RECOFTC's blogs on people and forests

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RECOFTC's latest blogs




Advancing the rights of local people: How REDD+ can continue to foster open and honest dialogues about natural assets to better manage forested landscapes

22 April is Earth Day! To celebrate the occasion, RECOFTC Executive Director Dr David Ganz makes the case that now more than ever we must continue to work to empower local people to effectively engage in mechanisms like REDD+ and other forms of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) to better manage their forested landscapes.  

Forests and energy: How can biomass energy benefit local communities?

The potential benefits of improved biomass energy production and use are massive. But for biomass energy to be sustainable, it must be managed responsibly and unfortunately the reality is that it is rarely as well managed as we would like it to be. Dedicated efforts are needed to reach and incorporate the needs of the least powerful stakeholders, in order to ensure that this segment of society benefits.  

Indonesia can deliver on its social forestry targets with participation of sub-national actors

The Indonesia (central) government budget cut for social forestry into half of that compared to the 2015 budget may seem like it is counterproductive toward achieving its social forestry target of 12.7 million hectares in 2020. However, there is still great opportunity for the forester Indonesian president to deliver on social forestry targets.


How can FLEGT truly address illegal logging?

FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) provides a great opportunity to address illegal logging IF it is based on strengthening the rights of local communities.

Community forestry and joint mitigation and adaptation: bridging old and new with a tool  from Nepal

By drawing on simple tools and existing insitutions, pracitioners can design projects that both mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. One simple tool, know as the community forestry-based climate chage adaptation (CF-CCA) framework, was developed by RECOFTC in Nepal. 

People and mangroves – towards a changing future in the Ayeyarwady Delta

Mélanie Feurer, RECOFTC Myanmar intern from 2014-2015, makes the case on why mangroves are vital for coastal communities in adapting to climate change. Her internship was part of her master’s thesis at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL. Ms. Feurer is set to defend her thesis on 12th August 2016 in HAFL.

To achieve the SDGs, listen to the voices of the forest

David Gritten, RECOFTC Senior Programme Officer, makes the case on how it is imperative to listen to those who know the forest best – local communities living in and around forests – to achieve the SDGs.

For my forest, for my people: Women preachers of Meru Betiri, Indonesia

Yuliatin is a 29-year old female preacher who grew up near Meru Betiri National Park in East Java, Indonesia, an area known as one of the last habitats of the Javanese tiger, "Before I was no one, just a housewife, but now my community regards me as a someone who can advise them about how to protect the environment." Read about her journey to become an outspoken activist in her community and beyond.


Success of COP21 Paris Agreement depends on equity for local communities

Regan Suzuki Pairojmahakij, Senior Program Officer at RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, explores the findings of a new RECOFTC report 'Equity in forests and REDD+: An analysis of equity challenges as viewed by forestry decision-makers and practitioners in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam'.  She finds that the viability and success of any agreement emerging from Paris requires that equity extending to local communities form an essential component of process and outcomes in tackling climate change.

Southeast Asian forests are being seen as a key strategy to halt climate change – what will this mean for vulnerable forest communities?

Regan Suzuki Pairojmahakij, Senior Program Officer at RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, argues that the national plansRegan Suzuki Pairojmahakij, Senior Program Officer at RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, argues that the national plans to reduce carbon emissions, submitted in the lead up to COP21 taking place in Paris this December, must not leave forest-dependent people worse off.  to reduce carbon emissions, submitted in the lead up to COP21 taking place in Paris this December, must not leave forest-dependent people worse off. 

Who are the drivers of change in sustainable forest management?

Tint Lwin Thaung, Executive Director of RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, explains the importance of including local people in forest decision-making in order for sustainable forest management to be successful. He argues that investing in local people will sustain our forests, and thus, our future. 

To what extent has women’s rights to access and control over forest resources been recognized and addressed in forest policies and laws in Asia and the Pacific?

Ratchada Arpornsilp, Social Inclusion and Gender Officer, RECOFT writes on International Women’s Day about RECOFTC and FAO's new report ‘Mainstreaming gender into forest policies in Asia and the Pacific’. It aims to shed light on how gender perspectives are being integrated or mainstreamed in the forest policies of eight countries – Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. 


Deforestation and community-outsider conflicts

RECOFTC’s Ahmad Dhiaulhaq was recently asked to be a guest blogger for “The Broker”, which is “an independent platform and online magazine on globalisation and development, bringing together cutting-edge knowledge and expert opinions from researchers, policymakers and practitioners”.

Asking hard question about community forestry brings us full circle

Written by Regan Suzuki, Senior Program Officer, "As long as there are local communities living in forested landscapes and as long as proponents of community forestry are willing to be responsive, dynamic and adaptable, there is a real and legitimate rationale for the promotion and up-scaling of community forestry – and many would consider, moral imperative."

Forests and water: Unraveling the controversy and what it means to local communities in Asia

RECOFTC is launching its new report Forests and water: A synthesis of the contemporary science and its relevance for community forestry in the Asia–Pacific region. The report aims to shed light on the relationships between forests and water in both temperate and tropical regions. However, it finds that there is a “popular narrative” that often runs counter to the consensus views of the forest hydrology scientific community.



RECOFTC's for people and forests blog features updates about climate change, REDD+, indigenous rights, governance, livelihoods and benefits, and other issues affecting the 450 million people living in and around forests in Asia and the Pacific.

If you would like to contribute as a guest blogger, please contact RECOFTC's Assistant Communications Officer, Sophie Westover, at While RECOFTC welcomes your contributions it reserves the right not to publish or edit them in conformity with its editorial policies.


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