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ITTO, FAO Publish Brief on Forest Governance and Climate Change Mitigation

March 2010: The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have published a policy brief summarizing the main findings of five workshops that aimed to promote a multi-sectoral dialogue among countries on improving forest law compliance.

The brief highlights lessons learned from experiences on the ground and sets out the key elements of an approach to forest law compliance and governance that will ensure the optimal role of forests in mitigating climate change. The key messages that emerged from the five workshops, which were jointly funded and convened by ITTO and FAO in Southeast Asia, West Africa, Central Africa, the Amazon Basin and Mesoamerica between August 2006 and July 2008, include that: forest-related laws need to be harmonized with those in other sectors; and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) requires effective forest governance and clarifying rights to land, forests and carbon.

The policy brief highlights the causes of poor forest law compliance, including failings in the policy and legal frameworks, insufficient enforcement, lack of information, corruption, and market distortions. It also states that REDD initiatives should build on the lessons learned through forest law enforcement, governance and trade initiatives. [The Brief]