Empower small-scale forest producers as allies in halting deforestation

©FAO/Roberto Cenciarelli21 February 2018, Rome — 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 of these producer groups.”

Visit the website of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests international conference, ‘’Working across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area – from Aspiration to Action,’’ which is being hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome from 20 to 22 February 2018, for more information and to follow the main proceedings via live webcast.


last updated:  Wednesday, February 21, 2018