As the eleventh meeting of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF11) considers the future of the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF), in its margins, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a study on national forest funds while members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) presented their work on strengthening the science-policy interface.
6 May 2015: As the eleventh meeting of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF11) considers the future of the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF), in its margins, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a study on national forest funds while members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) presented their work on strengthening the science-policy interface.
Reports released during a FAO side event examine the key elements of national forest fund management: governance, and fund capitalization, utilization and oversight. The report, titled ‘Towards Effective National Forest Funds,’ notes that properly designed and managed national forest funds (NFFs) can act as coordinating mechanisms to channel investment streams from multiple sources towards the implementation of various schemes, including payments for environmental services (PES) and REDD+ programmes. The publication is accompanied by a policy brief, titled ‘Making National Forest Funds More Effective,’ which is issued partly as its summary.
Overall, the reports conclude that national forest funds are important sources of financing for sustainable forest management (SFM), however challenges with regard to the sustainability of financing, lack of clarity in purpose, and weak national forest programmes have limited the effectiveness of many funds. In response, the reports present a number of recommendations including: improving coherence between fund mandates and national forest policy goals, combining operational flexibility with technical expertise, linking to incentives for private sector financing, and ensuring broad participation in fund management and oversight.
A side event was also convened by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) on the systematic promotion of science – policy interactions. The event presented progress in the implementation of the Evidence-Based Forestry (EBF) Initiative led by CIFOR, the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins led by ICRAF and the CPF Global Forest Experts Panel (GFEP) led by IUFRO.
The side event facilitated the launch of the publication, titled ‘Forest, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition,’ which presented the results of the fourth global assessment of the GFEP. The report describes the role of forests and trees in food security and nutrition and explores the key drivers of loss along with options for responses. Conclusions emphasize the need to consider multiple options for the management of forests and trees, from agroforestry and shifting cultivation to plantations and orchards of single species. Key considerations identified in the report include balancing biodiversity conservation with production, adopting a landscapes approach to management, securing land tenure and use rights, and acknowledging traditional knowledge, innovations and practices. CIFOR and ICRAF are part of the CGIAR Consortium. [FAO Press Release] [CIFOR Press Release] [Publication: Towards Effective National Forest Funds] [Publication: Making National Forest Funds More Effective] [Publication: Forest, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition] [IISD RS Coverage of UNFF11]