Mainstreaming International Forestry Related Agreements at National Level

  • J Ruhombe
Keywords: International Forestry Related Agreements, mainstreaming, participation, national forestry programmes, Africa


The case study provides in-sights on initiation, negotiation and implementation of International Forestry Related
Agreements (IFRAs). It is observed and concluded that (i) there is low and inconsistent participation by Africa in
international forest processes that lead to IFRAs, ostensibly due to lack of funds, (ii) Africa is not influencing the
outcomes of the processes, (ii) African national institutions face challenges in mainstreaming outcomes IFRAs, not
only due to lack of capacity, but also because of poor ownership of the outcomes, (iv) African forestry institutions
have many overlapping international and regional initiatives to deal with that require substantial resources, which
are not readily available, (v) there is inadequate participation by the private sector, (vi) countries send different
individuals to successive forums resulting in lack of institutional and policy memory and hence continuity. In
extreme cases, this has resulted in countries taking contradictory positions on specific issues in successive sessions,
(vii) many countries send delegations without adequate preparation, and (viii) many countries lack competent
resource persons to handle issues under discussion. In some cases, there is little understanding and consensus
at national level on issues under international debate. As a result of the foregoing, there is limited awareness
and appreciation within African governments on existence of the instruments and countries lack a critical mass of
people knowledgeable on them. Accordingly, it is not easy to mainstream IFRAs into national policies, laws and
strategies. A structured layered approach for participation and feedback is proposed to expedite effectiveness and

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eISSN: 1015-079X