What is a Local Forest Management Committee
The Local Forest Management Committee (LFMC) is the institutional body created in watersheds management units to enable the participation of the communities in the co-management of forested areas (specifically those managed by the Forestry Department.
The formation of Local Forest Management Committees (LFMCs) is provided for by the Forest Act, 1996 and is an integral component of the “Community Participation” strategy of the Agency.
Participation in LFMCs
Membership on the LFMCs is open to all community groups, organisations, NGOs, private sector entities and Government agencies present in the particular forest area and whose members are willing to participate. Each stakeholder entity will be asked to select a representative and an alternate to serve on the Committee. Membership in the LFMC will be ratified by the Minister with responsibility for Environment on the recommendation of the Conservator of Forests. There is no limit to the number of entities that can be represented on the Committee.
Functions of LFMCs
The purpose of LFMCs is to:
- monitor the condition of natural resources in the Committee’s area;
- hold discussions, public meetings and the like about the state of the natural resources;
- advise the Conservator on matters relating to the development of the Forest Management Plan (FMP) and the making of regulations;
- propose incentives for conservation practices in the Committee’s area;
- assist in the design and execution of conservation projects in the area; and
- any other functions as may be provided for by or under the Forest Act.
The Committee itself may identify functions which they need to undertake.
The operations of the LFMC will benefit overall watershed protection and management. The role of the Committee may be expanded in the future to take in watershed responsibility as a result of changes in the structure of national watershed administration and management.
To make local forest management more attractive to communities, the strategy has been to develop new initiatives and technical approaches of both the Forestry Department and NGOs which provides income earning opportunities for local communities. Some of the activities falling within this category are:
- Ecotourism and nature tourism;
- Recreational park conservation;
- Craft production;
- Furniture production;
- Plant nurseries, including exotic species;
- Medicinal plant production;
- Bamboo for low-cost housing and crafts;
- Portable sawmilling operations;
- Fuelwood and charcoal production; and
- Yam stick production.
Where suitable sites on forest reserve lands have been identified in Local Forest Management Plans, individuals and groups will be approached to lease parcels for use in accordance with the conditions prescribed in the Forest Act and in any subsequent Forest Regulations. In certain situations and where feasible, co-management arrangements or memoranda of understanding will replace standard lease agreements.
How to establish an LFMC
Any community interested in forming an LFMC needs to write to CEO& Conservator of Forests indicating your interests. From there the Agency will contact you and begin the process.
To date, 13 LFMCs have been established across the island. They are:
- Buff Bay LFMC
- Pencar LFMC
- Spring Bank LFMC
- Northern Rio Minho LFMC
- Cockpit Country (3) LFMCs
- Dolphin Head LFMC
- Constitution Hill LFMC
- Dallas Castle LFMC
- Smithfield LFMC
- Westphalia LFMC
- Sawyer LFMC
- Spring Dunrobin LFMC
- Hillside LFMC
- Hessen Castle LFMC
- Stephney LFMC
- Grants Mountain LFMC