IUFRO-WFSE News


Forests and transformative pathways to sustainability

IUFRO-WFSE Side Event at the 2020 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) - 9 July 2020

Forests can be directly or indirectly linked to almost all SDGs and are central for nature based-solutions and transformative pathways towards sustainability. This side event discussed the role of forests and forestry in transformative change, the levers of change across complex systems and ways to accelerate the progress towards sustainability. Special focus was devoted to equity, gender and governance. The event also illustrated the large potential for synergies among the SDG targets that focus on sustainable land and resource use and the importance of policy and regulatory environment andcapacities that support and incentivize sustainable forest-related livelihoods and development.

Programme

  • Opening of the event and welcome - Dr. Glenn Galloway, University of Florida
  • Opening remarks - Jukka Salovaara, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations
     
  • Forests and forestry in transformational change - Prof. Wil de Jong, Kyoto University
  • From forest-specific sustainability to wider transformative change: Levers of change across complex systems - Dr. Pablo Pacheco, World Wildlife Fund
  • Advancing commitments to leave no one behind: Focus on equity, gender, governance - Dr. Bimbika Sijabati Basnett, Center for International Forestry Research Associate
  • Forests and SDGs: Building on synergies for transformative change -Dr. Pia Katila, Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • Discussion

The recording of the event can be watched at https://youtu.be/39L_ucV7Fsc.

The event was organized by IUFRO WFSE, WWF, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Natural Resources Institute Finland


Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People


WFSE events at the IUFRO XXV World Congress in Curitiba, Brazil

In the IUFRO XXV World Congress  WFSE organized a sub-plenary and a technical session to present the main findings and conclusions from the WFSE project’s new book “Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People” (published in Dec. 2019). The book addresses the potential and likely impacts of efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) on forests and forest-related livelihoods and development. It discusses the context factors that influence how SDG activities are implemented, and the important interconnections and interlinkages among the SDGs and potential or anticipated trade-offs and synergies among the SDGs from the perspective of forests and livelihoods. The book sheds light on how the implementation of the SDGs may influence existing forest-related development scenarios, and affect the roles of forests in sustainable development in the future.

The presentations in the sub-plenary introduced the project and the approach to develop the book, and presented the main findings and conclusions of the book across the 17 SDGs and related targets. The presentations in the technical session focused more specifically on the potential and likely impacts of specific SDGs and the related trade-offs and potentials for positive synergies.
 

Sub-plenary

Introduction – Sustainable development goals: Their impacts on forests and people / Pia Katila, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Multi pathway impacts of the SDGs on forests and people / Wil de Jong, Kyoto University, Japan
The SDGs and their impacts on forest and people – conclusions from a collaborative global book project / Georg Winkel, EFI, Germany
SDG’s impacts on forests: discussion on perspectives to deepen our current understanding / Pablo Pacheco, WWF, USA & CIFOR, Indonesia
 

Technical session

Sustainable Development Goal #1 and forests: Implications of expanding social protection, securing tenure, and building resilience to environmental shocks / Erin Sills, North Carolina State University, USA

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals on food security and nutrition: The impacts on forests and livelihoods / Terence Sunderland, University of British Columbia, Canada & CIFOR, Indonesia

Impact of addressing Sustainable Development Goal 3 Health and Wellbeing on forests and forest people / Rosemary McFarlane, University of Canberra, Australia

“The golden thread”: Sustainable Development Goal 4, Education for all, and forests / Stephen Wyatt, Université de Moncton, Edmundston, Canada 

Taking SDG 5 seriously / Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Cornell University, USA & CIFOR, Indonesia

Decent work and economic growth: Potential impacts of SDG 8 on forests and forest-dependent livelihoods / Dietmar Stoian, World Agroforestry, Germany

Anticipating the potential impacts of sustainable development goal 9 on forests and forest-based livelihoods / Robert Kozak, University of British Columbia, Canada

Impacts of the urban Sustainable Development Goal SDG 11 on forests and people / Tahia Devisscher, University of British Columbia, Canada

Are peace and justice good for forests? An analysis of SDG 16 and its implications for forests and people / Constance McDermott, Oxford University, UK

SDG 17 and sustainable forest management: Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development / David Humphreys, The Open University, UK

Health, gender, equity, and justice: Potential synergies among SDGs / Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Cornell University, USA & CIFOR, Indonesia


IUFRO WFSE-FAO-EFI-Luke joint event at Global Landscapes forum in Bonn Sunday 23 June 2019
The SDG-tenure nexus in forest landscapes: applying a rights-based approach

How are tenure and rights included in the Sustainable Development Goals?  What is the evidence on the links between rights/tenure and sustainable landscapes, and why has the progress on strengthening tenure rights of local communities so low? What are the more promising approaches to strengthening the link?

This session explored these questions through an introductory presentation and panel discussion.  

The SDGs call for equal access and rights to land and other productive resources. The introductory presentation noted that rural land rights are implicitly included in three SDGs: SDG 1, SDG 2 and SDG 5. However, tenure and rights are instrumental for moving forward with several other SDGs such as SDG 8 on employment and economic growth.  They are also crucial for SDG 10 to reduce inequality within and among countries, SDG 14 to conserve and sustainably use coastal areas and mangrove forests and SDG 15 on protection and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems such as forests.

The indicators to track progress on the targets that address land and resource rights do not specifically address rights to forest resources; they focus either on all land or specifically on agricultural land. Furthermore, the SDGs do not refer to the full ‘bundle rights’ that includes access, use, manage, exclude and alienate.  The emphasis is on the security of rights, and while SDGs do not specify what constitutes tenure security the relevant SDG indicators encompass legal recognition and peoples’ perceptions of tenure security. However, the latter can be misguided, due to for example lack of information on possible threats.   

In the SDGs rights are not connected to land and resource governance issues such as participation and empowerment, accountable and just institutions and processes, although, these are addressed in other SDGs especially 5 on gender, 10 on inequality, and 16 on peace, justice and institutions. But the progress made in these SDGs would also need to encompass the institutions and processes affecting land tenure and the processes for clarifying and formalizing rights to land and resources.
The panel discussion focused on the evidence on the links between rights/tenure and sustainable landscapes and the challenges and most promising approaches to move forward. For decades, efforts to establish, clarify and strengthen rights to land and resources have been central to improving rural livelihoods and advancing sustainable use of natural resources. However, progress has been slow and livelihood and resource impacts variable.

The discussion concluded with the following main messages:

  • It is well known that clear and strong rights to land and resources are important (but not sufficient) preconditions for improving forests, local livelihoods, or contributing to other SDGs. This is very evident from global reviews that point to highly variable results.
  • Securing indigenous community rights is essential for self-determination. Whether this improves resource management/ sustainability or livelihoods - for both men and women - depends on other factors such as: the strength and breadth of the rights to forest lands and resources, recognition and protection of these rights by the State, the extent and degree of external pressures, community governance and collective action, enabling regulatory framework, and access to markets, finance, capacity building and technologies.
  • In practice, strengthened community rights to forests or customary rights recognition are rarely accompanied by security of tenure or various forms of support given to other sectors (agriculture) and to other actors (large industry).
  • Successful cases show that strong rights to communities can improve forests and livelihoods, but only when these are accompanied by multi-dimensional support to communities.
  • SDGs and other initiatives emphasize the ‘rule of law’, but  State laws governing high value resources such as timber often favour large-scale industry and international trade while conservation laws continue to restrict local forest access and control. Unless local resource tenure and use rights are strengthened, increased law enforcement will worsen existing inequalities. ‘Safeguards’ are not enough to counter the current forms of resource exploitation and conservation that favour formalization, standardization and legalization over local systems of governing resource access.
  • FAO is working with countries to advocate for, and strengthen policies and programs for more comprehensive support to communities, aligning them with internationally endorsed principles on tenure and human rights, and building on recent reviews and lessons learned. It complements work of the Tenure Facility (an independent foundation) that provides grants and technical support directly to Indigenous Peoples and local communities for land rights/tenure recognition through collective titles.

Programme:
Opening of the event: Pia Katila, IUFRO WFSE/Luke
Introductory presentation: Tenure and rights in the SDGs, Pia Katila, IUFRO WFSE/Luke
Panel discussion - Moderator Lukas Giessen, EFI
Panel members:   
Nonette Royo, Tenure Facility
Safia Aggarwal, FAO
Connie McDermott, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
Anne Larson, CIFOR


UNFF14, 6 May 2019

Coordinator of IUFRO-WFSE, Pia Katila, participated at UNFF 14 as a member of a panel on "Forests, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment". Her presentation "Critical interlinkages between SDG 8 and Global Forest Goals" was based on the findings of the forthcoming WFSE publication Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impact on Forests and People that will be published late 2019.

Critical interlinkages between SDG 8 and Global Forest Goals - Summary

The main issue areas addressed in SDG 8 are economic growth and productivity, resource efficiency, employment and decent work for all, entrepreneurship and formalization of micro, small and medium sized enterprises, sustainable tourism and access to financial services. The GFGs on the other hand, focus on forest cover, sustainable forest management and forest protection, forest-based economic, environmental and social benefits, and forest related financing, governance, and cooperation, coordination, coherence and synergies on forest-related issues. There is considerable interaction among SDG 8 and the GFGs. This interaction is importantly related to economic growth and employment, which are also inherently linked to each other. They also offer the main opportunities for synergies and the greatest risks for trade-offs between SDG 8 implementation and efforts towards reaching the GFGs.    

Formal forestry sector contributions to gross national product (GDP) and employment vary considerably among countries. Forests are important for economy in forest rich, low income countries and several northern and eastern European countries. Formal employment tends to follow the economic importance of forest sector. However, in some countries exports focus on roundwood and low-value-added products bringing considerable income but little employment.  

At global level formal forest sector contributions to GDP and employment are generally low and declining as the other sectors develop. This often means that when seeking economic growth other sectors are prioritized due to their stronger contributions to GDP and employment. However, the forest sector contributions to national economy and human well-being are seriously under estimated because large amount of forestry activities take place in the informal sector, which is estimated to equal or exceed formal forest sector contributions to GDP. The employment in the informal forest sector to is estimated to exceed that of the formal forestry sector. Small and medium sized forest enterprises constitute an estimated to 80–90% of forest sector enterprises, and they employ an estimated over 40 million people (part-time or full-time), while the formal forest sector employs just over 13 million people. Informal sector is primarily linked to domestic wood (incl. fuelwood, charcoal) and non-wood products markets and is this especially important for smallholders and communities residing in forested landscapes.

To harness the potential synergies between SDG 8 and Global forest goals requires that forest are integrated into economic growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies (GFG target 5.1). This also requires that there is adequate legislation for supporting sustainable forest management and forest conservation and effective enforcement mechanisms. Synergies can generate employment and incomes at local and regional level, and support the livelihoods of forest-dependent people as well as other rural residents. But, in most countries their impact at national level and global level will remain modest due to the limited contributions of forestry to national economies.

Competing sectors (agriculture, energy and mining) hold higher potential for generating economic growth and employment. Significant trade-offs are expected in countries focused on the growth of these sectors as they compete with forests for land, and can also lead to negative environmental impacts that affect forests beyond the area converted to other uses (for example, pollution of soils and water, release of carbon, loss of forest ecosystem services that support agricultural production) with corresponding impacts on people’s health and forest-related livelihoods.

Furthermore, forests’ contributions to economy and well-being are greatly undervalued because the value of the crucial life-supporting ecosystem services forests provide such as carbon sequestration, provision of clean water, pollination, habitat for biodiversity, etc. are not recognized nor included in national accounts. Altogether the lack of reliable information on the extent of and employment in the informal activities and the extent and value of forest ecosystem services undermines forestry's role in development.  The lack of reliable information on these contributions means that they are often not included in natural resources and development related decision making.

Business as usual approaches to economic growth and its measurement will perpetuate trade-offs to the detriment of forests as they do not take account resource depletion. Alternative approaches and indicators are needed to measure progress beyond GDP. Such measures should better reflect the full values of the goods and services and related livelihood benefits forest provide.  An important issue from the point of view of sustainable development also is that the current growth measures (GDP) do not take into account resource depletion, and thus do not provide an indication of whether growth is sustainable. The decoupling of economic growth from forest-related environmental degradation will be a major challenge, but if attained would support the progress towards reversing forest loss and increase the area of protected forests. This would further support forest-related livelihoods.


WFSE Workshop in Alghero, Sardinia

The second workshop for developing the new WFSE publication Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People was organized in Sardinia, Italy, 25-26 September 2018. It brought together the Convening Lead Authors or their representatives and the editors of the book. For two days the 21 participants discussed the SDG Agenda and its interconnections with and potential impacts on forests, related livelihoods and forest related development. The book will be launched at the IUFRO World Congress in 2019.

The WFSE workshop was organized in connection with the European Forest Institute (EFI) Annual Conference and Scientific Seminar titled Forests: Interconnecting Sustainable Development Goals to Action. One of the WFSE editors, Carol Colfer, presented some preliminary results from the WFSE book in this seminar 27 September 2018 (presentation).

Photo credit: Pia Katila, Coordinator of IUFRO-WFSE


FAO-WFSE Workshop "Sustainable Development Goals: Their impacts on forests and people"

The FAO-WFSE Workshop "Sustainable Development Goals: Their impacts on forests and people" was organized at the FAO Headquarters in Rome 6-7 March 2018. The event brought together the convening lead authors and editors of the publication WFSE is currently working on and colleagues from FAO to discuss the forests and SDGs interactions.


Forests for sustainable development - Shifting discourses and approaches

Session at the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress; Freiburg, Germany; 22 September 2017

The irrefutable role of forests and forestry in sustainable development was reinstated by the global sustainable development goals and the global climate agreement decided upon in 2015. To harness the potential of forests and forest-based activities to sustainable development requires critical analyses of the current forest-related discourses and development approaches. The WFSE session discussed from different perspectives some of the important approaches, policies and measures to advance sustainable forest management and forest-related development. It demonstrated how they are understood and applied in different contexts. The session further discussed the need for effective linkages between processes within the forest sector and with other sectors and the ways that the forest sector process and approaches would need to evolve to meet the global development and climate goals.

The presentations are for a large part based on the WFSE Special Issue in the International Forestry Review Shifting global development discourses: Implications for forests and livelihoods. Most papers of this Special Issue are already available as open access in the Fast Track Items at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cfa/ifr.

Programme with links to presentations:

  1. Forests for Sustainable Development: A process approach to forest sector contributions to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - Hosny El-Lakany
  2. REDD+ politics in the media: A case study from Vietnam - Pham Thu Thyu
  3. Exploring Illegal logging narratives across the globe - Georg Winkel  
  4. Forestry development priorities in Finnish national forest programmes - Pia Katila
  5. Shifting global development discourses: Implications for forest-related development?  - Glenn Galloway   

Harnessing the potential of community and smallholder forestry for Sustainable Development Goals

WFSE Side Event at UNFF12
Tuesday 2 May, 2017; Trusteeship Chamber; 1:15 - 2:45 pm

The side event focused on the significant interlinkages between community and smallholder forestry and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and launched the related WFSE Policy brief Building on synergies: Harnessing community and smallholder forestry for sustainable development goals.

Forests are relevant for almost all of the SDGs and make important contributions to the attainment of these goals. These contributions can be further strengthened. Indigenous and local communities and smallholders, who use and manage a considerable share of the world forests, have a crucial role in harnessing this potential in rural areas. Many SDGs and their targets align with the conditions that have been found to support community and smallholder forest management and related livelihoods. Meaningful progress in these SDGs can generate positive feedback loops that will support community and smallholder forestry and further boost progress towards the SDGs. Efforts to attain the SDGs can lead to synergies among the goals, but can also lead to trade-offs that can undermine livelihood and conservation goals that can be achieved through community and smallholder forestry. To realize the potential that the close interlinkages among C&SF and SDGs provide, it is necessary to address the inherent trade-offs among the SDGs and build on the synergies among them.

Presentations:
Community Forestry - From ethnography to SDGs - Prof. Wil de Jong, Kyoto University
Contributions and potential of community forestry to achieve SDGs - Dr. Steven Lawry, Center for International Forestry Research
Enabling environment for community and smallholder forestry and the SDGs  - Dr. Glenn Galloway, University of Florida
Linking community and smallholder forestry to SDGs - Dr. Pia Katila, Natural Resources Institute, Finland

Publication:
Building on synergies: Harnessing community and smallholder forestry for Sustainable Development Goals - Policy brief for download

Photo credit:
IUFRO-WFSE Panel at the side event in UNFF12. Photo: Andre Purret, IUFRO.


TOWARDS A GREEN ECONOMY IN ASIA: INSERTING FORESTS INTO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The WFSE Session in the IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania focused on different forest-related approaches and mechanisms employed in Asian countries to steer development and investment towards a green economy and sustainability. It discussed how these concepts are understood and applied in different contexts and their potential for advancing sustainable development.

Presentations


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.
 
Programme:

Session I Shifting global development discourses

Session II Data provision for decision making


Reflecting the great diversity of the African forest landscapes

WFSE Side Event at XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban discussed Opportunities and challenges for harnessing local forest management to improve rural livelihoods in Africa.

The presentations highlighted common elements and draw some general conclusions on the opportunities to improve rural incomes from forests and trees, and identified challenges that are shared across the continent.

The Chair of the WFSE Steering Committee Glenn Galloway moderated the event. The program included six presentations and discussion.

Presentations:

  • Eshetu Yirdaw, University of Helsinki, Finland: Rehabilitation of degraded forest and woodland ecosystems for livelihoods and ecosystem services in Ethiopia
  • Fernanda Tomaselli, University of British Columbia, Canada: Opportunities and challenges for small forest-based enterprises in the Gambia
  • Almeida Sitoe, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique: Community rights and participation in the face of new global interests in forests and lands: the case of Mozambique
  • Guillaume Lescuyer, CIFOR, Indonesia: How domestic timber markets contribute to local livelihoods: Insights from Central Africa?
  • Pia Katila, Natural Resources Institute Finland: Wider view on opportunities and challenges to enhance forest and tree incomes and the realities in Africa
  • Glenn Galloway, University of Florida, US: Synthesis and implications for research and development efforts

Presentations for download


WFSE Side Event at UNFF11

At the 11th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) in New York, WFSE organized the side event "Enhancing forest-related development: Community and smallholder forestry in the nexus of markets, policy, and implementation". Glenn Galloway, Chair of the WFSE Steering Committee moderated the event. IUFRO Vice-president, John Parrotta presented the opening remarks, which were followed by four presentations and discussion.

Presentations:

  • Peter Holmgren, CIFOR, Director General: Changes that change perspectives and priorities of forests
  • Pia Katila, Natural Resources Institute, Finland: Enabling conditions for enhancing forest-based livelihoods
  • Glenn Galloway, University of Florida: Interaction among markets, policies and implementation
  • Wil de Jong, Kyoto University: The way forward in smallholder and community forestry

Presentations for download


New WFSE book Forests under pressure - Local responses to global issues

The book is the result of a collaborative work of over 140 scientist and experts who acted as authors in different capacities and over 60 reviewers. Building on 27 case studies from different parts of the world the book focuses on conditions that foster or hinder progress towards SFM and forest-related development. The case studies use a common analytical framework of prerequisite conditions to examine the implementation of SFM. The analysis allows distinguishing prerequisite conditions and combinations of conditions that foster or constrain progress towards SFM and sustainable local development, and the interactions among these conditions.


WFSE Session in the World Congress: presenting Forests under pressure - Local responses to global issues and the related Issue Brief

The session will include seven presentations: an introduction to the book, four case study presentations and two presentations that focus on the main findings of the book.

Time: Friday 10 October 8:00-10:30
Room: 250B

Program:

  • Introduction to the WFSE-project and the new book Forests under Pressure - Local Responses to Global Issues – Pia Katila
  • Community-Based Forest Management in Quintana Roo, Mexico  – Jose Antonio Sierra Huelsz
  • Forest Citizenship in Acre, Brazil – Marianne Schmink
  • Khasi Responses to Forest Pressures:  A Community REDD+ Project from Northeast India – Mark Poffenberger
  • Community rights and participation in the face of new global interests in forests and lands – the case of Mozambique – Almeida Sitoe
  • Prerequisite Conditions for Sustainable Forest Management: Synthesis of the Case Studies – Glenn Galloway
  • Forests under pressure: Possible Future Pathways – Wil de Jong
  • Discussion

Moderator: Markku Kanninen.


IUFRO-WFSE Steering Committee Meeting

A IUFRO-WFSE Steering Committee meeting was held 10 October 2014 in Salt Lake City, USA, in connection with the IUFRO World Congress.