Sarah Thomas and CIDT Associate Teodyl Nkuintchua have recently returned from Malaysia where they facilitated a very successful two week Forest Governance and Training of Trainers course for staff, volunteers and stakeholders of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). The course was the last of the four national forest governance courses delivered by CIDT as part of the EU/Birdlife International ‘Strengthening Non State Actor Involvement in Forest Governance in South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea) Project.
The first week of the programme was designed in close consultation with MNS to ensure that it dealt with topics of priority concern within the Malaysian context. It was attended by 43 partners and stakeholders of the project, representing Government, Private Sector, Civil Society and Community organisations and from across the politically distinct federal territories of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. The content included forest governance assessment, corruption, trade-based initiatives, indigenous community rights, gender, climate change and REDD+. The course also addressed issues around multi-stakeholder communication. These sessions helped participants to identify ‘spaces’ for participation and influence of non-state actors within the governance structure, to explore power relationships and multi-stakeholder interaction; and to build awareness of and competency in the key skills for effective engagement (change management, representation, advocacy, negotiation, networking & influencing skills). This was achieved through a series of analytical exercises and role play activities, including stakeholder mapping and communication analysis.
The second week of the course, which took place at the Belum Forest Reserve, focused on Training of Trainers and was attended by 21 MNS staff and volunteers and a small number of representatives from partner CSOs. During the second week, participants were supported to design and deliver targeted training inputs for different stakeholder groups in order to support wider dissemination of Week 1 content. The courses developed included workshops on forest monitoring, REDD+, trade dynamics and environmental education for school teachers.
Some photos of the workshop