The millennium development goals

In September 2000, the member states of the United Nations adopted theMillennium Declarationthus establishing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) as the blueprint for the United Nations system's work in the social, environmental and economic domains in the coming decade.

The FAO is working towards increasing awareness about the links between forests and the MDGs, in order to highlight forests' contribution to national development goals, and help to adequately reflect poverty reduction and food security in national forest programmes and other sustainable development plans.

The close relation between humankind and the environment is reflected in theMillennium Development Goalswhich are mutually reinforcing and involve six socially oriented goals, one environmental goal, and a comprehensive goal geared towards building a global partnership for development.

The goals are:1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;2) achieve universal primary education; 3) promote gender equality and empower women; 4) reduce child mortality; 5) improve maternal health; 6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;7) ensure environmental sustainability,and 8) develop a global partnership for development.

Forests have a significant impact on two of the most articulate development goals: Goal 1, on poverty and hunger reduction, and Goal 7, on environmental sustainability. On the one side forests maintain land productivity and the provision of water resources to agricultural systems thus contributing to food production and food security; they provide wood and non wood forest products, income and employment to millions of people. On the other side, they protect biological diversity; maintain and provide clean and reliable water resources to urban and rural population; conserve soils, protect against flooding, enable carbon sequestration to protect the atmosphere and protect coastal and marine resources.

In order to assess the progress made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, a group of experts from the United Nations Secretariat, the IMF, the OECD and the World Bank adopted48 indicators.The FAO has the task of providing the indicator to measure the proportion of land area covered by forests, over a period from 1990 to 2015, in order to assess the progress made in the 7th Millennium Development goal aimed to ensure environmental sustainability.

last updated:  Monday, February 28, 2005