Forests, Deserts, Land
IPBES-6 Plenary and Stakeholder Day
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is the intergovernmental body that assesses the state of biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides to society, in response to requests from decision makers. The sixth session of the Platform's Plenary (IPBES-6) will discuss, inter alia, implementation of the work programme 2014-2018, deliverables and assessments. The Plenary will be preceded by a Stakeholder Day meant to provide opportunities for a wide range of interested organizations and individuals to receive updates about the IPBES process, work programme and to discuss their engagement with IPBES through an informal exchange of views on specific aspects of the Plenary session agenda.
dates: 17-24 March 2018
location: Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia
contact: IPBES Secretariat
Fifth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD)
The Fifth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) will focus on the theme, 'Transformations towards sustainable and resilient societies'. In addition to discussing the theme of the July 2018 meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2018) as it relates to regional and subregional perspectives, this preparatory event will also review in depth the cluster of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be discussed at the 2018 HLPF: SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 15 (life on land) and SDG 17 (partnership for the Goals).
In addition, the Forum will support the presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs) by the countries in the region that are presenting them to HLPF 2018, and will assess the progress made with regard to the regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development is here.
dates: 28-30 March 2018
location: Bangkok (Krung Thep), Thailand
17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII 17)
UNPFII 17 will focus on the theme, 'Indigenous peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories and resources'.
At the 17th session, Forum members will follow a different format than for previous annual meetings of the UNPFII. The first week will be all open plenary meetings, with no closed meetings, and the Permanent Forum will discuss all substantive agenda items.
During the second week, members of the Forum will hold informal meetings with representatives of indigenous peoples, Member States and UN entities. The purpose of these meetings will be to draw on information presented during the first week, and channel this into policy recommendations that are strategic, focused and actionable.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of UNPFII 16 is here.
dates: 16-27 April 2018
location: New York City, US
Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2018
The second meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development will take place under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). This Forum, adopted by Member States as the regional mechanism to support the implementation, follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, will include both substantive debates in line with the theme of the 2018 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), peer learning session for countries from the region on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and reports from ECLAC as well as from other stakeholders on the progress towards the SDGs. Prior to the meeting of the Forum, from 16-17 April, activities will be carried out in Santiago by civil society representatives and other relevant actors.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the 2017 meeting of the Forum is here.
dates: 18-20 April 2018
location: Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
3rd Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, the Government of Indonesia announced that it would host the 3rd Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit, from 23-25 April 2018, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The 2018 Summit will provide a platform to progress activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, to progress implementation of the Paris Agreement, and for government collaboration. The Asia-Pacific Rainforest Partnership works with governments, the private sector, and civil society to support the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and REDD+ in the region.
dates: 23-25 April 2018
location: Yogyakarta (Java), Indonesia
ESCWA Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2018
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Regional Forum on Sustainable Development will take place from 24-26 April 2018.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the 2017 RFSD for the ESCWA region is here.
dates: 24-26 April 2018
21st Session of the FAO African Forestry and Wildlife Commission
The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission is one of the six Regional Forestry Commissions established by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to provide a policy and technical forum for countries to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis. This meeting is scheduled to take place in May 2018.
date: 1 May 2018 [tentative]
contact: Magnus Grylle, FAO
Global Symposium on Soil Pollution
The Global Symposium on Soil Pollution will serve as a step towards implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management. It will focus on preventing and reducing harmful substances in soil as a way to maintain healthy soils and food safety in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Symposium will aim to provide scientific evidence to support actions and decisions to prevent and reduce soil pollution for increased food security and nutrition, and ecosystem services, and promote the remediation of polluted sites.
The specific objectives of the Symposium are to: examine the current scientific and technical understanding of soil pollution and its effects on food production and safety; critically reflect on the impact of land (and air and water) use decisions at the national level on soil pollution; identify limitations and prioritize key challenges related to restoring polluted sites; review existing international policies, agreements and frameworks addressing sources of pollution to agricultural land; and survey and review the use of soil thresholds for pollutants globally and explore additional research and policy needs.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the decision by the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) to endorse the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) is here.
dates: 2-4 May 2018
venue: FAO Headquarters
location: Rome, Lazio, Italy
13th Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 13)
The 13th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 13) will address implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Quadrennial Programme of Work, and means of implementation for SFM.
A meeting in February 2018 titled, Working Across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Fo..., will provide input to UNFF 13 on SDG target 15.2. UNFF 13 will in turn provide input to the 2018 session of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF 2018), particularly its consideration of SDG 15.
The SDG Knowledge Hub story on UNFF 12 is available here.
dates: 7-11 May 2018
venue: UN Headquarters
location: New York City, US
contact: UNFF Secretariat
International Day for Biological Diversity 2018
The 2018 International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) will mark the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and highlight progress made in the achievement of its objectives at the national and global levels. The theme of the Day Is: Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity.
A summary of events marking International Day for Biological Diversity 2017 is here.
date: 22 May 2018
World Day to Combat Desertification 2018
The 2018 World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) will focus on how consumers can regenerate economies, create jobs and revitalize livelihoods and communities by influencing the market to invest in sustainable land management. The Day will convene under the slogan, ‘Land has true value. Invest in it,’ to remind the world that land is a tangible asset with measurable value beyond just cash.
The WDCD is observed every year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. The Day aims to raise awareness that land degradation neutrality (LDN) is achievable through problem solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels. Ecuador will host the 2018 global observance of the Day.
date: 17 June 2018
location: Ecuador (worldwide)
Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress 2018
The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) together with the State Forestry Administration of China (SFA) will convene the first Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress 2018 from 25-27 June. The event will bring together ministers, government officials, scientists, conservationists, educators, and business leaders to consider bamboo and rattan’s role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition, BARC2018 will provide a platform for south-south and south-south-north cooperation to shape future policies, build foundations for new partnerships and initiatives.
INBAR is a multilateral development organisation that supports its 43 Member States to include bamboo and rattan in their sustainable development action plans and green economy strategies.
dates: 25-27 June 2018
location: Beijing, China
High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2018
The sixth session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2018), convening under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will take place from 9-18 July 2018. The three-day ministerial meeting of the Forum will take place from 16-18 July, as part of ECOSOC's high-level segment.
The theme of HLPF 2018 will be: ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’. The sub-set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be reviewed in depth by HLPF 2018 will be: SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), and SDG 15 (life on land). Goal 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development) is also considered each year. In addition, 47 countries are expected to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).
SDG Knowledge Hub updates regarding preparations for HLPF 2018 can be found here.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of HLPF 2017 is here.
dates: 9-18 July 2018
location: New York City, US
24th Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO 24) and World Forest Week
The Committee on Forestry (COFO) is the highest Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Forestry statutory body. The biennial sessions of COFO (held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy) bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action. Other international organizations and non-governmental groups participate in COFO.
Participation in COFO is open to all FAO member countries.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the COFO 23 outcomes is here.
dates: 16-20 July 2018
location: Rome, Lazio, Italy
XXVII International Primatological Society Congress
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) will gather over 800 of the world's leading primate experts, scientists and researchers at the XXVII International Primatological Society (IPS) Congress. GRASP's bid to host the meeting was built upon the theme, 'Global Connectivity to Ensure the Future of Primates,' and proposes to include Nairobi-based UN experts in areas such as climate change, deforestation, sustainable development, and civil conflict, among others, in IPS symposia, workshops and panels. The event will convene during 2018. The XXVI IPS Congress is scheduled to convene from 21-27 August 2016, in Chicago, Illinois, US.
date: 1 August 2018 [tentative]
venue: UN Headquarters, Gigiri
location: Nairobi, Kenya
contact: GRASP Secretariat
Global Land Forum 2018
The Global Land Forum (GLF) will convene International Land Coalition (ILC) members, government representatives, and other stakeholders from around the world to advance understanding of the complex and dynamic political, economic, environmental and social linkages between land governance, food security, poverty and democracy. The GLF aims to creates opportunities for participants to learn from, and contribute to, land governance successes and challenges.
The programme is structured to provide opportunities to participants who may not commonly interact to debate, exchange, learn from each other’s experiences and successes and build linkages so that new perspectives can emerge. The Forum is also an opportunity for ILC’s 206 members to adopt a declaration with common commitments to action during their Assembly of Members.
Following a series of in-depth field visits, the main conference will open on the Indonesian National Peasants’ Day, 24th September, with a day focusing on Indonesia and Asia.
dates: 22-27 September 2018
location: Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia
IUFRO 2018 Posadas
The IUFRO 2018 Posadas Conference on 'Adaptive Management for Forested Landscapes in transformation' will highlight the accelerated environmental changes in this era of the Anthropocene. The Conference will address issues arising from the transformation of forests in response to the pressures of globalization, population growth, resource scarcity and ecological degradation. It will also discuss how biodiversity is essential to human well-being, and the loss of species and degradation of ecosystems, as well as the status of the achievement of global goals on biodiversity.
The Conference will also consider the ecological, economic, and functional values of landscapes with a view to improving planning and decision-making; and operational solutions that can reconcile biodiversity conservation in the light of increasing demands on natural resources and land.
dates: 1-5 October 2018
additional: Posadas, Misiones
54th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-54) and Sessions of the Associated Committees
The 54th session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-54) and sessions of the four committees will take place in Yokohama, Japan.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of ITTC-53 is here.
dates: 5-10 November 2018
location: Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
contact: ITTO Secretariat
World Forum on Urban Forests
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the City of Mantova, the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology (SISEF) and the Politecnico di Milano have announced the 1st World Forum on Urban Forests. The Forum will bring a variety of stakeholders together to exchange experiences and lessons learned, and discuss possible long-term collaboration on the development of urban forestry strategies and the identification of nature-based solutions towards a greener, healthier, and happier future.
The aim of this first Forum is to highlight positive examples of planning, design and management approaches of cities with diverse cultures, forms, structures and histories, that have used urban forestry and green infrastructure to develop economic and environmental services and to strengthen social cohesion and public involvement.
dates: 28 November - 1 December 2018
location: Mantova, Lombardia, Italy
World Soil Day 2018
The FAO Conference, in June 2013, endorsed World Soil Day and requested official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013, the 68th UN General Assembly declared 5 December as the World Soil Day.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of events marking World Soil Day 2017 is here.
date: 5 December 2018
International Mountain Day 2018
International Mountain Day, which has been celebrated on 11 December since 2003, has its roots in the adoption of Chapter 13 of Agenda 21, titled 'Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development'. Subsequently, the UN General Assembly declared 2002 as the UN International Year of Mountains, and designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as International Mountain Day. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is the coordinating agency for the IMD.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of observances of International Mountain Day 2017 is here.
date: 11 December 2018
contact: Water and Mountains Team, Forestry Department, FAO
UNCCD CRIC 17 [tentative]
The Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) assists the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and is an integral part of the Performance Review and Assessment of Implementation System (PRAIS). The 17th session of the CRIC is tentatively scheduled to take place in January 2019 in Guyana.
The 16th session of the CRIC was held in conjunction with the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UNCCD. The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of UNCCD COP 13, including CRIC 16, is here.
dates: 8-12 January 2019 [tentative]
location: Georgetown, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana
4th World Congress on Agroforestry
The French-based agricultural research institutes of CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Center for International Development) and INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) will host the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry. The Congress will take place in Montpellier, France, from 19-22 May 2019. Following the World Congress on Agroforestry 2014 held in Delhi, India, this Congress will aim to raise the local, regional and global profile of agroforestry and significantly increase awareness, support, engagement and investment. It will aim to create a deliberate and tangible legacy in terms of recognition, partnerships, investments and impact, and produce a global roadmap for agroforestry with clear targets. Since 2009, the World Agroforestry Centre of the CGIAR Consortium has led the Congress in partnership with host country governments and institutions.
dates: 20-25 May 2019
location: Montpellier, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
25th IUFRO World Congress
The International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) announced the convening of the first World Congress to be held in Latin America. The Congress will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences on forest research and should allow for greater participation among researchers from Latin America.
date: 1 October 2019 [tentative]
location: Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
contact: Gerda Wolfrum
UNCCD COP 14
The fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 14) is tentatively scheduled to take place in Bonn, Germany, in autumn 2019, or at another venue arranged by the Secretariat in consultation with the COP Bureau, in the event that no party makes an offer to host the session and meet the additional costs.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.
The SDG Knowledge Hub story on UNCCD COP 13 is available here.
date: 15 October 2019 [tentative]
contact: UNCCD Secretariat
55th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-55) and Sessions of the Associated Committees
The 55th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-55) and Sessions of the Associated Committees will convene from 2-7 December 2019, in Lomé, Togo.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of ITTC-53 is here.
dates: 2-7 December 2019
location: Lome, Togo
contact: ITTO Secretariat