19 March 2019
Special ‘Forests’ Issue Focuses on Role of Forests in Achieving SDGs
Photo by Luis Del Río Camacho
story highlights

One article in the dedicated ‘Forests’ issue maps the positive impacts of sustainable forest management on SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 3, SDG 6, SDG 13 and SDG 15.

Another article presents linkages among community and smallholder forestry and 31 SDG targets.

March 2019: The journal Forests released a special issue on the role of forests in achieving the SDGs. The issue examines the role of forests in different geographical settings, and considers how issues like climate change and urbanization influence the role of forests.

Although SDG 15 (life on land) includes several targets related to forests, forests are relevant for several SDGs, as an article titled, ‘SDGs and the Forest Sector: A Complex Relationship,’ observes. The article maps the positive impacts of sustainable forest management (SFM) on: SDG 1 (no poverty) by forests providing 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 (clean 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 points out the unintended consequences and conflicts between the use of forest-based goods and services, such as tradeoffs between increased demand for forest products, which can increase pressure on forests and contribute to deforestation. Within this context, the article recommends using an integrated assessment approach to analyze whether a specific forest-related policy or strategy 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 boosting community and smallholder forests as a contribution to the SDGs. The article concludes that there is “significant opportunity to explore win-win options” to support community and smallholder forests while also contributing to the SDGs. The article presents linkages among community and smallholder forestry and 31 SDG targets.

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

Additional articles address: ecosystem services from forests in Germany; linkages among Austria’s forestry sector and the SDGs; State-owned forestry enterprises in northeast China; linkages among climate finance, sustainable food and peace building; forest management in regions subject to high environmental pressures; and forest cover and climate change. [Special Issue Landing Page]

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