Collaborative Partnership on Forests: Forests hold solutions – if we act now

©FAO/Pilar Valbuena


Seoul - Forests can be a driving force in tackling climate change, boosting food security, conserving biodiversity and creating a world free of poverty, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) said today at the XV World Forest Conference in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The ‘Climate Change, Conflicts and Food Insecurity - forest solutions to tackle effects of crises’ dialogue brought together the heads of 15 international organizations, institutions and secretariats with substantial programmes on forests to discuss the complex interrelation between the climate crisis, conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies on biodiversity and food insecurity, and how forests can be part of solutions.

“No matter which crises we are facing - a pandemic, conflicts, climate change - and resulting economic recession and food insecurity - we must consider our forests and our natural resources as part of the solution and integrate them in recovery plans and strategies,” said FAO Deputy Director-General and CPF Chair Maria Helena Semedo, who gave the opening speech.

Forests providing solutions

CPF members discussed how climate change, conflicts and economic slowdown have led to widespread food insecurity and massive displacement, which has also had a negative impact on forests, causing the degradation of wooded areas, rangelands and other ecosystems.

Panellists emphasised how forests can provide solutions and help build back better from global challenges, highlighting the need for good governance by local and national governments, international initiatives that span across borders, and engagement of local communities and Indigenous Peoples. Sustainable financing is also key, allowing governments and organisations to run forest projects that both restore communities’ landscapes and create sustainable livelihood opportunities for them. 

Speakers also highlighted the importance of up-to-date forestry data, which enables the accurate monitoring of deforestation and reforestation and plays a key role in the creation of these projects. 

Maria Helena Semedo underlined the importance of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which is co-led by FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme and provides an important opportunity to accelerate and transform innovative ideas into ambitious actions on the ground.

Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF)

CPF representatives joining the dialogue in person alongside Maria Helena Semedo were Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Director General and CPF Vice-Chair Robert Nasi, International Tropical Timber Organization Executive Director Sheam Satkuru, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Director General and CIFOR-ICRAF Executive Director Tony Simons, and International Union of Forest Research Organizations President John Parrotta. Other representatives of CPF organizations took part in the event via video message. Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment Executive Director Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi and Global Vice President of Finance of International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences Abdullah Al Maraf also participated in person.

The CPF is an innovative voluntary interagency partnership on forests that was established in 2001, and is chaired by FAO.  The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) is an informal, voluntary arrangement among 15 international organizations and secretariats with substantial programmes on forests. These agencies share their experiences and build on them to produce new benefits for their respective constituencies.