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Forests are the lifeblood of our planet, providing essential resources for over 1.6 billion people and safeguarding biodiversity, clean air and water, and a safe climate. Yet, outdated and inadequate laws, often lacking a scientific foundation, struggle to address the escalating threats of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change. The Model Forest Act Initiative (MoFAI) bridges this gap by employing a systematic and science-based approach for effective forest law reform.

About the MoFAI

The MoFAI is a groundbreaking initiative to provide a comprehensive and innovative legal blueprint for legislators, policymakers, and other stakeholders in designing a modern legal framework for the protection, conservation, restoration, and ecologically sustainable management and use of forests, with a particular focus on native forests and vegetation. It uses a systematic, interdisciplinary, multistakeholder, and evidence-informed approach to design a model legislative text that can be applied and tailored to country-specific contexts and needs.

MoFAI Objectives

  • Tackling 21st century challenges such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change
  • Overcoming the ethical and legal disconnect in outdated forest laws
  • Aligning national and local laws with international instruments and modern environmental principles
  • Helping to address the implementation gap by improving the scientific soundness and technical adequacy of forest laws
  • Providing a governance design that takes into consideration multiple actors, resources, and convergence of the rights and duties of stakeholders
  • Fostering harmonization of legal frameworks for the conservation and ecologically sustainable management of forests, especially in critical biomes such as the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and the Indo-Malayan region

The Development Process

MoFAI Outcomes

Through the General Part of the Model Forest Act and accompanying Legislative Guide, interested stakeholders will be able to identify areas to prioritize, based on unique circumstances and challenges faced in each region of the world and each jurisdiction.

Initial Stage (2023–2025): The General Part of the Model Forest Act

The MoFAI’s initial stage focuses on developing the General Part of the Model Forest Act and its accompanying Legislative Guide. The General Part draws from, but is not limited to, existing legislative examples from different legal systems, including civil and common law, as well as customary law, international treaties and soft law instruments, and other norms and legal realities. It will include state-of-the art provisions from around the world. The General Part also seeks to advance and improve forest law by seizing the opportunities provided by new scientific and technological developments.

Building Blocks of the General Part of the Model Forest Act




MoFAI In Action


Knowledge Resources