INTERLAKEN+10 Bulletin
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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
in collaboration with the governments of Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.
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Volume 180 Number 2 - Monday, 9 February 2015
3-6 FEBRUARY 2015

Held from 3-6 February 2015 in Interlaken, Switzerland, the Interlaken+10 workshop was a country-led initiative (CLI) in support of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), organized jointly by Switzerland with Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico and Ukraine. The workshop gathered approximately 140 participants, including policymakers working at th national and local government level, and representatives of international organizations, local communities, civil society and the private sector.

Workshop participants exchanged ideas on how to include meaningful governance issues in a post-2015 international arrangement on forests (IAF). Through a series of plenary, thematic, roundtable and small group sessions and field trips, they took stock of experiences gained since the first Interlaken workshop in 2004 and of lessons learnt on governance and decentralization as they relate to forest management and conservation. Taking into account developments over the past ten years related to governance of forest landscapes, they identified key issues that need to be addressed in a global forestry context and worked on a set of recommendations on how to foster good governance of forest landscapes directed at the UNFF. The draft recommendations will be revised according to comments received during the concluding plenary and, following an electronic consultation, they will be finalized by the end of the following week for transmission to UNFF11, to convene in May 2015 in New York.

A parallel conference was organized by the International Forestry Students Association on behalf of the UNFF Major Group “Children and Youth.” Their recommendations will also be transmitted as an input to UNFF11.


Since 2004, a series of international workshops has been organized biannually as CLIs in support of the UNFF to connect countries undergoing decentralization and governance reform. The workshops bring together participants from government, civil society, research institutions, community organizations and the private sector to discuss key aspects of forest decentralization and governance theory and practice. Participants also consider cross-cutting issues of livelihoods, equity and sustainable development through a mix of presentations, panel discussions, working group sessions and field trips. The workshops aim to facilitate the sharing of insights and experiences from various countries, and to draw lessons and recommendations for action by the UNFF and other actors.

WORKSHOP ON DECENTRALIZATION, FEDERAL SYSTEMS OF FORESTRY AND NATIONAL FOREST PROGRAMMES: This workshop, organized by the governments of Switzerland and Indonesia, was held in Interlaken, Switzerland, in April 2004. The workshop provided an overview of ongoing and planned decentralization processes in forest management worldwide. Discussions focused on conceptual and operational aspects of decentralization, including: roles, responsibilities and coordination at different levels and across sectors; policy and regulatory frameworks; equitable benefit-sharing; stakeholder participation; financial incentives and private sector partnerships; capacity building; maintaining ecosystem functions; and appropriate application of knowledge and technology.

WORKSHOP ON FOREST GOVERNANCE AND DECENTRALIZATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: This workshop, hosted by the government of Indonesia, was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in September 2006. The workshop continued discussion of issues identified at Interlaken in a regional context, and with a greater emphasis on the requisites for economically and technically viable decentralization. Corruption and illegality, tenure, rights and equity, and forest fires, land use and rehabilitation were principal themes emerging from this regional workshop.

WORKSHOP ON FOREST GOVERNANCE AND DECENTRALIZATION IN AFRICA: This workshop, organized by the Governments of South Africa and Switzerland, was held in Durban, South Africa, in April 2008. The workshop sought to develop a common understanding of concepts and practices of decentralization in the African forest governance context. Participants identified opportunities for coordinating policy responses, capacity building and implementing best practices for decentralization and sustainable forest management (SFM). Three major themes were discussed: decentralized forest management and livelihoods; decentralization, conservation and SFM; and international trade, finance and investment in forest governance reform.

WORKSHOP ON FOREST GOVERNANCE, DECENTRALIZATION AND REDD+ IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: This workshop, organized by the governments of Mexico and Switzerland and several organizations, was held in Oaxaca, Mexico, in August and September 2010. The workshop aimed to identify trends, and facilitate sharing of experiences and lessons learned from: SFM, forest governance and decentralization, and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It also looked at the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). Participants discussed four major themes: people, forest governance and forests; landscape change, forest management and REDD+; forest finance and finance for REDD+; and rights, livelihoods and forests.

INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON FORESTS IN A GREEN ECONOMY FOR EASTERN EUROPE, AND NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ASIA: This meeting, organized by the governments of Ukraine and Switzerland, was held in Lviv, Ukraine, in September 2012. The meeting aimed to share and discuss international, regional and national experiences on the implementation of green economy concepts and requirements in the forest sector. Participants reviewed what the emerging green economy means for the special circumstances of the countries in Eastern Europe and Northern and Central Asia, and agreed on a vision and message for the future.



On Tuesday, 3 February 2015, moderator Kaspar Schmidt, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, opened the workshop, highlighting the need to take stock of ten years of work and exchange experiences on forest governance.

Josef Hess, Vice-Director, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Switzerland, drew attention to historical conflicts over use rights and the property status of grazing land and forests in Switzerland. He noted that devolving such use and property rights to the lowest level, often to the community level, is the basis of the current decentralized governance structure in the country. He argued that the decentralized approach promotes finding solutions, and he highlighted challenges relating to the need for continuous learning and the need to reach an equilibrium between the central government, cantons, communities and communes, cooperatives and private forest owners.

Dominique Favre, Deputy Head, Global Cooperation Department, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), said governance issues underpin the work of SDC, and stressed the need to recognize all forest values and redefine forest stewardship. He underscored the importance of integrating forests and forest governance in the sustainable development agenda.

Manoel Sobral, Head of the UNFF Secretariat, highlighted the role of Switzerland in promoting the concept of forest governance, including through supporting a series of workshops. He stressed the importance of governance issues, including enforcement and means of implementation, in the review of the IAF and in reaching a strong agreement beyond 2015. 

Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), cautioned that Interlaken+10 is the last stop before UNFF11 and that the year 2015 is a crucial convergence of opportunities for forests and sustainable development. He expanded on the differences between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), noting the latter are a shared vision for humanity that states and governments should deliver to their own people by 2030, and to society as a whole, at all levels, bringing both the public and private sectors on board. He called for national-level accountability in SDG implementation and for a continuous thematic review of the goals and targets.

Delegates then observed a moment of silence as a tribute to Linda Mossop, South Africa/Africa Coordinator, Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management and member of the African Forest Forum (AFF), whose funeral was held in Durban on Monday, 2 February 2015.

Christian Küchli, Head of Section, Forest Division, FOEN, presented an overview of the UNFF CLIs on forest governance since 2004, highlighting that CLI-developed concepts have been brought into global environmental discussions, such as REDD+ negotiations. Küchli drew attention to the role of indigenous and local communities as real custodians of most forests; highlighted the “uneven landscape” regarding diffusion of governance issues into forest-relevant global instruments and processes; and expressed the hope the Interlaken+10 workshop contributes to UNFF11 preparations and accelerates progress on forest governance at the national level.

Carol Colfer, Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, presented lessons and recommendations from ten years of global exchange on forest governance through the CLIs. In emphasizing the importance of multi-level governance for forests, she detailed challenges at local, landscape, national, international, and global levels. She also underscored the potential of decentralization and presented continuing challenges for forest governance post-2015. She concluded with six recommendations on: maintaining protected areas while enabling traditional use; promoting SFM and REDD+ with judicious use of market tools and equitable collaboration with affected communities; improving local communities’ access to markets; promoting the valuation of forest environmental services and goods; enhancing transparency of forest law enforcement policies and actions; and strengthening human and institutional capacities of all stakeholders.

PANEL OF COUNTRY LED INITIATIVE (CLI) HOST COUNTRIES: Facilitator Doris Capistrano, Senior Advisor of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), invited the panel to provide an update on past CLIs, including issues raised, recommendations and resulting initiatives.

Agus Sarsito, Director of International Cooperation, Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia, presented on the decentralization process in Indonesia. He highlighted that the process failed when it was initially launched in 2001 and resulted in a surge in deforestation, due to a lack of administrative and management capacity of local governments. He drew attention to new legislation issued in 2014, and to the central government’s success in combating illegal logging through law enforcement and the development of a certification mechanism to allow only legally acquired timber to reach the market, including in importing countries.

Keith Anderson, Forest and Climate Policy Advisor, FOEN, presented the outcomes of the Oaxaca Workshop on Forest Governance, Decentralization and REDD+ in Latin America and the Caribbean held in 2010. He expanded on safeguards, land tenure issues, and the risks and opportunities of REDD+ for people and forests.

Liubov Poliakova, Senior Officer, International Cooperation Department, State Forest Resources Agency, Ukraine, presented the outcomes of the Lviv Forum on Forests in a Green Economy for Countries in Eastern Europe, Northern and Central Asia, held in 2012. She noted the focus was on a green economy within the forest sector but underscored a lack of common understanding of that terminology. She added that the gathering also discussed regional problems and elaborated a vision and ten key messages that are still valid for the region and more globally.

Christian Küchli, FOEN, reported on the 2008 Durban Workshop on forest governance and decentralization in Africa. He noted governance reforms and decentralization processes have taken various shapes and forms, leading to much diversity across that continent. He highlighted the spread of community-based forest management, the challenges of benefit-sharing and of land tenure, and stressed fighting corruption as an area for action.

Josef Hess, Vice-Director, FOEN, noted that decentralized governance systems are complex and need constant adaptation. He drew attention to increasing qualitative and quantitative pressures on forests within Switzerland, such as from a growing population and a need for infrastructure, and from climate change and diseases and pests. He discussed issues facing the national wood supply chain, such as limited processing capacities, and the consequences for forest functions, and explained national forest policies.

During the ensuing discussion, participants said deliberations on forests should go beyond carbon and climate to include other services such as water regulation and flood buffering, and should keep in mind payments for ecosystem services (PES) programmes that exist in many countries.


Jürgen Blaser, Bern University of Applied Sciences, presented a summary of the Independent Assessment of the IAF that was published in September 2014. He reviewed the purpose and scope of the assessment of the IAF’s effectiveness, efficiency and impacts; presented milestones; and pointed out major areas for improvement in the IAF policy fields, especially regarding implementation. He indicated that the post-2015 building blocks should encompass the future UN forest body, member countries, regions, and forest support bodies, and highlighted the need for: comprehensive stewardship for forests in international development, environmental and economic agendas; and policy support for implementation of SFM at national and regional levels.​

Charles Barber, World Resources Institute (WRI) and Co-Chair of the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the IAF (AHEG2), presented a summary of the outcomes of AHEG2. He identified main areas of emerging convergence, including that: the substance of the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on all Types of Forests (NLBI) remains relevant; the UNFF needs a plan; the UNFF has a strong potential role in the forest aspects of the SDGs; and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) should continue to exist in a strengthened format. He said areas of divergence include, among others, the legal character of the post-2015 IAF, the types of concrete institutional changes needed, and the desirable degree of regionalization.

Hossein Moeini-Meybodi, UNFF Secretariat, drew attention to deliberations on the mandate, functions and components of the future IAF, as well as on institutional, organizational and resource-related issues.


On Wednesday, participants convened in four thematic sessions on: forest tenure and decentralization; forest landscape governance and green economy; forest governance and biodiversity; and forest governance and safeguards in REDD+ implementation.

FOREST TENURE AND DECENTRALIZATION: The session was moderated by Steven Lawry, Director, Forests and Governance Research, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Eva Müller, Director, Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division, Forestry Department, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, presented on the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. She highlighted that the Guidelines are the first global, intergovernmental soft-law instrument on tenure, and contain a set of guiding principles, including on implementation. She drew attention to FAO support for implementation through awareness-raising, capacity development, direct country support, and the establishment of partnerships, noting that monitoring implementation is a politically sensitive issue.

Jenny Springer, Director of Global Programs, Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), presented two 2014 publications: What Future for Reform: Progress and Slowdown in Forest Tenure Reform since 2002 and Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change. On tenure reform, she underscored that recognition of indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ forest tenure has slowed since 2008, while national legislation has become weaker, and progress across regions has been uneven. On rights and climate change, she noted that strong community rights are linked to lower deforestation and carbon emission rates.

Bharat Pokharel and Kaspar Schmidt, both with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, presented field perspectives on forest governance with a focus on tenure. Pokharel presented case studies from Nepal, noting improvements in all types of forests, particularly community forests. Schmidt highlighted achievements and lessons learnt, including on the importance of: long-term commitment as a precondition for supporting change; the political context and a multistakeholder approach; recognizing local people’s capacities; and understanding local forest tenure arrangements, power structures and traditional rights. He underscored continuing challenges relating to: conservative trends, both in communities and in conservation approaches; complex bureaucratic procedures; the linkages between users, management groups and local governments; equity considerations; and the devolution of access, use or ownership rights.

Participants then discussed, among other issues, whether the Committee on World Food Security could serve as a model for UNFF, and whether access and use rights or full ownership rights result in better outcomes. They stressed the need to: recognize the effectiveness of indigenous peoples and local communities to manage their forests sustainably by securing their rights; and change the role of forest agencies to ensure community support.

FOREST LANDSCAPE GOVERNANCE AND GREEN ECONOMY: The session was moderated by Ivonne Higuero, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)/FAO. Meine Van Noordwijk, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), challenged participants to think beyond set concepts and ideas, noting for instance that forests are part of the landscape, so governance issues pertain to the landscape as the broader entity; that forests should be perceived as a means of implementing the SDGs, not as a goal per se; and that the green economy is principally applied at the scale of “pico” economy as opposed to the micro, meso, macro or giga economy.

Robert Busink, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands, presented the outcomes of recent work of the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC). He said the EFC aims to maintain sustainable landscapes for resource security, and noted five priority actions: enhancing cross-sector dialogue and multi-stakeholder processes at different levels; increasing the support provided to local organizations and enabling civil society networks; improving joint understanding and knowledge of different stakeholders’ agendas, realities and perceptions; using policy and market incentives to trigger governance changes; and making longer-term investments.

Kit Prins, consultant for the joint UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, discussed emerging issues in the ECE region on forest governance in a green economy. He highlighted the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy approved by UNECE/FAO, and recommended to: develop objective methods of monitoring governance of the forest sector; review consistency of policy instruments; identify and remove obstacles to valuation and PES; and actively support efforts to construct green national accounts.

Lively discussions ensued with questions related to managing forests within a green economy; evaluating the spiritual, cultural and aesthetic values of forests and accounting for biodiversity hotspots; reaching out beyond the forest sector; private sector impacts including the role of banks; and monitoring, reporting and assessment methodologies.

FOREST GOVERNANCE AND BIODIVERSITY: Herbert Christ, Head, International Forest Policy Programme, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), presented on trends and challenges on forest governance and biodiversity. He drew attention to REDD+ as the most prominent international process dealing with SFM, highlighting the need to address governance issues and recognize safeguards. He noted challenges, including on the need to: match ambitious conservation targets with financial and implementation commitments and capacity; recognize the multifunctionality of forests in international processes; and place local users’ rights and benefits at the centre of the debate. He called for a realistic balance between political expectations and reality on the ground in terms of finance, capacities, timeframe, political will and continuity.

Chris Buss, Deputy Director, Global Forest and Climate Change Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), presented on landscape-level institutional arrangements, combining different types and models of protected and production areas. He argued that an emphasis on landscape approaches enables protected areas to better interact with other land uses, and noted that IUCN Category VI protected areas in particular, which allow for both conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, provide a multilayered framework to build upon.

Nalin Kishor, Program on Forests (PROFOR), World Bank, highlighted the role of information-sharing in creating a level-playing field during negotiations at the local or national level.

During the ensuing discussion, participants noted: the fragmentation of forest-related issues among several international processes and a potential role for UNFF as a platform to address forests in a holistic manner; the importance of securing tenure and use rights for indigenous peoples and local communities; a potential focus on implementation of the NLBI through national forest programmes; and the need to build a strong stakeholder involvement component into the reform process at the national level.

FOREST GOVERNANCE AND SAFEGUARDS IN REDD+ IMPLEMENTATION: Keith Anderson, FOEN, opened the session on forest governance and safeguards in REDD+ implementation by raising questions related to the role of REDD+ and its safeguards in forest and climate change governance. Thais Linhares-Juvenal, Senior Officer, UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, explained national approaches to REDD+ safeguards supported by the UN-REDD Programme. Noting that REDD+ offers a good opportunity to address forest governance issues, she highlighted efforts to share lessons learned between countries and coordinate between UN-REDD and other initiatives.

Marlea Muñez, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the Philippines, explained the development of the Philippines’ REDD+ safeguards framework and guidelines, expanding on the opportunities, challenges and methodology, and noting the identified principles, criteria, indicators and risks. She discussed the enabling environment, the national political context and the current climate on REDD+ safeguards implementation.

Maria Brockhaus, CIFOR, presented on lessons for benefit sharing in a REDD+ architecture. She explained safeguards and safeguards information systems in REDD+. She defined benefit sharing, including direct and indirect benefits, illustrating lessons derived from current benefit sharing mechanisms (BSMs), and discussed risk-specific safeguards, on the basis of global and country-specific context analyses.  She concluded that policy learning is essential and that learning from existing BSMs and existing risks is key to operationalizing safeguards and to building a robust SIS.

Participants discussed the added-value of UNFF. Some participants lamented countries’ unwillingness to discuss issues related to climate change in UNFF and questioned the effects of REDD+ on building a global carbon market. Others underscored the convening power and broader constituencies of UNFF as helpful for sharing countries’ understanding and catalyzing policy change. Steve Swan, UN-REDD Programme and session facilitator, concluded the session by reminding participants that SFM is UNFF’s core business, and called for potential synergies among different multilateral processes addressing forest issues.


On Tuesday afternoon, participants established and met in five breakout groups, to identify challenges for forest governance. The group on Africa was facilitated by Godwin Kowero, AFF; on Asia and Middle East, by Bharat Pokharel, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation; on Latin America, by Verónica Gálmez, Andean Forests Program; on Europe, Central Asia and North America, by Robert Busink, the Netherlands; and the global group, by Hosny El-Lakany, University of British Columbia, Canada. Discussions continued on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, plenary heard reports on their deliberations and recommendations. On Friday, the groups reviewed the workshop report and recommendations.

AFRICA: Godwin Kowero, AFF, reported on discussions, underscoring the diversity of the African continent, and noting that different countries are at varying stages in the decentralization process and are moving at different paces. He highlighted increased awareness of forest issues; the elaboration of holistic management plans; improved forest management; increased forest cover and biodiversity levels in some areas; the presence of platforms to facilitate dialogue; and improvements in benefit sharing schemes. He defined challenges, including: state resistance in some countries to give sufficient authority to local communities, particularly where the resources are valuable; inadequate transparency in sharing benefits and taking advantage of opportunities that have arisen, for instance in making use of climate change mechanisms; and the abuse of user rights by some local communities. The group recommended reforming policy and legislation on forests in some countries; undertaking capacity building, particularly at the community level; financing activities locally; continuing devolution; defining communication channels, such as for research findings; recognizing women, youth and NGOs as important stakeholders; increasing accountability; and clarifying frameworks for resource ownership.

ASIA AND MIDDLE EAST: Bharat Pokharel, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, reported on discussions, noting that challenges in the region include: poor inter-agency coordination; conflicting objectives set by different agencies; the distribution of economic incentives to the poor and forest-dependent communities; the undervaluation of forest contributions to countries’ gross domestic product; the absence of policy and legal frameworks in some countries or their lack of implementation; the lack of clarity of tenure rights, rules and responsibilities, and obstacles in devolving forest management; and insufficient stakeholder capacity, particularly at the local level. The group recommended: building on successful experiences; strengthening capacity, with UNFF developing a mechanism or facilitating capacity building for relevant stakeholders; increasing learning and communication at the regional and national levels; furthering assessments, such as of forest goods and services; framing the role of UNFF such as for facilitating country-level policies; assessing and evaluating soft-law instruments and their status at different levels; and defining the role of UNFF in grouping countries to address similar challenges and in facilitating countries to develop policies and strategies, such as for communications.

LATIN AMERICA: Verónica Gálmez, Andean Forests Program, reported on discussions, explaining that participants brainstormed on how international processes are shaping policy at the national level. The group recognized the need for financial resources for implementation and the importance of monitoring systems which lead to increased transparency. Participants defined a number of challenges and made associated recommendations, including on: the need for stronger institutions at a sub-national level, with adequate capacities to implement action on the ground; better coordination between agencies that focus on development, participation and environment issues; designing better tools and  mechanisms to translate policy visions into operations on the ground, with adequate financing, clear guidelines, holistic approaches and efficient use of existing tools; improving the participation of the forest sector in national accounting systems to help recognize the full value of forests; and setting goals and mechanisms to engage market actions and boost public-private partnerships.

EUROPE, CENTRAL ASIA AND NORTH AMERICA: Robert Busink, the Netherlands, reported on discussions. As representatives of highly diverse regions where the majority of countries have centralized forest management systems, the group found that decentralization is only one way, among others, to engage different stakeholders. Participants discussed recent forest governance trends in the region, including: high participation by stakeholders and the general public; difficulties with managing different and conflicting forest interests; increased number of national forest programmes; and the development of a pan-European forest governance system. The group stressed the importance of representation of various actors in forest governance, including strengthening the engagement of indigenous peoples, and suggested UNFF: encourage the establishment of multistakeholder platforms; and analyze the social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits of good governance. The group also called for adequate allocation of funds to local authorities in the decentralization process; support for mechanisms to increase the efficiency of small-scale forestry; and incentives, such as PES, for forest owners.

GLOBAL GROUP: Hosny El-Lakany, University of British Columbia, reported on discussions in the global group. Calling for consistency in definitions, he presented major lessons learnt and achievements in global forest governance, and identified challenges regarding: the economic costs of good governance; maintaining the independence of science; corruption; and linkages with other sectors.

The group recommended to: develop a fifth global objective on forests dealing with governance issues; secure a commitment to transparency and access to information; promote explicit support through the SDGs for recognition of forest rights of indigenous peoples and local communities; build consensus on the necessary elements of a good governance system; inform REDD+ processes on forest governance issues; and establish an international reporting requirement on forest governance.

During the ensuing discussion, participants stressed the need for a mechanism to increase NGOs’ accountability and credibility, and for further involvement in UNFF of the private sector and civil society, particularly indigenous peoples and local communities.


Several roundtable discussions were held on Wednesday. On Thursday plenary heard reports and recommendations.

BRIDGING THE GOVERNANCE GAP: INTEREST- AND RIGHTS-BASED APPROACHES: Participants discussed management approaches to strengthen governance when it is not fully functional. They concluded that rights-based approaches do not equate to good governance, although they provide most needed elements, and called for identification of tools and methods to supplement such approaches.

INTEGRATING DIFFERENT ACTORS IN GOVERNANCE: Participants mapped existing actors and discussed their involvement in governance systems, specifically in the UNFF process, noting that Major Groups in UNFF include many different actors. They identified the variety of actors within a local community and formulated recommendations on how they could get their voices and interests heard, particularly on the need for: capacity building and empowerment at the local level; and a two-way communication channel between policy-makers and local communities. They also suggested the UNFF needs to revise the present guidance on Major Groups and devise an incentive system to enhance the participation of different interest groups.

SOCIAL EQUITY-RELATED ISSUES: Participants addressed issues related to social equity, indigenous peoples and local communities, and politics of scale, including governance practices to ensure that local voices are being heard. Discussing how to ensure social equity is a key governance practice, they noted gaps regarding local community engagement, and communication and accessibility of information. They stressed the importance of clearly defined tenure and ownership, noting that lack of it may lead to conflicts regarding the sharing of benefits. They recommended that the UNFF facilitates information-sharing mechanisms to enhance understanding about social equity and engagement issues; looks into funding opportunities, including under the UNFCCC; and develops guidelines on such issues.

TRANSFORMING KNOWLEDGE INTO ACTION: Participants held a discussion on Indonesia, highlighting the recent change in government and positive steps regarding the establishment of a task force to deal with specific forest-related issues, and the increase in the number of forest management units. They then noted that having good information and knowledge is not sufficient to catalyze action, and identified three necessary preconditions: an enlightened leader; making the information available to the right people at the right time in the right format; and the capacity and skills of those planning and implementing the reform.

EMERGING PRIVATE FOREST GOVERNANCE REGIMES: Participants discussed case studies from Latvia, Indonesia and Serbia, highlighting the importance of taking into account the history of each country’s land ownership and tenure regimes, and noting that conflict is chronic when questions of rights are not resolved. Based on the case of Serbia, where one million forest holders exercise small-scale forestry and form part of the social-setting, they concluded that diversity of tenure types can help a country pursue a variety of objectives and increase equity.

FOREST LAW COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: Participants identified local, national, transboundary and regional implications of compliance- and enforcement-related issues, and focused on the national context. They stressed that forest legislation should take into account different types of forests, the value of all forest products, and the different roles of forests, including for instance in flood control and disaster risk reduction. They called for capacity building and specialized training programmes for decision makers and the forestry sector.

Discussions were also held on coordination among sectors and levels, and on illegal logging and deforestation.


On Thursday, participants were split into three groups to attend field trips, illustrating different examples of forest governance in Switzerland. The first group went to Lauterbrunnen and Mürren for a walk in the snow with glimpses at the landscape; the second headed for Boltigen to learn about governance in the landscape of Simmental and its community forests and alpine pastures; and the third visited Emmental and its private forests in a mosaic landscape.


Peter Anthony Besseau, Canadian Forest Service, discussed experience from the work of the International Model Forest Network (IMFN), which is a practice-driven and interest-based governance approach for the sustainable management of forest-based landscapes. He underscored the IMFN’s key principles and presented findings on social and political impacts of forest governance at different levels from IMFN studies in Latin America.

Charles Barber, WRI, presented the work of the Forest Legality Alliance (FLA), a multistakeholder partnership addressing the global crisis of illegal logging, hosted by WRI and supported by the US Agency for International Development. He noted the partnership addresses lack of legislation, lack of enforcement, corporate crime, and conflict. He indicated the FLA aims to: build a global alliance of supply chain actors; demonstrate that compliance is feasible; and educate forest product supply chain participants. He highlighted that the FLA is trying to extend its work in China, Brazil, and Mexico, and underscored efforts to support timber tracking technologies.

Eva Müller, FAO, presented on the XIV World Forestry Congress, which will be held in September 2015, in Durban, South Africa, supported by FAO. In introducing the main theme of the congress as “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future,” she underlined its cross-cutting focus, which encompasses policy and institutions, forest production and human capital. She concluded by highlighting expected outcomes including: key messages on the vision for the future of forests and forestry, rather than a declaration; paving the way for forestry’s contribution to implementing a new post-2015 development agenda and to the climate negotiations; and sharing latest knowledge widely and in innovative ways.


Nalin Kishor, PROFOR, introduced the session highlighting that the costs of poor forest governance are ecological, economic, social and political. He defined forest governance as comprising processes and institutions through which government agencies, citizens and other groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences. He added that it is a process geared towards resource management to sustain and improve the welfare and quality of life for those whose livelihoods depend on the forestry sector. He stressed that the responsibility for fostering good forest governance lies collectively with the government and relevant stakeholders; provided an overview of the regional declarations on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) and their achievements; and introduced the FAO-PROFOR framework for assessing and monitoring forest governance.

Doris Capistrano, ASEAN, presented the FAO-PROFOR framework, explaining its development, purposes, intended users and main features. She highlighted that it can be used by anyone involved in forest governance, including national and sub-national governments, NGOs, investors and donors. She noted it contains a comprehensive list of major components of forest governance, including accountability, effectiveness, efficiency, fairness and equity, participation, and transparency, which are organized around three main pillars: policy, legal, institutional and regulatory frameworks; planning and decision-making processes; and implementation, enforcement and compliance. She said the framework does not prescribe indicators but provides a framework within which indicators can be defined depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

Kishor drew attention to the FAO-PROFOR publication Assessing Forest Governance: A Practical Guide to Data Collection, Analysis, and Use, produced in collaboration with several organizations.

SESSION ON NATIONAL EXPERIENCES: Doris Capistrano, ASEAN, then moderated a session with country experts, sharing national experiences with forest governance assessments. She identified a series of questions for the panelists, regarding: the reasons for undertaking the assessment and its major objectives; the methods for developing the work plan and its sources of information; challenges in data- and information-gathering efforts; and the ways to collect, organize and disseminate information.

Abdul Situmorang, Indonesia, shared his country’s experience, noting that the assessment was driven by a need to address some of the challenges associated with REDD+. He outlined objectives, including the need to: inform policymaking by providing robust information relevant to governance, including on the cost to be borne by not addressing governance issues; establish a basis to inform and link with REDD+ information systems; and demonstrate the policy correlation between good governance and the country’s efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. He provided an overview of the process, including the establishment of a multistakeholder expert panel. He highlighted agreement on prioritizing governance elements on: certainty regarding forest areas; fairness with regard to use of forest resources and land tenure; transparency and corruption-related matters; and law and enforcement capacity. He said the government’s dataset was complemented by data provided by indigenous peoples and other stakeholders. On actions and initiatives undertaken as a result of the assessment, he noted that the results of the assessment had been disseminated and used in different areas and fed into ministry-level decision making, such as on fighting corruption and on balancing private sector and community-level forest management.

Marina Smetanina, Russian Federation, described the realities of forest governance in the country and expanded on the way the forest governance assessment was carried out. She noted that different government agencies and a multitude of players were involved and that the methodology was adapted and downscaled for regional assessments, but included: the preparation of a paper on publicly available information; participation from different pilot regions; regional seminars; the use of questionnaires; and a final workshop. She stressed that forest governance depends on: overall governance in the country; national social and environmental policies; fiscal regimes, taxes and customs; and tariffs on public sector monopolies. She concluded that the assessment results had been widely disseminated and used.

Amina Bohero, Tanzania, noted that the country’s assessment received financial support from the government of Finland and technical support from the FAO. She said the first step was to collect information about trees and forests, from the size of trees and species to their coverage, land use and mapping. She highlighted that: soil cover had been included in the assessment; the country had been divided into zones; the methodology followed was a combination of FAO and national methodology; and a broad range of stakeholders had been involved. She noted issues of access in certain areas; variations in forest measurements when calculations included forests outside forested areas; and the need to address energy requirements, such as the exploitation of charcoal. She said that the assessment results were broadly disseminated and a data sharing system was developed.

Participants then discussed the value of conducting monitoring and assessments for forest governance. One participant pointed out that assessments help develop good indicators which can be used by many stakeholders, and promote government awareness. Participants discussed ways to build political will and involve stakeholders in the assessments.


Steffen Lackmann, GIZ, noted that assessments create common understanding on the meaning of governance among partners. Indicating financial support for assessments from many donors, he called for countries and donors to move beyond discussions on elements to be assessed and towards practice. He underscored that forest governance assessments can make REDD+ more effective, and help create some standards of good governance. Tina Sølvberg, UN Development Programme (UNDP), indicated that assessments can help governments design adequate policies and cited the example of UNDP’s work in Indonesia. She emphasized the use of a flexible approach that takes the country context into account. She also stressed the importance of political commitments and of institutionalizing assessments.

Jürgen Blaser, Bern University of Applied Sciences, provided an overview of Switzerland’s involvement in tackling forest governance issues, highlighting that small agencies need partners that understand complex political issues and have the necessary expertise. He drew attention to Switzerland’s engagement in initiatives of the World Bank, the International Tropical Timber Organization, and the RRI, and to its active involvement in the negotiations on safeguards under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He stressed the need for long-term collaboration and continuity in means of implementation. 

Eva Müller, FAO, focused comments on linkages between forest governance assessments and the IAF review. She said that national forest programmes could be used to integrate Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and REDD+, and recommended the use of existing frameworks and tools to monitor and assess forest governance in the context of the NLBI or the global objectives on forests. Drawing attention to the FAO national forest programmes facility, she suggested considering the establishment of a similar facility, if UNFF decides to focus on implementation of the NLBI. She further recommended encouraging countries to monitor and report on forest governance, and on integrating forest governance monitoring into overall monitoring evaluation systems.


The concluding plenary, chaired by Jürgen Blaser, Bern University of Applied Sciences, heard an intervention from UNFF11 Bureau Member Vicente Bezerra, Brazil, who provided some considerations on the future of the IAF. Bezerra drew attention to preparations for UNFF11, emphasizing the possibility of informal consultations to be held in New York, and urging delegates to consult the AHEG2 summary report.

INPUT FROM THE PARALLEL CONFERENCE ON YOUTH: Delegates from the Youth Group outlined their vision, which includes an increased participation of youth in forest governance processes, noting that “the world we live in is not the world youth envisions.” They outlined their work during the parallel conference, noting that: they had pinpointed problems, such as a lack of transparency in the supply chain and poor societal awareness of the values of forests; and defined solutions and actions for their group and for UNFF11, including to strengthen ties with other youth organizations and to establish a forest impact lab.

Participants discussed ways for youth groups to interact with delegations involved in the UNFF process; urged them not to be “too reasonable” and make a good case of the unique values they bring; and explored options to reign in production and consumption patterns through consumer education and engaging with multinational corporations.

A Youth statement with concrete recommendations will be finalized and forwarded to UNFF11 as an annex to the CLI report.

WORKSHOP REPORT: On Friday morning, Doris Capristrano, ASEAN, and Christoph Duerr, FOEN, presented to plenary a draft of the CLI recommendations directed to UNFF with regards to UNFF11 and to the post-2015 IAF, noting that participants would have the opportunity to review them during the day. Participants noted that common language should be used throughout and defined if necessary in footnotes, and suggested distinguishing between what the CLI recommends to UNFF11 and what is desired beyond 2015.

Following consideration in the breakout groups, the workshop report was addressed in plenary, with a focus on the recommendations directed to UNFF with regard to UNFF11 and the post-2015 IAF.

Representatives of the breakout groups, and other participants, shared detailed comments.

On a recommendation to the UNFF to develop a fifth global objective on forests, the Europe, Central Asia and North America group said the formulation is too strong and suggested the UNFF could “consider the development” of a fifth global objective. A delegate from China added that this is a new proposal and suggested that more time is required for consideration.

The Europe, Central Asia and North America group further suggested that: enhancing the efficiency of decentralization be accompanied by adequate funding and capacity building; and that countries improve monitoring by using existing reporting frameworks.

On a recommendation to “revise” the Forest Instrument, the Asia and Middle East group, with the global group, preferred recommending “updating” it. On promoting the needs and interests of forest-dependent populations, the Asia and Middle East group suggested specific reference to the poor; and on access to financing, they said the recommendation should apply to all types of forests.

The Africa group expressed agreement with the spirit of the recommendations; prioritized forest restoration efforts; and called for specific reference to youth in addition to other stakeholders. 

The Latin America group suggested the recommendations become more specific, while highlighting the need for means of implementation; and called for linkages with the Convention on Biological Diversity, in addition to REDD+. A group participant further argued that governance issues could be addressed through means of implementation, rather than through the development of a fifth global objective. A delegate from Brazil said that governance issues are already addressed in the Forest Instrument.

Delegates from Brazil and China and the global group said that workshop participants do not have the authority to “endorse” the recommendations and suggested amending the preambular wording to reflect that the recommendations have not been negotiated.

The global group further highlighted the need for agreed definitions; suggested using existing tools on valuation of forest resources and services; and recommended that UNFF11 streamlines its processes, does not replicate previous resolutions, and focuses on adding value.

 Draft recommendations: To be finalized in the coming week in accordance with comments received, the recommendations directed to UNFF address: a possible fifth global objective on good forest-related governance; initiating activities to contribute to a broader stewardship mandate; including support for country efforts to improve forest-related governance as a function of the CPF; a possible revision of the NLBI to address forest governance; including the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in the final SDG indicators addressing land tenure security; a role for UNFF on monitoring and review of the forest-related aspects of the SDGs, and on informing processes related to SFM and REDD+ on forest governance issues; providing a platform to share experiences and lessons learned; engaging with indigenous peoples and other stakeholders; supporting country efforts on, among others, decentralization, improving transparency, engaging stakeholders, strengthening equitable distribution of benefits and promoting the needs of forest-dependent populations; facilitating access to financing of forest-related initiatives; providing guidance on valuation; and encouraging adoption of a common framework for monitoring and assessment of forest-related governance.

CLOSURE OF THE WORKSHOP: Facilitator Jürgen Blaser, Bern University of Applied Sciences, announced that the recommendations will be revised accordingly and, following an electronic consultation, they will be finalized by the end of the following week for transmission to UNFF11.

In closing, Christian Küchli, FOEN, stressed the difficulties in furthering progress in SFM without properly addressing governance issues; reiterated Switzerland’s commitment to promoting good forest governance; commended Jürgen Blaser for his active participation in all six CLIs; and thanked the organizers and all participants. The workshop closed at 5:30 p.m.


Major Groups-led Initiative in Support of UNFF:  The Major Groups participating in UNFF are convening a workshop on sustainable forest management under the theme “Designing the vehicles for securing the means of implementation.” Expected outputs from the meeting are recommendations to be submitted to UNFF11. The workshop is being supported by the Governments of Nepal and Germany in collaboration with the Major Groups Partnership on Forests, the UNFF Secretariat and the International Tropical Timber Organization.  dates:  2-6 March 2015   location: Kathmandu, Nepal  contact: Lambert Okrah  email: [email protected] www:

Third UNCCD International Scientific Conference: The third International Scientific Conference  of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification will address the contribution of science, technology, traditional knowledge and practices in combating desertification, land degradation and drought, for poverty reduction and sustainable development.   dates:  9-12 March 2015   location: Cancun, Mexico  contact:  UNCCD Secretariat   phone:  +49-228-815-2800  fax:  +49-228-815-2898/99  email: [email protected]   www:

Fourth Mediterranean Forest Week:  The Fourth Mediterranean Forest Week is being convened by FAO, the Government of Spain, FOREST EUROPE and other partners in order to explore the role of Mediterranean forests in the green economy. The event will bring together stakeholders to explore policy considerations from the Tlemcen Declaration and Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests, promote resilient forests, consider the integration of other sectors within national forest programmes and develop an overall vision for the future of Mediterranean forests and woodlands.  dates: 17-20 March 2015  location: Barcelona, Spain  contact: David Solano  email:[email protected] www:

International Day of Forests: UN General Assembly resolution 67/200, adopted on 21 December 2012, declared 21 March the International Day of Forests. date: 21 March 2015  contact: UNFF Secretariat  phone: +1-212-963-3401  fax: +1-917-367-3186   email[email protected] www:

UNFF11: UNFF11 will consider the future of the International Arrangement on Forests, based on challenges and its effectiveness. The meeting will also review progress in the implementation of the global objectives on forests and the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests. Thematic issues under consideration will include sustainable forest management and forest law enforcement as well as cooperation and coordination.  dates: 4-15 May 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UNFF Secretariat  phone: +1-212-963-3401 fax: +1-917-367-3186 email: [email protected]   www:

Third International Conference on Financing for Development: The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will gather high-level political representatives, including Heads of State and Government, and Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and business sector entities. The Conference will result in an intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome, which should constitute an important contribution to and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. dates: 13 -16 July 2015   location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia   contact: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Financing for Development Office   phone: +1-212-963-4598   email: [email protected]   www:

XIV World Forestry Congress: Hosted by South Africa and supported by the FAO Forestry Department, the 14th World Forestry Congress will bring together the global forestry community to review and analyze key issues and share ways of addressing them. The central theme of the Congress is “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future.” It will emphasize the role of forests in income generation, employment creation and equity, and the vital links between forests and climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable water resources. It will also explore the governance structures that best promote implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests. dates: 7 -11 September 2015   location: Durban, South Africa   contact: FAO Forestry Department   email: [email protected]   www:

UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Mandated by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2013 (Resolution 68/6), the UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will be convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly. dates: 25-27 September 2015   location: UN Headquarters, New York, US   contact: Office of the President of the UN General Assembly   www:



Ad Hoc Expert Group
African Forest Forum
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Center for International Forestry Research
Country-Led Initiative
Collaborative Partnership on Forests
Food and Agriculture Organization
Forest Law Enforcement and Governance
International Arrangement on Forests
World Agroforestry Centre
Millennium Development Goals
Non-Legally Binding Instrument on all Types of Forests
reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries
payments for ecosystem services
sustainable development goals
sustainable forest management
UN Economic Commission for Europe
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The INTERLAKEN+10 Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <[email protected]>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <[email protected]>. This issue was written and edited by Olivia Pasini, Yixian Sun, and Elsa Tsioumani. The Digital Editor is Mike Muzurakis. The Editor is Brett Wertz <[email protected]>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Funding for coverage of this event has been provided by the governments of Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, USA.
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