Policy Brief: The Three Key Pillars of Integrity-based Forest Management

Integrated landscape approaches to forest management are more holistic than conventional sector-based approaches and provide a more promising approach to sustainable management. Integrity-based Forest Management (INFORM) provides a framework for developing and evaluating integrated landscape approaches built on ecosystem integrity, effective planning and strong governance.

Integrated landscape approaches to forest management are more holistic that conventional sector-based approaches.They recognise the multiple land uses and stakeholders that use and affect forest landscapes. However, there is limited agreement on what an integrated landscape approach looks like, and how to develop and evaluate these approaches.

This policy brief outlines and explains the three key pillars for Integrity-based Forest Management (INFORM):

  • Ecosystem Integrity
  • Effective Planning
  • Strong Governance

These three pillars are based on an analysis and synthesis of existing principles for integrated landscape approaches and can guide development and evaluation of evaluate integrated landscape approaches to forest management.


The three pillars – ecosystem integrity, effective planning and strong governance – are essential components to ensure healthy forest ecosystems and sustainable, just and legitimate management of the landscape.

Ecosystem integrity provides the 'why?' of integrated landscape management. Ecosystem integrity defines the landscape and the benefits it provides. Maintaining restoring ecosystem integrity is essential for sustaining the multiple, high quality ecosystem service benefits of primary forest landscapes.

Effective planning defines the 'what?' in integrated landscape management: what is important, what needs to be done. Effective planning is essential to guide choices of land uses and activities to respond to current and future drivers of change.

Strong governance is the 'how?' of integrated landscape management. Strong governance creates high integrity and legitimate decision-making about the forest and its landscape.

Article authors

Ed Morgan

Dr Ed Morgan is a Research Fellow at the Cities Research Institute, Griffith University. He is developing landscape planning for ecosystem-based climate change adaptation and forest protection.
Tim Cadman

Tim Cadman

Tim is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Law Futures Centre and the Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Tim has been an academic researcher and teacher since 1996.
Dr Brendan Mackey

Brendan Mackey

Project Director and Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon at Griffith University, contributing to community planning and engagement in forest projects.


Morgan, E. A., Cadman, T., & Mackey, B. (2020). The Three Pillars Of Integrity-Based Forest Management: Ecosystem Integrity, Strong Governance And Effective Planning, Science Informing Policy Briefing Note 2/21, Griffith University Cliamte Action Beacon, Brisbane, Australia https://doi.org/10.25904/1912/4509

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