A series of forestry and COVID-19 related webinars will be organized between July and October 2020. This webinar series is organized under the auspices of the FAO Forestry Technical Network (FTN). The Network intends to ensure a high standard of technical excellence and promote innovation in FAO’s work in forestry by providing a platform to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences.

The FTN webinar series builds on the outcomes of the COVID-19 Forestry Webinar Week under the theme Building back better: COVID-19 pandemic recovery contributions from the forest sector, which took place 22-25 June 2020.

July 2020

Indigenous Peoples and voluntary isolation: when forest food systems become a stronghold against COVID-19

16 July 2020, 15:00-16:30 CEST: English

During the COVID-19 outbreak, indigenous peoples have emphasized that the impact of the pandemic on their livelihoods and food security depends largely on the health and well-functioning of their food systems. This event will feature testimonies of indigenous peoples living and depending on forests to feed themselves and their communities. The discussion will give special attention to how forest-indigenous peoples’ food systems became their safety nets during the pandemic. The event will feature communities that have resorted to traditional forms of confinement. It will focus on indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation in the majority of cases living in forests, and why they opted to rely on forests for their needs.

  • Coordinator: Maria Acosta Lazo, Expert on Indigenous Peoples' Collective Rights, Partnerships Division, FAO; Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa, Advocacy Officer, Partnerships Division, FAO

Wildland Fire Management under COVID-19

20 July 2020, 11:00-12:30 CEST: English

The webinar will focus on COVID-19 impacts on operations and will aim to clarify the implications of COVID-19 restrictions on wildland fire management, at mapping current thinking, raising awareness of this issue and at assisting agencies and countries where preparing for fire management under COVID 19 may not be well advanced.

  • Coordinator: Peter Moore, Forestry Officer, Fire Management, FAO
  • Co-organizing institutions: Wageningen University; Spanish Forest Fire Service

Social protection for forest-dependent communities: building on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic for more resilient forest livelihoods

22 July 2020, 11:00-12:30 CEST English

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The webinar will focus on social protection and aim to raise awareness and knowledge of FAO’s work on social protection for forest-dependent communities (FDCs), seek recommendations on how to build on the emergency response to the pandemic to permanently expand social protection coverage to FDCs, and build resilience to future crises.

  • Coordinators: Thais Linhares-Juvenal, Senior Forestry Officer, Forest Governance and Economics, FAO; Ana Ocampo, Social Protection Officer, Social Policies and Rural Institutions Division, FAO; Mari Kangasniemi, Social Protection Officer, Social Policies and Rural Institutions Division, FAO; Qiang Ma, Forestry Officer, FAO

Forest Invasive Species - the next global pandemic?

29 July 2020: English, French, and Russian

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The webinar will focus on international collaboration on managing transboundary forest pests and diseases, and will aim to raise awareness on the importance of international collaboration and preventative measures in managing forest-invasive species. 

  • Coordinators: Shiroma Sathyapala, Forestry Officer, FAO; Norbert Winkler-Ráthonyi, Forestry Officer, FAO
  • Co-organizing institutions: Forest Invasive Species Networks Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Near East

September 2020

The role of urban forests and green spaces in improving community resilience and reducing the harmful impact of COVID-19

17 September 2020, 14.00-15.30 CET: English

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The webinar will focus on how the natural capital of a city has an important influence on the wellbeing of urban dwellers. This will be examined by experts from different sectors that will attempt to give a balanced view of how to optimize urban forestry management for health outcomes.  

The webinar will aim to inform city administrators and decision-makers about the contribution that urban forests and green spaces can provide in preventing and facing the spread, morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, as well as in responding to its implications. Potential partners with whom joint actions will be taken towards COVID-related and other health policy responses at country, regional and global levels will be identified.

  • Coordinator: Simone Borelli, Forestry Officer, Agroforestry and Urban and Periurban Forestry, FAO
  • Co-organizing institutions: Università Roma Tre; University of Sheffield; World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre, University of Exeter; University of Toronto; the Galician Landscape School

October 2020

The strategic way of integrating forestry into recovery support measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Build Back Better with Forests

12 October 2020, 12:00-13:00 CEST: English

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The COVID-19 pandemic has added another dimension of urgency to tackle global challenges of our time such as climate change, biodiversity loss and inequity. The focus of responding to this pandemic should not only be to strengthen health systems and economies but also to make ecosystems more resilient. This session will discuss how forest-related measures and initiatives can be integrated into recovery strategies responding to the pandemic, reflecting on related challenges and opportunities. 

One Health: concrete steps towards harnessing forestry and wildlife sectors

12 October 2020, 16:30-17:30 CEST: English

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Nearly three-fourths of recognized emerging infectious diseases (EID) events – of which the COVID-19 pandemic is one – are zoonotic, meaning they originate from animals. For those EIDs associated with forests, the proximate causal factors in their emergence include a combination of deforestation and other land use changes, increased human contact with pathogens harbored by forest dwelling animals, and pathogen adaptation. The One Health approach is widely acknowledged as well-positioned to holistically address interconnections among human and forest and ecosystem health. In practice, however, forestry, wildlife and biodiversity aspects have often received less attention in One Health actions than human-animal interconnections in the evaluation of disease risk, with correspondingly lesser consideration for the upstream drivers of disease emergence.  

Who are the forest workers of today? Who will they be in the future? Trends and opportunities facing modern jobs in the forest sector

14 October 2020

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A new UNECE and FAO study on forest sector workforce in the UNECE region brings some important questions to our attention, namely:  

  1. How are employers, workers and governments navigating the occupational hazards seemingly endemic to the sector, and is the situation improving?  
  2. How can we attract more young people and women into forest work?
  3. How can we ensure that forest jobs are decent, sustainable and safe for people who choose to undertake them, and what does the future hold for green jobs in the forest sector?

To answer these questions and inspire an invigorating discussion, UNECE and FAO will host a webinar on forest sector workforce, presenting some of the key findings on trends, challenges and opportunities for the forest sector workforce in the region.

Experience from Forest Communities of COVID-19 Impacts

28 October 2020, 10:00-11:00 CET, Language: English

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The FAO-EU FLEGT Programme has partnered with RECOFTC and the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) to carry out field surveys to document the immediate impact of the pandemic on forest communities in several countries in Asia and Africa. This webinar will present results of the two surveys. More specifically, this virtual session will:

  • Present findings on the impact of the pandemic perceived at the “forest front” and needs for recovery
  • Discuss how community forestry can contribute to strengthening and maintaining legality in forest management
  • Identify concrete actions to support community-led forest monitoring to enhance legal resource extraction practices
  • Demonstrate how community forestry can improve the resilience of forest-dependent communities during periods of disaster
  • Emphasize that healthy forest ecosystems and resilient forest-dependent communities should be an important pillar of a green COVID-19 recovery programme