Forests and governance programme
Forest governance is about how decisions related to forests and forest-dependent people are made, who is responsible, how they exercise their authority and how they are held accountable. It encompasses decision-making processes and institutions at local, national, regional and global levels. In the context of an increasingly globalised forest sector and an increasingly decentralised system of management, policy makers, forest managers and other stakeholders face competing pressures emanating from both local and global processes. These pressures and the growing array of stakeholders with diverse interests and unbalanced power have made forest governance increasingly complex and prone to conflict. The programme has identified two priority research themes with supporting subthemes in order to contribute on achieving the goal of sustainable forest management, social justice and equity.
- Governance and multistakeholder forested landscapes
- Forest finance and trade, law enforcement and corporate accountability
The overall goal of the Forests and Governance Programme is to promote good forest governance based on social justice, equity, accountability and transparency.
Research and related activities under the Forests and Governance Programme are oriented towards catalysing action to achieve these objectives.
- Enhance the capacity of poor people and local communities who depend on forests to meaningfully participate, exercise their rights and represent their interests in local, national and international processes for forest-related agenda setting and management decision making
- Promote greater social and environmental corporate responsibility and accountability of key enterprises operating in or affecting the forestry sector
- Support the strengthening or transformation of national and local government policies, processes and practices to better promote sustainable forest management and to more equitably balance competing stakeholder needs and interests based on norms of good governance
- Strengthen the capacity of developing country scientists and partner organizations to conceptualise, design and implement relevant, high-quality research through collaboration and association with CIFOR
The programme's collaborative research and partnership activities are designed, to the extent possible, to yield two or more of the following intermediate results:
- Generate rigorous analysis, useful information and practical tools for target audiences
- Create opportunities for public awareness raising and for partners and key stakeholders, especially from developing countries, to network, exchange information, and engage in peer learning
- Enhance collaboration, conflict management, and adaptive learning through strategic use of participatory and action-oriented approaches
- Strengthen capacity of different actors for joint planning, analysis, action and monitoring
- Develop the capacity of developing country scientists and future leaders in forest policy and governance research.
Ultimately, the Forests and Governance Programme expects to contribute toward the realisation of these longer-term impacts:
- Increased recognition by international processes, national governments and other stakeholders of local communities' rights, resulting in increased security of their rights over forest resources
- Increased capacity of both communities and grassroots forestry-related organisations representing their interests to negotiate, participate in decision making and manage resources
- Decision makers at the local, regional, national levels use and adapt CIFOR-promoted approaches and tools for social learning, conflict mitigation and improved governance
- Improved financial due diligence, greater accountability of financial institutions to forest-related stakeholders, and greater corporate social responsibility of key enterprises in the forestry sector
- Improved regulatory processes, from local to global levels, and adoption of equitable and practical approaches to illegal logging and forest law enforcement that do not unfairly discriminate against poor people
- Enhanced sensitivity of donor governments' policies and programmes to links between forests and violent conflict and their increased support for efforts to facilitate dialogue and prevent or mitigate forest-related conflicts
- Increased capacity of local governments at different levels to implement decentralized forest management and improved impacts of decentralization on forests and the poor
- Greater capacity of developing country scientists and partner organizations to conduct research and provide research leadership in forest policy and governance.
The programme's research aims to influence key decision makers and actors in each thematic field. Depending on the issue, these could include: forest users and dwellers; local communities; civil society organisations and civic groups; extension agents; training providers; forestry bureaucrats; legislators, elected public officials and law enforcement authorities; forest enterprise operators, workers, owners, stockholders and financiers; forest product consumers and the general public.
Important audiences at the global level include donor organisations, multilateral development agencies, intergovernmental bodies and conventions, international conservation NGOs and global corporations dealing in forest resources. Mass media organisations and scientific and policy research community are also important audiences for this programme's findings. Depending on the topic, the methodology employed and follow-up action required to achieve impact, these target audiences can also be partners and collaborators.