Regional and national partners will gather 3-5 April 2017 in Bangkok for the inception workshop of the ‘Strengthening NSAs’ voices for improved forest governance in the Mekong region’ project. The overall objective of the five-year (2017-2021) project is that by 2030 NSAs in Mekong region countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam) effectively drive national forest landscape governance processes, particularly in FLEGT-VPA and REDD+. The project is based on the rationale that non-state actors (NSAs), particularly civil society, play a fundamental role in strengthening governance. However, despite some advancements in recent years, they face many challenges including the fact that they are often not recognized or effectively engaged as equal partners in forest and/or governance processes -- due to a lack of participatory processes in policy making; capacity of the NSAs to effectively participate in dialogues and exchanges with state and private actors; and a lack of appropriate data to strengthen forest governance. In recognition of this, the European Union is supporting the project ‘Strengthening NSAs’ voices for improved forest governance in the Mekong region’. For more information, see the project web page.