FAO Director-General calls for transformational change in the way we manage our forests and food systems that depend on them – FAO

5 October 2020, Rome - Transformational change is needed in the way we manage our forests and their biodiversity, produce and consume our foods and interact with nature, if we want to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This was the key message of a speech delivered today by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu at the 25th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO).

 

This year's session of COFO is being convened virtually from 5 to 9 October 2020 under the theme "Forests and the SDG Decade of Action: solutions for climate change, biodiversity and people".

 

In his opening remarks, the Director-General noted that the pandemic has shown that forests can serve as a safety net for human beings - particularly the poor and vulnerable - in times of crisis, offering a huge potential in "building back better".

 

Given that deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates largely due to agricultural expansion, we need to find ways to increase agricultural production and improve food security without reducing forest areas, Qu said calling for a fundamental change of mindset and remodeling our business approaches.

 

"Halting deforestation and scaling up reforestation, must be a central building block to the sustainable transformation of food systems", the FAO chief stressed.

 

In his remarks, Qu urged to scale-up action to unlock the full potential of forests and food diversity and increase investment in sustainable forest sector as these actions are critical to achieving such global goals as eradication of hunger and poverty, climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as biodiversity conservation.

 

He also made the link to the Green Cities Initiative that FAO launched last month, which aims to transform agri-food systems, end hunger and improve nutrition in cities. He noted that cities are very essential in building back better, as "cities have the capacity, technologies, investment, information and purchasing power", adding that they can be the "promoter and engine of transformation".

 

This year's session of COFO is chaired by Shin Wonsup, Professor from Chungbuk National University, Cheongiu, Republic of Korea, and former Minister of Korea Forest Service. The opening session saw the participation of Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, and Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment Oceans and Fisheries, among others.

 

"COVID-19 has taught us that we need to reinforce for urgent action," Inger Andersen said, noting that a green recovery from the pandemic must promote healthy and restored forests following the transitions laid out in the Convention for Biological Diversity with conserving intact ecosystems, restoring ecosystems and reversing degradation being the priorities. "But to make these transitions happen we need to transform our food systems, which is the largest deforestation cause and which is the largest biodiversity loss cause," she added.

 

For his part, the EU Commissioner said: "Forests and trees contribute to all four pillars of food security: availability, access, utilisation and stability. If we fail to achieve the SDG 15, in particular managing forests sustainably, and halting and reversing biodiversity loss, we will also fail to deliver on achieving a world free from hunger and more generally on the 2030 Agenda".

 

Read more...

 

Go back

Partners News

MOP19- Final Program

The 19th Meeting of the Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership will start tomorrow, July 05, until July 08, 2022. For four (4) days, it will be a question of finding ways and means to accelerate the implementation of the COMIFAC Declaration, the Glasgow Declaration on the "Fair Deal", and all the results of the international conferences through workshops, discussions and round tables.

RDP 19: Registration Schedule

Registration for the 19th Meeting of the Parties of the PFBC from July 5 - 8, 2022 started yesterday July 03 from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00. If you have not yet registered, please go to the Radisson Blu Hotel, on the 1st floor in front of the Libreville 1 room according to the days and times below...

Field Trip Registrations prolonged until Sunday!

Registration for field trips for the CBFP MoP19 has been prolonged until Sunday, 26 June 2022 at 6pm CEST. These exclusive field Trips will kick-off the diverse and ambitious technical and political discussions that will take place during the MoP19. They will offer great scenery and expert inputs on a variety of relevant themes. Field trips will take place before the beginning of the official meetings, between July 02 and 04, 2022.

2021 FERN Annual Report

Firstly, the European Commission (EC) published its breakthrough proposal for a EU Regulation on deforestation-free products, which Fern and allies have been working towards for years. We also came together with partner NGOs and civil society groups from around the world to successfully campaign to stop the EU from discarding Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreements - its best weapon to fight against illegal logging.

MOP19 Libreville Field Trip: Registration Now Open!

To kick off the diverse and ambitious technical and policy discussions that will take place during the conference, we are pleased to offer several field trip opportunities exclusively for MOP19. These will include beautiful landscapes and tours led by experienced experts on a variety of topics. The field trips will take place prior to the start of the conference, between July 02-4, 2022.

Registration opens for exhibitors at the CBFP MOP 19 Exhibition Centre

We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 is open. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors are able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment. To register as Exhibitor at the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), please fill out this form online before June 10, 2022.

In the DRC’s forests, a tug-of-war between oil and aid – MONGABAY

At the COP26 climate summit, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Féelix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced a $500 million aid package to protect forests in the Central African country. Part of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, the announcement was one of the top headlines at the summit.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals – CMS

Bonn/Ventotene 26 May 2022 – Visualizing how migratory animals connect continents, countries, sites and habitats is the result of an international scientific effort under the aegis of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), in developing the first atlas of bird migration across three continents. CMS, an environmental UN treaty, will launch the Eurasian-African Bird Migration Atlas today at the Museum of Migration on the Italian island of Ventotene, as the first part of a broader initiative to develop a global atlas of animal migration.

Save the Children signs deal to lead on climate change adaptation in the Pacific where children bear the brunt of extreme weather

Save the Childrenwill deliver the Pacific region’s largest ever investment in community-based climate change adaptation in one of the world’s biggest climate hotspots, the child rights organisation announced today.

Green Climate Fund Board approves USD 325.2 million and policies for accelerated climate action

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board has closed its 32nd meeting, approving four new climate projects worth USD 301.5 million in GCF funding and USD 1.7 billion in co-financing. Including the approval of tranche two funding for an approved project, USD 325.2 million of GCF funding was approved for climate action.

Experts map matrix of certification standards at World Forestry Congress - forestsnews

Establishing certification standards for forestry and agricultural commodities is no straightforward matter, particularly for smallholder farmers. Voluntary standards of the type designed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensure timber and non-timber forest products are produced according to sustainability standards and audited by a third party. They have been used to tackle deforestation, forest degradation and ensure ethical trading practices for more than 30 years.

“Existential threats,” harsh warnings and hope in U.N. Global Land Outlook – ATIBT

“At no other point in modern history has humanity faced such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks and hazards interacting in a hyper-connected and rapidly changing world,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, the executive secretary of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in a statement on the launch of the second Global Land Outlook report (GLO2).

Relaunch of the National Forest Stewardship Standard development process in the Democratic Republic of Congo – ATIBT

FSC's Principles and Criteria set out the global requirements for responsible forest management. Chamber-balanced standard development groups (SDG’s) adapt the International Generic Indicators at the regional or national level to reflect the diverse legal, social and geographical conditions of forests in different parts of the world. The resulting adjustment is incorporated into a National Forest Stewardship Standard.

19th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration has been extended to June 01, 2022!

If you wish to attend the 19th MoP of the CBFP and related events, please register before June 02, 2022 by completing the form below and clicking on the button “register”. It will not be possible to attend the meeting without a properly completed registration procedure.

Forum ATIBT : D-7!

With just over a week to go before the ATIBT Forum, we are sharing an updated version of the conference and roundtable program.This program will be regularly updated on the ATIBT website page dedicated to the Forum.

Environment and Peace Call for Proposals

PeaceNexus is launching a call for proposals on embedding conflict sensitivity in environmental organisations. Environmental organisations are at the forefront of addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. In doing so, they grapple with conflict dynamics, face risks to their staff and partners, but also provide opportunities for divided groups to work together around issues of common concern. The deadline for application is Tuesday 21st June 2022.

19th Meeting of the Parties, July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration is closing on May 20, 2022!

This is a reminder that registrations for the 19th Meeting of Parties (MoP) of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership in Libreville, Gabon, from 5 to 8 July 2022 are CLOSING IN 2 DAYS. Please note, that you can only attend with a completed registration. Please register here...

Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation - The Green Climate Fund

Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation. The project incorporates infrastructural upgrades with the formation of community action groups to improve the capital’s flood resilience . A project in Mongolia, which incorporates a wide range of initiatives and aims to build the resilience of high-risk communities, is directly confronting the burden of urban climate impacts.

 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board holds second meeting of 2022

The 32nd meeting of the GCF Board is taking place in person in Antigua and Barbuda from May 16-19. The meeting, one of four scheduled this year, follows on the heels of the first Board meeting where USD 187.7 million was approved for new climate projects and major changes to GCF’s accreditation framework were approved.  The changes aim to accelerate climate finance for developing countries and include strengthening the existing accreditation model and introducing the project-specific assessment approach (PSAA).

Expert meeting on the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products – FERN

The proposed EU Regulation on deforestation-free products aims to ensure goods cannot be placed on the EU market if they have caused deforestation, forest degradation, or violated producer country laws. The Commission released a draft proposal of the Regulation on 17 November 2021, and now the European Parliament (EP) and the Council must agree on their positions. On 24 March 2022, the EP rapporteur Luxembourgish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Christophe Hansen of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), released his draft response.

New International Maritime Organization guidelines to combat wildlife smuggling – TRAFFIC

Global shipping to focus on bringing down the illegal networks exploiting maritime supply chains to traffic wildlife. On the 13 of May 2022, the 46th Meeting of the Facilitation Committee (FAL46) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted new ‘Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Wildlife on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic’.

Brief Highlights Role for Human Rights-based Approach to Achieve SDG 6 - IISD

Fifty years after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which put “health and sanitation” on the international agenda, ensuring water and sanitation for all “remains one of the world’s biggest challenges.” A ‘Still Only One Earth’ policy brief from IISD argues that for universal access to become a reality,

UNCCD’s Global Land Outlook Calls for “Activating” Land Restoration Agenda – IISD

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has issued the second edition of its flagship report titled, ‘Global Land Outlook: Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience’ (GLO2). The publication outlines various future land scenarios, and highlights the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and human health, among other SDGs.

World Congress Urges Shared Responsibility Over Forests for Multiple SDGs – IISD

Delegates at the 15th meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) called for immediate action to protect forests, forestry, and forest stakeholders as providers of nature-based solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, hunger, and poverty. They encouraged “actions for a green, healthy and resilient future with forests” as a contribution to the SDGs, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAO Flagship Outlines Forest Pathways for Tackling Planetary Crises - IISD

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched its biennial flagship report on the state of the world’s forests (SOFO), which explores three intertwined forest pathways to achieve green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, among other “multidimensional planetary crises.”

Desertification and Drought Day Calls for New Social Contract for Nature – IISD

A high-level panel marked Desertification and Drought Day 2020 with a discussion focused on the Day’s theme, ‘Food. Feed. Fibre,” and the question, “Is it time for a new social contract for nature?” Ministers and agency heads offered recommendations for addressing vulnerabilities for land management that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and options for building back better.