Forests for People and Planet

More than 1.5 billion small forest and farm producers across the globe depend on forests to produce food, timber, fuel, and non-timber forest products to meet their subsistence needs.

DFE works by tapping into the collective scale and potential of these smallholders to contribute to reversing the negative effects of climate change and to produce sustainable wood products.

By working with smallholders to achieve economies of scale, it is possible to both contribute to responsible forest management and to economic development among the poor rural populations.

DFE’s main approach is organizing these smallholders into forestry association. Smallholders that are organized into forestry association gain strength in numbers. They also get access to practical forestry services, advocacy for their rights, and market access for their products.

Our methods are practical and include:

  • Mobilization of communities and organization of smallholders;
  • Formation and management of member-owned, democratic associations with professional extension services;
  • Advocacy for supportive legal frameworks for forest and land management;
  • Nursery establishment, management, and seedling production;
  • Training assistance (e.g. technical, entrepreneurial, and advocacy skills);
  • Writing of viable business plans for tree-based income generation; and
  • Development of market linkages.

By investing in and organizing the millions of small-scale forest managers, we invest in the future of the planet and people, contributing to enhanced forests and strengthened rural economies.