This chapter surveys the complex international political landscape of forest conservation. So far governments have been unable to agree even to initiate negotiations for an international forest convention, still less to agree the details of such an instrument itself. Yet this issue is frequently raised in international forest negotiations, most recently in 2006–7 at the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York. With no immediate likelihood of a convention being agreed, governments and other actors have looked instead to other policy initiatives in an effort to find a creative new forest politics in which the forces for conservation are greater than those for forest degradation. The most recent policy focus, examined in the second half of this chapter, is on providing incentives to encourage governments and forest owners to protect forests as sinks for carbon, thereby mitigating climate change (on climate change, see Chapter 28).