Research for the Forest Sector Annual Transparency Report for 2009 was conducted between July and October 2009 in four forest-rich developing countries by independent national NGOs and local partners. Data from each country against a common set of 70 transparency indicators is available on these pages, together with a narrative written by each project partner that analyses the findings, explains the key emerging issues, and makes recommendations for improved transparency in the future.
The country-specific data (for example, Ghana) is presented in a series of pages, including a snap-shot of the key findings, followed by three levels of detail for each indicator.
- The top level of detail provides a summary of findings for each of 15 themes that the indicators are grouped into (see for example, theme-level results from Cameroon).
- At the next level, all indicators within a them can be examined, along with traffic-lights symbols for ‘yes’ (green), ‘no’ (red), or ‘partially’ (yellow) assessments of transparency. For example, the results for the ten indicators which make the theme on permit allocation in Liberia can be seen here.
- Full data on a particular indicator can be found on the final page. See for example Perú, showing the detailed information against the question, ‘Is there a stakeholder consultation process on decisions between different development options?’ relating to the theme ‘Extra-sectoral activities affecting forests’.
At the theme level, it is also possible to view the results from all four countries side-by-side, in the Compare Data page.
Within the pages for each country, and overall, there are sections on methodology and on lessons learned, comprising an analysis, conclusions and recommendations.
Report card findings
The report card results identify best practice, including that which might be transferable from one country to another. They also reveal where there is most secrecy, pointing to areas where a select few control all the major decisions regarding a nation's forests. They also provides a useful tool for civil society to improve their analysis of the issues and to prioritise strategies to tackle them. Unless civil society is able to put real pressure on governments to address these weaknesses, positive change is unlikely.
This first-ever transparency report for the forest sector is a pilot, and we invite public feedback and discussion (see our contact details). In future as the methodology becomes more rigorous and replicable the website will build up a record of improving transparency in the sector year by year.