Forest Governance and Law Enforcement: Findings from the field

15 October 2010 | News story

IUCN has published a new report on forest governance structures, systems and stakeholders in six key tropical forest countries: Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Viet Nam.

This report synthesises the findings of six participatory national assessments carried out under IUCN's Strengthening Voices for Better Choices (SVBC) global forest governance project. The purpose of these assessments was to provide an understanding of the policy, regulatory and institutional obstacles to using forests sustainably. Each produced many valuable findings, insights and recommendations for improving forest governance, all of which were validated through broad stakeholder consultation. A number of these recommendations have been taken up and implemented by the states concerned, leading to concrete improvements in governance systems.

The synthesis provides a background to the concept of governance and how it has evolved in the fields of development and conservation. Drawing on a review of different definitions of governance, it identifies 7 key elements of governance (laws, institutions, processes, accountability, transparency, participation, predictability) and uses these to synthesise the findings of the assessments.

This report has been produced jointly by IUCN's Forest Programme, Environmental Law Programme, and Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group. It is aimed at IUCN members, partners and staff working on forest and governance issues, as well as a wider audience of interested laymen and specialists alike.