Information for G03613
Independent review of Forest Connect
Forest Connect is a complex and ambitious pioneering multi-partner international initiative seeking to simultaneously address several inter-connected global, national and local issues: poverty, food and energy security, soil degradation, and rapid deforestation that threatens the global climate and biodiversity. As regions with the last forest frontiers tend to be poor, the challenge lies in reducing poverty through economic alternatives that also maintain forest cover. This is central for both climate programmes such as REDD+ and trade programmes tackling illegal logging.
One alternative to agricultural conversion at the forest frontier is sustainable forest enterprise. Small, locally run agricultural and forest enterprises are the norm in many developing countries, but they are often unregistered and hampered by isolation from potential partners, buyers, services and government. Forest Connect seeks to reduce and overcome this isolation and establish a forest enterprise system based on secure rights to forest resources and strong local producer groups with the business capacity to make products profitably and sustainably. It does this by working through in-country partners who themselves facilitate support to small forest enterprises.
In 2012-2013 IIED and Forest Connect commissioned an independent review of the initiative with the aim of assessing the success of Forest Connect in supporting small forest enterprises through international communication platforms, in-country work, learning events, toolkit development and testing and communication / advocacy work; and to distil lessons about the key factors that have led to success (or failure) in order to inform best practice in any follow-on to Forest Connect.
- IIED code: G03613
- Published: May 2013 - IIED
- Theme: Forests
To restore forests and get out of poverty, rural communities need the knowledge and connections to build flourishing enterprises. Forest landscapes are among the most isolated and marginalised areas in the world, where land, food and energy security and income generation are pressing concerns. Achieving sustainable development in the forest landscape while addressing those immediate needs is a complex challenge that requires joined-up efforts.
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