Researchers release world-first governance standard for forest management

Dr Tim Cadman

Queensland researchers have released a world-first governance standard for forest management including emissions reduction activities in the community forests of Nepal in the lead-up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Marrakech.

Dr Tim Cadman from Griffith University and Dr Tek Maraseni from the University of Southern Queensland, prepared the standard in collaboration with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.

“The governance standard coordinates the relations between the many different stakeholders involved in decision-making around forest management, emissions reductions and important environmental and social safeguards,’’ Dr Cadman said.

“Previously, developed countries have donated money to developing countries but there has been no method in governing how the money is spent. This balances the power relations between the donors and recipients.”

The standard is the result of five years of consultation with multi-stakeholders and is applicable to sustainable development projects occurring in Nepal’s forests including the UNFCCC.

“It also includes reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries,’’ Dr Cadman said.

“A key objective of contemporary forest governance is to promote the sustainable management of forests, which is the process of managing a forest to ensure ongoing ecological processes while also creating economic and social benefits.”

The standard has been developed by multi-stakeholders, including community forest user groups, government and NGOs, and provides a benchmark for evaluating the good governance of development programmes, including stakeholder participation in decision-making, accountability and transparency, and implementation.

More than six hundred international, national, local, and community-level stakeholders have been directly involved in the standard’s development.