Latest from FAO Forestry

Public perceptions of forestry ‘need to change’ 21 July 2016

Public perceptions of forestry need to change, a World Forest Week session on forest communications heard this week on the sidelines of the 23rd Committee on Forestry. At the session, How do we lead forestry out of the woods?, founding partner and head of strategy for M&C Saatchi Abel (South Africa) Robert Grace argued that forest communications need to engage on a human level, moving away from statistics, in order to shift negative perceptions of forestry issues. They were joined by the members of the Regional Forest Communicators Networks.


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21 July 2016 Governments must do much more to provide the enabling conditions required for indigenous peoples, local communities, smallholders and their organizations to restore degraded landscapes and achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation in practice, according to FAO. [more]
Obregón performs to raise awareness of forest threats 20 July 2016

Costa Rican pianist and composer Manuel Obregón performed a unique experimental concert at FAO headquarters this week in a bid to increase awareness about the threats to forest ecosystems posed by climate change and unsustainable logging. Obregon’s concert was in front of an audience from FAO’s Committee on Forestry, for which some 600 senior government ministers, heads of forest services and other representatives from around the world are gathered in Rome.


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Vote for #COFO23 #ChampionTrees photo contest winner 20 July 2016

Six photos are competing on FAO’s Facebook page in a public vote for the winner of the #COFO23 #ChampionTreesphoto contest. Launched in the run-up to the 23rd session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO 23) taking place at FAO headquarters in Rome this week, the contest challenged people to send in photos of extraordinary trees they knew. The aim of the contest was to raise awareness about the fact that many trees are under pressure from changes in the uses of land, or from the effects of climate change such as increased weather events, forest fires and pests.


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20 July 2016 "Forestry for a low-carbon future: Integrating forests and wood products in climate change strategies" is a new FAO publication onw how to catalyse a “virtuous cycle” that exploits the life cycle of lumber products to enhance the ability of forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere. [more]
19 July 2016 The study's preliminary findings show that trees are present with hugely varying densities on almost one-third of the world's 6.1 billion hectares of drylands, which cover an area more than twice the size of Africa. Almost 18 percent of this area contains forests. [more]
News from FAO Forestry: Issue 41 18 July 2016

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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18 July 2016 While agriculture remains the most significant driver of global deforestation, there is an urgent need to promote more positive interactions between agriculture and forestry to build sustainable agricultural systems and improve food security. This is the key message of the FAO's flagship publication The State of the World's Forests (SOFO), presented today at the opening of the 23d Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO). [more]
National Programme for cocoa producers and collectors launched in Bolivia 15 July 2016

The Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Alvaro Garcia Linera, together with the Minister of Rural Development and Land, César Cocarico, and the FAO Representative in Bolivia, Crispim Moreira, launched a national programme to strengthen cocoa production at an event in Bolivia on 10 July. The event brought together senior government officials, rural economic organizations, and members of the indigenous community. The programme, established with input from the members of the National Federation of Cocoa Producers and Collectors of Bolivia (COPRACAO), will provide an investment of USD $46 million in family cocoa production and collection over the next 5 years.


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Experts discuss cross-sectoral collaboration 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in food and agriculture 5 July 2016

Experts are meeting with FAO and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on 5-6 July to discuss effective cross-sectoral coordination at the country level as a means of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in food and agriculture. Participants are discussing and analysing key factors and approaches to advance multi-stakeholder collaboration in order to holistically address social, economic and environmental dimensions and to strengthen engagement and governance.


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FAO Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries meets in Australia 4 July 2016

The FAO Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI) meets in Sydney on 5 July to provide guidance on FAO work relevant to the paper and forest products industry. ACSFI comprises heads of forest industry and forest growers’ associations, as well as company executives from 20 countries. Topics under discussion at the meeting will include bio-based food packaging in sustainable development, zero deforestation initiatives and their impacts on commodity supply chains, and the role of forests in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


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Land degradation around the Sahara not yet irreversible, FAO project shows 17 June 2016

As FAO celebrates World Day to Combat Desertification calling for urgent action to achieve a land degradation-neutral world, the onset of the rainy season in the Sahel allows local communities to start planting trees, shrubs and grasses as part of large-scale land restoration efforts organised under FAO’s Action Against Desertification programme, an African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) initiative in support of Africa’s Great Green Wall with the financial support of the European Union.


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16 June 2016 Forest and farm producer organizations are key players in meeting the world’s growing demand for food and forest products, improving the lives of rural communities, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That is the key take-away of a new FAO publication launched today at the European Development Days in Brussels, Belgium, taking place on 15-16 June. [more]
News from FAO Forestry: Issue 40 15 June 2016

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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Understanding the Forest-Water Nexus: a global survey 10 June 2016

The FAO Forest and Water Programme has released a global survey to take stock of the many variables, indicators and methods being implemented to measure forest-water interactions. It has been especially designed to engage researchers, technicians and practitioners who are engaged in measuring and monitoring forest-water relationships related to water quantity, quality, as well as socio-economic and management considerations.

By participating in the survey, respondents will contribute to global capacity building on the forest-water topic, and gain access to an international network of forest-water experts.


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Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia agree to boost forest communications 8 June 2016

Forest communications experts from nine countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia have agreed to strengthen communications and boost the visibility of forestry issues in the region.

Representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation committed to setting up a regional sub group on forest issues of specific relevance to the region within the UNECE/FAO Forest Communicators Network (FCN).

The commitment was the result of the first regional workshop on forest communication for countries from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, which was held in St Petersburg, Russian Federation, 1-3 June.


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Latest news from the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism 2 June 2016

What is the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism? Find out more in the first issue of the FLRM newsletter, with an overview from the FLRM Coordinator, Douglas McGuire, plus news from the Asia-Pacific region, Lebanon and Rwanda.


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Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia focus on forest communications 1 June 2016

Improving communication around forests and their role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is vital to deepen awareness among policy makers and the general public, Eugenia Serova, Director of FAO’s Liaison Office with the Russian Federation, told forestry communication experts today. Serova was speaking at the opening of the first regional workshop on forest communication for countries from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, which is being held in St Petersburg, Russian Federation, this week. During the three-day meeting, 23 experts from 12 countries will discuss how to facilitate dialogue between forest communication professionals and develop technical communication skills in the region. The meeting is organized by FAO and the Federal Forestry Agency of the Russian Federation, with support from Austria, Finland and the United Nations FAO/UNECE Forest Communicators Network.


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NASA SERVIR team learn about FAO monitoring software 23 May 2016

A team from the United States of America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is at FAO headquarters this week to learn more about FAO’s innovative Collect Earth land monitoring software. The five-day training will focus on the use and customization potential of Collect Earth, a free and open source software which uses freely available satellite images, such as Landsat and Sentinel 2, and builds on Google Earth and Google Earth Engine technologies.

Collect Earth benefits from the FAO/Google partnership, officially signed at the COP21 in Paris in December 2015. FAO has already trained 700+ people around the world to use Collect Earth, which is part of its free Open Foris suite of tools that can guide countries through the entire life cycle of a forest inventory or any other land use assessment.

“Collect Earth is a game changer - we will be able, together with all other actors, to monitor the world’s forests much more efficiently,” said René Castro Salazar, FAO Assistant Director-General, Forestry. The NASA team works for SERVIR, a joint venture between NASA and USAID helps developing countries use information provided by Earth observing satellites and geospatial technologies to manage climate risks and land use.


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Making and measuring progress towards sustainable forest management 20 May 2016

Ottawa, Canada – International experts meeting to safeguard the future of the world’s forests have drawn up a six-point plan to strengthen collaboration on the use of criteria and indicators to guide and track progress towards the goal of sustainable forest management.

Some 40 forestry experts from 16 countries came together in Ottawa, Canada, this month for a three-day meeting, organized by Natural Resources Canada in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), as part of a drive to mobilize the full potential of criteria and indicators (C&I) in managing forests sustainably.


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13 May 2016 The European Union (EU) and FAO have agreed to step up joint efforts to support tropical timber producing countries in curbing illegal logging, improving forest governance and promoting the trade of legally sourced timber. [more]
News from FAO Forestry: Issue 39 11 May 2016

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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Integrated fire management essential for developing countries 10 May 2016

Developing countries must adopt integrated forest fire management to help avoid devastating wildfires such as the fire currently raging in the boreal forests of Alberta, Canada, FAO Forest Fire Management Officer Peter Moore said today. The Canadian wildfire has burnt over 160,000 hectares of forest and forced the evacuation of 80,000 people, with strong winds and an extended dry period making it especially hard to extinguish. Canada uses a sophisticated landscapes approach to integrate fire and resource management to help achieve sustainable forest management, including fires as part of the natural cycle. FAO is supporting a number of developing countries to address fire management, which analyses the history and ecology of fires, people’s needs and use of forests, community-based fire management and sustainable forest management in a changing climate. Over recent decades, FAO has developed Voluntary Fire Management Guidelines, working alongside UN agencies and Regional Forestry Commissions across the world.


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Experts work towards the protection of forest genetic resources 10 May 2016

Participants from over 40 countries and international organizations will attend the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources taking place at FAO Headquarters, Rome, today.

The Working Group is expected to finalize targets and indicators for forest genetic resources and prepare a draft schedule for monitoring the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources, released in 2014. The participants will also draft an outline for preparing guidelines for national strategies for the conservation, sustainable use and development of forest genetic resources. Meeting outcomes will be presented to the 16th Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in January 2017 for further discussion and decision.


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Global Timber Forum to convene in Rome 9 May 2016

Leaders of timber federations, unions, syndicates and companies from around the world who have a collective interest in restoring consumer trust in the social, environmental and legal credentials of timber will convene in Rome for the third meeting of the Global Timber Forum on 10-12 May 2016. Participants will discuss how to better engage the private sector in taking deforestation and illegal timber out of commodity supply chains, strengthen commitments to improve forest governance, and identify priority activities for the next five years. The GTF was launched at FAO in May 2013 to meet an internationally recognized need for a neutral channel for communications, best practice and information exchange across the timber and forestry sectors. It was also conceived to support forest-based and wood-processing organizations, especially those linked to the Small and Medium Forest Enterprise sector, engaged in activities that address deforestation and illegal logging.


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A green wall of hope for Africa 3 May 2016

Editorial by René Castro Salazar, Assistant Director-General, of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

This week (2-7 May) sees the first international conference on the Great Green Wall, to be held in Dakar, Senegal. The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative brings together more than 20 African countries, development partners, research institutes and international, civil society organizations and local communities At the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, we are strongly committed to ensuring that it produces lasting impacts, as in Senegal, where the planting of 11 million trees has contributed to the restoration of 27,000 hectares of degraded land, and multi-purpose gardens are enabling women to increase their incomes and produce food for their families.


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Video: Expanding Africa's Great Green Wall Action Against Desertification 3 May 2016

Expanding Africa's Great Green Wall Land restoration in northern Niger is making degraded areas productive again, providing economic opportunities in a region where migration has become a tradition. Now, under FAO’s Action Against Desertification programme, these efforts are being expanded to six African countries. This success shows that land degradation around the Sahara is not yet irreversible.


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Strengthening criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management 30 April 2016

International experts are meeting in Ottawa, Canada this week to strengthen collaboration on criteria and indicators (C&I) for the sustainable management of the world’s forests. A focus during the three-day workshop (May 1-3) will be how to work together to mobilize the full potential of criteria and indicators to promote and demonstrate sustainability in view of the Sustainable Development Goals.

C&I are a potential key tool to support the implementation of the related 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which requires a solid framework and evidence for planning and target setting, implementation, and measuring progress. Some 150 countries have been participating in one or more of nine regional C&I processes in the past, resulting in valuable experiences from which to draw lessons on how to use C&I more effectively. The workshop, which brings together around 50 experts from C&I processes, intergovernmental organizations and other bodies, is organized by Natural Resources Canada in cooperation with FAO.


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Drylands & Forest and Landscape Restoration Monitoring Week 26 April 2016

Experts from countries and international organizations will discuss how to respond to the urgent need for monitoring at the "Drylands & Forest and Landscape Restoration Monitoring Week" hosted at FAO HQ, in Rome this week. Experts will review progress towards the "Rome Promise on Monitoring and Assessment for Sustainable Management and Restoration" that was agreed during the first Drylands Monitoring Week, in January 2015, and discuss a proposal for the establishment of a COFO Working Group on Dryland Forests and agrosilvopastoral systems.

The week will also develop two road maps: one revised map to advance the Rome promise implementation, and a second one to support countries’ efforts in monitoring and reporting on forest and landscape restoration at all scales.

The week is co-organized by FAO, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Global Mechanism, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Regional Center Agrhymet of the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the World Resources Institute, and the World Agroforestry Centre, with support from the European Union, Sida and Korea Forest Service.


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Democratic Republic of Congo signs agreement to address deforestation 26 April 2016

The Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) and the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a landmark US $200 million agreement to help the African nation protect the world’s second-largest rainforest, implement sustainable development policies and reduce carbon emissions.

The agreement is the first signed between CAFI and a country of the Central Africa region, and the largest one ever concluded on REDD+ in Africa.

Launched in 2015, CAFI is a partnership of six Central African countries, donors and international organisations, including the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and FAO. The participating Central African countries are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo. Donors include Norway, France, United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union.

FAO is a signatory to the CAFI and one of the key implementing partners, particularly on issues related to REDD+ MRV and forest governance.


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On Earth Day, FAO Director-General stresses need to protect ecosystems 25 April 2016

At a ceremony marking Earth Day on 22 April, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva stressed the need to protect the world's ecosystems, which form the basis of food security. On the campus of FAO's Rome headquarters, the Director General planted a symbolic tree to mark the occasion. Later in the day, parties to the Paris Climate Agreement came together in New York to officially sign the landmark climate treaty. Earth Day also coincided with the launch of a new Mountain Facility that aims to address the needs of people living in highland areas in the world.


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FAO joins the “Trees for the Earth” campaign 22 April 2016

FAO marked Earth Day 2016 by joining a global campaign to plant a tree for every man, woman and child on the planet. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva planted a tree at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, as part of the “Trees for the Earth” campaign launched by the Earth Day Network. Earth Day, the Director-General said, “has called to our attention the fact that the earth and its ecosystems are our home. And we must take care of them. It has also served to help us reflect on the environmental challenges facing us in order to determine how we can best meet them." The Director-General planted a symbolic tree fraxinus ornus (manna ash) to mark today’s signing at UN headquarters in New York of The Paris Agreement, the landmark undertaking to tackle global climate change. The Agreement formally recognizes the vital role of forests and trees in the fight against climate change.


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New tool to guide countries in forest monitoring and emissions reporting 20 April 2016

The Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) has launched a new web application to help countries develop national forest monitoring systems and procedures to measure, report and verify associated greenhouse gas emissions. The application, named REDDcompass, serves as a ‘buddy’ to accompany countries through the otherwise complex system design and development processes that will ultimately help countries meet emissions reduction pledges and assist in mitigating climate change.

Supported by the Australian government and other GFOI partners, the web application has been developed by a global team of experts who specialize in forest information systems and in the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from forests. The tool provides recommendations on designing and establishing measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) procedures that are consistent with IPCC guidance and UNFCCC requirements for REDD+ reporting. The GFOI works to assist countries to develop national forest monitoring systems by fostering the supply and use of space data. FAO is a leading partner of the GFOI and hosts the GFOI Office in Rome. REDDcompass will be publically available for all countries to access, download and use.


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News from FAO Forestry: Issue 38 16 April 2016

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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15 April 2016 FAO and Google are working together to make high-resolution satellite data an everyday tool in managing the world’s natural resources in a joint effort to boost "environmental literacy". The recently-established partnership already allows resource managers and researchers in many countries to gauge changing land uses of individual field-sized plots seen by eye-in-the-sky satellites. [more]
Latin America working to strengthen forest and farm producer organizations 12 April 2016

Experts are meeting in Cobán, Guatemala, this week to discuss ways to integrate small-scale producers, women, indigenous people and youth in forestry and agro-forestry value-chains in Latin America. Representatives from forest and farm producer organizations and the governments of Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Ecuador and Panama will share success stories and discuss public policies and strategies that can strengthen producer organisations in accessing markets. The workshop is organized by FAO through the Forest and Farm Facility and CoOPequity, the Mesoamerican Alliance for Forest and People, We Effect, the Federation of Cooperatives of Las Verapaces (FEDECOVERA), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, and the International Union for Nature Conservation.


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Asia-Pacific looks at greening cities to improve lives and livelihoods 6 April 2016

Zhuhai, China: There is huge potential for an increase in urban forests, trees and green areas to counteract the negative effects of rapid urbanization and improve livelihoods in the major cities of Asia and the Pacific, a regional meeting on urban forestry heard today.

The First Asia-Pacific Urban Forestry Meeting is co-convened by FAO in Zhuhai, China, where experts from 20 countries have gathered to consider ways to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of urban inhabitants through the greening of cities.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to 53 percent of the world’s urban population and is projected to have one of the largest urban growth rates during the next 20 years, especially in developing countries.


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Publication: FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 2014 5 April 2016

Published each year since 1947, the FAO Yearbook of Forest Products is a compilation of statistical data on basic forest products from over 100 countries and territories of the world.

The 68th edition of the Yearbook is published in 6 languages and contains annual data on the production and trade in forest products for the years 2010-2014 and on direction of trade in 2013 and 2014.


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Experts work towards restoration of Latin America’s forests 4 April 2016

Experts are discussing the restoration of Latin America’s forests and other ecosystems this week at a meeting in Bogotá, Colombia, co-organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI) and FAO. The capacity-building workshop will identify ways to help countries achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which aims to restore 15 percent of degraded ecosystems by 2020 worldwide. Globally, more than 2 billion hectares of land – an area the size of South America – are currently degraded, with a resulting loss of fertile soils, biodiversity and carbon stock that threatens the livelihoods, wellbeing, food, water, energy security and resilience of millions of people. Topics under discussion at this week's workshop will include monitoring and reporting tools, resource mobilization and private sector engagement, and representatives from Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Guatemala will share their experiences on national planning for forest restoration. For more information on FAO’s work on forest and landscape restoration, please visit www.fao.org/forestry/flrm.


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Forest and Farm Facility – Making a difference 1 April 2016

The stories of forest and farm producers whose lives have changed for the better thanks to support from the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) are featured in a new set of factsheets. A partnership between FAO, IIED and IUCN, the FFF works to strengthen producer organizations in order to improve the livelihoods and policy engagement of communities, women and indigenous peoples. The five thematic factsheets show how the FFF is making a difference to people’s lives in its 10 partner countries and at regional level by improving policy, secure tenure, income and access to markets, and giving smallholders a voice at global level. An accompanying video highlights the impact of FFF support on the ground in the words of forest and farm producers, government representatives and others.


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Food-water-forests nexus stressed at FAO’s International Day of Forests event 21 March 2016

Food security depends on water security, and, in turn, water security depends on forests, an International Day of Forests event at FAO HQ in Rome heard today.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva highlighted the major role of forests in the water cycle, from recharging groundwater, contributing to precipitation and acting as natural water filters. Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs.


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Video message: Happy International Day of Forests from FAO Forestry 21 March 2016

Today the world will celebrate the International Day of Forests under this year’s theme of Forests and Water. As the climate continues to change, FAO’s Forestry Department recalls the contribution of forests and their increasingly important role to provide and regulate water.


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18 March 2016 The programme, focused specifically on the close relationship between forests and water, will start off by looking at ways to improve water security in eight West African countries: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Sierra-Leone. [more]
FAO celebrates International Day of Forests 2016 15 March 2016

It’s the International Day of Forests on 21 March – a day to raise awareness of the importance of forests and trees to all life on earth. This year the theme of the day is forests and water. Food security depends on water security – and water security depends on forests. In fact, forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75% of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs. Live celebrations of the day are taking place around the globe, and FAO’s own International Day of Forests event will be webcast from Rome on 21 March (12:00-13:00 GMT+1) at http://www.fao.org/webcast. For more information, including a 60-second animated video and an interactive quiz, visit the International Day of Forests website.


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Regional Forest Communicators Networks membership soars 10 March 2016

Membership of the Regional Forest Communicators Networks has risen by 50 percent over the last year, the Global Group on Forest Communication reported at its annual global coordination meeting.

The regional networks (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Mediterranean and the Near East) now have more than 440 members thanks to outreach at high profile events such as the World Forestry Congress. Networks have worked collaboratively to push for improved communications within the forestry sector and promoted the many benefits that come from joining a regional network.

“People who might have worked in often quite isolated situations are joining us and finding other professionals who share very similar problems,” said Patricia Sfeir of the Mediterranean and Near East Forest Communicators Network, explaining the increase in membership. “We provide free practical opportunities for skills development, sharing exciting new ideas, and finding innovative ways of doing things.”


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Women working in forestry 8 March 2016

Women play a vital role in forest-related activities, in the workforce, family farms and at home.

FAO’s State of the World’s Forests found that 1 in 4 employees in the formal forestry sector is a woman. But in less-developed countries, where wood energy is often the only energy source, women and children collect 85% of all fuelwood used in the home. The role of women in production is largely confined to the collection of forest products for subsistence use, rather than income generation.

With forests and forestry being an important part of the agriculture sector, FAO Forestry continues to mainstream gender equality and strengthen the role of women in forest-related projects and programmes. To celebrate International Women's Day, share our photo gallery of women working in forests and forestry.


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Interview: How satellites assist in forest management 6 March 2016

The European Space Agency interviews Anssi Pekkarinen, FAO team leader for forest monitoring and assessment, on how FAO helps countries monitor and manage forests using satellite data. Remote sensing is being increasingly used to map and monitor changes in forests in many countries. With rapid changes in data availability and continuous monitoring, earth observations can improve forest monitoring and management.


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New glossary on wildlife management released for World Wildlife Day 3 March 2016

The Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) today launched the Glossary of Wildlife Management Terms and Definitions to mark World Wildlife Day. The online glossary aims to raise awareness of the usage and meanings of technical terms related to wildlife management and conservation to improve common understanding and dialogue. Currently, the Glossary is comprised of about 250 terms and definitions in English, with equivalents presented in French, Spanish and German, and new terms will be added in the future. Among terms defined are wildlife itself, bushmeat, predator management, retrievable species, and flagship species. The glossary is compiled by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) with contributions from CPW members including FAO.


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News from FAO Forestry: Issue 37 3 March 2016

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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26 February 2016 The assessment, titled Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production is a groundbreaking effort to better understand and manage a critical element of the global ecosystem. [more]
Importance of gender-inclusive communication discussed at Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 25 February 2016

Gender-inclusive communication is a powerful tool that can be strategically used to improve women’s participation in sustainable forest and other natural resource management, a session at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week heard.

Women play a central role in the use, management and conservation of forest resources across Asia-Pacific but are still largely excluded from decision-making.

Speakers working on forestry and gender equality from government agencies, research institutes, civil society organisations and communities discussed strategies to foster gender-inclusive communication through the production, dissemination and use of information.


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Preparing for large-scale land restoration across Africa’s Great Green Wall 25 February 2016

Experts from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt, Fiji, Haiti, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, as well as the African Union Commission and from international organisations such as IGAD, NGARA, ICRAF, SPC and FAO gathered in Nairobi to plan restoration activities in East African countries across the Great Green Wall.

Organized by FAO and the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, with support from EU-ACP, the plan includes an approach tested in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, which puts communities at the heart of restoration efforts and focuses on their needs for useful plant species and preferences for restoration in support of their livelihoods.


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Forest advocate Patrick Dugan wins the 2016 Asia-Pacific Forest Champion Award 24 February 2016

Filipino forest restoration advocate Patrick Dugan has been awarded the 2016 Asia-Pacific Forest Champion Award in recognition of his efforts to promote forest and land restoration through assisted natural regeneration (ANR) techniques in the Philippines and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Dugan received his award at a ceremony during the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week taking place in Pampanga, Philippines, this week.


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23 February 2016 Community-based forestry has shown itself to be a potent vehicle for promoting sustainable forest management, reducing poverty and generating jobs and income for rural communities, but unlocking its true potential will require greater support by governments through policy reforms and other measures. [more]
Backed by a global accord on climate change, Asia-Pacific forestry leaders gather to set agenda through 2020 22 February 2016

Key forestry leaders from Asia-Pacific began deliberations today on a series of critical natural resources issues challenging the region. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building resilience to the negative impacts of climate change are among the priority topics on the agenda for the five-day meeting that will be the main focus of Asia-Pacific Forestry Week, the largest gathering of its kind in the region in 2016.


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Philippines to host Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2016 19 February 2016

Manila – More than 1 000 forestry and natural resources government officials, and representatives of international and non-government organizations and forest industries from over 30 countries are expected to gather at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga from 22-26 February for Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2016.

Spearheaded by FAO in partnership with the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Week will be among the largest and most important forestry events in the region this year. It will run in conjunction with the 26th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission which convenes every two years to review progress in forestry development, discuss common issues and set new agendas for addressing natural resource management challenges in the region.


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Global Forest Observation Initiative secretariat opens at FAO 17 February 2016

The secretariat for the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) has opened for business at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The GFOI works to assist countries to develop national forest monitoring systems by fostering the supply and use of space data. Through its partners, the initiative enables coordinated support for forest monitoring and assessment that supports planning for national development priorities, including forest management, climate change mitigation and adaptation. Funded by Australia and Norway, the Rome-based office will provide secretariat services to GFOI partners and communicate activities and results. GFOI partners include Australia, Norway, the USA, the Committee on Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS), FAO and various other international organizations and experts. The 2016 GFOI Plenary and Open Forum will be held in Italy 22-26 February 2016. For more information on the GFOI’s work, click more to visit the GFOI website.


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15 February 2016 Opening the FAO-hosted international symposium "The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition", Graziano da Silva stressed the need for "a broad portfolio of tools and approaches to eradicate hunger, fight every form of malnutrition and achieve sustainable agriculture." [more]
Video: Efforts to improve forest governance in Colombia gaining momentum 14 February 2016

FAO FLEGT Programme members met this month with delegates from Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) and the Regional Environmental Authority of Risaralda, CARDER, to assess progress and outcomes of FAO support towards Colombia’s Intersectoral Pact for Legal Timber . The Pact, a voluntary agreement aimed at ensuring that timber harvested, transported, processed, marketed and used derives exclusively from legal sources, is one of the country’s main forest governance initiatives to combat illegal logging. About 72 public and private institutions and civil society organizations signed commitments to reduce illegal forest activity under the current Government. The Pact has also been included in the National Plan of Development of the country (2014-2018) as one of the main tools to reduce deforestation.


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Celebrating forests and water on International Day of Forests 21 March 11 February 2016

International Day of Forests is coming soon! Every year on the 21 March we celebrate the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year we are raising awareness of how forests are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater, a theme chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. Please watch and share the International Day of Forests video and seven key messages. Help mark the Day by organizing or joining events celebrating forests – tree plantings, symposiums, art exhibitions, or a photo competition.


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African Union Commission and FAO step up support to Great Green Wall initiative 5 February 2016

Addis Ababa – In an agreement signed today, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have further strengthened their partnership in support of the Great Green Wall initiative, Africa’s flagship initiative to combat land degradation, desertification and drought.

According to the agreement, FAO will support the AUC through a special hub that will provide assistance in coordination, monitoring and evaluation, capacity development, resource mobilization, knowledge management for the implementation of Action Against Desertification, a new project in support of the Great Green Wall initiative.


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NWFP Update newsletter: Trees and bees 4 February 2016
Read the latest issue of the NWFP Update newsletter on the relationship between trees and bees from the FAO Forestry non-wood forest products team.

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News from FAO Forestry: Issue 36 4 February 2016

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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Explore interactive map in fight against illegal logging 12 January 2016

A new interactive map gives users the chance to explore over 100 projects around the world that are working to tackle illegal logging and strengthen forest governance.

Users can discover stories, photos and videos featuring people involved in the projects, which are searchable by country, theme and organisation, as well as detailed information on the objectives and progress of each initiative.

Produced by the European Union (EU), the map features projects taking place under the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

As one of the world's largest consumers of timber products, the EU adopted the FLEGT Action Plan in 2003 to prevent illegal timber from entering the European market and to improve the supply of legal timber.The Action Plan focuses on strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance, and promoting trade in legally produced timber.

FLEGT projects are funded by the EU, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), Germany's Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and other organizations.


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last updated:  Friday, July 1, 2016