Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Report on the 15th NTFP-EP Regional Meeting

September 9, 2019

On the occasion of NTFP-EP’s 20th year anniversary in 2018, some of NTFP-EP’s founders, members, board, staff and partners across South and Southeast Asia came together to reflect upon key changes transforming the livelihood systems of traditional hunter-gatherers, indigenous and local communities dependent on forests; from nomadic/semi-nomadic to sedentary farming. Across the countries where we work in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia, along with new partners in Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, we have observed various ecological factors and economic pressures shaping this transformation. We see a decline in biodiversity and the loss of important food and economic species. Communities experience severe cultural transformation alongside examples of cultural resilience.

New research has been completed or is ongoing within the NTFP-EP network. In this regional meeting, we explored deeper conversations and analysis of NTFP-EP interventions and ways in which we are adapting our field responses. We also discussed different alternative strategies to respond to the pressures and changes to local and indigenous communities, taking into account their respective political and
economic context.

We acknowledged the various strategies being taken up within the network to respond to these changes on the ground. This regional meeting was an opportunity to also share amongst members the innovations in NTFP-EP programmes and strategies (and learn also from other participants who are new to the network) or political instruments used to affect change.