About

The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) is a voluntary global community of practice whose members and supporters work toward the sustainable management of forest‐based landscapes and natural resources through the Model Forest approach.

Model Forest can be described as a large-scale landscape encompassing many different land uses; a specific partnership-based approach to sustainable forest management; and a long-term process that adheres to a broad set of principles to promote sustainability. The partnership is voluntary and made up of stakeholders – such as local community associations, indigenous peoples, governments, academia, and industry – representing the environmental, social and economic forces at play within the landscape. The partnership works to define a shared, locally relevant operational vision of natural resource management and then collaborate to achieve it in concrete terms for the benefit of all stakeholders Model Forests bring joint solutions and innovative strategies to shared challenges such as climate change, governance, land degradation, food security, wildfires, markets and livelihoods, health and well-being, and land-use conflicts.

Through the network structure and a commitment to knowledge sharing and capacity building, best practices and lessons learned in one Model Forest can be shared with others to accelerate learning and collectively make lasting progress to realize sustainable development, both locally and globally.

IMFN Vision

That natural resources around the world are sustainably managed through a participatory, landscape-level approach that reflects environmental and socio-economic issues from the perspectives of local needs and global concerns.

IMFN Mission

To establish a global network that represents most of the major forest ecosystems of the world. The IMFN strives to ensure that all partners, regardless of political or economic status, can contribute to and share in the benefits of the Network.

IMFN Objectives

  1. To foster international exchange of ideas and solutions for the sustainable management of natural resources in forested landscapes.
  2. To support cooperation on critical issues that underlie innovative solutions to sustainable landscape and natural resource management.
  3. To support ongoing international policy discussions on the criteria and principles of sustainable development.

Regional Networks

The IMFN is organized into six Regional Networks, which bring together all Model Forests within a larger geographical area to support and share common interests, challenges and findings among its members. Some Regional Networks are formalized with a Board of Directors who lead decision-making for the region in partnership with the IMFN Secretariat, while others are informal collectives of Model Forest members working in a given region. They are:

  • The Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN)
  • The Ibero-American Model Forest Network (IAMFN)
  • The African Model Forest Network (AMFN)
  • The Mediterranean Model Forest Network (MMFN)
  • Northern Europe and Russia
  • The Regional Model Forest Network for Asia (RMFN-Asia)

IMFN Secretariat

The IMFN Secretariat, established and hosted by the Government of Canada at Natural Resources Canada, provides leadership and day-to-day coordination for the Network.

IMFN Secretariat activities include:

  • Technical and logistical support to establish and maintain Model Forests
  • Support for regional and global meetings, training and specialized workshops
  • Resource mobilization
  • Partnership growth and collaboration
  • International advocacy and communications
  • Knowledge sharing and capacity development
  • Documentation, monitoring and evaluation

Contact us for more information.

The Network is formalized through the IMFN Charter, which highlights the IMFN’s key objectives, defines roles and responsibilities of membership, sets out procedures, and reinforces the Framework of Model Forest Principles and Attributes.

Welcome to our website!

RVerbisky_headshot-Jan2019

Since 1996, I have had the privilege of being involved with the International Model Forest Network and in mid-2017, I was appointed Head of the International Model Forest Network Secretariat. I have been proud to watch our members and partners continue to make a difference around the world. I see proof every day that Model Forests are not standing in isolation, but make up a greater network of individuals and organizations planning and implementing a range of activities, including forest landscape restoration, natural resources policy development, gender-responsive initiatives, and community training and capacity building.

Model Forests have been promoting the landscape approach to sustainable development for more than 25 years. As the international community looks for ways to achieve their commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals and other agreements, we point to the success that has come from within our Network and look ahead to scaling up these lessons for even greater achievements, together.

Welcome to our website, where you will discover an experienced community of practices, find tools to plan and implement sustainable forest management, and learn from inspiring initiatives from all around the world.

Richard Verbisky
Head, International Model Forest Network Secretariat
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service

© 2019 International Model Forest Network

This website has been developed with support from the Government of Canada.