Science for Policy


Forests and development: From development discourses to providing data for decision making

IUFRO WFSE and FAO Finland Forestry Programme organized 1st of March 2016 an international seminar which was held in Helsinki, Finland, and supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Forests have a crucial role in achieving global sustainable development. The seminar discussed some of the central processes, policies and measures to advance forest-related sustainable development and the provision of forest data for supporting it. The topics discussed included implications of sustainable development goals for forests, environmental concerns in the bioeconomy discourse, how the problem of illegal logging and its solutions are perceived across the globe, equity discourses around REDD+, and the relationship between REDD+ and agricultural intensification, as well as the implications of the climate agreement at COP21 in Paris.

Sustainable forest management can be achieved only if forest policy and management decisions are based on a monitoring system which produces up-to-date and statistically robust evidence on forest resources and their changes. The FAO Finland Forestry Programme has developed capacities and methodologies to this end in five developing countries.  Integrated land use assessment in Zambia and national forest resources assessment and monitoring in Tanzania were presented as examples.  Standardization and transparency of forestry data and information is paramount.  A good example of how to achieve this is the Open Foris software developed within the FAO-Finland Forestry Programme and presented in the seminar.

The programme of the seminar below includes links to most of the presentations.

Session I Shifting global development discourses

Session II Data provision for decision making

Photo Credits:

Top: Mr. Pekka Puustinen, Director General, Department for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland opened the seminar. Mr. Puustinen emphasized the importance of collaboration in the face of the significantly reduced funds for development collaboration. Both of the projects whose results are presented in this seminar clearly show that in the forest sector there is both expertise and potential for this kind of cooperation. Photo: Arttu Malkamäki

Bottom: Ms. Sheryl Quail from University of Florida and the Climate Food and Farming Network concluded that REDD+ has a role to play in rapidly transitioning farmers from extensive to intensive agriculture. Photo: Arttu Malkamäki


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