Expert Panel on Forests for Social and Economic Resilience 2025

Given the increasingly rapid, unpredictable, and unprecedented global changes linked to the twin climate change and biodiversity crises, fostering resilience has become a key policy issue. Many international organizations have adopted resilience strategies across various policy areas aiming to enhance societal capacities for "bouncing back" and adapting in the face of shocks and disturbances.

Regarding forest management and forest landscape restoration, ‘resilience thinking’ has emerged as a new paradigm. However, most of the forest sector research continues to apply the narrower concepts of engineering resilience or ecological resilience, instead of adopting a more holistic socio-ecological resilience approach. Several studies have emphasized the important role of forests and trees in contributing to social and economic resilience by, for example, acting as safety nets in times of emergency, as sources of employment and of essential products, as providers of possibilities for income diversification, as protection to settlements by reducing the risk of floods and other extreme weather events, or as spaces for physical and mental health enhancing personal resilience.

Given the multi-dimensional relationships between forests and social and economic resilience, and the cross-sectoral nature of the topic, a thorough scientific assessment of these relationships is needed. Such an assessment will provide a solid contribution to current and upcoming global discussions and platforms, and will support integrated, holistic, and effective policy responses. To this end, IUFRO has initiated a new global scientific assessment on forests for social and economic resilience in the frame of the CPF’s Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) initiative.

Panel Activities and Documents

Terms of Reference of the Panel

Scoping Meeting for the GFEP assessment on Forests for Social and Economic Resilience
Virtual; 6-7 March 2024

Agenda – Minutes