NEWGO! - New Ways for Forest Governance

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! develops a series of research, resources and tools that support 1) policy makers 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 outcomes include scientific publications and policy briefs to inform on the latest research results. NewGo! also organized the International Forestry Policy Meeting, a conference on forest policy and governance to enhance scientific exchange and strengthen the forest research networks. Finally, 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 makers, practitioners and 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 January 2023.

The project has several components, click on the links below to find out more:

NewGo!: scientific evidence of FLEGT VPA's impacts

NewGo!: evaluating impact of REDD+ interventions

NewGo!: sustainable finance and forests

NewGo!: online debates around the "Amazon fires"


Read the project's outcomes:

Scientific publications:

Rich forests, rich people? Sustainable finance and its links to forests

What does social media engagement around the Amazon rainforest fires tell us about public narratives? – Takeaways from our analysis

What drives forest rule compliance behaviour in the Congo Basin? A study of local communities in Cameroon

Policy briefs

Sustainable Finance: How does it link to forests?

How agricultural commodity trader responses can influence the effectiveness of the new EU deforestation proposal

Out of the Flames: Mapping Online Engagement and Public Narratives around the 2019 Amazon Rainforest Fires

Workshops for journalists

Cracking complexity: How we helped the media explore the link between finance, supply chain and deforestation

The financial sector: friend or foe of forests?

International Forest Policy Meeting #IFPM4

Exploring the world of investigative journalism: Some takeaways from the panel session at the International Forest Policy Meeting (#IFPM4) 

How to create a new European science-policy-society interface for forests and forestry? Uncomfortable knowledge might help

“Evaluating policy impacts: How to best assess the effectiveness of international forest policy?”, XV World Forestry Congress 

Assessing the effects of international forest policies

We collected  series of interviews with experts in forest governance, click on the following link to read them:

'Forest Governance Unpacked' interview series

Download the NewGo! project flyer.


Project management
Yitagesu Tekle
European Forest Institute
Project Schedule
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