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Conclusions

Transparency and participation are key components of good forest governance: they improve the quality of the decision-making process, increase the legitimacy of these decisions in the public eyes and improve public perception of government action.

Consequently, it is not sufficient for them only to appear in political statements and in the legal framework: they have to be implemented in the practices of private and public sector actors through access to information, effective participation and citizen oversight and vigilance. The study carried out by this project points to the following general conclusions:

  • At present, there are participatory processes for the taking of key decisions in this sector which involve the participation of the principal actors, as can be seen by the existence of the Round Table for the Integral Development of the Andean Peoples, the National Coordination Group for the Development of Amazonian Peoples, the National Consultation on forest policy, and on updating the Forest and Wildlife Law through the setting up of national and regional forums to put forward and debate proposals. Since the time of the National Round Table for Dialogue and Consensus on Forests which worked actively between 2001 and 2004 and provided political support for the implementation process of the 2000 forest legislation, we have not seen processes for such intense political participation with national and regional forums for the political decision-making process, as well as for the drafting of and consultation over the legal provisions for the forest sector. The existence of processes such as these, which may circumstantially have arisen due to the indigenous protests of Bagua (June 2009) and the implementation of the Trade Promotion Agreement, has, in our study, been covered in the section devoted to transparent access to the decision-making process.
  • The study has also shown that there is a legal framework for the redistribution of the funds arising from taxes, contributions and payments from the forest sector. This legal framework establishes the conditions and procedures for the redistribution of these funds to the regional and local actors in the areas where forest operations take place. Likewise, information on the monies distributed is freely available from the Ministry of Economy website, and the sums allocated to each locality are published in the official journal.
  • The study has also shown that Peru enjoys a general legal framework which recognises and guarantees the rights to participation and transparency and contained in, amongst other documents, the Political Constitution, the Law protecting the right to Citizen Participation and Control, the Law on Transparency and Access to Information, the Framework Law for the Modernization of State Governance, the General Environment Law and the Organic Law of the Executive Power. Furthermore, the environment sector has at its disposal a Regulation on transparency, access to Public Environment Information and Citizen Participation and Consultation in Environmental Affairs, ratified through Supreme Decree Nº 002-2009-MINAM. This means that the right to access to information exists and any citizen can request information stored by public bodies without having to provide reasons for this request. Likewise, there are also provisions guaranteeing the exercise of these rights in general.
  • Unfortunately, in the case of Peru, transparency and participation are mainly evident in legal frameworks and political statements and not in measures that could be taken on an ongoing basis to facilitate them. While a legal framework for transparency, participation and access to general information does exist, there is no specific legal framework for the forest sector, nor indeed have any specific provisions been developed for this sector. As can be seen in the relevant sections of the study, the rights to transparency, participation and access to information have not yet been embodied in very defined specific provisions within the legal framework for the forests on issues such as fiscal accountability. Neither have they been embodied in systems of citizen oversight and vigilance, or monitoring of the processes of granting rights to the use of forest resources, the exploitation of forest resources, and other wood products, and environmental and cultural services.
  • There are no strategic decision-making processes in the various sectors relating to forests. Thus each sector takes its own decisions without considering the effects these may have on the decisions taken by other sectors. Consequently, the little or no coordination between the different sectors regarding forest policies, plans, programmes and projects which they are each pushing forward simultaneously, can have unforeseen and serious social, environmental and economic impacts. They may jeopardise the success of many of the conservation and sustainable development projects for the forest resources.
  • However, perhaps one of the most striking conclusions of the study is the observation that the abolition of INRENA and the transfer of its functions to the General Office for Forest and Wildlife and the Regional Governments has left actors in the sector without an Internet portal containing the most important information on forests such as the complete legal framework (especially the minor regulations which frequently are not published), information on concessions granted (areas, concession holders, volumes, etc.), forest sector statistics, etc.. The lack of this information leaves actors in the forest sector without a great deal of the key information they need to be able to exercise their right of participation effectively.

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