FAO Forestry highlights key achievements in new publication

©Sutiporn Somnam 5 October 2020, Rome – FAO has launched a new publication highlighting the major achievements of the FAO Forestry Programme in helping improve lives and livelihoods while making forestry more productive and sustainable.

Moving Forward presents more than 35 stories and case studies demonstrating the impact of FAO Forestry’s work in 2018-2019 and how it helped to meet FAO’s own strategic objectives, in turn contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030.  

“In a time of global uncertainty and economic volatility, concerted efforts are more crucial than ever to maximise the potential of the world’s forests to help address the current economic, climate and biodiversity crises,” said Hiroto Mitsugi, FAO’s Assistant Director-General.

“FAO, in collaboration with its members and partners, will continue working to provide nature-based, sustainable, equitable solutions for people and nature, especially in the context of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The stories featured in the publication document how developments in the forestry sector are impacting the lives of communities, farmers and producers, and how governments and partners are improving implementation of regional and national plans through the FAO Forestry Programme’s support.

In one case study, a certification and labelling scheme in Latin America that supports fair compensation for primary producers has spurred a 49 percent increase in their sales. The scheme, noted for conserving agrobiodiversity and preserving ancient techniques in mountains, has been adopted by around 10 000 smallholder mountain farmers, the majority of whom are women.

Another case study highlights how improving the value chain of non-wood forest products such as oil and soap made from the desert date tree (Balanites aegyptiaca) has opened up economic opportunities for rural communities in Burkina Faso.

Planting degraded land with diverse, well-adapted native species helps enhance the resilience of dryland communities and ecosystems, and the report records that FAO has supported the planting of over 53000  hectares under the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative, Africa’s flagship initiative to combat the impacts of climate change and desertification.

A further case highlighted in the publication shows how FAO has been working to tackle the rising demand for wild meat with initiatives for better wildlife management and disease surveillance, critical in reducing human exposure to zoonotic diseases and the spread of viruses, such as COVID-19.

The impacts documented in the report provide the Committee on Forestry (COFO), the highest FAO Forestry statutory body, an overview and guidance on its work and help set FAO’s future priorities.

With more than 230 ongoing projects in over 82 countries, FAO Forestry works to help Members manage forests in a sustainable way while reducing food insecurity and rural poverty, and creating resilient ecosystems and livelihoods that are adaptable to a changing climate.

last updated:  Sunday, October 4, 2020