This panel session offers an opportunity to share experiences on initiatives to increase the contribution of forests and forest products to help meet the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets established by the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Delegates will discuss the importance of building capacity to ensure forest and land management are sustainable. They will also focus on the role of productive forests in economic and social development, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The key role of forests in achieving environmental sustainability is recognized throughout international development targets and climate targets established by the U.N., including the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. Forests and other land-use sectors are also critical to delivering on food security, while contributing to poverty alleviation, job creation and biodiversity conservation.
Particularly important to these transformations are efforts to build institutions and capacities in the Asia Pacific region to support the sustainable production and consumption of forest products, as well as for management of sustainable and multifunctional landscapes.
Both enhanced and sustainable production and consumption from forests and creation of multiple value chains are essential to meet the increasing demands of a rapidly growing global population sustainably. However, enabling policies and institutional frameworks for sustainable production requires greater investment and cooperation, enhanced research and development, taking into account rapid changes in trends in international markets.
Initiatives to promote sustainable production and consumption must be accompanied by efforts to strengthen institutions and capacities for forest and land management at local levels. Important aspects of natural resource management have been decentralized over the past several decades, but local governments with limited resources and capacities still struggle to manage the many competing demands that are placed on lands and forests.
Climate change adds to these challenges, making investments in institutions and capacities at local levels even more critical. The cooperation of public and private sectors as well as research and development are also essential.