RECOFTC & ASFCC
RECOFTC has continuously contributed to strengthening the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) since its inception in 2011 through the ASEAN Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) program.
RECOFTC supports the implementation of the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries towards Food Security (AFCC), and together with other partners has been successful in delivering the following:
1. Conducting capacity building and learning intervention for AWG-SF (ASEAN Secretariat, member states, and relevant civil societies and NGOs) in developing social forestry and its linkages to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
2. Supporting ASFN Secretariat to ensure effective knowledge sharing and dissemination.
3. Assist countries in piloting social forestry (SF), climate change mitigation and adaptation approaches.
4. Strengthening and enhancing Community Forest National Working Group in ASEAN member states (Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar).
5. Providing support to the preparation and implementation of the AWG-SF annual meetings and various outreach events.
RECOFTC Roles in the ASFCC Phase III
ASFCC Phase III was planned through several consultation meetings with ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretariat, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and with all ASFCC partners.
Regional level activities are designed to respond to ASEAN led initiatives, but also from other regional actors that directly or indirectly work in the arena of social forestry. In Phase III, it is proposed that a program be implemented that directly responds to the opportunities and risks put forward by these forest landscape restoration (FLR) initiatives. This includes not only a regional training on FLR, but also trainings on issues that must be addressed for FLR efforts to be sustainable, including addressing issues such as tenure and livelihoods. The programmatic nature of the approach is also reflected in the national level policy dialogues held on FLR, and related topics, as well as discussion in Community Forest National Working Groups (CFNWGs), and networking and knowledge exchange. This programmatic nature is a strong feature of the activities proposed under Phase III.
National level activities focus on responding to opportunities and requests in the countries in question, as well as building on the foundations laid out in the previous phases of ASFCC. Broadly speaking this will see the continued support of policy dialogue initiatives through the CFNWG. Additional focus is placed on translating the revised community forestry instruction (CFI) into tangible outcomes through supporting the development of the CFI Guidelines. This will be further supported by targeted individuals with an appropriate mandate attending relevant regional level trainings centered on how social forestry can benefit its constituents. In these trainings participants will have the opportunity to learn from other experiences in the region. As with all trainings, the participants will also be encouraged to develop an action plan where they will implement the knowledge they have gained into their work. Where appropriate they will also receive support from RECOFTC headquarters and/or country offices in implementing their action plan.
The emphasis on Phase III will also be on partnerships -- strengthening existing and creating new ones. These stronger partnerships include project partner's recognition of RECOFTC's strengths, such as participatory training, as well as the complementary strengths of the partners, such as ICRAF on agroforestry and NTFP-EP on livelihood development through the commercialization of social forestry. Partnerships with university institutions will also be strengthened during Phase III, building on previous phases. This recognizes the vital role that these institutions play not only in conducting research that feeds into policy development, but also their importance in shaping the minds and skills of future leaders in the land use sector. The activities and focus in partnering with universities, as well as forestry training centers, is part of a plan to support the mainstreaming of social forestry in higher and further education. This builds on the findings of capacity development needs assessments on community forestry in many of the ASEAN countries that RECOFTC has facilitated. One of the findings was that higher and further forestry education institutes and programs have often failed to mainstream social forestry and related activities. In recognition of this, a situation analysis will be conducted to examine the gaps in higher and further education in supporting the development of social forestry, an action plan will then be put forward to address these gaps. Furthermore, appropriate trainers and lecturers from ASEAN member states will be invited to attend relevant trainings and support will be provided to assist them in passing on the new knowledge in their own lecturing and trainings.