Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


GOFOR — Result In Brief

Project ID: 6447
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Austria

Governing forest sustainability

Modes of governance are changing as policymaking evolves and Europe integrates its laws. Sustainable forestry can certainly benefit from these new directions.
Governing forest sustainability
Europe's forests are in danger from a different number of sources, including loggers, natural disasters and haphazard development. The EU-funded project 'New modes of governance for sustainable forestry in Europe' (GOFOR) assessed governance in producing policies and recommendations related to forest management. It looked at existing practices, assumptions and preferences of policy actors, as well as socioeconomic, political and ecological considerations that impact governance.

GOFOR aimed to produce effective recommendations for implementing new modes of governance in this field. To achieve this it outlined these modes and assessed their operationalisation. It also demonstrated that governance theory offers great potential in opening up alternative ways and perspectives for interpreting political institutions and political decision-making processes, as well as policy contents and instruments.

Project partners underlined how process design, complexity and uncertainty in governance are linked to one other. To measure the effects of governance processes, it analysed outputs, impacts and outcomes. The outputs included new policy documents, laws, strategies and plans, although actual biophysical outcomes were harder to measure.

The project concluded that policymaking culture should become increasingly participatory, involving more stakeholders. It also revealed how governance on local and regional levels is being influenced by international and European policies and agreements.

New modes of governance studied included decentralisation, as well as the shift of competences, negotiation and decision making arenas to more global and European political-administrative levels. The project also noted that traditional political decision making in closed circles among politicians, administrative officials and organised interest groups is giving way to more transparent governance.

Lastly, GOFOR recommended that governance in sustainable forestry become more participative, involving surveys, non-governmental organisation (NGO) cooperation, advisory boards, etc. New modes would also involve inter-sectoral coordination (ISC), particularly regarding environmental and natural resource policy, supporting integrative policymaking.

GOFOR has revealed important insight into modes of government and paved the way for better governance paradigms. This will help the forestry sector and the environment to improve sustainability.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top