The analysis covers six main themes. Click on a theme title for more detail.
The most significant positive change compared to the previous year is in access to decision-making by ordinary citizens. The dynamics are of course different in different countries but in all cases there is a difference in how communities increasingly at the core of decisions about their forests, from grass-roots empowerment right up to national-level policy-making.
Whilst the legal provision for access to information may exist in all countries, through freedom of information legislation, the constitution, or sector laws, it is unevenly implemented in all countries.
The lack of publicly available information on where logging permits are allocated, and under what terms, remains a major area of concern. Only in Liberia is there acknowledgment that all concession contracts, once finalised, should automatically be made available. Elsewhere is it theoretically possible to obtain a template for the contract, but not to see completed contract documents.
Rights to land, forests, other goods (for example water) and services (including carbon sequestration) are confused and opaque in many countries, and little significant change occurred in any of the countries studied in 2010.
Some form of benefit redistribution system, to share revenues from logging back to the local area, exists in Peru, Cameroon, Ghana and Liberia. In Ecuador, such a system is irrelevant because the timber is not sourced from public forests.
Carbon and mining were highlighted in the previous report card as examples of where cross-institutional coordination and strategic planning by government agencies is essential, and largely absent. The lack of a legal framework for the formal identification, protection and valuation of environmental services continues to prevail, although in Peru a draft bill is under discussion, in Cameroon there is an expectation that payments for environmental services will be included in the new forest law. In all countries attempts at carbon storage deals with potential investors are therefore taking place in a policy vacuum.