Natural Forest Management
FAO in Sustainable Forest Management implementation
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 for the nine recognized regional C&I processes 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.
Support for SFM implementation in FAO is people-centred and builds on society’s increasing awareness of environmental, social and cultural aspects, including participatory processes and gender equity. 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 integrated approach to SFMFAO’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 and partner organizations have documented guiding principles and voluntary guidelines directly related to various aspects of SFM implementation in a diversity of areas, such as: forest policy development; forestry for poverty reduction; forest tenure; the financing of SFM; multiple-use forest management in the humid tropics; SFM in drylands; community-based forest management; climate change and forest management; REDD+ governance; the assessment and monitoring of forest resources; forest fire management; reduced impact harvesting; NWFPs; the responsible management of planted forests; watershed management; forest pests; forest genetic resources; wildlife and protected area management; and the development of forest-based enterprises. Many of these areas are cross-cutting: for example, the voluntary guidance on planted forests addresses (among other things) the conservation of natural habitats, reduced impact harvesting, phytosanitary standards, and wildlife and protected area management. Although a broad range of tools is available at FAO, the above list does not cover all aspects of SFM implementation in diverse national and biophysical conditions. Therefore, it is also important to draw on the resources of FAO’s partners working in the same fields.