International Experiences in the Development and Implementation of National Forest Services

Colombia, November 7, 2019 –  The Colombia Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS for its acronym in Spanish), with support of GGGI,  the embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Colombia, and the Amazon Vision Program, held an event for exchanging “International Experiences in the Development and Implementation of National Forest Services” on November 7, 2019. The aim of the event was to showcase experiences in public management of the forestry sector in the countries of Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States, and France. 

The event was attended by representatives coming from key institutions of Colombia such as the Presidency of the Republic, MADS, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR for its acronym in Spanish), the National Planning Department, Regional Autonomous Corporations, research institutes, and universities. 

From the Colombian side, experiences were shared by Emilio Rodriguez, the director of Biodiversity Forests and Ecosystem Services of MADS, and José Miguel Orozco, forestry professor and consultant from GGGI. International experiences were exchanged from Víctor Sosa Cedillo, Coordinator of Support and Special Projects of the Mexican National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), Bruno Enrique Arias Rivas, Deputy Manager of the National Forest Institute (INAB) of Guatemala, Gerardo Valdebenito, Project Director and Forest Diversification Area Coordinator of the Forestry Institute (INFOR) of Chile, Caroline Merle, Executive Director of the Office National des Forêts Andina (ONF Andina) of France, Camille McCarthy, a specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United States Forest Service. 

After a discussion panel, the speakers reached the conclusion that an imminent need exists for clear governance for Colombia to adapt a public mechanism for the administration of the forestry sector as one that enables opportunities in the area of a national ​​forest economy. A legal framework, an institutional structure, and a clear allocation of government resources.   

In this sense, the Government, through way of the MADS, recognized that it is essential to adopt, or if necessary, generate a national forest service to comply with the National Development Plan 2018-2022 goal to for the forestry sector to contribute 1% to the national GDP. The next step is to apply the lessons learned such as those from GGGI, Amazon Vision, ONF, and other stakeholders in order to reach an effective and equipped institution that can benefit from the great forestry potential that the country has to offer.