Supporting smallholders in the forest sector to work sustainably

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) make up 80–90% of forest enterprises in most timber-producing countries. These MSMEs play a key role in rural economies, generate jobs and can be part of the solution to reducing deforestation and forest degradation. Under its Forest Smallholders Project, the European Forest Institute (EFI) is supporting wood-based MSMEs in four Mekong countries to operate legally and sustainably.

Testing solutions in our pilots

Promoting gender equality

Gender equality through women’s economic empowerment and participation is enshrined in the national regulatory and policy frameworks of Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. These national frameworks are the countries’ efforts to fulfill binding obligations and voluntary commitments to various international standards.

Reclaimed timber trader, ThailandEuropean Forest Institute

Promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the Mekong region’s small-scale forest sector

Women play significant roles in the sustainable management of forests and in forest-related businesses. However, women often do not benefit equally. This briefing analyses the challenges women in four Mekong countries face and identifies how gender equality in the small-scale forest sector can be pursued.

Promoting legality within the private forest sector: obstacles and incentives to formalization

In the informal forest sector, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are often characterised as “illegal”. This is the case when their modes of production, sources of raw material or legal status do not conform to their country’s regulatory requirements. In this brief, the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme and EFI make a case for acknowledging the complex circumstances of forest-sector MSMEs and argue that if MSMEs do opt to formalise their business, there should be incentives and support to ensure that they benefit from formal status.

COVID-19 impacts on wood-based MSMEs in Myanmar

MSMEs are the backbone of Myanmar’s economy. They constitute 99% of formally registered enterprises and generate significant livelihood and employment opportunities. But the pandemic has had severe impacts on customer demand, revenue, finances, workers and the availability and distribution of raw materials. Myanmar’s MSMEs also face difficulties accessing support from COVID-19 relief programmes. These are the findings of a survey of some 200 MSMEs conducted by the European Forest Institute (EFI) and the Sagawa Institute of Organization Development.

Strengthening the ability of smallholders in the Mekong region forest sector to operate legally and sustainably

This event will bring to life experiences and lessons learned from tackling the challenges smallholders face to operate legally and sustainably in the forest sector in the Mekong region. The event will explore ways to strengthen the technical and operational skills of smallholders and create an enabling environment for them to contribute to forest governance, rural livelihoods and gender equality.

Strengthening the ability of smallholders in the Mekong region forest sector to operate legally and sustainably

This event will bring to life experiences and lessons learned from tackling the challenges smallholders face to operate legally and sustainably in the forest sector in the Mekong region. The event will explore ways to strengthen the technical and operational skills of smallholders and create an enabling environment for them to contribute to forest governance, rural livelihoods and gender equality.