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Tag: governance

Resilient agriculture and forestry in the Mediterranean: what are the challenges?

Practitioners from 11 Mediterranean countries participated in a public survey to identify and understand the principal needs, barriers, bottlenecks, innovation, and knowledge gaps needed to…

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Breaking down barriers to sustainability transition

Imagine an approach that can tackle the complex and interconnected challenges we face today— commonly known as “wicked problems”. Consider sectors like water, energy, and food, traditionally, these sectors have been treated in isolation, leading to fragmented decision-making and unintended consequences. Take, for example, the issue of water scarcity, which directly impacts agricultural productivity, subsequently affecting our food security. On the other end of the spectrum, consider energy production, which often demands significant water consumption, creating potential conflicts between allocating water for energy generation and meeting agricultural needs.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the nexus approach as a framework for addressing those wicked problems that defy traditional, siloed solutions. The nexus approach embraces a systems-thinking perspective, recognizing that the actions we take within one sector can have ripple effects across other sectors. It is a call to move beyond the confines of siloed thinking.

Despite its promising potential, the nexus approach has not been widely implemented in policy or practice. This realization propelled our investigation into the challenges surrounding the application of integrative approaches, such as the nexus approach, with a special focus on how international organizations embrace them. As a collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), the European Forest Institute (EFI) Forest Policy Research Network (FPRN), University College London, and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), we were interested in exploring what the “street-level bureaucracy” concept means for the nexus approach. We are thrilled to announce that our recent paper, titled: ‘The mirage of integration: Taking a street-level perspective on the nexus approach‘ encapsulates some of our findings and insights from this work.

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Investigating links between trade and biodiversity

Thanks to global trade, Western societies are not only wealthy but have also access to diverse products. From diapers for our babies or diesel for our cars to the dressing for our salad – the movement of goods in a globalized world allows us to have products for consumption that would otherwise not be available. These can often be everyday products and items taken for granted, so that we don’t necessarily even think of their origins. For example, a typical home would have wooden furniture like tables or shelves. They, or parts of them, could come from wood harvested in Central Africa. Or a common meal could consist of pork meat, where the pork was fed with soymeal processed from soybeans grown in Brazil. Unfortunately, the farming or harvesting of many goods – especially those of biomass like wood or soy – can have negative impacts on the biodiversity of ecosystems, including our forests. As such, the wooden furniture we buy or the pork we eat could be associated with biodiversity loss. In other words, trade becomes the mechanism that links our consumption habits to environmental damage abroad. But, how could we benefit from trade and conserve biodiversity at the same time? 

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Forest governance in Ghana should function with transparency and accountability – interview with Mustapha Seidu

This interview is part of the ‘Forest Governance Unpacked’ series with key experts in forest governance. It was developed in the context of the NewGo! project which aims to provide scientific knowledge on lessons learned from initiatives related to zero deforestation, forest restoration, and sustainable forest finance. The project sets the ground for the EFI Governance Programme.

Mustapha Kaluwe Seidu works with the Nature and Development Foundation, a non-governmental not-for-profit conservation organization based in Accra Ghana. He is also a private legal practitioner with Amenuvor and Associates. Before this, he held the position as the Programme Coordinator of WWF West Africa Forest Programme Office in Ghana for several years, coordinating all projects including the then WWF Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN). Mustapha also worked with the FSC Africa Regional Office, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, and the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana.

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Expansive approaches to inclusivity and participation are key for good governance in Rwanda – interview with Bernadette Arakwiye

This interview is part of the ‘Forest Governance Unpacked’ series with key experts in forest governance. It was developed in the context of the NewGo!…

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Community participation makes for better forest governance in Ethiopia – interview with Tefera Mengistu

Tefera Mengistu works for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission in Ethiopia and the United Nations Development Programme. He held the position  of Assistant Professor in Restoration Ecology and Ecophysiology at Hawassa University, Ethiopia (2001-2013) and was the technical lead for developing the Ten Years National Forest Sector Development Program (2016-2018) and the Green Legacy Initiative of Ethiopia (2019-2020).

This interview is part of the ‘Forest Governance Unpacked’ series with key experts in forest governance. It was developed in the context of the NewGo! project which aims to provide scientific knowledge on lessons learned from initiatives related to zero deforestation, forest restoration, and sustainable forest finance. The project sets the ground for the EFI Governance Programme.

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Locally adapted concepts promote biodiversity in Europe’s forestry: new anthology published

Almost everywhere in Europe, forest biodiversity has decreased in recent decades. At the same time, the society’s expectations of the forest have increased. Therefore, many forest owners in Europe use the forest today in a way that, in addition to wood production, it also covers other demands of society. The recently published book on How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe summarizes the experience gained in balancing forestry and biodiversity protection.

The parallel existence of several forms of use, as in the case of numerous for instance Swiss or German forests, is what experts call “integrated forest management”. This multifunctional management approach requires those responsible for the forest to have a lot of experience and knowledge of ecological correlations.

To collect existing knowledge and experiences, a comprehensive anthology on “How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe” (free download here) has recently been published, edited by Frank Krumm and Andreas Riegling (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research/WSL) as well as Andreas Schuck (EFI). The anthology was supported by the Swiss Federal Institute for the Environment (BAFU) and the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It contains the expertise in integrated forest management of more than 150 forest and nature conservation experts from 20 European countries. The knowledge acquired by different European partner organizations over the past three years provides, for the first time, a Europe-wide overview of how forests are managed in such a way that they simultaneously meet at least two requirements of society. In addition to wood production and biodiversity, drinking water protection, recreation or the protection of settlements and other infrastructures against erosion and natural hazards can also be important management goals.

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“Overconsumption is a driver of many of our environmental trade-offs”

An interview with Luc Bas, Director of IUCN’s European Office

Forests are among our planet’s most important human life-supporting ecosystems, and we have many expectations with regards to the ecosystem services they provide. But: how do major global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss affect forests globally, and what can forest governance and management do? How can we deal with rising and changing demands for forest products and ecosystem services due to global population and economic growth, and urbanisation?

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2019 happy news: 8 million Euro for European-Chinese project on UFBS

In the final working week of 2018, we received the confirmation that the EFI-coordinated CLEARING HOUSE project on urban forest-based solutions (UFBS) has been selected for funding by the European Commission. EFI will coordinate 27 project partners from Europe and China in a joint European-Chinese Collaborative Learning project on the role of Urban Forest-based solutions for sustainable urbanisation and resilient cities.

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