News Biodiversity, Climate, Economy, Environment, Forestry

Forests provide vital ecosystem services crucial to human well-being and sustainable development and play an important role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Agenda 2030. Little attention, however, has yet focused on how efforts to achieve the SDGs will impact forests and forest-related livelihoods, and how these impacts may, in turn, enhance or undermine the contributions of forests to climate and development.

A new comprehensive assessment of potential and anticipated impacts of efforts towards attaining the different SDGs on forests and forest-related livelihoods and development contributes to filling the knowledge gap in the topic. Undertaken by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ Special Project World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO WFSE) the assessment stresses the importance of understanding the interdependencies between SDGs and impacts on forests and people.

“Understanding the potential impacts of SDGs on forests and forest-related livelihoods and development as well as the related trade-offs and synergies are crucial for the efforts undertaken to reach these goals,” says Luke’s senior scientist Pia Katila who coordinates IUFRO WFSE. ” It is especially important for reducing potential negative impacts and to leverage opportunities to create synergies that will ultimately determine whether comprehensive progress towards the SDGs will be made.”

Science-based support for policy-making, sustainable economy and further research

The book discusses the conditions that influence how SDGs are implemented and prioritized, and provides a systematic, multidisciplinary global assessment of interlinkages among the SDGs and their targets, increasing understanding of potential synergies and unavoidable trade-offs between goals from the point of view of forests and people. Ideal for academic researchers, students and decision-makers interested in sustainable development in the context of forests, it will provide invaluable knowledge for efforts undertaken to reach the SDGs.

The assessment Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People involved 120 scientists and experts from 60 different universities and research and development institutions as well as 38 scientists who acted as peer reviewers of the different SDG chapters. The book is published by Cambridge University Press and is available as Open Access via Cambridge Core.

A related Policy Brief Harnessing forests for the Sustainable Development Goals: Building synergies and mitigating trade-offs is available at IUFRO’s website.

The development and publication of the book and policy brief were made possible by the financial contributions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

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