Regional Model Forest Project
Regional Project on Assistance for the Implementation of the Model Forest
Approach for Sustainable Forest Management in the Asia Pacific Region
(GCP/RAS/177/JPN, or RMFP) was launched in February 2000 and will run
until February 2003. It is funded by the Government of Japan, executed
by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the Untied Nations (FAO)
and has four participating countries, i.e. China, Myanmar, Philippines
Project aims to contribute to the efforts of the four Project countries
to sustainably manage their forest resources through strengthening their
national and community-level capacities in the development and implementation
of field-level model forests.
field-level model forests will incorporate partnerships among all
stakeholders, and "best practices" for sustainable forest
management, taking into account the multiple uses and functions
of forests, the many diverse demands placed on the forests and forest
lands by various stakeholders, the need to balance economic, social
and environmental considerations, and the special needs and priorities
of each country.
model forest approach emphasises
inter-dependence of all the components of the broader eco-system;
need to broaden the focus of forest management to integrated
land use, and
importance of involving all stakeholders in the planning, use
and management of the resource base, and of achieving this through
the development of effective partnerships of the stakeholders.
main immediate challenge in the regional project has been to try to
effect a change in the approach to the use and management of forest
and land resources, from the traditional top-down, sectoral approach,
to a more inclusive, consultative, multi-sectoral approach. This will
require a significant change in thinking and behavior, and will take
time to be more widely achieved.
longer term challenge is to institutionalise or mainstream this approach
so that it becomes an integral part of the planning and implementation
process in the countries concerned.
FORESTS AND THE MODEL FOREST APPROACH
MF is a large-scale forest ecosystem, incorporating the full range of
forest uses and values, where stakeholders - people with direct and
indirect interest in the MF area - supported by appropriate information,
can participate in decisions on how the MF area should be used and managed.
The cornerstone of each MF is a partnership of stakeholders with different
perspectives on the social, economic and environmental aspects of the
MF area who meet regularly to exchange information, views and ideas
on the activities in the MF area; and current or expected impacts. The
process of promoting SFM through the development of MFs is referred
to as the Model Forest Approach to SFM.
partnerships do not carry any executive authority, but provide a forum
for stakeholders to exchange information and views, including how they
are impacted upon, positively or negatively, by actions in the MF. Each
MF partner retains the right to act as it deems appropriate. However,
it is hoped that as partnerships develop, the decisions made by each
stakeholder will consider the needs, priorities and values of all stakeholders.
This will require a major change from traditional "top-down" approaches
to the use and management of forest resources, and in the way people
think and act.
impacts of MF initiatives are substantial, touching on good governance,
sustainable economic development and diversification, and improved policy-making
processes, leading ultimately to improved policy. MFs also have potential
as demonstration and training areas for national forest programs. MFs
typically include collaborative efforts in forest research and practices,
conservation and protection, education, training and capacity building,
economic diversification and development, long-term monitoring, GIS
applications, measuring progress toward SFM, etc. The MF approach has
shown itself to be highly adaptable to a range of ecosystems, forest
types, and political jurisdictions, while addressing local issues. MFs
are developed according to a broad set of minimum defining attributes
which allow them to maintain coherence, shared direction and multiple
opportunities for mutually beneficial exchange.
core attribute of MFs - voluntary partnership - is a workable
concept. … The MF Approach appeared to be a sensible way to help
integrate the multi-functional dimensions of natural resource
planning and management. … The RMFP is both relevant and timely."
RMFP Terminal Evaluation Mission, April-May 2002.
must include key land users and other stakeholders represented in
the MF area (e.g. industry, community groups, government agencies,
NGOs, academic and educational institutions, national parks, private
landowners, and others as appropriate), i.e. the partnerships must
be local and inclusive - no agency can achieve SFM alone.
of all partners to SFM. This requires not only an understanding
of what SFM means but also what effective partnership entails, i.e.
willingness of all parties to compromise on what they expect from
Magnitude of land base (usually based on watershed boundaries) must
be large enough to incorporate the full range of forest uses and
values, and for the outputs from the MF to be able to influence
Scope of activities undertaken should reflect the realities and
needs at the local and national levels.
and governance structure in which partners with different values
can work constructively together. The management process must be
participatory and transparent, and support consensus building among
Commitment to build and share a knowledge and experience base within
the partnership and with others across the network of MFs.
Voluntary participation of stakeholders. Not all stakeholders may
want to participate at the beginning, but the process should go
ahead with a core group, which should increase as the benefits of
the MF are demonstrated.
of appropriate best practices and processes for operational scale
adaptive and responsive to continuous, long term monitoring and
for research, training, education, capacity building and technology
of practical criteria and indicators at the local level for assessing
the relevance and consistency of action taken, and for tracking
progress towards SFM; and
of feed-back into national forest and land use planning and policy
Partners and Partnerships
are individuals, groups or institutions that are affected (negatively
or positively) by, and/or can affect (negatively or positively),
to different degrees, any given area, situation, resource, system,
programme, process, etc. Stakeholders change over time.
are individuals, groups or organizations working together to address
issues of mutual interest.
partnership is a relationship with two or more organizations
working together, on "equal" terms, towards an outcome of mutual
benefit. In the MF context, "equal" refers to having the opportunity
to present a point of view or to raise relevant issues in a partnership
forum. As MF partnerships do not carry any executive authority,
"equal" does not refer to any voting process for executive decision
partners are stakeholders but not all stakeholders are partners.
As MFs are relatively large areas, it is necessary to begin the
process of partnership building with a core number of stakeholders
interested in becoming partners, and draw in new partners as the
benefits of the MF Approach are demonstrated. Partners who consider
they are not benefitting from the MF process may decide to stop
from experiences elsewhere:
partnerships have failed:
History of unresolved conflict among key interest groups.
of clear purpose.
goals or deadlines.
interest groups refuse to participate.
all participants stand to benefit from the partnership.
is not equitable - some groups have disproportionate power over
Partnership is not needed because one or more groups can achieve
goals on their own.
and time commitments outweigh potential benefits of partnership.
There is a basic value conflict, and room for negotiation does
not exist (and cannot be created).
Model Forests have worked:
support by key stakeholders
Agreed upon strategy and programme of activity
Reflecting the priorities of stakeholders within the context
of benefit and success
and recognition of partners
the process the necessary time to succeed
Model Forests have failed:
Excessive expectations or demands
of the research scientists" (monopolisation by one stakeholder
and participation without strategy - input without direction
Poor site selection
Building the MF without stakeholders
COUNTRIES AND MF SITES
began developing Lin'an MF in 1997, with assistance from IMFNS.
began developing a "model forest" at Paukkhaung Township in
1999, with assistance from JIFPRO (japan International Forestry
Promotion and Cooperation Centre).
decision to adopt a Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM)
Strategy and an ecosystem approach to land use management provided
a firm foundation on which to develop Ulot Watershed MF.
began developing a "model forest" at Ngao Demonstration Forest
(established in 1964), with assistance from ITTO (International
Tropical Timber Organisation).
Underlying purpose for establishing MFs:
Linan MF, China: to consolidate, improve and sustain
an expanding NWFP-based economy, and to develop the first MF
in the Chinese SFM network.
Myanmar: to implement sound and practical forest/land use practices
to address shifting cultivation, land/forest use conflicts,
and over-intensive/illegal logging, and to test application
of the Community Forestry Instructions.
MF, Philippines: to effect optimal and sustainable use of
forest and land within the broader biodiversity conservation
context, and to build on national CBFM and ecosystems approach
strategies, and existing community and people-oriented forestry
Thailand: to effect sound and practical forest and land use
practices to address shifting cultivation, forest and land use
for local communities, forest and land use conflicts, and over-exploitation
of forest resources, and test the application of the (pending)
Community Forestry Act.
key principles of the RMFP are:
of the Project in each country is the responsibility of the
respective national agency. The RMFP assists countries by providing
regional training opportunities, funding and technical support,
information and experience from other Project countries and
elsewhere, and assistance to secure additional resources from
donors and other agencies, and
MF will develop at its own pace. There is no single model and
no fixed activities for MF development, and conditions in each
country are unique, even though the MF framework is common.
inception workshop. 21-25 May 2000, Linan MF, China.
PSC meeting and RMFP workshop on developing partnerships that work.
19-22 Feb 2001, Chiangmai, Lampang, Thailand.
on field/MF-level C&I for SFM. 10-15 Jun 2001, Lin'an, China.
3rd PSC meeting and regional MF workshop on C&I for SFM in MF. 25-29
Nov 2001, Yangon, Pyay, Myanmar.
evaluation of RMFP by 3-person team. 14 Apr - 11 May 2002.
Workshop to develop guidelines for measurement of MF-level indicators
for SFM. 22-27 Apr 2002, Lampang, Thailand.
on "best practices" for bamboo and hickory cultivation and management,
and ecotourism development. 31 May-12 Jun 2002, Lin'an, China.
Workshop on forest and related legislation, policies and practices
and their impacts on SFM and the MF approach. 29 Jul - 2 Aug 2002,
and final PSC meeting and RMFP workshop (theme: "What Next?") 25-29
Nov 2002, Tacloban, Ormoc City, Philippines.
opportunities provided to MF Project countries
Int.training workshop on sustainable bamboo management and processing
techniques for small size bamboo enterprises. 4-16 Oct 2000, Hangzhou,
ecotourism planning and management workshop. 30 Oct-2 Nov 2000,
Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China.
community-level C&I workshop. 16-24 Feb 2001, in Nepal.
facilitation skills for community forestry training course. 21 May-1
June 2001, Bangkok, Thailand.
conference on community forestry: innovations and experiences. 25-28
Sept 2001, Chiang Mai, Thailand. ¨ RECOFTC international training
course on managing conflicts in forest resource management. 5-20
Nov 2001, Bangkok, Thailand.
international training course on community-based tourism for conservation
and development. 4 Feb - 1 Mar 2002, Thailand.
publications. (For national-level publications, contact NPCs).
Proceedings of inception workshop of Regional Model Forest Project.
21-26 May 2000, Lin'an, China.
of 2nd regional MF workshop - Participatory processes: developing
partnerships that work. 19-22 Feb 2001, Lampang, Thailand..
of workshop on field/MF-level C&I for SFM. 10-15 Jun 2001, Linan,
of 3rd MF workshop - C&I for SFM in MFs. 25-29 Nov 2001, Pyay, Myanmar.
of workshop to develop guidelines for measurement of MF-level indicators
for SFM. 22-27 Apr 2002, Lampang, Thailand. (under prepn)
of w'shop on "best practices" for bamboo and hickory cultivation
and management and ecotourism devt. 31 May-12 Jun 2002, Lin'an,
China. (under prepn)
of w'shop on forestry and related polycies, legislation and practices
and their impacts on SFM and on the MF approach. 29 Jul-02 Aug 2002,
Tacloban, Philippines. (under prepn)
Guidelines for field-level C&I for MFs. August 2001.
General guidelines for measurement of indicators in MFs. Jun 2002.
News on the Model Forest Approach to Sustainable Forest Management 2000.
(Oct.), 2001. No.2 (Jan), 3 (April), 4 (July), 5 (Oct), 2002. No.6 (Jan),
7 (April), 8 (July), 9 (Oct)
FAO/Japan Trust Fund Regional Model Forest Project." By Tang HT,
Jiang C, Htun K, Nava Jnr A and Jintanugool J. Paper presented at
4th international workshop on MFs for field-level applications of
SFM, 23-27 Oct 2000, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.
model forest approach to SFM: experiences of the FAO/G.O.Japan Regional
Model Forest Project." By Tang HT, Hegde R, Jiang C, Htun K, Acosta
R and Jintanugool J. (Paper presented at the international workshop
on MFs and SFM. 6-10 Jun 2002, Lin'an County, China and Pre-ASOF-Seminar
on international issues affecting forestry and forest products.
12-13 July 2002, Chiangmai, Thailand).
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Region