Forest Governance Learning Group
The Forest Governance Learning Group is an informal alliance of in-country groups and international partners currently active in eight African and three Asian countries. We aim to connect those marginalised from forest governance to those controlling it, and to help both do things better. Since 2003 we have been carrying out focused studies, developing tactics and tools, holding learning events, and working as a group to effect change.
FGLG networks are active in Cameroon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam. They have also been in both Burkina Faso and Niger.
For more in-depth information about the Forest Governance Learning Group, and the many issues being tackled by the teams, please click on 'downloads and links' above and also view the series of films Justice in the forests.
New report due August 2012: 'No forest without rights, organisation and capacity: Progress made by the Forest Governance Learning Group 2011-2012'
The FGLG aims to improve governance of forest resources internationally and in 11 countries through:
Forest rights and small forest enterprise. Policy reforms, investment decisions and institutional arrangements in favour of secure forest rights and small forest enterprise.
Legitimate forest products. Strategies to improve legality of forest products institutionalise citizen engagement and contribute to broader forest governance improvement.
Pro-poor climate mitigation forestry and adaptation forestry. Initiatives to combat climate change through action in the forest sector contribute to pro-poor forest governance and sustainability.
Trans-national learning and preparedness. Understanding improved in international networks and processes about effective action for improved social justice in forestry.
Assessment by country teams shows that FGLG’s policy research, tool development, advocacy, media and networking have already produced substantial impact. For example:
a legal timber partnership agreement between the EC and Ghana has been shaped in favour of community forestry and enterprise
parliamentary action in Malawi is de-criminalising charcoal production and pushing more sustainable livelihoods for the first time
high-level action has been taken on illegal logging and unscrupulous Chinese investment in Mozambique
the President in Uganda has been forced to stop the give-away of forest reserves to exploitative agribusiness
This impact bodes well; it breeds confidence that a ‘critical mass’ of concerned opinion formers and policy makers can be created for scaling up impact over a concerted second phase of the initiative.
The Forest Governance Learning Group – an alliance active in Cameroon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda and Vietnam – has developed practical tactics for securing safe space, provoking dialogue, building constituencies, wielding evidence and interacting politically. It has begun to have significant impacts. To deepen and widen those impacts, FGLG seeks allies.
FGLG teams and IIED have published a number of studies on the role of sustainable forestry in poverty alleviation.
- Briefing: Sustainable charcoal production by and for local communities
- Briefing: Small and medium forest enterprises can reduce poverty
- Briefing: Making community based forest management work
- Briefing: Channelling REDD+ finance toward sustainable rural livelihoods in Malawi
- Report: Malawi's green gold: Challenges and opportunities for small and medium forest enterprises in reducing poverty
- Making community based forest management work
- Report: Charcoal - the reality: A study of charcoal consumption, trade and production in Malawi
- Non timber forest products and forest governance
- NTFP enterprise and forest governance: bamboo
- NTFP enterprise and forest governance: mahua
- NTFP enterprise and forest governance: tamarind
- NTFP enterprise and forest governance: tendu leaves
- NTFP enterprise and forest governance: sal seed
- Community Forest Management for Whom? Learning from field experience in Vietnam, April 2008 briefing
- Red Books for Greener Trees: Strengthening Community Forestry in Vietnam, August 2009 Policy Brief
- Report of FGLG work from 2010-2011, including ouputs from learning event in Mozambique: Just forest governance - for REDD, for sanity
- Outputs and lessons from a learning event in Bali, Indonesia in 2009: Forest Governance Change and Climate Change
- Reviewing progress and looking ahead after learning event in Malawi in Social Justice in Forestry (2008)
- Progress, achievements and impact of FGLG to 2009, including recommendations in an independent evaluation. The Executive Summary can also be downloaded in French and Vietnamese.
- Report of a learning event in Bhopal, India in Making small enterprises work better for social justice in forestry (2007)
- Outputs and lessons from a learning event in Mukono, Uganda in Social justice in forestry: report of a learning event (2006)
- The work of the FGLG teams is reported on annually. There are narrative reports available for 2011 from Cameroon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam and the team at RECOFTC Thailand.
- May 2009 Update
- September 2008 Poster summary of FGLG
- June 2008 Update
- September 2007 Update
- April 2007 Update
- January 2006 Update
- June 2004 Update
- June 2003, project document
- FGLG-Malawi report on Locally controlled forestry (2009)
- FGLG-Malawi investigation into the timber value chain analysis of small and medium forest operators in Timber value chain analysis for Viphya Plantation (2009)
- FGLG-Vietnam report on Community Forestry and Poverty Alleviation (2009)
- IIED report assessing the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of Ghana entering into a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union (EU) (2008)
Plans for the future
- Each country annually reviews its work plan. You can see the full details for 2012 for Cameroon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam.
- The 2011 work plans for Cameroon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam are also available.
On the big screen
FGLG have produced a series of short films: Justice in the forests
In the blogosphere
We encourage informed and opinionated comments to these insights into forestry in the developing world:
30 Nov Louder this time, 'Turn REDD on its head!'
24 Aug Sanity in REDD governance shock!
17 Aug Uganda's forest grabbers are back - but the people are ready
18 Jul Biomass in the red - but can we put biomass into REDD+
26 Jan Lumbering illegality: how to make timber sustainable and pro-poor
In the press
28 Nov IPS News Agency: Malawi: Changing Climate Compounds Environmental Degradation
07 Sep Just Means: Think Tank Warns About Flaws in Sustainable Forestry Scheme
30 Aug Ghana Business News: Forest protection plans in Ghana, others headed for disaster unless…
25 Aug Panapress: Study finds plans to protect forests could do more harm than good
25 Aug Ghana Business News: Tropical countries fail to bring social, environmental benefits – Report
27 Jul The Nation: Can Malawi put biomass into REDD+?
13 Jun New Vision Online: Minister cancels appointment of NFA boss
25 Apr Reuters AlertNet: Films explore who gets to decide about forests
25 Apr Eco-business: Red book key to managing Vietnam’s forests
27 Mar IPP Media: Key players push for urgent forest conservation
02 Dec Jakarta Globe: Indonesia's Carbon Trading Pie Should Be Split Fairly: Expert
02 Dec Jakarta Post: Two villages cited as forest stewardship beacons
28 Nov Voice of Indonesia: Int'l forest experts meet in Bali for sustainable forest
27 Nov Jakarta Post: Int'l forest experts to meet in Bali to discuss sustainable forest system
17 Aug Report backs novel approach to improving forest governance
04 May Latest report of Forest Governance Learning Group impacts in ten countries
04 Dec Forests can reduce poverty says govt
29 Nov Malawi to host international indaba on sustainable forest management
24 Nov Malawi meeting shows how to make forestry fair and sustainable
09 Oct Gov't clamps down on charcoal producers, leaves no alternative
08 Oct MALAWI: Charcoal is a burning issue
04 Dec African and Asian experts in India to promote social justice in forestry
17 Sep Progress on forest governance in 10 African and Asian nations
13 Apr Forest protest ends in teargas and death - but a green governance movement starts to emerge in Uganda