UNFF 10 Technical Papers Released
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The Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) has released the advance unedited versions of the documents for the tenth meeting (UNFF 10) to be held from 8-19 April in Istanbul, Turkey.

Among the documents released are three background papers on forests and economic development.

29 January 2013: The Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) has released the advance unedited versions of the documents for the tenth meeting (UNFF 10) to be held from 8-19 April in Istanbul, Turkey. Among the documents released are three background papers on forests and economic development.

The first paper, titled “Economic Contribution of Forests,” places the annual economic contribution of forests at US$250 billion, however the report notes that there remain significant gaps in data on the non-cash economic contributions of forests. With regard to economic trends, the publication notes that the relative contribution of forests to the global economy has decreased over the past three decades, in part due to the general lack of cross-sectoral collaboration between the forestry sector and other related sectors. The report also identifies four key issues that should be addressed in order to drive the future economic contribution of the forest sector: a better understanding of the non-cash contributions of forests; greater efforts to address knowledge and information gaps; improved forest governance; and strengthened links between forests and other sectors.

The second paper, titled “Changing Roles of Forests and their Cross‐Sectorial Linkages in the Course of Economic Development,” addresses the underlying factors causing changes in forest cover over the last two decades. The report covers, inter alia: relationships to other sectors and external factors; options for growth and prosperity that do not further damage the environment; the future of forests given changes in the global context; and ways and means to ensure that policies and investments promote pro-forest outcomes going forward. The paper specifically examines the links between forests and mining, transport, health, energy (including biofuels), climate change, food security and water. It concludes that countries should pursue a multi-sectoral approach to forest management.

The third paper, titled “Changing Futures, Choices and Contributions of Forests,” examines the implications of changing conditions (the climate, ecosystems, technologies, and demography) on forests. The publication highlights the fact that within the next three decades the global population is expected to increase by as many as 3 billion people while, simultaneously, the size of the middle class will expand by 3 billion. The report also explores variation linked to climate change and progress in forest management techniques, technologies and production and distribution processes. This third report concludes that most changes can have both a positive and negative impact on forests. For example, population growth will place increasing pressure on forests, however a more environmentally aware population will strengthen demand for sustainably produced products.

[Publication: Forests and Economic Development Background Paper 1: Economic Contributions of Forests] [Publication: Forests and Economic Development Background Paper 2: Changing Roles of Forests and their Cross- Sectorial Linkages in the Course of Economic Development] [Publication: Forests and Economic Development Background Paper 3: Changing Futures, Choices, and Contributions of Forests]

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