Commonwealth, Mediterranean Forest Events Support SDG Achievement
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The fifth Mediterranean Forest Week resulted in nine countries affirming their support to forest and landscape restoration, land degradation neutrality, and biodiversity conservation efforts in the Mediterranean region.

The 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference convened under the theme ‘Forests for Prosperity and Posterity'.

7 April 2017: The fifth Mediterranean Forest Week and the 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference (CFC) brought together countries and other stakeholders to share experiences, promote sustainable forest management and encourage action in support of forest-related development goals and priorities.

The fifth Mediterranean Forest Week, held from 20-24 March 2017, in Agadir, Morocco, coincided with the International Day of Forests, held annually on 21 March. The Week focused on the restoration of Mediterranean forests and landscapes, and resulted in nine countries affirming their support to forest and landscape restoration (FLR), land degradation neutrality (LDN) and biodiversity conservation efforts in the Mediterranean region. Algeria, France, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey committed to a “new regional dynamic.” The dynamic is meant to boost achievement of the Bonn Challenge (to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030) and the targets laid out in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 (life on land), as well as the UN Forum for Forests (UNFF) Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030. It will also seek to catalyze regional forest and landscape restoration goals linked to the broader sustainable development agenda.

Led by the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry, Silva Mediterranea, the regional dynamic will aim to, by 2030: assess the ongoing national efforts on FLR to determine a voluntary regional target to be reached by 2030; reinforce regional cooperation on FLR and LDN; cooperate, among interested partners, to develop a consensual and diversified strategy for the financing of FLR efforts, and reinforce national capacities; and assess respective efforts through the establishment of a voluntary monitoring and notification system for FLR and LDN efforts in the Mediterranean context.

The 19th CFC convened at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, India, from 3-7 April 2017, under the theme ‘Forests for Prosperity and Posterity.’ The Conference served as a platform for CFC participants to share experiences, strengthen forest research, identify critical issues and support the collaborative management of forests as they relate to water, food and energy security with an overarching goal of contributing to SDG implementation.

Eva Müller, FAO, said “it is imperative we stimulate action in all areas of critical importance to the development agenda, forestry being one of them.”

Speaking at the Conference, Eva Müller, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), said “it is imperative we stimulate action in all areas of critical importance to the development agenda, forestry being one of them.” CFC sub-themes included biodiversity, livelihood and economic security from forests, diversification, governance, climate change, and forests and water. [FAO Press Release on Mediterranean Forest Week] [Fifth Mediterranean Forest Week] [Bonn Challenge] [CFC Website] [FAO Press Release on CFC]


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