Civil society sharing lessons on participation and forest governance
When civil society organisations in Indonesia began proposing ways to end illegal logging, they knew they had a mountain to climb. In 2002, some 80 percent of logging there was illegally. Corruption and conflict were widespread. Trust was lacking.
By 2016, however, Indonesia had largely brought its forest sector under control. It now verifies the legality of timber produced in or imported into Indonesia, and requires legality licences for all timber exports. Nongovernmental organisations have a formal role as independent observers of the timber legality assurance system. The transformation would have been impossible without civil society groups participating at every stage of a lengthy and at times intensely political process.
As Mike Jeffree reports in the European Timber Trade Federation newsletter, these groups are now sharing lessons from their hard-won gains with counterparts in other countries – from Ghana to Myanmar. Meanwhile, recent research in four African countries and in Laos points to ways to further improve civil society’s participation in decisions about forest governance.