SIDE EVENT: Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry

Findings from a Promising Initiative for Investors, Rights-holders, Governments, and Donors 

Forests for People – this slogan has circled through the United Nations particularly since the International Year of Forests 2011. Human wellbeing and healthy forests are directly linked through the various ecosystem services that we humans rely on. Forests are home to 300 million people around the world and 1.6 billion people’s livelihoods depend on forests. Yet, these people are often poorly involved in decisions that affect their very basis for survival.

The Forests Dialogue (TFD) provides a platform to discuss the most pressing issues concerning forests and people in a multi-stakeholder setting. As such, TFD has launched an initiative to find out how to best enable local people to control their valuable resources.  Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry (ILCF) involves investors, rights-holders, governments, and donors, and shows that locally controlled forestry can be a way to manage forests that is successful, sustainable, and profitable for all stakeholders. While empowering local people, the initiative embraces the opportunities given by the globalized free-market economy to support small and medium sized enterprises with financial resources and technical knowhow.

The idea behind locally controlled forestry is that forest landscapes are not unoccupied space but that they are inhabited by people who claim rights over their forests. These people seek business partnerships to manage and market their natural resources successfully. ILCF offers advantages to all stakeholders involved:

  • Investors gain a ‘social license to operate’ and reduced risks
  • Tenure rights of rights-holders are reinforced
  • Governments gain from increasing tax revenues over time and better asset protection
  • International efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) can be achieved more holistically

TFD Side Event at the UN Forum on Forests

At the side event, “Key Findings from TFD’s Dialogues on Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry” on Friday, April 12 2013 from 6-7:30pm (TOPKAPI A) a panel of diverse stakeholders will present a framework for investing in locally controlled foretry that offers a unique way to a people-centered approach to sustainable natural resource management. Experts will present findings from investment cases in seven countries in line with the ILCF initiative that has engaged over 400 stakeholders.

Presenters and Panelists

  • Gary Dunning – The Forests Dialogue
  • Ghan Shyam Pandey – Global Alliance of Community Forestry
  • Peter deMarsh – International Family Forest Alliance
  • Hubertus Samangun – Ikatan Cendekiawan Tanimbar Indonesia
  • Björn Merkell – Swedish Forest Agency
  • Diji Chandrasekharan Behr – PROFOR


  • Xiaoting Hou – The Forests Dialogue