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					                 Think tank meeting on FAO Strategy on Forestry
                12-13 September 2007, Casa San Bernardo, Rome

This is a record of the 1.5 days discussion on FAO Strategy for Forestry.

The think tank scanned the environment; envisaged the future; looked at the current realities of
FAO/FO; and identified directions, as well as next steps in the strategy planning process.

Kick-off: This is what the think tank meeting participants anticipated of the meeting:

        - define the path for the strategy
        - define main elements that will influence our future work (social, interrelations...)
        - assess where we are related to the goals and what needs to be done to get there
        - have inspiration for our vision statement
        - exchange views about country needs as a basis for the strategy
        - be realistic, develop a strategy that is useful
        - give voice to people that are not so visible
        - identify current issues and concerns
        - identify how to involve stakeholders & partners
        - map different influences, “the playing field & boundaries”



1. SCANNING THE ENVIRONMENT

1.1 SHIFTS – WHAT HAS CHANGED/IS CHANGING

Shifts in society (from – to):                            Shifts in FAO/FO (from – to)
 government dominance - civil society                     not much has changed (a view)
  involvement                                              highly centralized - moderately
 rural - urban                                             decentralized organization
 national states - regional                               project organization - what? (we are not yet
 environmental awareness -environmental                    a knowledge organization)
  action                                                   speed of communication has increased but
 male dominated - male dominated                           management of communication not
 local - global                                           top down - top down
 stable/safe - instable/scary                             forcing activities to fit into UN initiatives
 technical focus – people focus                           important topics have been dropped out
 mail - e-mail                                            hierarchy - moderate hierarchy
 communities - individuals                                downsizing, constantly reduced budgets and
 direct observing - digested information                   reduction in field activities
 few – many issues                                        regular staff - consultants
 poorer - richer                                          there is more frequent communication and
 population growth not seen as being a                     expectations on speedy communication
  problem anymore                                          we have increased number of publications
 ignorance - collective awareness                          but less quality
                                                           face-to-face communication - e-mails
                                                            (decreased personal communication)




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1.2 QUICK IDENTIFICATION OF PLAYERS (those affecting forestry)

 External players:
 - countries/governments, governing bodies, UN system, international financing institutions, private
sector, CGIAR organizations, NGOs, donors, CPF members, UNFF, convention secretariats, people

Internal players:
- DG, FMT, line managers, RFCs, IEE, consultants, COFO, key individuals


1.3 EFFECTS OF THESE CHANGES ON FAO/FO

   changing needs & demands require us to adapt
   we need to attract more resources or downsize our activities
   we need to recognize that changes happen rapidly, so let’s keep flexibility
   there are still some of the same problems, like deforestation
   let’s not lock ourselves in the past, rather look for the future, including new topics
   maybe more important is HOW than WHAT
   let’s not jump on every train - we need continuity and to be selective & look at the bigger picture
   change staff
   acknowledge that change starts from/within ourselves
   we need better readiness to respond to the changes - the strategic review should be a continuous
    process, and read also the weak signals (take the pulse)
   pursue excellence with unique backgrounds (we are not all foresters)
   we seem not to react to reality but take signals from others (UNFF, conventions), however we
    should be a trend setter




2. ENVISAGING THE FUTURE

BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious GOALS) – these are also building blocks to form our VISION


 Sustainable forest management (SFM) achieved
-- All types of forests and other wooded lands will be managed in a way to maintain and enhance their
economic, social and environmental values for the benefit of present and future generations.
    -   all forests under sustainable management
    -   increasing benefits from forestry while maintaining the stock
    -   forest land use contributes to sustainable development

 Decision making is informed and participatory
-- Decision-making should be based on reliable and accurate information, readily available to all.
Decisions should be made in a participatory way ensuring full involvement of all stakeholders,
including those usually excluded.
    -   countries to make more informed decisions
    -   operational NFPs for all countries
    -   accurate information on forest resources and products used
    -   forestry plays a prominent role in cross-sectoral planning
    -   stakeholders involved in decision-making
    -   forest dependent people have clear tenure rights
    -   greater female influence in decision-making



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 Global environmental benefits of forests are realized
-- The forest ecosystem has many functions beneficial to the environment that are recognized and
taken into consideration in forest management.
    -   increase role of forestry in addressing global environmental problems
    -   1 billion ha of forests strictly protected
    -   forestry stops global warming
    -   improved biodiversity conservation

 Increased area and quality of forests
-- The area of world’s forests is increased through a reduction in deforestation and an increase in
afforestation and natural expansion of forests. Effective protective measure against fires, pests,
diseases and other disturbances are in place.
    - increase forest area/quality in all countries
    - significant reduction of deforestation / stop deforestation by 2015
    - healthy, productive, stable forests for all mankind

 Increased and equitably shared benefits from forests and forestry
-- All benefits (product and services) of forests and forestry are increased sustainably and equitably
shared.
    - all benefits from forestry to all beneficiaries accounted for in mainstreaming politics and policies
    - increase forestry contribution to poverty reduction and food security
    - services from forests serve local people
    - economic benefits of forests linked to SFM
    - societies greatly benefit from forests
    - adequate areas of forests to meet local and global demands
    - contribution of forests and forestry to sustainable development
    - forestry contribution to other sectors
    - maximize SFM for society
    -   increased revenue from SFM for forest dwellers

 Strengthened technical, managerial and operational capacities
-- This means capacity building at different levels and development of technical capacities, including
education and research, to ensure sound policies and their implementation at the national and sub-
national levels. More emphasis and resources need to be placed on research and education in forestry.
These apply to all categories of stakeholders.
    - research and education strengthened
    - forestry jobs and institutions are well funded

 Forest values and benefits are recognized and appreciated (to change behaviour)
-- The wider public is aware and appreciates all forest values and benefits and takes responsible action.
    -   increased recognition that forests provide many values
    -   public aware of forest values




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3. LOOKING AT OUR CURRENT REALITY

3.1 SWOT – STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS in
relationship to the long-term goals (BHAGs)

         INTERNAL                                              EXTERNAL
Strengths                                                  Opportunities
 continuity                                                 UN reform
 good products in high demand                               regional and national initiatives
 institutional memory                                       ecotourism
 neutral broker with stakeholders                           environmental services and their payment
 FAO chairing the CPF                                       niche markets for forest products
 diversity (nationality, language)                          enhanced communication tools reaching wider
 networking                                                   audience (media)
 dedicated, nice, patient staff                             advances in technology development (e.g. GIS,
 neutral forum                                                remote sensing)
 field experience                                           urbanization & trees outside forests
 global mandate                                             new funding opportunities (MDGs, GEF) &
 technical capacity                                           unexplored opportunities
 regional and country experience                            willingness of some countries to explore new
 high degree of independence / but also                       forest management approaches
    interdependence                                          reduced competition with agriculture in some areas
 trust in professional credibility                          conventions
 small is advantage                                         willingness of private sector to “green” their
 interdisciplinarity                                          products/image
                                                             more opportunities to partner with other
                                                               organisations to go forward
                                                             cleared guidance from international forest forums
                                                             pressure from civil society and willingness to take
                                                               actions
                                                             increased awareness/linkages of forests to different
                                                               issues (bioenergy, climate change etc)
Weaknesses                                                 Threats
    risk avoiding culture                                   total lack of trust in FAO and UN
    lack of staff rotation and career opportunities         continuation of inadequate resources in FO
       to increase competence                                civil war and conflicts
    staff lacking trust in management & vice                climate change(?)
       versa (micro management)                              global economic collapse and instability
    ad hoc coordination especially on our country           slow pace of change (mentality, approaches,
       work                                                    behaviour)
    disconnect between theory and practice                  other land uses are becoming more profitable,
    low accountability                                        biofuels
    sub-optimal use of human resources and                  competitive pressures in the market
       expertise                                             forest products marginalized
    silo mentality                                          misconception by public on forest industry
    heavy bureaucracy                                       unrealistic expectations
    poor attentiveness                                      countries overwhelmed by international agency
    unclear and insufficient priority setting                 demands (info, meetings)
    ineffective management ad lack of team                  forestry is low priority in many countries
       approaches                                            competition between FAO and other agencies
    poor visibility: PR and marketing                       poor governance in countries and of FAO
    poor fund raising
    poor communication
    uncompetitive remuneration
    lack of transparency
    unclear future structure
    poor understanding of country needs



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4. IDENTIFYING OUR DIRECTIONS

4.1 ELEMENTS OF THE COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES OF FO


[[International players (partners and competitors): World Bank, UNEP, IFAD, Rest of FAO, bilaterals,
UNFF, ITTO, ICRAF, CIFOR, IUCN, WWF, WRI, conventions, UNDP]]



Overall advantages: neutrality, broad mandate, quality, analytical, neutrality (vs. advocacy),
credibility, honest(?) broker, convening power, products and services, global presence

More detailed advantages:
    Connected to and accepted by most countries as neutral broker in forestry
    Direct access to governments
    Accepted by all countries as a producer and provider of global information
    Large, critical mass on [mostly] trusted, high quality international expertise with long
       institutional memory and experiences, and data
    Potentially good presence in the field
    Intergovernmental, UN mandate
    Multiple language publications
    Largest, oldest forestry agency? with great wealth of experience
    Strong information base; info compilation/analysis/dissemination = centre of excellence
    High concentration of skilled staff
    No other agency covers all technical and geographical areas as FAO
    We are the Forestry Force No 1
    GLOCAL (global and local presence)
    Collaborator




4.2 UNIQUE ACTIVITIES/APPROACHES (TOWARDS FO GOALS)

Focus question: Building on the comparative advantages, what are the major activities/approaches that
will best position FO to achieve the long-term goals of forestry (BHAGs above)?


FO is moving towards...
The big categories A, B C below can be organized and titled differently – these are results of
preliminary work by the think tank. Additional work is necessary to name goals.

A. Supporting countries to achieve sustainable land use and livelihoods / Enhancing forestry for
sustainable landuse and livelihoods / ....

A1) Use multisectoral approaches
Build strong internal and external networks
Promote integrated land-use approaches
Engage other sectors



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A2) Share knowledge
Increase knowledge
Increase awareness
Produce, collect and disseminate information

A3) Improve forestry practices
Implement codes of practice & guidelines
Revitalize field programme
Respond to country needs
Strengthen NGOs in the ground
Assist countries in assessing forestry related information

B. Increasing forestry contribution to sustainable development

B1) Generate wealth (forest) / foster economic development
Make all countries rich
Bring local livelihood concerns and knowledge to decision-making
Engage private sector

B2) Strengthen governance and country policies
Facilitate forest policy
Address governance issues
Facilitate NFPs and policy formulation, involving stakeholders
Develop and help countries implement tools and methods for valuation of goods and services
Reinvent forestry agencies
Give voice to all actors
Work with specific countries to improve policies and practices

                --------------------------------------------------------

C. Reinventing FO to be able to better respond to needs and opportunities / Recognized leadership
FO leadership role (this is an internal vision ) / ....

C1) Improve FAO ability secure resources in order to respond to country needs
Develop fund raising capability
Mobilize resources
Respond to emerging issues
Influence big donors
Focus on using $ wisely

C2) Re-invent FO work processes for effectiveness
Emphasize team-based, cross-cutting, coordinated, country-level focus to support forestry in the
Context overall development
Improve staff development opportunities and identify and implement ways to keep staff motivated
Give women more access to FAO activities
Have less directors




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5. NEXT STEPS OF THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS

Key target dates: COFO, March 2009 and regional forestry commissions in 2008

External

WHAT                               WHO                                  WHEN
Draft elements for a new           FO
strategy
Review IEE report (Gregersen’s                                          soon
report) and decide whether
additional survey is needed
Consult with FAO Departments       FAO Depts
and selected FAO reps              FAO reps
Discuss elements / key issues in   RFCs                                 Feb – Oct 2008
RFCs
Involve                            HoFs, CPF, other partners and
                                   stakeholders, public....
....
Final draft                        COFO                                 March 2009
Publish, disseminate and use the
new strategy

Alternative + additional proposed ways:
- Part of every mission, workshops
- Questionnaire
- More analysis of trends and competition

Internal

WHAT                               WHO                                  WHEN
Report of the think-tank           JH, DK, TV                           15 Sep
Discussions                        Participatory: services, divisions   two weeks
                                   etc
Form expanded support team /       DK, TV and others (max 5)            within two weeks
drafting committee
Process confirmation               FMT                                  beginning of Oct
Very rough “draft” / “elements”                                         15 Oct
Discussions                        Facilitated                          by 31 Oct
Possibly task force(s) and other                                        throughout the process
discussions to develop ideas
further
Possibly a task force on “HOW”                                          parallel / separate exercise

Other:
- Think tank participants to be the ambassadors of the meeting results and to share these results with
their colleagues and teams
- Define forestry
- Maybe to form task forces on specific items (SWOT, what is forestry, etc....)
- Concern with deadlines
- Stay loose on “HOW” in the beginning. Define WHAT first. Keep also in mind that there are
different areas we need to work on, which may not necessarily be part of the final strategy



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