Enhancing Livelihoods and Markets
Community forest products and services have great potential to enhance livelihoods through developing market-based community enterprises. Nevertheless, policies, capabilities and conditions required to enjoy these benefits are often lacking and undervaluing the role community forestry plays to reduce poverty and enhance social inclusiveness. On the other hand, sanctioned wide scale land conversions and concessions are further impoverishing forest-dependent peoples.
RECOFTC develops capacities of practitioners from local governments, NGOs and private sector to demonstrate how members of communities can fairly and equitably participate in livelihood and enterprise development and obtain socio-economic benefits through market-based strategies. The approach is based on the conviction that when organized, communities have sufficient control over forested land and are equipped with the right skill sets to decide and develop economically feasible and sustainable forest management models, they are able to attract and develop inclusive business partnerships.
Our work focuses on initiating dialogues between private sector and forest-based enterprises and explore win-win partnerships, as well as to engage in policy dialogues aimed at reducing regulatory barriers currently hindering communities' (and the private sector) ability to utilize resources in a sustainable manner.
RECOFTC works to increase the commercial benefits that community forestry can provide, using it as a tool to reduce rates of rural poverty. To help community forestry reach this potential, we need to better link communities to investments, funding opportunities and markets, while helping to build their technical and business skills. Moreover, we need to ensure that livelihood development takes in account marginalized groups and benefits the poorest forest dwellers.
Therefore, RECOFTC's livelihoods and markets program focuses on:
- Building technical and business skills
- Reducing bureaucratic restrictions
- Finding and linking to investment opportunities
- Increasing market access
- Developing community business partnerships
- Rewarding socially and environmentally responsible forest management