The ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG SF) is a transformation of the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN), a government driven social forestry network in Southeast Asia, with main goal to strengthen ASEAN Cooperation in Social Forestry through the sharing of information and knowledge. The AWG-SF is an ASEAN Working Group that reports to the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry.
The Working Group has an extended objectives and scope of work from the initial ten years of the ASFN that links the government forestry policy-makers directly with other network members from civil society, research organizations, academia, private sector and experts of related fields – all who share a vision of seeing social forestry grow in ASEAN Member States.
The Objectives of the AWG-SF are to:
- support ASOF and AMAF in decision-making by providing specific policy-oriented research results and policy analysis on the effects of social forestry in enhancing sustainable forest management and the welfare and livelihoods of indigenous people, local communities, forest dwellers and other forest-dependent communities;
- respond to emerging issues on the impacts of social forestry in the forestry sector as identified in the agenda and work programmes of ASOF and AMAF;
- enhance mutual understanding and support effective implementation of the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Co-operation in Forestry, 2016-2025;
- evaluate and enhance the contribution and impact of social forestry programmes in sustainable forest management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, poverty alleviation, and the well-being of the people;
- recognise and protect customary and statutory tenure arrangements, and access and use rights of indigenous people, local communities, forest dwellers and other forest-dependent communities by appropriate legislation, processes and mechanisms, including the principle of FPIC;
- ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of traditional forest related knowledge and technologies developed by indigenous people, local communities, forest dwellers and other forest-dependent communities;
- increase capacity building, support, co-ordination and resources to enhance social forestry activities and enterprises throughout the region, including sharing of knowledge and information exchange; and
- articulate ASEAN common positions on social forestry and influence the outcomes of the deliberations at international and regional fora.