Adopted by the 18th ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) Meeting, Yogyakarta, 6-8 August 2015
In June 2014, the ASOF endorsed the Strategies and Mechanisms to Strengthen ASEAN cooperation in Social Forestry that were Adopted by the ASFN in the 5th ASFN Conference in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in May 2014.
Following this in the 6th Annual ASFN Conference in Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar in June 2015, the ASFN affirmed that Social Forestry can contribute significantly to realize the ASEAN Vision 2020 for Food, Agriculture and Forestry (FAF). It is envisioned that ASEAN shall be a leading producer of FAF products, and the forestry sector as a model in forest management, conservation and sustainable development.
As the diverse modes of Social/Community Forestry (SF/CF) typically engage communities living in and around forests, SF/CF is ideally suited not only for forest management but also for multifunctional landscape management. Beyond their contributions to economic production, multifunctional landscapes are vital for the over-all wellbeing of the people who live in and manage these landscapes.
Recommendations to ASEAN:
- Recognize the importance of agroforestry, including sustainable shifting cultivation and traditional land use practices, to enhance forest and agro biodiversity in, and benefits from, multifunctional landscapes:
- Promote agroforestry as part of SF/CF
- Encourage the planting of multi-purpose plant species (i.e. food based trees, medicinal and aromatic plants) in SF/CF
- Document and publish at national level a priority list of NTFPs / forest resources for protection, enhancement, management, production for livelihood and enterprise
- Support research and investment on food from forests and on nutrition from organic and diversified production systems
- Recognize the diversity of tenure systems and the importance of granting locally determined tenure rights to indigenous people, communities and smallholders using various legal instruments that enable them to manage the land themselves:
- Prioritize or accelerate granting of Community Forestry Arrangements (CFAs) and other tenure modalities to support SF/CF-based livelihoods and enterprises
- Encourage Member States to ensure procedural equity in land use decision making through the establishment of platforms for multi-sectoral, multi stakeholder participation and planning processes and mechanisms at different levels.
- Encourage Member States to establish grievance mechanisms at multiple levels to address local peoples’ concerns and conflicts related to land and forest.
- Encourage Member States to provide services such as technical assistance, access to finance, lower taxes and other incentives, market information, system to transfer rights, risk protection and other development programs to support Social/Community Forestry (SF/CF) and SF/CF-based Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs):
- Provide a “one stop” service center for SMEs, including micro-scale community- and Indigenous Peoples’ enterprises;
- Establish an ASEAN Trust Fund for SF/CF-based SMEs;
- Assist SMEs to meet national/regional product standards/requirements, enhance value addition, increase bargaining power and achieve economies of scale;
- Accept alternative certification regimes that are more appropriate for SMEs;
- Support SME Capacity Building to ensure safety and quality of products, enable them to: meet harmonized standards and legality regulations; undertake savings and investment; and form associations and advocate for favorable policies;
- Create or institutionalize a platform for exchange on forest products technologies and product development;
- Joint planning between ASFN and relevant AEG/AWG on community economy, livelihoods concerns and climate change;
- Assist in the protection the knowledge, culture and products of local communities through recognition of intellectual property rights, including rights not necessarily defined by existing national and international IPR frameworks.
- Develop a Private Sector Engagement Framework in SF/CF, particularly engaging socially responsible private sector, to enable higher income and improved wellbeing of small holders.
- Facilitate and regulate the development of equitable partnership between small holders, SMEs, larger enterprises and the international markets;
- Adopt and implement regulations on environmental and social sustainability that need to be adhered to by all producers;
- Direct larger companies to train SMEs as part of their duty to transfer knowledge, with priority to non-wood forest products.
- Strengthen enforcement/harmonization of regulations on cross border trade to protect local products for food safety.
- Promote legal and eco-friendly trade nationally and regionally (e.g. through regional branding).
- Incorporate SF/CF into national forestry policies and master/strategic plans, and mainstream SF/CF in rural development, food security, and climate change related plans:
- Develop criteria and key success indicators with clear targets suitable for SF/CF;
- Develop FPIC guidelines for forestry, including SF/CF, building on the lessons from REDD+;
- Develop and implement schemes and mechanisms for compensation of forest ecosystem services;
- Strengthening ASFN communication and coordination mechanism.