On Monday, 16 January 2017, a Working Group of the UN Forum on Forests convened at UN Headquarters in New York City, in accordance with ECOSOC resolution 2015/33 on the international arrangement on forests beyond 2015.
In the morning, the Working Group elected Mohammad Ali Zarie Zare, Iran, and Hans Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, as Co-Chairs, and adopted the week’s agenda. Following introductory statements, the Working Group initiated a general discussion regarding the Co-chairs’ draft proposal for the UN Strategic Plan for Forests and the 2017-2020 Programme of Work, to be continued throughout the week, with a view to making recommendations to be adopted during a special session on Friday, 20 January 2017.
In the afternoon, delegates delved deeper into discussion regarding recommendations on the Strategic Plan and Programme of Work. Delegates expressed a high level of support for the Co-Chairs’ draft in general, and discussed the UN’s vision and mission statement on forests, as well as specific global forest goals and associated targets.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web updates from the UNFF Working Group and Special Session. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary and analysis report of this event, which is available in HTML and PDF.
Co-Chair Hans Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, introduced draft proposals for the UN Strategic Plan for Forests (SPF) and Programme of Work, 2017-2030 (4POW).
Peter Besseau, Canada, UNFF12 Chair, said the Working Group is meeting at a watershed moment that could see UNFF achieve its ambition.
View of the room during the opening segment of the UNFF Working Group.
Manoel Sobral Filho, UNFF, noted that the recent decrease in deforestation rates, combined with reforestation efforts, could help achieve the SDG target of halting deforestation by 2020.
Catalina Santamaria, Convention on Biological Diversity, noted Aichi Targets relevant to UNFF, including on traditional knowledge, indigenous peoples, and sustainable production and consumption.
Eva Müller, FAO, presented the outcome of the Organization-led Initiative on global forest indicators, highlighting the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.
Clarissa Nina, Brazil, delivered an opening statement.
The Working Group discussed global goals to reduce deforestation.