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
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