Background to the National Forest Programme Facility
As a result of intergovernmental discussions conducted by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and its predecessors, a resolution was adopted stressing the role of national forest programmes (nfps) as an important means for addressing forest sector issues in a holistic, comprehensive and multisectoral manner. Nfps are seen as the vehicle for in-country formulation and implementation of sustainable forest management policies, supported by the broad interests of civil society.
As a direct response to this expressed resolution, the National Forest Programme Facility was established. The Facility is hosted by FAO and operates under the guidance of a donor support group and a steering committee which includes representatives of funding partners, beneficiary countries, FAO, the World Bank, research institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and the private sector.
The Facility provides grants to national forest programme stakeholders in developing countries and provides information services at both national and international levels.
National Forest Programme Facility and sustainable forest management
The Facility aims to:
- strengthen the capacity of stakeholders in the national forest programme process to carry out the latter in a participatory manner by improving skills regarding facilitation, negotiation, formulation, and networking;
- support civil society participation in the national forest programme process with special focus on those actors that are often not sufficiently consulted but which are important for the implementation of forest policies in the field, in particular women, and forest-dependent and marginalised groups;
- promote cross-sectoral dialogue between the forestry sector and other sectors of relevance, such as agriculture, energy, tourism, transport, rural development, overall development planning, environment, trade, and finance;
- develop capacities for policy analysis, negotiation of policy goals and instruments, policy formulation and design, and implementation of policy instruments (e.g. laws, institutional reforms, incentives, financing mechanisms, etc.);
- promote transparency, accountability, availability, and access to information/knowledge in relation to the national forest programme process, with a focus on making more effective use of local and national knowledge and bringing regional and international knowledge and experience to national- and local-level stakeholders.
Facility grants are expected to be spent mainly on:
- workshops, fora, and in-service training;
- policy analysis and other specific studies;
- information sharing and knowledge management initiatives.
Developing a proposal for National Forest Programme Facility funding
Leveraging funding from the Facility means following a precise sequence of steps, starting with the signing of a partnership agreement.
Partnership agreements define, in a transparent way, the framework for Facility-sponsored activities as well as the state of development before Facility involvement. The content of a partnership agreement reflects the political commitment of the partner country to further its national forest programme process, and its willingness to address a certain number of themes with Facility support.
The partnership agreement includes an indicative annual budget, for a period of three years, to support the proposed activities. The level of this budget will depend on the proposed activities and will be adjusted to a country's needs and circumstances, depending on:
- demographic conditions and the socio-economic significance of forestry in the country; progress in developing the national forest programme;
- the likely cost-effective impact of the funds allocated;
- the available external support from other sources.
Countries interested in Facility support prepare a concept note that:
- documents the relevance of the forestry sector in the country;
- takes stock of the current status of the national forest programme process - to this end it lists the main stakeholders in the process, indicates which national and donor initiatives are providing support, and indicates where the bottlenecks for further progress are situated;
- makes a case for Facility support, indicating the type of activities most needed, estimating the total annual budget needed and explaining how the Facility support could make a difference in the national forest programme process;
- indicates how Facility support will be managed and monitored.
Following the conclusion of a partnership agreement, the responsible government official, the nfp focal point, publishes a national call for proposals, aimed at stimulating applications from a wide range of stakeholders in a transparent way. The Facility may provide a financial contribution to the publication of the call.
The Facility receives the applications and organizes an independent evaluation against predefined criteria adopted by the steering committee of the Facility and published in the call for proposals.
The Facility concludes a facility grant contract with the selected grant holder. This contract has a standardized format in line with normal FAO procedures.
The grant holder will be required to report to the Facility under a standardized format. Financial reporting of the facility grant will be in line with FAO standards. The number and size of facility grants per country depend on the country's needs and the amount of funds indicated in the facility agreement.
Those eligible for funding are listed here:
- stakeholders actively participating in national forest programme processes - national and local government agencies, other institutions, NGOs and community-based organizations;
- national forest programme practitioners worldwide;
- international funding partners and investors with an interest in the forestry sector and in the development of effective national forest programme processes.
LinksNational Forest Programme Facility Web site
National forest programmes Web site
For more information on relevant contacts specifically regional facilitators and FAO Regional nfp advisors, click here.