Review of USAID’s Natural Forest Management Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean
The recommendations are summarized below:
Recommendations for the design and implementation of NFM projects:
- There is a need to identify and take advantage of windows of opportunity in situations presenting favorable political and economic conditions
- The design of pilot projects should explicitly consider the potential for expansion of these projects into larger-scale commercial ventures
- Project design teams should analyze potential incentives to interest stakeholders in longterm investment in NFM.
- NFM projects must continue to promote local participation in all key decisions
- NFM project design should consider the development of clusters between buyers and sellers along the continuum from the forest resource to the end-user. These facilitate economies of scale and offer increased market security and efficiency.
- NFM projects should encourage governments to clarify tenure rights and obligations regarding individuals, communities, local governments and central government agencies.
Recommendations for further training in NFM:
- Training remains a key priority for communities if they are to be successful in implementing NFM.
- Public officials responsible for NFM need strengthened skills in general management, governance, and technical fields.
- Training efforts in NFM must stress linkages with forest-based industries
- Combine training in technical aspects of NFM with training to build capacity in business skills
Recommendations for further technical assistance in NFM:
- Actively promote criteria and principles for certification of best management practices for NFM
- There is a need for better understanding of forest resources outside protected areas and for policies that will balance conservation and use of these resources.
- Further work needs to focus on identifying critical watersheds and defining the respective management roles and responsibilities
- Increase support for knowledge management and dissemination of NFM information and lessons learned, especially through formats such as databases and electronic discussion lists
- Conduct and incorporate technical assistance in market analysis during the project design stage.
- As demand for wood continues to increase while traditionally marketed tropical species become less available, there is a need to reengage in research, development, and extension of lesser-known species.
The last portion of this document places these recommendations in the context of natural forest management and discusses potential applications of the recommendations for USAID assistance programs.
[adapted from authors summary]