Collaborative Partnership on Forests

The need to strengthen the conservation of primary forests through partnership enhancement and coordination of support

The need to strengthen the conservation of primary forests through partnership enhancement and coordination of support: CPF member discussion

Tuesday 7 May 2024  1:15-2:30 pm EDT 
Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York


Primary forests, spanning approximately 1.11 billion hectares worldwide (FRA 2020), are intricate ecosystems that house the majority (at least two-thirds) of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. Their significance extends beyond local communities, as they are also pivotal in climate change mitigation given that they store vast carbon stocks and ensure food security. The myriad ecosystem services they provide, and often higher quality ecosystem services (e.g. cleaner freshwater or more secure carbon storage), are not just essential for human well-being but also for the health of our planet on a global scale.

An increasing number of leaders in the conservation field recognize the need to prioritize the conservation of primary forests by elevating their importance in global discourse, including in MEAs, policies, investment decisions, and reporting. Some key ways this can be achieved are by carrying out strategic communication and capacity development activities to raise the visibility of primary forests among stakeholders, policymakers, and the public and by enhancing their inclusion in forest financing strategies, conservation initiatives, and the global policy agenda. Improved networks and knowledge management can also facilitate and stimulate financing for primary forest conservation by establishing robust donor-recipient dialogue and coordination mechanisms and providing information on financing opportunities. Such activities can enhance the work of the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN), supporting countries in developing forest finance strategies that prioritize primary forests.

The GEF strongly recognizes the importance of primary forests, including through the global Integrated Program “Amazon, Congo, and Critical Forest Biomes” and a vast portfolio of forest-related projects supporting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM). Other key organizations, including members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and research institutions such as Griffith University, are also strongly engaged in the conservation of primary forests. To maximize the impact of all the current ongoing initiatives, strengthened coordination is a powerful asset. This event will provide a timely and relevant forum for soliciting critical feedback and input from sector leaders, UNFF Member States, and CPF members, including CBD, CIFOR, GEF, ITTO, FAO, and UNFF.


This side event will focus on the theme “Strengthening Conservation of Primary Forests through Partnership Enhancement and Coordination of Support” by highlighting the importance of primary forests in achieving the global agenda of sustainable development goals. Invited speakers with aligned expertise will share their views on how improved capacity, support, and communication between primary forest stakeholders can contribute to the overall goals and targets of UNSPF, UNCBD, UNFCCC, and other multilateral agreements. The interactive event will provide opportunities for the UNFF 19th participants to share their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities associated with the protection, restoration, and management of primary forests. 


Lead organizers: UNFFS/IUCN
Co-organizers: FAO, GEF, Wild Heritage, Griffith University

Moderator: Chetan Kumar, Global Head, Forest and Grasslands Team, IUCN


1. Minoru Takada, Deputy Director, UNFF Secretariat
2. Robert Nasi, Chief Operating Officer, CIFOR-ICRAF, Director General CIFOR
3. Jamal Annagylyjova, Forest Biodiversity Officer, UNCBD
4. Theresa Loeffler, Forest Policy and Partnership Officer, Forestry Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
5. Rene Somopawiro, Director, Research and Development, The Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (SBB), Suriname
6. Cyril Kormos, Executive Director, Wild Heritage
7. Carlos Salina, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)
8. Pascal Martinez, Senior Climate Change Specialist, Global Environment Facility (GEF)