The Centre for Environment and Development (CED) was created in 1995 with the specific aim of realizing sustainable management of Central Africa’s forests. CED was created to counter the rising threats to forests observed during the 1990s, and situates itself firmly within the local context (where forest destruction takes place, and where its impacts are felt most strongly among communities), as well as the national level (the seat of decision making that leads to or legitimizes deforestation and the dispossession of local peoples). CED also works on the international level where decisions are made affecting the forests and lives of millions of people.
CED’s vision is a society in which natural resource management (over forests, oil, mines, and land) ensures lasting social, economic and environmental sustainability. Its mission is to contribute to the protection of indigenous and local communities’ rights, interests, culture and aspirations in Central Africa, by promoting environmental justice and sustainable natural resource management throughout the region.
CED has taken up the role of watchdog, scrutinizing all actors’ initiatives, processes, policies and practices, with an eye to their effectiveness in protecting forests’ essential functions and services, and in recognizing communities’ rights. Extending beyond this role, CED works to explore alternatives to dominant models, and defines its strategy according to three terms and conforming to an earth-friendly strategy: Mobilization (as a means of legitimizing our actions in the quest for sustainability), Resistance (to unsustainable methods of natural resource management) and Transformation (by finding solutions to reach sustainability).
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
CIFOR advances human well-being, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to help shape policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. CIFOR is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America. For more information, please visit the CIFOR website.
Civic Response was founded in 2003 by a group of social activists with a wide experience of campaigns in Ghana and internationally. Civic Response works to deepen the political economic analysis of grassroots groupings and to facilitate their networking towards the emergence of articulate social movements that could lead in the democratisation and development of African societies and in international development struggles.
The Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) is a formal network of Community Based Forest User Groups from all over Nepal.
FECOFUN emerged from the idea that forest users from all parts of the country should be linked in order to strengthen the role of users in policy making processes. Since its inception in July 1995, FECOFUN has grown into a social movement organization with about 8.5 million people represented – all of whom are forest users. To date, more than 11,200 Community Forest User Groups are affiliated with FECOFUN.
FECOFUN has become an effective mechanism for developing dialogue between policymakers and users and also a learning center for user groups on forest management. We believe the local communities and people are the real managers of the forests. We have learned from our past experiences that forests and people can live in harmony.
FECOFUN is also a cofounder of the Global Alliance of Community Forestry, a network of community forestry users at the international level.
Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) supports forest peoples to secure and sustainably manage their forests, lands and livelihoods. FPP advocates an alternative vision of how forests should be managed and controlled, based on respect for the rights of the peoples who know them best. It works with forest peoples in South America, Africa, and Asia, to help them secure their rights, build up their own organizations and negotiate with governments and companies as to how economic development and conservation are best achieved on their lands.
Our strategies to achieve this include:
(a) promoting the rights and interests of forest peoples at local, national and international levels;
(b) creating space for forest peoples to have an effective voice in decision-making processes;
(c) challenging top-down policies and projects that deprive local peoples of resources;
(d) coordinating support among environmental organizations for forest peoples’ vision;
(e) supporting community-led sustainable forest management; and
(f) publicizing forest peoples’ plight through research, analysis and documentation.
Forest Trends is an international non-profit organization that works to expand the value of forests to society; to promote sustainable forest management and conservation by creating and capturing market values for ecosystem services; to support innovative projects and companies that are developing these new markets; and to enhance the livelihoods of local communities living in and around those forests.
Forest Trends analyzes strategic market and policy issues, catalyze connections between forward-looking producers, communities and investors, and develop new financial tools to help markets work for conservation and people.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is a member-based, non-profit organization that is engaged in 30 partner countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Based in Switzerland, the primary focus of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation is to:
Reduce poverty through specific, sustainable development projects and advisory services.
Inform the Swiss public about its work and raise awareness concerning global injustice and the necessity to stand up for the needs of the world\’s poorest populations.
Promote fair trade of products such as cocoa, rice and cotton from developing countries.
Participate in global networks, petitions and as a member of Alliance Sud to take a public stance on development issues within Switzerland and internationally.
The primary mission of IFRI is to examine how governance arrangements shape forest outcomes in terms of both social and environmental dimensions. Scholars and policy makers affiliated with IFRI are interested in understanding the role of formal and informal institutions in enhancing livelihoods and adaptive capacity of peoples, conserving biodiversity, and promoting greater sustainability in carbon sequestration. IFRI was established by Prof. Elinor Ostrom (Indiana University) who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics.
IFRI’s goal is to carry out rigorous research that can help policy makers and forest users design and implement improved evidence-based forest policies. Most importantly, IFRI comprises partner collaborating research institutes in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. As such, it draws on localized knowledge and perspectives in developing its research program. At the same time, IFRI utilizes an institutional analysis and development framework which promotes interdisciplinary research and analysis that enables comparability across regions. Specifically, some of the goals of IFRI’s work are to determine how to change processes leading to deforestation in many countries of the world; assess the nature of tradeoffs among forest conservation, livelihoods promotion, and carbon sequestration; and assess the role of institutions and policies in promoting better forest outcomes.
The IFRI research program was initiated in 1992. It is currently housed at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, having moved from Indiana University in 2006.
ISA aims to defend social, indigenous and environmental rights and has pioneered the concept of integrating environmental protection and sustainable development with indigenous groups. ISA’s work has achieved significant impact by influencing public policies and spearheading new laws while effectively developing 70 million hectares through three separate projects in three different parts of Brazil. It has introduced integrated programs from satellite mapping and monitoring against land invasions, to sustainable income-generation, to schools and clinics designed and operated locally, to extending formal citizenship and advocating for needed national policy changes. These initiatives have become models for indigenous socio-environmental development in Brazil and Latin America.
Landesa works at scale to create opportunities for the world’s poorest to lift themselves out of poverty by working side by side with governments and other organizations to strengthen land rights for the landless poor. It provides support for the design and implementation of land systems that reduce poverty, encourage women’s empowerment, promote inclusive economic growth, improve nutrition and health, reduce and prevent violent conflict, and foster environmental stewardship.
PRISMA (Salvadoran Research Program on Development and Environment) is a policy-oriented research center founded in El Salvador in 1993. Its mission is to work for the social and environmental revalorization of rural communities and territories as an integral aspect of development processes. PRISMA’s vision is societies that advance toward greater social justice and environmental sustainability.
During its first decade of operations (1993-2002), PRISMA’s program primarily focused on El Salvador. In 2003, PRISMA’s program formally incorporated a regional component. The regional focus has grown considerably, so much so that by 2006 the organization adopted, as its principal goal “to consolidate its transformation into a regional reference center that adds value to knowledge mobilization, dialogue and advocacy.”
PRISMA serves as a regional platform for dialogue, critical analysis and action. This platform is an ongoing process, a social construction, based on the following key elements:
A shared concern by all participants for improving the livelihoods of poor marginalized communities and promoting sustainable development.
A commitment to a genuine dialogue among different perspectives, focuses and points of view.
Fomenting interaction among diverse actors (community-based organizations, NGOs, program officials, aid agencies, public functionaries, academicians), representing diverse sectors and disciplines, and engaged at a variety of levels (local, territorial, national, regional, global).
RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests is an international organization specializing in community forestry and devolved forest management in Asia and the Pacific. It works to see more communities actively managing more forests in the region to ensure optimal social, economic, and environmental benefits.
Since its founding in 1987, RECOFTC has trained more than 10,000 people from over 20 countries in devolved forest management: from national policy makers, researchers, and practitioners right through to local forest users. Training services and learning events are complemented by on-the-ground projects, critical issue analysis, and strategic communications.
The Samdhana Institute was formed in 2003 by a group of individuals, conservationists, development practitioners, constituting the first Samdhana Fellows; moved by the same commitment of ‘giving back’ what they know to the next generation; and bringing together skills, knowledge, experiences, networks, colleagues and friends; delivering maturity, strength and sustainability.
Samdhana’s vision is a region where natural, cultural and spiritual diversity are valued, where environmental conflicts are resolved peacefully, with justice and equity. Achieving this vision requires that communities have clear rights and adequate information, recourse to the law, adequate leadership and organizing skills, funding and technical support. With a growing network of fellows, Samdhana assists in environmental conflict and mediation support and helps local organizations to reflect upon their approaches to problem identification and strategic planning; leading change processes; monitoring and assessment; and effectiveness.
The Samdhana approach is to have Fellows work closely with partners over time and during critical periods in program development. Samdhana fellows abide by Samdhana values and contribute to Samdhana programs that are geared towards nurturing individuals and community groups to develop new or enhance existing skills and benefit from the compounded knowledge of the Samdhana community.
Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education) is an indigenous peoples’ organization born out of the need for heightened advocacy to have the rights of indigenous peoples recognized, respected and protected worldwide.
Established in 1996, Tebtebba seeks to promote a better understanding of the world’s indigenous peoples, their worldviews, their issues and concerns. In this effort, it strives to bring indigenous peoples together to take the lead in policy advocacy and campaigns on all issues affecting them. Tebtebba is actively engaged in the processes which led to the adoption of international human rights law and other international instruments, policies and agreements. These include the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the establishment of spaces within the United Nations, such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, among others.
Tebtebba’s vision is a world where indigenous knowledge and indigenous peoples’ rights are respected and protected by all nations and societies; where there are unified yet diverse and vibrant indigenous peoples’ movements at the local and global levels which enhance the self-determination and sustainable development of indigenous peoples and their territories.
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. ICRAF’s primary mission is to advance the science and practice of agroforesty and in doing so, transform the lives and landscapes of the rural poor in developing countries. ICRAF operates in over 20 countries throughout the tropics. ICRAF program research areas are Land and People, Trees and Markets, Environmental Services and Strengthening Institutions Policy research cross-cuts each of these programs.
The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) is a regional organization founded in 1988 by Indigenous Peoples’ movements. AIPP is committed to the cause of promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights and human rights and articulating issues of relevance to Indigenous Peoples.
At present, AIPP has 47 members from 14 countries in Asia with 14 National Formations, 15 Sub-national Formations and 18 Local Formations. Of this number, 6 are Indigenous Women’s Organizations and four are Indigenous Youth Organizations.
The mission of AIPP is to strengthen the solidarity, cooperation and capacities of Indigenous Peoples in Asia to promote and protect their rights, cultures and identities, as well as their sustainable resource management systems for their development and self-determination.
he AliansiMasyarakatAdat Nusantara (AMAN), or Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago, is a national alliance of Indigenous Peoples from Indonesia. The organization was founded in April 2011, when 400 indigenous leaders from across the archipelago came together and agreed on a joint vision, mission, principles, and outlined the struggle and work program of Indigenous Peoples.
AMAN fights for the realization of Indigenous Peoples’ cultural, economic, and political sovereignty; to restore confidence, pride, and dignity of Indigenous Peoples, both men and women, so that they can enjoy their rights; to restore the sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples to maintain economic, social, cultural and political rights; to educate and increase the ability of Indigenous Peoples to maintain and develop indigenous knowledge to protect earth, water, and natural resources contained therein; to develop a democratic decision-making process; and to defend and fight for recognition, respect, protection, and fulfillment of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
At the global level, AMAN is also extremely active by advocating for the government of Indonesia’s adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and by engaging with international financial institutions and networks of multinational firms that directly and indirectly affect the lives of Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia.
Created in 2010, the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forest (AMPB) is a space for coordination and exchange between 10 territorial authorities that administer or influence major forested areas of Mesoamerica. Indigenous governments and community forestry organizations in the Alliance aim to strengthen their own dialogue, focused on community management of natural resources, while seeking to jointly influence governments and international cooperation strategies.
Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA)
COICA (the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin) is an indigenous organization that converges internationally and focuses its efforts on promoting, protecting, and securing Indigenous Peoples’ lands through their lifestyles, principles and social, spiritual, and cultural values. COICA works as a united body to generate policies, proposals, and actions at the local, national and international levels to promote the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon.
The International Association for the Study of the Commons
The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), founded in 1989 as The International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP), is devoted to bringing together multi-disciplinary researchers, practitioners, and policymakers for the purpose of improving governance and management, advancing understanding, and creating sustainable solutions for commons, common-pool resources, or any other form of shared resource.
IASC’s goals are:
to encourage exchange of knowledge among diverse disciplines, areas, and resource types;
to foster mutual exchange of scholarship and practical experience; and
The International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA) is the voice of family forestry worldwide. IFFA’s objective is to promote the development of family forestry and advocate supportive policies. IFFA will provide recommendations to international forest policy processes and provide a forum for exchange of experience, ideas and information.
The organization was formally launched July 1, 2002. The organization was founded as an informal network between national forest owners’ organizations. In order to be recognized by intergovernmental organizations, IFFA incorporated in 2006 with a secretariat in Oslo, Norway, and Brussels, Belgium. The organization works as a flexible network between national forest owners’ organizations.
The African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests
The African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests (REFACOF) is a network of women involved in sustainable forest resource management in Africa. It was created at the 2009 international conference on “Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise: New Opportunities for West and Central Africa” held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Forty five African women from Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Senegal, first formed the network and developed its founding Declaration.
REFACOF’s goal is to lobby and advocate with governments and international organizations for the inclusion of women-specific needs, constraints and interests, as well as their ownership rights to land and forest resources, in reforms and political agenda.
The network aims to make concrete, meaningful, and effective contributions to forest governance in order to influence national policies and international frameworks regarding women’s rights and tenure in member countries. Under African customary law, women seldom own or inherit land, and the only way they can access it is by marriage or through their male children. Through advocacy work, REFACOF has been able to propose articles and forest policies to the government and to the parliament that include women’s interests and ultimately will secure women’s rights in forestry and natural resource management, as well as REDD+ in the coming years. The lack of collective action amongst women’s organizations was a pressing issue that led to REFACOF forming strategic country and regional level development interventions. By strengthening women’s networks and partnering with men so they can advocate for comprehensive gender equality, which benefits broad community wellbeing, REFACOF has made it clear that inequitable situations are not an option.