Forests ‘essential’ for the future, UN agriculture chief spells out in new report

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
A resident of the National Tapajos Forest in Brazil collects wild foliage for preparing a meal.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Time is running out for the world’s forests, warns a new report by the United Nations agriculture agency, urging governments to foster an all-inclusive approach to benefit both trees and those who rely on them.

Halting deforestation, managing forests sustainably, restoring degraded forests and adding to worldwide tree cover all require actions to avoid potentially damaging consequences for the planet and its people, according to the State of the World’s Forests 2018, referred to as SOFO 2018.

Forests and trees contribute more to human livelihoods than most people know – playing crucial roles in food security, drinking water, renewable energy and rural economies.

Moreover, they provide income for some 20 per cent of rural households in developing countries as well as cooking and heating fuel for one-in-three people globally.

Forests are critical to livelihoods” said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“Healthy and productive forests are essential to sustainable agriculture and we have proof of the significance of forests and trees for the quality of water, for contributing to the energy needs of the future, and for designing sustainable, healthy cities,” he added.

This year’s report documents the importance of forests for the 2030 Agenda – ranging from tackling climate change to conserving biodiversity, reducing inequalities and improving urban habitats.

“Trees and forests contribute to achieving multiple targets across the 2030 Agenda and need to be incorporated into strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Eva Mueller, FAO Forestry Director.

This year’s report documents just how essential forests are for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – ranging from tackling climate change to assuring drinking water and improving urban habitats.

SOFO 2018 emphasizes the importance of clear legal frameworks on forest tenure rights; applauds the growing trend in local governance; and calls for effective partnerships to pursue sustainable goals.

Given that deforestation is the second leading cause of climate change, the report calls corporate responsibility for zero deforestation “key.”

Looking ahead

While there is much work to be done, the publication points to numerous examples that indicate growing awareness and a gradual increase in sustainable practices to preserve the world’s forests.

For example, more than half of paper is recycled today and by constructing wood panels from discarded materials, production has grown four-times faster than fresh timber requirements over the past two decades.

What’s more, one-in-five people globally count on non-wood forest products for food, income and nutritional diversity – the mainstays of human life – generating more than $88 billion in income, according to SOFO 2018.

While many of the world’s major watersheds have lost tree cover, the report notes a worldwide increase over the past 25 years in forest areas now managed for soil and water conservation.

Further underscoring their value, wood fuel accounts for as much of the world’s renewable energy supply as solar, hydroelectric and wind power, and forests contain the equivalent of 142 billion tons of oil – roughly 10 times the annual global primary energy consumption.

SOFO 2018 has been released prior to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which will begin on 9 July in New York.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

China hails human rights progress amid calls to close detention camps

Closing the gap in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

EU is right place to tackle pandemic, but reform is needed, latest survey finds

Mosquitoes are helping to fight one of the world’s fastest spreading viruses – this is how

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs call for more clarity and transparency

How to change the world at Davos

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

This company is breeding millions of insects in the heart of London

Here’s how to close the $176 billion health financing gap

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

Burundi election countdown amid ‘deteriorating’ human rights situation

Secure 5G networks: Commission endorses EU toolbox and sets out next steps

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Ozone on track to heal completely in our lifetime, UN environment agency declares on World Day.

Situation in central Mali ‘deteriorating’ as violence, impunity rise, UN rights expert warns

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

If people aren’t responding to climate warnings, we need to change the message

De-escalation of fighting in Hodeida is key to ‘long-overdue’ restart of Yemen peace talks: UN envoy

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

What you need to know about the European Green Deal – and what comes next

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

What is true and not true about the new Coronavirus?

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

Forget 2009, this is the real credit crisis of our time

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: The fruits of sustainability and decent work

Women in Switzerland have gone on strike – this is why

Monday’s Daily Brief: global homicide figures, neo-Nazi recruitment, Kashmir, and migrants’ plight in USA

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

An economist explains how to go carbon neutral in our lifetime

These countries are ranked highest – and lowest – for human development

We need to rethink the way we heat ourselves. Here’s why

Human rights breaches in Guinea Conakry and Madagascar

What has changed in the French politico-economic horizon

Countdown To GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 Is On

How innovation from within is transforming International Organizations as well as lives

Human Rights breaches in Russia, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

International Criminal Court acquits former president Gbagbo of war crimes in Côte d’Ivoire

How Finland is fighting fake news – in the classroom

UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election

How the tech world could make nonprofits a more powerful force

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

‘This is a time for facts, not fear,’ says WHO chief as COVID-19 virus spreads

Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

Parliament adopts InvestEU programme for strategic and innovative investments

INTERVIEW: UN’s top official in North Korea foresees ‘surge’ in humanitarian aid

UK voters sent strong message to May and Corbyn for soft Brexit

Climate changes and the imminent public health crises

EU and China sign landmark agreement protecting European Geographical Indications

The smartest cyber investment is collective action. Here’s why

UN chief underscores value of cooperation with Southeast Asian countries

Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, ‘key to sustainable peace’ in the Middle East: Guterres

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s