Capacity Building for Sustainable Forest and Land Management (CBSFLMP)

Capacity Building for Sustainable Forest and Land Management (CBSFLMP)

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Working closely with the Forestry Administration, local governments, communities, and NGOs in Cambodia, this project has helped 60,000 families from 450 villages gain rights and manage nearly 200,000 ha of forests. We now directly support more than half of the country’s 400 community forestry sites, and a third of those with legal agreements, through training, facilitating partnerships,and more.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The main challenges that needed to be overcome in CBSFLMP included a lack of understanding and capacity on community forestry throughout the Forestry Administration (FA) and other Government Agencies and stakeholders, the threat of forests requested for Community Forestry by forest-dependent communities being allocated for other land uses, complex requirements for communities to formalize Community Forests, and the continuing weak governance overall in the forest sector.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The CBSFLMP approach is unique as it uses a participatory and partnership approach from all levels in an integrated manner. A sense of ownership and active involvement throughout the process of the formalization of community forestry is also an integral element behind the success of this initiative.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

As the objective of CBSFLMP is to build the capacity of forest dependent villages, the Forest Administration, NGO partners and local governments to explore innovative approaches to collaborative forms of forest stewardship and participatory monitoring in five target cantonments, which are Ratanakiri, Kratie, Kampong Thom, Pursat, and Kampot. As of June 2010, CBSFLMP has helped 60,000 families from 450 villages gain rights and manage nearly 200,000 ha of forests. This success reveals the importance of working with partners to demonstrate how community forestry can work on the ground. It also underlines the need to influence policy direction, and to simplify bureaucracy to maximize opportunities for local people. Please watch video clip for more stories of impact.
About You
RECOFTC - The Center for People and Forests
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name


Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Organization Name

RECOFTC - The Center for People and Forests

Organization Phone

+66 (0)2 940 5700

Organization Address

P.O. Box 1111, Kasetsart Post Office, Bangkok 10903, Thailand

Organization Country
How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, KT

Do you have a patent for this idea?


The project takes a programmatic and partnership approach. The main mechanism for ensuring collaboration is through RECOFTC’s membership and participation in groups such as the Technical Working Group on Forestry and Environment and the National Community Forestry Program Coordination Committee.

The project’s CF “training for action” builds the capacity of FA and NGO staff at the national and field levels to become trainers for other staff, local government officials, and community forestry management committees (CFMCs). This ensures that all have a similar understanding of the requirements to facilitate the formalization of CFs according to the prevailing laws. The project also supports other national level support CF programs.

The capacity building is directly supported by the project’s subcomponent on FA support to CF pilot projects by providing financial and technical support to FA cantonments. The initial focus was on securing community forest tenure through formal Community Forestry Agreements between the communities and the FA,and the 2nd phase focused more on improved institutional and forest management for improved, equitably shared, benefits to members.


By project end, CBSFLMP had helped 48 community forests (covering 41,000 ha) in gaining legal tenure to their forests, and also supported a further 214 communities (150,000 ha) achieve different milestones on the road to legalization. Thirty-three trainers from 10 national institutions and organizations were also trained under a training of trainers program, who in turn trained a further 1,293 local stakeholders under project support.

Although the Project has ended in June 2010, lessons learned from the projects will continue to help Cambodia further strengthen and develop its community forests. A RECOFTC Cambodia Country Program office has been established in Phnom Phen and still continues to work closely with the FA and the local communities to scale up the reach and impact of community forestry in Cambodia. There is much more to be done to make CFs fully functional, effective and self-sustaining.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


If so, how?

CBSFLMP’s objective is to build the capacity of forest dependent villages, the Forest Administration, NGO partners and local governments to explore innovative approaches to collaborative forms of forest stewardship and participatory monitoring. It, therefore, has contributed to community forestry policies in Cambodia. For example, the conduct of CF field training and implementation of sub-grants to support target FA cantonments and in collaboration with local NGOs has achieved significant progress in the steps leading to CF formalization and legalization.

What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?


Does your organization have any non monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your innovation.

RECOFTC engages in strategic networks and effective partnerships with governments, international and UN agencies, non-government organizations, research and educational institutes, civil society, the private sector and local people in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. RECOFTC works closely with a range of partners in forest programs and processes to expand its reach and impact. The underlying objective of this partnership is to add value to and leverage funds for joint activity-building initiatives; to support and strengthen community organizations, networks and federations, and to build more effective coalitions at sub-national, national, sub-regional, regional and global levels. Close collaboration with national partner institutions is intended to foster the long-term sustainability efforts.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

CBSFLMP was funded by the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) administered by the World Bank(WB).

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Since the 1990s, community forestry (CF) has been established throughout Cambodia on a pilot basis. The experience from these pilots led the Royal Government of Cambodia to develop a legal framework, and with the prakas on Community Forestry in 2006, the final piece of the framework was completed, ensuring the sustainability of CF management. In order for Community Forests to become formalized and sustainability managed, much effort is required by all stakeholders. In particular, the communities require capacity building in the areas of institutional and forest management. They have to be capable of managing the forest resources put under their management responsibility. Likewise, local governments need to understand CF so they can integrate it into their plans and support its development. Additional support is necessary from the field offices of the Forestry Administration (FA), both for providing technical services and regulatory functions.

RECOFTC has been active in Cambodia in training various aspects of community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) for many years. In January 2006, RECOFTC and FA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Collaboration to Support CF Development in Cambodia. In September 2006, RECOFTC was awarded a grant from the Japan Social Development Fund to implement, in partnership with the Forestry Administration, the Capacity Building for Sustainable Forest and Land Management Project (CBSFLMP). The overall objective of the project is to build up the capacity of forest dependent villages, the FA, NGOs and local governments to explore innovative approaches to collaborative forms of forest stewardship and participatory monitoring. In practice, this means supporting the identification, development and formalization of community forests (CFs) in seven provinces, namely, Kampong Thom, Pursat, Ratanakiri, Kratie, Kampot, Kep and Takeo. The project is also intended to test the efficiency and effectiveness of the new CF framework, so as to provide valuable feedback to policy and decision makers on strengths and weaknesses, and the effect of incentives for communities based on experience and practice, for reviewing and revising the CF framework to improve its potential to contribute to sustainable forest management, poverty reduction and other development goals of Royal Government of Cambodia.

Tell us about the social innovator—the person—behind this idea.

RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests is a ‘south-based’ international not-for-profit organization with more than 20 years of experience of building capacity for community forestry and devolved forest management. With international experience and a dynamic approach to capacity building – involving research and analysis, demonstration sites, training products, and effective communication – RECOFTC delivers innovative solutions for people and forests.

RECOFTC is committed to sustainable development and poverty reduction, and democracy and human rights by delivering on-the-ground programs that empower people, particularly resource poor and disadvantaged local communities and indigenous people. RECOFTC has worked to put forest-dependent people at the centre of forestry reforms in the Asia-Pacific region. Central to this work has been a focus on strengthening rights, improving governance and ensuring equitable benefit sharing, all contributing to strengthening democratic processes within the forestry sector at both national and local levels.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Personal contact at Changemakers

If through another source, please provide the information.


Which (if any) of the following strategies apply to your organization or company (check as many as apply)

Legal education and awareness, Other.

Please explain how your work furthers one or many of the above strategies (if you selected “other”, please explain your strategy)

RECOFTC’s work is guided by the need to secure stronger rights, improved governance, and more equitable benefits. Within these overarching principles, RECOFTC has conceptualized 4 thematic priorities that will shape rural livelihoods and forest management over the coming years: Expanding community forestry; People, forests, and climate change; Transforming forest conflict; Enhancing livelihoods