Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

2016 Annual Report

September 15, 2017

Linking People and Forests – the main thrust of NTF-PEP’s work is encapsulated in this phrase. People from the forests or those living off the forests are the vital populations for which the NTFP-EP has renewed its commitment to serve and on whom the NTFP-EP shall focus its programs from 2016-2019. The interrelatedness of the lives across generations of indigenous and local peoples to their customary lands and forests is seen in the remaining rich natural forests in our region, and cultures still steeped in a belief system of protection and care such as those of the Higaonon and Agta-Remontado of the mountain ranges of Mt. Kimangkil in Bukidnon and the Sierra Madre in the Philippines respectively, and theadivasi in India, and the Benuaq Dayak of East Kalimantan, to the Bunong of Mondulkiri and of rural Khmer in Cambodia. Conversely, it is also this interrelatedness of people and forests, that explains the severity of impact of forest loss and destruction because of extractive activities and civil conflicts like no other – from the physical and material, even more so impacts felt and seen at the social, spiritual and cultural levels of well being of forest communities.

By the close of 2016, the NTFP-EP was clear that the challenges are immense for forest peoples and for us as allies and partners in forest conservation and sustainable community development. While this is so, we saw that NTFP-EP’s role and contributions have the power to communicate and facilitate significant changes. Looking back and also looking ahead, an “exchange programme” has immense value. At the core of this is still empowerment of forest peoples, and conserved and sustained forests for future generations.