chainsaw curring tree


Financing sustainable forest management

In support of the FAO’s Financing Sustainable Forest Management project, CDI has developed a website and facilitated a number of international workshops to demonstrate how sustainable forest management can be financed.

Sustainable forest management in tropical countries has been one of the FAO’s spearheads for many years. However, in practice many noble plans come to nothing due to the lack of financial resources. The FAO’s Financing Sustainable Forest Management project was set up to change this situation. Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), Wageningen UR has developed a website and workshop that answer the question: How can sustainable forest management be financed?

Tropical countries appreciate the importance of sustainable forest management. However, the financing is often a problem. Funds are usually available to initiate projects, but there is a shortage of investors to continue the projects in the longer term. This situation is due to the tropical forests’ poor image amongst investors, which is caused by the corruption surrounding the felling and sales of wood, as well as the low returns.

The current market mechanisms are focused solely on wood or, conversely, nature management – an approach that yields insufficient returns in order to compete with forms of land use that do not involve wood. A number of Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, have acquired experience with new forms of financing for sustainable forest management. These are based on the combination of a range of functions of the forests and their marketing in a manner which interests the financial sector.

The objective of the FAO’s Financing Sustainable Forest Management project, was to disseminate this knowledge by:

  • the development of a website
  • the development of a workshop
  • the organisation of a workshop

Website and workshop

CDI developed the website and workshop for the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and Tropenbos International. It was decided to compile these in two languages, English and Spanish. The workshops were held in a number of countries, including Namibia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Suriname, and Peru, whereby the FAO bore the responsibility for the recruitment of participants and CDI for the management of the workshops. Excellent experiences were acquired with the workshops. These experiences also served as input for improvements to the content. CDI’s work on the project is now complete, and the responsibility for the websites and the provision of the workshops has been transferred to the FAO.