Experts Meeting: Unlocking the Wealth of Forests for Community Development

Rome, 28 March, 2012: Community forestry has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits for local communities. However, this requires that it moves beyond providing mainly subsistence goods to becoming a vehicle for the development of forest enterprises that can contribute to a genuine new forest economy. There is urgent need to remove regulatory bottlenecks and strengthen community institutions to negotiate and tap into profitable markets.

FAO and its partners, ITTO and RECOFTC, organized an Experts Meeting to develop a course of action toward an international initiative to promote the potential of community forests in contributing to sustainable development of community forestry. The meeting was attended by 26 Experts from a range of institutions and organizations from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and USA. Participants hailed from international agencies, government forestry agencies, NGOs, academia, research institutions, private sector, Indigenous groups, and community forestry alliances.

Participants exchanged concrete experiences based on their professional engagements and perspectives from different regions. They outlined major impediments for commercialization of forest products, discussed possible interventions, and reached a common understanding to pursue an international initiative coordinated by FAO. This initiative would continue to link existing efforts, enable information exchange, and advocate for action from all relevant stakeholders to support communities to commercialize valuable products from their forests. While recognizing that existing initiatives will continue  with new perspectives from the meeting, a stock-taking/mapping exercise is planned in the near future to provide a basis for concrete integrated field-based activities.

RECOFTC presented preliminary results of our research on regulatory barriers.

Participants in the Expert Meeting in Rome

The meeting was attended by 26 Experts from a range of institutions and organizations from Africa, Asia, L. America, Europe and USA.

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1 Comment

  1. Kamlesh Kumar Yadav (Mr.)

     /  April 4, 2012

    First of all, I acknowledge FAO and its partners for organizing the important meetings of experts. Of course, now the time has been for the forestry professionals to materialize the potentials of forests into economic terms to overcome global poverty, especially for developing countries. Now it is not time to say just “Community Forest is well functioning” now professionals from all disciplines should say that this is the results in economic term that we can generate from forestry sector.
    Another important aspect associated with the forestry sector is to ensure the “Good Forest Governance” at all levels from community level to policy level. There are many challenges existing in the forestry sector, which should be highly considered to ensure that the global objectives are met/contributed from forestry sector.
    Further, solid and practical solutions should be delivered at local level to ensure that the potentials of forests are explored and converted into economic terms on sustainable basis.


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