In this issue...updates from Forest Connect and the China-Africa Forest Governance Project and information about our latest briefing papers and reports.
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The forests newsletter is sent out quarterly with updates on our work to improve forest livelihoods and ensure forests are managed in a fair and sustainable way.

News and blogs

Forest Connect

It has already been a busy year for Forest Connect but there is plenty more to come. In January we held the fourth international workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam with our partners the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC). Read our blog about how Locally controlled forestry enterprises could teach us all a thing or two and the full workshop report Organisation for locally controlled forest business – learning from success. We are currently working on a compendium ‘Democratising forest business’ which will be launched at the World Forestry Congress in Durban this September. Finally we are developing a global analytical framework on barriers to, and risk management strategies for, locally controlled forest enterprises, which will be applied to three national contexts in Asia and Africa.

Communities stumped as government fails to make loggers pay

Read a recent blog which looks at why the Forest Commission is failing to review stumpage fees in Ghana leading to millions of dollars of lost revenue.

Mozambique's forest theatre – how will the play end?

Read how we are engaging with local logging patrons in Mozambique by addressing deforestation with the very people whose livelihoods depend on trees.

Our work

China-Africa Forest Governance Project (CAFGoP)

The China-Africa Forest Governance Project (CAFGoP) is a multi-country project contributing to improving forest governance, by promoting better policy and sustainable trade and investment practice in China and Africa in ways that foster good stewardship of forest resources and benefit local communities.  Through research, dialogue and joint action the project will generate evidence, strengthen capacity and dialogue, improve policy in China and Africa and investment practice of Chinese investors in support of resilient African land use and a sustainable China-Africa forest products trade. Working with partners in China, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Uganda, this project builds on the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform that IIED launched with partners in 2013.
Following the success of this first event, IIED and its partners have now announced the upcoming second learning event of the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform event, to be held 22-25 June 2015 in Yaoundé and Kribi, Cameroon. Its objective is to identify actions for prosperity and sustainability of Chinese trade and investment in Africa’s forests. The event will be co-hosted by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife of the Government of Cameroon, the Centre for Environment and Development, the Chinese Academy of Forestry, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and IIED. Participants are expected from government and international agencies, academia, civil society and the private sector.

Publications and briefings

Governments need to lead the way for REDD+ delivery

Countries are establishing strong policy and institutional arrangements to develop REDD+ strategies. However they face a number of challenges and government regulation and leadership in financing REDD+ is vital. This briefing describes why governments must capitalise on policies and resources to galvanise cross-sector coordination towards a sustainable development path.

Natural resources governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This report highlights both key provisions and major challenges of natural resource legislation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It suggests potential ways in which local communities, particularly marginalised populations, can play a prominent role in shaping inclusive, sustainable and equitable development.

Arguing forests: the story of FGLG Indonesia

This report presents the story of Indonesia FGLG, one of ten in-country partners that form the international Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG). By providing an in-depth and personal insight into its activities and achievements, the report recounts the setbacks and successes experienced by FGLG Indonesia as it has evolved from a group of young, concerned foresters through to its current status as a multi-stakeholder forum.

Exploring demand-side measures for the reduction of deforestation in Kenya and Tanzania

Tanzania and Kenya are experiencing high levels of deforestation and forest degradation due to the unsustainable extraction of forest products including timber and charcoal. In 2014, a workshop was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with the objective of sharing and capitalising on the results of a scoping study on the topic. This event report synthesises the proceedings and results of that workshop.

Partner spotlight

Earth Innovation Institute

IIED invited Earth Innovation Institute to present a successful case study of a locally controlled forest business at the Fourth International Forest Connect workshop in Vietnam on 15-18th January. This was an opportunity for our colleagues at Earth Innovation Institute to share their work on using sustainable practices in economic growth whilst keeping forests intact.

Earth Innovation Institute have also contributed a successful business model case study for an IIED compendium for small medium forest enterprises which will be launched at the World Forest Congress 2015 in Durban on 7-11th September.
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