In a nutshell

New Ways for Forest Governance (NEWGO!) is a start-up project of EFI’s newly established Governance Programme, coordinated by EFI Bonn.
The project aims to provide scientific knowledge with a specific focus on:

  • REDD+ and FLEGT initiatives (lessons learned through transdisciplinary reviews) and  
  • the potential of emerging new policies relating to zero deforestation, forest restoration and sustainable forest finance.


Globally, forests are under significant pressure, with continuing high rates of both deforestation and forest degradation. According to recent academic literature, addressing these pressures effectively through international and domestic forest governance remains challenging. Meanwhile, a number of international governance initiatives addressing deforestation and forest degradation have been developed, of which REDD+ and FLEGT are among the most mature ones.  

To tackle forest governance around the globe more effectively, emerging governance approaches such as zero-deforestation or sustainable finance can benefit greatly from existing experiences and lessons learned from established initiatives.  


NewGo! will develop a series of research, resources and tools that will support 1) policymakers from Europe to further improve the implementation of ongoing forest governance initiatives, together with the design of emerging initiatives; 2) media, in particular, social media intermediaries to gain deeper insights into online engagement around forest governance, and improve their factual understanding of forest governance issues; and 3) researchers to improve their understanding of practical lessons and aspects of forest governance initiatives.

The project outcome will, amongst other things, include a research-based edited volume including contributions on REDD+, FLEGT, zero deforestation and sustainable finance. To inform policy makers on the latest research results and project outcomes, different policy briefs will be developed. NewGo! will also organize an international conference on forest policy and governance. Finally, targeted research-social media and research-practice exchange on current issues in global forest governance will improve mutual understanding of involved stakeholders.  

NewGo! takes a collaborative approach between research and practice partners. Building on a transdisciplinary design, it brings together policy and policy support practitioners with researchers in innovative ways. This involves, for instance co-designing salient research questions, and combining reviews of academic literature with science-policy focus group discussions and policy analysis.  

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) with EUR 1.2 million from November 2019 until October 2022.