Forestry contributes to Sustainable Development Goals. Highlights from global meeting Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World

A global meeting on Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World took place on 31 October and 1 November at FAO Headquarters in Rome.

EUSTAFOR participated and contributed by presenting the European forest perspective on wood mobilization, especially as regards challenges and opportunities for forestry, highlighting the need of Sustainable Forest Management for Climate Change Adaption, and the role of wood in making SFM economically viable and contributing to a low-carbon economy.

Members of the Steering Committee of the event were the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the World Bank (WB) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The meeting was enriched by an exhibition showcasing different stages of the wood value chain, from sustainable forest management to ready-made wood-based products, with cases from Finland, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania and Indonesia.

Participants discussed the societal benefits of sustainable wood value chains and the challenges related to unlocking their full potential to contribute to sustainable development. They agreed that in order to enhance local livelihoods there is a need to connect global, regional, and local value chains and to diversify forest products beyond wood to make effective use of “baskets of value chains.” Sustainable forest management was repeatedly cited as a significant component of sustainable landscape management. In FAO’s view, sustainable wood value chains and products are especially relevant to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG13 (climate action), and SDG15 (life on land).

An increasingly important role was given to the use of wood in long-lasting wood products, for example by using more wood in the construction sector or by fostering innovation and developing new bio-based products.

The conference was a good opportunity to learn more on global trends in relation to wood and forestry and to support FAO’s work on advocating the role of wood use and its multiple benefits for society at large.

Nevertheless, important differences emerged on the global scale, especially concerning the sustainability of wood sourcing and forest management. In this regard, European countries can provide examples of best practices as well as legislation and tools which have been put in place to ensure the sustainability of wood harvesting. For European State Forest Management Organizations it is important that certification schemes truly provide additional market benefits.

More information: http://www.fao.org/forestry/sustainable-wood/en/

 

Published 06/11/2017

Dr. Salvatore Martire

Policy Advisor

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