Forestland and forest-product enterprises managed by smallholders, community groups, and forest-dependent peoples can make significant contributions to sustainable development. However, the investment required for such enterprises is often lacking or misplaced. In addition, concerns have been raised about potential threats to the legal or customary rights of forest dependent people when investments are made by outside stakeholders. Work needs to be done to understand the problems faced by local forest owners and managers in this context, and solutions must be found to direct investments in a sound manner towards their enterprises. Starting in 2009, TFD convened a series of dialogues on these issues.

TFD’s ILCF dialogue initiative was created with the Growing Forest Partnerships (GFP), which is a collaboration between the International Union for the Conservation of Nature(IUCN), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the support of the World Bank. GFP’s goal is to support local initiatives and mechanisms that will improve the quality and quantity of investment in the forest sector through the implementation of bottom-up, in-country actions. It aims to give a voice to marginalized, forest-dependent groups in national and international policy processes.

TFD’s ILCF initiative is sponsored by the Growing Forest Partnerships (GFP)and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).