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Collaborative Stakeholder Mapping to Promote Legal Timber Trade




PROFOR is applying NetMap, a collaborative analysis tool, to understand and build consensus around effective strategies to combat illegal logging in Russia’s Far East. As the illegal timber trade involves a complex network of Chinese and Russian actors, this work will bring together key stakeholders from both sides of the border. Through a series of participatory mapping workshops focusing on key actors, their roles and relative power, this work will generate a shared understanding of the problem and possible solutions. As well as providing insight and options for addressing the illegal timber trade between Russia and China, this work is of broader academic interest, as it will be the first time Net-Map has been used to address a cross-boundary issue.

Through this project, PROFOR is explicitly focusing on the role of networks, connections and power analysis in generating collaborative solutions to promote the legal trade in timbers. By adopting a participatory, people-centered approach to problem analysis and identification of entry points for reform, the work aims to build momentum and consensus around realistic actions.

The team also recognizes the importance of securing support for forest conservation by engaging both China and Russia in relation to their national interest. Motivating factors such as the loss of revenue impact on local livelihoods and forgone customs income and threats to timber export revenues are acknowledged as drivers for participation in the process.

Initial consultations with Russian and Chinese stakeholders have revealed a high degree of interest in this work as a means to learn from each other and as a step towards developing collaborative solutions. It has also highlighted the sensitivity around this issue, particularly in the context of recent political developments and increasing sense of isolation in Russia. Currently, additional steps are being negotiated to allow for internal workshop processes prior to cross-border workshops to address client reservations regarding a fully collaborative process.

The participatory, iterative mapping process directly addresses known barriers to combating the region’s illegal timber trade – namely poor communication and lack of collaboration between the two countries. The reluctance of both states to engage in collaborative workshops immediately, highlight the challenges to be overcome. The anticipated improvements in dialogue and transparency have the potential to increase the effectiveness of efforts to reduce illegal logging and improve cross boundary forest management in the longer term.


This activity is ongoing. Findings will be shared on this page when they become available.

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Last Updated : 02-24-2017