What is a Model Forest?


The term “Model Forest” was created in the early 90s, when the Government of Canada sought an alternative to the conflicts between forest loggers and communities living in forested areas. The first Model Forest was created in Canada in 1992 to help prevent and resolve such conflicts over the management and use of natural resources. In Latin America, the first Model Forest, the Chiloé Model Forest, was founded in southern Chile in 1996.

Model Forests are social, inclusive and participatory processes that seek the sustainable development of a territory and thus contribute to global targets related to poverty, climate change, desertification and sustainable development. More than 31 million hectares in 15 countries in Latin America are part of the 30 Model Forests in this region.

The Ibero-American Model Forests reflect a mosaic of uses and ownership, where the livelihoods of its people combine various activities ranging from agriculture, livestock, forestry, tourism and conservation.

Stakeholders seek to advance sustainable land management in a collaborative and coordinated wayoften creating local leadership strategies to coordinate activities related to protected areas, biological corridors, forest management, sustainable agriculture, rural tourism, access to microcredit, organic farming, watershed management and forest certification.


Principles and Attributes

The Model Forests around the world are as unique and diverse as the countries and cultures in which they are located. Although Model forests participants define together their own priorities and governance structure, at a global scale they are connected by common attributes. Every Model Forest shares a core of six principles that provide coherence to the IMFN and the basis for networking and knowledge sharing.

Principle 1. Broad-base Partnership

Principle 2. Large Landscape

Principle 3. Commitment to Sustainability

Principle 4. Participatory Governance

Principle 5. A Broad Program of Activities

Principle 6. Commitment to Knowledge Sharing, Capacity Building and Networking

Criteria and Indicators

The above six principles have been broken down in 23 criteria and 68 indicators for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

See the Criteria and Indicators:  Spanish – Portuguese – English

Download the Standard for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Model Forests (in Spanish only)

3.0 Dumet et al. Estandar BMProposal to Guide the Management of the Ibero-American Model Forest Network Initiatives


Get to know a Model Forest


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