Work Package 4


Forest Governance is regarded as key topic for reducing deforestation and degradation in the tropics. International forest policy processes support the concept. Forest Governance is perceived as broad and comprehensive approach, including (i) legislation and institutions (ii) tenure and use rights (iii) land use planning, as well as (iv) benefit sharing and incentives.

In many countries promising frameworks have de jure been created during the last decades. However, the de facto situation on the ground is often challenging. Specifically institutional structures are ineffective or missing and law enforcement is limited. This creates a weak basis for the development of sustainable policy approaches.

Research questions

  • Can areas with promising de jure structures (legal framework, responsibilities, institutions, formal tenure rights) be identified and distinguished from those requiring more development?
  • What are the de facto differences to these formally defined structures? How can governance be spatially defined and described?
  • Which are facilitators, barriers and constraints for development and implementation of forest governance at different scales?
  • Which governance indicators are applicable at different institutions? What relevance does participation play? How to support stakeholder participation?
  • Does ‘good governance’ affect forest condition and the socio-economic environmentof local land users (in combination with WP 2 and 3)?


The project combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. On one hand, it relies on indicator systems developed under the auspices of the Worldbank (KISHOR, KENNETH 2012) or by the World Resources Institute (DAVIS ET AL. 2013).

On the other hand qualitative methods and expert judgment are indispensable (e.g. WERTZ-KANOUNNIKOFF,MCNEILL 2012). The de jure situation is documented and analyzed based on literature studies; additional informationis assessed in the countries at different scales (national, regional, local, households).

De facto governance is assessed through expert interviews and participating observation. On national and community level decision makers are identified and asked for interviews. On community level workshops will provide a basis for participatory rural appraisals. Household interviews are used for triangulation and acquisition of detail information. Governance information is thus spatially explicitly expressed and assigned to institutions.

Within WP6 this provides the basis for simulating effects of good governance on land use types and efficiencyof land use systems (WP2) as well as on the socio-economic environment of land users.