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The World Bank’s 2002 Forest Strategy laid down two bold targets, which it saw as the collective outcome of global efforts to promote Sustainable Forest Management, through improving forest governance. First, by 2012/13, a reduction of global illegal logging by 50 percent (from an estimated baseline value of $10 billion per annum); and, second, a 50 percent decrease in the estimated value of taxes, fees, and levies willfully evaded. However, there has been little systematic effort to assess the extent to which these targets have been achieved. This is a drawback (applicable not only to the World Bank but to other development agencies as well) as it limits our ability to learn from evidence and to apply the learning in designing effective interventions.
By looking at a suite of the Bank’s forestry programs and projects (which have significant forest governance components), this report identifies the bottlenecks to improve tracking the impacts of forest governance interventions and suggests ways in which they can be removed and the capacity for impact evaluation (IE) strengthened.
FINDINGS AND RESULTS
The report finds that most Bank financed projects track impacts in forest governance projects almost exclusively through log-frame approaches such as a Results Framework or a Policy Matrix. These have been used to measure progress toward project objectives through the use of performance indicators, coupled with baseline surveys and proposed target values. However, the ex-ante approaches to monitoring and evaluation in Bank projects typically do not try to establish attribution, nor do they systematically track spill-over effects (positive or negative) and leakages resulting from project interventions. They also do not consider the role of “confounding factors” that is, non-project influences, which can influence expected project outcomes. Finally, in most cases impacts are not monitored beyond the life-cycle of the project. Because of these shortcomings the Policy Matrix or Results Framework approaches do not fully measure the impacts of Bank interventions.
The current gaps in being able to measure impacts systematically should not be taken to mean that Bank financed interventions have not had any impacts. However, the need is to develop a culture of measurement whereby impacts are objectively and routinely measured and the learning potential through IE maximized. To this end the report recommends three broad actions:
- Develop a compendium of practical techniques for IE in forestry and raise awareness among project task team leaders. This would demonstrate the value of starting with causal pathways linking the intended outcomes to the necessary inputs and outputs;
- Enhance resources and improve opportunities to embed IE in project design and implementation. The Bank should consider “up-streaming” a discussion of tracking project impacts at the Project Concept Note stage; and,
- Establish a community of practice (CoP) and a help-desk on IE for forestry. Establishing a CoP within and outside the Bank can increase member knowledge by sharing information and experiences to allow for an effective exchange of learning.
Because poverty reduction, improvements in the security of livelihoods, conservation of wildlife and biodiversity, and cross-sectoral collaboration, to name some objectives, go hand-in-hand with interventions to improve forest governance, this report recommends that evaluation approaches should track all activity impacts. Thus, the three actions suggested above should consider tracking impacts more widely than for forest governance alone.
The report acknowledges the main limitations of the analysis. The experiences and the data are all from one institution—the World Bank—and (including as it does, twenty programs and projects) are limited in coverage. Thus, caution has to be exercised in any attempt to draw out general lessons. Nevertheless, this report provides a useful first cut contribution to the challenge of assessing the impacts of forest governance interventions and of assessing impacts more generally. Future work should emphasize collaborative exploration (among development partners assisting with sustainable forest management and key client countries) as a way to build up the evidence base on cost-effective and easy to replicate impact evaluation techniques and to rapidly build up a compendium of practical approaches.
Author : World Bank 
Last Updated : 02-24-2017
The World Bank Group has been successful in reporting on the business and investment climate in developing countries through its Doing Business rankings which look at regulatory systems at the country and sub-national level. PROFOR and other partners have also devoted time and energy in trying to mobilize greater participation of businesses in meeting forest sector economic, social and environmental goals. A conducive investment and business climate would seem to be an essential element in this effort and would help increase the forest sector's contribution to "green growth".
However the regulatory requirements faced by large multinational and small local businesses vary widely; implementation of regulation is often inadequate; and investments in the forest sector may be driven by other factors such as adequate information on the resource base (inventories, land use maps, etc) and whether that resource is accessible (infrastructure, land rights, etc).
PROFOR created and tested a practical tool (methodology) for systematically assessing how administrative and regulatory requirements impact the business climate for investment in wood products and the forest sector more broadly. To develop the tool, PROFOR established a forest investor typology that reflects the needs of both domestic and international strategic investors and small and medium forest enterprises, and reviewed existing investment climate studies and tools and their applicability for forest sector investors.The applicable tools were then tested in Lao PDR and Tanzania to assess demand for such tool tailored to the forest sector, identify gaps in measuring forest investment climate, and understand the value add of a new instrument.
The publication Business Climate for Forest Investments: A Survey provides an overview of a diversity of tools to assess investment climate, their applicability in the forest sector and main gaps, and offers a menu of options for further development to improve methodologies and investment climate for sustainable forest management and wood processing.
Author : PROFOR
Last Updated : 02-24-2017
This PROFOR activity aims to improve stakeholders’ knowledge on the potential for improved and more sustainable management of forest, pasture and other lands owned by lower-level (primaria) local public authorities (LPA) in Moldova. This activity includes addressing the main impediments for LPA collaboration.
Moldova has one of the lowest forest covers in Europe—only 11%. Currently, 81% of forests are owned by the state and managed by Moldsilva (the central public administration body on state policy in forestry and hunting in the country) and its subordinate state forest enterprises. On the other hand, 13% of forests are owned by local public authorities (LPAs), 4% by other state institutions (e.g. Botanical Garden, Central Authority for Waters), and less than 1% is privately owned.
Unregulated harvesting and land degradation in Moldova occurs more in areas under LPA management due to weak and inadequate management. Several World Bank activities have focused on LPA lands, including the development of forest management plans for selected LPA forests and the Moldova Climate Adaptation Project, which is still under preparation. Other donors, such as the European Union ClimaEast Program, have also supported LPAs in their land management. However, concentrated efforts to better understand the capacity and potential of LPAs would help make these support activities more effective. In addition, collaboration among LPAs is fragmented due to the numerous local entities that exist in Moldova, consisting of an estimated 982 incorporated localities and 32 raions (districts) at a higher level. Therefore, PROFOR’s program seeks to improve stakeholders’ knowledge on the potential for improved and more sustainable management of forest, pasture and other land owned by LPAs in Moldova, which will also address impediments to LPA collaboration and strengthen joint resource management.
This PROFOR activity consists of analytical work, field research, and direct technical assistance with the following sequential components:
- Analytical work to collect information on the current forest and land uses and management practices in LPAs. One part of the analytical work will identify the key legal and institutional issues in LPA land management. It will also help identify champions in local communities to be involved in monitoring more sustainable land, pasture, and forest management in the future.
- Gap analysis and model identification will use the analytical work described above to identify key development needs and innovative models (both from Moldova and internationally) that could be tested and replicated in other LPAs. This activity will form the basis for technical assistance in the next phase.
- Testing and technical assistance will be conducted with a selected number of LPAs to test and further develop the models identified above. Hands-on support will be provided on improving management processes, practices, and decision making (including financial planning), while improving communication with community members, and other LPAs and state authorities.
- Knowledge management will involve the collection of lessons learned and presentation of key observations and recommendations to relevant stakeholders.
By accomplishing these components, the program seeks to better inform stakeholders on the requirements for professional management of LPA lands and improved decision making that will lead to more resilient rural production landscapes and related social benefits in Moldova.
This activity is on-going. Results will be reported as the implementation of this project progresses over time.
Last Updated : 07-19-2017
To control and reduce deforestation in the Amazon, the Brazilian government proposed the National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) that has provided a framework to compensate entities protecting the Amazon in a jurisdictional scale (states). In 2015, to support the coordination and implementation of the NRS, the Brazilian government established the National Commission for Reducing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Conservation of Forest Carbon Stocks, Sustainable Management of Forests and Increase in Carbon Stocks Forestry - REDD + (CONAREDD). Formed by representatives of the federal, state and municipal governments, and local and civil society organizations, CONAREDD has worked to advance dialogue and cooperation amongst the various stakeholders and members. However, certain representatives of society, including indigenous people, smallholders and traditional communities are still not fully included in the REDD+ debates. The process of how and to whom the benefits of Brazil’s NRS can be offered and allocated amongst the stakeholders of the Amazon forest states remains largely undetermined and un-informed.
Therefore, a healthy debate about the alternatives for benefit sharing mechanisms for REDD+ that reflects the interests of different social groups in the Amazon is needed. PROFOR’s program seeks to engage with leaders of the Amazon and representatives of the states and federal governments to debate and devise options on benefit sharing that could support the NRS and the REDD+ initiatives of regional states.
PROFOR’s program will work closely with identified local organizations, such as the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), a Brazilian NGO that will be leading many of the activities, to conduct the following:
- Report on the current benefit-sharing mechanisms being used or proposed in Brazil;
- Apply PROFOR’s Options Assessment Framework with stakeholders during a series of workshops to obtain recommendation on the benefit-sharing mechanism to be applied to Brazil’s context;
- Develop an interim report based on stakeholder´s opinions derived from the Framework results;
- Conduct a final workshop to discuss the benefit sharing mechanisms identified;
- Draw a best practice guide to implement the mechanisms identified during the workshops.
RESULTS: This activity is ongoing. Findings will be shared on this page when they become available.
Last Updated : 05-30-2017
Forest Governance Monitoring and Assessment: A Program of Dissemination, Learning and Implementation
Key features of good governance include adherence to the rule of law, transparency, inputs of all stakeholders in decision-making, accountability of all officials, low regulatory burden, and political stability. While it is widely agreed that good governance in the forest sector is an essential requirement for sustainable forest management, there is much less agreement on what comprises good forest governance and how to distinguish good from poor forest governance. Nevertheless, recent years have seen careful research and serious thinking on these issues, which has moved the international community of practice to a point of relatively robust agreement regarding the scope of what constitutes good forest governance and how to measure the quality of forest governance in a specific setting. However, the challenge that the international community faces is that the knowledge on the what of forest governance has not been widely and effectively disseminated, nor has the how of forest governance been piloted and implemented as extensively as the expected benefits to such application would merit. Without such a consolidated information base, countries are hampered in their ability to undertake steps to apply good governance and assessments to achieving sustainable forest management (SFM). This activity seeks to address these shortcoming.
The activities included in this program are organized under two pillars:
(i) Dissemination, knowledge sharing and skills enhancement:
- Translation of the 2014 publication of Assessing Forest Governance: A Practical Guide to Data Collection, Analysis, and Use, also called the “Assessment Guide,” into Spanish and French. This Assessment Guide will provide the foundation in which to develop the other listed products.
- E-learning course
- Bite-sized learning products (blogs, podcasts)
- Outreach (e.g. international conferences)
(ii) Initiating and improving action in countries: The team will support advanced country-specific training and implementation of measurement approaches that empower countries to embed forest governance in operations, improving their effectiveness and creating additional investment opportunities in the sector.
Results to date include the following:
- The e-learning course on forest governance was offered 3 times—in January, June and October of 2016.
- The French translation of the assessment guide was completed.
- Completed a Forest Governance diagnostics exercise in Mozambique, which has informed the design of its Forest Investment Program (FIP).
- Organized a role-playing exercise- Scoring Forest Governance Indicators- for FIP country teams to learn about PROFOR’s forest governance monitoring and assessment tool, at the FIP Pilot Countries Meeting, Oaxaca, Mexico, June 12-14, 2016.
Last Updated : 02-28-2017
At the heart of whether growth in a country is green and sustainable is the issue of accumulation of wealth. It is wealth — broadly defined to include manufactured capital, natural capital (including forests), human and social capital— that underlies the generation of national income. Gross domestic product (GDP) has conventionally been used to assess economic performance, measuring economic growth from one year to the next. But GDP does not take into account depreciation and depletion of wealth, and therefore does not provide an indication of whether growth is sustainable: an economy could appear to be growing in the near term by running down its assets such as its forests. Assessments of economic performance should therefore be based on both measures of annual growth (such as GDP) and measures of the comprehensive wealth of a country, which indicate whether that growth is sustainable in the long term.
For the past 15 years, the World Bank has provided indicators to measure the sustainability of a country’s growth path, such as Adjusted Net Saving (ANS), adjusted Net National Income (aNNI), and comprehensive wealth estimates. Underpinning these indicators are data on natural resource rents (from forests, minerals, and energy) which provide policy makers with information on potential revenues from natural capital.
The comprehensive wealth accounts, which have been published for 1995, 2000, and 2005, include estimates for forest wealth which is calculated as the sum of the net present value of rents from timber extraction and annual benefits from non-timber resources, including minor forest products, hunting, recreation, and watershed protection. ANS, which is published annually and covers the period 1970-present, is defined as net national saving adjusted for investments in human capital, depletion of natural resources (including forests), and damages to human health caused by pollution, and provides an estimate of the annual change in wealth.
Recent findings suggest that while wealth data and ANS data are used by researchers and policy analysts, the greatest demand is for data on natural resource rents. However, while minerals and energy rent data have gained a lot of traction, rent data for forests are not used as frequently. Interviews have revealed concerns with the credibility of the underlying data, such as the FAO data on forest area and growing stock. The authors of the indicators have also concluded that a number of methodological changes could improve estimates for forest wealth, potential forest rents, and net forest depletion.
This activity hopes to increase the use of improved World Bank forest data (forest rents, net forest depletion, and forest wealth), so that countries and data users are better equipped with credible and more accurate information on the physical area and value of forest resources. Countries should consider not just the flow of revenues from forest resources, but also the sustainable management of the asset (stock of forest resources).
- Data on the value of forest wealth, its share in total wealth, and how the value is changing over time can help governments assess the contribution of forests to current development outcomes and whether forests are being managed sustainably.
- Data on potential forest rents when combined with information on actual rent recovery and use of these revenues will allow governments to assess whether contribution of forest resources to sustainable development is being realized and who is benefitting from the revenue. Such data and assessments can equip policymakers to better manage forest resources, improve forest governance, increase transparency in the rent captured, and ultimately lead to increased reinvestment of forest rents in other forms of capital to grow the total wealth of the country.
- These policy changes could, in turn, promote the sustainable management of forest resources for poverty reduction and economic growth.
The activity has been successfully completed.
A report is being finalized and will be released soon. The report reviews the latest literature, explores improved data sources, evaluates key parameters and assumptions in the methodology, and outlines the steps and resources required to improve the data and methods.
An implementation plan for updating the forest database that includes a plan for country surveys if the report finds insufficient global data will be finalized in the coming months.
Author : PROFOR , WAVES , RFF 
Last Updated : 02-24-2017
Improved watershed management will be crucial to meet growing food demand in India, for example by: recharging local aquifers and improving downstream water flows; decreasing soil erosion; increasing agricultural productivity; and helping farmers adapt to climate change. Experts believe that an additional 102 million tons of food grains need to be produced annually by 2020 to meet national nutritional needs under moderate population growth forecasts, 38 million tons of which will need to come from either rainfed lands or imports.
However, rainfed regions have lagged far behind and have experienced severe resource degradation due to inappropriate land use, poor husbandry and low investments. Longer-term climate change adds another worrying dimension. Climate change requires new adaptation measures by farmers, especially small and marginal farmers who are the most vulnerable to these forecast impacts.
The Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP), financed through the Department of Land Resources, currently forms the cornerstone of the Government of India's support to watershed development, covering 27 states and proposing to invest over US$6.6 billion through a 10-year period to 2017. Besides the IWMP, a number of other centrally financed schemes are related to watershed management, agriculture and rural livelihoods, which to varying degrees address development needs in rainfed areas. The IWMP has been slowly rolling out and expanding its reach across India since 2009. But, it has not delivered expected results evenly across the country or to the desired levels. In moving forward to improve the IWMP model and execution, a number of key issues outlined recently by the Planning Commission and various other reports/experts have been identified.
Two key issues are:
Fragmented programming and partial solutions. Given their ecological characteristics, developing rainfed areas requires a broad watershed approach. Large budgets are now available for IWMP and several other schemes for the development of rainfed areas within the Ministry of Rural Development. However, each of these is conceived and implemented in departmental silos without unified mechanisms for coordination and convergence. As a result, these programs do not lead to area development, potential synergies are lost, and investments, interventions and results remain sub-optimal.
Narrow planning scale. The IWMP is executed through clusters of micro-watersheds (each usually 500 ha to 700 ha) covering an average of 5,000 ha. This scale is appropriate for participatory planning and implementation communities. However, a larger landscape assessment/planning framework ranging up to 25,000 ha is also needed where broader land and water issues can be identified, and a more coordinated approach developed to converge government schemes with the IWMP. The current IWMP model also does not fully incorporate surface and groundwater assessments into management and monitoring activities to guide integrated planning at sub-watershed and micro-watershed scales.
This activity aims to address some of the issues above by helping to:
- Improve intra- and inter-ministerial convergence in watershed management in India;
- Develop landscape level catchment assessment/planning methods and guidelines for India; and
- Disseminate knowledge on good practices in watershed management building on a draft report prepared under a previous PROFOR activity.
The activity was successfully completed. The final report “Catchment Assessment and Planning for Watershed Management” is now available to the left along with a summary report. A launch workshop was held in Washington, D.C., in October 2014. A similar workshop was held in Delhi in December 2014. One article based on this work was published in a national journal in India. In addition the “Operational Guidelines for Benchmarking Watershed Management Outcomes” prepared by the Ministry of Rural Development of India and the World Bank discussion paper “Watershed Development in India: An Approach Evolving through Experience” can be downloaded from this page.
Some key insights and lessons are:
- Micro-watersheds are the appropriate scale for program implementation with communities, with guidance by larger scale catchment assessments.
- Decentralized and participatory development is a necessary approach for success.
- Invest in participatory, evidence-based micro-watershed plans with communities.
- Invest in capacity building and information sharing to build sustainability and a body of knowledge.
- Invest in comprehensive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to track implementation and support management.
Author : World Bank
Last Updated : 02-24-2017
The Government of Mexico has recently approved an ambitious Plan (PRONAFOR 2014-2018) with a vision to transform the forest sector into a competitive and socially-inclusive sector that would boost rural economy in Mexico. To achieve its objectives the PRONAFOR is based on a transversal approach, which contemplates the collaboration and coordination of its activities with a number of other government entities, including the Ministry of Agriculture. However, the multiplicity of government actors operating in the rural sector in Mexico under a set of dispersed and fragmented functions makes the necessary inter-sectoral coordination mechanisms difficult to materialize at the operational level, since experience with such mechanisms is scarce. Disseminating information and learning from the experience of successful models that have achieved territorial integration both within Mexico and abroad, will be important in order to promote the landscape approach envisioned by PRONAFOR.
The main objective of this activity is to equip stakeholders with information and good practices for handling challenges and opportunities to implementing a multi-sectoral and inter-institutional landscape approach. This will be done by creating a space for multi-stakeholder dialogue and analysis around the challenges and opportunities for the implementation of PRONAFOR’s landscape approach. In particular, a workshop will be coordinated and focus on the multi-sectoral and inter-institutional coordination mechanisms that are required in order to allow for the implementation of the different sectoral programs in an integrated manner at the territorial level.
The forum, held April 7-8, 2015, in Mexico City, gathered decision makers from the various sector administrations (agriculture, forest, finance) and levels of government (federal, state, local), as well as representatives from the civil society and the private sector. Three international experts were invited to present different experiences related to sustainable productive landscapes and to share successful experiences and knowledge focusing mainly on how different sectors interact in the territory and how different activities may be aligned in order to promote sustainable and integrated rural development. In total, 50 people attended the forum.
The report “Modelo de Intervención en las Áreas de Acción Temprana REDD+” was distributed by the National Commission on Forests (CONAFOR) in advance of the forum, guided the discussions during the two-day forum.
As a result of the forum, CONAFOR and the Ministry of Agriculture (SAGARPA) agreed on a road map (ruta crítica) to enhance collaboration both at the federal and local levels. Minutes of the forum (including the road map) were published on CONAFOR’s website. Further dissemination was done (by CONAFOR and the Bank – see the blog “Many challenges – Many rewards: working together to strengthen forest sector in Mexico”.
Last Updated : 02-24-2017
PROFOR and the World Bank
A benefit-sharing mechanism among relevant stakeholders defines who will receive benefits, in what form they will be received (i.e., monetary or non-monetary benefits) and when they will be received. Establishing well-functioning mechanisms is important for providing effective incentives to participants for undertaking - or refraining from - specified actions. In other words, benefit-sharing mechanisms fundamentally determine how stakeholders contribute to resource management; sustainability; and the way desirable development outcomes are generated, distributed and reinvested. While establishing effective and equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms in the forest sector is clearly important, it has been a severe challenge in many countries, especially in those countries that lack the institutional and legal foundation to secure land, forest and carbon rights, or who fail to identify and provide proper incentives for sustainable forest management.
The major objective of this activity is to develop country roadmaps for benefit-sharing arrangements using PROFOR’s Options Assessment Framework, which employs a participatory approach to analyze and improve benefit-sharing arrangements. This technical assistance initially aimed to target three countries in Latin America, Africa and East Asia.
The activity was successfully developed and implemented in close cooperation with CONAFOR, the key agency responsible for overseeing the REDD+ program in Mexico. Key milestones achieved include:
- Preparing and reviseing the initial country background report to accommodate comments from the World Bank, the PROFOR team and CONAFOR;
- Adaptating the PROFOR tool to fit the context of Mexico's REDD+ progress and focus;
- Hosting a webinar in order to receive feedback on the content of the country report;
- Revising the country background report to accommodate comments from the webinar from actors involved in the REDD+ process in Mexico, such as federal and state government, NGOs, and academia;
- Holding a regional workshop focused on the core scoring exercise of the tool. The workshop took place in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico given its status as an Early REDD+ Action Area. The national workshop in Mexico City, Mexico then discussed, validated and refined the results from the regional workshop, with a policy-oriented angle. The project was later presented as a forum session at the World Forestry Congress in Durban in September 2015.
The activity as a whole is a road map to guide Mexico in the establishment of an appropriate benefit sharing mechanism for REDD+. Please see the final project report at left for details.
In parallel, Uganda is being explored as a possible second country.
Author : PROFOR and the World Bank
Last Updated : 02-24-2017
Forest governance reforms create “winners” and “losers.” Losers oppose the reforms and will likely sabotage the reform process. Would-be reformers must offset the resistance of losers. This is not easy since the losers are, typically, a small, well-entrenched and politically powerful group that can organize and act forcefully, while potential winners are part of a much larger and more scattered group, and less capable of organizing themselves for collective action, even when they stand to be directly affected directly. The success of reform often hinges on being able to overcome the resistance of the losers, strengthen demand for good governance and get the support of potential winners. But how can a development agency, in practice, increase the probability of success of reform initiatives?
Thus, a review of political economy analysis (PEA), or the technique “concerned with the interaction of political and economic processes in a society”, was carried out to assess the applicability of different PEA frameworks onto different forestry governance development projects.
This activity examines a range of political economy issues arising from forest governance reform attempts, and offers suggestions on how resistance can be mitigated and the support from would-be winners strengthened to reduce the risks of sabotage. More specifically, the activity produces:
- A detailed review of literature and available experiences in forestry and other relevant sectors
- A focus group workshop at the World Bank to gather inputs from Bank staff on their experience and understanding of political economy issues and hands on practice on one of the political economy frameworks.
The final paper "The Political Economy of Decision-making in Forestry: Using Evidence and Analysis for Reform" is now available. The report is based on two workshops , featuring Net-Map, the most practical and result –proven technique in governance reform.
The paper reviews eight PEA approaches: DFID’s Drivers of Change, ODI’s sector level analysis, The World Bank Group’s Political Economy of Policy Reform and Problem-driven Governance and Political Economy Analysis, Strategic Governance and Corruption Analysis, SIDA’s Power analysis, the Agent-Based Stakeholder Model, and Net-Map. Each of these approaches is analyzed based on four factors, pertinent to the forest sector: practicality, relevance, robustness and adaptability.
- Practicality: encompassing factors such as time, resources, or capacity.
- Relevance: refers to usefulness of the technique for project planning, implementation, and monitoring or evaluation.
- Robustness: refers to credibility and replicability of the technique.
- Adaptability: refers to how flexible the technique is, at different level of analysis and applicability of the technique multi-sector analysis.
Based on the specificity of the project that each of the technique is chosen, however, there is only one framework that has been directly applied in forest sector (Net-Map). Understanding that PEA can lead to long term impact, one recommendation from the report is to promote the use of PEA at corporate level, and building up evidence based on how PEA contributes to better outcomes in the sector.
Last Updated : 02-07-2017