Editors: Holopainen, Jani and Wit, Marieke
General - 2008
Several hundred companies, governments, and civil society and non-governmental organizations have committed to zero deforestation initiatives. However, all may not have fully realized the enormousness and complexity of the challenge in committing to zero deforestation, and it appears that some did not know exactly what they stepped into. What is clear though, is that this endeavour is very much at the initial stage of development, and early work and experimentation is showing the way to putting in place what is needed.
This silver anniversary edition of ETFRN News brings together 40 contributions from 100 experts and practitioners. They share their experiences, and suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of zero deforestation commitments through public-private collaboration and other models.
ETFRN News 58 presents different views across a range of commodity value chains, including how companies and smallholders are working together to build deforestation free supply chains. It reviews publicly announced commitments and on-the-ground impacts, and how implementation challenges are overcome. It looks at how socio-economic and environmental impacts and trade-offs are addressed, links between private commitments and government policy and regulations, and how transnational and civil-society initiatives help or hinder them.
This latest edition of ETFRN News contains more than 200 pages of stories from local producer organizations, associations and federations, and from those that speak for them at national and international levels. Reporting on issues of inclusiveness, this is also reflected in the authorship, with most of the 80 contributing (co)authors from the Global South, representing NGOs, UN organizations, government bodies and private companies as well as producer organizations, a third of them women. The result is a compilation of experiences that adds significantly to a growing body of knowledge. Forest and farm producer organizations speak of their achievements and successes – and challenges, some overcome, some not. They share how they have organized themselves, what support they have received, and whether this was for better or for worse. Some benefits were expected, others unexpected. Problems remain, and some were made worse, even with well-meaning intentions of ‘outsiders’.
The Forest and Farm Facility of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of the Netherlands provided financial support.
The landscape approach has increasingly been promoted as a new perspective on addressing global challenges at a local level. In the face of increasing and competing claims to the land and the exhaustion of natural resources, planners, scientists and policymakers have come to realize the limitations of sectoral approaches. Integrated landscape level considerations have begun to supersede those restricted to, for instance, water, forests, farming and development programmes.
Given this interest, and the potential impacts of such initiatives, it is important to learn from the many practical experiences in applying integrated landscape management throughout the world. This issue of ETFRN News 56, ‘Towards productive landscapes’, brings together 29 papers by practitioners from all over the world who highlight the successes and challenges of applying landscape approaches.
Jointly, the articles explore:
This ETFRN News explores how foresters, farmers, pastoralists and other land users have taken charge and jointly shape the landscape they inhabit. How the private sector finds ways to integrate supply chains into sustainable landscapes. And how this helps the global community to address the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and food insecurity.
The articles highlight the contribution of increased social cohesion as a key benefit of landscape approaches. In many cases, it is catalyzed by an environmental problem serious enough to require negotiated solutions that create better outcomes for everyone. Stimulus and support from external actors in the form of compensation, co-investment and independent facilitation is usually needed to make this happen.
Although the authors quote many benefits of landscape approaches, a systematic framework against which to assess and evaluate the impacts of landscape approaches seems to be lacking. There is a need for people engaged in landscape approaches to put their experiences together, compare them and look for general patterns that explain why certain approaches work and others fail. A clear language is needed for understanding landscapes and landscape approaches to help monitoring and evaluating landscape efforts.
This issue of ETFRN News results from a partnership between Tropenbos International (TBI) and the Centre for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture (ILEIA), part of the AgriCultures Network dedicated to landscapes that is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Together, TBI and ILEIA aim to develop an integrated perspective on agriculture and forest approaches to improve the livelihoods of rural communities and build multifunctional landscapes. This ETFRN News is published in association with a special issue of ILEIA’s Farming Matters, “Farmers in their Landscapes,” and with the AgriCultures Network’s regional magazines for Latin America, West Africa, India and China.
Sida, the Government of the Netherlands, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through GIZ, UN-REDD through Ecoagriculture Partners, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) provided financial support.
Individual articles can be downloaded in the ETFRN website
Private finance is currently the most significant source of investment for forestry. Estimated to total around US $ 15 billion per year in developing countries and countries in transition, private-sector investment in the forestry sector far outstrips the combined investments of governments and development agencies. Although broad sectoral investment parameters are generally well understood, the exact shape and weight of domestic and international flows remain to a large extent unclear. The United Nations Forum on Forests, among others, has called for better mapping of the forest finance landscape to create a clearer understanding of the types and potential impacts of complementary public and private investment on future forests.
With growing needs for forest products, there is increasing agreement that there is a significant gap between the levels of financing which are available from both public and private sources and the funding required to meet expected future demands. The private sector is well positioned to help fill this gap, and private flows are expected to continue to grow as investors explore new investment frontiers. The challenge for entrepreneurs will be to manage both the impact and long-term viability of their supply chains as competition over forest land for food, fibre and fuel production becomes increasingly critical.
While the availability of private money is good news, particularly when official development assistance is coming under increasing pressure, there is also cause for concern. Private-sector interests are often misaligned with local and global public interests, and social and environmental concerns are sometimes far less important to investors than their primary interest in profitability. A crucial challenge for policymakers will be to somehow reorient, increase and incentivize private finance to make it flow in adequate amounts towards sustainable, environmentally sound, and competitive forest management practices that can support responsible and profitable forest entrepreneurship. Partnerships between public and private actors, various types of investors, communities and intermediaries can make a big difference by creating synergies that build on shared interests.
This issue of ETFRN News brings together 23 articles that present and analyze concrete examples of various private actors along the tropical forest-finance chain (small, medium and large forest entrepreneurs and intermediary and advisory organizations). The experience of these frontrunners presents a compelling case for revisiting business as usual. As policy-makers and private actors refine their strategy for seizing opportunities and managing the risks associated with emerging forest-related markets, these articles demonstrate that overall economic, social and environmental benefits can be reaped if investments are targeted correctly.
ETFRN News No. 54 has been made possible by the financial assistance of the Program on Forests (PROFOR), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria and the Government of the Netherlands.
It is widely acknowledged that improving forest governance is an important prerequisite for sustainable forest management and reducing deforestation and forest degradation. Making governance work better for people and forests is not an easy task. Divergent interests, imbalanced power relations and unequal access to information, decision-making, resources and benefits all contribute to this challenge.
The 29 articles in this issue of ETFRN News showcase a rich diversity of examples of how forest governance has been addressed in various settings. The issue brings together experiences from a wide range of forest governance reform initiatives. Some relate to new lessons from well-established approaches to forest governance reform, such as community forestry; others relate to more recently developed initiatives, such as FLEGT. The articles show that international instruments — such as Voluntary Partnership Agreements, forest certification and more recently, REDD+ — are important drivers to address governance in the forest sector.
Experiences described in the articles demonstrate that forest governance challenges do not have “one-size-fits-all” solutions. They also show that regardless of the entry point to initiate forest governance reform, there is always a set of underlying inter-related governance issues. Therefore, an integrated process approach is essential to successfully address forest governance reform. The participatory processes of “good” forest governance create the capacity for continuous learning and enhance the ability to adapt to lessons learned. The articles reveal that transparency, communication and access to information, and multi-stakeholder engagement in deliberative processes, particularly the meaningful participation of disadvantaged groups, are essential ingredients in moving forward with forest governance.
ETFRN News No. 53, produced by Tropenbos International, has been made possible by the financial assistance of the European Union, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Forest Institute’s EU FLEGT Facility, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Switzerland, and the Government of the Netherlands.