OWG Side Events Address Forests
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During the eighth and final stocktaking meeting of the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a number of side events were held to discuss forests and their relationship to sustainable development.

unece-unff-cpf3 February 2014: During the eighth and final stocktaking meeting of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a number of side events were held to discuss forests and their relationship to sustainable development.

The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) in collaboration with the Government of Finland discussed the ways that forests can be integrated into the SDGs, presenting views from Guyana, Europe and civil society. In an opening statement Eduardo Rojas-Briales, CPF Chair, called for including forests as a priority area in the SDGs, while Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of Finland, stressed the importance of linking existing goals and targets on forests to the post-2015 development agenda.

The CPF event also introduced a global analysis on linking forest targets and indicators to the SDGs, in which nine targets are proposed: the sustainable management of forests; the improvement of forest and tree resources; increased climate change mitigation from forests; enhanced contribution of forests to food and nutrition security; increased income and employment from forests; enhanced forest-related biodiversity; improved freshwater supply from forests; strengthened resilience to slow-onset and extreme events; and increased contribution of forests to a green economy.

The event also considered the findings of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) workshop on ‘Forests in Sustainable Development Goals,’ highlighting the important role of forests in poverty eradication and the green economy. As a follow-up to the side event, CPF members will issue a document with proposed forest targets, indicators and other background material.

Also at the margins of the OWG, the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat in collaboration with the Gabarron Foundation presented 21 award-winning photos on the theme of ‘Forests and People.’ The winners, honorable mentions and special acknowledgements in the first UN International Forest Photograph Awards were selected from more than 400 entries and represented 11 different countries.

The six winning photographs were by Atakan Baykal of Turkey, Eka Fendiaspara of Indonesia, Riccardo Gangale of Italy, Olga Lavrushko of Ukraine, Prasetyo Nurramdhan of Indonesia, and Pablo Pro of Spain and are on display at the Carriage House of Arts in New York City until 28 February 2014. [Event Program – Integrating forests in the sustainable development goals] [Speeches and Presentations – Integrating forests in the sustainable development goals] [IISD RS coverage of OWG] [UNECE Press Release] [UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs News]


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