FAO's activities

Promotion of sustainable forest management at the field level

Recent and planned FAO activities related to model and demonstration forests

A model and demonstration forest component is included in the Forestry Department Regular Programme and Medium Term Plan as part of efforts to support sustainable forest management at the field level.

The aim of this component is: To use the model and demonstration forest approach to further promote sustainable forest management at the field level and to identify, apply and share experience on innovative approaches and techniques.

To ensure a comprehensive coverage, complementarity of action and avoid overlap of efforts, close collaboration are maintained with FAO staff at the Regional Offices, with the FAO field programme (including the Regional Trust Fund project mentioned below) and with other organisations (e.g. IMFN, CIFOR, CATIE, ITTO, African Timber Organisation, and the Asia Pacific Forestry Commission's ad hoc Working Group on Sustainable Forest Management).

Close links also exist between this and FAO's activities related to national forest programmes, criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management and a variety of technical fields related to the activities of individual model and demonstration forests.

Main activities

  • Collection, analysis and dissemination of information and experiences on model and demonstration forests
  • Publication of case studies and guidelines and making these available on the internet as well as in printed form
  • Provision of technical advice and support to FAO member countries, international and national organisations and to FAO field programmes

User focus

  • Forest managers (national forestry authorities, practising foresters, forest owners, interest groups including NGOs and Cmmunity Based Organisations and private forest industry)
  • Policy makers
  • International/eco-regional processes on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management.

Effectiveness criteria

  • Improved forest management practices being implemented at the field level.
  • Location specific, forest management unit level criteria and indicators being used to monitor the impacts of forest management activities.
  • Regular contributions to a global information network.
  • Results of experiences translated into national forest and land use policies.

Recent and on-going activities

FAO has been involved in the model forest initiative since 1997. A list of some of the recent and planned activities is provided below.

  • Collection, analysis and dissemination of information and experiences on model and demonstration forestsThis is an on-going activity and the present homepage is part of the efforts. Work is also underway on the establishment of a simple database on existing model and demonstration forests worldwide.
  • Publication of case studies and guidelines and making these available on the internet as well as in printed form A series of case studies on best managed forests are currently being prepared including examples of existing model and demonstration forests with the first phase focusing on Central Africa. The aim is to publicise existing success stories in forest management and to establish a network for the continued exchange of information and experiences occuring there.
  • Provision of technical advice and support to FAO member countries, international and national organisations and to FAO field programmes

Model forest workshops

The Forestry Agency of Japan has been hosting a series of workshops on sustainable forest management as a follow-up to the IPF Proposals for Action. The first, held in Kochi in 1996 and entitled International Workshop on Integrated Application of Sustainable Forest Management Practices, was organised in technical collaboration with FAO under the Project GCP/INT/645/JPN. As a follow-up to the Kochi workshop, the Forestry Agency of Japan decided to organise a series of four international workshops to promote demonstrations of sustainable forest management at the field level through the "model forest" approach. The objectives of this series of workshops were as follows:

  1. to deliberate and exchange views on the role of model forests in achieving SFM;
  2. to propose practical options for effectively promoting model forest projects;
  3. to enhance international cooperation in this context;
  4. and ultimately to develop and propose ways of feeding back the result of model forest projects to the overall land use policy planning process in each country.

In consonance with this, the first Workshop held in Tokyo in March 1998, successfully identified the roles of model forests in promoting sustainable forest management at the field level. The second workshop, held in Mie Prefecture in March 1999, focused on practical options for promoting the model forest concept, while the third, held in Gunma Prefecture in October 1999, focused on partnerships and networking in sustainable forest management . The fourth and final workshop was held in Yamanashi Prefercture in October 2000 and focused on ways to provide feedback to policy makers. All the workshops have been organised in technical collaboration with FAO and IMFNS.

Regional Trust Fund Project on model forests

A regional FAO/Japan Trust Fund project entitled: Assistance for the Implementation of the Model Forest Approach for Sustainable Forest Management in the Asia Pacific Region (GCP/RAS/177/JPN) was launched in February 2000. The project covers four countries (China, Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar) and has a duration of 30 months.

The Immediate Objectives of the project are:

  • To strengthen the policy framework for the development of national forest programmes and for sustainable forest management in Project countries.
  • To facilitate the development of field-level model forests in Project countries.
  • To strengthen national and local capacities in appropriate land and forest use practices that are consistent with sustainable forest management.
  • To strengthen local, national and regional capacities to facilitate or enhance the flow of information, experiences and technologies on sustainable forest management.
  • To facilitate collaboration with other agencies or programmes, and mobilisation of resources at the local, national, regional and international levels for the implementation of Project activities in particular, and of model forest/SFM practices in general.

For further information about this project, please contact:

Mr. Tang Hon Tat
Chief Technical Adviser, GCP/RAS/177/JPN
c/o FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, THAILAND.
Phone: (66 2) 2817844 ext. 220, 297; Fax. (66 2) 2802761 (direct)
Email: hontat.tang@fao.org

The International Model Forest Network (IMFN)

FAO is represented on a recently established International Task Force charged with a review of options for the future governing structure, functions and funding of the IMFN, which among other outcomes, has resulted in the establishing of a regional model forest network for Latin America and the Caribbean.

last updated:  Thursday, May 26, 2005