Lessons Learned from Community Forestry in Asia and Their Relevance for REDD+
This brief describes lessons learned from community forestry in Asia over the last three and a half decades. It describes ways that such forestry programs can be used to deliver strong results for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiatives.
Key lessons learned:
- The importance of clear tenure rights held by communities is widely recognized as crucial to community forestry. Such tenure is legally recognized in the Pacific, but rarely in Asia.
- Encouraging new groups to self-identify adds to the likelihood of empowerment and success.
- The most common benefit to communities is improved legal access to forest products for domestic consumption.
- Development of new forms of participatory silviculture adapted to community needs and capabilities is needed, but little progress has been made.
- Two key conditions for scaling up are successful, proven pilot initiatives and favorable policy and legal frameworks.
- Self-initiated forms of community forestry have made significant contributions to the maintenance of healthy forests and that externally initiated community forestry programs have maintained or improved forest quality
The brief gives 10 recommendations for REDD+ programs, such as focusing on communities that have legally enforceable rights to their forests.