Image of village people

Socio-economic baseline studies

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) cannot be successful without consideration of the people living in and adjacent to forests. SFM should bring about benefits to the villages that depend on all kinds of forest (mostly non-timber) resources. In order to integrate these communities into the SFM process there is a need for baseline studies that collect and interpret relevant socio-economic data and information. The resulting database is used to identify the development needs in collaboration with the concerned communites. The pool of socio-economists associated with ifmc will undertake such studies, using up-to-date assessment tools, such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA), group interviews and individual observations. Proposals for development options would then be developed together with those affected by the measures.

Problem and Needs Analysis

Communities interacting with other forest users (land developers, timber licencees, new settlers) can be affected in their livelihood if the allocation of forest resource use not properly regulated and monitored. Existing problems (e.g. conflicts arising from overlapping uses) should be identified and appropriate conflict resolution methods developed. Besides conflicting land uses the needs of affected people can be addressed and discusses with resource managers and responsible government authorities.
ifmc has gathered substantial experience in conflict management and offers solutions tailored to the individual case.

Graphic of community developement 

Community/Village Profiles

Village profiles are suitable tools to assist planners and decision makers at both government and private sector level in obtaining a quick informative socio-economic overview over communities and their particular development situation. Any forest area to be managed under an SFM scheme should strongly consider the development of village profiles that serve as an initial guide for conflict resolution, identification of priority action areas and subsequent development planning.
ifmc will assist in establishing such profiles in a professional manner, using a tailor made case-by-case approach.

Participatory and Collaborative Forest Management

Sustainable Forest Management requires the full cooperation and joint supportive actions from all stakeholders, such as timber companies, government bodies, NGO's and communities living in and around the forests. Such cooperation must be organised in a way that each stakeholder's interest is made known to the others to avoid or minimise conflicts. In case of disputes over shared resources, understanding the other parties' view is the first step towards compromises in the form of mutually acceptable agreements. Working groups and decision committees need to be set up in order to make real participation and efficient collaboration work for the benefit of all stakeholders.
ifmc can offer support in designing participatory approaches wherever needed.