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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.

women's land tenure security
17 November 2019
Authors: 
Ms. Iliana Monterroso Ibarra
Uganda
Peru
Indonesia

Local communities manage a significant portion of the world’s remaining forests, pastures, and fisheries as common property resources, but they are rarely recognized as formal owners. Important progress has occurred during the last twenty years, as growing evidence suggests that devolving rights to communities can provide incentives for new forms of investment that facilitate sustainable outcomes as well as greater equity in the distribution of benefits.

Forest_Tenure
5 June 2019
Authors: 
Marcello De Maria
Ms. Romy Sato
Global

The ‘age of ignorance’

For a long time land governance, land tenure and land rights remained in the ‘age of ignorance’.  We have known for some time that land governance is a key ingredient for social, economic and environmental development; what was missing, however, was the data.  With the little information available to us at the time, we set priorities and crafted interventions for our course of work. Relying on a few rough figures meant that we were often repeating mantras and slogans based on loose, rather than on hard and reliable facts.  Most notable among these was the often repeated and now widely disputed, “women own 2% of the world’s land”.

20 March 2019
Authors: 
Lisette Mey
India

The data ecosystem is an extremely vast and cluttered space. What data exist? What data is up to date? What data is reliable? Who owns the data? Can I use the data without inflicting harm? Who are the data subjects? Many people across numerous sectors struggle with such questions and more on a daily basis. The land governance sector in India is no different. But somehow, it seems the land data ecosystem in India is more complex and controversial.

ILDC 2019
9 March 2019
Authors: 
Mr. Pranab Choudhury
India

Conservation, said Aldo Leopold, is harmony between (wo)men and land. Land should justifiably figure not only into the conservation, but also in development debates, policy and discourses. Missing land rights and land tenure security can be costly for states, communities as well as local and global development.

Harvesting sago along the Tuba River in Maluku province, Indonesia. Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/CIFOR.
25 January 2019
Authors: 
Mr. Peter Veit
Marlena Chertock
Katelyn Bredsnajder
Peru

Peruvian indigenous communities have shown themselves to be exceptional environmental and conservation leaders. Their leaders have worked for a decade to ensure a government commitment to conserve 54 million hectares of forest, as a part of the REDD+ program.

15 January 2019
Authors: 
Mr. Pranab Choudhury
India

Of late, land has increasingly been figuring into the development sector, for both positive and negative reasons.

community-investor negotiation guide
20 September 2018
Authors: 
Ms. Rachael Knight
Kaitlin Cordes
Global

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. Namati and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) have published two new guides to help communities prepare for interactions with investors and, if they so wish, negotiate fair, equitable contracts. These guides are the first of their kind.

Photo: yaruman5 / Flickr
19 January 2018
Authors: 
Andy White
Africa
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Western Africa
Global

2018 could be transformative for the indigenous and community land rights movement, with unprecedented opportunities for scaling up rights recognition around the world.

Authors: 
Kaitlin Cordes
Africa
Americas
Asia
Europe
Global

Ask a land rights defender if there is a human right to land, and she will likely say “Yes, without a doubt.” For people around the world, land is a source of food, shelter, and livelihoods; it’s an economic asset, a crucial safety net, a link with culture and social identity, even a living relative or ancestor. Given their importance, land rights are surely human rights.

Blogs

Events

Discussions

Organizations

The African Forest Forum (AFF), also known as African Forestry Forum, is an association of individuals who are committed to advancing the sustainable management, use and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for socio-economic wellbeing of its peoples and for the stability and improvement of its environment. The purpose of the forum is to provide a platform and create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues.

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.

Anuario Antropologico

Anuário Antropológico (Anuário Antropológico)

Anuário Antropológico é uma revista semestral do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Antropologia Social da Universidade de Brasília (PPGAS/UnB). Publica artigos originais, ensaios bibliográficos, resenhas, críticas e outros textos de natureza acadêmica que apresentem pesquisas empíricas de qualidade, diálogos teóricos relevantes e perspectivas analíticas diversas. A Revista publica textos em português, inglês, espanhol ou francês.Os artigos selecionados pela comissão editorial são submetidos a pareceristas externos em regime de anonimato.

A Articulação Nacional de Agroecologia (ANA) é um espaço de articulação e convergência entre movimentos, redes e organizações da sociedade civil brasileira engajadas em experiências concretas de promoção da agroecologia, de fortalecimento da produção familiar e de construção de alternativas sustentáveis de desenvolvimento rural. Atualmente a ANA articula vinte e três redes estaduais e regionais, que reúnem centenas de grupos, associações e organizações não governamentais em todo o país, além de quinze movimentos sociais de abrangência nacional.

The Asia Forest Network is dedicated to supporting the role of communities in protection and sustainable use of Asia's forests. AFN is comprised of a coalition of planners, policy makers, government foresters, scientists, researchers, and NGOs. Since its founding in 1987, AFN has become affiliated with over thirty institutions and 700 individuals from Asia, Europe, United States, Africa, South America, and Canada.

Ut'z Che' (buen árbol en idioma K'iche) es una asociación civil formada por organizaciones comunitarias dedicadas al manejo sostenible de sus recursos naturales, principalmente bosques, plantaciones forestales y fuentes de agua.

La Asociación Ut'z Che' fue formada con el principal objetivo de representar legítimamente las demandas e intereses de sus comunidades de base, en los diferentes espacios sectoriales, gremiales y de toma de decisiones en las políticas públicas relacionadas con el manejo de bosques, la gestión ambiental y el desarrollo rural en general.

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.

CNVP (Connecting Natural Values and People) is a Dutch based organization operating in the Balkans. Being part of the forestry team within SNV http://www.snv.org a group of committed forestry engineers decided to establish CNVP in July, 2012. From its origins up to today this small team of enthusiastics has grown to 25 people from diversified backgrounds. Currently CNVP is implementing projects in Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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.

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