We are in Namarebo, a small village in the district of Mocuba, in the province of Zambezia, Mozambique. Observing the inherent contrasts of rich natural resources and rural poverty, we ask ourselves how can the management of these natural resources translate into improved livelihoods for the community?
I’m the Director of Financing within the National Forestry Commission of the Government of Mexico. The picture below is of where I was born, in a little town located in the mountains of Oaxaca. It was a great place to grow up and it was where I learned on a daily basis how important forests were to the livelihood of my community.
Forests are having a bit of a moment right now. Hot on the heels of their inclusion in the Paris climate agreement, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry giving a keynote speech at the Oslo REDD Exchange and 800,000 citizens of Utter Pradesh setting a new world record for planting nearly 50 million trees in one day, forests are high on the agenda for those attending Climate Week in New York City.
As we got out of the car and started walking to a cocoa farm in Ghana’s Western Region, I was happy to see some female cocoa farmers welcoming us. What a pleasant surprise! Knowing that it is not easy for women in West Africa to own or access productive land for their own use, I was very glad to see that the Forest Investment Program – FIP – is directly benefiting them.
Everyone likes chocolate, yes? I know a few people who love the stuff and I’m quite partial to the odd block or two myself. So while spending a few days at a recent Forest Investment Program (FIP) monitoring and reporting workshop in Ghana I travelled to meet some cocoa farmers near Bibiani and get the low down on everyone’s favorite treat.
A couple days ago, some friends asked me about my recent trip to Democratic Republic of Congo for the Forest Investment Program (FIP). I enthused about the forest investment projects I visited, the dedicated colleagues I met, and the value of monitoring and reporting or “M&R.” Pardon? Come again? M&R? Clearly, I had lost my friends.
Approximately one-third of Mexico’s total territory—64 million hectares— is covered by tropical and temperate forest ecosystems. It is estimated that about 10 million people live in and around forested areas, many of who directly depend on forest resources for maintaining their livelihoods1.
It was a welcome and a reunion. The Forest Investment Program (FIP) met in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from June 23rd to 25th, and new countries, existing countries, FIP Observers, Multilateral Development Banks, representatives from Indigenous People, the private sector, and civil society all came together to share knowledge and experiences as part of the FIP family.