After three years of developing the project in Ecuador, positive changes have been seen, but there is still room for improvement. More and better efforts are required for coordinating activities, for sharing information between public institutions and ensuring that the information generated is accessible to the public and can become a tool for participative decision-making.
For the governmental and legislative bodies
- Work on the creation of standards for transparency and access to information specific to the forest sector, and draw up clear mechanisms for the application of the legal regulations and monitoring of compliance therewith.
- Create Sectoral Citizen Councils and other clear mechanisms for consultation, deliberation and timely access to information on the development of new forest regulations and activities.
- Share the draft documents for proposed laws and policies such as the new environmental code and the forest production policy to support the processes for participation of all the stakeholders involved and thus ensure that the results are more legitimate both socially and politically.
- Provide simplified access to information related to the forest sector; this could include translation into native languages and the use of methods which are more pedagogical and easier for citizens to understand.
- Develop the Forest Administration System and other integrated systems through participative processes to ensure that there is user-friendly access for citizens.
- Publish lists of people who have committed environmental offences and make sure that these lists are freely available to the different institutions related to forest management and to civil society; this will make it possible to create a cross-referenced register, which will lead to improvements in forest governance.
- Set up a permanent space for dialogue between sectors (public, private, civil society) so that the country's strategies for addressing deforestation and climate change can be reviewed and Ecuador can progress towards a post-extractive economy.
For civil society (including indigenous peoples and other groups)
- Become more involved and apply more pressure on the public institutions to comply with the legal regulations (on transparency and access to information).
- Become empowered in the use and application of the law of transparency and access to information, by increasing requests for information through the legal channels.
- Publish the information they generate as part of their activities.
- Develop pilot programmes further in partnership with public and private players to inspire best practices for forest transparency.
For international donors
- Include as part of their guidelines and policies that all the products generated with their funds are easy to access for the public in general.
- Promote agreements for the generation of broader spaces for interaction where the national civil society organisations and the owners/users of the forests can participate actively in public policy decisions.