Measures to Enhance Forest Conservation

As governments face increasing pressure to protect their forests, a new report highlights the importance of sharing the wins and setbacks of tried and tested action in the Global South.

The report Measures to Enhance Forest Conservation and Reduce Deforestation: Viewpoints and lessons from producing countries published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in February 2024 analyses successes and challenges encountered by five developing countries in their attempts to reduce deforestation and improve forest conservation. From these experiences, it distils seven common findings to help guide governments seeking similar goals in a fast-evolving regulatory context.

The report outlines and compares various policy measures that Costa Rica, Gabon, Indonesia, Peru and Rwanda have put in place to address deforestation and explores the role of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) in complementing them.

It further finds that governments tend to have more success preserving and restoring forests if they use a combination of measures tailored to the local context and targeted at high-risk areas. They also stand to gain from supporting producers with maintaining compliance, mobilising funds from both the public and private sectors, leveraging VSSs to support policies, and using physical and digital monitoring to measure results and flag issues early.

“Environmental issues are getting harder to ignore in the international trade arena,” says Florencia Sarmiento, Policy Analyst, IISD. “Governments must comply with an emerging suite of international regulations and frameworks, including several unilateral trade-related measures, such as due diligence requirements, aimed at tackling deforestation driven by the production and trade of commodities. Many have also started looking into cooperative approaches, such as including forest conservation provisions in free trade agreements.”


Read more and download the report on the IISD website

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