The Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) initiative was established within the framework of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), and is led and coordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). It builds on the political recognition provided by the United Nations Forum on Forests (ECOSOC Resolution 2006/49) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD Decision IX/16).
GFEP provides a mechanism for effectively linking the information requirements of intergovernmental processes related to forests and trees with the best existing scientific expertise. Rather than conducting new research, GFEP consolidates existing available information and expertise in relevant fields.
GFEP produces objective and independent scientific assessments on key issues of high concern and provides its state-of-the-art reports to international forums and policy processes to support more informed decision-making at the global level. The reports are prepared by thematic Expert Panels involving internationally recognized leading scientific experts in their field. All reports undergo rigorous peer review.
The frequency of reports is determined by the information needs and requests from intergovernmental processes. All GFEP reports are accompanied by related policy briefs that give an overview of the key messages for policy- and decision-makers.
All GFEP reports received considerable international media attention, had significant impact on international policies and have served as background information for discussions, briefing documents for negotiators, guidance for strategic policy development as well as teaching materials.
Following the successful completion of the thematic reports on adaptation of forests and people to climate change; international forest governance; biodiversity, forest management, and REDD+; food security; illegal timber trade; water; and forests and poverty, IUFRO initiated a new GFEP on Forests and Human Health.
The Expert Panel on Forests and Human Health will carry out a comprehensive global assessment of available scientific information on the interactions crucial to efficiently utilize the synergies and achieve optimal trade-offs between human health and the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of forests, as well as trees in other land-uses. This global assessment will contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by highlighting the nexus between SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 15: Life on Land and relevant links to other SDGs.
A comprehensive peer-reviewed scientific report and associated policy brief on the topic will be published in early 2023, providing input to the 2023 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2023), the 18th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 18) and other international forums considering forest-related issues.