Forests

Forests are the most biologically-diverse terrestrial ecosystems, home to more than 80% of the species of animals, plants and insects that live on land. Yet, despite decreased deforestation rates in some regions in recent years, forest ecosystems are still under great threat. Forests play a significant role in reducing the risk of natural disasters, including floods, droughts, and landslides. Forests also mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration, contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air, and protect watersheds, which supply 75% of the world’s fresh water. Forests provide people with food, water, wood products, vital medicines, shelter, jobs, and security. In fact, more than 1.6 billion people—including more than 2,000 Indigenous cultures—depend on forests for their livelihoods. Investing in forests and forestry is an investment in forest dwellers and their livelihoods, especially the rural poor, youth, and women.

Events and Articles

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66th Meeting of the GEF Council

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Members will consider a new work program of the GEF Trust Fund under GEF’s eighth replenishment cycle, how to streamline the GEF project cycle, and possible actions to support the new agreement on conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).
Event 5 February 2024 - 9 February 2024

59th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council

The Council adopted five decisions, including: to determine by 1 June 2024 on extending the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006 to 2029; projects for sustainable forest management and related objectives; its budget and work programme for 2024-25; and a four-year trial period allowing members in arrears to submit projects for possible funding.
Event 13 November 2023 - 17 November 2023

65th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 65th meeting of the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) took place in a virtual setting, focusing on the GEF Strategy for Knowledge Management and Learning; enhancing policy coherence; and relations with Conventions and international institutions. Council Members further decided on the dates for the 66th to 68th Council meetings in 2024.
Event 10 October 2023

7th GEF Assembly

In a watershed moment for biodiversity, GEF Assembly members unanimously agreed to ratify the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund—a new source of funding for protecting endangered species and their ecosystems globally. The meeting also featured the first-ever Partnership Forum, which brought together Indigenous Peoples, youth, women, and representatives of civil society organizations to discuss ways the GEF can support their empowerment and recognition.
Event 22 August 2023 - 26 August 2023

64th Meeting of the GEF Council

Council Members focused on supporting new, key environmental agreements and frameworks, reaching consensus on the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, including its programming directions, and on preparing the GEF to serve as part of the financial mechanism for the Agreement on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
Event 26 June 2023 - 29 June 2023

18th Session of the UNFF

Technical discussions during the week included interlinkages between the Global Forest Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Speakers informed delegates on: regenerative agriculture; the role of the Global Environment Facility, the Adaptation Fund, and regional development banks; the forests-energy-livelihoods nexus; and the potential of carbon markets for forest finance.
Event 8 May 2023 - 12 May 2023

IUFRO Global Forest Expert Panel on Forests and Human Health - Launch of Assessment on Forests and Human Health

Forests, trees, and green spaces play a vital role in ensuring a healthy life for all on a global scale. This is one of the key messages of the global assessment titled “Forests and Trees for Human Health: Pathways, Impacts, Challenges and Response Options,” launched by the Global Forest Expert Panels Programme of the International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO).
Event 21 March 2023

63rd Meeting of the GEF Council

The GEF Council endorsed $65 million for biodiversity projects, including more than $18 million to support the development of biodiversity finance plans in 26 countries. GEF Council members, meeting virtually, also approved the establishment of a new Gustavo Fonseca Youth Conservation Leadership program to support the education of promising young conservationists from developing countries.
Event 28 November 2022 - 2 December 2022