A governance framework for the design and evaluation of tree planting schemes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Tree planting has excellent potential to alleviate the profound negative impacts of global environmental change. However, tree planting schemes often involve complex social, political, economic, technical, and biological dimensions. In improving the performance of tree planting schemes, governance tools and frameworks have been developed by different stakeholders over the past years. In this study, we systematically reviewed existing literature and synthesised qualitative information on the governance of tree planting schemes. We searched five databases, and, after screening the abstracts and full texts, we identified 93 publications from six continents. The publications contained relevant insights on the governance of tree planting scheme practices, processes, tools, frameworks, and guidelines. We identified key issues and thematic concepts and then categorised them into five overarching structural phases or processes (initiation, planning, intervention, monitoring and evaluation, and sustainability) and four influencing factors (actors, resources, information, and legal instruments) with their governance elements. Using these, we propose a governance process framework that we applied to several examples of tree planting schemes worldwide. The framework distinctly integrates the structural phases and influencing factors, which most users can adapt to different tree planting scheme contexts, linking governance inputs and processes. We argue that the framework's flexibility, clarity, and inclusiveness can help guide the governance of tree planting schemes and how they can best address the challenges of global change and sustainable development. Furthermore, our framework can be applied to varying contexts, in whole or in part, depending on the scheme type and purpose. Specifically, the framework can be applied formally and systematically to assess, analyse, monitor, and evaluate governance processes; or plan new schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102980
Number of pages12
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Issue numberJuly
Early online date25 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).


This work is supported by a Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) PhD studentship from Coventry University, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR). JW thanks the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) for funding, noting that this publication does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of DFFE or its employees. The authors are thankful to Carlos Ferriera for his constructive comments to improve the quality of the paper. We are particularly grateful to the reviewers for the positive feedback and helpful comments.


  • Elements
  • Framework
  • Governance process
  • Influencing factor
  • Structural phase


Dive into the research topics of 'A governance framework for the design and evaluation of tree planting schemes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this