Ensuring people-centred approach to forestry is essential for sustainable forest management which, in turn, can reduce the impact of disasters. Recognizing local communities as key forest stakeholders and promoting their involvement in decision-making and sustainable management of forests also generates positive outcomes for livelihoods, rural development and forest conservation.
Particularly at risk are poor forest-dependent communities, and within these communities, women, children, older people, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups might need additional assistance in preparing for disasters and in recovering from them when they occur.
- Ensure participation of at-risk groups in community meetings to determine different needs and requirements in the community.
- Arrange separate Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with women and men with disabilities, older people and other marginalised groups, also taking into account power dynamics in a given community.
- Invite persons from at-risk groups to become members of community forest committees, provisioning fair distribution of resources and equal participation in decision making.
- Sensitize communities on the risk of exclusion of at-risk groups and on gender issues in forestry.
- Engage at-risk groups in awareness raising and capacity-building initiatives on issues of sustainable forest management using different formats adjusted to the specific needs of different groups.
- Promote inclusion and gender equality in forest enterprises and institutions.
- Promote using indigenous knowledge and techniques to reduce disaster risk.
- Liaising with the representative organisations of at-risk groups and empower them to engage in advocacy for provision of secure land and forest tenure rights .
- Strengthen capacities and extension services for at-risk groups for the sustainable management of forests, and support farmer-assisted natural regeneration, reforestation and tree planting in agriculture lands to reduce pressure to natural forest and current stocks.