Latest from FAO Forestry

FAO and Austria reveal forest pavilion for Earth Day 22 April 2015

FAO and Austria have teamed up to celebrate Earth Day with a sneak peak into the country’s unique contribution to the 2015 World Expo in Milan: the ‘Breathe’ Pavilion, which contains a fully functioning Austrian forest.

The pavilion, which will open to the public on 1 May, demonstrates the role that forests play in providing clean air and nutritious, organic food in line with the theme of this year’s Expo, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

An FAO-produced video reveals how trees, plants, moss and soil have all been transported and carefully positioned onto custom-built hillsides for the challenging feat of recreating the Austrian forest in Milan.


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Register for the World Forestry Congress 21 April 2015

Registration for the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban is now open. The Congress will be the most significant opportunity in 2015 for the world’s foresters and forest supporters to share expertise and experience, forge new partnerships and define a coherent, global vision of the roles of forests and forestry in sustainable development.

Spaces are limited and we are expecting great demand, so take advantage of the Congress’s “early-bird” rates by registering before 30 June 2015. Special prices are available to citizens of South Africa and eligible countries.


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Celebrating Earth Day 2015 17 April 2015

FAO Goodwill Ambassador and American jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater will highlight the importance of forests at the annual Concert for the Earth in Italy which takes place this Sunday, 19 April in Rome.

Bridgewater will speak about the need to protect the world’s natural resources and ecosystems before her performance at the concert to mark this year’s Earth Day, which is officially celebrated on 22 April.

Eva Müller, Director of FAO’s Forestry Department, will also underscore the multiple benefits of forests and show this year’s International Day of Forests video spot before Bridgewater takes the stage.

“We are delighted that Dee Dee Bridgewater will perform at the Concert for the Earth to help highlight the critical role of the world’s forests in sustainable development,” Müller said.


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13 April 2015 Norway and FAO have signed a NOK 35m (around $4.5m) partnership agreement to improve the capacity of developing countries to monitor and report on their forest resources and changes in forest area. The project will facilitate countries' access to earth observation data sources, including satellite imagery, and develop an easy-to-use platform for processing and interpreting this data. [more]
20 March 2015 Total carbon emissions from forests decreased by more than 25 percent between 2001 and 2015, mainly due to a slowdown in global deforestation rates, according to new estimates published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization today. [more]
On International Day of Forests, Asia and the Pacific needs to stop for a breath of fresh air 20 March 2015

Bangkok, Thailand: With pollution levels off the charts in some Asian cities and haze from forest fires blanketing much of Southeast Asia, this year’s International Day of Forests on 21st March reminds us what’s at stake if countries don't get more serious in dealing with deforestation and climate change, an official at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.


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Celebrating the International Day of Forests with the Special Ambassador to FAO for Forests and the Environment, HRH Prince Laurent of Belgium 20 March 2015

His Royal Highness Prince Laurent of Belgium visited Cabo Verde from 18 to 22 March for the celebration of the International Day of Forests at Serra Malagueta. Prince Laurent paid courtesy visits to H.E. President of the Republic, Prime Minister, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development and President of the City Chamber of Maio. This was also an opportunity for the Special Ambassador to FAO for Forests and the Environment to visit forestry projects across the islands. He visited the Higher School of Agricultural Science and Environment where he also met students from the University of Cabo Verde and held a conference to advocate for FAO’s important work in supporting countries in the challenging context of climate change.


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News from FAO Forestry 19 March 2015

Follow the work of FAO Forestry and its partners in the most recent issue of inFO news, a regular news bulletin published by the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


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Unasylva journal: Forests, trees and disasters 12 March 2015

On the occasion of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, FAO's Forestry Department published a new edition of its Unasylva journal focusing on the impact of disasters for forest-dependent communities.This double issue examines the ways in which forests and trees can best be managed both to resist shocks and to protect from shocks. The articles cover a range of natural and human-induced disasters and crises including typhoons, fires, earthquakes, war and the Ebola virus public health emergency, all of which are closely interlinked with forests and the environment.


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Non-Wood Forest Products Update: Bushmeat, people and forests 4 March 2015

In this first issue for 2015, we tackle bushmeat, or the harvesting of wild animals from forests for food and non-food purposes (medicine, culture, recreation). Bushmeat has long been a part of the diets of forest dwellers as an important source of protein, micronutrients, fats and also fibre and is increasingly consumed in urban areas. It is also an important source of income for many communities.


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Wildlife partnership launches bushmeat sourcebook 3 March 2015

The Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management today launched the Bushmeat Sourcebook, an online resource, on the occasion of the second World Wildlife Day. The sourcebook examines bushmeat’s vital contribution to food security, local livelihoods, and other aspects of human well-being in many parts of the world. It also shows, however, how unsustainable harvesting can affect the ecological stability of forest ecosystems, as well as human health. "The sourcebook represents a valuable awareness-raising tool, which will help bring attention to key facts," said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Chair of the CPW and Executive Secretary of the CBD. "It also shows us how indigenous peoples and local communities can play a positive role in helping to sustainably manage our valuable wildlife resources.


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Toward sustainable forest management in the Kyrgyz Republic 27 February 2015

The more a country knows about its forests, the better it can manage and protect them for future generations. With this in mind, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic sought assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, through a Technical Cooperation Programme project, to strengthen national capacities to monitor and assess the country's forest and trees resources in an integrated land use approach.

The project was carried out in partnership with the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry and with additional funding from the Government of Kyrgyzstan and the Swiss-Kyrgyz Forestry Support Programme. More than 50 staff from the Department of Forest, Hunting and Ground Inventory received training on national forest management assessments. A national forest vegetation and land use classification system for remote-sensing surveys was developed. In addition, FAO and the department worked closely to store and manage information from the forest and land assessments and published findings in both Russian and English on the state of the country's forests and natural resources.


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FAO conference on the economics of climate change mitigation highlights the role of forests 27 February 2015

How best to mitigate climate change and curtail global warming is now an established debate. With a new climate change regime expected to emerge from the upcoming UNFCCC's Climate Change Conference in Paris in November, forestry may gain the limelight in climate mitigation discussions. The significant mitigation potential forests have to offer has been highlighted by a recent UN FAO-led international conference on the economics of mitigation options in the forest sector.


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XIV World Forestry Congress - call for events 27 February 2015

Don’t miss the extended deadline of 13 March to apply to organize an event at the forthcoming XIV World Forestry Congress, 7-11 September 2015, in Durban. We welcome proposals for side events, networking events, launches, performances or regional events that will help share experiences, showcase the latest developments and innovations for forests and forestry, and increase opportunities for dialogue at the Congress.


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Symposium on forest biotechnology for smallholders 19 February 2015

Registration and call for abstracts are open for a forthcoming symposium on forest biotechnology for smallholders from 19-22 May 2015, Brazil. The recommendations of the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Development and Sustainable Use of Forest Genetic Resources, adopted by the FAO Conference in June 2013, identified the use of new technologies, including biotechnology, as a strategic priority. Biotechnology can contribute to meet the rising global demand for forest products such as wood, paper, woodfuel, and non-wood forest products which is predicted for some products to double by 2030. Planted forests from smallholder farmers will play a major role to meet this demand to avoid the overexploitation and degradation of natural forests.

Organized by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, FAO and the Brazilian Federation of Workers on Family Farms, this symposium will share knowledge and experiences on the use of biotechnology to improve productivity, sustainable forest management and support industrial wood production by family farmers, including outgrowers. Researchers, students, public policy experts, and representatives of the private sector and civil society are welcome. Deadline for abstract submission is 20th March 2015.


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News from FAO Forestry 18 February 2015

Follow the work of FAO Forestry and its partners in the most recent issue of inFO news, a regular news bulletin published by the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


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Forestry can offer cost-effective climate change mitigation solutions 6 February 2015

An international online FAO conference on the economics of climate change mitigation options in the forest sector begins today. The conference will run over 4 weeks with 6 sessions covering afforestation and reforestation, reducing deforestation and degradation, changing forest management practices, wood energy, green building, and sustainable packaging. Attracting over 1,600 registrants from 127 countries and 126 case studies from 47 countries, the response to the conference has been encouraging. The conference will explore how a wide range of interventions in the forest sector could help to mitigate climate change, based on country experiences and analyses of the costs and benefits of the various options. With 50 technical presentations, combined with panel and plenary discussions, the conference will provide an excellent platform for discussion and the sharing of experiences from around the world.


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Monitoring and assessment of drylands for sustainable management and restoration 6 February 2015

Drylands cover more than 40 percent of the world’s land area. Almost a third of the world’s population and some half of the global livestock are found here. Degradation is widespread. Yet dryland trees, forests and agrosilvopastoral systems can play a major role in improving environmental sustainability, productivity and resilience, with effective management and financial investment. FAO, World Resources Institute and IUCN, with funding support from GEF and EU-ACP, recently held back-to-back workshops on drylands monitoring and assessment.

The participants agreed that an appropriate and sustainable monitoring and assessment system, including a comprehensive baseline and participatory approaches, is necessary for effective management and restoration of natural capital in drylands and issued the Rome Promise. The Promise agreed to form an open-ended collaborative network or community of practice to advance monitoring and assessment of drylands, communicate the value and importance of drylands monitoring to relevant stakeholders, including policy makers and resource partners and develop a roadmap for collaborative action.


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News from FAO Forestry 3 February 2015

Follow the work of FAO Forestry and its partners in the most recent issue of inFO news, a regular news bulletin published by the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


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International partners work together to share forest products information 30 January 2015

The Intersecretariat Working Group on Forest Sector Statistics (IWG) concluded its 28th meeting at the ITTO Headquarters in Yokohama. The IWG brings together representatives of ITTO, the FAO Forestry Department, the UN-ECE Forestry and Timber Section and Eurostat, with over 20 years of collaboration on collecting, analyzing and disseminating forest products statistics.

In 2014, data on over 50 forest products were jointly collected and shared. These data are presented for all countries and territories in the world and can be accessed through websites of the partner organizations. Three workshops were also jointly held to improve the capacity of 33 countries to provide statistics for policy-makers and analysts. These took place in Ankara, Kunming and Johannesburg.


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XIV World Forestry Congress - abstract deadline extended 29 January 2015

The call for abstracts for the XIV World Forestry Congress has been extended and you now have until 6 February 2015 to submit your ideas for papers, posters and videos.

The XIV World Forestry Congress will take place 7-11 September 2015 in Durban, South Africa and will be a key occasion for the world’s foresters and forest supporters to gather, to share their expertise and experience, and to project a new vision for the future of forests and forestry.


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Zimbabwe EU-FAO forestry project receives EU equipment handover 28 January 2015

The European Union today handed over motor vehicles and equipment worth USD 600,000 to the Government of Zimbabwe to support four ongoing EU funded projects coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and jointly implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe and their partners. The forestry project, Forest Forces, is implemented in four provinces and seeks to improve food security and income of vulnerable rural communities through participatory and sustainable forest management, value addition to forest products, and diversification of livelihood strategies


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Strengthening the role of forest and farm producers 28 January 2015

This week, family farmers, community foresters, and Indigenous Peoples from Asia, Central America and Europe will kick start the process of exploring synergies between their interests on forest and farm policy. The meeting brings together winners from the Forest and Farm Facility’s call for proposals to strengthen the role of forest and farm producer organizations at the regional and global level.

They include the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development, the Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forest, the Global Alliance for Community Forestry, the International Alliance of Tribal People of Tropical Forests, and the International Family Forestry Alliance.


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Strengthening criteria and indicators – important tools for sustainable forest management 23 January 2015

Criteria and indicators (C&I) are crucial tools to promote and demonstrate sustainable forest management. This was the message of a global expert workshop, held 15-16 January 2015 at FAO Rome, Italy. The experts identified three areas of work for forest indicators - strengthen effective monitoring and reporting of forest contributions to Sustainable Development Goals and targets, UNFF and relevant Rio Conventions; further develop practical C&I tools for different user groups and purposes; and contribute to cross-sectoral sustainability assessments across different land uses.


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Publication | Talking about forests and family farms 22 January 2015

This publication summarizes the conversation that took place at the Family Forestry is Family Farming event co-organized by the Forest and Farm Facility and the International Family Forestry Alliance. The conversation testifies to the power of cooperation between forest-and-farm families and governments in preparing fertile ground. With contributions from participants from Finland, Sweden, Kenya, Mexico, Liberia, Nepal, Gambia and elsewhere, this publication highlights the role of forest-and-farm producer organizations and governments in helping to overcome challenges faced by smallholders in forested landscapes.


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last updated:  Friday, January 9, 2015