Gary Dunning

Executive Director, The Forests Dialogue

Research Overview

Background on The Forests Dialogue

The Forests Dialogue (TFD), formed in 1999, is an outgrowth of dialogues begun under the auspices of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The World Bank and The World Resources Institute.  These dialogues converged to create TFD when leaders decided there needed to be an on-going, civil society driven, multi-stakeholder dialogue platform to address important global forestry issues. 

Its mission and purpose is to bring key leaders together to build relationships based on trust, commitment and understanding and generate substantive discussion on key issues related to achieving sustainable forest management around the world.  TFD’s dialogues offer a transparent forum to share aspirations and learning and to seek ways to take collaborative action on the highest priority forest conservation and management issues. 

TFD’s Steering Committee, comprised of international forest and biodiversity leaders, oversee the governance of TFD and the planning and execution of its dialogues.  There are 22 members of the TFD SC from the major stakeholder groups including private landowners, forest products industry, ENGOs, retailers, aid organizations, unions, and academia. 

TFD is developing and conducting international multi-stakeholder dialogues on the following issues:
  1. Forest Certification
  2. Illegal Logging and Forest Governance
  3. Intensive Forest Management
  4. Forests and Biodiversity Conservation
  5. Forests and Povery Reduction

More information at or