The Ibero-American Model Forest Network (RIABM) links territories that drive responsible forestry and natural resource management initiatives. It is a voluntary alliance between Model Forests, supported by national government representatives from each member country which are attached to the International Model Forest Network Secretariat (IMFNS).
It is the first regional voluntary organization that groups 15 Central American, South American, Caribbean and Spanish countries to manage knowledge and share experiences of Model Forests in Ibero-America.
The RIABM counts on the support of prestigious international organizations such as The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), The United Nations Food And Agricultural Organization (FAO), Canadian NGO CUSO International, The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Its management is focused on promoting good governance of natural resources by linking the territories and promoting initiatives that encourage sustainable production and the conservation of natural resources and forests of the partner countries.
The RIABM is one of six regional networks within the International Model Forest Network along with the Mediterranean Network, the African Network, the Asian Network, the Russian and Northern European Network, and the Canadian Network.
The RIABM was created as an international initiative with the goal of the efficient management of lands and forests for the sustainable development in Ibero-America.
In 1992, during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a consensus was achieved on the urgent need to find sustainable solutions to the serious environmental challenges, real and practical solutions facing the planet. At that time Canada invited countries to implement the Model Forest concept as a new approach to land management and make the International Model Forest Network a network to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences.
In order to more effectively address the globally issue of sustainable management of forests and natural resources different regional networks such as the Ibero-American Model Forest Network (RIABM) were created. Thus emerged a new dimension: networking, which has nourished the exchange between partners with training, collaboration, sharing experiences, advocacy, and through the implementation of network projects.
The RIABM is has had the fastest growth in integrating new territories with successful governance processes that comply with the principles and attributes of a Model Forest. Currently, the RIABM links 34 territories in 15 countries across Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Spain totaling more than 31 million hectares. The RIABM’s growth has been sustained since its inception, frequently receiving expressions of interest for membership to the network to participate in new collaborative initiatives on environmental management, experience exchanges, learning, and the creation of joint initiatives for sustainable development training and management.
The RIABM supports its members with the dissemination and transfer of best practices and activities, ensuring financial sustainability and contributing to processes that drive the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policies related to sustainable development.