Report shows substantial global progress in forest management, but more to be done


Photo: CIFOR

A reduction in net global deforestation in the past 25 years has reduced carbon emissions from forests by more than 25 per cent between 2001 and 2015, but much remains to be done, writes José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in a guest post on the Food Tank website.

Graziano da Silva was reporting on the findings of the FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment which was released during the World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa.

The assessment, he said, shows that “sustainable forest management works and that political will and concrete action can make a difference”.

In the article, Graziano da Silva says sustainably managed forests can make major contributions to all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be adopted later this month.

“We cannot meet the challenge without forests. They cover nearly one-third of the planet´s land are home to over 80 percent of the world´s biodiversity and hold about three-quarters as much carbon as the Earth’s entire atmosphere, thus mitigating climate change.”

But despite impressive conservation efforts, biodiversity is still under threat and the implementation of forest management plans remains a challenge in many countries. Graziano da Silva emphasizes the need to manage forests better and improve integration with other land uses, particularly agriculture.

“Agroforestry – trees combined with agriculture – can increase the productivity of agricultural lands while diversifying diets,” says Graziano da Silva

Read the full story: Much More Than Trees: Forests are Key to Sustainable Development

See coverage of the World Agroforestry Centre’s events at WFC

Download the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015: How are the World’s Forests Changing?

Visit the website of the XIV World Forestry Congress'

Kate Langford

Kate Langford is a consultant writer with close to 20 years’ experience in communicating natural resource, environmental and land management issues for various government and non-government organizations. She previously worked as Communications Specialist for the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and has worked in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Scientific Communication.

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