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Individual Highlight

Finding Synergistic Approaches for Complex Forest Issues through Global Forest Governance

Shifting agriculture and forest fragmentation in Nicaragua demonstrate some of the complex challenges addressed by the international forest governance regime. Forest ServiceSnapshot : Despite significant efforts to develop governmental and nongovernmental institutions to address the world's forest problems, there is a sense that global forest governance is failing. A panel of experts from around the world was convened to assess what has gone wrong with the international forest regime and to find ways for improving its effectiveness. Refocusing existing arrangements to consider and capture all forest values and cross-sectoral linkages provides a way forward.

Principal Investigators(s) :
McGinley, Kathleen 
Research Station : International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 313


Researchers from the International Institute of Tropical Forestry worked with colleagues from around the world as part of the UN Global Forest Expert Panel on the International Forest Regime. The mission of the Panel was to understand and assess the complex and diverse elements that make up global forest governance today and to provide policy and decision makers with options and building blocks for a more inclusive and effective governance of forests for the future. The findings and recommendations center on the notion that the complexity of forest problems rules out simple governance solutions. Therefore, the most pressing challenge for global forest governance is not how to simplify the existing, complex international regime, but how to improve institutional collaboration and inter-sectoral coordination in ways that build more authoritative, effective, and enduring forest governance arrangements. Accordingly, the Panel offers solutions for adding both vertical and horizontal structure and function to collaborative and coordinating efforts on forest governance by integrating problem-focused and on-the-ground learning about governance mechanisms and arrangements that work at solving complex forest problems. These recommendations largely build on the existing strengths of the international forest governance regime and require few new 'parts' or components, but call for more focused learning and better use of forest governance successes. Results of the Panel's work were presented to the tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2010 and the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests in January 2011, and are available from

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