Principles of the Model Forests

Because the conditions under which the sustainable management of forest landscapes can vary from one site or region to another, the Model Forest concept was designed to be flexible. Model Forests set their own priorities relating to conservation of biodiversity, cross-cultural awareness, economic diversification, public education, and agricultural improvements, as examples.

But if no two sites are identical, how does the Network function? What binds these diverse sites together? Model Forests are linked through a common philosophy that forms the basis for networking and knowledge sharing: the Model Forest Principles and Attributes (PA) Framework. The PA Framework provides a baseline as to what constitutes a Model Forest and sets out supporting attributes. Model Forest representatives at the 2005 IMFN Global Forum in Turrialba, Costa Rica, requested such a tool to help ensure the Network’s integrity. At the 2008 Global Forum in Hinton, Canada, they voiced their support for the resulting framework.

During the Global Forum 2008 IMFN members unanimously accepted to adopt a Model Forest Principles and Attributes (P&A) Framework that includes guiding principles to model forest development and operation. Although no two model forests are identical, these guiding principles and attributes provide a common thread for uniting the various sites across the Network.

The framework includes the following six principles: a broad-based partnership, a large landscape, a commitment to sustainability, good governance, a broad program of activities reflective of stakeholder values, and a commitment to knowledge sharing, capacity building and networking.

Principles and Attributes of Model Forests