From the Executive Director
Shortly after assuming office in September 2011, I found myself literally under water. The infamous Bangkok floods submerged RECOFTC and its host institution, Kasetsart University, into waist-deep water for more than a month, disrupting both our plans and operations.
It was a time of despair for many in Thailand. However, moments like these also build character; it surely brought out the best in RECOFTC. Our heightened sense of unity and teamwork combined with encouragement from our partners carried us through the difficult times.
At this time, I am proud to share with you that despite these challenges, we have remained positive, committed, and productive. The year 2012 not only marked RECOFTC’s 25th silver jubilee anniversary, it also marked a crucial stage in the development of RECOFTC’s next strategic planning phase, which builds on the tangible actions and changes on the ground that our capacity building efforts have helped bring about.
This year, we have helped national partners to achieve clearer tenure rights in Lao PDR by facilitating the issuance of certificates that can be used as loan collaterals for teak plantation smallholders. In Cambodia, RECOFTC supported the development of the very first government-approved community forest management plan, and 55 more forest communities are set to gain formal rights through community forest agreements. In Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, RECOFTC has continued to support the development and sharing of community forestry best practice models in securing formal tenure and access to forest resources. We have also initiated steps in Myanmar that will help the development of a fully functional program to help meet the needs of both people and forests in this emerging economy.
As we enter the final year of the implementation phase of our current strategic plan, we will continue to support the governments and people of the Asia-Pacific in their efforts to address key forest tenure, livelihood, conflict, and governance issues.
Dr. Tint Lwin Thaung
RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests
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