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IUFRO The Advocate for Forest Science.
The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) was established in 2002 as a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Its main objective is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests and strengthen long-term political commitment to this end. As an intergovernmental policy forum, the UNFF is composed of all States Members of the United Nations and specialized agencies. The UNFF has a mandate until the year 2015.
IUFRO is an observer organization in UNFF. Moreover, as a member of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), IUFRO actively supports the work of UNFF through a number of joint initiatives and collaborative activities. It provides direct thematic contributions to UNFF sessions. For example, IUFRO prepared the official background document for the fourth UNFF session on forest-related scientific knowledge in collaboration with CIFOR and ICRAF.
Selected contributions of IUFRO to the UNFF:
When UNFF was established, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) was also formed to support the work of the UNFF and to enhance cooperation and coordination on forest issues globally. The CPF is a forum for cooperation comprising 14 major forest-related international organizations, institutions and convention secretariats.
IUFRO became a CPF member in April 2003. Within the CPF, it acts as lead agency for forest-related scientific knowledge together with CIFOR and ICRAF. In addition, IUFRO leads the joint CPF Initiative “Global Forest Information Service
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims at the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. It addresses forests through its expanded programme of work on forest biological diversity (Decision VI/22). In addition, the CBD covers a number of issues directly affecting forest biological diversity and forest genetic resources.
IUFRO participates in forest-relevant sessions of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the CBD. It has also been represented in several Ad Hoc Technical Expert Groups (AHTEG) established by SBSTTA. IUFRO officeholders have actively participated in meetings of the AHTEG on indicators for assessing progress towards the 2010 biodiversity target, the AHTEG on Review of the Implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Forest Biological Diversity and the AHTEG on Adaptation to Climate Change.
The Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) is a high-level process of collaboration between 44 European Countries and the European Community on common forest policy issues. Since 1990, four Ministerial Conferences have been convened. The most recent one was the 4th Ministerial Conference held in April 2003 in Vienna, Austria. In the Vienna Declaration, the Signatory States and the European Community inter alia committed themselves to base forest-related decisions on science, and to take measures that support and strengthen research and increase interdisciplinary research.
IUFRO is an observer organization in the MCPFE process and has actively participated in the Ministerial Conferences and related follow-up processes. It is the international coordinator of the implementation of MCPFE resolution H4 “Strategies for a Process of Long-term Adaptation of Forests in Europe to Climate Change
In addition to those described above, there are a number of other global conventions and international processes addressing forests. The following ones are of particular relevance for forests and forest research: