The ‘Responsible Asia Forest and Trade’ (RAFT) partners convened in Bangkok in the last week of November, 2017, to reaffirm achievements, prepare for an evaluation audit, and craft a communications strategy for the final year of the RAFT3 program.
In the realm of bilateral donner programs, the RAFT partnership stands out as one of the most innovative and forward-looking assistance programs. For more information on the RAFT program activities, go to www.responsibleasia.org.
RAFT was originally conceived in 2006 as a regional USAID-sponsored program based in Bangkok and managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). It brought together seven organizations under the leadership of TNC in a synergetic partnership which promoted sustainable forest management and the regional trade in legal and sustainably sourced forest products.
The Partners: The Nature Conservancy (TNC), WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF), the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC), the Center for People and Forests (RECOFT), The Forest Trust (TFT), and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
Program Countries: RAFT works on-the-ground in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. In addition, RAFT works with regional markets and inter-governmental organizations to strengthen incentives for responsible governance and management in Brunei-Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Sourth Korea, and Thailand.
History of RAFT: The original RAFT concept was funded by USAID and ran for 5 years from 2006 to 2011. After a one year gap, this concept of a Regional Partnership organization was embraced by the Australian government which supported the continuation of RAFT program activities (RAFT2), initially for a one year period. After evaluating the results of the RAFT concept, the Australian government committed to an additional four year program which expanded the definition of sustainable forest management to include the advancement of carbon accounting science for practical applications such as the adoption of reduced impact logging.
TFF in RAFT: RAFT has provided TFF with the opportunity to expand the scope of its core, RIL training activities. Combined with other funding support, TFF has been able to leverage RAFT support to broaden its reach into other activities such as Forest Certification, preparing forest industries for legality audits (SVLK), and under the current RAFT3 program, actively engage in operational scale field trials for the RIL-Carbon accounting methodology.
Under the first RAFT program, most of TFFs activities were focused in Indonesia. Both the scope of our activities and our Regional engagement has expanded rapidly where under the current RAFT3 program.
TFF currently has RAFT3 program activities in Indonesia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea: