VL.png The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
[WWW VL database || WWW VL search]
donations.gif asia-wwwvl.gif

Online Burma/Myanmar Library

Full-Text Search | Database Search | What's New | Alphabetical List of Subjects | Main Library | Reading Room | Burma Press Summary

Home > Main Library > Forests and forest peoples > The forests and forest peoples of Burma/Myanmar > Human activity in the forests of Burma/Myanmar > Forest management > Community forestry

Order links by: Reverse Date Title

Community forestry

Individual Documents

Title: We Will Manage Our Own Natural Resources
Date of publication: 2016
Description/subject: "... This piece of community initiated action research reveals a number of lessons we can learn. The authors try to reflect the challenges of and opportunities for community based natural resources management in a seemingly forgotten Karen controlled area of southern Myanmar. The paper examines a number of case studies including the construction of a local water supply system, the establishment of fish conservation zones and community-driven forest conservation. An evolutionary development of community based networks such as CSLD (Community Sustainable Livelihood and Development), IRIP-NET (Tenasserim River and Indigenous People Network) and RKIP (Rays of Kamoethway Indigenous People and Nature) and their collaborative action to address emerging Natural Resources Management issues in their land are well illustrated in the paper..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Tenasserim River & Indigenous People Networks (TRIP NET), Rays of Kamoethway Indigenous People and Nature (RKIPN)
Format/size: pdf (3.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 18 April 2016


Title: Democratising Timber: An Assessment of Myanmar's Emerging 'Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade' (FLEGT) Process
Date of publication: 07 October 2014
Description/subject: "... This paper attempts to analyse the key aspects of reforms required to ‘democratise’ Myanmar's timber trade, and the political–economic interests contributing or obstructing reform. The main aim of this paper is to assess the prospects for reform of Myanmar's timber sector in light of theemerging FLEGT process, and to apply a political ecological analysis to the ways in which the political–economic power balance will determine the outcomes. We use aspects of political–ecological analysis to understand the nature and dynamics of the contested reform process: firstly structural explanations for the ways in which different groups gain access to resources — in this case forests and timber, andwho gains and loses through these processes; and secondly, a critical analysis of how polices relate to the exercise of power and practices on the ground. (Springate-Baginski and Blaikie, 2007: 10). Methodologically, the often opaque and generally illicit nature of Myanmar's present timber trade makes primary data collection extremely difficult, even hazardous. There is also limited government data, and what there is, is systematically misleading (EIA, 2014). Therefore for this overview paper we necessarily rely on secondary sources and anonymous interviews (conducted in Spring 2013), along with the personal experience of the authors. To help clarify the complex and fluid contemporary situation this first section sets out the overall political and historical context of Myanmar's timber trade..."
Author/creator: Anthony Neil, Oliver Springate-Baginski, Aung Kyaw Thein, Win Myo Thu, Faith Doherty
Language: English
Source/publisher: Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
Format/size: pdf (643K)
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2016


Title: Constraints and Opportunities for Commercial Timber Extraction From Community and Smallholder Forests
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: "... The National Community Forestry Instruction (1995) provides communities the opportunity for 30 year licenses to manage state forests lands for natural forest protection, mixed agro-forestry and timber production systems. The Forestry Master Plan (2001) envisions around 920,000 ha to be handed to local Forest User Groups (FUGs) by 2030, about 1.36% of the total land area. A recent review of community forestry (CF) conducted in 2011 identified a range of constraints to allowing individual CFs to “fulfil their potential”, and to scaling up the handover of CF to better meet the 2001 Forestry Master Plan targets. The review focused mostly on the institutional and technical impediments but also clearly identified the need for the scope of CF to shift from “subsistence to enterprise” and integrate “timber harvesting on a significantly larger scale”. Since 2008, FFI Myanmar and its partners have been actively supporting the establishment of CF as a tool for watershed protection, protected area buffer zone establishment and livelihood development. To date FFI has assisted over 50 communities with CF establishment, provided small grants and technical assistance to a further 30 CF groups, and conducted CF training for state and regional level civil society groups. FFI’s current strategic plan includes: i) The continued development of CF models to become self-funding, and ii) Evidence-based advocacy to streamline the CF application procedure. The long-term sustainability of CF in Myanmar may not be clear for some years, as even the oldest commercial CF trees are only 15 years old, but CF seems to offer considerable potential to provide a supply of timber and therefore generate substantial revenues for local communities. The current reforms in the Myanmar forest sector and the EU FLEGT initiative are providing an unprecedented opportunity to clarify community rights over CF timber and by doing so to promote the expansion and sustainability of CF. This report was prepared under an FFI project supported by the FAO/EU FLEGT Support Programme, which promotes the implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan by improving forest governance, providing technical assistance, and building capacity through funding projects in eligible countries..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Conservation and Development Program (MCDP)
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2016


Title: Rapid Assessment of Options for Independent Sustainability Certification for Community Forestry in Myanmar
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: "... We here examine several options for independent certification of community forests with a view to legal timber harvest. A number of certification standards and types have been developed world-wide, with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC; www.pefc.org) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC; info.fsc.org) being the most widely recognised standards for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. This report considers the suitability of both systems in the context of nationally recognised community forest management in Myanmar, through the conduct of a rapid field assessment of the constraints and opportunities in two forest user group networks in Tanintharyi region and Kachin State. Certification concepts and our initial findings were presented in a roundtable meeting in Yangon in August hosted jointly with EcoDev and the Myanmar Timber Merchants Association, and attended by RECOFTC, Myanmar Forest Certification Committee, IUCN and other stakeholders. The presentations are reproduced in Annex 1 and 2. Our rapid field evaluation shows that, in the case study sites, an external review by an accredited timber certifier – either Forest Stewardship Council or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification – would currently cost more than the benefits it will bring to the to smallholders. The main constraints are that; a) managed areas are currently too small (
Author/creator: Bjoern Wode, Robert Oberndorf, Mark E Grindley
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Conservation and Development Program (MCDP)
Format/size: pdf (8.8MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016


Title: Silvicultural, Inventory and Harvest Guidelines for Community Managed Forests: Some Recommendations for Discussion
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: ..."This Working Paper examines options for improved sustainability and economic viability for community forest in Myanmar (See also Wode et al 2014). It was prepared under an EU-FAO Regional FLEGT Programme project implemented by Fauna & Flora International that is exploring opportunities and constraints for commercial timber production from community forests. The paper is written in the form of a draft ‘Guide for Forest Management’ that could be applied by Forest User Groups who have been handed over natural forest resources for sustainable long-term management and protection under a Community Forest (CF) certificate and with a CF management plan available. It is not a substitute for government regulations or departmental guidance, and is intended to promote discussion on sustainable forest management in the context of legal CF in Myanmar"...
Author/creator: Bjoern Wode
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Conservation and Development Program (MCDP)
Format/size: pdf (4.5MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016


Title: A Study of the Role of Forest and Forest-Dependent Community in Myanmar
Date of publication: 07 April 2014
Description/subject: "... This study was intended to find out the benefits of forests, especially for non-wood forest products (NWFPs), to forestdependent local people and the relation to their socio-economic status. Sampling (169 respondents) was chosen to be an equal distribution of household’s economic status. The survey was conducted face to face with structural interviews using both open-and closed-ended questions. The results showed that bamboo and bamboo shoot were considered as the most collected NWFPs in the Bago Yoma region. The average consumptions of NWFPs were 302.50  90.12 viss to 501.27  120.65 viss. Furthermore, the research revealed that the collection of NWFPs showed negative correlation with income availability and livestock possession. The study aims to help provide the necessary information for sustainable forest management..."
Author/creator: Inkyin Khaine, Su Young Woo, Hoduck Kang
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Science and Technology
Format/size: pdf (169K)
Date of entry/update: 16 April 2016


Title: Unleashing the potential of community forest enterprises in Myanmar
Date of publication: 2014
Description/subject: "... Unleashing the potential of community forest (CF) enterprise in Myanmar is crucial for two main reasons. First, it will increase local incomes and government revenues, which will reduce poverty. Second, the financial incentive of such enterprises will encourage local people to manage and restore forests. Without enlisting the help of rural communities in these efforts it is likely that forest loss will continue and the contribution of forests to the rural economy will continue to decline. The rate of forest loss in Myanmar is among the highest in the world, running at 0.9 per cent per year between 2000 and 2010. The forest sector’s importance to the overall economy has declined in this time, from 0.6 per cent in 2006-2007 to 0.38 per cent in 2010-2011. Myanmar’s overall economy is now beginning to grow but at least 26 per cent of the population remain in poverty – mostly in rural areas. Turning this around will require the development of new economic opportunities in rural areas, of which community forest enterprises are a critical part. A number of immediate steps are needed to develop community forest enterprise opportunities. Forest legislation should allow communities commercial-use rights for both timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Government and civil society should work together to raise community awareness of these commercial enterprise opportunities, and a market-led approach to community forestry be pursued. The handover of local forests to Forest User Groups (FUGs) should be streamlined and accelerated. A working group of government extension staff and civil society groups should share experiences and expand capacity-building for FUGs in business management. Organisation between community FUGs should be encouraged, through local associations and regional and national federations. A reliable investment environment should be assured to facilitate enterprise development. Field research from four states presented in this report highlights particularly promising community forestry enterprise opportunities. Bamboos appear to be the highest-priority product for enterprise development in the Ayeyarwady Delta, with timber (and potentially timber poles) and charcoal taking the second and third positions respectively. In the Mandalay Region, bamboo has the highest potential for enterprise development, with timber and value-added bamboos taking the second and the third positions respectively. In Shan State, thatch appears to have the highest potential, followed by value-added bamboos and bamboo. Finally, in Kachin State, timber appears to be the best option, with medicinal plants and firewood coming in at second and third. Overall – and despite some significant regional differences – our analysis points to three major sectors for CF enterprise development: timber (including poles and posts), bamboo (including both unprocessed and processed products) and NTFPs – particularly medicinal and ornamental plants. There are also many miscellaneous products with great potential for CF enterprises, such as charcoal, rattan, agarwood, thanaka, elephant foot yam, white viii www.iied.org yam and so on. These can be integrated successfully as agricultural crops along with forest trees in the CF areas. This analysis clearly challenges the current monopoly on timber production by government agencies and ‘crony’ companies. Progress towards the government’s Forest Master Plan target of 918,000 hectares of community forestry by 2030 is drastically behind, in part because local communities do not perceive clearly the economic opportunity outlined. But even this target (2.8 per cent of the total forest area in Myanmar) is extraordinarily unambitious. A much more reasonable ambition might be a government target of allocating 25 per cent of the total area of Myanmar forest to communities – matching roughly the global average for forest controlled by local groups. Doing this by 2030 could make six million people forest user group members, which would make community forestry a genuine engine of rural economic growth. We outline some of the forest products upon which such community forestry enterprises might be based, and recommend regional clustering to improve scale efficiencies and competitiveness. A number of key challenges were found to underpin the slow development of community forest enterprises. The report explores each and proposes a solution. There is weak political commitment to community forestry, and this requires more vigorous mobilisation and awareness-raising of its economic potential. Forest officers tend to lack interest in community forestry enterprise, when in fact it should be mainstreamed into the Forest Department’s normal operation procedures under a dedicated department. Tenure and use rights to commercial land and its resources are insecure, requiring the enactment and implementation of a national land-use policy and plan that grants community forest user groups (CFUGs) commercial forest use rights. The shortage of investment requires more accessible bank loans, membership saving schemes, supplier-buyer partnerships, insurance schemes and a further simplification of export requirements. A widespread lack of business skills among communities requires more extensive training, workshops and exchange visits. The lack of technology requires concerted research and development by government and academic institutions. Weak community participation in turn requires better mobilisation and awareness-raising of financial opportunities. Business and financial-support services will need to be strengthened to bring about this transformation. But the market-led approach to community forestry fits perfectly with the government of Myanmar’s new emphasis on support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), spearheaded by the president. SMEs constitute the largest sector within Myanmar’s economy in terms of number, contribution to employment, output and investment – playing a vital role in the country’s economic development. Community forestry enterprises could make a vital contribution to such development. But it will require concerted effort and a strong partnership between government and civil society groups to install a market-led approach to community forestry..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Tint, Oliver Springate-Baginski, Duncan Macqueen, Mehm Ko Ko Gyi
Language: English
Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2016


Title: Food Security, Tenure Security and Community Forestry in Burma (text and audio)
Date of publication: 17 February 2012
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: Burma (Myanmar) is currently emerging from almost half a century of severe military dictatorship. In a country comprising over 50% forested landscapes, the status of forest governance and forest rights are central to the democratisation process. Oliver will present findings from a recent study on community forestry in Burma, and seek to clarify some of the issues, opportunities and challenges in the country. A key challenge remains the reconciliation of environmental protection with local food security for the uplands, where their attempted territorialisation under colonial and post colonial forestry administrations continues to threaten the prevalent taungya forest fallows cultivation systems.....THE PROBLEMS: *One of Southeast Asia’s and the World’s poorest countries (UNDP 2007/2010). *poverty headcount: 32% across the ~59 m population *10% below the UNDP’s food poverty line. *Rural poverty is significantly higher than urban poverty (36% / 22%) *In Chin State, (upland North), 73% are poor, and 40% fall below the food poverty line. *moderately underweight children 34% nationally, 60% in Rakhine State *BUT data v. poor... Causes: *Faltering agricultural production & lack of alternate livelihood opp.s from industry *Conflict *State command economy – forced procurement – disastrous *Lack of service provision, market support, credit etc. *Tenure insecurity – state controlled land *Common Property Resource decline *Environmental degradation *Increasing land appropriation for crony agribusinesses & Chinese opportunists... 1. Does Community forestry work? 2. Is Tenure security at the Forest Agriculture Interface as Community forestry part of the solution? Or a further problem?
Author/creator: Oliver Springate-Baginski, UEA
Language: English
Source/publisher: Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests
Format/size: pdf (2.6MB - OBL version; 7.22MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tropicalforests.ox.ac.uk/sites/tropicalforests.ox.ac.uk/files/The%20Forest%20Agriculture...
http://www.tropicalforests.ox.ac.uk/podcasts/188 (podcast of lecture)
Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


Title: Market Research and Enterprise Development for Community Forestry in Myanmar
Date of publication: September 2011
Description/subject: "... Pyoe Pin is a programme aimed at strengthening civil society in Myanmar. The programme is supported by DFID, the British Department for International Cooperation and implemented through the British council in partnership with local NGOs. Community Forestry (CF) is a key element of the programme, as it is seen as pathway to increasing the participation of civil society in influencing policy and practice with regards to communities. access and sustainable use of forestry land. CF can also improve forestry conservation and enhance the livelihoods of communities. CF has been a national development tool since 1995, when the Ministry of Forestry issued instructions for the issuing of Community Forest certificates. In Kachin state in northern Myanmar bordering China, Pyoe Pin has been working with two local NGOs (ECODEV and Shalom Foundation), who are in turn engaging with forest villages, to increase their awareness of appropriate forest usage and management, through assisting these communities to apply for community forest certificates. These certificates provide community rights to forest products and tenure for 30 years. Working through 120 villages, 54 Forest User Groups (FUGs) consisting of about 40,000 people have been created, who are replanting degraded forest areas, and also balancing their livelihood needs with greater understanding of sustainability. So far, 31,445 acres have been prepared for CF, but aside from 3000 of these acres, the rest has not yet been granted the lease, largely a result of lack of institutional support for this process as government prioritizes commercial allocations of land over community allocations for CF. As yet, CF has not shown significant direct economic impacts, but it is hoped that income from forest products, produced by and for the communities engaged, will have an impact on the incomes of the communities and households involved. One of the challenges has been how to increase the commercial viability and impact of CF by bringing greater alignment between commercial and community priorities. Some parts of the CF Instruction have hindered the maximization of economic benefits that can be gained by CF as they limit community rights to harvesting and selling at minimal levels. In addition, both private sector and Government have not considered CF as a potential partner for sourcing raw materials. But the environment is ripe for undertaking analysis and piloting of alternative models. There is a new Minister of Forestry, formerly head of Myanmar Timber Enterprise, who has experience in extensive forest-based commercial ventures. In addition, a recent national CF workshop was the first of the kind to bring experts from around the region to discuss findings from a national-level appraisal of CF in Myanmar since inception 15 years ago. In this context, Pyoe Pin envisages to develop a pilot project that will seek to demonstrate: 1. the value of CF as a real national development tool for the poorest communities, and to increase institutional support for its realization. 2. CF can be a commercially viable business partner for private sector 3. that it is important that communities who apply for CF status should be supported with the expedient granting of leases 4. that CF Instructions need to be revised to allow communities to commercialize their CF Towards these objectives, Pyoe Pin started to identify CF products that could have the greatest market potential and feasibility of being taken up by community forestry, which can then supply the products to larger domestic and possibly even international markets. An initial brainstorming session with foresters from NGOs and research institutes and businessmen from the Timber Market Association in December 2010 identified a preliminary shortlist of forest products. This selection was mainly based on secondary sources of information on market potential to help narrow down a more appropriate list for additional value-chain analysis..."
Author/creator: Foppes, J., Moe Aung, Paing Soe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Pyoe Pin
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016


Title: Community Forestry in Cease-Fire Zones in Kachin State, Northern Burma: Formalizing Collective Property in Contested Ethnic Areas
Date of publication: 01 July 2010
Description/subject: "... Community forests (CF) in northern Burma, particularly in Kachin State, have been sprouting up in villages since the mid-2000s, spearheaded by national NGOs. The recent watershed of CF establishment follows several contingent foundational factors: greater political stability and government control in cease-fire zones; enhanced NGO capacity, access, and effectiveness in these areas; and most prominently the recent threat of agribusiness. This paper will critically examine (inter-)national NGO‟s assistance to rural farmers in formalizing collective forestland in cease-fire zones as a resistance strategy to land dispossession from military/state-backed agribusiness concessions. My overall argument is that while CF represents a legally-sanctioned, bottom-up resistance against land dispossession – a rare phenomenon in a country such as Burma – an unintended consequence is producing forms of contested state authority and power in cease-fire zones. For instances of post-war zones with continued contentious ethnic politics and contested state authority, as is the case in northern Burma, rebuilding state-society resource relations and institutions present new political and resource use and access challenges. Data presented here is part of a broader research agenda conducted since the early-2000s on resource politics in northern Burma, with qualitative analysis for this paper based upon interviews with CF user groups, participant observation at CF workshops, interviews with Burmese NGOs, and secondary materials. This research project is a work-in-progress, and all errors are of course of my own unintentional making. CF represents a refashioned collective property regime. This novel land management strategy does not represent any sort of customary arrangement; in fact Kachin are upland swidden farmers, not strictly forest-dwelling communities. This scenario then causes conflict in that the CF joint- management plans mirror state land classification schemes that firmly delineate between „forest. and „agriculture. land uses, unlike traditional land management (much like for other rural communities) that does not clearly separate forest from agriculture. CF falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forestry (MoF), which enables the increasingly weak MoF to stake an institutional claim against the increasingly powerful Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MoAI). In addition to symbolizing emerging state institutional struggles in cease-fire zones, newly established CF are also altering local resource use and access by villagers planting state-favored, high-value timber trees, such as infamous Burmese teak, in former swiddens – an act that uncomfortably brings colonial-dictated resource use practices into the present. Furthermore, only CF user groups can access forest products, with outsiders (non-CF members, even within the village) formally blocked from access, including for shifting cultivation. By farmers and NGOs attempting to block the expansion of large-scale agricultural plantations, they instead cultivate state authority and institutions, in this case the Forestry Department, state-recognized land management categories, and new state-governed farmers. This case study highlights the importance of seriously considering how development interventions cultivate new forms of authority and power –perceived as both legitimate and illegitimate by different actors – in post-war zones when devising collective action strategies. These same interventions also inculcate new environmental practices in farmers, shaping them into NGO-state subjects that contrast with their customary practices. In this case, NGOs assisting farmers in establishing state-authorized collective property in the form of CF does not respect customary land use, facilitates bringing in a villager-perceived illegitimate state, and is increasing food insecurity. The positives though – which may or may not outweigh the negatives – include stemming the tide of land dispossession by private companies and providing a potential platform for political mobilizing at the village level. An alternative strategy could be to push for legal recognition of customary land management, such as upland swidden cultivation, could potentially block rubber expansion while concomitantly strengthening food security, customary land use regimes, and traditional village power bases to challenge state centralization in these politically contested cease-fire ethnic areas..."
Author/creator: Kevin Woods
Language: English
Source/publisher: CAPRi
Format/size: pdf (398K)
Date of entry/update: 21 April 2016


Title: Facilitating Decentralized Policy for Sustainable Forest Governance in Myanmar: Lessons from the Philippines
Date of publication: 2010
Description/subject: "... In Myanmar, people's participation has been prioritized as an imperative of national forest policy in 1995 endorsed by the community forestry instructions (DFIs). Today, there are about 42,148 ha of community forestry (CF) management by 572 user groups (USGs). In CF management, the people are engaging three types of activities: (1) to preserve of improve the production system such as planting trees and promoting the growth of trees, (2) to use forest resources for subsistence needs, (3) to get cash by selling the timber harvested or furniture made by the timber. Initial participation by the people and their continuation of CF activities are considered to be indispensable for sustainable forest management. In practice, however, the improvement of forest management and protection are often threatened because of difficulties in continuing the activities even though initial participation was achieved. Providing secure property rights is among the major factors that contribute to continuing CF activities. Thus the objectives of the dissertation are (1) to find out the factors affecting initial participation of USG members in management actitities in Myanmar, (2) to assess the role of property rights in sustaining CF activities in the Philippines, and (3) to draw implications for Myanmar policy in terms of property rights issues from the case of the Philippines..."
Author/creator: Ei Ei Swe Hlaing
Language: English
Source/publisher: University of Tokyo
Format/size: pdf (2.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016


Title: Kawthoolei and Teak: Karen Forest Management on the Thai-Burmese Border
Date of publication: October 1997
Description/subject: "The Karen State of Kawthoolei has been heavily dependent on teak extraction to fund the Karen National Union struggle against the Burmese military junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Raymond Bryant explores the social and economic structure of Kawthoolei, and the way in which resource extraction was more than simply a source of revenue � it was also an integral part of the assertion of Karen sovereignty..."
Author/creator: Raymond Bryant
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Watershed" Vol.3 No.1 July - October 1997
Format/size: pdf (59K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003