The USAID-funded Grassroots Equity and Enhanced Networks in the Mekong Program supported 14 forestry officials and civil society representatives from the Lower Mekong countries to join over 200 participants from governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders at the ASEAN Social Forestry Network annual conference in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia from May 24 to 26.

Conference participants shared experiences and lessons on the roles and contributions of social forestry in addressing climate change, food security and green economy developments, and to promote related social forestry policies and practices.  The program led a half-day session on social equity and local engagement that resulted in a series of policy recommendations promoting a shift in attitude towards more equitable forest governance and a call to strengthen community involvement in forest co-management.

The recommendations adopted at the conference will be submitted to the upcoming annual meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update