ASEAN - Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Phase 2

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Across Southeast Asia, 300 million people live in rural areas and up to 70 million people rely on forests for their livelihoods, nutrition and food security. For centuries, local people have used and managed forests in various ways: enhancing natural forest ecosystems for food, timber and other non-timber products, as agro-forest systems planted with mixed food and commodity crops, and as forest fallows in swidden systems for maintaining environmental services. These systems have long been adaptive to changing market and socio-demographic demands, and more recently subjected to intensive policy and economic drivers. Against this setting, the formalization of social forestry or community-based forestry has become an increasing feature of forest management in the region. As efforts to combat climate change get underway, social forestry is an important component in the portfolio of forest management practices for channeling incentive mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus enhancing forest carbon stocks). As part of the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is undertaking research to better understand swidden systems as a social forestry practice and their relevance for REDD+ and livelihoods. CIFOR’s research aims to understand how local knowledge, practices and social networks can be incorporated into the design of REDD+ projects to ensure that swidden communities can participate meaningfully in and benefit from REDD+. Phase II of the Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change involves in-depth research on how different social networks and multi-local residences affect the investment of remittances, the use of forest products, and the effectiveness of information exchange. The project is investigating the implications of these exchanges for local people's livelihoods and their food security. Phase II adopts and integrates a landscape level approach to better understand changes in land-use and forest management practices. Research conducted for this project will contribute to a deeper understanding of social forestry policies and their implications for climate change mitigation and food security.

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