Hanoi, Vietnam – September 3 to 9, 2023 — In a groundbreaking effort to propel sustainable forest management into action, AFoCO recently wrapped up its 2nd Regional Workshop for the Project titled “Improved Local Community Livelihoods Through Increase Income From Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP): Modelling Sacalable Community-Based Enterprises in Asia (AFoCO/035/2022)“. This pivotal event brought together a diverse group of participants from across 12 Asian countries (Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam), united by a common goal — the sustainable management of NTFPs.
This all-encompassing project engages all member countries of AFoCO, strategically addressing the sustainable management of NTFPs through a combination of regional and country-specific activities. As these activities transition from planning to implementation, the need for capacity building within country project teams becomes paramount.
The workshop was focused on two key areas: Community-Based Enterprise Development and Management (CBE-DM) and NTFP Sustainable Resources Management (NTFP-SRM). These sessions aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement effective NTFP management strategies.
Field trips were a prominent feature, providing participants with real-world insights. These excursions included visits to Yen Son Village, Ba Vi National Park, and a model showcasing the cultivation of medicinal plants under the forest canopy. They allowed participants to gain practical understanding and deepened their connection to the subject matter.
The workshop’s primary objective was to foster a platform for participants to share information about their country-specific activities, thus enabling a unified approach towards achieving the project’s goals. The event included a site visit that facilitated discussions on community-based NTFP management and sustainable resource management at the grassroots level.
The outcomes of this workshop are expected to significantly contribute to the successful implementation of the NTFP Project at the national level. Participants left the event with a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of Country Project Managers and Local Project Coordinators. This insight is instrumental in crafting strategic plans for their projects.
Esteemed guests and participants from various Asian countries contributed to the event’s success, engaging in insightful discussions and forging meaningful connections. These participants hold pivotal roles in the successful execution of the NTFP project in their respective regions. The NTFP Project signifies a collective commitment to driving positive change by promoting sustainable NTFP management. This workshop served as a cornerstone in this journey, arming participants with the tools and knowledge required to uplift forest-dependent communities while safeguarding precious natural resources.
As the workshop concluded in Hanoi, it marked the beginning of a journey that promises lasting impact. Participants return to their home countries with newfound insights and the connections needed to drive positive change in the management of NTFPs. The knowledge they’ve gained and the connections they’ve forged will serve as powerful catalysts for the transformative journey that lies ahead.
Contributed by Ms. YoungJu HAN, Project Management Coordinator