Experts meet for SAARC Regional Project on community based NWFPs

A50X1525August 24-26, Thimphu: Participants from the SAARC member states of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan along with Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), Dhaka participants from Fiji, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos and Bangladesh comes together for a consultative meeting on ‘Development of SAARC Regional Project on Community based Non-Wood Forest Products enterprise: A Sustainable business model’.

The meeting aims at documenting the best community based enterprise on non-wood forest products (NWFPs) for up/out scaling in the member countries and develop sustainable business model on NWFPs. It will also document lessons both successful and unsuccessful on community-based enterprise on NWFPs in South and South-East Asia.

Extending a warm welcome to the delegates, the Hon’ble Agriculture Secretary, Rinzin Dorji in his speech highlighted that some 80 % of the population of the developing world use NWFPs for health and nutritional needs. He added that NWFPs still form the basis of livelihoods in many parts of the world and plays a significant role in food and nutritional security. He further stressed on the importance to ensure the sustainable utilisation of NWFPs which is a challenge.

During the meeting, experts from different countries presented their country report highlighting the community-based business model, roles of NWFPs, their challenges and opportunities. As an initiative in NWFPs management at the SAARC level, it was suggested to develop a real-time market intelligence system for monitoring the market trends and intervening in the NWFPs trade in the region.

A field visit to Wangdue and Punakha will be also organised for participants where they will meet with NWFPs enterprise.

The Department of Forests and Park Services jointly with the SAARC Agriculture Centre andCIRDAP is organising the meeting.

According to a record, there are 138 NWFPs management groups and 17 community forest established specifically for the management of NWFPs in Bhutan.

-ICTD

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