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Category: Forest Governance

Borderless natural assets can only be managed and restored through collaborative efforts – interview with Saurav Malhotra

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.

Tell us a bit about who you are.

I am the Co-Founder and Designer of the Rural Futures innovation at the Balipara Foundation. Rural Futures integrates ecological gains with upward socio-economic mobility of forest-fringe communities across the Eastern Himalayan region. Through Rural Futures, we mobilise forest-fringe communities (esp. youth) to engage in the complete value-chain of ecosystem restoration. The natural capital that is sustainably derived from restored habitats is utilised by communities to deliver universal basic assets – locally and autonomously. I am an Acumen Fellow of the 2021 cohort.

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A look into the crystal ball: the future of global forest governance

New study evaluates directions for policy making and research

“Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity,” said the FAO in her “State of the world’s forest report” in 2020. It seems that even though a variety of global forest governance initiatives have emerged over the past 25 years trying to stop deforestation and forest degradation, they have failed to achieve their overarching goal. One example is the UN-endorsed New York Declaration on Forests, which aimed amongst others to halve tropical deforestation by 2020 and recently declared failure. As shown by different scholars, global forest governance initiatives overall remain fragmented, inefficient, and face major implementation challenges. Policy makers thus lack clear evidence of successful anti-deforestation measures and are left not knowing into which basket(s) to put their eggs.

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Old-growth forests, new policy implications

EFI report contributes to debate on how to achieve old-growth forest protection targets in the EU

If you ask stakeholders all over Europe “How should we address the remaining old-growth forests?”, you can expect eyebrows to be raised. Most of us agree that despite covering only a small fraction of Europe’s land area, old-growth and other primary forests play an important role in biodiversity conservation and in the provision of other ecosystem services. But other aspects of the topic are constantly debated. Discussions of old-growth forests also have new policy implications, as the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets the target to strictly protect all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests. This is part of a wider objective to strictly protect 10% of EU land area.

However, the path to protection is not so straight forward. It starts with questions continuing to circle at policy level and in academia on how old-growth forest should be defined. Similarly, we face unresolved issues on how to implement the targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Aiming at informing discussions related to these questions, European Forest Institute (EFI) recently released a study titled ‘Protecting old-growth forests in Europe – a review of scientific evidence to inform policy implementation’.

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Forests as critical infrastructure? Integrated Forest Management and recreation for forests and people – Virtual Excursion during the Urban Forestry Days 23-24 March

How to bring more than 600 policy planners, decision-makers, practitioners, researchers and urban forestry enthusiasts into the forest in times of social distancing? The first day of the Urban Forestry Days (23 – 24 March 2021) held a special highlight for the participants, who joined from over 68 countries all around the globe. The two-day collaborative event of integrated Urban Forestry activities was hosted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) and the Horizon 2020 CLEARING HOUSE project.

“Public involvement and engagement bring valuable information to decision-making processes”,

Renate Späth

After a day packed with the latest urban forestry developments, insights on integrated forest management and lively discussions about the role of urban forests for co-creating more sustainable cities, a virtual excursion brought the participants right into Kottenforst. Located in the southwest of Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia, the 4.000 hectares peri-urban forest area serves as a stage to enjoy nature, recreate, meet people and engage in discussions. A group of urban forestry experts accompanied the visual experience. While live-commenting the virtual excursion, they shed light on environmental education, microhabitats, marteloscopes and the importance of enabling and enhancing dialogue about forests and forest policy. As part of a Q&A session, facilitator Maria Schloßmacher (EFI) encouraged participants to share their thoughts and ask questions directly to the experts.

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Brazil offers many lessons to all those interested in making forest governance more effective – interview with Thais Linhares-Juvenal

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.

Tell us a bit about who you are.

Thais Linhares-Juvenal in the FAO headquarters, Rome.

I am an economist with a diversified background in governance, from corporate and market governance to public matters, working exclusively on forest matters for the last 16 years. I built a great part of my experience in Brazil, where I had the privilege to work with federal, provincial and municipal governments, and the private sector to set up institutional arrangements in response to the 1988 Constitution mandate for decentralization, participation and accountability. I engaged with the climate change agenda early on, and have worked on increasing participation of native and planted forests in climate change mitigation since 1996. When REDD+ was formally accepted as a potential mitigation measure by the UNFCCC in the 2000s, I redirected my career towards forest development in the context of climate change. Since then, I worked both nationally and internationally, mostly with developing countries on governance, climate, and finance issues. This experience has been valuable to my current work at FAO, where I focus on governance to halt deforestation and forest degradation, as well as forests in the sustainable bioeconomy. As part of this work, we give special attention to building capacities for evidence-based policy-making and improved cross-sectoral coordination to respond to environmental and socioeconomic issues.

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Mit Forschung Waldzukunft in Nordrhein-Westfalen gestalten

Umweltministerin Heinen-Esser: „Die Wissenschaft leistet einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Waldbewirtschaftung im Klimawandel und bei der Wiederbewaldung der geschädigten Flächen.“

Die Entwicklung der Waldzukunft stand im Mittelpunkt der zweitägigen virtuellen Forschungskonferenz, die heute Mittag zu Ende gegangen ist. Rund 60 Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler diskutierten aktuelle Erkenntnisse und Forschungsansätze. Übergeordnetes Ziel war und ist der Aufbau klimastabiler Wälder mit ihren vielfältigen Funktionen für die Gesellschaft. „Die Wissenschaft leistet einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Waldbewirtschaftung im Klimawandel und bei der Wiederbewaldung der geschädigten Flächen“, betonte Umweltministerin Ursula Heinen-Esser die Rolle der Wissenschaft bei der Bewältigung der anstehenden Herausforderungen anlässlich der Veranstaltung. 

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The Art of the “Green” Deal

New study on policy pathways for a third EU Forest Strategy out now

The European Green Deal is being promoted as a cornerstone for European policy over the next five years, setting out an ambitious package of measures that aim to facilitate a sustainable green transition in the EU. One of the many actions highlighted under the Green Deal is the third EU Forest Strategy, a non-legally binding (or soft) policy instrument for which the European Commission will prepare a proposal in 2021.

The ongoing policy discussion in Brussels is set against the backdrop of a new EU Biodiversity Strategy, an EU taxonomy for sustainable activities, the 2050 Climate Change Mitigation Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the recently adopted Adaptation Strategy. All these initiatives (and more) are being pushed as components of the Green Deal. However, whether and how these initiatives and strategies will influence the new EU Forest Strategy is still an unknown.

We have set out to investigate how forests have been framed in the Green Deal and to cast light on its potential role in the development of the third EU Forest Strategy – and our paper The ‘Art of the “Green” Deal – Policy pathways for a third EU Forest Strategy’ summarizing our study results has just been published in Forest Policy and Economics.

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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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Webinar “Policy challenges of integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management – the way forward”

On March 30, the European Network Integrate hosted the webinar “Policy challenges of integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management – the way forward”, gathering over 100 attendees. The webinar brought together forest policy experts from the French, German, Italian and Swiss governments to compare country perspectives and lessons learned on how to advance forest biodiversity conservation in Europe, in relation to the new EU Forest Strategy.

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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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