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This report is important, especially given the fundamental role of Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Communities in protecting and caring for nature — confirmed by numerous publications:. The revised report describes several proposed alternative approaches:. This report see image below expands on the first version, including the learnings from field testing in Bolivia, during which some of the approaches, such as integration with national legality schemes, benefited from further research. The tool is designed in the format of a questionnaire as it was found that communities in Bolivia have good experience with it from organic certification.

Jens explains that some questions, terms and words had to be adapted locally and nationally before the tool could be applied, in a similar manner to national adaptation of the FSC Principles and Criteria. Project Coordinator, Yadira Molina Cruz from FSC Honduras, echoes a similar sentiment, that the project benefited from all forms of communication being kept simple and the materials understandable to all. Some participants have years of experience and are very knowledgeable on the certification jargon while some have no experience.

Yadira describes other challenges and lessons learned during the project.

What Is Community Forestry?

She says it is also challenging to look for organsational and strategic measures within the FSC structure to support additional work to assure the completion of an entirely new FSC certification system when the project ends. Challenges aside, there are also lessons throughout the whole project. She adds any new alternative for FSC certification must be developed from the ground up through practical implementation that involves representatives from the Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Communities.


  1. What is community forestry?.
  2. Community Forests, Working Forests, and Other Terms;
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Recalling his own experiences in the project, Jens says he is proud to have been part of such a tremendously inclusive process where the team managed to actively involve a very broad range of community and Indigenous stakeholders, who otherwise, rarely engaged in FSC processes. And I sincerely hope that the FSC based on this very elaborate and solid input from so many communities will take on the responsibility to move the process forward to implementation swiftly as the same communities are waiting and ready to join the FSC.

NEPCon has been part of this project since The main activities have been developing and field testing a concept around an alternative certification system for CFE that is flexible and can be adapted to reality for Indigenous People and Traditional Communities. This project has triggered participation of other organisations such as Rainforest Alliance and Imaflora, in addition to the project partners.

One is the speed with which community forestry took shape and spread as a concept and policy. The second is the sense that it was urgent to act quickly to respond to some of the perceived problems. Though there was acute awareness that the knowledge base that inspired the early projects was very weak, it was felt to be necessary, indeed unavoidable, that action, based on what little was known at that time, be started at once.

The evolution of community forestry in practice Early initiatives understandably tended to become focused on those issues perceived to be of particular importance. Of these, the fuelwood shortage became far the most important. A general conclusion from this earlier analytical work was that existing wood stocks were being widely mined to meet fuelwood demand, that there was no feasible large scale alternative to wood fuel - other than other biomass such as crop residues and dung - and that the principal means of averting growing shortages, and the attendant deforestation and human suffering, was to initiate widespread planting of additional trees.

When applied to individual countries and regions such analyses resulted in programme targets on a formidable scale. For example, a major World Bank study for sub-Saharan Africa estimated that tree planting would have to increase fifteen-fold in order to close the projected fuelwood gap in the year Anderson and Fishwick As a consequence, a very large part of the initial investment in community forestry was in the form of afforestation projects to increase fuelwood supplies.

Our Role In Community Forests

The design of early community forestry projects was also strongly influenced by the fact that the more striking existing programmes were organised in the form of communal activities - the village woodlots in Korea, the panchayat woodlots of early social forestry programmes in India, the village afforestation programme in Tanzania. As is suggested by their titles, all of these were concerned with creating new plantations, rather than with management of existing forests.

These perceived imperatives had the effect of concentrating the early community forestry effort to just a rather narrow part of the spectrum of linkages between people and trees and tree products that had been identified initially - namely to establishment of new plantations and to fuelwood. There was little in the first generation of projects which was concerned with outputs from existing forests, or with the food, employment and income dimensions. Indeed, the concern with meeting subsistence needs for fuelwood even led, on occasion, to attempts to exclude income generation activities from the project design on the grounds that it was inconsistent with the perceived subsistence aims of community forestry.

Community forestry was therefore soon confronted with the need to reassess what was being done and to respond to the lessons being learned. Broadening the knowledge base In subsequent sections of this document we explore the reasons why these, and other, unforeseen developments occurred in the early years of community forestry. However, a number of salient lessons which began to emerge early in the period deserve to be mentioned at this point. One is that production and use of tree products at the village level is in practice often embedded in complex resource and social systems, within which most of the factors that affect our ability to intervene with forestry solutions are of a non-forestry nature.

They are primarily human factors, connected with the ways women and men organize the use of their land and other resources. They therefore require situation-specific approaches and are unlikely to be successfully tackled by generalised solutions or approaches that address only a single element of the situation.


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  • A second is that earlier analyses of the nature of women's and men's dependence on trees and tree products was in some respects incorrect or incomplete and the solutions identified were consequently inappropriate. As is discussed in some detail later, this is particularly the case with respect to responses to declining supplies of fuelwood and to the attempts to insert interventions that conflicted with the existing social and institutional framework within a community. A third is that even projects which have sought to identify local needs, aspirations and possibilities have in practice done so more on the basis of the views of planners and others from outside than on the local people themselves.

    Dialogue to achieve local participation has all too often started only after the project design has been finalised and is in place. Though the concept of participation took root quickly, in practice it has been, and still is, more frequently preached than practised.

    Community Forests | The Conservation Fund

    The use of this umbrella term seems on occasion to have obscured the fact that the objectives set for projects to support community forestry have varied considerably. Project design, and performance, have frequently suffered from a lack of clarity as to which of these objectives were being pursued or had priority. Although some among multiple goals may be congruent or reinforce each other, others may be in conflict.

    Planting trees to meet environmental objectives such as soil protection is unlikely to produce sufficient output of saleable products as to be economically attractive to the farmer.


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    • Similarly, tree growing designed to generate income is unlikely in itself to benefit those with little or no land. Production to meet both subsistence and market needs is unlikely to be achieved with a single production model. Projects originally designed to meet a production goal are unlikely to be equally successful at achieving a subsequently added social goal, such as favouring the poor, unless they are appropriately restructured.

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      And so on. This interpretation would seem to underlie the often exclusive focus on meeting subsistence needs of the poor to be found in many early project documents, and the strong negative reaction to the emergence of tree cash cropping within some social forestry programmes. The emergence of this rather narrowly circumscribed interpretation of participatory forestry has also tended to reinforce the tendency to treat the latter as a programme area definably different and separate from existing programmes, such as forestry, obscuring the need instead to revise the latter to incorporate the additional dimension of meeting local as well as national and industrial needs.

      Fuel shortages can have a variety of harmful effects. For example, they may influence the amount of food supplied or cooked.