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About 80% of the world’s forests are in countries that have federal systems of government. This briefing reviews these forest-rich countries to identify how federalism can improve both forest management and governance, more broadly. The briefing draws mainly from a survey by Contreras-Hermosilla et al. (2008). After defining ‘federalism’ in the context of forest-governance, this briefing reviews results from around the world; identifies issues related to good forest-governance; and makes recommendations for countries evolving to more federalist-styles of political organization. In particular, this briefing examines the experience of Canada as an example of a federal system with strong, constitutionally protected, provincial control over forests, but where indigenous populations are making claims to vast areas of forests that currently have unresolved land title.