About GFP

What is it?

Growing Forest Partnerships (GFP) is about building up and supporting networks at local, national and international levels. Through this process, GFP seeks to improve the connections between forests and other sectors. It aims to ensure that global discussions about forests include the real and current challenges that forest-dependent people and local forest managers are facing, bringing the voices of local communities and indigenous peoples forward to influence decision-making.

How does it work?

GFP tailors its support to each country. To establish nationally relevant concerns and areas for support, GFP organizes ‘people’s diagnostics’ and other locally driven priority setting processes to identify the issues that matter locally.

We support existing initiatives that are already working on the ground and fill in gaps in ongoing processes, working to build capacity and support communications. We foster partnerships that deliver practical and policy work, through which better collaboration and new ideas emerge. We also support people to capture lessons from these effective partnerships and processes so that they can share their experience with others in the same situation in other countries as well as with decision and policy makers at international level.

Who does what?

There are four facilitating partners for the Growing Forest Partnership who are all members of a Catalytic Group that manages the process. The Catalytic Group reports to and is overseen by a Reference Group.

Catalytic Group

FAO logoThe Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) facilitates in-country processes, for example in Guatemala, building on its National Forest Programme Facility work.



The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) facilitates in-country processes, for example in Ghana, as well as supporting the international “Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry” initiative catalysed by GFP.



world bank logoThe World Bank funds the project and is an active member of the catalytic group.The Bank is not involved in delivery at country level at present and is only involved in decision-making as a CG member.



The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) supported the start up for an in-country process in Mozambique. It leads on communications, monitoring and evaluation and quality assurance for the initiative overall and providing support to each country team on these issues.

Reference Group

The Reference Group is made up of people active in the forest sector across the world and helps to steer the development of the partnership concept and ensure that the GFP principles (see below) are refelected and adhered to in the work programme and its implementation. It also monitors and reviews the governance arrangements of GFP and facilitates learning from country, regional and international-level partnerships:

Godwin Kowero; James Griffiths; Emelia Arthur; Ronnie de Camino; Jeff Campbell; Susanne Breitkopf; James Mwangi; Estebancio Castro Diaz; Evy von Pfeil; Ogden Rodas Camas; Almeida Sitoë; Dil Bahadur Khatri.

Guiding Principles

Growing Forest Partnerships works to a set of guiding principles that are applied to its work in all partner countries

  • To recognise and promote the multi-purpose and multi-stakeholder nature of forest management
  • To engage in an inclusive approach, encompassing a wide range of stakeholders, knowledge traditions, and global to local public goods
  • To maintain an equitable approach, creating opportunities to become involved in GFP activities, encouraging wide ownership
  • To ensure transparency of communication in GFP processes and decision-making
  • To adopt a learning-based approach in GFP operations, supporting continuous improvement of partnership work and making investments more sustainable
  • To support existing initiatives where possible, adding value and improving synergies between them
  • To characterize GFP work by efficiency and agility, ensuring decision-making and management is effective and timely
  • To encourage and promote citizen action, identifying and promoting political agency that can drive change compatible with the above principles
  • To respect and adhere to the principles in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples