Forestry Smallholder Producers Association of Kenya (FF-SPAK), the Kenya Forest Service, We Effect and County governments of Nakuru and Laikipia to strengthen the capacity of forest and farm producer organizations. Helping producers develop enterprises through all stages from seedling production and nurseries to tree planting, charcoal, pole, timber and NTFP (non-timber forest products) value added products can help ensure sustainability and transform rural economies at a landscape scale. The other important topic of the seminar was the Evergreen Agriculture, also known as Conservation Agriculture with Trees. Evergreen Agriculture is a form of more intensive farming where trees are integrated directly into crop production and livestock systems. It is a type of agroforestry that is emerging as an affordable solution to regenerate the land on small-scale farms and to increase family food production and cash income. Together with other international and regional organizations, FAO has also endorsed and is supporting the efforts of the development and implementation of national Evergreen Agriculture scaling-up initiatives. On way forward, the participants proposed to organize for the first national workshop on tree nurseries and the first national forestry products expo to create awareness about the potential of the forestry sub-sector in economic development. [more]
Forest and farm producer organizations, operating systems for the SDGs 16 June 2016 A new joint publication, "Forest and farm producer organizations, operating systems for the SDGs", is launched today by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), AgriCord and the International Family Forestry Association (IFFA) at the European Development Days. The 35 cases illustrate FFPOs delivering SDGs. The publication urges support for building up capacities and appropriate investment to release this potential at large scale. Unlocking this potential requires commitment to (and investment in) FFPOs from governments, civil society and the private sector, to help them function even more effectively. It also requires improvements to the enabling environment for FFPOs, starting with security of tenure for smallholders, and access to productive forests, farms and other resources. The rights of smallholders to form FFPOs must be safeguarded, and such organizations should have legal rights to provide services and represent their members. [more]
Efficacy of cross-sectoral platforms on strengthening sustainable business operation in Nepal 17 May 2016 Cross-sectoral policy platforms with representation of the governments, public and private sector was established at the local and national levels to strengthen on sustainable business operation. This research explores the efficacy of the cross-sectoral platform following a case study approach. The research consulted 20 Cross Sectoral Platform members, 12 producer network members at the district and national levels and conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with the producer groups. The result shows that the platform has been quite instrumental in addressing the policy hurdles, strengthening business linkages, building partnerships and leveraging resources. The paper concludes that platform is effective in addressing policy-related problems faced by small holders’ producer groups along with improving accountability of public service delivery organizations. [more]
Why indigenous rights are key to fighting climate change? 9 May 2016 While there has been increasing attention to indigenous rights, most people still don’t understand these issues and how they connect to their own lives. This article explains the basics of what indigenous rights are, why exactly these communities are being threatened, why they play an essential role in addressing climate change. To make a living, indigenous communities often depend on natural resources that can be found in and around their villages— typically on land they have occupied for generations. This means farming, fishing, tending, and sustainably harvesting trees and other resources that come from the forests. So even though indigenous peoples may be far from major cities, their efforts to protect their forests, plants, and animals help all of us. They slow down climate change all over the world, giving countries precious time to shift away from fossil fuels. Some studies suggest that forests could provide about one third of all the reductions in global carbon emissions over the next few decades. Indigenous peoples manage a large share of those forests, and when their rights are protected they in turn can protect the forests more effectively. Even though indigenous peoples have been living in these remote areas for generations, they often don’t have any title to their land. This makes them vulnerable to outside interests who want their trees, rivers, and resources. Even when the communities do have a title, governments are often unwilling to intervene when powerful interests try to grab the resources for themselves. It’s time we recognize that all of these issues are connected. The first thing we need to do is to encourage governments to take steps to stop the vicious killing of the people protecting our environment. The second is to recognize them as the stewards of their ancestral lands, and lend them a hand as they manage them. [more]
Securing the future: Managing risk and building resilience within locally controlled forest businesses 5 May 2016 This IIED book develops a framework for proactive risk self-assessment and management for locally controlled forest-farm enterprises. It then showcases eight case studies where a participatory approach was used to identify both ‘bad’ and ‘good’ risks to guide development of options for risk management and innovation. The book concludes with an analysis of some of the main transferable approaches used by such enterprises to manage risk. Use of such approaches can help locally controlled forest-farm enterprises manage risks better and grow stronger so that they can attract buyers and investors with greater confidence. [more]
Small, but many, is big: Challenges in assessing the collective scale of locally controlled forest-linked production and investment. 2 May 2016 FFF supports a broad initiative led by IIED, FAO and IUCN to assess the collective or aggregate scale of small and locally controlled forest-linked production and investment internationally, and to identify issues in, and scope for, increasing this scale. As a first step, IIED has published this issue paper: Small, but many, is big: Challenges in assessing the collective scale of locally controlled forest-linked production and investment. Small and locally-controlled forest-linked producers are crucial to development and environmental protection. Patchy and anecdotal evidence suggests that the aggregate scale of local production of goods and services from forests - on farms and by small enterprises and producer organisations - is huge. For example, one estimate puts the number of individual forest-linked producers, small scale forest and farm producer organisations, and small enterprises at 1 billion globally. But their numbers have not been properly assessed and neither has their full potential for local development outcomes, forest conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and returns on investment. This paper reviews some of the issues in assessing the scale and exploring the scope of small and locally-controlled forest-linked production and investment internationally. It lays out a plan for a fuller assessment and proposes how the results could help generate higher levels of commitment to measurable improvements in policy, organization, business practice, capacity and practical initiative that generate acceptable returns from investment with local people in the driving seat. [more]
Anti Bush Fire Day Commemoration in The Gambia 29 April 2016 The Anti Bush Fire Day Commemoration was held today in Basse, Upper River Region, The Gambia. It was a national day to remind and create awareness on the consequences of uncontrolled field and forest fires in terms of economic losses and environmental/ ecological degradation. The theme for this year was "Prevent Bush Fires to ensure Food Security and Nutrition” organized by the Department of Forestry, with FFF support. Key attendance were Deputy Governor, 7 District Chiefs, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Forestry, Director of Forestry, Representative of FAOR, President National Farmers Platform and All Gambia Forestry Platform, Regional Directors of ANR institutions, Chairman Basse Area Council, Community Forest Committees and Theater Groups. Key outcomes of the forum were: 1. Re-introduction of Controlled Early Burning (CEB) to suppress incoming fires in order to protect high priority areas and be used as fire fighting lines. 2. Enforcement of Forest Act and Regulations to prosecute fire offenders. 3. Continuous awareness raising at all levels specifically targeting drivers and their apprentices on smoking in vehicles and use of old exhaust pipes, which according to participants sparks fire while driving. 4. Attitudinal and behavioral changes on the use of fires. [more]
Challenges of benefit sharing in Vietnam: equality vs. equity 28 April 2016 Benefit sharing, including dividends and ownership of assets, plays a fundamental role in making a collective organization viable. In March 2016, the Vietnam Farmers Union (VNFU), the FFF implementing agency in Vietnam, ran a 5-day training course on organizational development in Hanoi for six newly established FFPOs in Yen Bai and Bac Kan Provinces. During the training, FFF local facilitators and farmer leaders learned how to allocate tasks to members based on their skills and personality, how to prepare monthly workplans, how to mainstream participation in group management, and how to design an appropriate profit sharing mechanism. While many FFPOs assumed that all of their profits would be shared equally among their members, the lead trainer, Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, former Rector of the North Vietnam College of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that “ The more equally benefit is shared, the less fair it is ”. The equal share rule has been shown to diminish incentives to work hard for the benefit of the group as a whole, leading to the “free-rider” problem. diminish incentives to work hard for the benefit of the group as a whole, leading to the “free-rider” problem. To counter this, Dr. Hai advised groups when designing a benefit sharing regulation to consider factors such as the proportion of the members' initial investment, the complexity of their task, and the number of days they work. Nevertheless, there's a concern that poorer households could benefit little from cooperatives and be excluded from the decision making process. After the FFF training, participants appeared to have increased their ability to manage their group efficiently. They were happy to provide constructive comments to each other on group statutes, enterprise development, and technology such as forest product processing. [more]
Make the impossible dream true with star anise oil production 21 April 2016 Established in May 2015, at the beginning, Thach Ngoa star anise group had only 5 members who are star anise, timber and Bo Khai (forest vegetable) growers and sold raw products for middle-men. After nearly a year of working together by group, so far the cooperation group has registered and expanded the number of members to 9 (of which there are 02 female). The group has forest area of 40 hectares (of which about 8 hectares is star anise plantation). In April 2016, they started processing star anise oil, because after participating in FFF’s training, they recognized potential of the resource of star anise in their commune. There are more than 100 hectares of star anise around Thach Ngoa area. The star anise group, Headed by Mr. Hoang Van Huynh,Hoang in Thach Ngoa village has shown different steps of development for a typical forest and farm producer organization (FFPO) in Vietnam and the FFF added value in supporting potential entrepreneurs. [more]
Successful cooperative model: FEDECOVERA, the largest organic cardamom exporter in the world 21 April 2016 In the context of the Exchange of Experiences of agroforestry producers from 8 Latin America countries (Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua and Panamá) Diego Recalde, FAOR Guatemala, and participants visited the Federation of Cooperatives of Verapaces (FEDECOVERA). FAO through the Forest and Farm Facility is supporting the Rural School of Agroforestry Business for the inclusion of rural youth in the development of their communities. Participants of the exchange visited coffee and cardamom FEDECOVERA value chain to discuss the introduction of appropriate and innovative technologies in the coffee and cardamom value chain. Juan Villatoro, production manager of FEDECOVERA said “Our products are sold in niche markets in Europe, Asia and North America. They are produced by 25.000 families from the indigenous Mayan etnias q’eqchi’ and poqomchi’. Our products go directly from producers to markets through FEDECOVERA”. FEDECOVERA provides 14 services to their members. With the consolidation and value addition of the organic cardamom FEDECOVERA has managed to be the largest organic cardamom exporter in the world. This could be a model for other countries for the participation of producers in the rural development. Young FEDECOVERA members presented their own cooperative for recycling. Myriam Cu, 20 years old and president of the environment committee of FEDECOVERA said “through the recycling we contribute to improve the environment of our communities and it represents an important income generating activity for us”. Roberto Luc Cuc, president of cooperative Chilte said “Young people inclusion in the value chain is a priority in the FEDECOVERA long term vision. We invest in the future by involving them now”. [more]
Community forest business in Myanmar: Pathway to peace and prosperity? 20 April 2016 This report summarises a short consultancy mission to Myanmar in December 2015 to provide inputs to Pyoe Pin’s programme of work on a market led approach to community forestry. The main thrust of recommendations within this report is to try and ensure that within that dynamic context, community forestry can be seen as an important platform for building peace and achieving a peace dividend in the wake of a long-hoped for peace agreement. [more]
Policy brief on Challenges of Community Based Enterprises in Community Forests in Nepal 18 April 2016 Nepal has long been acknowledged as being a leader in community-based forest management. In 1978, the state initiated a Community Forestry (CF) programme and started to hand over the accessible national forests to the surrounding communities. Although some forest policies have been favourable for income generation through micro-enterprise development, government initiatives have focused mainly on the promotion of community-based conservation and the fulfilment of subsistence needs. Community based enterprises in CF have the potential to create local economic growth, ensuring social well-being, and promoting the sustainable management of forest resources. Still, there is an urgent need for a more enabling policy environment to better ensure its success and sustainability. This Policy brief proposes recommendations to close existing gaps and address the challenges of community based enterprise development in CF. [more]
Ancestral mayan q’eqchi knowledge shared with women producer groups in Latin America 15 April 2016 Women from Nicaragua, Mexico and Panama visited the group of mayan q'eqchi' craftswomen of the Cooperativa integral Agricola santa Maria Chipur Sanimtaca R.L. in Guatemala. “The ancestral q’eqchi knowledge on handcrafted coats is passed on from generation to generation through women, from 8 years old. This is key to the preservation and transmission of our culture, but it has also become the major income generating activity of the women in the community”, presented Margarita Chub the President of the women group. After 5 years of permanent support from FEDECOVERA, the group has expanded from local to national and international markets. In September, they will participate to the international handcraft fair of Sante Fe, United States. “The economic growth of our organization is a priority for our organization, and this enables us to fulfil our social mission. We are providing more and better social services to our communities, such as health and pregnancy support.” [more]
Food and Agriculture: Key to Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 14 April 2016 This new FAO publication helps understanding better the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development which “commits the International community to act together to surmount them and transform our world for today's and future generations”. “There is enough food for everyone on the planet today, yet almost 800 million people suffer hunger. Tackling hunger and malnutrition is not only about boosting food production, but also to do with increasing incomes, creating resilient food systems and strengthening markets so that people can access safe and nutritious food even if a crisis prevents them from growing enough themselves.” In this publication, examples of FAO support to countries through the Forest and Farm Facility show how empowered forest and farm producers are key to achieving many of the SDGs. [more]
Regional exchange workshop on successful organizational models to improve producers' life 11 April 2016 Today, in the Rural School of agro-forestry business of the Federation of cooperatives of Las Verapaces region (FEDECOVERA), Guatemala, was launched the regional exchange workshop on successful organizational models for the integration of small scale producers, women, indigenous people and youth, in forestry and agro-forestry value-chains. The event is organized by FAO, through the FFF and CoOPequity, in partnership with the Mesoamerican Alliance for Forest and People, We Effect, FEDECOVERA, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and IUCN. “The ultimate objective is to improve producers incomes, quality of life, food security, so that all families in rural areas can find a way out of poverty. The response to this challenge is within yourselves, within your organizations. This event is organized for you to exchange and build new organizational models. The idea of association and cooperativism is about finding a third path that can help our countries get out of poverty’ declared Diego Recalde, FAO Guatemala representative in his opening speech. During a week, 50 representatives of producer organizations and governments from 8 countries of Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Ecuador and Panama) will share experiences of successful organizational models that producer organizations have adopted with productive, entrepreneurial and commercial ends, and discuss public policies and strategies that can strengthen producer organisations in accessing markets, contributing to rural development and building the climate resilience capacities of producers. Indeed, as declared Hugo Moran, policy officer of FEDECOVERA, ‘’Today, we all have a common denominator: climate change”. ‘We are convinced that every productive and economic initiative, regardless of scale, must seek support in nature, accommodate to landscapes, as well as contribute to the social, economic and environmental harmony and balance.” added Ms. Ursula Parrilla,f... [more]
30 March 2016 On the “Forest Solutions Platform” launched by WWF, you can vote for investment in locally controlled forestry, and learn from participants’ comments why it is important and on how it can benefit forests and all the stakeholders involved. “Over 2 billion people rely on forests for shelter, livelihoods, water, fuel and food security. An approximate 1 billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods. In many developing nations, forestry is the chief source of income for local communities. With the rapid integration of global markets, it is now more important than ever to invest in locally controlled forestry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to ensure that economic benefits from forests trickle down to the ground. Investing in locally controlled forestry is about achieving acceptable returns while putting local people in the driving seat, developing and implementing projects – and often, but not necessarily, working within them.” [more]
FFF Making a difference - Results on the ground 21 March 2016 This package composed of a video and five thematic factsheets presents prelimiraly results of the implementation of the FFF in its 10 partner countries and at regional and global level. Through witnesses of forest and farm producers, government representatives, and FFF Steeering Committee members, it illustrates some of the value added and impact of the FFF support on the ground. It shows how organized forest and farm producers are contributing to reach most of the Sustainable Development Goals. [more]
FFF Annual report 2015 18 March 2016 In the view of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), strengthen forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) is essential for ensuring the inclusive and sustainable management of productive landscapes, providing practical alternatives to economic migration, adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change, building wealth, and reducing rural poverty. This report provides detailed information on the FFF’s work in ten partner countries and at the regional and global levels in 2015. An overview is provided of the progress made by, and the challenges facing the FFF, drawing on the first full cycle of monitoring and learning (M&L), which is now embedded in practice and procedure. Notable impacts include: Improved forest governance through the role out of long-stalled tenure arrangements (e.g. Gambia, Myanmar), the shaping of significant incentive programmes for forest-farm producers (e.g. Bolivia, Guatemala), the scaling-up of enterprise development and income generation opportunities (e.g. Vietnam, Nepal), the progress in ignored sectors such as wood energy (e.g. Liberia, Zambia), the development of overlooked potential in sectors such as farm-forestry (e.g. Kenya, Vietnam) the conferring of benefits on marginalised groups such as indigenous people and women (e.g. Nicaragua, Bolivia). [more]
Training on organizational analysis for community forest entreprises in Nicaragua 25 February 2016 “Facilitating the development of Community Forest Entreprises is an achievement more for the Nicaraguan Government”, declared today the Delegate of Siuna’s District in Nicaragua, Orlando Arancibia Rosales, during the opening of a national training of facilitators on Organizational Analysis for Producer Organizations (POs) and Community Forest Entreprises (EFC) organized by the FFF and CoOPequity, in partnership with the National Institute of Forestry (INAFOR). The three-day workshop was kicked off on the 24th of February in Siuna, in the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean Autonomous Region of Nicaragua. The training is aimed at technical officers of the key national and regional public institutions supporting POs and EFCs in the target regions of the FFF in Nicaragua, in particular INAFOR, the Autonomous System of Protection and Consumption (SAPC) and the Ministry of Family, Cooperative and Associative Economy (MEFFCA). Also part of the training, the six EFCs supported by the FFF in Nicaragua since 2014, including the organizations of Mayangna and Mestiza women and young people in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve. Following up on the Market Analysis and Development training of trainers conducted in 2014, this training will provide technical officers from public institutions and EFCs in the country with a practical tool to assess the situation and needs of the target EFCs. Directly springing from this ToF, individual follow-up workshops with the 6 target EFCs of the FFF in Nicaragua will take place in the next weeks to support them in the process of analyzing their needs, and identifying objectives, milestones and priority areas of work for the coming year. [more]
FFF holds Donor Support Group and Steering Committee Meetings 18 February 2016 At FAO HQ, on 17-18 February was held the fourth Steering Committee of the Forest and Farm Facility, a partnership between FAO, IIED and IUCN. The Donor support group met the day before the SC meeting and the core donors stayed on for the Steering Committee Meeting. The FFF Steering Committee consists of 10 individuals affiliated with Indigenous peoples, community forestry groups, family forests, civil society, private sector, research, government and international development. During the SC meeting, the FFF team shared the accomplishments of 2015 in the countries and at regional and global level, with numerous video interviews of partners in the field that illsutrates concrete achievements. Presentations were made this year around six thematic outcome of the FFF support. It was shown, through several successful examples, how by being empowered, the forest and farm producer organizations can achieve much more together, improve their income and their access to markets, leading to better access to finance. Significant impacts on national policy was highlighted through the involvement of strong producer organizations in national decision-making processes. The FFF was recognised by SC members to be a very effective tool that contributes to achieve many of the SDGs, and a model delivery mechanism to multi stakeholder actors. The SC members urged the team to continue to deepen fund raising efforts and to share figures and numbers, from the implemented M&L system, of the achievements on the ground. The SC suggested the FFF team to create a platform to share knowledge, and experiences gained during the trainings and exchange visits at country and regional levels. [more]
FFF support to smallholders in Kenya acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources 8 February 2016 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been lauded for its continuous support to the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities, especially in the development of forest subsidiary rules that are meant to operationalize the existing forest law. Speaking in her NSSF office, when she received the Food and Agriculture Organization representative to Kenya, Mr. Robert Allport, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Natural Resources Dr. Margaret Mwakima appreciated the fact that, FAO has supported her Ministry in the Forest and Farm Facility project to strengthen the capacity of member based producer organization’s such as the Forestry Small holder producers associations of Kenya, which started in 2015, the UN-REDD programme and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), among others. [more]
From information exchange to a jointly owned sawmill: story of an acacia group in Yen Bai Province 28 January 2016 The acacia growers group in Lem Village, Phu Thinh Commune, Yen Binh District, headed by Mr. Nguyen Dinh Hai, illustrates the different stages of development of a typical forest and farm producer organization (FFPO) in Vietnam and is an example of how the Forest and Farm Facility Initiative (FFF) assists entrepreneurs. [more]
FAO awards Kanimang Camara in The Gambia 4 January 2016 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) head office in Rome through the FAO country office in The Gambia has awarded a medal to Kanimang Camara, national facilitator of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) in The Gambia. Speaking at the reception, the Environment Minister, Pa Ousman Jarju, thanked the FAO for the partnership and collaboration not only in the last 12 months, but also for the last 70 years of the existence of the FAO. According to Minister Jarju, the partnership had really improved livelihood across the globe and they are pleased with the partnership for the last couple of years, especially during the last 12 months. He congratulated Kanimang Camara for the award, stating that it was a demonstration of his leadership and his voluntarism. Camara had demonstrated his commitment and dedication during the last couple of years, including working with them particularly at the natural resources and agriculture sector where he brought farmers to the centre of the Agriculture Nature Resources (ANR). Camara had also contributed through the support of FAO by ensuring that the community forests were given back to their owners, which was a big achievement for The Gambia and Africa as a whole. “We had been called champion in Africa because of giving ownership to the people; to let them own the forest, which is a demonstration of the capacity of the people and also the trust that we have in them,” Minister Jarju said. This would not have happened without the support of FAO and Kanimang Camara, the minister added. FAO country representative Perpetua Ketepa-Kalala said the purpose of the reception was to thank their partners for their collaboration with the FAO. Mr Camara had been involving and engaging communities in forestry activities and the sustainable management of the forest resources, the FAO official went on, adding that it was due to commitment and dedication that FAO in Rome awarded him “this very important award.” [more]
Assessment of the Community Based Forestry (CBF) in Myanmar 21 December 2015 In Myanmar the FAO Social Forestry Team in collaboration with the Forest and Farm Facility supports the Community forestry and forest producer organizations. It provides technical support on community based forestry (CBF), including reviewing the outcomes of the Community Based Forestry (CBF) assessment framework and following up implementation of agreed actions involving Forest Department Myanmar, FFF, MERN and RECOFTC in the country. During the recent workshop to share the outcome of the Community Based Forestry (CBF) assessment framework, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, H.E U Aye Myint Maung gave opening remarks in which he outlined key developments and reforms in Myanmar’s forestry sector, and the importance of CBF for improving livelihoods and food security in the country. He praised FAO-FFF for their support to strengthen the Community Forestry national Working Group; improving livelihoods of forest and farm producers, and helping the country to assess the effectiveness of CBF. Further support is envisaged in application of the CBF assessment framework; strengthening government staff capacity in use of the framework; reviewing and updating the Community forestry Instructions; and aligning the land use policy with accepted global principles in the voluntary guidelines on governance of tenure. [more]
Development of a rural school of agro-forestry business in Guatemala 30 November 2015 On Thursday 26th November at the Integral Agricultural Cooperative Chioroj, Cóban, Altaverapaz, Guatemala, was signed a letter of agreement between FAO and the Federation of Cooperatives of Verapaces, Limited Responsibility (FEDECOVERA) to strengthen forest and farm producer organizations through the development and implementation of a rural school of agro-forestry business. FAO support will be delivered through the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) and CoOPequity in partnership with We Effect. FEDECOVERA, is the world’s biggest exporter of Cardamom. Its 25,000 members also produce coffee, cacao, tea, chili, curcuma and timber. Located in the high mountains of Guatemala, FEDECOVERA is a second tier autonomous, social and business oriented cooperative. Building on previous collaboration, the objective of this initiative between FAO and FEDECOVERA is to design and implement a model for rural entrepreneurial and productive training and capacity building school on agro-forestry activities, aimed at young women and men from rural communities in Guatemala and the region. FAO, through the FFF will support FEDECOVERA in designing and developing the school model on organizational development, productive entrepreneurship and value-chain development, facilitating linkages and collaboration with leading universities and research centres in the countries, as well as knowledge exchanges with other countries. FAO support will be delivered through FFF and CoOPequity in partnership with We Effect. [more]
Launch of the FAO-We Effect partnership in Latin America 24 November 2015 “In Guatemala, there are about 700,000 family producers, with about 5/6 dependents, which amounts to about 5 million people depending on farming for their livelihoods. Forest and Farm Producer Organizations can play a key role in generating rural employment, activating local economies and need to be included in political processes” , stated the FAO Representative to Guatemala, Diego Recalde, during the opening ceremony of the launch of the partnership between FAO and We Effect in 3 countries of Latin America (Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua). The launching workshop was held in Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, on 23 and 24 November. The launching workshop was opened by Ebal Sales, Director of the Nacional Forestry Program of the INAB (National Institute of Forest), Diego Recalde, FAO Representative to Guatemala, and Anna Tibblin, regional director of We Effect for Latino America. Representatives from key Government bodies from Guatemala and Bolivia, as well as forest and farm producer organizations from Guatemala participated, together with representatives of We Effect and FAO/FFF-CoOPequity Guatemala, Bolivia and Nicaragua. The aim of the FAO and We Effect partnership is to strengthen the capacities of forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs), in particular their organizational development, governance, gender quality and business dimensions, in order to help them improve the livelihoods of their members; and joint fund raising. The main results of the workshop are a conceptual note which provides the basis for a program in Guatemala, and a plan of work for Bolivia and Nicaragua. The next step will be to finalize a project proposal for the 3 countries, based on the prioritized areas and partner organizations identified in the meeting. [more]
FAO and We Effect to strengthen forest and farm producer organizations in Zambia 21 November 2015 Through a unique partnership, The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and We Effect will support and strengthen forest and farm producer organizations in Zambia, for better livelihoods and sustainable forest and farm practices. Between the 17th – 18th of November the way forward for the partnership and priority gaps were discussed during a meeting at the We Effect Regional Office in Lusaka. Among the participants in this meeting were representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Forestry department, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), commodity associations, as well as Kenyan and Malawian Farmer Unions and other partner organizations. - The outcome of the meeting was very successful as the participants identified gaps and opportunities in the existing programmes in Zambia. They also identified key priority areas to strengthen smallholder forest and farm producers, and discussed the possibility of the Forest and Farm Commodity committee of ZNFU as a future apex body to play a supportive role, says Vincent Ziba, FAO Zambia, National Facilitator-Forest and Farm Facility. [...] Key objectives of the Zambian FAO-We Effect partnership are to help organizations strengthen their internal structures, their ability to influence the political debate, and their adaptation to climate change – as well as facilitate business and entrepreneurship and accessto financial services. [more]
How to improve livelihood through Sustainable Wood Production - Exchange visit from Myanmar to Vietnam 5 November 2015 A study visit for 20 stakeholders from Myanmar to Northern Vietnam was organized from 26-31 October to learn from the experience and expertise of Vietnamese farmers in forestry, agriculture, and agroforestry. The study programme was implemented by the staff of FFF-Vietnam, IUCN-Vietnam, and the Vietnamese Farmers’ Union. Major program highlights were the discussions held with representatives of the VNFU at provincial, district and commune level, field visits of planted forests in Bac Kan province, wood processing plants owned by farm producer, the visit to the state-owned and FSC-certified Hoa Binh forestry company. In general the Vietnamese farmers confirmed that agriculture (rice, corn, tea, chicken, pork) contributes the most to the family income, though a considerable share of the agricultural products is used for subsistence purposes. In forested communities however the contribution of forestry to the family income may reach up to 60%. Read the Report of the exchange visite here: [more]
Listening to the stories of African forest producers 5 November 2015 Federations of tree growers and forest producers are on the rise in Africa. They help smallholders in dealing with tenure arrangements, accessing markets and financial services, getting quality extension and capacity development support. To be effective, they need to be able to access and share relevant information , but also to articulate members' views and dialogue with governments to influence policy formulation. By Marzia Pafumi, ComDev, FAO [more]
Rejuvenating Future Landscapes 2 November 2015 What attracts the next generation of young farmers to make the decision to stay in rural forested landscapes? Youth involvement in forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) spans various production types and organizational structures, from youth organizations within national unions to family farms. The involvement of youths in such organizations is critical for future sustainability and for sharing knowledge between generations to secure future forests and farms - and in the end - the maintenance of productive forest and farm landscapes. What constraints are young people facing and what are the best solutions for building enabling environments for their future livelihoods? By comparing different forms of youth involvement within FFPOs in Vietnam, Nepal, Liberia, the Gambia, and Nicaragua, the paper makes a comparison of successful factors for attracting young people to stay and make a living in forested landscapes. Based on the empirical material of those case studies and the Forest and Farm Facility experience of working with local forest farm producers, the paper suggests key components for better and more inclusive measures and policies to reach out to the next generation of forest farmers. Read the paper written by Martin Nganje and Erik Andervad for the World Forestry Congress. [more]
African Market Analysis and Development Training started in the Gambia 22 October 2015 In the Gambia, today, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources, Forestry, Parks and Wildlife, Hon. Pa Ousman Jarju opened the MA&D training of FFF Africa. 25 participants, coming from Zambia, Liberia, Kenya and the Gambia are participating in the second session of the MA&D training, where they will present and discuss the implementation of the MA&D Phases 1 and 2 in their own country and context with Forest and Farm Producer groups and learn further how to support the development of Enterprise development Plans and prepare for starting up the pilot enterprises. [more]
Forest and farm small producers improve their market products in Guatemala 15 October 2015 This video developed by Vision Rural shares local experiences and practices - supported by FFF - integrating a cross sectorial approach in south Peten, Guatemala. It shows how Food Security is improved through activities promoting diversification of forest and farm products and how small and medium enterprises are getting organised to develop markets opportunities (Chachaklum case). [more]
Launch of the website of the National Farmers Platform of The Gambia 1 October 2015 Website of the National Farmers Platform of The Gambia (NFPG) was successfully launched at the Wellingara Horticultural model center. In attendance were representatives of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations and Associations, FAO country office, ANR sector institutions and the media fraternity. The launching will be followed by training of the executive members of the Platform in the use and maintenance of the site. Most the information currently on the site will have to be up-dated during that training. Up-loading some of the documents on the site including some materials from FFF and ANR Institutions was done successfully. According to the President of NFPG, Alhagie Basse Mboge, the site will serve as platform for information exchange on FFPOs, Products produced by FFPOs and offer access to market information. The need to create linkages between the site and other ANR sector related sites was emphasized by the ANR Working Group Secretary Mr. Lamin Camara of NEA. [more]
Market Analysis and Development Training in Liberia 28 September 2015 The Farmers Union Network of Liberia FUN in collaboration with the Forest and Farm Facility Liberia program is training a total of 35 participants in MA & D. The participants was selected from Lofa, Nimba and Grand Cape Mount Counties The purpose of the training is to prepare participants as potential entrepreneurs to implement the MA&D approach (phase 1-2) in their selected communities as part of FFF activities. The training features group work, presentations, facilitation exercises, lesson learned and to familiarize participants to field-oriented implementation for targeted entrepreneurs and communities. The training is running for ten whole days beginning September 26 to October 5, 2015; wish will be follow by the second regional training in the Gambia. [more]
PROBOSQUE programme approved by the government of Guatemala 25 September 2015 Today the Congress of Guatemala approved the Probosque Program, trough Law Number 02-2015. This financial public instrument supports the forest agenda for the next 30 years in Guatemala. Beneficaries of the Probosque program include owners, tenants in reserves of the nation, cooperatives, indigenous communities and communal tenure (land of special administration). It promotes compensation for ecosystem and environmental services associated with the management and protection of forests. In addition, it defines a mechanism for uptake and administration of funds (FONABOSQUE). FAO/FFF supported the technical and legal development of this Program. The next step is the implementation of this law. [more]
Connecting scientists and farmers in Vietnam 25 September 2015 As part of the third phase of the market analysis and development (MA&D) training in Vietnam forest and farm producers organizations (FFPOs) have to prepare a detailed enterprise development plan based on market survey data collected in phase 2. Since few FFPOs were able to fully explore product value chains or processing technologies or markets as the basis of their business plans, VNFU invited two specialists in timber and non-timber product processing from Vietnam Academy of Forest Sciences to the training. They provided the latest information on household-scale processing technologies and the contact details of private companies that buy forest products directly from farmers rather than through traders. In a competitive business environment, this information, which is normally unavailable to smallholder farmers in remote areas, is a key to making a profit. Farmers also asked scientists for solutions to pests such as the Mo sawfly ( Shizocera spp . ), which attacks the Mo tree ( Manglietia Conifera ), why 60% of their star anise trees fail to bear fruit, or whether star anise oil should be made from the tree leaves or fruits. This training reduces the risk of FFPOs jumping into a business without fully understanding the implications of the choice of tree species, processing, and markets. Bridging the information gap between FFPOs and scientists will strengthen the capacity of FFPOs to invest wisely in sustainable forest and farm production and market integration. [more]
Community forestry concessions recognized by the government of The Gambia 21 September 2015 On the 8 September 2015, Community Forest Management Agreements (CFMAS) were signed to give to local communities the legal mandate to own and manage their forests sustainably for improved livelihoods and sustainable resource management. After several years of consistent advocacy and efforts from FFF supported partners (the National Farmers Platform and the All Gambia Forestry Platform), the government decided to finally recognize these 81 community forestry associations. Perpetua Katepa Kalala, FAO Representative, acknowledged that the government of The Gambia under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency the President, Sheikh Prof. Alhaji Dr Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh Babili Mansa has demonstrated its commitment through the formulation of appropriate forest policy frameworks and the development of strategies since 1995.The Ministry of Environment acknowledged FAO country office for FFF’s role in this process and requested that FFF Facilitator and the FAO Representative accompany him on a tour of the community forestry groups. FFF will grant support for the final mapping and paper work involved in completing the formal recognition of the community forestry concessions. Press articles on the tour of the Hon. Minister: The Point article on CFMA Awards in Central River Region : [more]
Launching of the partnership between FAO and We Effect 17 September 2015 The partnership between FAO and We Effect, the Swedish-based development cooperation organization was launched at the World Forestry Congress in Durban during the Way Forward Session on Friday 11 September. George Onyango, Deputy Regional Director and Regional Programme Coordinator Rural Development from We Effect regional office for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, gave the opening remarks together with Eva Muller, Director of the Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division, Forestry Department of FAO. Key speakers such as Jerker Thunberg (Inspector General from SIDA), Mia Crawford (Deputy Director, Forest and Climate Division, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden), Lennart Akzell (Vice Chair of the Swedish Farmers Association and International Family Forestry Alliance), Boaz Kiboi (Chair of the Farm Forestry Smallholder Producer Association of Kenya), and Jeff Campbell (Manager of the Forest and Farm Facility) together with some FFF Steering Committee members (August Temu, Peter DeMarsh, Noemi Perez and Eva Muller) delivered some remarks. The partnership agreement to support small-scale forest and farm producers organizations for poverty reduction was signed by Anneli Rogeman, CEO of We Effect, and FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva on 31 August 2015 in Stockholm. The partnership between FAO and We Effect builds on an existing collaboration which has seen the FAO-hosted Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) and CoOPequity programmes working with We Effect to strengthen the capacities of member-based producer organizations such as the Forestry Smallholder Producers Association of Kenya. [more]
Investment in small-scale farmers ‘could have big payoff’ in the fight against climate change, poverty 14 September 2015 New research released at the World Forestry Congress finds small-scale farmers and producers of forest products can help rural economies grow, as well as help defend against global problems such as deforestation and climate change. Smallholder agriculture and agroforestry practices tend to keep more carbon sequestered, provide better habitat for wildlife, and produce a wider range of resources and commodities than do big plantations. Jeff Campbell, FFF Manager, and Geoffrey Wanyama, director of the Farm Forestry Smallholder Producers Association of Kenya , FF-SPAK recommend increased investment in the world's 1.3 billion smallholders. Read the article of John C. Cannon on Mongabay: [more]
Local people are champions of sustainable forest management 10 September 2015 Local people can manage very well the forests. Since much more still needs to be done to ensure secure access to resources, markets, services and investments, the local voice at the regional and global level should be better recognized. This video shares some of the global key messages of the community-based forest and farm producers organisations, agreed during the “Building Momentum” Pre-Congress organized on 5-6 September 2015 in Durban. In particular, Esther Penunia-Banzuela of the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development explains why local communities need to be part of decision-making that concerns forests. [more]
1/3 of the world's forests under the control of families and communities 10 September 2015 Communities, forest owners and forest and farm producers play a central role in ensuring that forests contribute to sustainable development. When well organized and supported by an enabling environment, community forest managers and forest and farm producers can more effectively adapt to climatic changes and forge practical solutions to sustainably manage forests and trees, while meeting their families’ livelihood, food and nutritional needs. Peter de Marsh, Chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance discusses the “tremendous potential” for saving forests and improving livelihoods, simultaneously. [more]
9 September 2015 “The forest is producing! It’s doing a lot when it comes to the livelihood of our farmers in Liberia,” says Julius Momolu Bass, National Coordinator of the Farmers Union Network of Liberia in Monrovia. “Farmers are getting organised, small sawmills are developing, there’s people with seedling nurseries, all sorts of forest products, businesses developing. I think that African producers, if they’re given the right to support, can really lead the way… and transform rural Africa,” says Jeff Campbell. Read the article "Africa’s Indigenous communities key to preserving forests and combating climate change " on RFI: [more]
Forest and farm producers speak out at the World Forestry Congress 8 September 2015 “We know the forest, and the forest knows us. We manage a third of the world’s forests. We are, together, the world’s largest investors in forests. It is time to listen to us.” said forest and farm producers, indigenous peoples and smallholder family farmers of the world during the Building momentum pre-Congress meeting on 5-6 September 2015 resulting in a 9-point declaration . The declaration concludes with this strong statement: “We have the numbers. We have the knowledge. We are a big part of the answer.Engage with us as equal partners. Support us. Invest in us.” Read the article on Tropenbos International website here: [more]
7 September 2015 "Today, 1.3 billion people live in or adjacent to forests. They depend on forest resources and surrounding land for food, fuel, medicine, building materials, and livelihoods. If the largest yet mostly invisible private sector in forest production continues to be driven from these forested landscapes, the results will be disastrous. The alternative is simple: Support smallholder forest producer groups through strengthening their property rights and their organizations. Invest in them. " Read the full article by Jeff Campbell at Thomas Reuters Foundation website: [more]
7 September 2015 Alex Pashley interviewed Jeff Campbell, FFF manager: “It’s no question there is a lot of conversion of natural forests and displacing of indigenous or local communities from lands where they frequently manage it well,” Jeffrey Campbell, manager of the Forest and Farming Facility, tells RTCC.“Whether the state crops need to be grown in such big monocultures is a huge argument. A vast number of smallholders plant trees and other things in a complex landscape mosaic, which are probably equally effective and include far more businesses in the picture.” - Read the article on RTCC website: [more]
6 September 2015 "Community-based forest and farm producer organizations called for greater investment in forest peoples ahead of the XIV World Forestry Congress (WFC) taking place in Durban, South Africa, 7-11 September. More than 125 participants from 39 countries attended the pre-Congress event, “Building momentum for community-based forestry, forest and farm producer organizations”, held in Durban on 5-6 September. Participants agreed on a global declaration asserting that the solution to a sustainable future for forests lies in investing in forest peoples themselves. The declaration represents the local voice of communities, forest and farm producer organizations, indigenous people and family forest owners from around the world, and, merges messages developed in a series of preparatory events held in Latin America, Asia and Africa since 2014." Read the Press Release here: [more]
4 September 2015 Ahead of the World Forestry Congress, which opens in Durban next week, Duncan Macqueen (principal researcher in IIED's forest team with the Natural Resources Group) asks whether African forests can be saved. Read his blog here: [more]
We Effect and FAO: signature of a partnership agreement to support small-scale forest and farm producers 31 August 2015 Today was signed by Anneli Rogeman, CEO of We Effect, and FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva a partnership agreement between the Swedish-based development cooperation organisation We Effect and FAO. "Cooperatives and producer organizations are leading the way to a world free from hunger. They facilitate rural people’s access to markets and services, to resources, information and communication; they provide decent jobs and inclusive solutions to social and gender inequalities, in agriculture and forestry," said FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva. The partnership aims at strengthening producer organisationfs for livelihoods and policy engagement. "Today’s agreement builds on an existing collaboration which has seen the FAO-hosted Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) and CoOPequity programmes working with We Effect to strengthen the capacities of member-based producer organizations such as the Forestry Smallholder Producers Association of Kenya." Read the FAO Press Release: [more]
27 August 2015 This article highlights the importance of non-timber forest products (NTFP) in reducing poverty, recognised by the COMIFAC. It shows that in Cameroon "corruption accounts for on average of 34% of NTFP trader's annual costs" therefore it proposes policy recommendations "to increase transparency, and to improve sustainable trade and livelihoods." Sophie Grouwels, from FFF, is co-author of the article. Read the article here: [more]
New publication: Effective Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (ETFRN News 57) 25 August 2015 This latest edition of ETFRN News contains more than 200 pages of stories from local producer organizations, associations and federations, and from those that speak for them at national and international levels. Reporting on issues of inclusiveness, this is also reflected in the authorship, with most of the 80 contributing (co)authors from the Global South, representing NGOs, UN organizations, government bodies and private companies as well as producer organizations, a third of them women. The result is a compilation of experiences that adds significantly to a growing body of knowledge. Forest and farm producer organizations speak of their achievements and successes – and challenges, some overcome, some not. They share how they have organized themselves, what support they have received, and whether this was for better or for worse. Some benefits were expected, others unexpected. Problems remain, and some were made worse, even with well-meaning intentions of ‘outsiders’. [more]
20 entrepreneurs trained on forest management in the Gambia 20 August 2015 A training for 20 young entrepreneurs on enterprise skill development and forest management was organised by the All Gambia Forestry Platform, in collaboration with NACOFAG, supported by the FFF. "The training looked at issues of entrepreneurship skill development, especially on how to manage the forest resource." said Mr Alieu Sowe, national coordinator of NACOFAG. Read the article on The Point: [more]
Star spice in Vietnam's forests 17 August 2015 "Business training for farmers in Vietnam is adding spice to their harvest – and encouraging them to form producer organisations to make more from their crop." Read Duncan Macqueen's article on IIED's blog here: [more]
Opening Ceremony of the Regional Experience Sharing Workshop among forest and farm producers in Mexico 5 August 2015 About 90 forest and farm producers and government representatives of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile and Mexico participate in the Regional Experience Sharing Workshop on Land Management by Communities and Smallholders, Forest Governance and Market Linkages which has started today in Mexico. In the opening ceremony participated the FAO representative in Mexico, Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), president of the Mexican Network of Forest farm organizations (Red MOCAF) and high level authorities of the National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR) and the Secretary of Agriculture, Territory and Urban Development (SEDATU). The objective of the event is to exchange experiences among the producer groups in the three topics of the event Land Management by Communities, Forest Governance and Market Linkages and prepare messages for the World Forestry Congress (WFC), COP 21 and the regional forestry commission (COFLAC). MORE LINKS: Facebook page of AMPB: - Read the article in La Jornada: - More on the FAO Bolivia page (in Spanish): [more]
Who is a forest producer? 31 July 2015 "Conservation of natural resources must follow the natural pattern of a food chain and biological succession in an ecosystem. Producers are always at the base forming the largest pool of the resource. " writes Makweti Sishekanu. " Environmental law must be seen to follow and protect natural processes by supporting the enhancement of production." Read the article written by Makweti Sishekanu, Manager, Gender, Environment and Forestry Zambia National Farmers’ Union HQ, and FFF coach in Zambia. [more]
When farmers write proposals 23 July 2015 In Vietnam, the FFF partnership is implemented by the Vietnam Farmers Union (VNFU). In May 2015, a call for proposals for forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) was issued in Yen Bai and Bac Kan, the two focal provinces. FFPOs were asked to submit a concept note and the shortlisted applicants, after a proposal writing training course, were then invited to write a full proposal. Read more on the training organised to strenghten FFPOs' capacities in formulating their proposals and apply in the call for proposals. [more]
The Gambia - Signature of 9 Small Grants with producer organizations 14 July 2015 Thanks to to AgriCord support, through the Farmers Fighting Poverty Programme, nine Letter of Agreements were signed as Small Grants for a total amount around 70,000SU$ between the FFF and the following forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) in the Gambia: Rural Development Organization, All Gambia Forestry Platform, Aquaculture farmers Association, Tumana Association for Development, Bureng Adult Literacy Class, Brufut Allatentou Association, Women Against Draught and Hunger in the Sahel (REFESA) Association, Rural Poultry Farmers Association Central River Region – South, Japanteh Society. Designed to strengthen the FFPOs these small grants will lead to improved incomes, food security and production capacities by helping family farmers overcome constraints of low productivity. In addition the grants will enhance the capacity of the community groups in advocacy and investment by providing training on leadership and business development, and forestry and farm management planning. [more]
7 July 2015 On Tuesday, 7 July was organised by IIED a "critical theme" seminar that looked at the benefits and challenges of locally controlled enterprises for forest peoples. The seminar was led by Joji Carino, the director of the Forest People's Programme (FPP) . Duncan Macqueen, IIED's forests team , gave a presentation on "business models that can successfully serve local control, highlighting examples from IIED's role in the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) ". The presentation can be downloaded here: . [more]
Second regional Asian Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) training - Vietnam - 22-26 June 22 June 2015 Today started the second regional Asian Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) training in Hanoi, Vietnam, 22-26 June.19 participants from Vietnam, Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia are renewing and sharing their experiences of implementing MA&D activities since the first regional training in January 2015. Over the last months participants have been carrying out trainings of local trainers, facilitators and farmers as part of their national working plans, with the aim to help farmers assess their situation and select the most promising products for enterprise development. For the second training course, participants are bringing back key data from their previous activities to cover the next phases in the MA&D approach, which is focused on developing enterprise development plans and understanding the process of facilitating the startup of new enterprises. As part of this training, participants will do a field visit to small businesses in the Hanoi area, to learn the use of enterprise development plans.The training is a joint undertaking between the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) and the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) to develop business capacities among forest-dependent small holders and communities and start up sustainable enterprises, reliant on natural resources. The MA&D model is used by FFF to help smallholder forest and farm producers strenghten their capacities, improve incomes from accessing markets for their products and reckognising the benefits of getting organized in groups. MA&D uses an holistic approach to enterprise development, taking into consideration five areas of; natural resource managment; financial; social; technical; and institutional sustainability [more]
Improved and sustainable livelihoods through forestry on family farms 12 June 2015 Nairobi, Kenya – Over 100 participants from 12 African countries converged in Nairobi for the first African Farm/Family Forestry Producer Organizations Conference (9-11 June 2015). Themed ‘Forestry for improved livelihoods’, the conference aims to catalyze solutions to challenges that family farm forest owners face, such as lack of secure tenure of land, fair market access, access to financial services, good quality extension, capacity building support services, effective local and national producer groups, and many more. In her opening remarks, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Professor Judi Wakhungu noted that African governments need to change their approach from business as usual to ‘business unusual’. “We must move quickly to acknowledge locally controlled forestry and support the development of farm forestry, with particular emphasis on empowering Farm Forest Producer Organizations’, she noted. [more]
African Farm/Family Forestry Producer Organizations Conference - 9-11 June 2015 9 June 2015 The African Farm/Family Forestry Producer Organizations Conference: Forestry for improved livelihoods starts today. It is organized by The International Family Forest Alliance (IFFA), in collaboration with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the Forest Action Network (FAN), the Forest and Farm Facility and FAO, in Nairobi, Kenya, from 9 to 11 June, 2015. The Conference provides a unique opportunity to Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) to share experience and exchange views on the difficulties they face and the solutions they find in their respective countries. This important event counts over 120 participants from at least 15 African countries, a significant number of them from producer organizations. The Opening ceremony was done by the Minister for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, the FAO Represnetative, the Director of the Kenya Forest Service, thePresident of IFFA, and a representative from the African Union Commission. Round table discussions allowed active participation on tenure, access to markets and services, organizational strengthening. A field trip in Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyandarua counties is organised to illustrate challenges but also opportunities faced by locally controlled forestry stakeholders. This Conference is part of a growing movement, supported by the FFF, initiated by the Forest and Farm producer organizations of the entire world towards the upcoming World Forestry Congress. As a major outcome of the Conference, participants will develop a common message on the needs and claims of African farm and family producers that they would want to convey to the World Forestry Congress in September 2015 in Durban, South Africa, and its pre-congress organized to raise the profile and the voices of forest and farm producer organizations. [more]
Four small grants signed today in Nepal 18 May 2015 Four small grants were signed today in Nepal with the following partners: the National Farmer Group Federation (NFGF), the Green Governance, the Dalit Alliance for Natural Resources (DANAR), and the Center for Policy Analysis and Development (CPAD). The main purpose of these grants is to enhance business knowledge and skills among producer groups for their livelihood improvement. Trainings in production and marketing of enterprises will be conducted after an evaluation of the needs of the communities. Exchange visits will also be organized, linkages with the other organizations to promote their business will be established, and market price information will be shared among producers. Women’s groups are particularly targeted in two of the small grants. Furthermore, the grants aim at strengthening the interaction between farmers and service delivery institutions such as government and private sector, including financial institutions. [more]
A tribute to forest and farm producer organisations during the High-Level Segment of UNFF 11 13 May 2015 A beautiful side event, organised by Sweden and China, took place on Wednesday 13th of May at UN HQ where a well published event filled conference Room B, with the presence and speeches by vice Minister from China and Sweden. The event was a tribute to producer organisations and their instrumental role to achieve SFM, a driver for more trees to grow and for a vibrant rural life. Chinese huge efforts in its Forest Land Tenure Reform, the Swedish Family Forestry long experience and the collaboration between State Forestry Administration, China, and the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners on the matter was exposed. Besides vice Ministers, Jiang Chungian, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Sven-Erik Hammar President of the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners and Lennart Ackzell representing IFFA International Family Forest Alliance talked on the issue. The well attended event was moderated by Markku Ahu Member of the Steering Committee of the Forest& Farm Facility (FFF). Land tenure reforms or forest producer organisations can not alone release the full potential of involvement and engagement of rural families in care for forests. But together, and in addition of a supportive State and forest extension service that sees the win-win situation and the right to harvest and market the farm forest products, the vicious circle of forest degradation can be successfully replaced by a positive circle of more forest cover, more use of forest renewable and climate friendly products and better local and national economy. [more]
Market analysis and development training for African FFF countries 11 May 2015 A total of 24 participants coming from Liberia, Gambia, Kenya are attending a MA&D training in Zambia. The purpose of the training is to prepare the participants to implement the MA&D approach (phase 1-2) in their home countries, as part of FFF activities. The program features group work, presentations and facilitation exercises, to familiarize participants to field-oriented implementation for targeted entrepreneurs and communities. The training is running six whole days beginning Sunday, 10 May through to half day of Saturday, 16 May. [more]
Zambia - Engaging with small scale famers and forestry enterprises 7 May 2015 The last week of April was a productive one for the FFF Zambia country team as the FFF country facilitator, FFF Coach and IIED’s Monitoring and Learning expert, together with the implementing partners from the Zambia National Farmers Union and Forestry Department carried out a scoping mission to the selected FFF implementation working areas Mwinilunga and Choma districts. The aim was to identify specific sites for FFF activities and to engage with potential cooperating partners to ensure FFF is effectively building on synergies and collaborate with other initiatives. The week offered useful insights to the country programme. In Mwinilunga district we visited a group of beekeepers together producing forest honey from 1000 beehives using traditional beehives. We identified a small scale forestry enterprise who, despite challenges, had managed to acquire a harvesting license. It is the only one of its kind in the district. In Choma district we were exposed to the ideal forest and farm landscape system where farmers were combining vegetable gardening and crops with orchards, woodlots for timber, and natural forests for NTFPs such as honey and mushrooms. All this on relatively small parcels of land, but with a clear understanding of the link between and the benefits of integrating forest and farm production activities. The FFF aims to work with these small scale farmers to support them in scaling up their efforts in integrating forest and farm production, a move that is increasingly supported by key national policy documents. The draft REDD+ Strategy promotes farm forestry as a means to reduce deforestation and for increasing commercial rights of forest and farm producers. Zambia is going through a wider legal reform agenda that is echoing greater support for the bridging of the forest, farm, and energy sectors. The start of the FFF programme in 2015 is therefore both timely and is likely to bring important insights to the implementation of these new policies. [more]
Fourteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: 1 May 2015 Eloy Frank Gómez, Deputy Minister of Nicaragua, during an FAO side event of the fourteenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held in UN Headquarters, New York, highlighted the value of the work of FFF partners in Nicaragua: “La principal estrategia del Facility en Nicaragua, es ayudar a revitalizar el tejido del conocimiento, de manera que entre los mayores, portadores de sabiduría, y la juventud se tiendan hilos comunicantes. Educadores e investigadores indígenas mayangna dedicaron mucho tiempo a buscar en las comunidades el conocimiento y sus portadores, para que sistematizado se convirtiera en material didáctico, que en forma de cuadernos estará en todas los centros educativos del pueblo mayangna, donde los docentes lo utilizarán como guía generadora de nuevos procesos de creación cognitiva. Se desarrollaron diagnósticos organizacionales participativos como base de procesos más amplios de elaboración comunitaria de los Planes de Vida, con centralidad en el cuido de la Madre Tierra y el fortalecimiento de las formas de vida y las economías indígenas.” [more]
2 April 2015 Today the FFF signed two Letters of Agreement to strengthen forest and farm producers for business and livelihoods, and policy engagement. The output of the agreement with the Farmers Union Network of Liberia (FUN) include: i) An Inventory of different available forest products (timber and non-timber) in 3 pilot counties, ii) A Training for Forest and Farm Enterprise Development, iii) Some Exchange visits for increased networking between Liberian forest and farm producers and other FFF partners. The agreement with the National Association of Charcoal Union of Liberia (NACUL) aims at strengthening NACUL Capacity and Mobilization of Charcoal Producers in Grand Cape Mount County. With this support producer organizations should engage effectively in policy dialogue and should be better organized and thereby have the capacity to invest in sustainable forest and farm management and integrate into the market. [more]
Vietnam - Beyond grouping: toward sustainable forest and farmer enterprises 17 March 2015 By 2013, as part of a long-term national program to "socialize" forest management, 3.4 million hectares of forest had been allocated to more than 1.4 million smallholders. However, nearly 50% of these households have no more than 1 hectare of forest, which limits their ability to achieve economies of scale in, and increase income from timber production. Organizing smallholders into forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) and promoting cooperatives is therefore considered a precondition to increasing the productivity of the forestry sector and reducing poverty. Read the full story here: [more]
13 March 2015 From FAO in Kenya Communications: An Inception Workshop, was organised within an emerging partnership between FAO and the NGO We Effect (former Swedish Cooperative Centre) to Strengthen Governance and Gender Equity in Producer Organizations in Kenya. During day 1 of the event, which was opened by the Deputy Commissioner of Cooperatives, gaps and needs among POs were presented and discussed as well as the current basket of tools and capacity building materials available. The event will be followed by an internal drafting event among FAO and We Effect teams to develop a joint program document. The inception phase is supported by FAO CoOpequity programme and the FFF. [more]
FFF holds Donor Support Group and Steering Committee Meetings 20 February 2015 The Forest and Farm Facility hosted its Donor Support Group and annual Steering Committee meetings from February 18-20th at the FAO Hq in Rome. The meetings were an opportunity for the FFF team to share the work accomplished in 2014 in the 10 partner countries and discuss work plans for 2015. The FFF Steering Committee consists of 10 individuals affiliated with Indigenous peoples, community forestry groups, family forests, civil society, private sector, research, government and international development. It is even balanced by gender with three members who are Indigenous Peoples leaders. The SC encouraged the FFF team to continue to deepen the work of supporting producer organizations for livelihoods and policy advocacy, and facilitating multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder platforms in each country. The urged the team to continue to work on strategic communications, effectively sharing the message and experience of the FFF’s work but also building the capacity of partners to use communications themselves. The SC heard a special presentation from the Mesoamerican Alliance for People and Forests on the advocacy work leading to the World Forestry Congress and the UNFCCC in Paris. The Donor support group met the day before and the core donors stayed on for the Steering Committee Meeting. There was active participation from Sweden, Finland, Germany, the US and AgriCord. Several other donors joined as observers. [more]
19 February 2015 During the Forest and Farm Facility Steering Committee meeting, the advocacy work promoted by Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB) was qualified as novel, strategic and long-range in international negotiation spaces for a Climate Agenda. AMPB representative Levi Sucre explained that this qualification is a joint effort of indigenous and community-based organisations from Indonesia, Mesoamerica and Congo and Amazonia basins in the construction of a concrete agenda on Territorial Rights issues. [more]
3 February 2015 The National Farmers’ Platform, in collaboration with FAO and the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), recently trained more than 20 women farmers on the processing forest products into food items they could preserve and sell at the market. The training activity was held to strengthen the women farmer leaders on food processing, so they too could train members of other farmer groups. The president of the National Farmers’ Platform, Alhaji Basse Mboge, speaking at the opening ceremony, said the training activity was being rolled out to give women farmers appropriate skills in how to manage forest products, and to preserve and process them into food items that are good, attractive and saleable in the market. "We also realize that we can make good use of the forest produce and products by training women farmers on how to process honey, baobab, the local dettah, and others into food items,’’ he said. [more]
Inception meeting for regional and global grants 29 January 2015 This week, family farmers, community foresters, and Indigenous Peoples from Asia, Central America and Europe will meet to kick start the process of exploring synergies between their interests on forest and farm policy. The goal is to help link the many national and various international networks that represent forest and farm producers and forest rights holders to share knowledge and experience and develop a shared agenda. By working together toward a common set of goals, the groups can better bring local success stories to the notice of global decision-makers, facilitate successful local-level investments, and help shape international and national policies and actions in the interest of local forest and farm producers. “Whether a forest is family or privately owned or has been part of the community or culture for generations, the people who depend on its health have a common bond,” said Jeffery Campbell, manager of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). “We hope to identify their common interests and build a strong, unified voice that can have an impact on forest policy for years to come.” The meeting brings together winners from the FFF’s call for proposal for grants to strengthen the role and voice of Forest and Farm Producer organizations at the regional and global level which it launched in March 2014. The grants targeted international or regional smallholder, women, community and Indigenous Peoples networks, or alliances of forest forums, forest and farm producer organisations, associations or forest user groups. Out of the 79 applications, five organizations were selected to participate. Regional grantees were the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), a regional alliance of 17 national federations and organizations of small scale women and men farmers and producers from 13 countries in Asia, and the Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forest (AMPB), an alliance between different territorial authorities resp... [more]
23 January 2015 Foroyaa Newspaper. This article of the Farmer's eye section describes how in the Gambia the activities supported by the FFF to strenghten the capacities of the forest and farm producer organisations improve the food security in the country. [more]
Enhanced entrepreneurial capacities of local communities in Asia 19 January 2015 Access to market and cash income remain some challenges for local communities. Today in Hanoi, Vietnam started the regional Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) training of trainers organized by the Forest and Farm Facility in collaboration with RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, from 19 to 26th of January 2015. This regional workshop will be provided to 28 selected trainers of 5 Asian countries, of which the 3 FFF countries in the region (Vietnam, Nepal and Myanmar) and two additional countries Indonesia and Lao PDR. The aim of this regional MA&D training is to enhance the entrepreneurial capacities of local communities, while also gaining greater incentives to protect and sustainably manage their natural resource base. MA&D provides important planning and decision making tools that enable those with a direct stake in forest resources to become part of sustainable forest utilization, management and decision-making. MA&D also encourages the development of business strategies that contribute to community investment preparedness, making it easier for communities to access external capital and donor investment. This training will take place in two training sessions, of which the first session is now ongoing and the second one will take place later in 2015. Purpose of the course is to have competent MA&D trainers in all the participating countries, who will implement the MA&D trainings with potential entrepreneurs in their own context. FFF and RECOFTC are both committed to coach the trainees during this training period as to have concrete results with entrepreneurial forest and farm producer- and Community Forestry groups. [more]
4th International Forest Connect Workshop, Hanoi, Vietnam 15 January 2015 Since its inception, members of the Forest Connect alliance have worked to support specific locally controlled forest businesses. Yet at the global level there have been few attempts to gather together case studies, document their ownership, business and development realities, and learn from their successful attempts. The three co-management partners of the Forest Connect alliance therefore made an undertaking to improve knowledge about these successful cases, by compiling a compendium that could be used as a learning resource for practitioners world-wide. This fourth international Forest Connect workshop will present preliminary findings from these successful locally controlled forest business models, discuss shared enablers for success and discuss how such lessons might best be mainstreamed within ongoing efforts to support forest and farm producer organisations (for example, within FFF, RECOFTC and IIED programmes). It involves participants from 17-20 countries over a four day period. [more]
Assessment on the impact of the Ebola Virus on farmers and forest users livelihood in Liberia 6 January 2015 In an effort to adequately respond to the prevailing Ebola situation in forest related communities in the FFF pilot Counties ( Lofa, Nimba and Grand Cape Mount Counties), an assessment was conducted in Liberia to create an enabling environment from the perspective of Agriculture and Food Security and at the same time plan future interventions. The task was carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Association of Charcoal Union of Liberia (NACUL) and the Farmers Union Network of Liberia (FUN). The Major focus during this period was placed on gathering Agricultural and Food Security information relevant for policy making and other interventions in the magnitude, prevention and containment of Ebola Virus Disease. The FAO has already reported that there will be devastating impacts of the outbreak on farming and forest communities, especially on small scale farmers and forest users. This intervention targeted long term development projects in the forest sector, especially in the areas of Capacity building, income generation and information dissemination to ensure that the attainment of food security is based on domestic production. Here are some success stories of Farmers and forest users: [more]
12 December 2014 The FFF retreat was held in Rome, Casa San Bernardo from 10 to 12 December 2014. For the first time almost all the country facilitators of the FFF partner countries were meeting together. The retreat helped us to forge a team identity, share our joint commitment, celebrate our achievements and appreciate the wonderful and committed colleagues we have. A detailed workplan for 2015 was developed. As a great achievement of this retreat, clear responsabilities and way forward was agreed for the implementation of the monitoring and learning system in the countries. To download the presentations click [more]
The Gambia - National Workshop on Community Forestry and Food Security and Nutrition 4 December 2014 From 2 till 4 December 2014, more than 60 representatives of government, farmer and forest organizations, NGO’s and press gathered to discuss the important role of Community Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition in the Gambia.This workshop came in a timely manner as the recognition of forests’ role in Food Security and Nutrition is increasing. The Gambia’s Community Forestry Policy, which was put in place with support of FAO and the National Forest Programme Facility (NFPF) and other development partners, has been well-recognised through the 2011 Future Policy Awards as one of the world’s most inspiring and innovative forest policies.The Gambia has developed and pioneered the first forest policy (1995) and legislation (1998) in Africa to provide local populations with secure forest tenure rights. The empowerment of the local communities contributed to the conservation and sustainable development of forests as well as to the establishment of producer groups, generating income from forest management. Indeed, owing to the successful implementation of the Community Forestry Policy, The Gambia has managed to reduce a severe deforestation trend in the country, with over 350 villages managing 12 percent of the country's forests and a net increase in forest cover of 8.5 percent over the last two decade. However, there is still a long way to go to reach the goal of 200,000 ha Community Forestry by 2019. Since the 1995 policy only 15.8 % of this target has been achieved. It is also important to note that The Gambia has met the Millennium Development Goal 1 of halving the proportion of hungry people since 1990-92 in the past two decades. Currently, the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) country programme is supporting the national ANR Policy through the multisectoral multistakeholder ANR (Agriculture and Natural Resources) Platform in which there is given specific attention to highlight the importance of and build synergies with the Community Forests and the agricultural s... [more]
Bolivia - Market Analysis and Development Training 24 November 2014 From 17 to 22 November 2014, participants from 17 producer groups across Bolivia participated in a Market Analysis and Training (MA&D) support by the Forest Farm Facility (FFF). Participants visited in Pando a new association of Brazil nut collectors and a struggling rubber tappers association to learn what had undermined both successes and failures at collective business. An agreement was signed between FAO and the University of Pando to take on responsibility for future trainings of this kind. Training in MA&D is just one part of a more ambitious programme of FFF support that falls under Bolivia’s 2012 Framework Law of Mother Earth and Holistic Development for Living Well. Through the Forest and Lands Audit and Social Control Authority (ABT), the Government of Evo Morales has in recent years inverted the situation of land and resource ownership in favour of Original Indigenous Native Peasant Territories (TIOC). Bolivia sees in local forest farm producer groups, with secure TIOC, a holistic solution to social development and forest protection. Instead of a REDD+ programme, Bolivia has set up the Plurinational Mother Earth Authority (APTM) which oversees three new climate change mechanisms including a joint mitigation and adaptation mechanism (MCMA). The FFF will support producer representation in national and regional platforms of the MCMA - to work out the practicalities of how local forest farm business models might be supported both to adapt to and mitigate climate change. In order to strengthen this representation, FFF firstly will support a national producer federation CIOCEC (Coordination and Integration of Producer Organisations) to broaden and accelerate legal registration at community-level. Secondly, FFF will fund national / regional associations (such as MINGA) to help forest farm producer organisations develop and implement sustainable business plans that will inform their representation in the MCMA. [more]
FFF meeting with Prince Laurent of Belgium, FAO Special Ambassador for Forests and the Environment 11 November 2014 Today the FFF was invited to give an overview of its experiences in the countries to His Royal Highness Prince Laurent of Belgium. The presentation highlighted that forests, trees and family farms together form productive agro-ecological systems. A few examples of success stories were presented: the Women’s producers in Mesoamerica evolving from isolation to strong organizations, the forest farmers of the Vietnam National Farmers Union strengthened the increased voice of Producer Organizations in Gambia’s new policies. This is the illustration that organizing into producer organizations adds value to livelihoods and enhances policy engagement. [more]
Kenya - Joint Launching Workshop: FFF partnership and German initiative to support private forestry development 6 November 2014 Kenya was officially selected in April 2014 as a partner Country of the FFF. In addition, Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has been holding discussions with the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) through GFA Consulting Group to develop a proposal for supporting the emerging farm forestry small holder producer associations in Kenya (FF-SPAK). As to remove overlaps in implementing the two initiatives which are quite complementary, the FFF and the BMEL initiative to support private forestry development in Kenya were launched jointly today in Nairobi. The scoping study report was presented to the stakeholders from national and county governments, and from forest and farm producer organizations. A framework for creating synergies between the two inititives was discussed and agreed upon. [more]
Zambia - FFF Partnership launched 31 October 2014 Zambia was selected recently for a partnership with FFF, based on a concept note prepared by the Zambian Farmers Union in April 2014. Today at the launching workshop held in Lusaka, representatives of the national and provincial government, representatives of forest and farm producer organizations, service providers supporting forest and farm producer organizations and international partners, discussed activities and solutions over the greatest potential for strengthening forest and farm producer groups in the country. [more]
Forests and Family Farming for Food Security and Nutrition (Committee on Food Security Side event) 16 October 2014 The role of forests and trees in family farming and food security is crucial through the direct provision of nutritious food and by maintaining sustainable agricultural systems, thus ensuring local livelihoods. During this side event (co-organised by FAO, FFF, the Indigenous Partnership for Agro-biodiversity and Food Sovereignty and the Asian Farmers Associations for Sustainable Rural Development) panelists from farmers association and rural community background will demonstrate the interconnection of forests and farms at the landscape level. [more]
Community leader, Mr Gongora, elected President of the National Alliance of Community Forest Organizations of Guatemala 13 October 2014 Mr. Luis Gongora, community leader from Peten (ACOFOP) has been elected President of the National Alliance of Community Forest Organizations of Guatemala (ANOFC). [more]
Small grants in the Gambia – Call for proposals launched 9 October 2014 Partnership with Agricord has helped launching FFF small grants in countries. Small grants are designed to provide direct support to strengthen smallholder, women, community and Indigenous Peoples’ producer organisations for business/livelihoods and policy engagement. In particular, the objective is that local communities and producers are organized and thereby have the capacity to invest in sustainable forest and farm management and integrate into the market.In the Gambia a call for proposals for FFF small grants has been advertised in four local newspapers and the national radio in local language. A Small Grants submission box (see photo) is available at FAO Reception in Banjul! [more]
 First International Congress of Forest Producer Organizations of the Americas 19 September 2014 In Monterrey, Nuevo León, México is held the first International Congress of Forest Producer Organizations of the Americas from 17 to 20 September, 2014 with the objective to share knowledge and vision between forest producer organizations from different countries of America. The event is organized by the National Confederation of Forest Producers of Mexico (CONOSIL) and there are more than 150 participants from México, Panamá, Estados Unidos, Bolivia, Cuba, Nepal, Perú, Honduras, Paraguay, Brasil, Finlandia, Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala and Chile. In the opening ceremony participated Manuel Garcia, President of CONOSIL, national and local authorities, Peter de Marsh, president of IFFA and Forest and Farm Facility. During the first day experiences fo the followings countries were presented Guatemala, Honduras, Perú, Panamá, Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay and Ecuador. [more]
Ebola awareness campaign in Liberia 18 September 2014 A training of trainers involving 160 farmers and forest users, the Ministry of Agriculture field agents, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA forest rangers), the Supervisors of the Environmental protection Agency, communities’ County Leadership, Women groups, youths and Faith based organization took place in Liberia to prevent the spreading of the Ebola virus and creating awareness on how Ebola can be transmitted from human to human. Special emphasis has been given to reach the farmers and forest users using their own native language, culture understanding and focusing on the theoretical and practical demonstration about the sanitation and hygienic health care. Knowing that human beings can only catch viruses from bats and other wildlife that are affected with the virus, farmers and forest users were trained on safe methods to interact with wildlife from a public health point of view. [more]
Señor y Compañero Marcedonio Cortave 17 September 2014 Marcedonio Cortave , a Mesoamerican Leader of forest producer organizations, has received the award of “Doctor Honoris Causa” form the San Carlos University of Guatemala, on Friday 17 October in Guatemala City. As the leader of ACOFOP, the Alianza de Comunidades Forestales de Guatemala and Board Member of the Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques, Mr. Cortave is a highly valued partner of the FFF [more]
Listening and trust – the basis for working with forest and farm producers 15 September 2014 An interview of Jeff Cambell, Manager of the Forest and Farm Facility, written by Herman Savenije , Nick Pasiecznik , in Farming Matters Magazine, available on AgriCultures Network's website: "Working together is a motivating and powerful approach to getting things done" says Jeff, Campbell. “This holds true for my own approach to life; for the work of the millions of forest and farm families stitching together complex livelihoods and ecosystems at a landscape level. Local indigenous peoples, smallholders, female farmers and forest dependent peoples have the knowledge and history, the culture and the potential to maintain and revitalise vibrant rural landscapes – we must trust and support them." [more]
Bolivia: partnership with FFF launched! 10 September 2014 The multi-stakeholder launching workshop took place in La Paz to introduce the Forest and Farm Facility and its programme, to share government and stakeholders perspectives on the context in Bolivia and their priorities and to initiate a process of developing a three year framework and ultimately a first year work plan for partnerships with forest and farm producer organizations and government agencies. [more]
Vietnam: new FFF partner country launched 25 August 2014 The launching workshop took place on 22 August in Hanoi to present the FFF process, and to select the priorities for FFF support in Vietnam. Civil society and government exchanged views on local needs and priorities and set up a framework for the 3 years partnership. [more]
13 August 2014 Josephine Francis, land owner in Liberia and Pressident of the Farmer Union Network of Liberia highlights the importance of making agriculture sustainable for young people to go back to rural area. "Every Liberian has to be involved in growing food to fight malnutrition" she says. Householders should also grow more trees, supported by a strong regulation and a forest reform needed in the country. [more]
11 August 2014 Until July 2014, when the new Constitution for a new apex body for cashew farmers was developed, ratified and adopted by the cashew farmers at a congress in Jenoi, LRR, there were two main cashew associations namely the Federation of Gambian Cashew Farmers Associations (FGCFA) and the National Cashew Farmers Association (NCFA). Both associations claimed to be the national apex body for the cashew farmers leading to a division within farmers in the cashew sub-sector. An assessment of the two associations was accomplished and their amalgamation into one single national apex body for cashew farmers achieved successfully. [more]
8 August 2014 This article is written by Fabra-Crespo, M., (University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences) and Rojas-Briales, E. (ADG of the Forestry Department, FAO). The paper analyses through two surveys conducted in 2006 and 2012, the differences between national communication strategies of private forest's owners in Europe. This research paper gives detailed data on the design, process and implementation of the strategies to lobby and to influence decision-makers. The private forest represents 60% of the European forest and is organised in forest owners' associations which will benefit from the lessons learnt exposed in this article to raise the profile of forestry in the public perception. [more]
5 August 2014 The first meeting of the newly established Community Forestry National Working Group (CFNWG) was held in Nay Pyi Taw. This working group was formed after RECOFTC organized a series of roundtable meetings on community forestry and the first meeting recommended the creation of a working group led by the Forest Department and facilitated by RECOFTC. Members of the working group are representatives of line departments from the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the Ministry of Fisheries, Livestock, and Rural Development, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Attorneys’ General Office. Civil society organizations are also members, including the Myanmar Timber Merchant Association, ECCDI, EcoDev, FREDA, the Food Security Working Group, the environmental network MERN and Metta Development Foundation. At the first meeting, group officers were selected. The group’s Chairman will be the Director of the Natural Forest and Plantation Division of the Forest Department, who is also the head of the new Community Forestry Unit in Forest Department. A representative from ECCDI was selected to serve as Vice-Chairman and a representative from the Planning and Statistics Division of the Forest Department to serve as Secretary. Mr Aung Thant Zin, representing MERN was selected as Treasurer of the Group. After filling these positions, participants discussed the proposed national target of 20,000 acres of community forests established within the Permanent Forest Estate in the next year. The treasurer introduced the potential for FFF to support the CFNWG in the future. The working group will meet again during the first week of September 2014. [more]
Victoria! 9 July 2014 The Forest and Farm Facility is deeply saddened by the loss of Victoria, an incredible strong and vibrant leader, a woman who inspired us with a vision of productive local forest based enterprises and capable communities. Victoria will stay in everybody’s heart and spirit for her dedication to people and forests. [more]
30 June 2014 FAO Press Release on the new FFF publications: "Coming together in forest and farm producer organizations can help overcome their isolation as well as other very real constraints such as a lack of secure forest tenure and financial and business development instruments", said FAO Forestry Officer Jeffrey Campbell. "They must compete with large-scale businesses that often receive preferential treatment, access to markets, financing and resources". "Governments need to provide legal status and services for organizations of small-scale forest and farm producers which will serve their interests and help reduce rural poverty", he added. "The support for forest and farm producers, encapsulated within the Forest and Farm Facility, is critical. It is critical to unleash the potential of locally controlled forestry - reducing poverty and protecting forests - together", said Duncan Macqueen, Principal Researcher of IIED."As a group, smallholders and community and Indigenous Peoples forest producers play a major role in global trade, and yet are often overlooked when we talk about the role of the private sector in forest landscape management and restoration." says Chris Buss, Deputy Director of IUCN's Forest and Climate Change Programme. "It is crucial therefore to ensure forest producer organizations are strengthened and empowered if we are to scale up efforts in order to achieve goals such as Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020, which will in turn contribute to delivery on international climate, biodiversity and development targets." [more]
“Family forestry is family farming”, FFF/IFFA Special event during COFO 26 June 2014 The event which was hosted by the Forest and Farm Facility and the International Family Forestry Alliance , was held to recognize the vital role of family, community, and indigenous people forests and farms in the celebration of the International year of Family Farming. Participants heard from diverse voices, including leaders from: a village-level organization in Myanmar; a federation in Nepal representing more than 11 million people; the National Farmers’ Platform of the Gambia, representing more than 200 000 farmers; a women’s producer group in Guatemala; the Farmers Union Network in Liberia, representing more than 35 000 forest farmers; and a national forest producer organization in Mexico, representing 670 000 producers. Government officials and forest farmer representatives, from countries as diverse as Guatemala, Kenya, Myanmar and Sweden, gave joint presentations on the many win–win outcomes that can be achieved when governments and smallholder forest producer groups work cooperatively towards common goals and build relationships based on mutual respect. [more]
Putting people at the center of forest policies 23 June 2014 Read the FAO Press Release for the COFO Opening and launching of the State of the World's Forests (SOFO). The Press Release highlights the 4 years partnership agreement signature between Agricord and the FAO to support the FFF. [more]
AgriCord signed a partnership agreement with FAO to support the FFF 23 June 2014 FAO signed today a four year Agreement with AgriCord for collaboration with the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). FAO and AgriCord have closely collaborated since 2012 on various activities related to strengthening of producer organizations and smallholder farmers. AgriCord, a global network consisting of ten agri-agencies and three associated members ( ) , is making available Euro 1 Million to the FFF, to provide support to forest and farm producer organizations in developing countries. This contribution is part of AgriCord's Farmer’s Fighting Poverty Programme and contributes directly to FAO’s Strategic Objective SO3 on reducing rural poverty. [more]
16 June 2014 On June 9-16, two IUCN staff and 24 Myanmar colleagues visited Nepal to see firsthand the state of community-based forest product enterprises and what it takes to build them. The Myanmar team included Forest Department officials, community representatives, and NGO staff. The trip, which was organized by IUCN and ANSAB, the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources, was sponsored by the FAO-led Forest & Farm Facility and Pyoe Pin, a DfID/Sida-funded civil society support program in Myanmar. Read the full story on Nepal's page: [more]
16 June 2014 Regional and international Forest and Farm Producer organizations have been selected to receive FFF grants through a call for proposals to link local voices and global decisions. The International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal peoples of the Tropical Forest (IAITPTF) and the Global Alliance of Community Forestry (GACF) will receive a planning grant to prepare strategies for effective engagement at the regional and global level. Three partnership grants were awarded to: the Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques (AMPB), the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development(AFA) and the International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA). These grants will enable organizations to improve institutional capacity, increase membership base, strengthen regional and global engagement including policy advocacy and provide a platform through which knowledge and information can be shared both upwards and downwards for their respective constituencies in ways that contribute towards the overall objectives of the FFF. [more]
9 June 2014 Bolivia, Kenya, Vietnam, and Zambia have been selected by an experts panel as the next four partner countries for the Forest and Farm Facility [more]
5 June 2014 Honduran women producers went to Nicaragua for ten days to organize a capacity-building workshop to improve the quality of the tuno products manufactured by Mayangna women. The aim of the exchange was to introduce new designs and techniques to enhance the appearance of the products, which can provide mayangna women with new market opportunities. In total 20 mayangna women representing five organizations participated in the event. [more]
30 May 2014 El taller tuvo lugar del 26 al 30 de mayo y contó con la participación de delegados de Bolivia, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, México, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Trinidad y Tobago, Brasil y Guatemala. Esta capacitación fue impartida de manera colaborativa entre FAO, el Instituto Nacional de Bosques, INAB, la Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques; y la Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de Estándares de Manejo Forestal (CONESFORGUA). La misma estuvo dirigida a profesionales que brindan asistencia técnica en desarrollo microempresarial y de mercados a organizaciones de productores, servicios forestales y sector privado vinculado a la gestión de los bosques y las fincas para insertarse en los mercados de bienes y servicios de tierras y bosques. Entre las temáticas cubiertas se abordó el manejo de cinco áreas de desarrollo empresarial: a) mercado/economía, incluyendo aspectos financieros; b) recursos naturales/ambientales; c) social/cultural; d) institucional/legal; e) tecnología, investigación y desarrollo de productos [more]
21 May 2014 IIED Press Release for a new report of the IIED and the FFF. The report draws on research in Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Tanzania and Vietnam. It identifies four main ways new support could transform locally-controlled forestry businesses: • Helping such businesses secure land and resource tenure• Making it easier for these businesses to form effective organisations so they can achieve economies of scale and the power of collective bargaining• Investing in programmes that strengthen business know-how • Revitalising technical extension services so they can play a valuable role in forest-farm mosaics that deliver local and global public goods. [more]
19 May 2014 The FFF is participating in the workshop Small-Scale and Community Forest Producers: The Challenges and Opportunities of Legality Verification, organised by the Chatham House in cooperation with the Rights and Resources Initiative. [more]
8 May 2014 An article written by Edward Z. Suloe, FFF Facilitator in Liberia in the FAO Representation in Liberia Newsletter, No. 9, April 2014. Visit the Liberia webpage to downlaod the Newsletter: [more]
29 April 2014 The exchange of experiences and lessons among women producer groups from Guatemala - Honduras - Nicaragua , was organised in the town of Siuna , North Atlantic Autonomous Region , RAAN , from 11 to 13 March 2014. [more]
Nepal - Signature of three Letters of agreement 18 April 2014 The FAO Representative of Nepal, Mr. Somsak Pipoppinyo signed three LoAs between the Forest and Farm Facility and i) the Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN), ii) the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI), and iii) the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Nepal Country Office to improve policy advocacy and business development capacity of forest and farm producers in Nepal in parallel to the promotion of cross sectoral platform to improve integration of forest and farm issues at Government level in Nepal. [more]
Gambia - National Workshop on Monitoring and Learning (M&L) System 10 April 2014 The purpose of this workshop was to engage a wide range of stakeholders on M&L mechanism for FFF. 40 Stakeholders from ANR Technical Departments, NGOs, NFPG, NACOFAG & other Producer Organizations attended the workshop. [more]
National Exchange between Myanmar Producer Organizations 4 April 2014 On April 1-3, around 40 participants representing forest user groups, NGOs, and Forest Department staff from Ayeyarwady Region and Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states came together to discuss their progress in strengthening forest farm producer groups for business development and policy engagement. Six of the groups in attendance have been supported by FFF since December 2013, each bringing representatives of the producer group, the local forest department, and the facilitating local NGOs. NGOs involved were Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI), Friends of Wildlife (FOW), Myanmar Ceramics Society (MCS), Myanmar’s Heart Development Organization (MHDO), Social Vision Services (SVS), and Swanyee Development Foundation (SDF). The exchange workshop provided a rich opportunity for mutual learning through sharing experience and a field visit to Ya Gyi and Ale Chaung community forest user groups (FUGs). These community groups had already established watershed protection forests and are now being supported by FFF, with facilitation from ECCDI, in establishing a township level association in April 2014 and assessing options for managing their forest for business. Report can be found on the Myanamar page: [more]
Getting resources to those who matter - IIED Blog 27 March 2014 Improving the participation of rural people has been in vogue for years, often with limited success. Here's one scheme that lives up to the hype by involving forest and farm producers on their own terms. Written by Duncan Macqueen , Forests , Natural resource management , IIED. [more]
24 March 2014 Read the latest IIED Briefing: Multi-stakeholder governance strengthens sustainable livelihoods in Bosawás, Nicaragua: The Forest and Farm Facility: building strength in numbers: [more]
20 March 2014 Daily Observer Press Release: The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), in collaboration with the Department of Forestry Monday began a four-day training on entrepreneurial skills for Community Forest, representatives of Producer Organisations and Forest Field Staff in Janjangbureh, CRR, funded by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). [more]
Exchange of experience between women producer groups from Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua 13 March 2014 The exchange of experiences and lessons among women producer groups from Guatemala - Honduras - Nicaragua , was organised in the town of Siuna , North Atlantic Autonomous Region , RAAN , from 11 to 13 March 2014. This event was organised to help strengthening the organization , the knowledge, and synergies between women producers from their experiences and lessons learned. The event was hosted by Mayangna Nation Siuna Municipal Governments , the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA ) through the Technical Secretariat BOSAWAS ( SETAB ) and supported by the FFF . The Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests ( AMPB ) co-organised the event. Representatives from four organizations in Guatemala participated: Acofop , Petén : Benedicta Dionicio Ramirez de Mendoza and Greece Magdalena Lopez Peralta ; FUNDALACHUA : Mac Sis Viviana Ruiz and Delfina Choc Oxom ; Tikonel , Chimaltenango : Angelica Maria and Maria Castro Lool Sutuj Margarita , y, Magic Hands , Zacapa : Teresa and Ana Barillas Victoria Ramos Betancourt Chilel . The event was organised around the following sessions : a) gender and general policy regarding production aspects, b) summary of experiences of the participating organizations, c) training: to develop a small business, service providers and market analysis and development c) participation in a regional fair that included product sales d) dating engagement (services), e) learning tour, and f) experiences of the culture of the native peoples. [more]
Indigenous Miskito groups (member of the Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques) featured in the New York Times 24 February 2014 By ELISABETH MALKIN.February 12, 2014. New York Times. "We have the rights, but we are incapable of exercising them because there is no law,” said Eliberto Barahona, the president of Brisas de Copén, one of several cooperatives working legally in the Sierra Río Tinto National Park. “There is no support, and we’re unprotected.” If the government cannot enforce its own contracts, Mr. Barahona added, “all the effort we have made for all this time is destroyed.” What is happening here in the remote northeast of Honduras shows how quickly the most successful conservation efforts can be reversed when state structures collapse. The rule of law has always been fragile in Honduras, but since a 2009 coup , it has disintegrated even faster under the pressure of corruption and drug trafficking. The communities conserving the forest, which is owned by the state, say they are losing their livelihood because of illegal loggers, cattle ranchers and land speculators. Giving communities title over the land they manage would be an essential first step against the invasions, he said. In September, the Honduran government granted land rights to almost 7 percent of its territory in the far eastern wilderness to indigenous Miskito groups living there. Indigenous Miskito groups are part of the Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques: [more]
17 February 2014 The fifth global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum takes place at the beginning of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF 2014). This is the time for nations and for policy makers to listen to the voices of small scale producers and rural communities. It is time to revisit the policy and institutional frameworks to ensure families can feed themselves, to ensure smallholder family farmers can manage their resources: land, water, seeds and animals in a changing climate, it is time to ensure they can invest in and develop their farms and cooperatives for a better future for all. [more]
Farmers Organizations to be a voice for the voiceless in Liberia - Josephine Francis interview 10 February 2014 Josephine George Francis is the President of Farmer Union Network of Liberia. In this interview during the International Conference on International Conference on Forest Producer Organizations, 25-28 November 2013, Guilin, China, she explains the importance to organize forests smallholders for business opportunities in order to reduce poverty. [more]
'Forests Forever' - Pre Congress on Protected Areas for Indigenous Peoples (Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forests) - 17-18 March 2014 - Costa Rica 5 February 2014 El “Pre congreso Mesoamericano de Áreas Protegidas por Pueblos Indígenas: Bosques para Siempre” , organizado por la Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques (AMPB) será parte de la IV edición del Congreso Mesoamericano de Áreas Protegidas , hecho confirmado tras una reunión que sostuvo la AMPB con la Comisión Científica del Congreso en las oficinas del Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC) en la Ciudad de San José Costa Rica y la aprobación por parte la coordinación general de este evento de impacto regional presidida por el Dr. Rafael Gutierrez, director ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC). La AMPB, representada en esta ocasión por su Comisión Ejecutiva, además de conocer de forma oficial los avances en la organización del IV Congreso Mesoamericano de Áreas Protegidas, presentó a la Comisión Científica los detalles de la realización del “Pre congreso de Áreas Protegidas: Bosques para Siempre”. El evento movilizará a autoridades territoriales, líderes locales y pueblos indígenas, que se encuentran ubicados en las principales zonas de bosques de la región y que en su mayoría traslapan con las declaradas áreas protegidas desde décadas pasadas, con la finalidad, según Leví Sucre, coordinador de la comisión ejecutiva de la AMPB de “evaluar, valorar y proyectar la contribución de los pueblos indígenas a la conservación de las áreas protegidas de Mesoamérica, en base a experiencias en el terreno que llevan muchos años en implementación y se han convertido en grandes centros de aprendizaje para toda la región, los cuales muchas veces no son visibles en grandes eventos”. Tanto la AMPB como la Comisión Científica del IV Congreso Mesoamericano, acordaron iniciar un proceso sistemático de coordinación y apoyo conjunto que permita lograr los mejores resultados tanto en el Precongreso como en el IV Congreso, resultados buscan de manera mutua mejorar la gestión y la gobernanza en las Áreas Protegidas de Mesoamérica, en beneficio ... [more]
Regional Training of Trainers Workshop for Market Analysis and Development - 3-7 February 2014 - Guatemala 3 February 2014 Este taller será impartido de manera colaborativa entre FAO (Programa "Mecanismo para Bosques y Fincas –FFF); el Instituto Nacional de Bosques (INAB); la Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques y la Comisión Nacional para el desarrollo de Estandartes de Manejo Forestal (CONESFORGUA). El mismo está dirigido a profesionales que brindan asistencia técnica en desarrollo microempresarial y de mercados a organizaciones de productores, servicios forestales y sector privado vinculado a la gestión de los bosques y las fincas para insertarse en los mercados de bienes y servicios de tierras y bosques. Contará con la participación de delegados de Bolivia, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, México, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Trinidad y Tobago, y Guatemala. Durante el desarrollo del taller las y los participantes tendrán la oportunidad de conocer y desarrollar los principios e instrumentos en la metodología de análisis y desarrollo de mercados que FAO ha implementado y difundido en diversas partes del mundo, especialmente trabajando con pequeñas empresas de base comunitaria. Además se intercambiarán experiencias en materia de producción, innovación, comercialización y mercadeo de pequeñas y medianas empresas de los países participantes. [more]
22 January 2014 Forest/Farm Producer Organizations (FPO’s) are the diverse structures and organizations of producers in forested landscapes working together to secure their rights to forest use and forest land, to improve livelihoods and well-being and to strengthen their contributions to sustainable forest and landscape management and sustainable development. Jeff Campbell, FFF Manager, shares with us the added value of FPOs. 1- Sharing knowledge and experience. 2- Gain better and more secure tenure and access to forest, land and tree resources. 3- Improve bargaining power by aggregating and guaranteeing supply of products or services. 4- Collaborate on transportation, marketting, design, certification, branding and sales promotion. 5- Creating secondary processing enterprises, and related products and businesses. 6- Better use of technology and more research. [more]
11 December 2013 Peter deMarsh Canada was re-elected as chair at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA) in Rovaniemi, Finland, 11th December 2013. During the Annual Meeting the audience listened to a special presentation by the FAO forestry director Eduardo Rojas-Briales. He gave his view on the forestry challenges, the work of FAO forestry division and the work plans of the Forest and Farm Facility. Thorsten Arndt from PEFC International presented the development of PEFC pilot projects in Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, where IFFA is one of the international partners. [more]
Myanmar - Stakeholder workshop 4 December 2013 The Forest and Farm Facility stakeholder workshop was held in Yangon on 4 December 2013 and was attended by about 25 representatives of the Forestry Department, selected grantees, communities and in-country partners. The 6 grantees signed the original Letter of Agreement (LoA) and shared the main activities and outcomes of their projects to be implemented in three states. It was also shared information on the proposed work between grantees and with the Forest Department and discussed potential synergies and exchange of learning and knowledge. The participants discussed and agreed on learning exchange and training program within Myanmar and an exchange visit to Nepal in March 2014. [more]
Strength in numbers: International Conference on Forest Producer Organizations 28 November 2013 FAO has been supporting forest producer organizations for many years in collaboration with partners, through the “Forest Connect” Initiative and more recently through the Forest & Farm Facility (FFF). In 2012 FAO, Agricord and FFF published “Strength in numbers: Effective forest producer organizations”. The document presents a set of current examples of forest producer organizations and aims to raise awareness and provoke discussion among service providers and policy makers for setting frameworks in which producer organizations can flourish. This conference follows up on the issues raised in the publication. The meeting represents the first of its kind in giving the world’s many millions of smallholder farmer and community forest producers an opportunity to have their voices heard at a global level. The message was clear: Forest producer groups have something to offer society and those that govern it. [more]
FFF Steering Committee Meeting held in Guilin, China 24 November 2013 The FFF Steering Committee met to review the Progress Report 2013 and Workplan 2014, and to give guidance on acitivities implementation, partnership aspects, and operational issues. Selection processs and criteria for new partner countries was also agreed. [more]
11 November 2013 Forest & Farm Facility (FFF) initiative funded by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and World Bank recently facilitated the ANR Platform to conduct a country wide sensitization on the Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy (ANR Policy 2009-2015) for the Technical Advisory Committees (TAC’s) at regional level. Previously, there was a country wide sensitization on the same policy targeting the regional governors, regional agricultural directors and forestry officers. Later on, this is to be followed by a country wide sensitization on the same policy at district level. [more]
Nicaragua - Meeting with the FAORs of Meso-america 26 September 2013 During this meeting the FFF manager presented the FFF to the FAO Representants of Meso-America and received comments on the country operations. [more]
Outcome of the Pre-Congress on Community Forestry as a basis for Governance and starting point for FLEGT and REDD organized by the Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forests (AMPB) in Honduras 25 September 2013 Over 220 representatives of Indigenous Peoples and community forestry organizations, forestry authorities and development agencies from 13 countries in Central America met in a special “”Pre-Congress” prior to the VII Central American Forestry Congress (COFOCA) in Honduras. This event demonstrated the growing importance and sophistication of national and regional organizations of forest peoples, and it established a space in which participants were able to share their experiences on how to strengthen forest governance at the local level and to explore the possibilities of developing a shared strategy for policy advocacy in the design of national FLEGT and REDD processes. The event was well-covered by national, regional and some international media. Field visits to community forestry concessions in Petén, Guatemala, were organized to expose journalists directly to the remarkable work of many small forest enterprises in that region. A summary of the discussions at the Pre-Congress was presented to the governments of the region and provided as an input into the COFOCA. Indigenous Peoples and local communities are making important gains in many countries in the region in terms of securing land tenure and gaining a voice in national-level policy-making. Levi Sucre, Coordinator of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, spoke eloquently of the central role of community forestry and Indigenous Peoples’ territorial management as the key to sustainable forestry in the region. Victoria Flores of the FEPROAH association of women’s small-scale forestry producers in Honduras clearly laid out the important role that forestry enterprises play for rural women and their communities. The producers’ groups she represents account for over 400,000 ha of forested lands. Victoria emphasized the importance of involving representatives of community forestry and small producers in FLEGT- and REDD-related discussions at all levels and stressed the importance of a policy envir... [more]
10 September 2013 The partners of the Forest and Farm Facility (IIED, IUCN and FAO) organised a 2 days retreat at FAO HQ, followed by a meeting with FAO staff to sthenghten collaborations with FAO programmes. During the retreat, , the following topics, among other, were discussed: Country operational process, Monitoring and Learning System, Communication and Messaging, Upcoming Conference in China, and the Role of each partner in the FFF implementation. [more]
Introducing Jeff Campbell, Forest and Farm Facility's New Manager 4 September 2013 We are happy to welcome Jeff Campbell as the new Manager of the Forest and Farm Facility. Born and raised in India, Jeff is a US citizen with many years of experience in forestry, rural development and philanthropy. Most recently Jeff worked at the Christensen Fund as Director of Grantmaking, after a long career at the Ford Foundation. This included serving as Program Officer for environment and development programs in India and Nepal (1991-1996) and Indonesia (1997-2000), and then as Program Officer, Deputy Director and then Senior Program Officer in the New York Office (2000-2008). In New York Jeff was both responsible for North American grantmaking around community forestry and rural livelihoods and for a global program of advocacy and learning in environment and development. Jeff’s experience in each of these positions focused particularly on partnering with indigenous and tribal communities in ways that combined their concerns with sustainable natural resource-based livelihoods with their cultural values, linking these community groups through networks, federations and multi-stakeholder forums with government and other actors. He also played a lead role in Ford Foundation’s engagement with indigenous issues globally, including through co-chairing the Committee on Indigenous Peoples, and led such delegations as the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. Previously, Jeff worked eight years in the ecotourism sector in the India and Nepal, as an extension forester in the USA, and as a high school teacher and photojournalist in New Delhi. He has served on numerous international and national forestry review bodies, including the Steering Committee of the NFP Facility which he chaired for 5 years. Jeff has a BA in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Forestry from Yale University, which allows him to ensure that the supply of bamboo for his flutes will continue to be sustainably managed by local communities. [more]
Upcoming Meeting on Community Forestry as a basis for Governance and starting point for FLEGT and REDD, Honduras, 24 – 25 September 2013 3 September 2013 The Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forests (AMPB) is calling to the pre-congress “Community Forestry as basis for Governance and starting point for FLEGT and REDD”, to be held in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on 24 – 25 September, 2013. This activity takes place in the framework of the VII Central American Forestry Congress (COFOCA). The Pre-congress is supported by the Ford Foundation, ClimateWorks, Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), Kepa Finland, Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), ICCO-Holland, Forest Trends, Bank Information Center (BIC), Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible (CCMSS), Red Iberoamericana de Bosques Modelo (RIABM), PRISMA Fundation, Rainforest Alliance (RA), Asociation AGTER, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The participants include leaders of community forestry organizations from 8 countries in Mesoamerica, forestry authorities and development agencies. The objective of this meeting is to establish a space where the participants could share their experiences on how to strengthen forest governance at local level and also explore the possibilities of developing a shared strategy for policy advocacy in the design of national FLEGT and REDD processes. The expected outcome of the meeting is the identification of common agendas and points of dialogue between community forestry organizations in Mesoamerica, forestry authorities and International Cooperation to strengthen community forestry in the region. [more]
Awareness raising on the Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) Policy in Gambia: Radio Programme and ANR Platform Tour 20 August 2013 In July 2013, a radio programme to raise the awareness on the Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Policy was conducted at The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS). This programme aimed at preventing sectoral policy implementation conflicts as the ANR is geared towards improving the livelihoods of the Gambian population and the farming community in particular. A delegation comprising of 10 Members from the ANR Platform trekked the country to dialogue with key stakeholders and to gauge their level of awareness of the ANR Policy, and to discuss with Regional Governors and lined Ministries on the Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Policy. The team met the Regional Governor of Lower River Region, the North Bank Region, the Central River Region North (KUNTAUR), Upper River Region, the West Coast Region, and the CRR South. [more]
Upcoming event: International Conference on Forest Producer Organizations, November 2013, China 22 July 2013 Click on the link for the Concept Note. This conference follows up on the issues raised in the publication “Strength in numbers: Effective forest producer organizations”. (FAO, Forest Connect, FFF). It will bring together representatives of forest producer organizations from around the world as well as service providers and government representatives to discuss the experiences of different types of forest producer organizations, the role of support platforms/services and the legal, policy and institutional environment required for successful producer organizations. The main objective of the conference is to strengthen the sustainable management of forested landscapes by smallholders and communities through forest producer organizations. Participation on invitation only. For more information please contact: [more]
Nepal - National Workshop on the Baseline Study and FFF Implementation 3 July 2013 The main objective of the workshop was to develop and agree on a modality for implementation of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) in Nepal which is acceptable to all the concerned stakeholders. More precisely, participants reviewed the recommendations of the baseline study regarding the existing forest and farm producer organizations and cross sectoral government platforms in Nepal in order to assess the situation in terms of potential gaps and needs that could be supported by the FFF in one of its two main pillars: i) organization of producers for policy dialogue and business development and ii) cross-sectoral government coordination. Around 60 participants including high level representatives from different government agencies, national and international non-governmental organizations, academicians, private sectors, consultants and different concerned stakeholders passionately participated in the workshop. Gorkhapatra Online Press Release: IUCN Asia Press Release: [more]
25 June 2013 It is vital for FAO to act in tandem with partners from the international community, the private sector and foundations to overcome food insecurity and malnutrition, increase agricultural production while protecting the environment, reduce rural poverty, support inclusive and efficient food systems, and increase communities’ resilience to threats and crises. The stories in the package " Partnering for Results" ( ) show what can be achieved when FAO swings into action. They describe what FAO has introduced, what it has improved and, most of all, what it has left behind in working with its partners and contributing to food and nutrition security and sustainable resource management. In this brochure, the NFP Facility hosted by FAO, Forestry Department is presented as one success story of empowering forest stakeholders to participate in policy decisions and access financing. The new FFF is building on NFP Facility’s success in establishing stakeholder groups and giving foresters a larger voice in the government. [more]
24 May 2013 This Call for Proposals is being issued by FFF in cooperation with the Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-conservation Network (MERN) and is intended to support the formation and strengthening of smallholder producer groups in forest landscapes. Applicants are requested to contact Aung Thant Zin, MERN Fund Manager at for the proposal template and any further information. Proposals should be emailed to MERN. The deadline for submitting the proposals to MERN is 17 hrs, Yangon time, 19 June 2013. Details on eligibility, criteria for grant selection and proposal template can be found, under Myanmar information, clicking on this page: [more]
16 May 2013 In this event, Mrs. Sophie Grouwels, FFF/FAO Officer, introduced the FFF mission and concept. After that national facilitators of 2 pilot countries (Mr. Edward Suloe from Liberia, and Mr. Ogden Rodas from Guatemala) exchanged early experiences on the implementation of the FFF. They presented the country outcomes they plan to achieve and the first activities. Mr. Jhony Zapata, FFF/FAO Officer, explained the FFF potential in Myanmar. Feedback was received from other FFF pilot countries, and FAO staff. Discussion took place on ways of working together, in particular with colleagues from the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division. More information and Presentations can be found clicking on this link: [more]
Myanmar - Launching Workshop 2 May 2013 Both government and civil society representatives welcomed the launching of the FFF in Myanmar and endorsed its mission of support for smallholder producer organization to provide business incentives and policy voice for sustainable forest landscapes. The on going reforms on the new Forest Law may create the space for forest and farm producer groups for business. The new emphasis of the FD on people centred approaches for bottom-up poverty reduction, and securing rights for smallholders. The twofold approach of (i) piloting producer group formation and organisation in which FD will contribute in the process and (ii) using lessons from those pilots to catalyse cross-ministerial dialogue on solutions to policy constraints was felt to be the way forward for the government cross-sector coordination. A process involving the following steps was proposed by stakeholders and agreed at the launching workshop: (i) a transparent and inclusive call for proposals with initial selection of pilot areas for supporting producer organisation for business, (ii) at the end of the six months implementation a workshop with the participation of the established producer groups, civil society, business and governmental partners to share and discuss the experiences and identify ways of moving forward with the implementation of business oriented CFUG organizations, (iii) grants over longer periods will be available in future calls for the established producer groups for enhanced business development and policy dialogue. Working groups in the launching workshop identified a range of business opportunities for forest and farm producer groups, including timber production, wood energy, non-timber forest products (including medicinal plants), agricultural crops, and including aquaculture. Private sector present at the workshop express interest in engaging, providing technical support, and buying product from producer groups in key product areas to secure sustainable future sup... [more]
9 April 2013 Under the Regional News, Launching Workshops of the FFF pilot countries are reported. [more]
Gambia - Launching workshop 13 March 2013 The need for more cross/sectoral integration of the forest sector and strengthening of local producers organisations were the main issues discussed during the lauching workshop (11-13 March) for FFF support . Gambia has started developing an integrated approach in managing landscape resources with the Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) Policy 2009-2015, elaborated through nation wide consultative processes at local, regional and national level. A working group (coordinated by the National Environmental Agency) including agriculture and environment constituencies was created to make sure the policy encompassed all relevant aspects related to iron out the land use -conflicts between forest and agriculture and others. It is proposed that this working group be strengthened by the FFF. Participants agreed on the urgent need to review the administration process regarding forest ownership transfer to Communities. In addition, it was agreed that the National Coordinating Organization for Farmers Associations of The Gambia (NACOFAG) will be the focal point for the FFFacility, being a national coordination umbrella representing all key producer platforms of the country. [more]
Liberia - Launching worksop 8 March 2013 In order to strengthen cross-sectoral integration of the forest sector, it is proposed that continued support be provided to the established National Forest Forum (NFF), to improve the participation of the stakeholders in the Forum. Suggestions such as changing the name to better present the cross sector objective and mandate were discussed. The venue of the Forum will also circulate between the key ministries involved in order to broaden the ownership outside the Forestry Development Authority (FDA). A process involving the County Forest Forums (CFF) was proposed by the producer groups and approved at the “launching” workshop to strengthen local forest and farm organizations. It will start with an identification and mapping exercise on the existing producer groups to better understand how the FFF could support the organizing of producer groups for business/enterprise purpose. [more]
Nepal - Launching workshop 16 February 2013 The Introductory Meeting of the Forest & Fram Facility in Nepal took place on Saturday, 16 February in Kathmandu. Around 25 stakeholders participated to set up priorities for FFF support focused on forestry communities rights. [more]
Nicaragua - Launching Workshop 12 February 2013 The Launching Workshop was held on 11-12 February to discuss the relevance of the FFF with Government institutions and farmer organizations, and to identify the relationship of the FFF with the national public policies in Nicaragua. The FFF will support cross-sectoral fora at national level as well as at departmental and municipal levels in a few prioritized departments. The pilot areas should be selected based on their relevance to thematic issues prioritized by the Government and FAO like; food security, water, and the related introduction of agroforestry and silvipasture production systems. The following steps for initiating FFF suppport were agreed during the Workshop: FFF at national level will strengthen the PRORURAL platform which currently includes MAGFOR, INAFOR ,MEFCA and INTA. At departmental level, support to strengthening producer organizations will be initiated in both RAAN and Corredor Seco. [more]
Guatemala - Launching Workshop 10 February 2013 The Launching Workshop to set up priorities for FFF support was held on 7-10 February. Activities at both national level and in some selected pilot territories (department, municipality, community levels) will be identified. Pilot areas will be prioritized by government for key policy implementation of cross sectoral thematic issues like fuelwood, tourism, food security, water. Since the forest sector in Guatemala remains isolated and not integrated into the main national policies and initiatives, like the Agricultura Familiar, Hambre Cero and the Energy policy, FFF support will focus on cross/sectoral integration of the forest sector. A base line study will provide more info on existing cross-sectoral fora and the participation of the forestry sector in those. Support to strengthening producer organizations will be initiated through providing continued support to the Alianza. [more]
1 February 2013 The first, ad hoc, Steering Committee (SC) of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) met at FAO HQ in Rome from 10 to 11 January 2013. The following issues were discussed: funding situation, governance, management, monitoring, support mechanisms and modus operandi, and the slection of pilot countries. To download the Minutes, please click on the link [more]
11 January 2013 What is the value added of the FFF, knowing that there are so many international initatives currently working on Forests, Climate Change and related topics? Steering Committee members answer: [more]
11 January 2013 Steering Committee members have selected 6 pilot countries to start FFF activities in 2013. Latin America: Guatemala and Nicaragua Africa: Gambia and Liberia Asia: Myanmar and Nepal The selection of neighboring countries should facilitate exchange of experiences and learning and strengthen regional or sub-regional cooperation. [more]
1 January 2013 Application toolkit is available on the FAO website here: Deadline for submission: 18 January 2103. Post description here: [more]
Nicaragua - Regional Forest Finance Meeting 22 November 2012 About 60 participants from eight Latin American countries (Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay Bolivia, and Mexico) attended the meeting in Managua with the main purpose to exchange knowledge and experiences on financing activities and credit programs by public and private banks for small agro-forestry producers. The meeting was co-organized by INAFOR, Banco Produzcamos of Nicaragua, FAO, the Forest and Farm Facility, GIZ and IUCN. The meeting was attended by senior managers of national development banks and forestry directors. For most participants from the financial sector this was the first time they attended an event where they had the opportunity to discuss with other bankers credit programs about forestry. The meeting also benefitted from the presentations of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE), and IUCN. LAFISE, a large private bank, also attended the meeting. The Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques and FEPROAH also presented experiences of community forestry, their financing and institutional challenges, from the perspective of indigenous groups. [more]
Nicaragua - Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forest Meeting 22 November 2012 The FFF was presented during the meeting of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forest, held on 22 and 23 November 2012 in Managua, Nicaragua. The members of this Alliance welcomed the recently launched FFF, and look forward to collaboration with the FFF pilot countries in Latin America. The Alliance is interested in the exchange of experiences with other groups of South America and other regions of the world. The Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forest is a space for coordination and exchange for territorial authorities that manage or influence the major forested areas of Mesoamerica. Through the Alliance, indigenous governments and community forest organizations look to strengthen their own dialogue and focus on community management of natural resources. [more]
24 October 2012 The workshop "Hacia una estrategia para mejorar la competitividad del sector forestal de Paraguay y su financiamiento"was attended by national authorities e.g. the Minister of Finance, President of National forest Institute (INFONA) President of National development finance agency (ADF), Minister of the environment and decision making representatives of forest stakeholders such as the President of FEPAMA. The Minister of finance did a presentation about the importance of the forestry sector to the national development. After his presentation there were lively discussions. As output of the event the participants provided inputs to the plan to increase the competitiveness of the forestry sector and next steps were agreed. The minister of finance has decided to establish soon a Forest Finance Intelligence and Investment Unit. This unit will belong to the Ministry of Finance and will support the integration of forestry with other sectors coordinating with the Ministry of economy and enterprises, INFONA, SEAM, and financial sector. [more]

Launching the Forest & Farm Facility (FFF) - COFO at FAO HQ

28 September 2012

Under the chairmanship of Richard China, Director, Policy and Programme Development Support Division (TCS), a panel of eight key Facility partners engaged with more than 100 participants ranging from forestry officials representing NFP Facility member countries, to donor representatives and civil society organizations as well as FAO colleagues.

On behalf of the Facility Manager, Jerker Thunberg, a short presentation was given by Johan Lejeune, Sophie Grouwels and Jhony Zapata on the transition of the NFP Facility towards the F&FF and its new focus. Participants learned that the new programme will be premised on a landscape approach of sustainable forest and farm management, with the emphasis on supporting local, regional, national and international organizations and platforms to ensure that any undertakings related to policies and investments are effective, inclusive and meet the needs of local people. Members of the selective panel included representatives of several civil society organizations, a government, the World Bank, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - all core partners of the Facility. All made brief statements on the relevance of the F&FF from their particular perspective and on how they intend to collaborate and contribute to the realization of its goals.

Summing-up remarks were made by Eva Muller, Director, Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division (FOE), who highlighted that the F&FF will directly and concretely contribute to all of FAO’s new Strategic Objectives. She passed the last word to Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department, who said that FO was very pleased to host the Facility.  He then declared the new programme officially “launched”.

last updated:  Thursday, July 10, 2014