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UNFF: COUNTRIES ADOPT DECLARATION ON FOREST PROTECTION



  May 14, 2024

UNFF: COUNTRIES ADOPT DECLARATION ON FOREST PROTECTION



Introduction

On May 9, 2024, delegates at the 19th United Nations Forum for Forests (UNFF) discussed the draft declaration on forest protection. Although the text was not finalized, the declaration aims to outline future actions for UNFF and its stakeholders to protect and preserve global forests.

Key Points from UNFF19

- Significance of Forests: Discussions highlighted the critical role of forests in combating climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation.

- Deforestation: UNFF19 Chair Zephyrin Maniratanga emphasized that deforestation is a crime against nature and a betrayal of humanity’s future.

Progress and Challenges

- Deforestation Rates: A report titled *International Forest Governance For the Future: From Criticism To Alternatives* indicated a reduction in the deforestation rate from 13 million hectares per year (2010-2023) to 10 million hectares per year.

- UN Strategic Plan on Forests: Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, noted progress but stressed the need to increase forest cover by 3% by 2023.

National Initiatives and Statements

- Sweden: Emphasized sustainable forest management and community building to reduce forest fragmentation.

- Ivory Coast: Laurent Tchagba reported a significant decrease in forest cover from 16 million hectares (1900) to 2.97 million hectares (2021), prompting a new forest policy.

- Qatar: Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie highlighted reforestation efforts, including planting 10 million trees and water recycling initiatives.

- Democratic Republic of Congo: Eve Bazaiba mentioned that 27% of the country's territory is protected forest, with plans to introduce agroforestry.

- Romania: Barna Tanczos announced $745 million in funding to support small forest owners and $46 million for improving forest monitoring.

- Paraguay and India: Both countries shared their initiatives for monitoring forest cover and increasing forest areas through scientific approaches.

- Thailand: Outlined efforts to increase forest cover and green spaces by 7.2 million hectares.

Emphasis on Technology

- Technological Adoption: Delegates stressed the importance of using technology to monitor forests and adopting innovative mechanisms for sustainable management.

- International Cooperation: There was a call for strengthened international cooperation and scientific efforts to halt unsustainable consumption patterns.

Future Prospects

- Strengthening International Arrangement on Forests: The resolution aims to pave the way for enhancing the International Arrangement on Forests.

- Sustainable Development: The declaration will guide future actions towards achieving sustainable forest management and combating the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation.

Conclusion

The 19th United Nations Forum for Forests highlighted the critical need for international cooperation, technological innovation, and sustainable management to protect and preserve global forests. The declaration, once adopted, will provide a framework for future actions to combat deforestation and promote forest sustainability worldwide.


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