Sustainable forest-based industries
64th Session of the Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries
©MTC/Maran Road Sawmill Sdn BhdRome, 25 May 2023 – Today, senior executives from the forest industry have met virtually to set priorities to enhance the forest sector’s contribution to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the 64th session of the Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI).
The inspiring remarks of the Director of FAO’s Forestry Division, Mr Zhimin Wu, opened the Session. In his address Mr Wu provided an overview of the strategic direction of FAO and its Forestry Division. “At a corporate level, FAO will continue with the implementation of its Strategic Framework 2022-31, with the vision of supporting the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, leaving no one behind”, Mr Wu stated.
The current priority areas relevant for the FAO Forestry Division were also highlighted by the Director, in particular the bioeconomy, for which Mr Wu recognized the work and guidance provided by the ACSFI to FAO, over the last year. The achievements on this area, carried by the Committee include:
- Participation by several members of the ACSFI in the COFO26 World Forest Week side events, who offered examples on how the private sector can foster sustainable wood value chains as a contribution to a circular bioeconomy
- Release of preliminary findings of the report, Building a sustainable circular bioeconomy in Africa through forest products
- Provision of case studies to the UNECE led study series on Forests and the Circular Economy
Mr Wu expressed his recognition also towards ACSFI’s guidance and commitment to another important pillar of the work of the FAO Forestry Division, Ecosystem Restoration.
Particular appreciation was given to the outcomes of the Roundtable on Ecosystem Restoration which the ACSFI Secretariat hosted as a satellite event prior to COFO26, in collaboration with the Forest Dialogue (TFD).
The Session continued with Ms Lyndall Bull (ACSFI Secretariat) who complemented the achievements of the ACSFI outlined by the Director, providing an update on the innovative and dynamic work on the two priority areas of focus bioeconomy and ecosystem restoration.
Three exciting presentations followed, where external speakers provided applied insights into globally relevant work on ecosystem restoration and bioeconomy:
- Ms Sarah Price Director Sustainability at Sappi Europe, who outlined Sappi’s contributions to Ecosystem Restoration
- Ms Tamara Streefland, Head of Networks at Built by Nature, who provided an overview on the work of Built by Nature, highlighting how sustainable mass-timber and other bio-based materials play a key role in transforming our built environment to operate within planetary boundaries; and
- Mr Jukka Kantola, CEO Founder of the World Bioeconomy Forum, who provided ACSFI members with an overview of the work of the World BioEconomy Forum
The ACSFI Secretary, Mr Sven Walter, ensured that the ACSFI will continue enhancing its impact on the strategic areas of focus and presented the proposed ACSFI Workplan for 2023.
Subsequently the Secretariat gave a warm welcome to eight new ACSFI members and four observers, who officially joined the Committee in early April 2023. The endorsement of new ACSFI members is a response to the recommendation set in the ACSFI Strategic Review, which aims for wider geographical representation and deeper value-chain diversity, as well as the inclusion of observers whose expertise complements and further supports the work of the Committee.
The 64th Annual ACSFI Meeting concluded with a workshop session which allowed Committee members to provide the Secretariat with dynamic ideas for potential additional areas of focus of the ACSFI. The ideas will be built on and integrated into the next 65th ACSFI Annual Meeting, which will discuss priorities of the Committee until 2030 to support FAO in its endeavor to support the 2030 Agenda for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.