Recent developments in trade policies of key timber consumer countries have increased the need for producer countries to ensure verification of the legal origin of timber. However, for the most part, tropical timber producer countries are not adequately prepared to meet such requirements. Bundling low cost tools for forest control and supervision could help government agencies meet their timber legality verification needs.
When I first started working on forest governance issues in the late 1990s, you could talk about governance and corruption issues only in hushed tones. Since then, global efforts have helped move stakeholders along the path of forest governance. The most recent step forward is an effort to measure the quality of forest governance to create an appetite for reform.
After field-testing in Uganda, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Russia, a simple and actionable forest governance diagnostic tool is taking shape. This tool described in a new PROFOR publication could help benchmark and pinpoint areas requiring reform. Assessing and Monitoring Forest Governance: A user's guide to a diagnostic tool, includes a sample set of 130 indicators and recommended steps for applying the tool.
Small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) are the norm in most developing countries. They often represent 80-90% of all forest enterprises and more than 50% of formal forest jobs -- plus many more of an informal and seasonal nature. They accrue wealth locally, empower local entrepreneurship, strengthen social networks and engender local social and environmental accountability. But in least developed countries, structures that connect with and support SMFEs and their associations are weak.
Are land-based carbon projects good for local people, biodiversity, and ecosystem services? This PROFOR-supported activity produced a user-friendly Manual on how to conduct cost-effective and credible social and biodiversity impact assessments. Background case studies and toolkits are available on this page.
Forest Governance 2.0: A Primer on ICTs and Governance explores a range of information and communication technology uses, including increasing public participation and bolstering law enforcement and economic efficiency, to improve forest governance. It draws on current and planned initiatives, both from within the sector as well as outside, from secondary sources and country reports from Ghana, Finland and Uganda.
In assessing the ways in which public expenditures are allocated, two questions are relevant: what is money being spent on, and how well is money being spent? PROFOR financed an effort to develop guidelines for carrying out public expenditure reviews in the forest sector. Credible public expenditure reviews should help policymakers and donors better align forest policy and public spending at a time when carbon finance raises the prospect of increased financial flow