Integrating climate change issues into national forest programmes

The joint initiative of the Forestry Department of FAO and the National Forest Programme Facility aims to assist countries to address emerging policy issues related to forests and climate change. The initiative seeks to integrate climate change considerations into national forest programmes (NFPs) or forest policy frameworks.

To date, the approach developed and presented in “Climate Change for Forest Policy-Makers” has been introduced to a number of countries that can use it as a frame of reference for their national level processes.



Climate Change for Forest Policy-Makers

An approach for integrating climate change in forest programmes in support of sustainable forest managment (2011)

Download publication - English, Spanish or French 
Download leaflet - English

This document is a key part of the efforts by the Forestry Department of FAO and the NFP Facility to address emerging policy issues related to forests and climate change. It seeks to provide a practical approach to the process of integrating climate change into NFPs. The aim is to assist senior officials in government administrations and the representatives of other stakeholders, including civil society organizations and the private sector, prepare the forest sector for the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change. 


The critical role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation is now widely recognized. Forests contribute significantly to climate change mitigation through their carbon sink and carbon storage functions. They play an essential role in reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing adaptation of people and ecosystems to climate change and climate variability.

Please click to see more...

Development of the approach

The approach presented in Climate Change for Forest Policy-Makers is the outcome of a thorough consultative process with active engagement of countries and experts.


One of the challenges of dealing with climate change is the rapidity with which new information is developed. Another is the sheer volume of information and material being produced.

A web portal has been created listing basic information, case studies and useful tools related to climate change for forest policy makers - section 4 in the publication. Go to the site.

Please click to see more...

Approach as a frame of reference 

This approach is designed to assist forest policy makers to develop strategic goals and respective actions to integrate climate change into forest policies and strategies, legislation, and institutional framework. It also suggest ways to improve and develop the so-called enabling factors: forests and climate chage-related capacities, financial arrangements, research and information and communication systems.

The elements of the NFP framework

Please click to see more...

National and regional level application of the approach

To date, the approach has been benefited of experiences from the four initial pilot countries and four country and regional workshops organized to present and review the draft guidelines. To prepare and guide the discussion in the workshops, a background analysis of the major challenges and opportunities climate change poses for the forest sector and the related policy issues has been undertaken. The workshops have brought together relevant stakeholders to discuss the findings of the background analysis, share experiences, identify gaps and areas of collaboration. The workshops have also proposed respective responses, and analysed the changes that may be necessary in the policy and institutional framework to adopt a coherent approach to climate change within relevant sectors.

More information on the processes in countries (Cambodia, Paraguay, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Ecuador and Peru) as well as in the regional workshops (Near East, Central Africa) is available below. 

 Cambodia Background paper 
 Workshop report, 3-4 December 2009 
 Paraguay Workshop report, 21-22 December 2009 
 South Africa Workshop report, 22-23 April 2010 
 Tanzania Background paper 
 Workshop report, 13-15 April 2010 
 Zambia Background paper 
 Workshop report, 27-29 April 2011 
 Ecuador Workshop report, 14-15 November 2011 
 Near East * Workshop report, 23-25 May 2011 
 Central Africa
 Peru Workshop report, 6-7 December 2012 










* Please note that the agenda in the Near East workshop included also other topics than integration of climate change considerations into the NFPs. This is reflected in the workshop report.



Countries and other stakeholders interested to learn more or discuss the application of the approach on a national level, please contact:

Marjo Maidell, Forest Policy and Climate Change - [email protected]
Marc Dumas-Johansen, Forestry and Climate Change - [email protected]

last updated:  Wednesday, February 13, 2013