Strengthening Community-Based Forest Enterprises in Ecoregions of Latin America, Asia and Africa

Geographical location:

Africa/Madagascar > Central Africa > Cameroon

Asia/Pacific > Pacific Ocean > Papua New Guinea
Latin America/Caribbean > Central America > Panama
Latin America/Caribbean > South America > Bolivia


The support and involvement of local communities can reap real and long term benefits for WWF’s conservation work.

This project addresses the development of community-based forest enterprises (CBFEs) in Bolivia, Cameroon, Panama and Papua New Guinea. Each country contains tropical rainforests of significant global diversity but is also home to large groups of rural indigenous communities that depend on the forests for income, food, medicines and housing materials.


Work will focus on specific regions within each of the 4 countries:

- Bolivia: Santa Cruz Department.
- Cameroon: Campo Ma’an National Park area in Southwest Cameroon, and the region of the Tri-National Parks - Lobeke, Boumba Bek and Nki - in Southeast Cameroon.
- Panama: Darien Department.
- Papua New Guinea: Bougainville, New Britain, New Ireland, Morobe, Madang and Sandaun.

Each of the countries also has in place a policy environment generally favourable to development of CBFEs. In addition, All of the selected countries are eligible to receive European Community funding.

Forest-based communities can increase their income from a variety of sources, such as selling non-timber forest products (NTFPs), selling timber, converting their land to higher-paying agricultural uses - or leaving the forest and migrating to other jobs. This project will focus on long term options of using and selling timber resources.
In many countries, people from outside the forest-based communities feel entitled to enter the forest, extract resources or convert the forest to farming because the legal owners or managers - government or communities - are unable to enforce their claim to the forest. Government agencies in fact may encourage ‘productive’ uses of forest when local communities cannot show any income from the standing forest. Communities thus have an often urgent need to show effective, productive use of the forest base.

WWF will work with its partners to support these communities.


Improved capacity of CBFEs and civil society organizations in Latin America, Africa and Asia to access, govern and manage forest resources to generate greater local income, employment and investment opportunities.


1. Increase the income and welfare of forest-based communities in 4 countries.

2. Strengthen the capacity of forest-based communities to effectively govern their forest resources, while contributing to regional and national forest management.

3. Generate tools and models that support the strengthening of rural communities to manage their forest resources in ways that generate increased income and support greater community cohesion.


- Business development to allow indigenous communities to use their forest resources sustainably and profitably, providing resources for investment in local community development projects.

- Institutional strengthening of communities, of civil society organizations and of regional flora on forest management.

- Analyses of lessons learned regarding both the production and marketing side of the CBFEs and of the policy environment.

- Advocacy and communication for a more supportive regulatory and administrative framework for CBFEs in the 4 countries.

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