The 36th issue of Voices from the Forest highlights the network’s core work––livelihoods. NTFP-EP believes that to ensure the sustainability of managing forests, it is crucial for communities to maintain or improve their livelihoods. One of NTFP-EP’s determined entry points to forging good relations with communities is the creation of opportunities that help sustain a stable community economy through forests.
Over the years, a number of green local, national, and regional intermediaries have been established that helped pave the way in marketing and promoting the sustainable use of forest resources other than timber.
Strategic support given to women’s organizations in Indonesia have resulted to tremendous success not only in terms of economic gains but also in forest conservation. The success of network is living proof that the use of NTFPs serve not just cultural and ecological use but also (and perhaps most importantly) economic ones.
It was through its work on the identification, development, utilization, management, and promotion of the use of NTFPs that the network has come to be known as what it is today. Experience sharing from the ground gave new regional perspectives when NTFP-EP created an open space for civil society organizations and forest producers in the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019 in Incheon, Republic of South Korea.
However, it is important to note that this success was not only through the strategic interventions and technical assistance provided by the NTFP-EP network to its partner communities. For example, ‘going to school’ takes a completely new meaning as NTFP-EP Philippines shared their experience in innovating ways to enhance knowledge transfer among indigenous communities.
At its core is the communities’ belief that NTFPs are worth investing in and how this translates to success is exactly what this issue of Voices from the Forest highlights.