This paper presents an overview of the various approaches that developed and developing countries have used in designing national forest funds. It is based on a study of legislation in over forty countries and a review of some of the few empirical studies of forest fund performance. The overview may serve as checklist of issues and options for policymakers who are designing funds. It also may illuminate ongoing discussions about appropriate international roles in forest financing.
The paper presents some of the common arguments for and against the use of dedicated funds. Understanding these may help improve fund design.
Finally, this paper describes some likely future roles for funds to promote sustainable forest management.