our programs

Training Programs

EXCEED is gearing up for its 2016 training programs

Managing Community Forestry Enterprise Growth and Effective Marketing Strategies

Introduction

Many organizations have established community enterprises and green marketing intermediaries as strategies for livelihoods development for forest-based communities as well as forest conservation. Sustainability and scaling up of both marketing intermediaries and community enterprises, especially beyond project support, are goals some of these support organizations and communities have yet to achieve.

While, they are operational, often, marketing intermediaries and community enterprises have difficulty in scaling up and upgrading to the next level towards consistency, sustainability and growth. Many are unable to systematize and streamline their operations, and expand markets, incurring high costs and limiting profits. Main problems encountered are internal and human resource issues arising and, business and financial management challenges. Issues on appropriate community enterprises and on planning for sustainability are often faced by local communities, business managers, project officers and organizations. While varying conditions in different areas may require customized community enterprise models, in this training, we explore how consolidating community enterprises could support sustainability and improve benefits for producers.

Content

The training will cover topics on organizational and human resource strengthening, systems development including, financial and production management, and community enterprise federation and on marketing. Trends in green marketing and retail management will be the main focus.



Participatory Non-Timber Forest Products Resource Management Training

Sustainable resource management must be carefully planned when setting up community-based enterprise projects, particularly when these involve natural capital. The Participatory Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Resource Management Training offers an approach through which participants can learn how to develop enterprise projects that are not only sustainable but also in harmony with local communities’ culture as well as the overall well-being of their forest ecosystem.

The six-day course provides participants with a practical step-by-step guide for community organizers to assist their communities in ensuring that forest resources, particularly NTFPs, are used and managed sustainably. This will be done through a mix of presentations, case studies and structured learning exercises. Participants will learn by relating to their own experiences as part of the learning approaches and tools applied in this course, along with field visits and interactions with the facilitators and community members.

The training will be held in the province of Palawan, Philippines, home to approximately 57 ethno linguistic groups with three different indigenous peoples: the Tagbanua, Palawan and Batak. The training will be hosted by the Palawan indigenous people of Brooke’s Point, who continue to manage their forest resources traditionally to this day. They also have decades of enterprise development experience with NTFPs such as resin, seeds and agroforest products. Gathering of NTFPs such as resin, honey, rattan, medicinal plants, buri, bamboo and vines is an important economic and cultural activity for them. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with indigenous communities with long experience in sustainably managing their forests and their NTFP enterprises.

At the end of the training, participants will have:
  • Learned the importance of resource management in relation to NTFP management and enterprise development;
  • Been exposed to a number of sustainable practices that can ensure the viability and sustainability of NTFP resource management and NTFP enterprise development; and
  • Practiced the approaches and tools that support the development, implementation and monitoring of NTFP resource management.
 



Beyond Business: Ensuring Viability, Sustainability and Resilience

Introduction

In recent years, natural and environment-friendly has become the trend, fashionable, chic and popular. This is perhaps the reason why setting up NTFP-based enterprises seemed easier. However, making them viable and sustainable is easier said than done. Market demands continue to change – the requirements for quality products become more and more stringent. The changing climate pattern significantly affects almost the entire chain of enterprise operations from the supply of raw materials to the delivery of products to the market. The business environment continuously becomes more competitive especially with the upcoming integration of the production and market base in the ASEAN region in 2015. All these inevitably boil down to one point – the need to strengthen and enhance the operations of the NTFP enterprises in order to thrive in this immensely challenging environment.  

Beyond Business: Ensuring Viability, Sustainability and Resilience is aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of NTFP producers who have already embarked on their enterprises and who have basic understanding and know-how to manage an NTFP enterprise. The training will entail examining the enterprises’ internal value chain to map out their sources of strengths and weakness – harvesting and processing of raw materials, procurement, production, operations, storage and packaging, distribution, marketing, human resources. This stocktaking exercise would allow NTFP enterprises to come up with inputs in:
  • Establishing standards, that will meet up and align with needs and requirements of the market.
  • Increasing human resource capacity, systems management, connectivity, technology and market competence to address larger volumes and markets
  • Formulating resource management plans to ensure that expansion of the business will not place undue stress on the resource; and
  • Employing climate-proofing techniques to increase climate-resilience of NTFP enterprises;
 

Contents and focus of the training shall be on:
  • Sustainable consumption and production of NTFP based products – the standardization of production processes to produce "sustainable" and quality products which are socially accountable and environmentally responsible that have been agreed upon by the community of artisans/producers and meet up with the quality standards of the market
  • Resource Management Planning which covers regeneration, sustainable harvesting and participatory resource monitoring; and
  • Basic understanding on disaster risk assessment and climate change adaptation that will guide in identifying climate-proofing techniques for NTFP enterprises;
 

Training methodologies shall be a combination of structured learning experiences, lecture-discussions, workshops which will be conducted in three full days and an additional day for the learning visit to one NTFP enterprise.



First Steps to Community Enterprise Development

The training Community Livelihood Assessment and Product Scanning: First Steps to Community Enterprise Development aims to provide communities and organizations with an approach and tools in identifying and selecting products and services with high enterprise development potential as well as in assessing the readiness of the community in setting up a viable community forest enterprise. The training will show how to accomplish this in a step-by-step manner, starting from assessing the livelihood situation, scanning potential products, evaluation of the sustainability of resources, assessing community readiness, and prioritizing and mapping key non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

Content and Learning Objectives

At the end of the training, the participants are expected to have an understanding and basic knowledge in using the following tools:

  • Sustainable livelihood assessment tool
  • Enterprise readiness assessment
  • Resource scanning and mapping and market assessment
  • Product/Service identification and prioritization

The training consists of a combination of structured learning exercises, lecture-discussions, field workshop. The design of the training is suited for professionals and organizations working with forest-based communities on enterprise development.



Honey Technical Training

The course will be conducted back to back with the Asian Forest Honey conference called "Madhu Duniya" or Honey world. Experts from the region will be sharing their knowledge, skills and experiences on sustainable harvesting and management, hygienic processing, value addition for bee and honey products, marketing and branding. They will also be sharing the state of the art trends on honey and bee products using links to the medical and academic fields. Experts are from India, Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries. They will be providing guidance for those new in the field. There are very few forest honey experts in the world and this is a rare opportunity to learn from a multi-awarded set of trainers.