Decisions by Topic: Forests
A/70/472 - Sustainable development: report of the Second Committee

Draft resolution VII

United Nations forest instrument

The General Assembly,

Decides to extend the timeline of the global objectives on forests to 2030, in line with the timeline of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to rename the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests the United Nations forest instrument, recognizing that the voluntary, non-binding character of the forest instrument, as set out in principle 2 (a) of the instrument, remains unchanged.

Draft resolution VIII

Report of the Secretary-General on the International Day of Forests

The General Assembly decides to take note of the report of the Secretary General on the International Day of Forests.

A/RES/70/1 - Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation,
restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification,
drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity
and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
15.6 Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote
appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed
15.7 Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
15.8 By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien
species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes,
poverty reduction strategies and accounts
15.a Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
15.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and
provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation
and reforestation
15.c Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by
increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities

A/RES/69/313- Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa Action Agenda)

94. Recognizing that forests are vital to livelihoods and ecosystems, we strongly support the efforts of small island developing States:

(a) To implement the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests;

(b) To slow, halt and reverse deforestation and forest degradation, including by promoting trade in legally and sustainably harvested forest products;

(c) To achieve appropriate and effective reforestation, restoration and afforestation;

(d) To address obstacles and pursue opportunities to mobilize financing from all sources to support national sustainable forest management policies and improve the state of biological diversity by conserving and safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity;

(e) To participate in the review of the International Arrangement on Forests under the United Nations Forum on Forests in order to explore the full range of options on the future of the Arrangement;

(f) To strengthen their legal, institutional and human capacity for sustainable forest management on the basis of a holistic and integrated approach to the sustainable use of forest resources.

A/RES/66/288 - The Future We Want

193. We highlight the social, economic and environmental benefits of forests to people and the contributions of sustainable forest management to the themes and objective of the Conference. We support cross-sectoral and cross-institutional policies promoting sustainable forest management. We reaffirm that the wide range of products and services that forests provide creates opportunities to address many of the most pressing sustainable development challenges. We call for enhanced efforts to achieve the sustainable management of forests, reforestation, restoration and afforestation, and we support all efforts that effectively slow, halt and reverse deforestation and forest degradation, including, inter alia, promoting trade in legally harvested forest products. We note the importance of such ongoing initiatives as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. We call for increased efforts to strengthen forest governance frameworks and means of implementation, in accordance with the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests, in order to achieve sustainable forest management. To this end, we commit to improving the livelihoods of people and communities by creating the conditions needed for them to sustainably manage forests, including through strengthening cooperation arrangements in the areas of finance, trade, transfer of environmentally sound technologies, capacity-building and governance, as well as by promoting secure land tenure, particularly decision-making and benefit-sharing, in accordance with national legislation and priorities.

194. We call for urgent implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests and the Ministerial Declaration of the high-level segment of the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests on the occasion of the launch of the International Year of Forests.

195. We recognize that the United Nations Forum on Forests, with its universal membership and comprehensive mandate, plays a vital role in addressing forest-related issues in a holistic and integrated manner and promoting international policy coordination and cooperation to achieve sustainable forest management. We invite the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to continue its support to the Forum and encourage stakeholders to remain actively engaged in the work of the Forum.

196. We stress the importance of integrating sustainable forest management objectives and practices into the mainstream of economic policy and decision-making, and to that end we commit to working through the governing bodies of member organizations of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to integrate, as appropriate, the sustainable management of all types of forests into their strategies and programmes.

E/CN.17/2000/20 - Report on the 8th Session

Decision 8/2
Report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on its fourth session

The Commission on Sustainable Development:
(a) Welcomes the report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on its fourth session and endorses the conclusions and proposals for action contained therein;
(b) Invites the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, as appropriate, to take action on the proposed terms of reference for an international arrangement on forests, as recommended by the Forum and contained in the appendix to chapter III of the report of the Forum on its fourth session, and as reproduced in the annex to the present decision;
(c) Invites the President of the Economic and Social Council to initiate, before the substantive session of 2000 of the Council, informal consultations on options for placing the United Nations Forum on Forests within the intergovernmental machinery of the United Nations system.


International arrangement on forests

I. Objective

1. The main objective of this international arrangement on forests is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end. The purpose of such an international arrangement would be to promote the implementation of internationally agreed actions on forests, at the national, regional and global levels, to provide a coherent, transparent and participatory global framework for policy implementation, coordination and development, and to carry out principal functions, based on the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests (Forest Principles), chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF)/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) process, in a manner consistent with and complementary to existing international legally binding instruments relevant to forests.

II. Principal functions

2. To achieve the objective, this international arrangement on forests will perform the following functions:
(a) Facilitate and promote the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action as well as other actions that may be agreed upon, inter alia, through national forest programmes and other integrated programmes relevant to forests; catalyse, mobilize and generate financial resources; and mobilize and channel technical and scientific resources to this end, including by taking steps towards the broadening and development of mechanisms and/or further initiatives to enhance international cooperation;
(b) Provide a forum for continued policy development and dialogue among Governments, which would involve international organizations and other interested parties, including major groups, as identified in Agenda 21, to foster a common understanding on sustainable forest management and to address forest issues and emerging areas of priority concern in a holistic, comprehensive and integrated manner;
(c) Enhance cooperation as well as policy and programme coordination on forest-related issues among relevant international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments, as well as contribute to synergies among them, including coordination among donors;
(d) Foster international cooperation, including North-South and public-private partnerships, as well as cross-sectoral cooperation at the national, regional and global levels;
(e) Monitor and assess progress at the national, regional and global levels through reporting by Governments, as well as by regional and international organizations, institutions and instruments, and on this basis consider future actions needed;
(f) Strengthen political commitment to the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests through: ministerial engagement; developing ways to liaise with the governing bodies of international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments; and the promotion of action-oriented dialogue and policy formulation related to forests.

III. Structure

3. To achieve the objective and to carry out the functions outlined above, the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly would:
(a) Establish an intergovernmental body which may be called the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF);
(b) Invite the executive heads of relevant organizations of the United Nations system and heads of other relevant international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments to form a collaborative partnership on forests to support the work of UNFF and to enhance cooperation and coordination among participants;
(c) Within five years, on the basis of the assessment referred to in paragraph 2 (e) above, consider with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests. This process could develop the financial provisions to implement any future agreed legal framework. The process could also consider recommendations made by expert groups (see para. 8 below) on the establishment of mechanisms on finance, technology transfer and trade;
(d) Take steps to devise approaches towards appropriate financial and technology transfer support to enable the implementation of sustainable forest management, as recommended under the IPF and IFF processes.

IV. Working modalities of UNFF

4. UNFF should be open to all States and operate in a transparent and participatory manner. Relevant international and regional organizations, including regional economic integration organizations, institutions and instruments, as well as major groups, as identified in Agenda 21, should also be involved.
5. UNFF would initially meet annually, for a period of up to two weeks, subject to the review referred to below. UNFF would have a high-level ministerial segment for two to three days, as required. The high-level segment could include a one-day policy dialogue with the heads of organizations participating in the collaborative partnership, as well as other forest-related international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments. UNFF should ensure the opportunity to receive and consider inputs from representatives of major groups as identified in Agenda 21, in particular through the organization of multi-stakeholder dialogues.
6. UNFF would work on the basis of a multi-year programme of work, drawing on the elements reflected in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Forest Principles, chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the IPF/IFF proposals for action.
7. At its first meeting UNFF will adopt its multi-year programme of work and develop a plan of action for the implementation of IPF/IFF proposals for action, which will address financial provisions.
8. UNFF may recommend, as appropriate, the convening of ad hoc expert groups of limited duration, involving experts from developed and developing countries, for scientific and technical advice, as well as to consider mechanisms and strategies for the finance and transfer of environmentally sound technologies; and encourage country-sponsored initiatives, such as international expert meetings.

V. Institutional coordination and cooperation for implementation

9. The collaborative partnership referred to in paragraph 3 (b) above could build on a high-level informal group, such as the Inter-Agency Task Force on Forests, which would receive guidance from UNFF; facilitate and promote coordinated and cooperative action, including joint programming and submissions of coordinated proposals to the respective governing bodies; and facilitate donor coordination. Such a partnership would submit coordinated inputs and progress reports to UNFF, operate in an open, transparent and flexible manner, and undertake periodic reviews of its effectiveness.

VI. Secretariat

10. A compact secretariat, comprised of highly qualified staff, constituted in accordance with established rules and procedures of the United Nations and strengthened through staff from secretariats of international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments, should be established to support the work described above.

VII. Financial support

11. The funding for the functioning of the arrangement should be mobilized from the regular budget of the United Nations, within existing resources, resources of organizations participating in the partnership and extrabudgetary resources provided by interested donors. Specific modalities would be determined by relevant bodies of the United Nations and the governing bodies of the other organizations concerned.

VIII. Review

12. The international arrangement on forests should be dynamic and adapt to evolving conditions. Accordingly, the effectiveness of this arrangement would be reviewed in five years.

United Nations