From September to December 2008 the Araucarias del Alto Malleco Model Forest (AAMF) in Chile undertook a participatory evaluation and strategic planning process. In the first stage of the process AAMF’s Monitoring and Evaluation Framework was used to evaluate the impacts of the 2005 -2008 Strategic Plan with the objective of assessing model forest successes and opportunities for continued improvement. During several community workshops, participatory mapping and brain storming exercises helped to define priorities for the next strategic plan which will be in effect from 2009 to 2012. Among the results, AAMF found that local priorities toward sustainable forest management and the care and restoration of native forests have increased significantly during the past four years of model forests operations.
The evaluation and strategic planning processes were implemented with the help of AAMF staff, the University of the Frontera, and CUSO Cooperant Rob Friberg. Financing from the CUSO Volunteer Partnership Fund helped pay for the project costs, including an additional phase connected to the cooperant’s thesis and focused toward assessing the resilience of model communities to future environmental and socio-economic change. The new strategic plan, including preliminary results of the resilience assessment will be published and available during the first half of 2009.