By Sophia Robison (Posted: March 6, 2014)
Over the past few months, the Governance of Forests Initiative (GFI) at The World Resources Institute (WRI) and The Access Initiative (TAI) secretariat have been in discussion about the direction of the two projects and ways to leverage their respective work to have greater impact. After much discussion, we have decided to bring the GFI and TAI teams at WRI together. The Access Initiative is the largest network in the world dedicated to ensuring that citizens have the right and ability to influence decisions about the natural resources that sustain their communities. The Governance of Forests Initiative seeks to improve the participation, transparency, and responsiveness of government practices that impact forest land allocation and use in Brazil, Cameroon, and Indonesia, as well as globally through international instruments. The merger will allow both projects to better pursue their goals. This comes in recognition of our shared approach and objectives, as well as the opportunities and capacities it will bring for both GFI and TAI, including the expansion of GFI’s reach and greater support and focus for TAI’s forest sector work.
As we begin preparations for the 5th Global Gathering in the fall of 2014, this exciting new development will add to our ability to service the TAI Network, which encompasses more than 250 civil society organizations in over 50 countries worldwide, and the GFI Network, a group of civil society organizations from Brazil, Cameroon, Indonesia, and the U.S. In particular, the theme for this year’s Global Gathering – centered on forests and community rights – would benefit tremendously from this merger at WRI. We are excited about this new development and believe that it is an important, positive step for both initiatives.