The aim of inFO news is to introduce some of the work of FAO Forestry that we think will be of interest to the global forestry community. With this new format, we want to make it easier for you to learn about our latest activities and knowledge products. Please let us know what you think and if there’s anything else you’d like to see featured. We look forward to hearing from you.

The inFO news team


Ms Fernanda Guerrieri, Directeur de Cabinet, Office of the Director-General

In January, the FAO Director-General appointed Fernanda Guerrieri to head his Cabinet. The first woman to hold this position, Ms Guerrieri has a background in forest inventory, watershed management, soil conservation and land evaluation. She is also leading the new approach to culture change in the Organization.

It is a privilege for me to introduce myself to the readers of inFO news. I am an agronomist with a specialization in watershed management, and when I joined FAO in the 1980s as an Associate Expert I was assigned to the Forestry Operations Division.  I have retained a special attachment to forestry activities and to the FAO Forestry Department in particular ever since.

The world’s forested areas are as extensive as agricultural areas. Millions of people live in or close to forests. In Europe alone, there are 25 million private forest owners, indicating the importance of forest management in the conservation and management of rural space.

FAO’s work on forests focuses on their role in overcoming poverty, mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and protecting the environment through sustainable forest management. As the only organization in the world with global specialized knowledge and capacities in all individual technical areas of the agricultural sector, FAO helps link forests to agriculture, fisheries and the people whose lives are dependent on these activities.

As foresters well know, the forest is much more than just trees.  That is why FAO Forestry encourages the sustainable management of forests so that local communities, and the world at large, can benefit from the production of wood and non-wood forest products, the protection of biodiversity and water resources, and the sequestration of carbon, among many other important forest functions.  During my long career in FAO, it has been my good fortune to be involved in various forest activities: forest inventory in Equatorial Guinea (1990–92); forest management in Côte d’Ivoire (1992–95); an agroforestry project in Viet Nam in Nam Binh province (1998–2001); and forest management activities in Armenia (2009).

Let me close my brief personal introduction with a Finnish saying:

The forest will answer you in the way you call to it.

Forestry News

Highlights of United Nations Forum on Forests 10, Istanbul, Turkey, April 2013

The tenth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests concluded in Istanbul, Turkey, on 19 April after ten days of formal debate and parallel events. The session’s closure came following the adoption by Member States of two multi-issue resolutions regarding, among other things, the implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests (Working Group One) and emerging issues and the UNFF Trust Fund (Working Group Two). Read about these resolutions and other highlights of the session below.

Read more

Prime Minister Erdogan urges greater responsibility now for future sustainability
In a stirring opening statement at UNFF 10, Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, said global population growth and the deterioration in the global environment were creating new economic and social gaps and widening existing ones between regions, countries, peoples and individuals. "If we insist on this relentless competition, ambition and greed, there will be no world for our children to inherit," he said. Read more

Private finance is the key to sustainable forest management
Adequate finance is pivotal for sustainable forest management (SFM), according to the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo. Speaking at a side event on the role of the private sector in forest financing, Mr Wu Hongbo urged the sector to take up the challenge of greater investment in SFM in order to create win–win opportunities with local stakeholders. Read more

Forest heroes, filmmakers and photographers honoured at UNFF10
Five forest heroes from Brazil, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Thailand and Turkey have been recognized for their outstanding contributions in support of forests and their communities, and around the world. FAO Forestry Assistant Director-General, Eduardo Rojas-Briales, sat on the jury for the awards, which were presented on 10 April. The winning photographs of the first International Forest Photograph Contest as well as the winning films from the Short Film Festival were also showcased at the awards ceremony. Read more

Side events

Forests and landscape restoration: promising examples in support of the Bonn Challenge
Participants at a side event on forests and landscape restoration (FLR) co-organized by the Forest Service of the Republic of Korea (KFS), IUCN and FAO learned about FAO’s plans to create an FLR Mechanism, supported by Korea, and listened to an overview of Korea’s successful forest rehabilitation efforts. Private sector involvement in FLR and the roles of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration, the International Model Forest Network and the Asia Forest Cooperation Organization were also discussed. Read more

New green economy publication attracts great interest
The launch, at a side event, of Forests and Economic Development: a Driver for the Green Economy in the ECE Region and presentations on forest-sector development by senior government, UNECE and FAO officials drew attention to the importance – and potential pitfalls – of developing green economies.  Produced by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, the book provides analyses of the green economy in the ECE region. Read more

Implementing the Forest Instrument: experiences from pilot countries
An FAO-organized side event on “Implementing the Forest Instrument: experiences from pilot countries” provided a platform for four countries - India, Liberia, Philippines and Nicaragua - to share their experiences on FAO-supported implementation. The Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (Forest Instrument) was adopted by UNFF in 2007 to boost implementation of sustainable forest management. Read more

UNFF 10 closes and adopts roadmap for 11th session
UNFF 10 concluded with consensus on two resolutions on implementation of key activities and future UNFF functioning, which will chart the course to the 11th session of the UNFF in 2015. UNFF 11, the last session in the current multi-year programme of work, will include an evaluation of progress in achieving the UNFF’s objectives and consideration of all options for the future of the international arrangement on forests to be reviewed in 2015. See key documents below
Resolution of Working Group One: Progress in implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests (Item 3), Regional and subregional inputs (Item 4), Forests and economic development (Item 5), and Enhanced cooperation (Item 8)
Resolution of Working Group Two: Emerging Issues (Item 6), Means of Implementation (Item 9) and UNFF Trust Fund (Item 12)
Closing Press Release 

Other Forestry News

BBC World News article provides local insight into the Great Green Wall Initiative

A two-day field trip during the 2nd international workshop on “Guidelines for building resilient forest landscapes in drylands” held in February in Senegal, a partner country of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative, provided freelance journalist Gavin Haines with an opportunity to witness developments on the ground and to hear what some partners and local people think of the Initiative’s impact. Read his article in the BBC World News science and environment section to see what he discovered. Read more 

See also Senegal workshop outcomes and the “Towards global guidelines for restoring the resilience of forest landscapes in drylands” brochure.

First global plan on forest genetic resources endorsed by FAO genetics commission

The first Global Plan for Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources has been adopted by FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, with a final decision by the FAO Conference expected at its June session. FAO has been asked to develop an implementation strategy and to ensure that implementation is adequately financed, particularly in support of developing countries. Read more

Cross-border forest products’ trade made simpler and safer

Understanding the role of phytosanitary measures in the international trade of forest products is now easier following the commencement of a free online course developed by FAO, the secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention and other partners. Launched on the margins of the 8th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (8-12 April), the course uses plain language and real-life images to inform users of the key factors in safe forest trade. Read more

EU FAO FLEGT Programme scales up to tackle forest illegality

After four years supporting 105 pilot initiatives in 32 countries, the European Union and FAO are scaling up their work on forest law enforcement, governance and trade. Since expanding to Latin America and Asia last year, the EU FAO FLEGT Programme has endorsed an additional 14 projects. Proposals are being accepted from local stakeholders in Voluntary Partnership Agreement countries until 30 June 2013. Government institutions can request assistance at any time. Read more

German Chancellor recognizes 300 years since the conceptualization of forest sustainability

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and FAO Forestry Assistant Director-General, Eduardo Rojas-Briales, spoke on 16 April at a ceremony to mark 300 years since the publication of the first comprehensive book on forestry to include the concept of sustainability. In 1713, German mining administrator Hans Carl von Carlowitz published Sylvicultura oeconomica to address the need for forest restoration and sustainable use in Germany, marking the start of a scientific approach to forestry that ultimately spread worldwide. Read more 

146th Session of the FAO Council takes key decisions in preparation for June FAO Conference

In preparing for the 38th Session of FAO’s highest governing body, the FAO Conference, and continuing the reform of the Organization, the FAO Council made several key decisions, including endorsement of new strategies for partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and hosted a side event on the post-2015 development agenda. Under other items, the Council approved the dates of the next Committee on Forestry (2327 June2014) and took note of FAO’s support for the International Day of Forests and its plans for future celebrations. Read more

Regional News

Sustainable financing mechanisms needed in the Middle East and North Africa

Identifying sustainable financing mechanisms to support sustainable forest management in the Middle East and North Africa was the aim of a region-led, jointly organized workshop in Rabat, Morocco, in April in support of the Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests. Representatives from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey discussed key financing needs and solutions to ensure the sector’s sustainability. Read more

Consolidation of effort needed to address environmental challenges in Africa

Environmental issues in Africa was the theme of the AFROSAI Working Group of Environmental Auditing meeting held in Cairo, Egypt on 17 April. In his presentation on sustainable forests and woodlands management, Moujahed Achouri of the FAO Regional Office for the Near East concluded that addressing environmental challenges requires the consolidation of efforts by partners both within Africa and globally. Read more

Upcoming Meetings and Events

1st meeting of Steering Committee of 21st Committee on Forestry, FAO HQ, Rome, 16 May
The Steering Committee of the 21st Committee on Forestry will have its first meeting on 16 May at FAO headquarters in Rome. Chairpersons representing the six regional forestry commissions will discuss issues common to the commissions and develop further the agenda for COFO 22 in June 2014. Read more

1st Global Timber Forum, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy, 22–23 May 2013
Encouraging responsible trade in timber is a key way to address illegal logging and its impact on deforestation. The 1st Global Timber Forum, convened by the FAO Forestry Department, the European Timber Trade Federation and the Forest Trust, will be a platform for sharing experiences on changing global timber trade dynamics and generating ideas to foster more responsible trade in timber.  Read more

Workshop on Forest Products and Technologies for the Future, 22–24 May 2013, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Jointly organized by the Federal Forestry Agency of the Russian Federation and the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, this workshop will be held in parallel with the International Conference on Innovation and Technology in the Forest Sector. The workshop will review key technologies that could help modernize the Russian forest sector and maximize its potential as a globally important source of timber and mitigator of climate change. Read more

New publications and videos

New videos 

National Forest Monitoring System - Democratic Republic of Congo
A demonstration video of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) has been produced. The development of the NFMS was supported by the FAO component of the DRC National UN-REDD Programme and the UN-REDD Programme at FAO headquarters.  View the video, available in three languages, here: English, French and Spanish

National forest inventory in Kyrgyzstan
Richard Slaby, a visiting expert with FAO’s National Forest and Tree Resource Assessment and Monitoring Unit, has produced a video on the national forest inventory in Kyrgyzstan. View here

Mapping forests
Mapping forests – the path to green growth is now also available in French and Spanish


Collaborative Partnership on Forests

 Unasylva: a stroll down memory lane

In an occasional series, we feature extracts from early editions of Unasylva, FAO Forestry’s international journal of forestry and forest industries. The following text is from the first edition published in July–August 1947:

 "The forest supplies man directly, and in the same way as the tilled soil, with indispensable commodities: firewood to heat his dwelling and to cook his food, timber to build his house and make his furniture. Indirectly, it supplies him with the numerous and varied wood products that contribute to his well being and advance his way of life: paper, newspapers, fertilizers, plastics, alcohols, etc. Its presence alone exercises a direct influence on agricultural land in many parts of the world by affording protection against erosion, maintaining the balance of water reserves, ensuring stability, acting as a regulating factor of the climate, and sometimes even by supplying agriculture with the very soil on which it may sow its crops".

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last updated:  Tuesday, June 25, 2013