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United Nations Forum on Forests

ENV/DEV/2045

The Forum on Forests concluded its seventeenth session today, approving its omnibus resolution and a draft decision that its eighteenth session will be held at United Nations Headquarters from 8 to 12 May 2023, sending both texts to the Economic and Social Council for formal adoption.

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Home to 80 per cent of all terrestrial species and hailed as “the lungs of the planet” for their ability to generate oxygen, forests hold boundless potential to help solve the most pressing global challenges, speakers in the United Nations Forum on Forests stressed today, as they offered alternatives to the many activities threatening their health, from logging and oil exploration to well-intentioned but ill-conceived conservation efforts.

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The Forum on Forests focused on ways to better implement the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests and its six global forest goals, particularly in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the upcoming fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, on the second day of its sixteenth session today.

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The Forum on Forests began its sixteenth session in a virtual format today with the launch of its inaugural Global Forest Goals Report, as speakers highlighted the myriad ways in which the world’s forests, if sustainably managed, can contribute to “building back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic while also achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Convening on the penultimate day of the United Nations Forum on Forests’ fourteenth session, delegates considered efforts to streamline sustainable forest management and respect for biodiversity across the work of Governments, regional groups and industries, with speakers diverging on the importance of ensuring a fully synchronized global approach to such endeavours.

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A fully operational secretariat is essential for the Forum on Forests to fulfil its important mandate as the only global voice on policy, conservation and sustainable management of the world’s woodlands, delegates stressed today as they voiced concerns over proposals for its restructuring under broader reforms taking place in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.