Dryland Forestry

Launching the Webinar Series “Navigating the Participatory Approach”


On the 29th of January 2021, in the context of the initiative Making every voice count for adaptive management, FAO’s Dryland Forestry team and South-South and Triangular Cooperation Division launched the webinar series entitled Navigating the Participatory Approach. The webinars falling under this theme will take place on a bi-monthly basis in order to provide a common place for all countries and stakeholders involved to exchange their views, lessons learned, and experiences related to the learning-by-doing monitoring approach that this initiative offers. In compliance with the purpose of the initiative, the present webinar series is meant to be dedicated to helping those involved showcase the progress achieved and results implemented. Its purpose is to bring together the voices of all parties involved to cross-pollinate and peer review the work done, ultimately paving the way forward.  

The webinar was opened by the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Forestry Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems (COFO WG)Mr Chadi Mohanna, who set the scene and explained the relevance this type of approach has as a tool to monitor change. Thanks to the COFO WG members, this initiative’s implementation will also benefit from their convening power and their policy setting, ensuring a cohesive and overall coverage globally 

5 of the involved countries have already gone to the field and have completed a first draft of their participatory baseline videos. 4 of these videos were indeed showcased during the practical workshop component of the webinar where the other involved countries, stakeholders, and partnering organizations watched said videos and performed a SWOT analysis. From this type of exercise, FAO intends to create a report focusing on common lessons learned.   

The webinar also saw a theoretical first part of the morning where IUCN and World Bank presented their previous experience on using PV for social change and ecosystem resilience and explained the relevance of the initiative across borders.  

Lastly, the webinar concluded with the launch of the closed Facebook group that has been created to build a bridge between the partners involved, the FAO technical officers and the community members in a time where travelling is not allowed. Here, community members will be encouraged to upload the progress made on the field with regards to the following projects: the GEF-Resilient Food Systems Programme (RFS), the GEF7 Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes (SFM-DSL), which will start later in Spring 2021,and the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) in Zambia. 

Following this webinar, the initiative will convene a second round of trainings for countries who are now starting to get involved in this initiative at the end of the month of February. In March, the teams involved are planning one-on-one meetings between the country representatives and their respective COFO WG members in order to provide a more narrow and concrete action plan for each individual country.