‘Green should be the colour of the future’: Global bodies launch campaign to protect forests

Joint Call to Action for Forests;to highlight need for increased action, political commitment to implement forest solutions in pursuit of SDGs
Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a partnership of 16 global organisations chaired by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has launched the Joint Call to Action for Forests towards 2030. 

They aim to highlight the need for increased action and political commitment to implement forest solutions in pursuit of the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

“Green should be the colour of the future,” said QU Dongyu, director-general of FAO, during a high-level event at the margins of the SDG summit, to build momentum on the role of forests in contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Call to Action for Forests Towards 2030 has four focal areas: Implementation and action; data, science and innovation; finance for forests; and communication and awareness-raising.

The event held on September 18, 2023 just before the beginning of the 79th UN General Debate high-level week saw the participation of Member States and CPF agency heads, who outlined how their organisations and countries are contributing to coordinated forest-based actions to accelerate progress towards 2030.

Noting the efforts of the collaborative partnership in the past 20 years, Dongyu underscored that initiatives for ecosystem restoration, combating desertification and expanding green areas and forest cover were huge opportunities for the world. 

The 2023 SDG Summit marks the halfway point in efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda and SDGs, along with other internationally agreed-upon goals related to forests, such as the Global Forest Goals outlined in the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030.

The world has lost 420 million hectares of forest through deforestation since 1990, and deforestation continues, although the rate slowed from 12 million hectares per year during 2010-2015 to 10 million hectares per year during 2015-2020, according to FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment.

“Progress towards reaching global goals on protecting forests is not advancing fast enough, as forests are still disappearing, climate-change impacts and biodiversity loss are increasing and malnutrition and hunger are rising, all undermined by social and economic instability,” said a statement by FAO.

Under ‘Collaborative Partnership on Forests’, challenges and opportunities have been identified in protecting, restoring and sustainably managing forests, and action and ambition are needed. 

The CPF members committed to “reinforcing action to strengthen efforts at all levels to fully unlock the contributions of forests to sustainable development and achieve our joint vision for forests towards 2030”. 

“We will do so in synergy with, and in addition to, the commitments made at the Climate Ambition Summit and the SDG Summit and in anticipation of the ‘Summit of the Future’ and upcoming negotiations under the Rio Conventions,” they added.

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