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In an article originally published in Project Syndicate, the authors discuss the changing landscape of forest management and how corporations are making stronger sustainable business commitments.

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Recently, WRI hosted a roundtable on Adaptation Finance in Washington, D.C., bringing together experts in development and climate finance to discuss this challenge: Countries and donors are mobilizing hundreds of millions of dollars to help people adapt to a changing climate. How do they get it to the local communities that need it most?

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Although the World Bank has successfully addressed a number of important economic and social risks in its projects, it is falling short in recognizing climate risks. As the World Bank refreshes its long-term strategies, this is a key moment to bring climate change—and more broadly, sustainability—to the forefront of its investment agenda.

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The World Bank has sought to reinvent itself in the face of a growing number of global development challenges, including economic uncertainty, political unrest, and the increasingly severe impacts of a changing climate.

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The global effort to save forests in developing countries, known as “REDD+,” would benefit from a set of tools that hold governments to account for their commitments. These accountability tools need to be integrated into national REDD+ programs.

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Indonesia’s forest moratorium, a policy aiming to protect an area the size of Japan from development, represents one of the most ambitious conservation schemes ever established in the country. But is it actually making progress in improving the forest sector?

WRI’s new working paper, Indonesia’s Forest Moratorium: Impacts and Next Steps, aims to answer that question and more.

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An important achievement of the moratorium is the creation of a much-needed window of opportunity to develop critical forest governance reforms. In May 2013, the moratorium was extended for an additional two years.

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The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol celebrates its 15th anniversary this year; it was established to develop and promote the use of best practices for accounting and reporting GHG emissions. Stephen Russell reflects on the project's history and impact, and discusses next steps for an evolving GHG accounting landscape.

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Many countries in Africa are rich with trees, wildlife, minerals, and other natural resources. But as new WRI research and an interactive map show, few national laws provide communities with strong, secure rights to the resources on their land.

WRI conducted a systematic review of the national framework laws for five natural resources—water, trees, wildlife, minerals, and petroleum—in 49 sub-Saharan African countries. The results are presented in our new Rights to Resources map.

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Manish Bapna highlights five standout climate and energy stories of 2013, which point to signs that some businesses, consumers, and governments are moving toward a growing understanding of the risks of climate change. The question is whether this heightened awareness will shift a global course quickly enough to reduce negative climate impacts. This blog post was originally published at Forbes.

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In much of Africa, the bundle of land rights that most rural people legally hold is relatively small—usually limited to surface rights and certain rights to some natural resources on and below the surface, such as rights to water for domestic use. Many high-value natural resources—such as oil, natural gas, minerals, and wildlife—are governed by separate legal regimes and administered by different public institutions. Africa’s governments often allocate these rights to outside, commonly foreign companies for large-scale operations. In other words, while many communities hold rights to the land, foreign companies hold the rights to the natural resources on or under the same plot. These overlapping rights oftentimes lead to conflict, unsustainable use of resources, and injustices.

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The world’s forests and the people who depend on them face a host of challenges—including deforestation, rural poverty, and degradation of critical ecosystem services. These negative outcomes are often exacerbated by weak forest governance, including low levels of transparency and participation in forest decision-making and as well as poor oversight of forest activities. To tackle these issues, decision-makers need better information about the institutional, political, and social factors that drive governance failures.

An updated tool from WRI’s Governance of Forests Initiative aims to help policy-makers, civil society organizations, and other forest stakeholders evaluate governance of their countries’ forests. Assessing Forest Governance: The Governance of Forests Initiative Indicator Framework updates the original GFI indicators, which were published in 2009 and piloted by WRI’s civil society partners in Brazil, Cameroon, and Indonesia. Using the indicators, stakeholders can identify strengths and weaknesses in forest governance and develop reforms that benefit both people and planet.

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Forests are the life blood of Equatorial Guinea. They cover roughly 98 percent of the total national land area, providing services and sustenance to hundreds of thousands of Equatoguineans. But despite the critical role of forests, the country lacked a comprehensive information system to support monitoring and responsible management of these ecosystems.

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