This report is the result of collaboration among a great number of people. In 1992 Peter Geither, then director of the Ford Foundation’s Asian Regional Programs, and Eva Wollenberg, a program officer in the same office, worked with the Foundation’s six Asian field offices to conduct a review of the Foundation’s community forestry work in Asian.
Attention drawn to the plight of tropical forests has focused chiefly on resource degradation, declining biodiversity, and the three effects of decreasing forest resources on the global climate. In Asia, many forest-dependent people are among their nations’ poorest. Because public forest areas tend to be in remote locations, transportation is often difficult, markets are distant, and public services such as schools and health care are limited. Land is usually sloping or otherwise marginally suited for intensive cultivation of crops. These conditions severely limit villagers’ economic opportunities. In addition, villagers living in or near forest reserves tend to have little voice or representation in political decision making. Many are ethnic minorities with a history of strained relations with their governments.
The programs came share the common objective of increasing the incomes and livelihoods of disadvantaged rural households by devising approaches to resource management that are more productive , stable, sustainable, and equitable. Forestry for Sustainable Rural Development, a review of Ford Foundation is likely to be not only historical value, but also of interest to all those seeking to contribute to the further reduction of rural poverty in Asia and elsewhere.