Well-managed forests have the potential to reduce poverty, spur economic development and contribute to a healthy local and global environment. The Program on Forests (PROFOR) was created in 1997 to support in-depth analysis, innovative processes and knowledge-sharing and dialogue, in the belief that sound forest policy can lead to better outcomes on issues ranging from livelihoods and financing, to illegal logging, biodiversity and climate change. Since 2002, the program has been managed by a core team based at the World Bank, with support from multiple donors. PROFOR encourages a big-picture approach to forest conservation and management in developing countries, with a particular focus on four themes:
Through the documentation of practical experiences and development of analytical tools, PROFOR aims to contribute to a better understanding of forests as a source of livelihoods. In many countries, forests contribute to the livelihoods of the rural poor through subsistence products from forests that complement household farm products, income from employment in forestry or forest product processing, and household or small-scale activities in the informal sector. PROFOR also helps explore the impacts forest-related policies and initiatives may have on local communities. Browse content related to Livelihoods
PROFOR explores ways in which new financing instruments, such as payments for environmental services and climate-related REDD+ initiatives, can help make sustainable forestry more profitable than unsustainable forest exploitation. Sustainable forest management seeks to achieve a balance between society’s increasing demands for forest products and benefits, and the preservation of forest health and diversity. Financing this equilibrium requires new approaches to forest sector finance, both in terms of how forest resources and services are valued and the sources of investments in the sector.
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PROFOR fosters mechanisms for coordinating policy across sectors by supporting National Forest Programmes or similar multi-sectoral processes. Its analysis highlights trade-offs as well as win-win situations where healthy forests generate local and global goods. Sustainable forest management requires cooperation across several sectors to ensure that sound policies and practices are not undermined by shifts in macroeconomic policy or activities in other sectors such as agriculture, mining, and transportation.
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PROFOR aims to enhance accountability in the forest sector and contribute to a better understanding of forest law enforcement and governance by supporting technical assistance, empirical research and analysis. Strong forest governance is essential for many reasons. Clear rules of the game can encourage legitimate enterprises to make socially and environmentally sustainable investments in the forestry sector. Illegal logging and poaching have devastating consequences for forests, the people and species that rely on forests, and the larger national economy. Poor governance also compromises the future viability of global forestry carbon schemes to mitigate climate change.
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