of years, the Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO)
publishes a series of reports under the name of The State of
the World’s Forests (SOFO). These documents compile current
information on key issues concerning the forest sector to facilitate decision-making
and management processes in relation to the world’s forests.
The last SOFO,
published in 2018, for the first time ever discusses
the role of urban forests under the framework of the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDG). In response to the accelerated urbanisation
coupled with climate change dynamics, urban forests are viewed as a valuable
contribution to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient
and sustainable” (SDG 11). Both in theory and practice, urban forests and trees
have a positive impact on urban environmental conditions and citizens´
livelihoods and well-being.
Amongst a number of other European Forest Institute’s side event activities and contributions during the climate #COP23 in Bonn, the Institute organised this side event in the prestigious facilities of its new Bonn office, well-located on the UN campus and next door to the climate negotiations. This joint effort between EFI Bonn, the EFI FLEGT and REDD Unit in Barcelona, and the EFI-coordinated SAFARI project was organised by Anna Begemann, Lukas Gießen, Theresa Cashore, Camilla Dolriis, Jo Van Brusselen, Yitagesu Tekle, Jussi Viitanen, and Gesche Schifferdecker, all EFI. More than 50 participants representing government, international organisations, NGOs, academia as well as private companies and consultancy firms attended this vivid discussion event on 11th November 2017.
The climate deliberations of previous years have clearly shown: Forests are a crucial aspect of global approaches to climate change policy, esp. in the tropics. Persistent deforestation and forest degradation cause a huge amount of carbon emissions, while growing forest stock, legal and sustainable forest management as well as the use of wood-based materials are highly capable of mitigating emissions from multiple sources.