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Issue Focuses on Role of Forests in Achieving SDGs

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Forests magazine published a special issue on the role of forests in achieving the SDGs. The theme examines the role of forests in different geographical environments and considers how problems such as climate change and urbanization influence the role of forests.

While SDG 15 (life on land) includes several objectives related to forests, forests are relevant to several SDGs, as noted in an article entitled “SDGs and the forest sector: a complex relationship”. The article maps the positive impacts of sustainable forest management (SFM) on: SDG 1 (not poverty) by forests that provide income to fight poverty; SDG 2 (zero hunger) through the provision of wild fruit and game; SDG 3 (good health and well-being) through the provision of medicinal plants; SDG 6 (drinking water and sanitation) through the provision of fresh water for drinking and irrigation; SDG 13 (climate action) through carbon capture and storage (CCS) and SDG 15 through contributions to biodiversity. The article also notes the unintended consequences and conflicts between the use of forest-based goods and services, such as trade-offs between increased demand for forest products, which can increase pressure on forests and contribute to the deforestation. In this context, the article recommends using an integrated assessment approach to analyze whether a specific policy or strategy related to forests contributes to sustainable development.

An article on “Community forestry and the SDGs: a two-way street” examines the contribution of community and smallholder forests to achieving the SDGs, and suggests promoting community and smallholder forests as a contribution to the SDGs. The article concludes that there is a “significant opportunity to explore win-win options” to support community forests and small farmers while contributing to the SDGs. The article presents links between the community and small forest producers and 31 objectives of the SDGs.

Another article addresses the ways in which forest concessions can support the implementation of the SDGs, including through the contribution of income, employment and fiscal obligations to national and subnational economies and the provision of public goods for socio-economic development. The article identifies unclear and conflicting tenure and the lack of technical and qualified personnel as key challenges in the contributions of forest concessions to the SDGs.

Source: SDG Knowledge Hub.