Natural Forest Management
FAO's work on SFM
FAO's approach to SFM
FAO’s approach to SFM implementation is based on the Forest Principles, which were included in Chapter 11 of Agenda 21, adopted by nations at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. FAO’s support is linked to the seven thematic elements defined by the United Nations General Assembly. Together with the cross-cutting guidance, these principles and elements are observed in FAO’s normative work related to SFM, including in: various voluntary guidelines; documented and disseminated good practices; norms, standards, policy and legal frameworks developed with respect to forests and forestry; and global advocacy work.
Intact forest of the Tilarán mountain range in Costa Rica. ©FAO/Giancarlo Pucci
Support for SFM implementation in FAO is people-centered and builds on society’s increasing awareness of environmental, social and cultural aspects, including participatory processes and gender equality. Interactions with other sectors, and the critical roles that forests and trees play in water production, soil conservation, climate-change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and bioenergy, are well recognized, as are the significant contributions that forests and trees make to food security, sustainable livelihoods and the eradication of poverty. Progress towards sustainability is still limited and there is a need, therefore, to increase SFM, reforestation and forest restoration and to deploy agroforestry systems and other SLM measures in a holistic approach.
FAO’s focal work areas in forestry embrace global and regional forest-related policies and processes; national forest policies and institutions; information, monitoring and assessment; forest management; and forest products and economic aspects. FAO’s competence also includes cross-cutting areas such as natural resource management, land tenure, technological innovations, climate change, and social dimensions, including gender.
FAO, together with partner organizations, is implementing a range of programmes that address various aspects of SFM. Some of the key programmes that contribute to improved forest management are described below.
- Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM): The FLRM aims to significantly contribute scaling-up, monitoring and reporting on FLR activities to a level needed to meet the Bonn Challenge and Aichi Biodiversity targets particularly Aichi Biodiversity Target 15. For this, it helps to coordinate and facilitate the development and implementation of projects, programmes and related activities in FAO member countries, in full collaboration with other key actors.
- Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World (SW4SW): The SW4SW focuses on how to make the most of the myriad social, economic and environmental benefits that can be derived from sustainable wood and wood products. The aim is to improve forest production, a key element of sustainable forest products value chains.
- Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+): Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus the sustainable management of forests, and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), is an essential part of the global efforts to mitigate climate change. The aim of REDD+ is to encourage developing countries to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts by: i) reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by slowing, halting and reversing forest loss and degradation; and ii) increasing removal of GHGs from the earth’s atmosphere through the conservation, management and expansion of forests.
- Forest and Farm Facility (FFF): The Forest and Farm Facility provides direct financial support and technical assistance to strengthen forest and farm producer organizations representing smallholders, rural women’s groups, local communities and indigenous peoples’ institutions. Collectively, forest and farm producers have the potential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to respond to climate change at landscape scales.
- Mountain Partnership – Working together for mountains peoples and environments: The Mountain Partnership is a United Nations voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world.
- Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT): The FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme seeks to reduce and eventually eliminate illegal logging. With the support of its donors, the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme funds projects created by governments, civil society and private sector organizations in Latin America, Africa and Asia to improve forest governance.
- Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM): The SWM Programme sets out to develop sustainable solutions to guarantee food security. If hunting for wild meat is not managed at sustainable levels, then wildlife populations will decline and rural communities may suffer rising levels of food insecurity.
- The Forest Concessions Initiative (FCI): Forest concessions are legal instruments between the state and a private entity or a local community that confer rights to the latter to harvest timber or other forest products in the short-term, or manage forest resources in the longer-term in exchange for payments or the provision of services. FAO launched the first Voluntary Guidelines for forest concessions in the tropics to make concessions more transparent, accountable and inclusive, all for the benefit of some of the poorest and most isolated communities in the world.
Working with partners and donors, FAO providing technical support to a large number of field projects that promote SFM. Examples of ongoing FAO projects that specifically aim to improve forest management practices are provided below.
- Sustainable management of forests in Mountain and Valley areas in Uzbekistan - GCP /UZB/004/GFF: To introduce Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Uzbekistan, thereby sequestrating carbon and improving the quality of forests and tree resources.
- Integrated National Monitoring and Assessment System on Forest Ecosystems (SIMEF) in Support of Policies, Regulations and SFM Practices Incorporating REDD+ and Biodiversity Conservation in Forest Ecosystems - GCP /CHI/032/GFF: To develop, and implement an Integrated Forest Monitoring and Assessment System on carbon stocks and biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems supporting the National Greenhouse Gases Inventory and the development of policies, regulations and SFM practices incorporating REDD+ and biodiversity conservation in forest ecosystems.
- Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation, SFM and carbon sink enhancement into Mongolia`s productive forest landscapes - GCP /MON/008/GFF: To promote sustainable forest management in Mongolia’s forest landscape to secure the flow of multiple ecosystem services and benefits, including biological diversity, reduced degradation, and carbon storage, while enhancing resilience to climate change.
- Sustainable forest management under the authority of Cameroonian Councils – GCP /CMR/033/GFF: To reduce deforestation and forest degradation in the council forests in order to improve biodiversity conservation, enhance carbon stocks and ensure implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) practices.
- Contribution of sustainable forest management to a low emission and resilient development in Serbia – GCP /SRB/002/GFF: To contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and climate change mitigation through the promotion of multifunctional sustainable forest management in productive forest landscapes.
- Community-based sustainable land and forest management in Afghanistan – GCP /AFG/084/GFF: To support integrated, community-based approaches to sustainable land and forest management in Afghanistan for promoting biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and rangeland productivity.
- Sustainable forest management to enhance the resilience of forests to climate change – GCP /CPR/056/GFF: To enable local communities in four Chinese provinces to effectively employ incentive-based sustainable forest management (SFM) practices in reforestation and forest restoration activities, enhancing carbon storage and sequestration as well as biodiversity conservation.
- Community-based Miombo forest management in South East Katanga – GCP /DRC/046/GFF: To promote the sustainable management and restoration of Miombo forest ecosystems in order to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; and 2) To improve the sustainability of livelihoods of local communities through the marketing of wood fuels and non-timbre forest products (NTFP) harvested from sustainably managed forests.
- Community-based Sustainable Dryland Forest Management – GCP /GAM/031/GFF: To improve community based management of dryland forests in Gambia to reduce forest degradation and improve local livelihoods.
- Support to strengthening sustainable and multipurpose forest management to improve rural livelihoods and address climate change in Kosovo – GCP /KOS/007/SWE: To ensure that Kosovar forests are managed more efficiently with multi-purpose, participatory approach, strengthened in accordance with the approved Law on Forests and supported with gender- and climate-responsive value-chains for poverty alleviation.
- Sustainable cropland and forest management in priority agro-ecosystems of Myanmar – GCP /MYA/017/GFF: To build the capacity of farming and forestry stakeholders to mitigate climate change and improve land condition by facilitating the adoption of climate smart agriculture and sustainable forest management policies and practices.
- Integrated forest management in the Solomon Islands – GCP /SOI/001/GFF: To assist the Government of the Solomon Islands to implement integrated management of protected and productive forest landscapes for sustainable community development and multiple environmental benefits.
- Reversing deforestation and degradation in high conservation value Chilgoza Pine Forests in Pakistan – GCP /PAK/091/GFF: To contribute to the restoration, protection and sustainable management of Chilgoza pine forests to provide global environmental benefits as well as enhance resilience and livelihoods of local stakeholders in Pakistan.