Despite destroying both forests and forest-dependent peoples’ livelihoods, industrial scale logging and agriculture plantations are often presented as the only routes to pulling developing countries out of poverty. In fact, evidence increasingly shows that smallholder forestry and agriculture, when promoted by state policy and protected with secure land rights, can be much more effective at providing income, producing food, and protecting environmental quality for future generations.

Fern works with partners to develop and promote livelihood models in the following ways:

  1. Showing the economic, social and environmental benefits of small-scale production models, to allow civil society to advocate for alternatives to the large-scale industrial production model.
  2. Collecting different countries’ experiences of small-scale livelihood models, to help develop new models in other countries.
  3. Connecting people working on small-scale livelihood models in different countries, to enable them to learn directly from each other.

This short briefing explains why communities are key to protecting Congo Basin forests.

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