Partnerships and governance
The question of governance is a question of power. Those wielding control over forests have far-reaching impacts on the lives of forest-dependent people: Can it be lawfully used for food, fuel, and finance? Is there security of tenure to create a lasting improvement and a sustainable future? Will the forest stay standing for generations or be gone in the blink of an eye?
Local people are often the only ones who can protect the forests, yet policy-makers rarely consider what would inspire them to do so – agreed secure benefits. The ears of the powerful are hard to reach.
Making progress often means improving the capacity of forest-dependent people to voice their concerns and patterns of control over forests in the national and international spheres. Networks are needed to link local forest communities to one another, share understanding and work in partnership for improvements. And further links are needed from the local to the global level, between affected people and decision-makers. The collective voice needs to be raised above the din of the powerful to put power back in the hands of those who should be being heard. Social justice towards sustainability and locally controlled forestry are the goals. As this International Year of Forests progresses, an opportunity is arising to put these goals firmly on the platform.
Throughout the year, we will profile books, reports, blogs and articles about partnerships and governance, encouraging feedback and debate on this pivotal issue. Some of the current work of the forest team is listed below.
Sanity in REDD governance shock! August 2011
Uganda's forest grabbers are back - but the people are ready August 2011
When we care for it....preserving the cultural and spiritual value of forests July 2011
Would you like to be my partner? May 2011
Nepal: Space to debate, opportunities to act March 2011
Lumbering Illegality: how to make timber sustainable and pro-poor January 2011
Local voice, global forest, local forest, global voice January 2011
Monthly research highlight: Growing Forest Partnerships, an innovative collaborative project between IIED, FAO and IUCN, funded by the World Bank.
Policy that works for forests and people A series of reports dating back to the mid nineties, looking at the forces at play in contests over policy, the winners and losers, and the factors that affect policy outcomes.
Forest Governance Learning Group Country teams across Africa and Asia are generating evidence for particular policy and practice options, developing tools and tactics for reform. As REDD becomes an urgent international issue, the teams consider its practical national and regional implications, whilst working on forest rights and small forest enterprise; legitimate forest products; and pro-poor climate-change mitigation and adaptation through forestry.
Growing Forest Partnerships This initiative is about building up and supporting networks at local, national and international levels. Through this process, it seeks to improve the connections between forests and other sectors. It aims to ensure that global discussions about forests include the real and current challenges that forest-dependent people and local forest managers are facing, bringing the voices of local communities and indigenous peoples forward to influence decision-making.
The Forests Dialogue This organisation fosters dialogue on intractable or controversial issues in forestry and then pushes to get the results implemented. With the Forests Dialogue, IIED will contribute to resolving some of these issues, notably on free, prior and informed consent, investing in locally controlled forestry and on in-country readiness for REDD.
For all comments and enquiries please email the Forest Team