More than one billion people live in forest areas around the world. In addition to providing livelihoods for this population, they generate income for others elsewhere through local, national and global supply chains of products as varied as wood, minerals, and palm oils and nuts. Forests are also biodiversity hotspots and function as carbon sinks, keeping the Earth’s climate stable. Yet, illegal logging and other environmental crimes have contributed to soaring rates of deforestation. The planet has already lost approximately 40 per cent of its forests.
To combat and reverse this trend, local and national efforts must be complemented with international cooperation – whether bilateral, trilateral or multilateral. Unlike in the related areas of biodiversity, desertification and climate change, there is no binding global convention focusing on the protection of forests. Instead, a wide gamut of agreements, commitments and other cooperation arrangements address forest issues in a fragmented way. This makes it essential to map and understand how existing global governance arrangements can be harnessed and built upon to support local, national and regional governments in preserving forest areas and developing more sustainable approaches in such regions.
A project, led by Plataforma CIPÓ – a women-led think tank based in Brazil and dedicated to issues of climate, governance and peacebuilding – with United Nations University Center for Policy Research, has mapped global and regional governance arrangements on forests and other ecosystems relevant to biodiversity and climate change. The purpose of this mapping is to systematize cooperation instruments that form part of international forest governance and, thus, to offer inputs for analyses of challenges and best practices related to the existing frameworks for the preservation and the sustainable management of forest resources.
This mapping provides a non-exhaustive list of multilateral arrangements with special emphasis on the components of each instrument that are directly relevant to forest governance, type of legal authority, actors involved, and comments on the performance, innovations and challenges brought by each instrument.
The arrangements are classified according to the following categories:
This database is not an exhaustive compendium of arrangements, but rather a living document that CIPÓ will periodically update. Users should keep in mind that, due to the rapid changes in legal, political and institutional dynamics in the environmental and climate fields, some entries may not be up to date.
To submit suggestions for arrangements that should appear in the database, please fill out the form found here. Submissions are periodically examined by CIPÓ staff, and the database will be updated accordingly.