Model Forests in Asia provide a strong stakeholder and community-based approach to natural resource management at a landscape scale.
Although community based approaches in the Asia region are not unique, what sets them apart is that they are generally enshrined in national legislation. Model Forests in Asia provide a voluntary and neutral platform where national government representatives and local-level organizations can meet to discuss sustainability and resource management issues for their particular landscape. By facilitating stakeholder dialogue Model Forests open doors to opportunities to strengthen governance and collaborative landscape planning.
This explicit link between national-level policy-makers and local level operations provides Model Forest partners with the opportunity to influence national policy. The reverse also holds true. Beyond the influence that they can exert on existing national policies, Model Forests also offer cost-effective testing grounds for national or international initiatives.
The involvement of governments in the Model Forest development process has enabled national-level policy testing and development to be directly linked with on-the-ground demonstration.