Policy Dialogue

Policy dialogue around forests


Strengthening communication and trust between actors for sustainable forest governance in the Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP)

The NCCR Pakistan research group has initiated a process of interactive dialogues mediated by researchers and academicians. We draw upon the insights gained by our research group from more than eight years long research in the forest and natural resource management issues and extend this research through a mutual learning process by using a transdisciplinary approach.

The project addresses specifically the issue of the need of enhanced communication, trust and confidence among various stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of current and future efforts towards forest management in Pakistan.

The project’s main objective is to contribute to bridge/strengthen the communication gap between various stakeholders (e.g. local community organizations, state officials, NGOs, donors, media, researchers) and contribute to the success of participatory forest management by initiating a stakeholder dialogue on forestry issues in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The project also intends to empower local stakeholders through enhancing their access to information regarding their legal rights delegated to them through forest provincial and federal policies. Following activities are being carried out:

1: Stakeholder discussions

A series of roundtable discussions are organized in the Haripur and Mansehra districts of KP. Participants include officials of the forest and other line departments, representatives of village committees, NGOs, donors, the local and national press reporters, and others.

2: Seminars / Workshops

The problems and suggestions highlighted during the community discussions are presented to the policy makers through seminars.

3: Advocacy

The local community and particularly the members of village committees and local governments are informed on their rights and responsibilities in the context of participatory forest management. Special interactions of the academia, government officials and the legal experts is arranged in the villages with particular focus on the legitimate rights delegated to local communities through forest reforms (i.e. forest ordinance, forest policy).

4: Documentary FIlms

Documentary films on various forest related issues are prepared and will be widely distributed in the form of CDs/DVDs as well as through local cable TV operators.

5: Conference

In order to increase the effectiveness of the project, its duration is limited to one year. In the end, a high profile conference will be organized in which the members of parliament, top level foresters, Civil Society Organizations, Journalists, human right activists will be invited. The recommendations of the roundtables and seminars will be presented to the participants, and follow-up measures (including impact monitoring) will be clarified.

Researchers and Scientific Back-Stoppers Involved

– Dr. Babar Shahbaz, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
– Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI),
 Islamabad, Pakistan
– Dr. Urs Geiser, Development Study Group, Department of Geography, University
 of Zurich, Switzerland
– MSc students of University of Agriculture Faisalabad and Arid University
 Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Policy dialogue around migration


Strengthening migrants’ wives in rural North-West Pakistan

The project’s aim is to contribute to transnational migrant wives’ empowerment in rural north-west Pakistan. While women’s status in rural north-west Pakistan is low anyway, their husbands’ migration has been identified as a major factor further increasing their vulnerability. Social support networks based on common interest and characterised by comparatively egalitarian relationships are a means to strengthen their resilience. Women’s shared experience of and exposure to the mechanisms of male domination may form the basis of a strategy for change. They possibly offer them an alternative route to material resources and claims.
Main activities include the formation of inter-household, village-level organisations of transnational migrants’ wives and their male household members in four villages of Upper Dir district. They will engage in awareness raising regarding their situation, status and rights. A focus of such social learning will be on their education and health-related knowledge as well as on how to make transnational migration more beneficial for the sending communities. Establishing linkages to other relevant stakeholders, such as the local government, other NGOs, donors and last but not least other village organisations, is another project output guaranteeing the sustainability of the intervention beyond the PAMS’ duration.

Besides transnational migrants’ wives and their male household members as direct beneficiaries of the project, the PAMS will initiate a process of social learning in their wider communities, at a regional and national level.

Innovative aspects of the project include the project location and the target group. Overall, very few development interventions, be it by government bodies, donor agencies or NGOs, are implemented in Upper Dir. Those which are working in the region hardly focus on the implications of labour migration for the sending communities. This is despite the fact that it is such an important social practice in the district. Reasons for this negligence include the difficult access as well as the conservative attitude towards outside intervention prevalent in the area. The latter includes a rigid stance vis-à-vis efforts to involve females in and empower them through development projects.

Researchers and Scientific Back-Stoppers Involved

– Maqsood Jan, Project Coordinator, Sustainable Policy Institute (SDPI),
 Islamabad, Pakistan
– Dr. Karin Astrid Siegmann, Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Den Haag,
 The Netherlands
– Dr. Urs Geiser, Development Study Group, Department of Geography, University
 of Zurich, Switzerland