Capacity development

As forest policy is increasingly shaped by a complex interaction of different state and private stakeholders and often competing interests, it is an immense challenge for those responsible for steering and facilitating a process to develop a formal forest policy or strategy.  Often technicians trained in forestry skills are tasked with policy processes that require new skills to meet the new challenges.

The concepts, principles and practice of forest policy processes are still not widely mastered. As a result of this gap, FAO is receiving an increasing number of requests for support in developing capacities necessary for a forest policy process. 

As part of this support, in 2010, FAO has produced a guide “Developing effective forest policy” that introduces basic concepts and principles related to a forest policy process. This guide is available in English, French, Spanish and Russian languages.

FAO is also organising information/training workshops that help to promote a common understanding of forest policy concepts, create awareness of the principles and content of a policy process and provide basic techniques for the facilitation of such processes.

When organised at a regional/sub-regional level, such workshops may also serve as a platform for the experience exchange and establishment of regional forest policy networks.

At a country level, capacity building workshops are usually part of a forest policy development or revision process, when it is initiated at the request of a government.

For a practical application of the guide, in support to the facilitators of a forest policy development process, a training module has been developed.


  • Share concepts and understanding of a forest  policy process as a step towards regional cooperation and strategies
  • Exchange of experience and lessons learned to facilitate the adaptation of general approaches to specific conditions
  • Inform about the FAO know-how in the technical assistance to forest policy processes 

Why do we do it:

  • To build common/shared understanding of  key forest policy concepts among all concerned stakeholders
  • To develop consciousness about basic steps of a forest policy process
  • To introduce key techniques and skills necessary for facilitation of a forest policy process

Recent experience:

  1. Country specific:  Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and Uganda.
  2. Regional workshop for Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.
  3. Sub-regional workshop for Congo-basin countries.

How do we do it:

  • through in-country information/training workshops:
  • Build a common understanding among all the concerned stakeholders of what is forest policy, why to have it in the country ; how to  develop it;  what are the roles of different stakeholders in the process;
  • Develop capacities necessary for facilitating a forest policy process in the country


last updated:  Tuesday, October 6, 2020