By EARTHSIGHT for FORESTS MONITOR & TROPENBOS

Around the world, people are beginning to think differently about how to manage and conserve forests: giving those who live in and around forests the responsibility for managing them and the rights to benefit from them. Community forestry can be an effective means of reducing poverty and promoting sustainable management of forests. There is enormous potential for the development of community forestry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country in which the majority of the population live in rural areas and in which there is a wealth of forest resources.

Forests Monitor is working to develop community forestry in the DRC, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism and a number of local and international non governmental organisations. Tropenbos International is working to improve forest governance and management in DRC by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experiences among key stakeholders. To help communicate the potential of community forestry to local populations in DRC and to promote debate, Forests Monitor and Tropenbos International have produced a series of three films which explain what community forestry is, demonstrate its effectiveness, and examine the different options and challenges involved in implementing it. The films feature case studies from eight different countries, spanning three continents – Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Film 1: An Introduction to Community Forestry

The first film provides an overview of community forestry – what it is, the process and challenges involved in implementing it, and the different benefits it can provide in terms of improving livelihoods, reducing poverty and protecting forests.

Film 2: The Economics of Community Forestry

The second film looks at the options and challenges regarding how community forests can be used, including for sustaining livelihoods, producing and selling timber or non timber forest products, and obtaining payments for the services which forests provide.

Film 3: Creating and Managing Community Forests

This film looks in more detail at the options and challenges involved in setting up community forests – creating decision making structures, distributing benefits, avoiding conflicts and obtaining the necessary support.

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