Yurdi Yasmi asks why rights are important for forest-dependent people

After four decades of social movement and community forestry programs in the Asia-Pacific region, it is about time to ask a simple and yet critical question: will forests in the region ever provide sufficient and tangible benefits to local people? asks Yurdi Yasmi


Yurdi Yasmi is a World Agroforestry Centre scientist and co-coordinator for the Humid Tropics, Central Mekong. He is based at the Centre’s office in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Previously, he was the head of research and capacity building at RECOFTC: The Center for People and Forests in Bangkok. He has over 15 years of experience in forest policy and governance.

Vietnamese farmer in the forest

A farmer in northwestern Viet Nam enters the forest to gather bamboo. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Robert Finlayson

In a blog posted on the website of Rights and Resources Initiative‘s international conference to take stock of current efforts, identify promising strategies and catalyze new alliances and action in Scaling-Up Strategies to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights, he writes of the history of land rights in the region and the many challenges ahead.

‘More than 400 million people in the region live in and around forests and their livelihoods are heavily dependent on forest resources’ he writes. ‘They earn less than USD 2 a day. Some would argue that forests should be able to provide benefits to those people as the region has huge forest area (740 million ha). However, reality tells us quite a different story’.

To discover the ‘different story’, read the full blog.


By Robert Finlayson



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This work is linked to the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry


Rob Finlayson

Robert Finlayson is the Southeast Asia program's regional communications specialist. As well as writing stories for the Centre's website, he devises and supervises strategies for projects and the countries in the Southeast Asia region, including scripting and producing videos, supervising editors and translators and also assisting with resource mobilization.

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