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Policy Briefs


Embracing complexity in international forest governance: a way forward

This policy brief summarizes the key messages of the GFEP report “Embracing complexity: Meeting the challenges of international forest governance” and reaches out to international as well as national policymakers and other stakeholders.

Following key messages are highlighted:

  • International forest governance is complex and fragmented.
  • Many critical forest problems are cross-sectoral.
  • Complex forest problems require synergistic approaches involving a wide range of policy instruments.
  • The forest governance challenge is to move from a focus on forests towards the concept of ‘forests+’, which embraces inter-sectoral and inter-institutional complexity.
  • Forests+ approaches will build on a better understanding of actors’ interests, ideas and incentives in complex environments.
  • Forests+ will be coordinated by learning instruments, involving the development of new policy learning and engagement platforms.
  • Forests+ calls for more inclusive governance.
  • The nature of a forests+ approach will vary according to national capacities and policy styles.
  • Spatial scale is important for forests+.
  • New or adapted institutional arrangements are needed to strengthen and coordinate forest policy learning at the global level and to support engagement and problem solving among diverse stakeholders.

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