The aim of the Siemenpuu’s funding theme on Community Forests is to strengthen the collective rights of local communities dependent on natural forests in order to improve livelihoods and conserve biodiversity.
Under the theme, Siemenpuu supports civil society organisations’ projects in Liberia. The funded projects are expected to actively strengthen the capacity and leadership of women and persons with disabilities in natural resource management.
In forest conservation, social sustainability based on forest dependent local communities’ collective rights, as well as their capacity to enjoy these rights, are emphasized. Advocacy for practices, legislation and policies preventing deforestation and biodiversity loss, as well as advancing local communities’ rights to sustainable forest-based livelihoods is considered crucial. Forests of high biodiversity value and carbon stock are prioritized.
Following type of forest-related work is supported through the grants:
- Advancing legalization processes related to local communities’ collective land and natural resource rights;
- Planning and strengthening of forest conservation and sustainable use by local communities;
- Prevention and monitoring of illicit natural resource use;
- Strengthening of community-based forest management capacity, transparency and accountability;
- Development of sustainable livelihoods based on Non-Timber Forest Products, including their value chains;
- Regeneration of degraded forest areas;
- Efforts to increase gender equality and inclusion of persons with disabilities;
- Measures to strengthen forest dependent local communities’ climate resilience and adaptation to the impacts of climate change;
- Advocacy and networking of CSOs on community-based forest conservation and management.
Community forest theme is a continuation of Siemenpuu’s previous work supporting the conservation and sustainable use of forests and coastal ecosystems by CSOs in the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia, India and Nepal. In these countries, there are positive examples of community-based tenure and management of forests. Siemenpuu has supported national and local advocacy work on the community-based forest management as well as capacity building of communities and local CSOs.