Forest Governance

The concept of forest governance does not have a universal agreed-upon definition, and the utilization of the term ranges from direct reference to governments, to more broad concepts of norms, processes, instruments, people, and organizations that shape interactions with forests. This includes arrangements found in cultural traditions, laws, markets, and bureaucracies, which can influence how forests are managed, protected, and used. Elements of “good forest governance” (according to PROFOR- the Program on Forests) are considered to include transparency, lack of corruption, accountability of officials, stakeholder participation, and political stability. In recent years, additional efforts have been focused on assessing quality of governance of countries and organizations, as these elements are seen as critical to ensure sustainable forest management, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce illegal activity. 

Examples of what forest governance encompasses include regional laws, multilateral treaties, trade agreements, and protected areas, which affect issues of trade, markets, land tenure, forest carbon, biodiversity, and logging rights. As the issues, treaties, organizations, and politics surrounding forest governance vary widely around the world, the Global Forest Atlas presents a country-by-country summary on of forest governance in our focal regions. Explore forest governance in the Amazon, the Congo, or browse by country below:



FAO. (n.d.) Forest governance assessment and monitoring. Retrieved from:  

Kishor, Nalin and Kenneth Rosenbaum. (2012). Assessing and Monitoring Forest Governance: A user’s guide to a diagnostic tool. Washington DC: Program on Forests (PROFOR).