Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Forest harvest forum to shed light on sustainable community enterprises, traditional products

May 25, 2021

Enterprises managed by rural and indigenous communities will take the spotlight for the inaugural Forest Harvest CBNE Forum taking place this 1-5 June to highlight their untapped potential in contributing to forest conservation and community well-being.

Known as “community-based non-timber forest product enterprises” (CBNEs), these groups use materials gathered from their local forests to create market products like food, drinks, medicines, fabrics, handicrafts, accessories and many others. In turn, a portion of their income is then used to fund conservation efforts that protect the forest they live and harvest in.

The five-day online forum is co-organized by the Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP), the Green Livelihoods Alliance, the Forest and Farm Facility, the International Forestry Students’ Association, RECOFTC and the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development.

“As millions of people in Asia depend on non-timber forest products for their livelihood, CBNEs help bring important natural products to the food, furniture, medicine and cosmetic industries,” said Crissy Guerrero, the senior advisor for strategic programmes of NTFP-EP Asia.

“Even before the pandemic, CBNEs were already struggling to access markets, learn skills, and upgrade their systems and technologies. The pandemic has not made it easy for them, but with this online forum, we wish to provide the opportunity to continue to share knowledge, connect sectors, and provide market opportunities for CBNEs through a suite of interactive and innovative activities,” she added.

Featuring expert speakers in the field of community forestry and enterprise development, the Forest Harvest CBNE Forum will host a variety of sessions focusing on three key streams: Capacity, Connectivity & Creativity, and Conducive Environment.

The Capacity stream features talks, roundtable sessions, coaching clinics, master class sessions and a storytelling competition. The Connectivity & Creativity stream explores interactive problem solving through a panel talk show, a branding clinic and a hackathon competition. Lastly, the Conducive Environment promotes policies and research findings that support CBNEs through talks and sessions with ASEAN bodies on protocols and government policies.

“Events like these help us expand our partnerships, gain recognition and give us opportunities to promote the traditional products made by cooperatives like ours,” said Emelly Lanzon, manager of Handicrafts of Aklan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (HAMPCO) in Aklan, Philippines. HAMPCO uses the income from their loom woven products to advocate for women empowerment, fair trade practices and environmental sustainability.

Participants from communities, CBNE practitioners, policymakers from the forestry, social and MSME sectors; and the private sector in the field of natural products are all welcome to participate in the forum. The youth, international and national donors, local organizations, researchers, scientists and non-government organizations are also all welcome to participate and represent their sectors.

Students and members of CBNEs can register for the forum free of charge. Aside from English, interpretations for Thai, Filipino, Bahasa Indonesia, Khmer, Vietnamese and more will be provided.

To learn more about the Forest Harvest CBNE Forum and register as a participant, visit