The influences of public policies on the development of the forestry sector have been recognized for some time. Suffice it to recall, for example, the work of Repetto and Gillis1 and more recent work of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)2 on the causes of deforestation in tropical countries. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) stressed the importance of harmonizing sectoral policies (environment, economic and social) to achieve sustainable development. The international dialogue on forests during the 1990s pointed to the role of non-forest policies in discussing the ways and means to achieve sustainable forest management (SFM).
A FAO survey3 of cross-sectoral policy impacts in forestry, carried out in 2001, provided ample examples and confirmed that public policy from many areas has an impact on forests. Forestry should therefore engage with relevant sectors and policy domains to achieve its goals. In Johannesburg in September 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) recommended that countries enhance their political commitment to achieve SFM taking into account the linkages between the forestry sector and other sectors through integrated approaches. A number of new international initiatives and instruments (e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention to Combat Desertification, Proposals for Action of IPF and IFF) have also been taken or created over the last decade. As a direct consequence, decision-making concerning natural resources management has become more complex at national and local levels.
The review4 of available information and considerations on further research on cross-sector linkages in forestry found that:
research studies based on policy analysis that examine in detail the nature of cross-sectoral linkages are still scarce even if more investigations have recently been undertaken;
• available policy analyses focus on few issues: deforestation processes in the tropics and subtropics, and increased nature protection in forest areas of industrialized countries;
• the nature and importance of cross-sectoral linkages depends on the regional and socio-economic context;
• findings on the combination of relevant policy linkages and on the specific situations in countries of different regions are still missing;
• positive impacts of public policies on sustainable forest management have so far rarely been examined. The same holds true for positive contributions and impacts of forest policies on other public policy targets;
• one needs to understand and interpret the institutional framework, the role of the forest administration and the contributions and potentials of the forest sector as one of many links in a wider system of many actors and policy options in order to reach sustainable management of the natural resource base.
A FAO interdepartmental task force discussed these findings and in May 2001 recommended that country case studies be developed to illustrate specific issues and solutions in a broad range of ecosystem and socio-economic contexts. Their purpose was to provide concrete advice to policy-makers, to further define or broaden issues beyond deforestation for example, and to include in the analysis positive impacts of public policies considering non-commodity outputs of forests and environmental services. In effect, these issues were identified as having significant positive linkages with other sectors of the national economy, and seen as potential entry points for improving cross-sectoral policy impacts in terms of enhanced coordination in policy formulation and implementation, thus minimizing negative impacts on forests and ultimately on people’s well-being.
The FAO technical meeting (September 2002) reconfirmed that, in practice, appropriate instruments and institutions are necessary to promote non-commodity outputs of forests and mitigate the negative policy impacts on them. The roles of actors are also critical and often determine which policy is to be successful (effective) or not. In effect, the following principles were recommended5 for inclusion in a future agenda for action and a proactive dialogue between forestry and other sectors:
• take a broader view in forest policy and planning, adopting an integrated spatial approach towards SFM, as well as actively participating in other sector policy processes;
• improve policy decision-making and governance by facilitating the participation of all actors at all levels for effective policy implementation;
• promote the use of an integrated system of economic and environmental accounting to measure and monitor cross-sectoral policy impacts;
• enhance policy coordination and collaboration including the assessment of trade-offs between policy options;
• establish appropriate policy instruments and provide support to local suppliers of forest public goods in order to correct market failures.
This FAO forestry paper draws on currently available information and on the findings and recommendations of the FAO technical meeting. It is divided into five chapters, each written by a different author. All chapters have been revised to ensure consistency of text and presentation.
Chapter 1 sets the stage for understanding cross-sectoral impacts of public policies. Important trends such as globalization, privatization, participation or increase and diversification of society’s demand for forest goods and services are described as forming the context in which these impacts are taking place. Cross-sector linkages between different public policies have an immediate or indirect influence on the behaviour of landowners, forest users, governmental agencies and NGOs. The role of governments in direct interventions in society but also increasingly as mediators between societal actors is discussed, including network management and the appropriate choice of policy instruments to exercise the desired influence on landowners and users, and ultimately on the state of forests. The chapter stresses the importance of the combined outcomes and results from policies and legal instruments that address economic, social and environmental issues and of their positive and negative effects on sustainable land management practices. There is a considerable need to focus on public capabilities to manage complex political networks with a wide range of stakeholder interests in different land use systems and management practices.
Chapter 2 presents a mosaic of national and local situations. Examples from Brazil, Italy, Mali, Mexico, Romania, United Republic of Tanzania and Thailand case studies are presented. Each country situation varies according to local socio-economic and ecological contexts. Common features and most influential external policies are reported. The general weakness of the forestry sector and its marginal role in public decision-making processes related to macroeconomic and rural development policies are identified as the most common elements characterizing national and local situations. These problems cannot be solved by trying to protect and isolate the forestry sector. On the contrary, there is an urgent need to highlight the multi-faceted contributions that forest resources make in sustaining the well-being of communities.
Economic considerations on appropriate instruments and institutions are made in Chapter 3. It introduces a forest organization or taxonomy that features three characteristics - location, labour (a variable that is related to population for some economic assessments) and local institutions - that determine which forest areas are the sources of most forest resource uses and, therefore, which forest areas are under greater risk and are of greater importance for immediate policy action. This taxonomy is subsequently used in a discussion of taxes, incentives and regulations that alter the different forested areas and their important commodity and non-commodity outputs. Adjacent sectoral policy and institutional spillover effects including infrastructure and property rights are considered. The last section of the chapter discusses five key forest products and environmental services: i) timber and non-timber forest products, ii) carbon sequestration to protect against global climate change, iii) erosion control and general watershed protection, iv) biodiversity and critical habitat, and v) tourism. It is made clear in the analysis that a number of policies can have favourable consequences for the protection of particular forest resources.
Chapter 4 describes the potential use of the system of environmental and economic accounts (SEEA) for measuring the cross-sectoral benefits of forestry to other sectors of the economy and impacts on forestry from non-forestry sector policies. It identifies the relevant components of SEEA and develops a framework that may be used for economic analysis of the cross-sectoral policy linkages contributing to better sectoral and macroeconomic policy-making by governments towards forest conservation. A brief introduction to SEEA is first made which is followed by a review of country experiences with forestry accounting and the use of accounts for policy analysis. Then a framework based on SEEA is developed that will contribute to a better understanding of cross-sectoral policy impacts on sustainable forestry. Links between SEEA and sustainability indicators for forestry are provided. The chapter stresses that SEEA forest accounts demonstrate the economic benefits of forest ecosystems to non-forestry sectors, including rural development, agriculture, fisheries, tourism, municipal water supply and other agencies. Information from these accounts is a powerful incentive to build an alliance among stakeholders in different sectors. In addition, SEEA accounts provide a useful technical framework for assessing the total economic contribution of forests. This implies linking information about forestry to the use of other resources and to the broader economy. It also allows integrating forestry policy with national development and monitoring interactions and feedback across different industries.
Chapter 5 develops a framework for a participatory policy process aimed at improving the capacity of actors to coordinate and integrate their policy roles. Issues of power and participation are considered within an iterative governance framework. Cross-sectoral and inter-sectoral policy coordination requires improved communication and is a complex process of change and transformation in the roles of actors, organizations and institutions as new relationships grow, new priorities emerge through conflict and compromise, and new and old actors gradually shape identities over time. The final section addresses changes occurring and needed to build governance institutions that support participatory processes and ensure that decisions are accountable and legitimate within a political community.
In summary, to take advantage of positive and reduce negative policy impacts between sectors implies that concerned actors:
• identify sectors and other actors that have common versus specific interests and goals;
• exchange information and knowledge on policies, emerging issues and plans;
• monitor progress and take proactive initiatives in response to policy and legislation changes in other sectors;
• propose revision of policies and legislation to reflect new concerns;
• support cross-sectoral scientific policy analysis (as much as possible quantitatively oriented);
• strengthen the work of concerned institutions; and
• promote intensive involvement of forest sector stakeholders and civil society.
1 Repetto, R. &
Gillis, M. (1988). Public policies and the misuse of forest resources. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge and New York.
2 Kaimowitz, D. & Angelsen, A. (1999). The World Bank and non-forest sector policies that affect forests. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia.
3 Broadhead, Jeremy and Dubé, Y.C. (2002). Cross-sectoral policy impacts in forestry. Voluntary paper submitted to the Secretariat of the 12th World Forestry Congress. FAO, Rome.
4 Schmithüsen, F., Bisang, K. & Zimmermann, W. (2001). Cross-sectoral linkages in forestry – review of available information and considerations on further research. Working Paper, Policy and Institutions Branch, Policy and Planning Division, Forestry Department, FAO, Rome.
5 Proceedings of FAO technical meeting on cross-sectoral policy impacts between forestry and other sectors. Rome, 18-20 September 2002.