Seventeen local forest practitioners from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam met in Chiang Mai, Thailand to participate in a Training of Trainers workshop with Grassroots Equity and Enhanced Networks in the Mekong Program this month. Participants learned how the principles of social equity can advance their communities while the training strengthened their abilities as facilitators to promote and apply the concept in the forests and climate change context.
The training of trainers ultimately extends the reach of the program, ensuring trainees can share their knowledge further, resulting in better forest governance and management policies and practices. As a result of the training, which included a field visit and an opportunity to engage with a community that has applied the principles of social equity, participants were able to identify opportunities for addressing issues in their respective workplaces. They also developed new skills to effectively engage with grassroots stakeholders and communicate their perspectives to policymakers. Finally, trainees used this opportunity to create new relationships between governmental and civil society actors that can strengthen collaboration in forest governance both in countries and regionally.
Finally, the training also saw visit a field site in Baan Thung Yao, Thailand where a community applied the concepts of equity and resulted in protection of community resources. This essential aspect of the workshop gave trainees the opportunity to engage with the community and learn first-hand how improving gender equity led to an overall improvement in the community.