Vibrant and Thriving Social Forestry in Southeast Asia for Investing in a Sustainable Future


In a forest ecosystem, often timber products only comprise 10% of all products whereas 90% are non-timber forest products (NTFPs). NTFPs are estimated to account for as much as 25% of the income of close to one billion people, and also provide for health and subsistence people to many forest-dependent communities (FDCs). In the last decade, economic interests seen as good for development – ranging from mining to palm oil cultivation – have overshadowed FDCs’ way of life, often with detrimental effects on the community and the forest.

As a regional body, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recognizes the importance of an emerging forest management system, which shows the promise of reversing the declining trend of forest areas. and empowering local communities. ASEAN, as “a community of opportunities,” is exemplifying how multi-sectoral cooperation in the region has allowed for many FDCs to collaborate and form community forest enterprises (CFEs), enabling them to continue managing and making a living from their forests. Aside from adding value to NTFPs, which are often seen as minor and ordinary, CFEs are also means to respect, promote, and enhance communitie’ culture and tradition.

With support from the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) and Partner Organizations (NTFP-EP, RECOFTC, ICRAF, and SEARCA), the event aims to showcase successes from the ongoing cooperation on social forestry in Southeast Asia through research, capacity building, development for livelihoods. It will be comprised of the following activities: 1) Sharing a View from Within; 2) Forest Fashion Show ; 3) Scents and Flavors Relaxation Cafe; and 4) Knowledge and Product fair.

The ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Programme supports (i) policy development, (ii) knowledge sharing and networking, and (iii) learning interventions related to Social Forestry in pursuit of food and livelihood security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development in ASEAN countries. Under the Programme, selected support Partner organizations assist ASEAN Member States through research and analysis (CIFOR), capacity building and training (RECOFTC), policy dialogue and agroforestry promotion (ICRAF), enterprise development and civil society engagement (NTFP-EP), and provision of seed funding for country-driven initiatives (SEARCA).

The Event will include the following activities:

Sharing a view from within:
Storytelling and interviews with champion individuals, communities, and organizations with significant thematic contributions to social forestry in the region will open the event. A diverse panel of artisans, craft masters, community leaders, advocates, among others, will provide insights on victories and challenges in social forestry both locally and regionally.

Forest Fashion Show:
Traditional products are representations of valuable culture teeming with a strong sense of sensibility for artistry and craftsmanship. This Forest Fashion show will feature a wide range of products from the region that are traditionally made by FDCs and transformed by CFEs into high-quality rendition of time-honored art forms.

Scents and Relaxation Cafe:
To de-stress from a whole day of congress work, wild foods from the forest will be served during the event. It will feature forest honey derivatives such as wine, cocktails, and drinks from CFE brands as well as. scents and flavors derived from community forests.

Knowledge and product fair:
This component will provide space for display, distribution, and retail of knowledge materials and products from ASFCC partners and   other ASEAN regional cooperation programmes.

Join this session September 8, 2015, Tuesday 19:45 – 21:00
Venue: Hall 2D

Blogpost submitted by: Alfi Syakila (ASFN) – alfi.syakila(at)

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