New IUFRO synthesis report on international forest governance

A new IUFRO report finds global forest policies are prioritizing carbon storage over ecological and social benefits, raising concerns about effectiveness in addressing deforestation and social inequalities.

Source: IUFRO

Launched at the 19th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF19), the first global synthesis report on international forest governance in 14 years reveals the rising trend of the ‘climatization’ of forests. This reflects a global shift in political attention and financial support towards primarily valuing forests for their capacity as carbon sinks, diminishing their intrinsic role for ecological and social welfare.

Produced by the Science-Policy Programme (SciPol) of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the report International Forest Governance: A critical review of trends, drawbacks, and new approaches, synthesises the most pivotal developments in international forest governance since 2010. The findings provide actionable insights for land use and climate policymakers to spur the implementation of just and effective forest policies.

The new study reveals that the success of international forest governance to slow down deforestation remains limited and hard to measure. Although there has been some progress in reducing the global rates of tropical deforestation, there is still a rising sense of crisis over climate change, biodiversity loss and increasing social and economic inequalities.

Dr. Nelson Grima, Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO SciPol states: “The current ‘playing field’ for international forest governance is more crowded and fragmented than ever before, with a plethora of new actors and instruments. The challenge now is to strengthen and coordinate forest policy to address power asymmetries between the different actors.”

Daniela Kleinschmit. International Forest Governance: A comprehensive global review (Side Event UNFF19)

Download the report and policy brief

Read the IISD/ENB report from the UNFF launch session

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The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is a non-profit, non-governmental international network of forest scientists, which promotes global cooperation in forest-related research and enhances the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests and trees. IUFRO unites more than 15,000 scientists in almost 700 Member Organizations in over 110 countries, and is a member of ICSU.