Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Promoting community forest small and medium-sized enterprises in light of the ASEAN Economic Community

November 10, 2015

The ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) Civil Society Organizations Forum (ASFN CSO Forum) was formalized in 2012 as an institutional component of ASFN meetings. Gradually, the ASFN CSO Forum garnered its pertinent role of being the platform of civil society organizations, local communities, and indigenous people’s organizations to distill, consolidate and elevate its important messages to the members of the ASEAN states through the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN).

At present, the forum is comprised of a collective of over sixty (60) civil society organizations, network and membership organizations and indigenous peoples, local communities and peoples’ organizations from 8 ASEAN countries, continuously growing and actively working in the ASEAN region. The same are all active in the forestry sector in the implementation of capacity building, awareness raising, and technical support in programs on community livelihoods, forest rights and land tenure, traditional and indigenous knowledge systems, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Since its establishment, it consistently engages ASEAN through ASFN in advancing measures, strategies and recommendations promoting community forestry interests, while providing significant critical input to ASFN’s plans and direction.

On its recently concluded 4th Forum held in Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar on May 2015, the network has developed four thematic working groups namely: Forest Tenure and Access Rights, Community Economy and Livelihood, Safeguards, and Governance. These working groups will work to support the calls of CSOs detailed in working papers prepared for each theme. The same has been shared with ASFN and other stakeholders.

On June 2015, the CSO Forum actively participated in the 6th ASFN Conference in Myanmar where concrete recommendations were formulated, discussed and elevated to the ASEAN Member States during the formal ASFN Meeting.