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Library Market Research and Enterprise Development for Community Forestry in Myanmar

Market Research and Enterprise Development for Community Forestry in Myanmar

Market Research and Enterprise Development for Community Forestry in Myanmar

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Date of publication
August 2011
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ISBN / Resource ID

... Pyoe Pin is a programme aimed at strengthening civil society in Myanmar. The programme is supported by DFID, the British Department for International Cooperation and implemented through the British council in partnership with local NGOs. Community Forestry (CF) is a key element of the programme, as it is seen as pathway to increasing the participation of civil society in influencing policy and practice with regards to communities. access and sustainable use of forestry land. CF can also improve forestry conservation and enhance the livelihoods of

CF has been a national development tool since 1995, when the Ministry of Forestry issued instructions for the issuing of Community Forest certificates. In Kachin state in northern Myanmar bordering China, Pyoe Pin has been working with two local NGOs (ECODEV and Shalom Foundation), who are in turn engaging with forest villages, to increase their awareness of appropriate forest usage and management, through assisting these communities to apply for community forest certificates.

These certificates provide community rights to forest products and tenure for 30 years. Working through 120 villages, 54 Forest User Groups (FUGs) consisting of about 40,000 people have been created, who are replanting degraded forest areas, and also balancing their livelihood
needs with greater understanding of sustainability. So far, 31,445 acres have been prepared for CF, but aside from 3000 of these acres, the rest has not yet been granted the lease, largely a result of lack of institutional support for this process as government prioritizes commercial
allocations of land over community allocations for CF.

As yet, CF has not shown significant direct economic impacts, but it is hoped that income from forest products, produced by and for the communities engaged, will have an impact on the incomes of the communities and households involved. One of the challenges has been how to increase the commercial viability and impact of CF by bringing greater alignment between commercial and community priorities.

Some parts of the CF Instruction have hindered the maximization of economic benefits that can be gained by CF as they limit community rights to harvesting and selling at minimal levels. In addition, both private sector and Government have not considered CF as a potential partner for
sourcing raw materials. But the environment is ripe for undertaking analysis and piloting of alternative models. There is a new Minister of Forestry, formerly head of Myanmar Timber Enterprise, who has experience in extensive forest-based commercial ventures. In addition, a recent national CF workshop was the first of the kind to bring experts from around the region to discuss findings from a national-level appraisal of CF in Myanmar since inception 15 years ago.

In this context, Pyoe Pin envisages to develop a pilot project that will seek to demonstrate:
1. the value of CF as a real national development tool for the poorest communities, and to increase institutional support for its realization.
2. CF can be a commercially viable business partner for private sector
3. that it is important that communities who apply for CF status should be supported with the expedient granting of leases
4. that CF Instructions need to be revised to allow communities to commercialize their CF

Towards these objectives, Pyoe Pin started to identify CF products that could have the greatest market potential and feasibility of being taken up by community forestry, which can then supply the products to larger domestic and possibly even international markets. An initial brainstorming session with foresters from NGOs and research institutes and businessmen from the Timber Market Association in December 2010 identified a preliminary shortlist of forest products. This selection was mainly based on secondary sources of information on market
potential to help narrow down a more appropriate list for additional value-chain analysis...

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