Implementation is the decisive phase, when an NFP achieves the impact desired by the visions and goals of policies and strategies. As implementation is carried out by different public and private stakeholders, it should be coordinated by an NFP coordination body in a participatory way.

Often capacity building is necessary to allow stakeholders to fulfill their defined roles adequately. Implementation requires obtaining funds, putting financing strategies, investment programmes and projects into practice, and coordinating and following-up activities.


Depending on the outcomes of policy formulation and strategic planning exercises, legal and institutional reform may become necessary. Proposals for legal amendments may need to be submitted to legislative processes that are sometimes lengthy. To translate political will and laws into precise guidelines for action, the relevant regulations need to be adjusted. The regulations need to be drafted and communicated to the respective target group as clearly as possible. Often, training and didactic materials are needed to assist the understanding and dissemination of the new regulations.

All components of the policy and legal reform that touch upon other sectors should be communicated and, as far as possible, reflected in the reform processes of other sectors. A communication and information campaign is needed to make the policy and legal changes visible to all stakeholders and the public.

To implement financing strategies, the revenue collection avenues (fees, royalties, taxes) usually need to be improved, and, enabling conditions created for investments in human and financial resources. This may be achieved by removing constraints and disincentives, and by introducing appropriate incentives including tenure security or long-term user rights. Reasonable prices for forest products and marketing opportunities for the producers are also powerful incentives for investment in forests. 


The aim is to create favourable framework conditions that will help establish the enabling environment for sustainable forest development. This requires incorporating some of the elements of the NFP process:

  • laws and regulations which reflect the previously revised national forest policy;
  • legal amendments in related sectors and regarding cross-cutting policy objectives which are favourable for the development of the forest sector;
  • improved institutional set-up and capable human resources;
  • mechanisms for dialogue and consensus building among all stakeholders;
  • financial strategies and mechanisms that facilitate funding for the steps towards sustainable forest management;
  • investment and incentives for capacity building of stakeholders at different levels.

Another set of outputs relates to practical, field-level implementation. Such outputs include afforested area, number of hectares under protection and monetary units of investment in forestry. These outputs will have to be documented, monitored and reported on.

Concerning the stakeholders, the main output is increased capacities, not only in technical but also in organizational and management matters, and especially in participatory and intersectoral approaches. Increased participation in and transparency of an NFP process will most probably result in more partnership agreements or other forms of cooperation among stakeholders.

@FAO/Giulio Napolitano

last updated:  Tuesday, August 7, 2012