Improving forest resource management

Managing forest resources
Managing forests sustainably
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends:

1. Rationalizing and strengthening administrative structures and mechanisms, including provision of adequate levels of staff and allocation of responsibilities, decentralization of decision-making, provision of infrastructural facilities and equipment, intersectoral coordination and an effective system of communication:
2. Analysis and identification of possibilities for economic integration of agricultural and forestry activities, as well as of water and fisheries, and taking effective measures to encourage forest management and growing of trees by farmers (farm forestry) as an option for resource development.
The Statement of Forest Principles was agreed at UNCED in 1992. Countries are encouraged to prepare national plans for sustainable forestry.

The goal of national [Tropical Forestry Action Programmes] (TFAP) is to promote partnerships to manage, protect and restore forest resources and lands in developing countries. A national TFAP exercise is expected to result in informed decisions and action programmes with explicit national targets on: (a) policies and practices to halt deforestation; (b) the contribution of forest resources and lands to sustainable economic development through afforestation and forest management; (c) the conservation of forest resources and lands; and (d) the integration of forest-related issues in the needs and priorities of other sectors. These exercises are initiated and carried out by countries -- of the order of 90 plans completed or in progress in 1993.

The country's capacity to carry out the operation is crucial; therefore, country capacity projects are initiated as early as possible in order to strengthen national self-reliance. The undertaking starts with a planning phase (consisting of a comprehensive multisectoral review of forest-related issues) that leads to the formulation of a long-term forest policy and strategy as well as a mid-term national forestry action plan. An implementation phase follows, in which policy measures, programmes and projects are implemented. Round tables involving governmental bodies, NGOs, donor countries and agencies, international organizations and multilateral financial institutions are held at different stages of planning and implementation.

Master plans for forestry development (MPFDs) are linked to the TFAP effort, but are carried out with the support of the Asian Development Bank for its member countries (Nepal, Bhutan, Philippines, China, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan). The MPFDs are schemes for long-term development of the forestry sector, including a five-year plan and annual programmes and projects for implementation The goals are to increase institutional capacity in these countries, coordinate donor assistance, and increase funding for forestry. Most MPFDs require a national assessment of forest resources and forest policies. The Finnish International Development Agency (FINNIDA) has financed a number of country assessments and studies< The Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), aims to strengthen national capacity for research to support optimal use of forest and forest lands; improve worldwide scientific basis for decisions influencing forests and forest lands; develop technologies so that yields of forest goods and services are increased, a sustainability is assured and resulting benefits are equitably distributed to all sectors of society.

Sustainable development
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies