Unlocking Forest Potential
Key messages and recommendations from the International Conference on Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise: Experiences and Opportunities for Asia in a Changing Context, Lombok, Indonesia – 11–15 July 2011.
Under the distinguished patronage of the Government of Indonesia, the International Conference on Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise: Experiences and Opportunities for Asia in a Changing Context took place at the Santosa Villas and Resort, Lombok, Indonesia. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), with the support of 20 other organizations, including the Global Alliance of Community Forestry (GACF).
The opening ceremony was presided by Vice President Boediono and attended by Zulkifli Hassan, Minister of Forestry; Mohammad Nuh, Minister of Education; Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Chair of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight; TGH. M. Zainul Majdi, Governor of West Nusa Tenggara Province; Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of ITTO; Hedar Laujeng, Chair of the Community Chamber of Indonesia’s National Forest Council; and Andy White, Coordinator of the Rights and Resources Initiative.
About 300 participants composed of experts from Indonesia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam), from Europe (Italy, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom), Africa (Cameroon, Kenya, Liberia), the Americas (Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, United States), regional organizations (RECOFTC, REFACOF, Samdhana Institute), and international organizations (FAO, GACF, ICRAF, ITTO, RRI, TRAFFIC, UNFF, WRI), representatives of governments, civil society, local communities, traditional authorities, elected officials, and donors (Ford Foundation/Climate and Land Use Alliance, GIZ, EU-EFI FLEGT Asia, JICA, UK Climate Change Unit) took part in this important gathering, which consisted of plenary sessions, parallel sessions and field visits.
At the International Conference on Forest Tenure, Governance & Enterprise: New Opportunities for Central and West Africa, held in Yaoundé in 2009, participants issued a statement supporting a meeting in 2011 to discuss new developments in forest-tenure and governance reform with a focus on Asia. The planned event was duly incorporated and approved as strategic policy activity 47 of the ITTO Biennial Work Programme 2010–2011.
The aim of the Lombok conference was to catalyze new and broader actions on advancing tenure reforms, improving forest governance, and supporting community-based forest enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region. Transforming the regulatory and institutional context of forest landscapes will contribute to the broader goals of uplifting the livelihoods of the poor, securing investment, spurring community economic development, and addressing climate change.
The expected outcomes of the conference were:
1. Improved knowledge base and information-sharing on innovative forest-tenure policies, legislation, institutional arrangements and other initiatives in a changing national and global context, with special reference to the Asia-Pacific region and climate change.
2. New understanding of the implications of tenure trends and development of community forest management for Asia-Pacific countries.
3. Reflection on the experience of harnessing forest-tenure and resource rights in Asia-Pacific countries to enhance sustainable forest management and improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.
4. Enhanced mechanisms for stakeholder participation and the equitable sharing of benefits from the sustainable use and conservation of tropical forest resources, including gender equity.
5. Understanding of the status of forest-tenure reforms and initiatives, lessons learned, and recommendations for the next steps in reform.
Conference participants identified key issues, challenges and lessons and made recommendations for governments, donors and international organizations, communities, and civil-society organizations. They noted that 2011 is the International Year of Forests and acknowledged the Ministerial Declaration at the 9th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, in which ministers committed to “improving the livelihoods of people and communities by creating the conditions needed for them to sustainably manage forests, including through strengthening cooperation in the areas of finance, trade, technology transfer, capacity-building and governance, as well as by promoting secure land tenure, participatory decision-making and benefit-sharing”. The results of the conference are summarized below.
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