December 13, 2022 — a webinar for the regional situational analysis of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in AFoCO member countries was organized under the project “Improving local community livelihoods through increased income from non-timber forest products: Modeling scalable community-based enterprises in Asia (AFoCO/035/2022).” The regional project involves 13 member countries of AFoCO cooperating to enhance livelihood and promote sustainable forest management through the development of community-based NTFP enterprise models (CBNE) and capacity development activities.
The Regional Project Manager of AFoCO/035/2022, Dr. Park Junghwan, welcomed all participants from participating Member Parties of AFoCO and explained the purpose and background of the webinar and the situational analysis conducted by Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme Asia (NTFP-EP Asia). He emphasized the importance of situational analysis which will serve as an essential basis for the implementation of country-specific and suitable project activities designed to fit national and local interests. The situational analysis was conducted based on the AFoCO Secretariat’s recognition of the difficulty in adopting a single approach to project implementation in all Member Parties with different environmental and socio-economic circumstances.
The lead consultant of the regional situational analysis, Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme Asia (NTFP-EP Asia) developed and circulated an expanded outline of the analysis report, analysis tool, and questionnaire. The country reports developed by country-specific experts were analyzed at the regional level and the results of the analysis were presented at the webinar.
After the presentation was over, Mr. Orlando Panganiban, Director of AFoCO’s Cooperation and Project Division, emphasized the need to take into consideration the regional-level concerns presented by the consultant. To address these concerns, he stressed that maintaining close communication and coordination between the consultant and the country project managers is essential to serve as a basis for suitable solutions and the way forward. The first Regional Workshop on CBNE Development for AFoCO/035/2022 will take place come January 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand, where all participating Member Parties of AFoCO/035/2022 will join the discussion on how to address such regional concerns.