Twenty years ago in 1996 the idea of cultivating a culture of exchange and mutual support and learning amongst like-minded people- and- forest warriors was born. From its infancy to a mature network, NTFP-EP has been a purveyor of treasures and knowledge from the forests of South and Southeast Asia. From India to Indonesia, to Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. We have expanded our contacts, who have then become long time friends and project partners. We are now a network of over 100 civil society and community based organizations on a mission of empowerment of forest dependent communities towards the sustainable management of forested landscapes and ecosystems.
We send our best wishes to all our friends and partners of old and of more recent years. As we bring 2016 to a close, we celebrate the achievements of our growing family of people-and-forest warriors:
- Meet the Makers fair is now on its 11th run in Indonesia and the culture, artistry and craftsmanship of Kalimantan indigenous women and youth have been consistently featured and grow more in popularity and demand. See them in Singapore in 2017!
- Our EXCEED training and advisory program is on its 3rd year with the graduates kept in touch on a common social media platform and where we could continue to provide ongoing learning. We have more courses lined up for a diverse set of learners – communities, government officers, NGO staff and social entrepreneurs
- We launched a new small grants programme dedicated to support for women empowerment and environmental justice as a member of a Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA)
- We congratulate the Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance who’ve taken up the mantle for solidarity, cooperation and coordination of actions of a national alliance of indigenous communities and peoples’ organisations, associations, and networks in Cambodia. We look forward to a stronger collective voice alongside their counterparts in other countries – AMAN in Indonesia, CPA in the Philippines and JOAS in Malaysia
- We welcomed support for stronger community/social forestry promotion in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia
- More formal customary forests (“hutan adat”) awarded in Indonesia
- The 2nd indigenous youth camp in the Philippines are a lot of fun and also a meaningful space for strengthening cultural pride and identity for the next generation
- Last Forest Enterprises had its first successful year of A Place to Bee – a space not only to have good food but a place to appreciate the value of community and ecology, and fair, clean and safe foods. Visit them in Ooty
These and a host of other positive stories keep us inspired and passionate to carry on the mission.
We welcome 2017, which promises to be as bright and even more hopeful.
With a renewed strategic direction, NTFP-EP makes a bolder commitment to support the sustainable livelihood and food security of forest-dependent communities both in work in the field as well as in our advocacies for forest peoples rights and the protection and sustainable management of forested landscapes and ecosystems.
We will embark in the next months a consultation to renew agreements and our understanding about the NTFP-EP network – its membership or partnership and our collective mission for people and forests.
I personally look forward to this and wish us at least another twenty more years of working and learning together.
Peace on Earth and Joy to All!