Sustainable forest management (SFM) is a concept that guides forest management and policy globally. Over the past decades, two prominent regimes have emerged at the global level that can strengthen SFM: The European Union’s Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) and the United Nations’ mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). However, the understanding of how FLEGT and REDD+ can interlink with SFM to strengthen forest policy coherence is limited. Enhancing knowledge about interlinkages and synergies is important in view of recent global commitments to strengthen policy coherence. This study employed content analysis of the main global policy documents related to FLEGT and REDD+ to identify (i) the potential contributions of the two regimes to SFM, and (ii) strategies to manage the interlinkages among SFM, FLEGT, and REDD+. The results revealed several potential interlinkages, such as monitoring, reporting, and verification systems, establishing the enabling conditions of SFM, and addressing drivers of forest degradation. However, the interlinkages must be managed if their potential is to be realized. For this, the study proposes three approaches to managing the interlinkages and catalyzing progress toward SFM.
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