Forest Harvest: Community-Based NTFP Enterprise (CBNE) Forum 
BACKGROUND
Below the forest canopy, many products are harvested and traded by communities and their community forest producer groups. These non-timber forest products (NTFP) significantly contribute to the livelihoods and incomes of approximately 1.3 billion people who depend on forest resources and services. Despite this importance of the NTFP trade, it often goes unnoticed compared to the very visible timber trade. 
Community-Based Non-Timber Forest Product Enterprises (CBNE) stimulates income generation for indigenous and rural communities and promotes conservation of natural resources through forest protection and sustainable harvest practices. Considering the growth of social forestry programs in South and Southeast Asia, the potential of CBNEs in the health and beauty, food, cosmetics, furniture and craft, textile and other industries are often overlooked as CBNEs are considered small players with little capacity, scale and market access. They often lack the organization and consolidation capacities that allow them to approach the market strategically and capitalize on their unique points of leverage. A dynamic and supportive political environment is still to be seen for these enterprises to become successful. 
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Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP), recognizing the untapped potential of thousands of CBNEs across the region and their vast contribution to community well-being and forest conservation, will organize a forum to channel the public’s focus on CBNEs. The online forum will foster information exchange, capacity enhancement, market engagement, and political action in support of CBNEs. It will provide a venue for sharing, exchanging, partnering, and bringing the issues of the understory to light. It will be an opportunity for CBNEs to grow, connect and navigate in the new normal as attention and action are solicited from more sectors, more segments and more generations. 
OBJECTIVES
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The five-day online event will be a platform for:
1. Learning and improving skills and knowledge in CBNE management and development by sharing best practice while highlighting the innovations made during the pandemic, enabling CBNEs to draw inspiration from each other and from mentors.
 
2. Meeting and forging better understanding and collaborations among CBNE value chain players by accelerating the pace of strategic engagement among players in the sector through stimulating discussion with innovators and leaders in the digital realm. Tapping broader digital markets will help CBNEs in their breakthroughs as innovative ways to market products online are constantly being developed. 
 
3. Advocating for a better enabling environment for CBNEs by discussing ways to bridge gaps and provide solutions to the uneven playing field that small producers have been working with, as exacerbated by the pandemic. NTFP-EP has started mainstreaming CBNEs into the small-medium enterprise sector plans of ASEAN, starting with spearheading guidelines on better management of NTFPs. 

Participants

There will be a mix of participants coming from communities and CBNE practitioners; policymakers from the forestry, social and MSME sectors; and the private sector in the field of natural products. There will also be representation from the youth, from international and national donors, local organizations, researchers, scientists and non-government organizations. 

Languages/Interpretation

The forum will use English as its main language but sessions will be translated into at least five languages (Thai, Filipino, Bahasa Indonesia, Khmer, Vietnamese) and the organizers will try to add more translations as needed. 

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