Xiang Ding, 2013, Economics
Social forestry is a young and increasingly complex concept. RECOFTC, a regional leader in Asia, engages with a wide spectrum of social forestry work—expanding community forestry, studying climate change, mitigating forest conflict, and securing local livelihoods. My internship placement with the Communications, Marketing, and Fundraising Department in RECOFTC’s Bangkok headquarters gave me immediate access to, and a stake in, the pioneering work driven by experts in each of these areas. Day to day, I took part in the fact checking, editing, and designing phase of all in-house publications and web materials. I was exposed to a wealth of technical knowledge: climate change indicators from forest growth, livestock management practices in rural Cambodia, and insights into the United Nation’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (UNREDD+) Program. This branch of work took me to Sam Phak Nam, a traditional village in north Thailand, where I documented a series of RECOFTC workshops on Community Carbon Accounting (a sampling process to estimate carbon storage capacity in forests). Home-stay in the field allowed me to interview various stakeholders in the social forestry scene—experts, officials, village leaders, forest users, and the youth—a most interesting, valuable, and organic NGO-like-experience. I later used the notes, pictures, and transcripts from this field trip as a part of a gallery display in the 2nd Regional Forum for People and Forests.