Wednesday, 30 May
8.30- 10.10am: Forest Governance and International Initiatives

Etienne Delattre,

Organization: RECOFTC

Weak governance is facilitating the destruction of natural forests in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). This is having devastating impacts on the lives of millions of people, killing the region’s rich biodiversity and undermining efforts for sustainable economic development. RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, working with civil society partners as part of the European Union funded Voices for the Mekong Forests (V4MF) project, is seeking to better understand the governance challenges and opportunities in the forestry sector, as well as putting forward a programme to address these through the empowerment of non-state actors. The rationale of the project is that for forests to be sustained, forest governance must be based on principles of inclusivity, requiring effective participation of non-state actors (NSAs). Many sub-national, national, regional and global initiatives offer opportunities for NSAs to become actively involved in government-led forest landscape dialogues and decision-making processes. The project therefore leverages and contributes to these initiatives, particularly the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade - Voluntary Partnership Agreements (FLEGT-VPA) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degr adation (REDD+), by helping to ensure they are built on multi-stakeholder processes, and that civil society have the capacity to effectively engage on issues, present their concerns to policy makers, and organize themselves to share information and strengthen negotiating positions.

As part of the inception period, the project completed an appraisal of the status of forest governance in the Mekong countries which forms its baseline upon which interventions to strengthen forest governance can be built upon. During this exercise, over a thousand people were consulted at national and landscape levels, and contributed as key informants. The presentation will summarize the approach and frameworks used for the assessment, synthesize the results from the five GMS countries, and highlight identified issues and proposed interventions to strengthen forest governance across the regionthrough the empowerment of non-state actors.Interestingly, the informative and formative aspects of that activity among partners and stakeholders, raising awareness and identifying issues, challenges and opportunities of forest governance in general, and of FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ in particular, were as valuable as a result of the research that its findings.


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