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International Workshop on Gender and Forest Tenure in Asia and Collective Forest Tenure Reform in China Convened
Author:     Time: 2012-07-21

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Sponsored by Tenure and Resources Institute (RRI) of the United States of America and organized by Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information of CAF, the International Workshop on Gender and Forest Tenure in Asia and Collective Forest Tenure Reform in China was convened in Guolin Hotel, Beijing on July 21 2012.

The workshop aimed at learning the best practice from some of the Asian countries in Securing Women's tenure and benefits and in assuming the principle role for Forest Management as well as exploring women’s forest tenure and benefits in China’s collective forest tenure reform in addition to the outlook of the reform.

MS. YANG Baijin, supervisor from the Department of Rural Forestry Reform and Development of SFA, delivered her opening speech. She elaborated that women in China play a significant role in forest resources protection and use as well as management. Women stayed at rural homes act as a major component of collective forest management. The challenge confronting us has been the issues of securing the tenure and benefits of women in forest and natural resources management in addition to enhance their contributions to the world issues of  climate change , poverty alleviation and development. It is imperative to strengthen the matching policies which will benefit rural women during the process of deepening China’s collective forest tenure reform. The present workshop will presented the efforts made and experiences in some of the Asian countries in Gender and Forest Tenure which will bring enlightenment in seeking the outlook of China’s collective forest tenure reform and in the implementation of associated policy measures.

Arvind Khare, Director of RRI and CHEN Xinliang, Vice President of CAF also addressed at the workshop. CHEN noted that China’s collective forest tenure reform has already ensured the tenure of 2.7 billion mu of collective forest and a few trillion yuan of forest assets to the households. The potential of the forest tenure has been brought about into play and ensured with policy measures. Apart from focusing more on women’s forest tenure, China’s collective forest tenure reform also confront with other challenges such as forest tenure transfer and development of a mature market as well as the amount of forest land compensation and mediation of forest tenure disputes. CHEN hoped that the best practice of Gender and Forest Tenure in Asia presented at the workshop by RRI will be beneficial to us in dealing the issues of gender and the correct handling of relations between forest resource protection and the sustainable use.

The workshop concentrates on four themes of Asia best experience, visioning of China, outlook of the reform and the recommendations for the reform. Thematic speeches entitled “securing women’s tenure and equal right in forest management—the best practice from Asia” was presented by RRI and “the outlook of China’s collective tenure reform ” was delivered by MS. YANG Baijin from SFA. Special panel discussion have been arranged on topic of China’s collective forest tenure reform outlook and specific attention has given to women’s rights and benefit in the reform. The panel discussion is joined by nine leaders or experts from SFA, FAO, Beijing University of Forestry and others.

The workshop has been presided over by CHEN Shaozhi, Director of Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information of CAF. Emphasized in his opening and closing speeches, CHEN asserted that it embodies practical significance in securing women’s rights and benefits and those of disadvantaged people as well during the advancement of China’s collective forest tenure reform. CHEN continued that the best judgment and core issue of women’s equal right and benefit in the forest tenure reform will be based on whether the policy measures and the access and the availability of information have been symmetrical or if there will be discriminative and unequal treatment imposed from the society.

At present, women accounts for 60% of the labor force in rural China. Women assumes important role in forest resources management and forestry development. The securing of women’s tenure and benefit in the forest tenure reform is closely related to the sustainable forest development. The convening of this workshop provided insight to the issue of forest tenure and the gender equality as well as the protection of women’ s right and benefit in forest and natural resources management.

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