19 July, 2018, Rome – A partnership between FAO and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) promises to forge closer links in the key areas of sustainable forestry, the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and food security. A memorandum of understanding signed today sets out a plan of work that builds on an existing collaboration, significantly expanding its scope in terms of geography and vision.
Luke, a multi-disciplinary research institution with expertise in renewable natural resources, works to provide innovative solutions for food production and development based on a bio-economy and sustainable use of natural resources. Forestry is a special focus of its research portfolio, which also addresses the areas of water and fisheries, innovative food systems and improved information on how to balance sound environmental values with human requirements.
The partnership between FAO and Luke will involve a four-part approach, based on:
- strengthening sustainable forestry practices and integrated forest resources management in developing countries;
- sharing expertise for statistical data collection and analysis to improve measurement of the Sustainable Development Goal indicators;
- developing and providing technical guidance, data and tools to support FAO Member States’ implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts under the Paris Agreement; and
- raising awareness on key themes linked to food security, sustainable forestry, climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The joint initiatives will take place at country, regional and global levels, with a special focus on Ethiopia and Myanmar in the case of efforts to step up sustainable forest management and robust forest monitoring. FAO and Luke are already working together in both countries to bolster technical capacities in developing assessments on forests, with the goal of creating sound national forest policies and sustainable development and helping them to meet national and international requirements.
“Luke, with almost 100 years of forest inventory and monitoring experience, is an excellent partner for delivering the necessary support to the developing countries”, said Hiroto Mitsugi, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department.
“We welcome this opportunity to work with FAO as it will help Luke to have a global impact and to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments”, continued Johanna Laiho-Kauranne, Vice President of Statistics in Luke.
As part of the latest agreement, arrangements have been set in place for exchanges of technical staff, with the aim of building capacities and collaborating in areas identified as joint priorities. As the first such secondment, a Luke forestry expert is currently based at FAO headquarters, specializing in the linkages between forests and forest-related development and the Sustainable Development Goals.