CIFOR’s contribution to the ASEAN-Swiss partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC)

ASFCC Objectives

Conducted under the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) aims to:

  1. Develop and integrate social forestry approaches into the climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies of ASEAN and the member states;
  2. Enhance the inclusion of communities, women and vulnerable groups in social forestry and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

CIFOR’s Research Objectives

  1. To understand how existing social network structures can enhance opportunities for forest communities to: a) meaningfully participate in and benefit from REDD+; b) participate in and influence national and sub-national REDD+ decision-making.
  2. To understand how local knowledge, practice, institutions, and landscape patterns of resource use, especially in communities of shifting cultivators: a) can be employed to harmonize REDD+ objectives with local practice and thus enhance REDD+ project outcomes, including the effectiveness and efficiency of MRV activities b) can be enhanced in economic value and in social and political value by REDD+ project activities.


REDD+ projects are being initiated in the forested areas of South-East Asia; often in areas where shifting cultivation
(“swiddening”) is widely practiced, and where shifting cultivators – often disadvantaged minority people – have traditional rights to land and resources. There is a need to address ignorance about shifting cultivation systems, their associated carbon stock variation and other REDD+ co-benefits. Misconceptions stem from lack of consultation with local communities about their forest management practices and an under-appreciation of their dynamic social networks, structures and mechanisms that are used for resource exchange.

It is imperative that REDD+ projects in the region are designed with an understanding of swiddening and the communities themselves. Such learning can provide valuable input into any potential REDD+ project, in particular with regards to reporting and benefit sharing systems. Ultimately and most importantly, it can reduce the vulnerability of shifting cultivator populations.


With partners in Lao PDR, Indonesia and Vietnam, conduct:

  • Participatory observations and focus group discussions at the local and sub-national level in at least two field sites in each study country.
  • Social Network Analyses (SNA), Policy Network Analyses (PNA) and socio-economic analyses.
  • Carbon measurements in Indonesia at the local level in partnership with shifting cultivation community members.


The research is conducted in Indonesia (Kapuas Hulu District), Vietnam (Con Cuông and Mộc Châu District) and Lao PDR
(Vienthong District). We work in different levels, involving local communities as well as district, provincial and national level actors.