Topic 5 General Principles Governing the Negotiation Process, Negotiation in Practice, and Forest Diplomacy


One of the most difficult tasks facing intergovernmental organizations is the design of multi-lateral treaties or conventions in general. The dilemma is to create a treaty strong enough to be effective, yet attractive and rewarding for countries to negotiate, join, ratify, and implement.

Political scientists have identified some basic stages of development for an international agreement. Awareness of environmental concerns with possible global implications is the initial catalyst for any forest-related action, and leads into the general stages of issue definition, fact-finding, and bargaining on regime creation, i.e. negotiation of the convention.

Video Lecture

Please view the following voice-over-ppt presentations and videos for this topic.

Module 2 Lecture 5 Part 1: Developing a Convention


Module 2 Lecture 5 Part 2: Obstacles for Compliance, the Cast of Characters, and Features of Negotiations


Module 2 Lecture 5 Video 1: Forest China (05) Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest


Module 2 Lecture 5 Video 2: Free Forestry Software in the Battle against Climate Change



  • Galbraith, J. (2013). Treaty Options: Towards a Behavioral Understanding of Treaty Design. Virginia Journal of International Law Association Volume 53(2), 309-362. Retrieved from
  • Agarwal, A., Narain, S., Sharma, A., & Imchen, A. (2001). Global environmental negotiations 2: Poles apart.New Delhi: Centre for Science and Environment. ISBN-10: 8186906231; ISBN-13: 978-8186906231

Reflection Questions

Please answer the following self-reflection questions. After formulating your answers, you may post them online at the Knowledge Café for this course as a way to share your ideas and glean knowledge from other students’ responses.

  1. Reflect on positions of some developing countries who are often hesitant to commit to legally binding action to address an environmental issue.
  2. What types of compensation do developing countries need to ensure that they will be able to meet the international obligations they take on related to SFM?