Topic 2: Forest Governance and Rights


As with forest ecosystem services, forest governance is such an important area that it has been given its own course within this program. The objective here is to provide a brief overview of some of the major issues facing forest governance, but to gain a full understanding, you should complete the course on “International dialogue on forestry issues”.

There has been much discussion in global arenas of forest policies that might help encourage sustainable forest management. These have been hindered by the many different perspectives that exist on forest management, making any form of global convention difficult. Yet the last criterion of the Montreal process specifically looks at the presence of a legal framework that encourages and enables forest conservation and the sustainable management of forests.

You will also examine here how these global discussions percolate downwards to the forest management unit. It might be easy to think that global conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity might have no influence on the way an individual manages a forest, but such an assumption would be incorrect. You will also find material relevant to this topic in the course on “Forest governance, public relations and community development”.

As in the first Topic in this module, we will use Australia as a case study. The extent to which this criterion is assessed varies markedly between jurisdictions: in Canada’s national set of criteria and indicators, the issue is not addressed, and there are only six criteria, equating approximately to the first six Montreal Process criteria.

Video Lectures

5.2.1 Governance in Australia


Textbook Reading:

There is a large amount of material that has been published on this topic, and you will some of it referred to in Chapter 12 of the course text. You will also find information about the changing role of stakeholders and the importance of public participation in Chapter 11 of the course text, although this is examined in more detail in the first topic in this module.

  • Innes, J., & Tikina, A. (Eds.). (2014). Sustainable forest management: From principles to practice. London: Earthscan Publications. ISBN: 1844077241

Further Reading:

  • Arnold, F.-E., van der Werf, N., & Rametsteiner, E. (2014). Strengthening evidence-based forest policy-making: Linking forest monitoring with national forest programmes. Forest Policy and Institutions Working Paper 33. Rome: FAO. Retrieved from
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2011). Framework for assessing and monitoring forest governance. Rome: FAO. Retrieved from
  • Garforth, M., & Myers, J. (2005). Plantations, privatization, poverty and power: Changing ownership and management of state forests. London: Earthscan. ISBN10 1844071510; ISBN13 9781844071517
  • Gibson, C.C., McKean, M.A., & Ostrom, E. (Eds.). (2000). People and forests: Communities, institutions, and governance. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN-10:0262571374; ISBN-13: 978-0262571371
  • Moeliono, M., Wollenberg, E., & Limberg, G. (Eds.). (2009). The decentralization of forest governance: Politics, economics and the fight for control of forests in Indonesian Borneo. London: Earthscan. Retrieved from
  • Myers, J., Morrison, E., Rolington, L., Studd, K., & Turrall, S. (2013). Improving governance of forest tenure: A practical guide. Governance of Tenure Technical Guide No. 2. London and Rome: International Institute for Environment and Development, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved from
  • Pescott, M.J., Durst, P.B., & Leslie, R.N. (Eds.). (2010). Forest law enforcement and governance: Progress in Asia and the Pacific. RAP Publication 2010/05. Bangkok: FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Retrieved from
  • Pierce Colfer, C.J., & Pfund, J.-L. (Eds.). (2011). Collaborative governance of tropical landscapes. London: Earthscan. ISBN : 978-1-84971-177-7
  • Pierce Colfer, C.J., Ram Dahal, G., & Capistrano, D. (Eds.). (2008). Lessons from forest decentralization. Money, justice and the quest for good governance in Asia-Pacific. London: Earthscan. ISBN: 978-1-844075553
  • Tacconi, L. (Ed.). (2008). Illegal logging: Law enforcement, livelihoods and the timber trade. London: Earthscan. ISBN: 978-1-84407-348-1


Module V - Topic 2: Self-test

Quiz Description:

The following self-test quiz is designed to check your understanding of important learning concepts for this topic. The quiz contains ten multiple choice questions. There is no time limit for you to take the quiz and you may attempt to take it as many times as you like. After you click the Submit button, you will see your Grade, number of Correct Answers, your answers, and the Answer Key for each question.

Quiz Instructions:

While you are taking the quiz, we advise you not referring to any course materials. After you Submit your answers, you may self-reflect the missing points, review relevant contents as necessary, and retake the quiz again until you get the full points

Answer the following questions to see how well you have remembered what you learnt in this topic: