Forestry Department Technical Meeting on
Cross-sectoral Policy Impacts between Forestry and Other Sectors


The technical meeting was held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, 18-20 September 2002. The purpose of the meeting was to identify practical ways to improve the influences of public policies between forestry and other sectors, through:

  • review of three different aspects of tackling cross-sectoral policy impacts;
  • analysis of current approaches;
  • search for practical solutions.


The FAO Forestry Department convened this technical meeting as part of its medium term plan activities under the sub-programme "Strengthened cross-sectoral linkages between forestry policies and other national policies" which is being implemented by its Forestry Policy and Planning Division, Forestry Policy and Institutions Branch.

The subject of cross-sectoral policy impacts or cross-sectoral linkages in forestry is not new. What is new however is the broad interest and discussions they are bringing up in many fora today, in particular with regard to how to tackle them with a view to getting an optimum outcome in terms of sustainable development.

Until recently however, negative effects from policy linkages have found more attention and are better documented than positive ones. In addition, available policy analysis focuses on few issues (e.g. deforestation in the tropics or increased nature protection) and are limited to a few countries or a particular region. Also, impacts of forest policies on other public policies have so far rarely been examined.

The nature and importance of cross-sectoral linkages depend on the specific ecological and socio-economic context (local or global) and there is a need to identify meaningful elements to better specify linkages or impacts. There is also a need to stress the multifunctionality of forests and promote positive impacts in particular non-commodity outputs of forests. Therefore there is a need to change perspective and take a broader view on positive as well as negative impacts in a close and proactive dialogue with other sectors.


The processes of the technical meeting included:
  • Panel presentations and brief discussions.
  • Small Working Group Work (8-10 persons per group) by sub-theme.
  • Forum of participants (discussion of results of work of Working Groups).


The meeting was attended by authors of sub-theme papers and seven country case studies (10), outside experts (6-8) and professionals from FAO Headquarters (14).


  • Improved understanding of main issues and identified practical solutions related to cross-sectoral policy impacts between forestry and other sectors.
  • Establishment of roots of an informal network of information and knowledge sharing on the theme.
  • Recommendation of priority actions at national, regional and international level.

last updated:  Tuesday, October 22, 2002