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ETFRN News 55: Linking FLEGT and REDD+ to Improve Forest Governance

Unlocking the potential for synergies between FLEGT and REDD+
An inventory of experiences from around the world

The great potential for synergies between FLEGT and REDD+ has yet to be achieved in practice. This is the conclusion of the recently published ETFRN News “Linking FLEGT and REDD+ to Improve Forest Governance”. The publication presents 22 experiences and viewpoints from around the world about the linkages between FLEGT, REDD+ and other international forest management initiatives.

In recent years, FLEGT and REDD+ have emerged as the two most prominent international processes to conserve tropical forests. Avoiding overlap and duplication, and better still, creating synergies is important to make sure that these two promising initiatives achieve their ambitious goals. Increased cooperation between the initiatives at the national level could advance forest governance reforms, strengthen stakeholder engagement and balance competing interests, such as using forests for local development, generating revenue and income, biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration.

FLEGT and REDD+ both aim to address the drivers of forest loss in tropical countries, although with different approaches and methods: FLEGT focuses on combating illegal logging and REDD+ aims to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and enhance carbon stocks. Both initiatives are relatively new and still evolving. They are expected to demonstrate their potential in the next few years and may well foster real change in the land-use sector. As FLEGT and REDD+ initiatives continue to develop and accumulate experience, it is vital to learn from this and share the lessons learned.

Also, interactions between FLEGT and REDD+ are starting to emerge. As described in the 22 articles in this ETFRN News, there is a great potential for synergies between various initiatives, but translating this potential into practice seems challenging. To maximize synergies between FLEGT and REDD+ good communication and continued collaboration between all stakeholders needs to be ensured. Better integration and coordination of the FLEGT and REDD+ processes into national forest policy planning as well as better consideration of the strengths and limitations of both processes can be a way to promote the establishment of effective linkages.

This issue of ETFRN News contributes to a better understanding of the existing and potential linkages between various forest initiatives, and of how synergies can be fostered to improve land use governance and promote more efficient implementation FLEGT and REDD+. This will benefit both the forests and the people who depend on them.

The ETFRN News “Linking FLEGT and REDD+ to Improve Forest Governance” can be downloaded at:

This ETFRN News was jointly produced by Tropenbos International and ETFRN and has been made possible through financial contributions from the European Commission; the European Forest Institute’s EU REDD Facility; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); and the Government of the Netherlands.

The European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN – aims to ensure that European research contributes to conservation and sustainable use of forest and tree resources in tropical and subtropical countries. ETFRN promotes a dialogue between researchers, policy-makers and forest users, the increased coherence of European tropical forest research, and the increased collaboration with researchers in developing countries through partnerships and other forms of capacity building.

Contact Guido Broekhoven ( or Marieke Wit ( for further information.

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Marieke Wit
27 March 2014

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