The chapter presents a theoretical framework for the formulation and implementation of policies for adaptation, based on the policy design approach. Using this approach it evaluates traditional and new models of forest governance and policy instruments for the adaptation of forests and people to climate change. The chapter argues that traditional governance often fails to meet the challenges of inter-sectoral coordination posed by adaptation. The high level of uncertainty about the impacts of climate change on forests at the management-unit level supports new modes of governance based on policy networks and flexible policy instruments. The national forest programme is the core instrument of new forest governance at the national level; it can promote adaptation by reducing background levels of deforestation and forest degradation through sustainable forest management (SFM). It is proposed to add adaptation as an objetive of SFM, within the dynamic balance of existing economic, ecological and social goals. From a policy design perspective, at the international level better integration of the biodiversity, forest and climate-change regimes is proposed in order to raise additional funds for SFM and to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Finally, it is found that negotiations on SFM and REDD follow different strategies of social decision-making, from which specific recommendations for appropriate policy tools can be drawn.