The future of forest work and communities
Around the world, forest communities and forest-based livelihoods face an existential challenge: young people are leaving rural areas in large numbers. The 2017 PEFC Collaboration Fund is supporting an innovative project that will generate novel strategies to support the next generation of local forest workers.
For many years, the promotion of community-based forestry and forest management has focused on securing land and resource rights, or increasing the economic opportunities of local forests.
However, migration is occurring even from these well-supported forest communities with long established rights. This suggests that trends associated with globalization have a large influence on rural communities.
Through their project, the International Forestry Resources and Institutions and the Pilot Projects Design Collective will generate new and innovative approaches to engage youth in forestry.
The project will connect researchers, professional practitioners and young people from forest communities to exchange and co-create knowledge about forest communities and forest work.
This knowledge will be used to identify research, policy actions and projects that support youth in these communities and their forest based livelihoods.
PEFC and the future of forest work
The 2017 PEFC Collaboration Fund is supporting this incredibly important project by co-funding a series of outreach events and activities designed to mobilize critical knowledge.
Leading international researchers and professional practitioners working in the area of community forest management and conservation will work with young people (aged 16-29) from forest communities in different parts of the world.
Tailored to local contexts and cultures, the 'visioning sessions' will enable the exchange and co-creation of knowledge with young people about the value of community forests, their hopes for the future, and what 'meaningful work' based around local forests and forest resources might entail.
The key observations and lessons that emerge from the visioning sessions will be used to develop research ideas and projects, and to recommend policy changes and interventions.
Our funding will also enable six ‘pilot projects’ in these communities following the sessions. These pilots will provide both meaningful support for local projects, and valuable research opportunities to design a framework for establishing projects with other communities around the world.