Home > WORKING ACROSS SECTORS TO HALT DEFORESTATION AND INCREASE FOREST AREA

“Working Across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area”

From Aspiration to Action

20-22 February 2018 | Headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy

Summary Highlights, 20-22 February 2017

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Working across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area

Plenary panel members performing the "shaking the coconut dance" as intructed by the youth

Working across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area

Highlights for Thursday, 22 February 2018

On Thursday morning, participants met to discuss innovative instruments to upscale progress: financing, technologies and research. Parallel sessions addressed: public and private international finance; innovative technologies for land-use monitoring; financial instruments to mobilize domestic funding; and the role of science and research.

In the afternoon, plenary discussed a series of key messages, including:
- maintaining sufficient productive, diverse and healthy forests is crucial for achieving the SDGs, and climate and biodiversity targets;
- achieving SDG 15.2 on halting deforestation by 2020 and Target 1.1 of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests on reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest areas by 3% worldwide by 2030 can only be achieved through political will, individual motivation and concerted collective action, adequate governance frameworks and involvement of multiple actors;
- halting deforestation requires corporate responsibility of agribusiness, supported by international trade instruments and consumer education;
- scaling up finance and investment requires positive incentives, improved legality, public-private partnerships, innovative instruments and de-risking private sector investment;
- land-use competition between forests and agriculture can be solved by a landscape approach to increase resilience; and
- expanded research is required to provide practical pathways that support the development of evidence-based policies.

Some participants urged limiting the number of key messages to four, while others made suggestions for additions and revisions, including on: the urgency of addressing deforestation; focus on restoration; the contribution of indigenous and tribal peoples; triggers of transformational change; involvement of smallholders; and focus on actionable recommendations to target groups such as governments, the private sector, civil society, and the research community.

Plenary then addressed the Co-Chairs’ summary of the parallel thematic sessions. Participants suggested additions, including on: certification; action by governments to regulate agribusiness; the need for tenure reform; review of agricultural subsidies; forest-related education, vocational training and extension; and results-based payments for REDD+ for financing sustainable landscape management.

Co-Chairs Hiroto Mitsugi and Ikram Yaakob noted that the key messages and the Co-Chairs’ summary will be revised and posted on the meeting website, before transmission to the 13th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 13) and to the 2018 session of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF). The meeting closed at 17:18 pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary report from the International Conference on “Working Across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area - From Aspiration to Action.” The summary report is now available in HTML and PDF.

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+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 22 February 2018

Chun Lai, Moderator, Independent Environmental Services Professional

Eva Müller, Director, Forestry Department, FAO

Salina Abraham, Youth Coordinator, Global Landscapes Forum - President, International Forestry Students' Association (IFSA)

Co-Chair Ikram Yaakob, Chair of UNFF 13

Christopher Stewart, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, OLAM

Cécile Ndjebet, President, African Women's Network for Community Management of Forests (REFACOF)

François Pythoud, Chair, FAO Committee on Agriculture, and Permanent Representative of Switzerland to FAO

Vincent Gitz, Director, Program on Forests, CGIAR

Daniela Kleinschmit, Professor of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg, Germany

Pablo Pacheco, Principal Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Hans Hoogeveen, Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the FAO

Highlights for Wednesday, 21 February 2018

On Wednesday morning, participants met in parallel thematic sessions to discuss valuing forest ecosystem services, and strengthening small-scale producers and their organizations.

In plenary, participants heard key messages from thematic sessions on: people-centred approaches to integrated landscape management; agroforestry and silvo-pastoral systems; forest management and landscape restoration; sustainable agricultural production approaches; achieving corporate commitments and zero deforestation initiatives for agricultural commodities; forest products value chains in the bio-economy; valuing forest ecosystem services; and strengthening small-scale producers and their organizations. Then, they heard keynote presentations.

Sharon Dijksma, Member of Parliament, the Netherlands, highlighted the need for transformative action, noting the international community has "the instruments, the processes, the political commitment and the goals to halt deforestation and increase forest area," and needs to make the shift towards action.

Presenting on a private sector perspective, Howard-Yana Shapiro, Mars, Incorporated, called for focusing on solely five performance standards: productivity, profitability, environmental stewardship, good governance and management, and social inclusion.

Salina Abraham, President, International Forestry Students Association (IFSA), urged to "shake the coconut" and shift the way in which international fora addresses deforestation, to reach broader audiences. She advocated considering youth and indigenous peoples as valuable partners, rather than just stakeholders to be consulted.

In the afternoon, parallel sessions addressed the theme of forest-smart policies and governance. Participants discussed issues related to cross-sectoral policy coordination, and improving land governance.

Later on, discussions turned to the role of different stakeholders, and implementing forest law enforcement, governance and trade instruments (FLEGT). In a keynote address on the lessons learned from FLEGT initiatives to halt deforestation, Charles Barber, World Resources Institute (WRI), highlighted the key role of effective multi-stakeholder participation, which requires adequate counsel and support. Challenges highlighted in the session included: addressing corruption; putting in place effective land tenure arrangements; and expanding collaboration across demand-side countries to ensure a level-playing field in the timber market.

+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Chun Lai, Moderator, Independent Environmental Services Professional

Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars, Incorporated, with Eva Müller, Director, Forestry Department, FAO

Sheam Satkuru, Assistant Director of Operations, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)

Sharon Dijksma, Chair, Forest Alliance Initiative, Member of the Dutch Parliament

Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars, Incorporated

James Mayers, Director, Natural Resources, International Institute for Environment and Development

Jeffrey Y. Campbell, Team Leader, Manager, Forest and Farm Facility, FAO

Mehmet Mustafa Gozukara, Director-General of Combating Desertification and Erosion, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey (right), with his translator

Highlights for Tuesday, 20 February 2018

On Tuesday, Conference participants met in a plenary session to hear opening remarks and keynote presentations. Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, FAO, highlighted the urgency of achieving the targets of SDG 15 (life on land) and the UN Strategic Plan for Forests for 2017-2030 (UNSPF). She noted that, according to FAO’s report on the State of the World’s Forests, over 25 countries managed to improve food security while maintaining, or even increasing, forest cover.

Via a video message, Marie Chatardová, President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), stressed that the UNSPF provides a global framework and blueprint for action by all stakeholders at all levels to preserve forest functions and benefits. Manoel Sobral Filho, Director, Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), stressed that the UNSPF target of increasing forest area globally by 3% by 2030 can be achieved. Amédi Camara, President, Council of Ministers of the pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall, highlighted challenges to halt deforestation in Africa, and the Great Green Wall project, an African-led initiative to protect and reforest. He said the project will benefit people that are at the frontline of climate change impacts.

In a keynote address, Christiana Figueres, Convener, Mission 2020, highlighted that primary forests are irreplaceable and key to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 ºC stated in the Paris Agreement. To achieve the 2020 targets on forests, she suggested moving from threat-based to opportunity-oriented approaches. Tony Simons, Director General, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), identified required actions, including policy review to advance agroforestry, improving land-use management and planning, leveraging social capital, engaging the private sector and consumers, and scaling-up research.

Eva Müller, Director, Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO, presented the Conference objectives, including to promote dialogue across sectors and stakeholder groups, and make recommendations to the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) through UNFF 13. She suggested focusing on best practices and solutions.

Participants then met in parallel sessions throughout the day to discuss: people-centred approaches to integrated landscape management; agroforestry and silvo-pastoral systems; forest management and landscape restoration; sustainable agricultural production approaches; achieving corporate commitments and zero deforestation initiatives for agricultural commodities; and forest products value chains in the bio-economy.

+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, FAO

Amédi Camara, President of the Council of Ministers, PanAfrican Agency of the Great Green Wall

Manoel Sobral Filho, Director, UNFF

Marie Chatardová, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Christiana Figueres, Convener Mission 2020 and former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

Tony Simons, Director-General, World Agroforestry Centre

Godlisten Matilya, Coordinator of Climate Change Project, Maasai Steppe Heartland

Cora Van Oosten, Project manager and Programme coordinator, Center for Development Innovation, Wageningen University

Toshimasa Masuyama, Japan, with Matthias Schwoerer, Germany

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Conservation International, and Thomas Hammond, Senior Lands Officer, FAO

Videos by the organizers














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