Skip to Content

Equitable Forest Governance: A Practical Approach

Forest Governance image

We are not running the Equitable Forest Governance course in 2020.

If you are looking for customised training for an organisation you work for, please contact us regarding our bespoke training programmes.

Simply email  with your request and we will be in touch to discuss your training needs in more detail. 



   Equitable Forest Governance (not running 2020)


   Course Summary

This new short course provides managerial level professionals with state-of-the-art knowledge, skills and tools needed to design, implement and monitor more equitable and just forest governance schemes.

Policy debates and on-the-ground work on new forest governance schemes, such as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), payments for environmental services (PES) and forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT), increasingly focus on the need to enhance equity and serve the essential rights and needs of people. These justice concerns are particularly expressed in discussions on the recognition of rights, participation of stakeholders, sharing of benefits, and development of grievance mechanisms. Whilst there is a growing understanding of the value of social justice in forest governance, creating a win-win environment for communities, governments and companies, turning rhetoric into reality remains slow and challenging.

With the appropriate tools in hand, practitioners can operationalise justice in REDD+, PES and FLEGT beyond the application of ‘do no harm’ principles and social safeguards. This is pivotal for developing socially sound and effective forest governance schemes that maximise benefits for communities, governments and companies.

By combining theory and practice, the course offers an excellent setting to reflect on justice challenges in forest governance, to exchange experiences with researchers and experts, and to develop personal action plans.

On completion of the course participants will:

  • Understand the importance of equity and justice in the successful development and implementation of rights reforms and decentralisation, REDD+, PES and FLEGT and the challenges therein.
  • Grasp the relevant global norms, national policies and practical tools (FPIC, participatory governance assessments, timber legality assurance system, etc.) for enhancing equity and justice of REDD+, PES and FLEGT .
  • Identify and understand the ways to apply appropriate approaches to operationalise equity and justice in REDD+, PES and FLEGT.


   Course Content and Structure

The course is composed of three dimensions: theoretical, policy and practical. The teaching draws on recent experience from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

  • The theoretical dimension introduces justice as an analytical framework for addressing social aspects of REDD+, PES and FLEGT at global, national and local levels. It reflects on why justice matters in forest governance, looks at different dimensions of justice and considers actors involved and their experiences on the ground. Concepts such as the recognition of rights, participation and benefit sharing are examined.
  • The policy dimension analyses the integration of justice in international and national policy agreements, frameworks and instruments related to REDD+, PES and FLEGT The way in which these instruments consider the most vulnerable people is discussed as well as the way in which they can be used to enhance social justice. Particular attention is paid to REDD+ social and environmental safeguards and FLEGT legality definitions.
  • The practical dimension reflects on ways to respond to equity concerns and to operationalise social justice in REDD+, PES and FLEGT. Mainstreaming justice in policy formulation and implementation as well as in actions of recognition of rights, participation, benefit sharing and grievance mechanisms are also examined. Participants explore tools that facilitate engaging with actors and trigger change at different levels. Finally, personal action plans are created.


    Course Delivery

The learning environment involves participatory learning and student centred approaches and tools such as presentations, group discussions, debates and case study analysis. The organisers aim to offer a stimulating environment for reflection and development of ideas for practical action. Participants will design an engagement process for improving equity and justice within their own work context.

The course is accompanied by an electronic course (MOOC) on environmental justice that will be available through the Futurelearn platform prior to the course.

Follow-up sessions, in the form of group or personal mentoring, are also offered.


   Course Director 

The course is directed by Dr Oliver Springate-Baginski. We bring together a range of world leading researchers and practitioners to teach on the course, ensuring a grounded approach for facilitating the operationalisation of justice in forest governance schemes.


   Who is this course for?

This course is designed for managerial level professionals (including of government institutions, civil society organisations, donor agencies, international organisations and the private sector) who are involved in negotiating agreements and/or designing, implementing and monitoring forest governance schemes, such as REDD+, PES and FLEGT.


   Course Fee                         

£2,500 which is inclusive of all tuition, lunches Monday-Friday and refreshments.