The United Nations Forum on Forests is currently having its 14th session (UNFF14) in New York. On Monday, Pia Katila, Senior Scientist at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) participated in a panel discussion on the role on sustainable forest management and use in securing the living conditions of the rapidly growing population highlighting that forest need to be put on national strategic and policy agendas.
The panelists discussed, for example, the interlinkages between UN Sustainable Development Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth) and the Global Forest Goals and how they could better support each other. Moreover, the alignment of forest policies and measures with other economic policies and measure to secure sustainable growth stimulated a lot of discussion.
”In many countries, agriculture and mining contribute a lot more to growth and jobs than the official forest sector. Therefore, forests are cleared for farming and mining. However, the role of forests is underestimated, because a large part of forest-related production in developing countries belongs to informal economy. Moreover, the essential ecological services the forests provide for our health and wellbeing are not systematically valuated,” said Pia Katila.
The UNFF14 looks at forests from the point of view of holistic sustainability, the other key themes including climate change and the role of forests in securing social sustainability. Founded in 2001, the forum aims to promote, monitor and assess the sustainable management and use of forests as well as support the development of international forest policy. The results of UNFF meetings are reported to the United Nations General Assembly.