Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Voices From the Forest Issue No. 31

January 11, 2017

Its not just about eating slowly, and savoring your food, but Slow Food is more a movement to promote local cuisine and local culture behind food which may be losing out to fast food options slowly taking over many landscapes and lifestyles. Leo, Beng, Ruth and Inday joined the Slow Food meeting in Italy to know more about the Slow Food movement and to support indigenous peoples in saving their cuisine and the right to healthy, locally sourced food.

Though our feature article is in Italy, many of the articles focus on Indonesia with Indonesian partners organizing the 11th Meet the Makers fair featuring women and youth in the local pottery scene as well as the megalithic bark cloth of the Bada Valley artisans of Central Sulwesi. On the island of Borneo an important event on tengkawang, an important NTFP producing essential oil used in cosmetics and other health care products, was also conducted among diverse stakeholders.

In Cambodia, in cooperation with the FAO, and Cambodia’s Forestry Administration, NTFP-EP Cambodia completed a Forest Tenure Policy study and prepared a publication entitled: “Forest Tenure Policies in Cambodia: Status Gaps and Way Forward”. The same is also available online. Also, the establishment of the Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance (CIPA) was met with remarkable success and meaningful challenges.

Regionally, the highlight during the period was the EXCEED training in Kotagiri, India entitled “Managing Community Forestry Enterprise Growth and Effective Marketing Strategies”. 20 participants from 6 countries from local producer groups, NGOs and the government sector learned about marketing and enterprise through interactive exercises, field excursion and through a rare look at the inside runnings of the Last Forest Enterprise. It was a treat for all, including the trainers!

Many activities were held as well under the ICCAs banner. Regional meetings were held in the wings of the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii while a trailblazing meeting on ICCAs also took place in Myanmar, the only country in ASEAN which mentions ICCAs explicitly in its National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan.