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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:

Thematic Areas


Sustainable forest management requires cooperation across many sectors so that good forest practices are not undermined by shifts in macroeconomic policy or other areas. PROFOR’s forest-smart and...Read more


An estimated 1.3 billion people—nearly 20 percent of humanity—rely on forests and forest products for their livelihoods, with the majority living on less than $1.25 a day. In some areas, forest...Read more


Sustainable forest management seeks to balance increasing demand for forest products and benefits, and preserving forest health and diversity. Financing this equilibrium requires new approaches, both...Read more


Strong forest governance is essential for many reasons. Clear regulations can encourage legitimate enterprises to make socially and environmentally sustainable investments in the forestry sector....Read more

Climate Change

Not only are forests and trees essential for capturing the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, but they can also build peoples’ resilience to climate variability. Forests can be...Read more