Social forestry holds the promise of a people-centered approach while also providing tangible results in climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, there is significant knowledge and capacity gaps in understanding social forestry as a solution to climate change in the ASEAN region including the link between social forestry and climate change.
Therefore, there is a need for ASEAN countries to understand the causes of climate change and know how to deal with climate change impacts. In the ASFCC partnership, RECOFTC played a key role in capacity development especially in its unique approach in applying experiential and adult learning methods. These methods enable participants to explore information and knowledge based on their own experience through various modes of training activities, so that by the end of the training, they are able to find the most appropriate solution in overcoming real life challenges through the knowledge they gained from the training course.
With full consultation with ASFN Leaders and ASFCC Supporting partners, RECOFTC delivered eight regional training courses on the following topics for the representatives of ASEAN countries:
Policy and governance in ASEAN region: Relationship between forestry and climate change;
Mitigation and Adaptation: Managing forest conflicts in a context of climate change in the ASEAN region;
Introduction to climate change; Introduction to community forestry in the context of climate change;
Watershed Governance in the context of climate change, focusing on tenure and policy reform processes;
Community livelihood and markets: Improving market access in the context of climate change;
Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC); and
Community forestry for adaptation to climate change.
Besides providing regional training, RECOFTC also supports capacity development of ASEAN countries through national level trainings in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand on various topics. In general, based on training monitoring and evaluation reports, participants perceived positively all the courses, the learning process, capability of trainers and facilitators, as well as course infrastructure and facilities.
In all trainings, RECOFTC’s trainers encouraged active participation of training participants through small group discussions, brainstorming, case studies, debate, with application of various adult learning principles. A field visit to enable participants to experience real life evidence of the subject discussed in the classroom is mandatory for all RECOFTC training provided for ASFN participants. Although in general, participants attending the training course fulfill the minimum requirements (such as English ability, experience in the relevant subject, and work in social forestry/climate change issues), there were few occasions where participants need special attention due to lack of English.