Origins

Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF) took its origins from the activities of Major Groups following UN forest policy debates with the inception of Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) in 1995. Since then Major Groups have played active roles in UN forest deliberations and have organized events at the global level to increase their involvement.

When the United Nations Forum on Forests came into being in 2000 as a successor organization to Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) before it, it established a mechanism where representatives of the respective Major Groups were identified as focal points to serve as links between the UNFF Secretariat and the various Major Groups and their constituencies.

Thus during various policy deliberations various Major Groups present their recommendations and lobby government officials for their inclusion in the negotiated texts. There had been points of agreement and disagreements among the various Major Groups, apart from the fact that disagreements also exist among groups of the same Major Groups on various issues with agreements on others.

However, Major Groups following UNFF sessions decided that apart from holding onto the views of their various constituencies and championing them, there will be value added when they put in a process of developing recommendations agreeable to all of them. They therefore decided to undertake joint Major Groups activities to develop common recommendations for governments to consider. Organizing global events together also helps to solicit views from many others who would not be present at the UN Session itself.

This led to Major Groups-led Initiatives (MGI) in support of UNFF first in Ghana and then in Brazil, in 2010 and 2013 respectively, which developed recommendations for UNFF9 in 2011 in New York and UNFF10 in 2013 in Istanbul.

As a result of the success of these two events they decided that to establish an international body to coordinate such activities to ensure effectiveness and continuity. Hence in 2012, Major Groups Partnership on Forests was founded to be responsible for organizing future joint events.

For more information on Major Groups refer to Agenda 21, section III ‘Strengthening the role of Major Groups’, chapters 23-32