FAO fosters effective forest policy process

FAO is actively involved in supporting countries in their forest policy processes and strengthening their capacities in carrying out forest policy development, implementation and reviews. FAO provides direct support to countries through country focused technical projects and through development of capacities at the national and regional levels. Normative support is provided through guiding documents, training material and working papers. This contributes to a better understanding of forest policy concepts and process while helping various stakeholders to play a conscious and effective role in the process.

What is a forest policy?

  • A negotiated agreement amongst the government and relevant stakeholders on a shared vision and goals for a country's forests and trees, adopted by government;
  • A way of addressing society's needs and development goals while balancing various stakeholder interests;
  • Strategic guidance for managing and using forest and trees;
  • A comprehensive framework setting up adaptive implementation mechanisms for diverse contexts and changing conditions.

Why develop a forest policy?

  • To foster stakeholder ownership leading to improved policy implementation
  • To provide a forum for negotiation on conflicting interests;
  • To build a shared vision for guiding future decisions and actions;
  • To guide coherent institutional frameworks and policy instruments, including forest legislation;
  • To create an enabling environment that empowers stakeholders;
  • To guide the development of strategies for responding to emerging issues.

How to develop a forest policy?

  • Ascertain if the timing is right for initiation of policy development;
  • Ensure political support and cooperation;
  • Communicate information regularly, broadly and transparently;
  • Engage stakeholders and nurture joint ownership and responsibility;
  • Negotiate to set priorities and address conflicts;
  • Align and coordinate with other national policies;
  • Strategize and plan a course of action for implementation.

last updated:  Tuesday, January 28, 2014