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! will develop a series of research, resources and tools that will 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 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.

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"


'Forest Governance Unpacked' interview series:

We need to align the different interests related to forests to regulate conflicts and maximise synergies – interview with Georg Winkel

Stakeholder participation in forest governance is key for sustainable forest management – interview with Eva Müller

Community participation makes for better forest governance in Ethiopia – interview with Tefera Mengistu

Curbing forest loss with and for the local communities in Uganda – interview with Rose Kobusinge

Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa provide evidence of a successful circular bioeconomy – interview with Darren Lapp

Involving and remunerating local communities to save the Amazon – Interview with Johan Wittkamper

Expansive approaches to inclusivity and participation are key for good governance in Rwanda – interview with Bernadette Arakwiye

Forest governance in Ghana should function with transparency and accountability – interview with Mustapha Seidu

Brazil offers many lessons to all those interested in making forest governance more effective – interview with Thais Linhares-Juvenal

Borderless natural assets can only be managed and restored through collaborative efforts – interview with Saurav Malhotra



Project management
georg.winkel @
European Forest Institute
Georg Winkel
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