Friday, 18 July 2008

Towards a global forest partnership

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) announced on 9 July 2008 the publication of the final report on the World Bank’s proposal for a Global Forest Partnership : ‘Towards a global forest partnership…consultation, assessment and recommendations’.

It is an emerging initiative that could pave the way for fundamental change in the way forests are managed, boosting efforts to fight both poverty and climate change. The World Bank-nurtured idea is of a global forest partnership that links local and global processes and promotes decision-making on the international stage that reflects the view and needs of local stakeholders such as forest dwellers.

IIED consulted widely on the bank’s idea. More than 600 forest experts responded to IIED’s survey or participated in focus groups in Brazil, China, Ghana, Guyana, India, Russia and Mozambique, as well as at international meetings.

The Gfp final report warns that the bank will have to heed the advice of hundreds of experts IIED consulted if it is to make a real breakthrough in tackling the problems of past decades and the weaknesses of typical international forest programmes.

The report identifies key features of the consultation that would make it a truly progressive global partnership and a new way for international forestry to work by:
  • Focusing on empowering primary ‘stakeholders’ such as forest dwellers so that their rights, knowledge and needs are centre-stage.
  • Greatly improving flows of finance to activities that support local needs alongside global public goods such as carbon storage.
  • Interacting effectively with other sectors such as water and agriculture, where the underlying causes of forest problems – and the seeds of sustainable solutions – are often lodged.