Forest Governance and Policy

Forest governance and forest policy reform processes at the national and international level provide opportunities to improve legal frameworks, expand access to resources for local communities and indigenous people, and work towards sustainable management of resources. FLI works with partners in timber producing and importing countries to inform multi-stakeholder processes, and promote increased transparency and data accessibility. FLI supports international processes to drive uptake of tools and resources available to promote better supply chain management.


The World Resources Institute and China’s Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE/FECO) are leading a Special Policy Study for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) on greening global value chains, focusing on soft commodities particularly those linked to tropical deforestation, such as timber, soybeans, beef and palm oil. The Special Policy Study includes two phases looking into rationale and policy options for China to green its global value chains for soft commodities. FLI provides core researchers and coordinates inputs from external experts for both phases of the Study on soft commodity value chains, working with groups of international and Chinese experts for the Study. .


    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement that came into force in 1975 and is adhered to voluntarily by the member Parties, currently comprised of 182 countries plus the European Union. The purpose of CITES is to ensure that the international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Based on the degree of protection granted by the Parties, species covered by CITES are listed in three appendices. The appendices are divided follows:

    • Appendix I if the species is threatened with extinction. CITES prohibits international trade in Appendix I species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial.
    • Appendix II species are not necessarily threatened with extinction but could become so without trade controls to ensure that exploitation of the species is compatible with their survival. International trade in Appendix II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate.
    • Appendix III protects the species in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties to help in managing the trade of the species to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation. International trade in Appendix III species is allowed only on presentation of the appropriate permits or certificates.

    Forest Governance and Policy Partnerships and Activities

    • FLI convenes experts and stakeholders to discuss trends in logging and trade and the associated threats that come with increased consumption of targeted species, and how demand and supply are related to CITES.
    • FLI partners with governments, scientists, and other environmental organizations to promote better implementation of CITES through advancing wood identification tools and their uptake by CITES Parties.
    • FLI has developed guidance on Dalbergia species’ range to assist import and transit states in better enforcement of the CITES Appendix II listing for the Dalbergia genus, which is restricted in international trade.
    • FLI provides information and updates to the APEC/EGILAT on tools and resources available to combat illegal logging and promote the trade of legal forest products.
    • FLI supports research and review processes such as the Chatham House Indicators of illegal logging project.
    • FLI, in partnership with the Meridian Institute, the Food and Land Use Coalition, the WRI Oceans team, is working to develop and launch a global Nature Crime Alliance


    Chip Barber, Director - CITES
    Bo Li, Research Associate – CITES, APEC/EGILAT, CCICED
    Ruth Noguerón, Senior Associate – APEC/EGILAT
    Meaghan Parker-Forney, Science Officer - CITES
    Tina Schneider, Deputy Director – Demand-side policy, APEC/EGILAT