Commonwealth NGOs
related to forestry

bullet1 GLOBAL

bullet2 Global Canopy Programme

HQ situated in U.K.


Type of NGO:  NGO,

Interest in Forestry: central

Contact method: email : 


The Global Canopy Programme is an alliance of 37 scientific institutions in 19 countries, which lead the world in forest canopy research, education and conservation.

The GCP is helping to plug major gaps in knowledge. The structure, function and resilience of the world’s forest canopy environment are unknown. Almost half of all terrestrial life forms could exist in forest canopies, but only a small fraction has been documented. The influence of forest canopies on climate change, their role in maintaining the earth’s biological diversity, and the other vital ecosystem services they provide to humanity at local to global scales is still little understood.

Time is not on our side as the conversion of ancient forests proceeds apace worldwide. Policy and positive incentive mechanisms based on sound science must urgently be developed to preserve these vital forest utilities for humanity.  All our efforts are now focused on shedding light on these issues. Today, our 3 main programmes - in science, policy and finance - aim to define and explore the range and economic value of forest ecosystem services and to share our findings with decision-makers in Government and finance.

With help from the UK’s Darwin Initiative and the FCO Global Opportunities Fund, GCP canopy training programmes in Brazil, Malaysia and Britain are helping to build a platform for new scientific leadership in forest science.  We are supporting scientific research on forest canopy ecosystem services through the  'Valuing forests as Eco-Utilities' project, Project IBISCA and the proposed Whole Forest Observatory network.    We are also playing a key role in the policy arena, through the Forests NOW Campaign.  In the finance sector we are working with Governments of forested nations to establish pilot projects to demonstrate that payments for ecosystem services could become traded in the voluntary markets. If successful this could generate significant revenues to countries, on a scale of current agribusinesses such as soya, palm oil and beef. If we can use commerce as an ally and create new market mechanisms in ecosystem services, we will not only further the cause of forest conservation but also, by reducing deforestation, help mitigate up to 25% of greenhouse gases, which are causing climate change.