United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development
Topics

Forests

Description

Sustainable Development Goal 15 aims to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.

Forests have a significant role in reducing the risk of natural disasters, including floods, droughts, landslides and other extreme events. At global level, forests mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration, contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air and protect watersheds, which supply 75% of freshwater worldwide.

Investing in forests and forestry represent an investment in people and their livelihoods, especially the rural poor, youth and women. Around 1.6 billion people - including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures - depend on forests for their livelihood.

Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. They also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.

Therefore, the future of forests and forestry in sustainable development at all levels was at the core of the XIV World Forestry, hosted in Durban from 7 to 11 September 2015. The Durban Declaration called for new partnerships among forest, agriculture, finance, energy, water and other sectors, as well the engagement with indigenous people and local community.

The importance of investing in world’s forests and of taking “political commitment at the highest levels, smart policies, effective law enforcement, innovative partnerships and funding” was also recalled by the UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon in his Message on the occasion of the 2015 International Day of Forests.

Both the International Day of Forests, launched in 2013 and the International Year of Forest proclaimed for 2011 aimed at raising awareness on the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.

Prior to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference, the Future We Want, in its paragraphs 193- 196 stress the importance of improving the livelihoods of people and communities by creating the conditions required to sustainably manage forests. It also recognizes the role of the UN Forum on Forests in addressing forest-related issues in a holistic and integrated manner, and in promoting international policy coordination and cooperation in order to achieve forest management. Paragraph 196 calls for the mainstreaming of sustainable forest management and practises into economic policy and decision-making.

Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 is entitled ‘Combating Deforestation’ and is devoted to sustain the multiple roles and functions of all types of forests, forest lands and woodlands.

On one side, the Agenda highlights the major weaknesses in the policies, methods and mechanisms adopted to support trees, forests and forest lands and the multiple ecological, economic, social and cultural roles.

Therefore, on the other side, it identifies, among its objectives, the strengthening of forest-related national institutions, the enhancement of the scope and effectiveness of activities related to the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests, and the sustainable utilization and production of forests' goods and services in both the developed and the developing countries.

The Agenda also mentions the importance to improve human, technical and professional skills, as well as expertise and capabilities to effectively formulate and implement policies, plans, programmes, research and projects on management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and forest-based resources, and forest lands inclusive, as well as other areas from which forest benefits can be derived.

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19
Title Type Sort descending Date
2018 HLPF Review of SDGs implementation: SDG 15 Background Notes 2-Jul-2018
E/CN.17/1996/32 - Progress Report of Panel on Forests Meeting reports 10-Apr-1996
E/CN.17/1996/24 - Report of Panel on Forests on its Second Session Meeting reports 16-Apr-1996
E/CN.17/1995/34 - Indicators for Sustainability of Amazonian Forests Meeting reports 10-Apr-1995
E/CN.17/1995/26 - Intergovernmental Working Group on Forests Meeting reports 23-Feb-1995
E/CN.17/1994/18 - Working Group on Global Forests Meeting reports 12-May-1994
E/CN.17/2000/14 - Report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on its fourth session Meeting reports 20-Mar-2000
Concept Note on Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Development Goal 15: Progress and Prospects Other documents 23-Mar-2018
Flyer- UN Forum on Forests in SDG Pavillion (04 December 2018) Other documents 3-Dec-2018
E/CN.18/2015/L.1/Rev.1 - International arrangement on “The forests we want: beyond 2015” Other documents 13-May-2015
Flyer- UN Forum on Forests in SDG Pavillion (13 December 2018) Other documents 3-Dec-2018
UN-HABITAT - Urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry as a strategy for climate change adaptation… Other documents 1-Feb-2013
Agenda on Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Development Goal 15: Progress and Prospects Programme 23-Mar-2018
E/CN.18/2015/L.2/Rev.1 - International arrangements on forests beyond 2015 Resolutions and decisions 18-May-2015
A/70/472 - Sustainable development: report of the Second Committee Resolutions and decisions 16-Dec-2015
A/70/472/Add.1 - Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the… Resolutions and decisions 23-Dec-2015
E/CN.17/1995/3 - Combating Deforestation Secretary-General Reports 14-Feb-1995
E/CN.17/2001/PC/15 - Review of progress in forests Secretary-General Reports 2-Mar-2001
TST Issues Brief: Forests Technical Support Team (TST) Issues Briefs 29-Oct-2013
Displaying 1 - 42 of 42
Title Category Sort descending Date
Major Group: Women Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 4-Feb-2014
Major Group: Women Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 5-Feb-2014
Major Group: Women Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 5-Feb-2014
Forest Stewardship Council Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 4-Feb-2014
Global Forest Coalition Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 4-Feb-2014
Presentation by Prof. Virgilio Viana Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Zambia Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Bangladesh Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Belarus and Serbia Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Australia, The Netherlands and United Kingdom Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Republic of Korea Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Brazil and Nicaragua Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Major Group: Science & Technology Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
China, Indonesia and Kazakhstan Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 5-Feb-2014
Gabon on behalf of Forest 11 Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Toward UN Sustainable Development Goals Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Egypt Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Cyprus, Singapore and United Arab Emirates Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 5-Feb-2014
Major Group: Women Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Oceans and Seas, Forests, Biodiversity Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Norway Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Italy, Spain and Turkey Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Montenegro and Slovenia Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Finland Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 5-Feb-2014
France, Germany and Switzerland Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 5-Feb-2014
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Maldives Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
European Union Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Sweden Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Nepal Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 5-Feb-2014
Uganda Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 6-Feb-2014
Forests in a sustainable world Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Iran Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Toward UN Sustainable Development Goals Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Poland and Romania Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Major Group: Science & Technology Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014
Japan Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 4-Feb-2014
Canada, Israel and United States of America Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity 3-Feb-2014

Milestones

  • January 2015 SDG 15- Forests
    As far as forests are concerned, target 15.1 includes forests among the terrestrial ecosystems whose conservation, restoration and sustainable use have to be ensured by 2020. Target 15.2 is committed to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally by 2020. Target 15.b calls to mobilize "significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation".
  • Adopted on 21st December 2012, Resolution A/RES/67/200 declared 21 March as International Day of Forests and invited all Member States to commit themselves in the design and planning of activities related to all types of forests, including tree-planting and other community-level events.
  • The Future We Want, in its paragraphs 193- 196, stresses the importance of improving the livelihoods of people and communities by creating the conditions required to sustainably manage forests. It also recognizes the role of the UN Forum on Forests in addressing forest-related issues in a holistic and integrated manner, and in promoting international policy coordination and cooperation in order to achieve forest management. Paragraph 196 calls for the mainstreaming of sustainable forest management and practises into economic policy and decision-making.
  • 2011 was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly as International Year of Forest to raise awareness on strengthening the sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations. In that context, the GA also requested the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat (UNFF) to serve as the focal point for Forests 2011, in collaboration with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), major groups and other relevant organisations.
  • January 2000 UN Forum on Forest
    By Resolution 2000/35, the UN ECOSOC established the United Nations Forum on Forests as a subsidiary body aimed at promoting, on the basis of Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and the Forest principles.
  • January 1995 CSD-3 (Chap. 1 D. 1)
    In paragraph D1 of Chapter 1, the Commission for Sustainable Development, at its third session , devoted its attention to the review of sectoral clusters such as forests. At this particular session, CSD also established the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF).
  • January 1992 Agenda 21 (Chap. 11)
    In Chapter 11 of Agenda 21, the Agenda highlights the major weaknesses in the policies, methods and mechanisms adopted to support trees, forests and forest lands and the multiple ecological, economic, social and cultural roles. At the same time, the Agenda identifies, among its objectives, the strengthening of forest-related national institutions, the enhancement of the scope and effectiveness of activities related to the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests, as well as the sustainable utilization and production of forests' goods and services in both developed and developing countries. The Agenda also mentions the importance to improve human, technical and professional skills, as well as expertise and capabilities to effectively formulate and implement policies, plans, programmes, research and projects on management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, forest-based resources and forest lands inclusive, as well as other areas from which forest benefits can be derived.