Supporting small forest enterprises - A facilitator's handbook
Small forest enterprises make up 80-90 percent of enterprise numbers and more than 50 percent of forest sector employment in most developing countries. Supporting them to manage forests sustainably and profitably is critical to global efforts to improve Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Supporting them is also critical to poverty reduction, since it is these small forest enterprises that accrue profits locally, help to secure local commercial resource rights, empower local entrepreneurship and employment prospects, foster the creation of social capital, engender local environmental accountability in ways that adapt to and mitigate climate change and maintain cultural preferences and diversity.
This toolkit has been designed in response to needs expressed by in-country members of Forest Connect, an ad hoc alliance of individuals and institutions in more than 50 countries. The alliance aims to avoid deforestation and reduce poverty by better linking sustainable small forest enterprises to each other, to markets, to service providers and to policy processes. The toolkit has in mind two key audiences: international agencies that provide financial support for small forest enterprise initiatives, and national facilitators of support to small forest enterprises. The guidance modules follow a logical progression from broad international considerations of how to design, establish and assess small forest enterprise support programmes, through more specific guidance on how to plan in-country work, to detailed advice about particular useful intervention options (such as value chain analysis, product development, the facilitation of financial and business service provision, strengthening enterprise organisations, building in ecological sustainability and undertaking policy research for change).
The toolkit comprises 16 modules of step-by-step guidance, followed by practical tips based on the personal experiences of lead authors contracted to write each module. It has been enriched over a two year testing period by more than 60 boxed case study examples of attempts to use this guidance in countries around the world. It also includes sections in each module pointing the reader to other useful manuals and tools already in existence, with a reference list and a glossary of terms to assist the reader.