FAO and International Model Forest Network renew collaboration on sustainable forest management at landscape level

©Kenichi ShonoRome, 14 December 2020 — FAO and the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) Secretariat have extended a collaboration to promote innovative approaches to sustainable forest management at landscape level.

The agreement, first signed in 2016, will see the two organizations work together until 2024 to strengthen natural resource governance and share lessons learned for integration into national policy frameworks.

The IMFN currently comprises 60 model forests in 35 countries. Fully working landscapes of forests, farms, protected areas, rivers and towns, model forests follow principles that combine the social, environmental and economic needs of local communities with the long-term sustainability of large landscapes.

The renewed collaboration with FAO will include restoration activities through FAO’s Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism, and identifying model forests where best practices and guidelines can be piloted.

“There is great potential for using model forests as pilots to scale up innovative solutions to sustainable forest management, and to disseminate valuable lessons learned from the wealth of experiences available from the different model forests around the world,” said FAO Forestry Officer Kenichi Shono .

“By extending their collaboration, the IMFN and FAO will be able to take advantage of emerging opportunities linked to the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration for landscape restoration as well as forests and water ,” said Senior Policy Advisor Christa Mooney of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)-Canadian Forest Service representing the IMFN Secretariat, which is housed within NRCan.

Collaborative progress

Since 2016, the collaboration between FAO and the IMFN has led to the inclusion of two model forests in the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism programme, as well as training conducted on forests and water with model forests in Asia.

The model forest concept was developed by the Canadian Forest Service in the early 1990s as a way to engage multiple stakeholders in the sustainable management of forests and the larger landscapes that surround them.

FAO and the IMFN have been working together since 2000, when the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific led on development of four model forests in Asia with funding from Japan.

last updated:  Monday, December 14, 2020