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Sustainable Forests and Reaching the SDGs
22 April 2020
Authors: 
Judith Walcott
Lera Miles
Global

Whether from the emergence of infectious diseases, the growing risks to global food systems, or from the increasing variability in global climate and local weather patterns, it is evident that we urgently need to rebalance our relationship with nature. Our relationship with forests is a prime example.

Forests are among the most biodiverse of Earth’s ecosystems. They sequester carbon and help to mitigate against climate change. They protect watersheds and help to control soil erosion. And yet, around 11% of carbon dioxide emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation, which is second only to the energy sector.

The 21st of March was the International Day of Forests, and it convened under the theme of forests and biodiversity. This is fitting in 2020,  the beginning of a critical decade for the planet. There will be landmark moments early in the decade, including the anticipated adoption of a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is a Centre of global excellence in biodiversity. Over the past 10 years, we have been closely involved with REDD+, an initiative under the climate change convention (UNFCCC) that aims to support developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and to promote the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of forests. Working closely with the UN-REDD Programme, we help countries to plan for and access results-based payments for these actions.

In work led by UNEP-WCMC, the UN-REDD Programme has supported over 20 developing countries to analyze where REDD+ actions could result in multiple benefits beyond carbon. Through spatial analyses carried out in close collaboration with national partners, countries have been empowered to identify areas that have potential for forest conservation, restoration and sustainable management, and can also help secure a range of additional important benefits for people and planet.

These analyses have shown how sustainable forest practices across the planet can contribute to a wide range of the Sustainable Development Goals.

One such example is Costa Rica. The National REDD+ Secretariat, together with FONAFIFO (the country’s National Forestry Financing Fund) and the UN-REDD Programme used spatial analyses to explore where REDD+ actions could help secure benefits beyond carbon, such as enhanced water regulation to support communities vulnerable to water stress, the potential for socio-economic improvements from forest-dependent livelihoods, and from ecotourism.

The work emphasized areas of overlap between the National REDD+ Strategy and spatial priorities for Costa Rica’s other objectives, such as national development, restoration and biodiversity conservation. Considering these benefits when planning and implementing REDD+ will help progress towards SDGs 1 (No Poverty); 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation); 13 (Climate Action); and 15 (Life on Land), among others.

More recently, this work also featured in the development of Costa Rica’s Gender Action Plan (contributing to SDG 5 on Gender Equality). Spatial layers showing the proportion of women by district contributed additional insight and helped to highlight districts where women could act as conservation agents, support efforts to reduce forest fires, and undertake reforestation activities.

Another example is Côte d’Ivoire, where we collaborated with the country’s REDD+ Permanent Executive Secretariat and the Swiss Scientific Research Centre to develop a forest restoration opportunities map. This combined potential benefits, such as carbon density, soil erosion risk and species richness, with obstacles to forest restoration, such as infrastructure development and high human land use. The resulting map shows areas with higher potential and lower obstacles, and thus where forest restoration could be most effective and have the most positive impacts. This could include contributing to SDGs such as SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 13 (Climate Action), and 15 (Life on Land).

This type of analysis can identify where agroforestry actions are feasible to guide implementation of Côte d’Ivoire’s National REDD+ Strategy, promoting the use of agroforestry to strengthen agricultural systems’ resilience to climate change, and to diversify incomes for farmers. There is also an opportunity to align REDD+ and private sector cocoa initiatives, with the potential to create more incentives for smallholder farmers and contribute to SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), among others.

 Meanwhile in Viet Nam, lessons from the National REDD+ Programme are informing the development of a deforestation-free jurisdiction in the Central Highlands. This region is at the forefront of efforts to conserve natural forests and other biodiversity, while sustaining production of high-value crops like coffee. Both nationally and locally, partners are seeking to promote sustainable land management and pilot a deforestation-free approach in the region in support of SDGs 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land).

 These individual examples give us just a snapshot of how retaining, restoring and sustainably managing our forests can help achieve a wide variety of SDGs and bring a range of benefits for people and for nature. As this year’s International Day of Forests slogan put it, our forests are too precious to lose.

More information is available here.  

 

Photo 1: Community stakeholders reviewing background report of Zambian forest tenure context
26 February 2020
Authors: 
Mr. Malcolm Childress
Zambia
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Myanmar

Forests are critically important for many of the world’s poor who depend on them for food, income, medicine and building materials. As such, forests are a nexus of broadly held policy goals such as poverty reduction, economic growth, conservation and climate change. Most forests in the developing world are governed, in practice, through community-based tenure systems.

26 May 2019
Global

By Robert Winterbottom 

This is the first installment of WRI’s blog series, New Perspectives on Restoration. The series aims to share WRI’s views on restoration, dispel myths, and explore restoration opportunities throughout the world.

Almost half of the world’s original forests have been cleared or degraded. So naturally, most people think of the “forest restoration” movement as an effort to re-plant these lost trees.

26 May 2019
Authors: 
Katie Reytar
Angola
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Uruguay
United States of America
Cambodia
India
Ireland

By Katie Reytar 

This is the second installment of WRI’s blog series, New Perspectives on Restoration. The series aims to share WRI’s views on restoration, dispel myths, and explore restoration opportunities throughout the world.

Global
Africa
Kenya
Uganda
Latin America and the Caribbean
Colombia
Peru
Asia
Indonesia
Nepal

The recent World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, held this past March in Washington D.C., provided a unique opportunity to reflect on collective land tenure reforms not only from a research point of view, but also from that of governments.

Blogs

Events

Organizations

A AS-PTA – Agricultura Familiar e Agroecologia é uma associação de direito civil sem fins lucrativos que, desde 1983, atua para o fortalecimento da agricultura familiar e a promoção do desenvolvimento rural sustentável no Brasil. A experiência acumulada pela entidade ao longo desses anos permitiu comprovar a contribuição do enfoque agroecológico para o enfrentamento dos grandes desafios da sustentabilidade agrícola pelas famílias agricultoras. A AS-PTA participou da constituição e atua em diversas redes da sociedade civil voltadas para a promoção do desenvolvimento rural sustentável.

Our Mission

The Amazon Conservation Team partners with indigenous and other local communities to protect tropical forests and strengthen traditional culture.


Our Vision

We see a future where healthy tropical forests and thriving local communities exist in harmonious relationship with each other, contributing to the well-being of the planet.

Canadian Council of Forest Ministers logo

There has been a long tradition of cooperation between the federal and provincial/territorial governments in forestry matters.

The establishment of the CCFM in 1985 provided an important forum for the respective governments to exchange information, work cooperatively, provide leadership and generate actions on forestry related matters of interests to all Canadians above and beyond the work done by individuals governments.

The primary role of the CCFM is to provide:

Canadian Institute of Forestry logo

Established in 1908, the CIF-IFC is the oldest forest society in Canada!  The Institute serves as the voice of forest practitioners representing foresters, forest technologists and technicians, ecologists, biologists, educators and many others with a professional interest in forestry.

The Institute is dedicated to:

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a non-profit, scientific facility that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscapes management around the world. With our global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we help policymakers, practitioners and communities make decisions based on solid science about how they use and manage their forests and landscapes.

Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia logo

Role:

Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia is the umbrella interest organization of natural and legal persons in the Republic of Slovenia engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishery. Its central task is to protect and represent their interests, to consult them and accelerate economical and environment friendly activities.

Commonwealth Forestry Association logo

What we do

We are reminded on a daily basis that the natural environment in which we live is vitally important for our well-being, whether it is in the form of climate change, global warming, declining fertility or dwindling natural resources.

Conservation Letters (Conservation Letters)

Conservation Letters : A Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology

MOTTO

The Dedan Kimathi University of Technology motto is: “Better Life through Technology”.

 

VISION STATEMENT

To be a Premier Technological University Excelling in Quality Education, Research, and Technology Transfer for National Development.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

Forest Products Society logo

The Forest Products Society is an international not-for-profit technical association founded in 1947 to provide an information network for all segments of the forest products industry. Learn more about the Society's history. Membership is open to all interested individuals and organizations.

Forest Research is the Forestry Commission’s research agency. Forest Research is Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree related research and is internationally renowned for the provision of evidence and scientific services in support of sustainable forestry. Forest Research works for many Government departments, all the devolved administrations, forestry and land management stakeholders, environmental NGO’s and the European Union.

Forest Research Institute Malaysia logo

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) is one of the leading institutions in tropical forestry research in the world. Founded in 1929, the former Forest Research Institute became a fully-fledged statutory body, governed by the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board (MFRDB) under the Ministry of Primary Industries, in 1985.

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