The unsustainable use of natural resources in tropical frontier landscapes reduces people’s resilience and contributes to climate change and loss of biodiversity. Despite the obvious negative consequences, this unsustainable use persists, and structural changes to address it are urgently needed at various levels. It is our conviction that these structural changes must start with more inclusive and equitable governance and management of forests. To this aim, we support evidence-based, locally owned solutions to landscape-specific challenges across the forested tropics.
Download the Annual review 2022 here
In our annual review we present examples of our achievements in 2022. They illustrate the wide variety of context-specific solutions that TBI members and partners work on within the three impact areas that are central to TBI’s ambition:
Community forest management and conservation
In 2022, we supported Indigenous people and local communities to have their forest tenure rights formally acknowledged and to manage their forests in a sustainable manner, on their own terms, and according to their aspirations and needs. Tropenbos DR Congo, for example, supported farmers in the Bafwasende landscape to adopt cocoa agroforestry as a feasible and sustainable land-use option in degraded parts of their community forest concessions.
TBI partners also helped communities strengthen their internal forest governance processes, supported sustainable business and finance initiatives, and promoted the participation of Indigenous people and local communities in decision-making processes that influence the future of the wider landscape. Tropenbos Viet Nam, for example, supported ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands to convince local government officials of the crucial role that ethnic minorities play in forest protection.
Participatory forest and landscape restoration
In 2022, TBI continued promoting the application of smallholder-driven restoration in degraded forests and dryland areas. When it comes to promoting participatory productive restoration (PPR), Tropenbos Colombia has emerged as a trailblazer. Thanks to their persistent efforts, PPR has gained significant recognition as a viable alternative to conventional top-down restoration approaches. In Ethiopia, TBI’s partner, PENHA, accomplished a remarkable feat by facilitating an inclusive and iterative process to develop a national dryland restoration strategy. The strategy has been formally adopted by the central government.
Diversified production systems
In 2022, we supported the development of deforestation-free models for agrocommodity production that are based on sustainable practices and improve farmers’ resilience. Tropenbos Indonesia, for example, has been supporting rubber farmers in Simpang Dua, West Kalimantan Province, to adopt agroforestry practices, while also helping them to get organized and improve production and processing techniques, enhancing the economic feasibility of rubber agroforestry relative to oil palm plantations. Tropenbos Ghana, for example, helped to raise the voices of female cocoa farmers, shedding light on the insecurity of tree tenure through national media coverage, and compelling the government to take proactive measures in response. At the international level, we have been collaborating with other NGOs to urge the European Union to account for the potential effects of the new EU regulation on deforestation-free products on smallholders in producing countries.
Achieving impacts in the three impact areas also involves work on cross-cutting themes related to gender and youth, financial capacities and linkages, and locally responsive policies.
In 2022 we made sure that all our activities paid attention to the perspectives and needs of women and youth. In addition, we carried out activities in the landscapes that specifically focused on strengthening the situation of women and young people for example, Tropenbos Suriname has been working with youth representatives of the Saamaka tribe to advocate for the processing of a draft law granting the tribe the legal right to their traditional territory.
During 2022, TBI partners strengthened the capacity of local actors to develop feasible business plans in the forestry and agroforestry sectors, and to apply for loans and funding. At the same time, TBI partners have been collaborating with financial institutions to explore options for innovative financial products that are suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and community-based businesses.
Throughout 2022 we engaged with decision makers at various levels to help improve their policies. Part of this work focussed on improving sub-national policies in order to help achieve national climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.
Our efforts to address wildfires, as part of a new programme launched in 2021 continued. In Bolivia, the Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal (IBIF) worked with local actors in the Guarayos landscape to improve fire management tools and regulations, and to minimize wildfire risks and impacts.
We invite you to read all the stories included in our annual review that demonstrate the strength of TBI’s approach and the meaningful changes we can achieve by working with local actors and facilitating bottom-up changes.