A huge variety of global forest governance initiatives exists today. All of them follow distinct rationales of how forest governance should operate. These initiatives have, however, not been able to reverse trends of deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics, despite this being the main objective for many of them. Existing instruments like REDD+ and FLEGT are facing major obstacles throughout the design and implementation process. New initiatives such as forest landscape restoration programs and private business-driven zero deforestation commitments are broadening the perspective, yet their impacts are not clear to date. Factors such as population growth, economic growth and globalization, as well as developments in adjacent policy sectors, e.g. relating to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, influence the increasingly fragmented forest governance regime.
Against this background, the FuGo project (New frontiers in global forest GOvernance – from lessons learnt to FUture options), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, implements a three stages Delphi approach with a panel of around 30 experts from research, policy making and the private sector to assess 1) major challenges and lessons learnt in different initiatives of global forest governance and 2) possible pathways for future global forest governance. In the first round, expert interviews explore the field. An online questionnaire (2nd round) and a workshop (3rd round) will follow. The Delphi study will result in a transdisciplinary multi-author paper by all interested panelists.
With FuGo the Delphi methodology is, to our knowledge, for the first time applied to the issue of global forest governance. This will be interesting in terms of both methodology and findings.