UN Forum on Forests Emphasizes Urgency in Achieving Goals for Sustainable Development

By Editor


The 19th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF19) commenced on Monday with a clear objective: accelerating progress toward achieving the Global Forest Goals and bolstering sustainable development efforts by 2030.

Operating as a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the UNFF is dedicated to advancing the objectives of the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF) and enhancing global forest-related initiatives.

During the forum’s opening ceremony, Juliette Biao, Director of the UNFF Secretariat, underscored the pressing challenges confronting the world, including natural disasters, escalating climate change, and socio-economic crises such as conflict, poverty, and unemployment.

Despite the urgency, Biao lamented that the Global Forest Goals (GFG) remain off track. She emphasized the imperative for nations to reinforce political commitments and partnerships to realign with the GFG targets. “We aspire to a world where all forms of forests are sustainably managed,” Juliette Biao stated, highlighting the critical role of healthy forests in addressing contemporary sustainable development challenges.

Assessing Progress and Identifying Gaps

Peter Gondo, inter-regional adviser of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), outlined the agenda for this year’s session, scheduled until May 10. The session will include a high-level segment and a comprehensive review of the IAF, aiming to evaluate progress and pinpoint gaps in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Peter Gondo emphasized that the outcomes of the session would include a high-level segment declaration and an omnibus resolution, incorporating the results of the midterm review and the Quadrennial Programme of Work of the Forum for 2025-2028.

Support for Small Island Developing States

The UNFF19 precedes the fourth session of the Small Island Developing States Conference (SIDS4), slated for May 27 to 30 in Antigua and Barbuda. These conferences focus on evaluating the prospects for sustainable development in small island nations.

Peter Gondo stressed the significance of forests and trees for the well-being of small island developing states, citing their role in freshwater availability, coastal protection, biodiversity conservation, and economic development.

He highlighted the support provided by the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN), managed by DESA, in assisting SIDS with sustainable forest management and aligning national strategies with sustainable development frameworks.

Addressing the Triple Planetary Crisis

In the context of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, Peter Gondo underscored the pivotal role of forests in mitigating these challenges. Well-managed forests, he noted, contribute to climate regulation, air purification, and livelihood security, emphasizing the potential of investments in forest-based solutions to yield multiple biodiversity and social benefits.

GreentechLead.com News Desk

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