The time is right to learn from past experiences and build a second-generation of “National Forest Programmes”
By Alexander Buck, Helga Pülzl and Ewald Rametsteiner
Since their conception more than two decades ago, national forest programmes (NFP) have become widespread forest policy frameworks internationally. The management of most of the world’s forests is now governed by different types of NFPs to some degree. Hence NFPs present certain governance practices that all countries are interested to have. Yet, the overall picture regarding the impact of NFPs as national forest governance frameworks on sustainable forest management remains ‘fuzzy’. Read more…
1. How can landscape approaches contribute to the UNFCCC process?
Landscape approaches require governance and legal frameworks to cross levels and sectors, informed by the best possible science of the problem. A policy learning architecture is needed to assess how interests and imperatives are prioritized and how collaborative solutions can be found.
2. How can landscape approaches contribute to the design of Sustainable Development Goals and their achievement?
Beyond natural conditions it is the institutional setting that determines how landscapes are used. The institutional setting encompasses governance frameworks at multiple political levels including a multitude of public, private and societal actors.
However, after years of recognizing the need for coordinated multilevel governance, we have failed. To move forward, we need to think about why we have failed and, from there, develop a new architecture consistent with this explanation.
Obviously, complex multilevel governance of landscapes brings an increasing diversity of actors with different values to the table, with the intersection of state and private, global to local, across multiple sectors each focused on different problems and policy instrument preferences, creating challenges for coordination within the systems of power that result.
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The current set of international forest governance arrangements is best seen as a complex hybrid mix of international law, soft law, and non-governmental performance-based measures such as international certification schemes and industry codes of conduct. A diverse array of organizations and interest groups, all with different mandates, create the institutional environment for forest policy and governance. All of these actors are dedicated to supporting the different functions of forests, developing and implementing measures designed to protect the forest benefits, and interacting – often in a competitive manner – with each other for political and financial support at different levels. There are an increasing number of governance challenges, such as the demand for bioenergy and legally harvested and produced timber (e.g. EU Timber Regulation on banning illegal timber products from the EU market, to be applied in early 2013). There is clear evidence from research that complex forest problems require synergistic approaches involving a wide range of policy instruments. Read more…