Pre-conference Workshops

People, institutions and forests: Moving toward a new governance research agenda

10th January, 2011.
8: 30 am - 4: 00 pm.

Workshop Leader/s: Andrew Wardell (,
Director, Forests and Governance Program,
Center for International Forestry Research.


Many forest policy issues are now shaped by a patchwork of institutions that are different in their character, constituencies, spatial scope and subject matter. The effectiveness of forest governance is increasingly independent of formal ownership patterns. The restructuring of governance arrangements associated with decentralization reforms and managing the global commons has resulted in significant changes in power structures, institutions, livelihoods and forested landscapes. Improvements in multilevel forest governance are still needed if national governments are to develop policies to address the underlying causes of deforestation and degradation, and attract investments as viable alternatives to competing land-use demands for food, fiber and biofuels.

To better understand who governs and how, the workshop will explore the dynamic relationships between established bureaucracies and new and emerging institutions associated with governing the global commons, international initiatives such as FLEGT and VPAs, national anti-corruption efforts and the growing role of communities and market actors associated with the commoditization of forests.


This pre-conference workshop is designed as a forum to encourage and promote dialogue among stakeholders from the research, policy and practitioner communities and CIFOR. The workshop is intended to last a full day (8: 30 am - 5: 00 pm), and will encourage debate on a new policy research agenda for forest governance. A number of speakers will be invited and participants will have an opportunity to discuss, debate and influence CIFOR's Forests and Governance research agenda. The workshop will also serve as the basis for building new and/or strengthening existing strategic partnerships. CIFOR will use the outcomes of this workshop to inform its Forests and Governance Program strategy. An opening address will be delivered by Dr. P.J. Dilip Kumar (Director General of Forests and Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India) ), while Arun Agrawal (University of Michigan) will give the keynote address.


Workshop participants will respond to the speakers' presentations during small group sessions and will present their findings to the whole group. Each group will address the following questions:
  • Do any of the issues raised by speakers/ respondents require particularly urgent attention?
  • Are they exhaustive? What may have been missed that applies in your respective settings?
  • Which issues should be addressed in the next 5 years? How do we prioritize them?
  • What kinds of partnerships do we need to address prioritized issues? What is the comparative advantage of different partners to achieve improved governance outcomes?

Workshop schedule

  A : Opening address
Speaker: Dr. P. J. Dilip Kumar (08:30-08:45)
  B : Keynote speaker
Arun Agrawal (08:45 09:15)
  C : Multi-level institutions for the governance of forests: What do we need to know and do? (9:30 am - 11: 10)
Speaker: Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University (20 minutes)
Respondent: Amy Poteete (10 minutes)
Facilitator: Verina Ingram, CIFOR
Small group discussions: (40 minutes)
Groups report to plenary: (30 minutes)
  D : Forests, property rights/tenure and multi-level responses to existing and emerging global challenges: Elements of a new governance research agenda. (11:30pm-1:10pm)
Speaker: Christian Lund, Institute of Development Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark (20 minutes)
Respondent: Jesse Ribot, University of Illinois (10 minutes)
Facilitator: Anne Larson, CIFOR
Small group discussions: (40minutes)
Groups report to plenary: (30 minutes)
  E : Follow the money or the logs? Re-thinking the governance of the timber trade(2:00pm-3:40pm)
Speaker: Nalin Kishor (World Bank)
Respondent: Paolo Cerruti or Guillaume Lescuyer (CIFOR)
Facilitator : Pablo Pacheco, CIFOR
Small group discussions : (40 minutes)
Groups report to plenary (30 minutes)
  F : Closing remarks, (3:40-4:00 pm): Andrew Wardell  

As updated on 27 October 2010