Archive of completed locally-controlled forestry projects

Article, 22 February 2019

Forests and livelihoods have been the focus of pioneering work by IIED since the 1980s. This archive page links to past forest projects managed by IIED.

People planting seedlings

IIED’s forest and land use programme was established by Duncan Poore, whose many achievements included the landmark book ‘No Timber Without Trees’ on sustainable forest management. Some of the team's early achievements include:

  • Helping to frame the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) and support work to develop certification schemes for sustainable forest management (such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme)
  • Developing an understanding of policies that work both for forests and people within Tropical Forest Action Plans (TFAPs) and their successor National Forest Programmes (NFPs).
  • Introducing and promoting approaches to sustainability within the corporate private sector, for example through the Sustainable Forest Handbook and the report Towards a Sustainable Paper Cycle.

Below are links to our more recent, archived projects.

Testing REDD+ in Mozambique

This project in Mozambique’s Beira Corridor, across the provinces of Sofala, Manica and Zambezia, involved both research and delivering REDD+ ‘on the ground’ through local partners.

We published our findings in a report which sets out how smallholder activities are driving deforestation and proposes solutions. The study also provides a socioeconomic baseline against which to measure progress.

Private sector involvement with REDD+

Between 2012 and 2015, IIED worked with partners to develop national-level case studies to document private sector engagement with REDD+. The project focused on Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique.

Our analysis found important insights into ways of securing private sector engagement. We followed this up with research into how the private sector was beginning to make commitments towards zero-deforestation supply chains, specifically for cocoa.

Gender and REDD+

The success of REDD+ depends on the extent to which individual land users – including women – feel incentivised to change their behaviour and practices. This project worked with local partners in Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania and Vietnam and carried out research on the participation of women in REDD+ processes at national and local level

Integrating forests into the post-2015 development framework

In preparation for the introduction and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, this project was designed to incorporate forest-related targets and indicators into the post-2015 development framework. Through exploring credible metrics and other incentives for investment, the team was able to create forest-specific SDG implementation guidance.

Growing Forest Partnerships Initiative

In 2009 IIED, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), launched Growing Forest Partnerships (GFP), an initiative to develop and support networks of people and organisations at local, national and international levels working towards the equitable and sustainable management of forestry resources.

The final evaluation found widespread impact, through the creation of platforms from which marginalised forest voices could be heard and communicated. Direct impacts of the project included changes in national policy or legal processes, such as revisions to the Ghana Forest Policy, chainsaw regulations in Liberia and the introduction of a new law in Guatemala that provides financial incentives for refforestation and conservation.

Reducing forest footprints

In response to the huge growth in global demand for products which lead to deforestation, the Reducing Forest Footprints project focused on finding ways to increase the relevance, effectiveness and uptake of measures to reduce deforestation. These included legislative, public sector, private sector and consumer measures.

Initiatives were analysed to learn lessons about how to increase the demand for 'deforestation-free' commodities in a way that benefited small-scale enterprises and promoted sustainable development outcomes.

Designing REDD+ to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty

This project investigated the relative costs and benefits of different options for designing REDD+ programmes. The project also looked at policy choices at local, national and international levels, to see whether these supported pro-poor REDD+ models, and how they affected cost-effectiveness.

Working with in-country partners in in Brazil, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam, the project looked at selected REDD+ pilot projects to track implementation and improve understanding of their impacts on poverty reduction.

South-South REDD: a Brazil-Mozambique Initiative

This initiative facilitated a collaboration between Mozambique and Brazil, preparing the way for a national REDD+ strategy for Mozambique. The project supported the preparation of the readiness preparation plan (RPP) for submission to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

This was approved in 2012, and as a result, Mozambique had the opportunity to access USD 3.8 million to establish a REDD+ strategy, policy and institutional framework.


Duncan Macqueen (, principal researcher, Natural Resources research group

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