Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Multi-stakeholder National Policy Dialogue & Training of Trainers

April 4, 2016

SIEM REAP, Cambodia – on 04-08th April 2016 – the Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) are collaborating in a project: “Strengthening Forest Tenure for Sustaining Livelihoods and Generating Income”. As part of this project, the organizations are co-hosting two events: (i)A Second Multi-stakeholder National Policy Dialogue; and (ii) A Second Training of Trainers at the Angkor Paradise Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia on 04-08th April 2016.

Most of the countries in Asia and the Pacific are struggling to address issues related to forest tenure. Inadequate regulatory frameworks and lack of institutional capacity are the major issues, including in Cambodia. In recent years, however, the role of forests in contributing to the improvement of livelihoods and income of rural communities has received greater attention. Recognition of the importance of strengthening community forest tenure, both from policy and institutional capacity perspectives, to ensure livelihoods and income is well-reflected in the development priorities of Cambodia.

The access and use of forest resources and land by forest-dependent communities is limited because of weak and unclear legal and policy frameworks, and because of insufficient and inadequate institutional capacity. A full realisation of the economic benefits that forests can provide is possible only by instituting strong and clear tenure rights that enable the local community to harness benefits from the forest management, benefits which could eventually contribute to their livelihoods and increase their incomes.


To respond to these challenges

In the context of addressing poverty and food security of millions of rural poor around the world, the FAO of the United Nations has prepared a set of voluntary guidelines (VGGT, Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests with the aim of improving the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests. The key objective of the guidelines is to identify and recognise the legitimate owners of these resources and to safeguard their rights. Taking the principles of the voluntary guidelines as a reference, the FAO-Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) has recently initiated a project named “Strengthening Forest Tenure for Sustaining Livelihoods and Generating Income”. Since September 2014, the project is being piloted in Cambodia, Nepal, and Viet Nam.

Improving the livelihoods and income of rural communities remains an important challenge in the Asia-Pacific region. Many poor and disadvantaged communities live in rural areas, some of them at forest frontiers. In the pilot countries, the rural population forms a major part of the national population: 79% in Cambodia, 83% in Nepal and 72% in Viet Nam. The livelihoods of these rural inhabitants are heavily dependent on forests and agriculture, therefore land and forests are natural assets of great importance to them.

The second national policy dialogue will provide an opportunity to develop a more concrete action plan (short and medium term), implementation strategies, and clarify roles and responsibilities of each stakeholders and ensure their commitment to move forward in addressing policy and capacity gaps related to forest land tenure and livelihoods in Cambodia.


Key objectives

  1. To design concrete action plan (short and long term) to advance forest tenure policies and institutional capacities in Cambodia.
  2. To develop implementation strategies with clear role and responsibilities of multiple stakeholders in addressing identified policy and capacity gaps.
  3. To foster mutual understanding and update on the state of forest land tenure and associated policies and legislation, issues and challenges.
  4. To develop overall strategies, approaches and identify areas of intervention to strengthen forest land tenure policy and institutional capacity in order to sustain livelihood of forest dependents.

This specific programme will build on previous and existing forest tenure initiatives in Cambodia by taking reference of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT). The initiative will focus on strengthening forest tenure policy and institutional capacity to enhance livelihoods and income of forest dependent communities.



For more information please contact:

Mr. Yurdi Yasmi, FAO Forestry Policy Officer E-mail:

Mr. Long Ratanakoma, Deputy Director of Department of Forest ad Community Forestry and National Coordinator of the FAO TCP Project, Tel: +855-77-68 08 38, E-mail:

Mr. Keo Tai, Country Coordinator, NTFP-EP Cambodia, Tel: +855 77 779 929, E-mail: