Global bodies launch campaign to protect forests

THE UNITED Nations’ Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) today called for urgent global action to unlock the potential of forests for people and the planet, with only seven years remaining to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Forest Goals.

The leaders of 16 international organizations and secretariats issued the call at a high-level ‘Forests for our future’ event, held on sidelines of the United Nations 2023 SDG Summit.

“The 2023 SDG Summit is a critical moment for addressing global forest challenges and planning accelerated actions to achieve the CPF joint vision for forests towards 2030,” the group stated in its joint call to action for forests towards 2030.

The Collaborative Partnership on Forests welcomed increased recognition of the importance of forests in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include helping to achieve sustainable and resilient agri-food systems, addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, degradation and desertification, and providing goods and services.
Partners also recognized the significant progress made in conserving, restoring and sustainably using the world’s forests.

Nevertheless, the CPF underlined that time is “not on our side” and that urgent action is needed to achieve international goals and targets.

These include reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest area by 3% worldwide by 2030 under the Global Forest Goals, which would make a significant contribution to maintaining the world’s carbon stocks, restoring degraded landscapes and creating resilient and adaptive ecosystems.

Four focal areas
In the joint call, the Partnership sets out four focal areas to overcome the challenges still preventing the protection, restoration and sustainable management of the world’s forests.

These include strengthening policies, governance and institutions in Member Countries and improving coordination between sectors, improving the accessibility of forest data, tools and methodology to enhance decision-making, improved finance and investment, and bolstering communication and awareness raising.

The Partnership pledged to strengthen shared efforts to address the focal areas and to work with countries towards a world where all forests are sustainably managed for the benefit of people and the planet.

“With our sights clearly set on 2030, we commit to reinforcing action to strengthen efforts at all levels to fully unlock the contributions of forests to sustainable development and achieve our joint vision for forests towards 2030,” CPF members said in the call to action.

United Nations SDG Summit
Governments, businesses and community groups around the world have embraced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals) as the primary means for organizing efforts to end poverty and promote prosperity, education, health and jobs while also protecting the environment and combating climate change.

Progress towards the goals has been slower than hoped as the world has faced multiple interlinked crises which have particularly affected developing countries and the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

The SDG Summit at UN headquarters on 18 and 19 September sought commitments to accelerate efforts as the 2030 deadline draws closer.

The CPF’s call to action follows several recent international meetings at which countries have emphasised the need to realize the potential of forests to contribute to globally agreed goals.

These include the Amazon Summit Belem Declaration (August 2023), the Chair’s Summary of the 18th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (May 2023), the One Forest Summit Declaration (March 2023), the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (CBD COP15, 2022), the Seoul Forest Declaration (XV World Forestry Congress, May 2022), and the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use (UNFCCC COP26, 2021).

The ‘Forests for our future’ event in New York was moderated by Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Goodwill Ambassador for the Near East and North Africa. Welcoming remarks were given by QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General, and Navid Hanif, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Read the report: Global forest goals and targets

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