Linking People and Forests: Empowering indigenous and forest-based communities to govern and conserve their customary forest landscapes & build sustainable livelihoods

Since 2012, NTFP-EP has been engaging the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN), a network of senior forestry officials of ASEAN Member States, under the economic pillar of the ASEAN regional body. The engagement aims to promote and advocate for ASEAN Member States’ increased commitments in social forestry and the integration of social forestry in strategies to address climate change and food security challenges within Southeast Asia. NTFP-EP’s ongoing partnership with the ASFN also links to partnership with other established regional and international organizations such as CIFOR, ICRAF, RECOFTC (The Centre for People & Forests) and SEARCA (Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture) under an ASEAN cooperation on forestry – ASEAN Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC). This provides a regular Civil Society Forum and dialogue with ASEAN senior officials on forestry through ASFN. Through this channel, we provide policy recommendations on free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), recognition of customary forest tenure of indigenous peoples (IPs), adoption of community safeguards in forestry, and for improved policy support and benefits for community forest enterprises in the ASEAN.  NTFP-EP continues to serve as convenor and facilitator of learning and exchange processes to enable the upscaling of working models of community-based participatory forest resource management and sustainable livelihoods and community-based NTFP enterprises.

NTFP-EP Indonesiaand partners have implemented some projects that are relevant to the proposed project. Lessons learned from those projects that are pertinent to the knowledge to action project include the ROLES (sustainable rattan) project both in Kutai Barat (East Kalimantan province) and Central Sulawesi province. ROLES found that alternative certification and marketing can enhance community livelihoods, forest conservation, and land use planning and policy by adapting the principles of inclusiveness and transparency. Communities apply sustainable management and strengthen their conservation ethics as a means of protecting their natural capital.  The testing of the chain of custody for sustainable rattan demonstrated that significant livelihood impacts can be achieved by focusing on enhancing communities’ awareness, capacity, and linkages with private sector market entities and government agencies. NTFP-EP’s initial networking with sago producing areas in Riau and Papua also lay the ground for expansion on value chains of other NTFPs. NTFP-EP Indonesia’s work on ICCAs can also inform regional conservation activities. NTFP-EP’s success in support for economic initiatives for indigenous crafts (Borneo Chic) and forest honey (JMHI) also provide the foundation, structure and capacity for expansion to other products and with added stakeholders.