TFD operationalizes its work and implements its mission through dialogue based “Initiatives”. Initiatives are designed to engage and mobilize stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to explore contentious, internationally-relevant issues important to the forest sector. Structured in a three-phase process of engage, explore, and change, initiatives are the primary mechanism through which TFD builds partnerships, convenes dialogues, produces publications, and drives change.

Initiatives begin when a global forest issue is identified by TFD’s Steering Committee (SC). Initiatives typically comprise a series of dialogues, often occurring in countries where the issue is or has historically caused conflict. The type and style of dialogue used depends on the initiative’s objectives, the nature and scope of the issue, and the number of participants. TFD has five different types of dialogue: Scoping, Scoping with Field, Field, Thematic, and Mini. Structured to ensure stakeholders’ concerns are well represented through a dynamic, bottom-up approach – dialogues result in agreed-upon and actionable outcomes that address natural resource conflicts. Initiatives are implemented according to a flexible but rigorous process that is driven by stakeholders to fit the scope, scale, and context of the challenge the initiative is setting out to address. Partnerships are a critical facet of initiatives and TFD exclusively convenes  dialogues in collaboration with in-country host organizations. For further information on TFD’s process, visit the TFD approach webpage or download the TFD process guide.

Since the organization’s inception in 2000, TFD has coordinated over 20 different Initiatives addressing issues such as forest certification, plantation forestry, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), and the connection between poverty reduction and forestry.  At any given time, TFD coordinates four initiatives, however this number is subject to a number of factors. Though there is no fixed timeline that initiative must follow, all initiatives conclude at a point and transition from being ‘active’ to ‘past’. Even though TFD is no longer actively working on past initiatives - these initiatives are foundational and shaped TFD’s ongoing work. Knowledge, perspectives, and learnings captured in Co-chair’s Summaries and TFD Review publications from past TFD initiatives continue to inform today’s discussion around forest challenges. In many cases one initiative will drive the creation of another as was the case when TFD’s Food, Fule, Fiber, and Forests (4Fs) initiative that inspired the creation of the Land Use Dialogue initiative. 

See below for a listing and description of our active Initiatives.  Also below are additional Initiatives that TFD has developed in the past and which learnings still guide our work today.  

Active Initiatives
Additional Initiatives