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Policy development is an iterative process, a continuous cycle which consist of (i) formulation of policy priorities; (ii) policy implementation, (iii) monitoring and review and (iv) adjustment and reformulation.  Policies need to be supported by relevant information and data, institutional capacities and implementation mechanisms. For forest policies to be effective, their regular review and coordination with other sectorial policies and national development priorities are crucial.

The Forest Policy Database created by FAO Forestry department supports evidence-based decision-making by providing public access to the national forest policies and programmes documents, including implementation instruments and plans, through the FAPDA-Forestry Tool. This service is offered in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Policy Decision Analysis (FAPDA) programme.

The FAPDA-Forestry Tool also allows consultation with forest-related policy documents held in other FAO databases by linking three major platforms (the Forestry Department, FAOLEX and Food and FAPDA), thereby facilitating the analysis of possible forest-related impacts of policies in other sectors and the identification of coordination gaps and opportunities.

The database is organized by country, date of approval and type of document. It enables easy consultation and referencing of policy documents and NFPs in countries world- wide; helps in monitoring the status of forest policies and NFPs; and provides easy access to policies in other sectors relevant to forests.