UNFF14 participants observing a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the plane crash in Ethiopia
The fourteenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF14) opened on Monday, 6 May 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York. In the morning, delegates approved the agenda, but requested discussions on the impacts of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) reforms on the UNFF Secretariat be brought forward from Thursday to Wednesday. The Bureau agreed to consider the change.
The Forum then heard opening statements. Inga Rhonda King President, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), urged the Forum to present a strong message to the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) on the importance of forests for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, noted the crucial role forests play in climate mitigation and thanked countries for their contribution to the UNFF Trust Fund.
This was followed by general discussions on the implementation of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030, with several countries announcing voluntary national contributions.
In the afternoon, delegates participated in two thematic technical panel discussions on forests and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under review by the HLPF 2019:
Forests and Climate Change, which focused on forests in the context of SDG 13 (climate action) and 17 (partnerships); and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and
Forests, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth and Employment, which focused on links between forests and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 17 (partnerships).
For the second year running, the Forum proceedings are haunted by the question of whether all the recent progress UNFF has made on raising the profile of forests in sustainable development and the momentum created in collaborative global cooperation to achieve the full benefits of sustainable forest management might be impeded, lost or submerged as a result of UN DESA reform.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from UNFF14, which is available in HTML and PDF.
Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UN DESA
L-R: Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UN DESA; Inga Rhonda King, President of ECOSOC; Boris Greguška, Slovakia, UNFF14 Chair; Lesley Brough, UNFF Secretariat; and Juwang Zhu, Officer-in-Charge, UNFF Secretariat
Cheikh Niang, Senegal, on behalf of the African Group
Sahar Abu Shawesh, Palestine, on behalf of G-77/China
Silvio Gonzato, EU
Tegan Brink, Australia
Boris Greguška, Slovakia, UNFF14 Chair, consulting with Lesley Brough, UNFF Secretariat
Asaf Karavani, Israel
Zhang Hong Won, China
Kutaiba Al-Saadon, Saudi Arabia
Benito Owusu-Bio, Ghana
Tomasz Grysa, Holy See
Matthias Schwoerer, Germany
L-R: Fazliyev Farrukh Fakhriddinovich and Novitskiy Zinoviy Bogdanovich, Uzbekistan
UNFF14 plenary session
Thematic Panel on Forests and Climate Change
Igor Viszlai, Forest Europe
Duncan Brack, Royal Institute of International Affairs, UK
Elena Paoletti, Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology
Khalid Chekri, Morocco, UNFF14 Rapporteur
Forest Europe video presentation
Luciana Melchert, Brazil
Catherine Karr-Colque, US
Ghanshyam Pandey, Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal
Siddhanta Das, India
Thematic Panel on Forests, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth and Employment
Pia Katila, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
Jose Joaquin Campos Arce, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
Gill Shepherd, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Jessica Coronel, Ecuador
Delegates from Canada, New Zealand and Australia consulting
UNFF14 side event on "Scaling Up Sustainable Wood Value Chains" presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF)
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