Networking Support » Civil Society Advisory Group
Comprised of representatives from local and international nongovernmental organizations, the Advisory Group brings community voices to the influential deliberations of the Council of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).
ITTO is an intergovernmental organization that promotes the conservation and sustainable management, use and trade of tropical forest resources. Its members represent about 80% of the world's tropical forests and 90% of the global tropical timber trade. The organization’s primary concerns lie in trade, industry, and the environment. In this influential atmosphere, the Advisory Group helps to promote the interests, needs and concerns of forest people.
CSAG advocates for:
- Direct financing of reforms to advance community enterprises and tenure rights, including women’s rights to benefit from land tenure
- The reorganization of ITTO to provide robust support to community forestry and policy reform
- The review and improvement of other projects to provide benefits to local communities
- The establishment of a funding mechanism directly accessible to communities
CSAG provides guidance and recommendations during every ITTO Council session. While CSAG organizations are actively involved in the management of tropical forests, they are not members of ITTO, which allows them to provide independent advice. The Advisory Group organizes panels, studies, reports, dialogues and conferences as needed. Importantly, CSAG allows ITTO to deepen their connections with civil society and create links with local organizations.
RRI has been involved in CSAG since its inception in 2002. In addition to the activities above, ITTO has partnered with RRI and CSAG to assess the global status of tropical forest tenure and identify trends and implications for investment and management.
With RRI support, CSAG organizes side events at ITTO meetings with community associations and advocacy organizations, building networks of members and sharing lessons among organizations.
RRI’s participation in the International Tropical Timber Council, for example, has helped ensure that the voices of
all stakeholders, especially those of marginalized communities, are heard and that their concerns are addressed.
Emanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director, ITTO