Asia-Pacific Forest Governance

 

 

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The tropical forests of Asia and the Western Pacific are special. Their lush landscapes are havens to an astounding wealth and variety of life, many of it found nowhere else. They are essential refuges for species on the brink of extinction: amazing animals like the Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo of Papua New Guinea, and the Helmeted Hornbill of Malaysia.

In fact, there are over 154 million hectares of globally important Biodiversity hotspots throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. Many of them are recognised as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) – sites vital for the world’s diversity of life to continue – by BirdLife International and other leading conservation groups.

But these forests don’t just benefit wildlife. They benefit all of us, across the entire globe. From the strong roots that bind the soil, to the fresh leaves in the canopy that create oxygen, they are essential in providing what we need to survive. By storing carbon, they combat climate change. They clean the air we breathe and the water we drink. They provide medicines, tourism and livelihoods. And they are also people’s homes.

However, these forests are in trouble. Human populations are growing rapidly. Farmland is expanding and clearing vast swathes of forest. And illegal logging is a huge threat.

 The Asia-Pacific Forest Governance Programme is empowering local people to manage and protect their own forest.

We know that there is no substitute for local knowledge. Local people know the lie of the land and can see the health of the ecosystem first-hand. So it stands to reason that they should play an important role in monitoring and making decisions about the forest in which they live.

Sadly, the power of local communities and indigenous people is often constrained by lack of technical knowledge, experience and political influence. The Forest Governance Project plans to change that, bridging the gap between local people and the decisions made about their forest homes.

 

Download the project brochure (PDF):

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