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FAO Showcases Community-Based Forestry for Sustainable Development

fao_headquarters23 February 2016: A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released during the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week highlights that community-based forestry regimes show great promise as engines for sustainable development, but require greater support by governments through policy reforms and other measures to unlock their true potential.

Titled 'Forty years of community-based forestry: A review of its extent and effectiveness,' the report shares a number of successful examples of community-based forestry from around the world, including from Nepal, Mexico, Cameroon and the Gambia. It highlights that community-based forestry is a potent vehicle for promoting sustainable forest management, reducing poverty and generating jobs and income for rural communities.

The report outlines a series of actions needed to make community-based forestry more effective, including: providing communities with secure forest tenure; improving regulatory frameworks; and transferring appropriate and viable skills and technology. The authors also underline the importance of access to markets and knowledge of market mechanisms if communities and smallholders are to commercialize their forest products, which can significantly contribute to poverty reduction.

The authors further conclude that solid data are lacking on the extent and effectiveness of community-based forestry on a national scale, for use in informed discussion and decision-making. [FAO Press Release] [Publication: Forty Years of Community-based Forestry: A Review of its Extent and Effectiveness] [Natural Resources Policy and Practice Post on the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week]