Project Title: Capacity Building on Enhancing Resilience to Forest Fire, and Local Livelihood and Market Linkage

Budget: USD 6.5M

Proponent: Asian Forest Cooperation (AFoCO), ROK

Period: 2021-2027


Project Description

Forests in ASEAN region are being increasingly converted and degraded to accommodate the demands of increasing human populations. These coupled by other drivers of deforestation and degradation including forest fires occur cause massive damage to the environment. In fact, Forest Fire is a major threat and the impacts of forest fires on human life, property and livelihoods will be intensified in the region.  Forest Fires are either anthropogenic or natural but most fires around the region are anthropogenic. Supporting community forestry enterprises (CFEs) can provide sustainable economic options for local communities where forest fire occurrence or potential is high. CFEs have proven to add value to both local economies and larger value chains, CFEs have yet to be maximized in ASEAN’s plans for sustainable and equitable growth. Potential CFE markets within ASEAN are yet to be fully tapped and access to CFE capacity development programmes is disparate particularly for countries such as Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. Hence, there is an urgent need in CLMV countries, to sustain local livelihoods and strengthen market linkages, and in turn, enhance resilience to forest fire and strengthen their forest management. The main objective is to enhance the capacities of CLMV countries on the integrated management of forest fires for the conservation of natural resources, enhancement of local livelihood and, promotion of MSMEs.

The specific objectives are as follows:

1) Develop an integrated fire management system through the introduction of early detection and monitoring systems, provision of fire suppression equipment and involvement of local communities along with restoration of forest land disturbed by fire.

2) Strengthening Capacities and Market Linkages in Community Forestry MSME.

3) Strengthen institutional and technical capacities for the integrated management of forest fires through training programs and public awareness raising activities.


Introduction of Proponents/Implementing Agencies

Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization that promotes cooperation towards achieving the shared SDGs and regional and global forestry objectives (homepage: The Agreement on Establishment of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) is registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations under Treaty Collection Number 55833 (Multilateral).  To date, the Organization comprises of 14 Parties from the ASEAN Member States (except Malaysia and Singapore), Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic[1], Mongolia, Republic of Korea (ROK) and Timor-Leste, as well as 2 Observers, Malaysia, and Singapore. In terms of governance The principal organs of AFoCO are the Assembly and the Secretariat. The Assembly is the policy-making body composed of the Representatives of all Parties. The Secretariat, headed by the Executive Director and located in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, is responsible for implementing its policies and strategies. Subject to guidance by the Assembly, the Executive Director enters into agreements on behalf of the organization for the implementation of activities of the Organizations. AFoCO also became a Permanent Observer to the United Nations General Assembly and an ODA Eligible International Organization enlisted in the OECD DAC list.

AFoCO’s vision is “A greener Asia with resilient forests, landscapes, and communities.”. Its mission is to strengthen cooperation in the forest sector and promote action-oriented practices of sustainable forest management through policy support, capacity development, and inclusive partnerships to address the adverse impacts of climate change.

AFoCO annually receives budget of yearly 4.5 M USD for the operation of its Secretariat from the mandatory contributions of its Parties and budget for the development and implementation of projects from the voluntary contributions of the Republic of Korea and other sources with a yearly average of 4.5 M USD.   In order to realize its vision and missions, projects and capacity building activities contribute to five (5) different strategic priority areas: (1) Initiating customized reforestation models; (2) Research and development in climate change adaptation approaches; (3) Introducing technology in managing forest-related disasters; (4) Local livelihood improvement and community-based small enterprise development; (5) Strengthening organizational capabilities and regional actions.

The AFoCO Secretariat is housed in its Headquarter in Seoul, Republic of Korea, with a subsidiary body, the AFoCO Regional Education and Training Center (RETC) located in Yangon region, Myanmar.  At the Headquarter, the Secretariat is headed by its Executive Director and assisted by Vice Executive Director supported by three (3) Division Directors for Planning and Budget, Cooperation and Project and Capacity Development or a total of 23 staff members, an average of five (5) Fellowship Officials from the AFoCO Parties and Interns on semestrial/yearly basis. The organizational chart is shown below as figure 1.

It is worth mentioning that the AFoCO stemmed from the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Forest Cooperation or AFoCO that started from 2012 up to 2018. Since then, most of the Projects of AFoCO (70% or 26/37) were/are implemented by the ASEAN Member States with a total funds of 35.8 M USD, representing 73% of the overall project fund portfolio of AFoCO.

Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) is a collaborative network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations in Asia (homepage : It works towards strengthening the capacity of forest-dependent communities to sustainably manage their natural resources. NTFP-EP believes that adding value to non-timber forest products can secure better livelihoods and healthier forests. NTFP-EP is present in 6 countries in Asia: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam, and facilitates in national to global civil society networks. NTFP-EP’s mission is to act as a catalyst in empowering local organizations working with marginalized, forest dependent communities, mainly indigenous peoples in Asia, towards sustainable management of forested landscapes and ecosystems and the right to access natural resources, livelihood, cultural identification and gender equality. The organogram of NTFP-EP is as shown as figure 2.

NTFP-EP has 17 staff members, with a 3-year average annual budget of US$ 982,023 (2019 year US$ 1,002,802, 2020 year US$ 615,765, 2021 year US$ 1,330,504).  The priority areas of NTFP-EP are the community-based conservation, indigenous food & health, tenure rights & governance, sustainable climate-adapted livelihoods, gender & culture, and youth engagement & empowerment.

NTFP-EP also has a lot of  experience working with ASEAN, which are: was an institutional partner in the ASEAN Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) 2010-2020, developed the ASEAN guidelines on NTFP sustainable harvest and management protocols, developed the ASEAN guidelines on Customary Tenure,  is also a supporting Institution to the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF), and is contracted by the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity on a project on Biodiversity-based products and community forestry labelling.