The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) envisions a future where the people of the Asia - Pacific region live equitably and sustainably, in and alongside thriving forests and healthy, resilient landscapes Since our founding in 1987, this vision has provided The Center with a clear direction, acting as a stabilizing goal in RECOFTC’s rapid world of change. The Center, however, is part of a larger history of community forestry. In the late 1970s, a growing consensus developed that recognized government - controlled forestry as inadequate. Following decades of centralized control and particular policies that focused on natural resource extraction, the Asia - Pacific region saw a rapid loss of forest cover along with a general decline in the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of forest - dependent people. This recognition was the first step in achieving our vision. Yet as community forestry progressed, it became clear that a lack of technical knowledge, skills, and effective approaches were hindering policy making and the implementation of community forests.