UN presents new checklist to manage forest stocks

UN presents new checklist to manage forest stocks

Ensuring good governance of the world's forest resources is key to combating climate change
Everyone knows that trees are good for the environment and that well-run forests might become lucrative under emerging climate change mitigation schemes. But how do you know if you have a good forest going, or not?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank today released a checklist that may solve that problem by helping countries assess the governance of their forest resources.

“The ability to demonstrate good governance in forestry is becoming increasingly important for countries wishing to participate in emerging climate change mitigation schemes,” FAO said.

The new guidance framework “provides countries with a comprehensive checklist they can use to identify and address problems in governance of forest resources. It can also be used to help ensure that efforts to reduce emissions from forests in developing countries are properly managed.”

The Framework for Assessing and Monitoring Forest Governance covers policy, legal, institution and regulatory frameworks; planning and decision-making processes; implementation, enforcement, and compliance. It also grades performance in accountability, effectiveness, efficiency, fairness, participation, and transparency.

“Good governance in forestry determines whether forest resources are used efficiently, sustainably, and equitably,” said Eva Muller of FAO’s Forestry Department. “This framework outlines a systematic approach that countries and forest managers can use to identify areas of weakness, devise and implement suitable responses, and monitor results.”

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, developing countries would be offered incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and to increase carbon sequestration through planting new forests, forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

North-South financial flows for greenhouse gas emission reductions from the plan could reach up to $30 billion a year and provide a considerable boost for rural development, FAO said.