CIDT facilitate inclusion of local actors in global conversations

The advent of the Covid 19 pandemic has made us all realise the importance of nature and how our lives are dependent on nature; this in turn has helped galvanise the international community with greater fervour than ever around efforts to address biodiversity loss, deforestation and degradation and the impacts of climate change.

Central to these efforts is the need for local people and national civil society organisations to play a key role in international efforts and processes. However, there are some challenges that make it impossible for local communities and national civil society organisations to be effectively engaged, even though they are the ones bearing the brunt of the negative impacts of biodiversity loss, deforestation, degradation, and climate change.

Often national civil society organisations and local communities lack the knowledge and, in many instances, do not have access to the platforms and fora on which these issues are discussed and decided. The result is that they are never seen, and their voices are never heard.

To address these challenges, CIDT organised the Asia Pacific Forest Governance Forum from 27-30 September 2021. More than 240 people, from 38 countries dispersed around our planet and representing a range of sectors, tuned into Zoom to attend this event. The event was organised by CIDT through the regional project Strengthening non-state actor involvement in forest governance in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea led by BirdLife International based in Cambridge and funded by the European Union.

Aiming to showcase achievements, expertise and experience the event offered views from civil society, international organisations and the private sector who are engaged in different kinds and methods of forest governance across the region. Presentations looked at the progress and the challenges of policy processes concerning forest governance, climate change and biodiversity conservation and the impacts observed on the ground.

Another session focused on both the science and practice of some of the tools and approaches being used to enhance transparency, access to information and accountability.

The event also invited speakers to discuss issues, efforts and methods into making and achieving greater inclusive representation and participation of stakeholders in the policy process.

The event was a huge success as highlighted by feedback from some of the participants:

“Thank you for your excellent moderation. We find these events invaluable. With lots of engagement parallels and informed approaches, this is an essential forum.”

“Many thanks for the very successful, substantial and inspiring conversations!”

“Thanks to all presenters. Excellent efforts being conducted at all levels, and great sharing with us over the past week. So exciting to hear of so much great organising and action at local community levels. Also a great effort from all organisers and participants.”

“Thank you for the enlightens forum and brings great hope for better forest governance and give more benefits for indigenous peoples and local communities.”

“Thank you very much for organising such a precious and insightful dialogue for better forest governance!”

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