RECOFTC developed a strategic programme to establish its basic direction as an institution concerned with supporting community forestry in the Asia-Pacific region. To ensure this programme could be implemented effectively an assessment and realignment of the organisation structure was critical. LTS provided independent expert advice to facilitate a delicate process and ensure the institutional structure aligned with the programme objectives. Supporting an internal RECOFTC task force, an LTS organisational assessment specialist advised on RECOFTC’s new organisational structure and necessary changes.
The project aimed to develop knowledge and generic tools for yield regulation of natural forests in tropical developing countries. LTS facilitated a process to ensure local stakeholders participate in decisions related to future allocation of timber harvested from local forests. The work aimed to develop sustainable utilisation of forests and more equitable distribution of benefits. A pilot study led to a model and illustrated that by embarking on a sensible yield regulation process and using a simple toolbox it becomes feasible for management to integrate resource information rapidly and easily and assess what quantity of timber can be feasibly cut, and weaknesses in information collection and management will be exposed that should be remedied.
The assignment consisted of the Forest Inventory and Monitoring Project (FIMP) and the Integrated Radio Communications Systems (IRCS) Project. The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project were also partly integrated into the programme. LTS provided an international evaluation team who undertook a pre-completion review of these project components.
The Uttar Pradesh Forestry Project assisted the Government of Uttar Pradesh in the development of the forestry sector. The project aimed to improve public sector management in the sector, increase forest cover, productivity and biodiversity in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. LTS undertook an assessment of the incentive structure for farmers to be involved in farm forestry, particularly in districts where departmental seedling production in expected to be phased out. An evaluation of the Forestry Departments’ communication, extension and market development measures was undertaken and the monitoring and evaluation program reviewed.
The proposed five-year Jharkhand Community Forestry Project developed mechanisms to promote and sustain a transition from Joint Forest Management (JFM) to Community Forest Management (CFM). The adoption of CFM aimed to empower communities to take autonomous decisions regarding the management of forest resources. The project aimed to develop and strengthen participatory systems of natural resource management to improve the livelihoods of rural people in the forested areas. LTS was involved in reviewing the proposed project.
LTS provided specialist expertise in local NGO capacity building to support communities in the Citarik sub-watershed to better self-organise, and to advise on technical matters related to agricultural improvements. These capacity building efforts prepared the ground for a smoother implementation of the follow-on project. The specialist provided by LTS assisted the NGOs to re-focus rural development through a stakeholder-based self-help approach, set up & improve community-based NRM systems, introduce participatory planning methodologies, in particular to integrate women in the planning process, to bring in private sector expertise in marketing & food processing, and establish rural credit schemes and cooperative banks.
The privatisation of Malawi’s commercial forest plantations was a hot topic in the National Forest Programme (NFP) process. DFID has supported privatisation since the late nineties. The Malawi Forestry Department had prepared an outline of a project to privatise its commercial forestry plantations, to augment resources committed and to integrate Finnish assistance. LTS was crucial in the detailed preparation of DFID support, including aspects of feasibility and financing in order to transfer the management of commercial forest plantations from the public to private sector in a transparent, accountable and effective process addressing poverty, sustainability and equity issues.
The South African government announced that the state-owned timber plantations company, SAFCOL, would be privatized. LTS’ support to South Africa’s restructuring initiative was a key component of the wider ranging Restructuring Forests in Former Homelands Project, under which DFID supported programmes aimed to alleviate poverty and redress inequality in the former homelands by effectively restructuring the former homelands forests to achieve government policy objectives. The company owned 332,000 hectares of commercial tree plantations and other assets valued at between 1 and 1.5 billion Rand (some $USD 160-250 million). From 2001-2002 LTS provided high-level privatisation and forestry expertise to review options and assist the Department of Public Enterprises to un-block and push through to completion the stalled privatisation of SAFCOL and disposal of the remaining commercial forests.
The AAS project aimed to build capacity across Africa for the formulation and implementation of NFPs. In 2001, LTS was contracted to carry out a mid-term review of the project, and we provided relevant policy and training expertise from our staff consultants. Three countries (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) were visited for the review, and consultations were made with participants involved in the wider AAS programme as well as other relevant stakeholders. More recently, LTS, in association with AAS, has undertaken a qualitative assessment of NFPs in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Ghana.
LTS consultants prepared for Iwokrama a report that identified the geographical location of potential timber markets and their relative short and longer-term prospects, product requirements and demand for recognised indicators of socially and environmentally responsible business practices. The report analysed current private sector perspectives on investment needs and priorities in the Guyanese forest products sector and the estimated financial requirements to meet potential national and international market demands, both in terms of order size and product specification and quality.