Become a Member

Joining the IMFN offers:

  • Access to a dynamic global community that shares knowledge, collaborates on research, and exchanges ideas and experiences locally, regionally and internationally
  • Leadership in inclusive, innovative and equitable consensus-building for the sustainable management of forest-based landscapes and natural resources
  • A testing ground for national forest programs and priorities (such as REDD+ or others) for scaling up within and beyond Model Forest boundaries
  • Opportunities to accelerate progress toward meeting international commitments such as the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and Land Degradation Neutrality goal.

To join the IMFN, a Model Forest proposal and supporting strategic plan must be completed and endorsed by the IMFN Secretariat and the Regional Network in your area. Contact us for advice and support on undertaking the following activities:


A Model Forest is a landscape that represents a range of values and issues in a geographic area encompassing forests, agricultural land, rivers and lakes, towns and cities, protected areas and other landscape features. To help identify the values and issues of the stakeholders involved, a rationale should be developed for why a particular geographic boundary is chosen.


Model Forest stakeholders are individuals, groups and institutions that are interested in, are affected by, or can affect a Model Forest’s decisions about resource management and priorities. These stakeholders may reside within the physical boundaries of a Model Forest or they may not. Expect stakeholders to change over time as issues, needs and programs change. Typical stakeholders include governments, communities and indigenous peoples, private sector companies, NGOs, and academic or research institutions.


A strategic plan details the composition of the partnership, describes the land base and documents  objectives. It should outline how the Model Forest intends to address the six Model Forest Principles. As a Model Forest matures and advances, a multi-year strategic plan may be developed that achieves the following:

  • Defines the Model Forest purpose and builds consensus on a common vision for sustainably managing the landscape
  • Develops objectives that are consistent with the Model Forest vision and mission
  • Communicates those objectives to all stakeholders and other interested organizations
  • Develops a sense of shared ownership among stakeholders and an increased level of commitment to the Model Forest
  • Ensures that resources are used effectively by identifying areas where they are most needed
  • Provides a base from which progress can be measured

Learn more about Model Forest strategic planning in the Model Forest Toolkit.


Once a proposal and supporting strategic plan has been submitted, the IMFN Secretariat and appropriate Regional Network will jointly review the application and request additional information if required.  Representatives of the IMFN Secretariat and Regional Network will also complete an on-site visit at an agreed-upon time during the review process.


Once all technical and substantive issues have been addressed with the IMFN Secretariat and Regional Network, a Model Forest will be officially accepted as a member of the IMFN. Following acceptance, a Model Forest is expected to continue developing and refining it’s Strategic Plan and other products, such as a Governance Model, an Annual Work Plan, a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, and a Communications Plan, and to fully engage in IMFN activities.

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