2011

Closing event for the International Year of Forests 2011 20 December 2011 Rome, Italy – The FAO Forestry Department held a closing event for the International Year of Forests 2011 at FAO headquarters for Permanent Representatives, Rome-based Intergovernmental Organizations, external partners, and FAO staff. Showcased prominently at the event was the new publication, Fruit trees and useful plants in Amazonian Life , a joint production of FAO, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and People and Plants International. The event also presented FAO products from the International Year of Forests, including a new global forest cover map, and discussed recent results from the Remote Sensing Survey. Products at the event were complemented by videos, such as one entitled ‘Forests for People’, the theme of the year, and a tribute film to the late Wangari Maathai. [more]
20 December 2011 A new FAO study released today shows how plants and fruits from Amazonian forests can be used to improve people’s diets and livelihoods. The book — which is written in easy-to-grasp, accessible language — seeks to bring knowledge out of the academy and into the hands of people. It was unveiled today during a ceremony at FAO marking the close of the International Year of Forests. [more]
More investment needed for mountain ecosystems 14 December 2011 As the world celebrated UN International Mountain Day on 11 December, new information released by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a global mechanism of 14 international organizations, institutions and secretariats, called for greater investment in fragile mountain ecosystems and attention to adaptation issues. [more]
9 December 2011 The integrity and resilience of mountain forests is under threat from increasing temperatures and wildfires, population growth and food and fuel insecurity, warns FAO in its new publication "Mountain Forests in a Changing World" released today in the lead up to the UN International Mountain Day on 11 December. [more]
New wave of deforestation threatens Africa’s climate resilience 6 December 2011 Durban—A new wave of deforestation is sweeping across Africa decimating wildlife and threatening the resilience of its ecosystems to withstand the effects of climate change—especially in the area of food security. [more]
Climate change threatens wildlife and their habitats 5 December 2011 FAO’s new report, Wildlife in a Changing Climate , foresees that the rate of loss of wild animal species will be accelerated by climate change unless urgent measures are taken. Particularly at risk are wildlife and ecosystems in coastal and mountain areas, while Africa, where a mean temperature rise of 3-4 °C is expected by the end of the century, is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions. Using case studies, the report puts forward a series of responsive measures to mitigate the impact of climate change. [more]
30 November 2011 A new, satellite-based survey released by FAO provides a more accurate picture of changes in the world's forests, showing forest land use declined between 1990 and 2005. The survey used high-resolution satellite imagery provided by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United States Geological Survey. [more]
Protecting Mongolia's forests: Video 22 November 2011 Almost 12% of Mongolia is covered by forests, providing important resources for people and wildlife. Through a participatory forest management pilot project in 5 provinces, local people have received training on forest assessment, marketing of forest products, management planning, mapping and fire prevention. Funded by the Royal Government of the Netherlands and implemented by FAO through the Mongolian Ministry of Nature and Environment, this project has successfully reduced illegal logging, hunting and enabled more sustainable management of community woodland resources. [more]
International partnership calls for increased attention to forest ecosystem-based solutions ahead of Rio+20 Summit 21 November 2011 In a submission to the Preparatory Process for Rio+20, the Members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests called upon countries and major groups and stakeholders to explore the opportunities and lessons learned from forest ecosystems, their management and utilization. Furthermore, the Partnership called for actions at Rio+20 to take a holistic approach to capture the multiple benefits of forests and merge the traditional three pillars of sustainable development to better integrate forest ecosystems in a green and low carbon economy. [more]
Healthy national and international markets are essential for sustaining forests 16 November 2011 The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), an international consortium of 14 organizations, secretariats and institutions working on international forest issues, called today for more attention to the key role that markets play in sustaining the environment, and in particular the world’s forests. Emmanuel ZeMeka, Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO, a CPF member) noted that "for many countries forests provide a major source of foreign exchange and domestic revenue for economic development" and highlighted the need to establish markets for "a wider range of the goods and services provided by forests." He made his remarks ahead of the ITTO’s Annual Market Discussions in La Antigua, Guatemala, which focus on the benefits of trade in wood products to the international community. [more]
FAO launches International Year of Forests photo competition 15 November 2011 Seeing the forests through your lens. FAO launches a photo competition to celebrate the International Year of Forests and those who work, live and use forests every day. Submissions close 31 January 2012. [more]
Working to improve forest governance: FAO publishes new website 14 November 2011 The quality of governance often determines whether forest resources are used efficiently, sustainably and equitably, and whether countries achieve forest-related development goals. Improving forest governance requires a systematic approach to identifying areas of weakness, devising and implementing suitable responses, monitoring results, continuing adaptation and learning to ensure progress. This website demonstrates how FAO and its partners are working to develop a widely accepted, comprehensive analytical framework which will facilitate efforts within and across countries to improve forest governance. [more]
10 November 2011 A new guide published by FAO aims to help countries prevent forest-damaging pests from spreading to new areas. At least 35 million hectares of forest are damaged by outbreaks of forest insect pests each year. The guide provides suggestions on how to implement effective pest management strategies and ensure the safe movement of forest commodities across the national borders. [more]
Climate change for forest policy makers - integrating climate change into national forest programmes 10 November 2011 The crucial role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation is now widely recognized at international level. Climate change will also have major implications on the sustainable management of forests. In response, FAO has released a new publication to assist countries address emerging policy issues related to forests and climate change through integrating climate change considerations into national forest programmes. [more]
Energy grows on trees: Global forest institutions highlight vital role of forests 8 November 2011 Rising prices of fossil fuel as well as global efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion, places an expanded use of renewable energy high on the political agenda. Wood energy, the most important source of bioenergy in the world, is seen as key to respond to growing demands for a potentially carbon neutral supply of energy. Forests can play a vital role to respond to future bioenergy demands and help to create a more stable energy future, improve environmental quality and increase economic opportunities, highlighted members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF ). [more]
7 November 2011 An FAO programme that helps local communities in Mongolia protect their forests is being seen as a model for action in the Asia-Pacific region. The Participatory Forest Management project has effectively stopped illegal logging and forest fires in 15 pilot districts since it began in 2007, and is set to go nationwide when the pilot program ends in January 2012. [more]
Forest Day 5: Moving from REDD+ policy to practice 3 November 2011 With new research showing that forests may absorb up to a third of all fossil fuel emissions, more than 1,000 leading experts, activists, government negotiators and global leaders will gather on the sidelines of the UN climate summit in Durban next month to discuss how forests and forest resources can be better harnessed to slow the pace of global warming and help communities adapt to the changing environment. Convened by the Center for International Forestry Research on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, Forest Day 5 will seek to inform the UNFCCC global agenda and forest stakeholders on ways to implement an international REDD+ funding mechanism that produces social and environmental benefits, above and beyond avoided emissions. [more]
FAO Forestry releases new enterprise development training package 28 October 2011 FAO’s Community-based Forest Enterprise Development programme has released its new Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) training package. MA&D aims to assist rural people in developing enterprises that generate and improve incomes, while also sustainably using and managing forest and other natural resources. Local people who are most dependent on forest resources are the decision makers throughout the MA&D process, from the planning and financing to the sustainable management and operation of their enterprises. This ownership of the process means that local people also learn how to develop their own business plans, leading in turn to better investment preparedness. This manual is the result of ten years of learning and input from partners who have implemented the approach across Africa, Asia and Latin America since the first version was released in 2000. [more]
26 October 2011 The role of forests in providing timber and other wood products must not overshadow their important contribution to feeding many of the world's poorest communities, a group of international forest organizations and secretariats said today. The potential of forests to improve food and nutritional security needs more attention from national policymakers and international development agencies. [more]
Natural Inquirer: The World's Forests second edition 4 October 2011 The Natural Inquirer is an integrated science education journal for students aged 11-14. This edition of the Natural Inquirer presents the results of a worldwide effort to understand the world’s forests. Produced in collaboration with the US Forest Service and based on FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 findings, this issue has new comprehensive content, graphs and pictures as well as lesson plans for educators and student exercises. It contains information from 233 countries and territories around the world. The Natural Inquirer is currently only available in English. If you are interested in developing a new version of the Natural Inquirer in your own language please contact fra@fao.org . [more]
3 October 2011 Focused policies and investments aimed at protecting and managing forest and trees in and around cities are needed to strengthen urban livelihoods and improve city environments, as the world becomes increasingly urbanized, said the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), of which FAO is a member, on the occasion of World Habitat Day celebrated today. [more]
30 September 2011 Two positions are currently available in the Forestry Department. We are looking for a forestry officer to coordinate FAO’s support activities to the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), and act as a departmental focal point for forestry education and research. A second position will support a range of communication activities including the development of departmental web sites and the preparation and dissemination of technical publications. [more]
China forestry delegation 29 September 2011 Eduardo Rojas-Briales, the Assistant Director-General for Forestry received a high-level delegation from the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China, led by Deputy Administrator Zhang Jianlong. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to review the experiences of the cooperation started in the early 1970s and identify priorities for the future. The priorities identified for particular attention and possible collaboration were: forest tenure reform; community forestry; forest management challenges in the light of increasing forest cover; afforestation and plantations; forest inventory and monitoring; South-South and triangular cooperation; and green growth and sustainability. The relevance of the Beijing Statement on Forests and Forestry ( http://www.fao.org/forestry/33028/en/) of the recent APEC Ministerial Meeting was well recognized. ADG Rojas commended China’s commitment to hosting the next session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission and the 2nd Asia Pacific Forestry Week . [more]
27 September 2011 The continuing boom in ecotourism has the potential to save endangered forests or destroy them, depending on how effectively tourism expansion is managed, an international partnership for forest conservation and improvement cautioned today as the world celebrates the World Tourism Day and the International Year of Forests. [more]
Asia-Pacific Forestry Week: finding opportunities amidst the challenges 26 September 2011 Asia and the Pacific is the world’s fastest growing region with a dynamic and complex forestry landscape. FAO’s forthcoming Asia-Pacific Forestry Week from 7-11 November, to be held in Beijing, is dedicated to helping meet emerging challenges and identifying new opportunities. "We want to build on the success of the first Asia-Pacific Forestry Week held in Hanoi in 2008,” commented Patrick Durst, FAO senior forestry officer. “It’s an opportunity for the entire forestry community in the region to come together to discuss critical issues, share experiences and find solutions,” added Durst. “It’s going to be the most significant forestry event in the region in 2011.” FAO Goodwill Ambassador Anggun will participate in the week, comprising of more than 40 diverse partner events on a range of topics including the 24th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission. [more]
Vale Wangari Maathai 26 September 2011 Statement by the FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf: It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing away of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai. I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to her family in their hour of grief. Wangari Maathai dedicated her life to saving the planet from environmental degradation and improving the well being of people, not only in Kenya, but around the world. We are indebted to the contributions she made to the work of FAO in recent years. [more]
21 September 2011 Gambia's Community Forestry Policy, put in place with support from FAO, has won silver in the 2011 Future Policy Awards as one of the world's most inspiring and innovative forest policies. The country has developed and implemented the first policy and legislation framework in Africa that provides local populations with secure and permanent forest ownership rights. [more]
9 September 2011 Countries need to pay more attention to fire management on lands bordering forests in order to prevent the 95 percent of wildfires that originate from human activities in forests and adjacent areas, an international partnership for forests warned today. [more]
New project set to strengthen Brazil’s forest policies 30 August 2011 A new project executed by FAO and the Brazilian Forest Service will help Brazil improve its forest policies and decision making by a range of stakeholders. The project, entitled “Strengthening National Policy and Knowledge Framework in Support of Sustainable Management of Brazil’s Forest Resources”, will be funded by GEF for a 5-year period and aims to provide improved analyses and information on forest resources and land use. [more]
Including indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge in forest management key to REDD+ success 12 August 2011 The full and effective engagement of indigenous peoples and the incorporation of traditional forest knowledge in forest management strategies are crucial for REDD+ success in curbing climate change, say experts, following the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. [more]
8 August 2011 Extreme weather events and natural disasters will pose an increasing threat to the world's forests in coming years, requiring heightened cooperation between regions and countries, an international partnership for forest conservation and improvement warned today. The group's warning came as FAO launched a new publication report on how 'abiotic disturbances' are impacting forest health. [more]
Forestry investments in emerging markets 14 July 2011 Sustainable forest management requires sustainable forest finance. Watch forest finance professionals, investors and forestry specialists share perspectives and observations on forestry investments. At a recent meeting held in the Netherlands, 17 forestry investment opportunities in the tropical hemisphere were presented, together worth over 95 million USD of investments in responsible forestry. The meeting was organized by FAO, the NFP Facility and Tropenbos International with support of the Business in Development Network, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation of the Netherlands. Details can be found at http://www.tropenbos.org/index.php/en/news/news-outcomes-bussines-event . [more]
13 July 2011 Reforming forest tenure systems and securing forest ownership rights can significantly improve peoples’ livelihoods and enable them to gain income from forest products, said FAO in a newly published guide, Reforming Forest Tenure. The continuing demand for land, weak governance in many countries, and climate change add urgency to forest tenure reform. [more]
Forest ownership rights can improve peoples’ livelihoods 13 July 2011 Reforming forest tenure systems and securing forest ownership rights can significantly improve peoples’ livelihoods and enable them to gain income from forest products, said FAO in a newly published guide, Reforming Forest Tenure . “The continuing demand for land, weak governance in many countries, and emerging global challenges such as climate change increase the urgency of addressing forest tenure reform,” said Eva Muller, FAO’s Chief Forest Policy Officer. The guide was launched at the Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise Conference taking place in Lombok, Indonesia, from 11 to 15 July. [more]
Forest policies from six countries shortlisted for Future Policy Award 7 July 2011 Bhutan, The Gambia, Nepal, Rwanda, Switzerland and the USA are still in the running for the most inspiring, innovative and influential forest policies worldwide. The Future Policy Award is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organization that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The three winning policies will be announced on 21 September at the UN headquarters in New York. Eduardo Rojas Briales, Assistant Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, says “The Future Policy Award presents an excellent opportunity to emphasize the important role of national policies in restoring and preserving the vital functions of forests for people and to shed some light on the world’s best practices in governing forest resources.” Photo credit: ©FAO/Noel Celis [more]
Agricultural biotechnologies: options and opportunities in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry 30 June 2011 This publication represents the proceedings of the FAO international technical conference dedicated to Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries that took place in Mexico on 1-4 March 2010 . A major objective of the conference was to take stock of the application of biotechnologies across the different food and agricultural sectors in developing countries, in order to learn from the past and to identify options for the future to face the challenges of food insecurity, climate change and natural resource degradation. [more]
New publication on assessment and monitoring of forest governance 30 June 2011 The Framework for Assessing and Monitoring Forest Governance was developed jointly by FAO and the World Bank’s Program on Forests, assisted by a group of experts on forest governance . The Framework facilitates description, diagnosis, monitoring, assessment and reporting on the state of governance in a country’s forest sector. It features a globally relevant and comprehensive list of the major elements that describe forest governance. It also provides a frame of reference for organizing governance-relevant information that can be used within and across countries to assess and monitor the governance of forests and forest resources. It can assist countries in reflecting on and responding to critical issues in forest governance in ways that can be measured, tracked and improved over time. By enabling informed discussions among stakeholders on governance in the forest sector, the Framework also seeks to foster opportunities for wider national discussions on overall governance beyond the forest sector. [more]
International institutions call for increased investments for the arid zone forests 20 June 2011 Drylands make up 40% of the world’s land area, cover more than 100 countries and are the basis for the livelihoods of 2 billion people. But the long-term sustainability of the drylands forests is in jeopardy due to a shortage in the investments needed to scale up the sustainable forest management practices and to support policies to prevent and reverse land degradation. On World Day to Combat Desertification, members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a mechanism comprising 14 global institutions and organizations dealing with forestry matters, called for more urgent investments to stem the growing degradation of natural resources, especially the forests in Africa’s drylands. [more]
14 June 2011 FAO Goodwill Ambassador and Olympic track legend Carl Lewis ended a two-day visit to Haiti today where he saw for himself reforestation efforts to help the country protect itself against flash floods and mudslides as hurricane season begins [more]
FAO pilot project in Senegal combats desertification 10 June 2011 An FAO pilot project that has proved a great success in combating desertification is to be rolled out more widely in an attempt to turn African drylands back into fertile land. With two thirds of the African continent now classified as desert or drylands and desertification affecting a quarter of the world's population, the breakthrough has the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable populations. In operation since 2004, the Acacia project has involved the planting and managing of Acacia forests in arid lands helping combat desertification while providing socio-economic benefits to local communities. [more]
10 June 2011 An FAO pilot project that has proved a great success in combating desertification is to be rolled out more widely in an attempt to turn African drylands back into fertile land. With two thirds of the African continent now classified as desert or drylands and desertification affecting a quarter of the world's population, the breakthrough has the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable populations. [more]
The State of Forests in the Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and Southeast Asia 30 May 2011 Heads of State from three tropical rainforest basins met in Brazzaville from 29 May until 3 June, to establish new ways to increase technical cooperation on forest matters. The ‘Summit of the 3 Rainforest Basins’ brought together governments and partners to improve the management and conservation of important forest resources in the Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and Southeast Asia. In a new report launched at the Summit, The State of Forests in the Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and Southeast Asia, FAO and ITTO stress that the potential value of the many goods and services provided by rainforests clearly outweigh the benefits that can be obtained from almost any alternative land use. “Recent studies have found, for example, that the value of tropical forest services (such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation and soil and water protection) could reach many thousands of dollars per hectare,” writes Eduardo Rojas-Briales, FAO Assistant Director-General Forestry and Emmanuel Ze Meka, ITTO Executive Director. Summit meeting details http://www.3bassinsforestiers.org/en/ . [more]
New web-based implementation tool to support forest protection 20 May 2011 Montreal - In celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a voluntary mechanism comprising 14 organizations with forest-related mandates, have called for improved coordination of biodiversity-related work with the launch of a new web-based tool to support the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s forest biodiversity. Launched by the Convention on Biological Diversity, the tool will address gaps in reporting on forest biodiversity. [more]
Get smart about forest health! 1 April 2011 How much do you know about the health of forests? FAO, using an integrated approach to deal with forest health problems, has produced the Guide to implementation of phytosanitary standards in forestry that provides easy to understand information about everything you should know to help protect the forests from pests. Meanwhile, Senior Pathologist Dr Kerry Britton from the US Forest Service has devised a “teaser” as part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness among the general public. For more information on forest health: http://www.fao.org/forestry/foresthealthguide/en/ For more information on the guide: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i2080e/i2080e00.pdf [more]
New publication: Guide to implementation of phytosanitary standards in forestry 29 March 2011 Produced by an international group of scientists, phytosanitary authorities, forest experts and industry representatives, this guide describes how good forest management practices and well implemented phytosanitary standards can minimize pest spread and facilitate safe trade. The guide will be of interest to people involved in nursery activities, planting, managing, harvesting, manufacturing, trading and transporting forest products. It will soon be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. [more]
Climate change highlights need for women to take greater role in forest management 11 March 2011 Women are the main users of forests in developing countries – gathering food and firewood – but they continue to be sidelined in how the forests are managed despite years of efforts to mainstream their involvement, experts said following International Women's Day on March 8. In the International Year of Forests 2011, members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a consortium of 14 forest-related organizations and secretariats, revisit the challenges of promoting women's involvement in forestry. [more]
ACP-FLEGT Support Programme: Fourth call for proposals 10 March 2011 The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations announces the fourth Call for Proposals (deadline: 20 May 2011) for pilot projects and technical assistance through the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Support Programme for African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP-FLEGT Support Programme) . The four-year initiative has two main components: providing assistance to ACP countries in putting the European Union FLEGT Action Plan into practice, and supporting the collection, analysis and dissemination of FLEGT-related information and lessons learned among stakeholder groups in ACP countries. To learn more please visit our website (click "more"). [more]
Growing Forest Partnerships Update 24 February 2011 Growing Forest Partnerships is an initiative that helps create and strengthen ways of working together for the benefit of forests and the people that depend on them. Funded by the World Bank, the partnership includes the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), FAO and the World Bank. The February newsletter includes stories from projects in Nepal, Guatemala and Liberia and an update from G3's recent participation in Cancun and UNFF9 in New York. [more]
Managing forests for climate change - the main issues 1 February 2011 The new publication, “Managing forests for climate change”, focuses on the central role of forest management in climate change mitigation and adaptation. It describes the many ways in which good forest management practices can maximize forests’ contribution to climate change mitigation as well as help forests and forest-dependent people adapt to new conditions. With an integrated approach to sustainable forest management, FAO’s work is highlighted in supporting countries’ efforts to strengthen the management of forests in a changing climate and to optimize forests’ role in climate change mitigation, while still considering their multiple functions and benefits. When facing new challenges such as climate change, FAO emphasizes the importance of innovative approaches, best practices and international partnerships, while building on the wealth of existing knowledge and experience in sustainable forest management. [more]
UN Special interview of the month: FAO Forestry's Assistant Director-General Eduardo Rojas-Briales 20 January 2011 Interviewed by UN Special magazine, Eduardo Rojas-Briales discusses global forest challenges, the work priorities of FAO's Forestry Department, the International Year of Forests 2011 and the main findings of the 2010 Global Forest Resource Assessment. [more]
Treasures from the forest: the Millennium Development Goals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 19 January 2011 "Everything comes from the forest. People and forest, it's like husband and wife. No divorce!" The people of Kingombi and Mbanza Ngungu (Democratic Republic of the Congo) are well aware of the difference the forest makes in their lives - day after day. The Democratic Republic of the Congo holds a forest cover of key importance to Central Africa. With the support of the European Union, SNV, CIFOR, ICRAF, the main objective of project GCP/RAF/408/EC is to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable forest management. Click to watch the video. [more]
National forest inventory of Kyrgyzstan completed 4 January 2011 Bishkek, December 17, 2010. "Kyrgyzstan has completed a national inventory of forests" said Mr Abdymital Chyngozhoev, State Secretary of the State Agency of Environment and Forestry of the Republic. The work was initiated in 2008 with the support of the FAO. "Every 5 years in our country, our forest inventory was developed using Soviet methods. But that method is outdated. This type of inventory is the first in the Central Asian region. This is a very big job. We wanted to get reliable data about our forests and we need to think about tomorrow's forest conservation" said the State Secretary. As a result, the inventory showed 1,123,045.2 ha of forest in Kyrgyzstan (5,26%), of which 846,043.4 hectares (4.23%) were found in the territory of the State Forest Fund (SFF) and Protected Areas (PAs), while outside the territory of SFF and PAs - 277,001.8 hectares (1.39%) were found. [more]

last updated:  Wednesday, April 10, 2013