Our objective is to educate native and local communities about how to manage and improve the ways to utilize their land, allowing the members to generate a sustainable revenue for the community.
These communities own thousands of acres of idle land that, with proper management, can be transformed into pine forests. Pine resin derivatives can be used in more than 50 applications.
It is an industry based on renewable natural resources. The tapping operations are labour intensive and can therefore provide employment and earning opportunities to people in rural areas.” (J.J.W. Coppen and G.A. Hone, Gum naval stores: turpentine and rosin from pine resin, FAO, 1995).
A resin tapper is the best forest steward.
Once trees mature, farmers can harvest—for two or three generations—the resin, fruits and other products … this safeguards biodiversity and protects the environment while being economically productive.” (CGIAR, 1996)
When properly conducted, the tapping of latexes, resins, and gums does not disturb the forest canopy, kill the exploited tree, or remove its seeds from the site. In theory, this activity probably comes the closest to conforming to the ideal of sustainable non-timber forest product extraction.” (Charles Peters, The Ecology and Management of Non-Timber Forest Resources, 1996, p. 48).
In general, indebtedness and other symptoms of financial insecurity are less common in resin collecting villages than in villages without this constant source of income. In addition to being profitable, resin production is environmentally sustainable and actually helps preserve forests. There is no evidence that resin production kills trees. Collectors of resin are meticulous in their management of forest areas and protect their trees against anyone trying to cut them down … it is important to recognise that the maintenance of community-based rights to extract resin can make a significant contribution to reducing poverty in rural areas. Resin extraction is an occupation for which forest dwelling communities have no income-earning substitute.
… the Lao government stopped issuing export permits for wood resin. The argument of the Lao government at the time was that wood resin harvesting was damaging the forests, and that the destructive practice should be discontinued. Unfortunately, however, once there was no longer a market for wood resin, many villagers decided to cut their resin trees down to sell the wood.
I was impressed with the consistency of your project. You clearly did a good job in connecting indigenous people, income generation, finance and on-the-ground implementation.