Winter Internship Program on Community-led Forest Economy: An ISB-IIFM Partnership

IoFE team with IIFM students after the workshop conducted in ISB, Hyderabad.

The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, has teamed with BIPP-ISB for a winter internship between October 2022 and December 2022 for its students. The select eight interns were sent out into the field by BIPP-ISB to the pilot block locations. The interns studied many facets of the Forest Economy model’s design and implementation for the sale of forest products by acquiring Community Forest Resource rights under the Forest Rights Act of 2006. We have been collaborating with forest communities, government administration, and institutions to enable forest-dependent communities to obtain CFR titles and establish market links with industries for the sale of harvested forest products. 

Before beginning the fieldwork, we organized a five-day workshop at ISB Hyderabad to acquaint students with the business model for scaling up the Forest Economy, CFR, mechanical and technological solutions designed to facilitate the process, and establishing market links for sale. The objective of the ISB workshop was to provide a comprehensive overview of the framework established in collaboration with the government and forest communities. Students were informed of the initial steps and preparatory work conducted to select the pilot blocks, the management plan for the SFPs, and the selection standards when choosing an SFP to be harvested and sold through the market links established between forest-dependent communities and industries. 

The students conducted research for the project in the pilot areas of Chhota Bhangal, Malkangiri, Korchi, and Narmada for two months in November and December 2022. 

  1. Developing a technique for quick upscaling of the recognition of Community Forest Resource rights and Community-Owned Institutions in business planning, governance, and management in community-owned forests and a landscape approach to CFR titles.
  2. Landscape-level collective selling and Community-Industry Linkage development for the sale of forest products. 

The workshop provided the students with the knowledge necessary to begin their fieldwork. We established a work plan and instructed them on the methods for data collection and case study writing. We anticipate progress toward a sustainable Forest Economy based on the recorded information during the process of ground truthing. 

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