UNFF Adopts Strategic Plan, Quadrennial Programme of Work
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The Working Group of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) drafted the UN’s first Strategic Plan for Forests.

Immediately following the adjournment of the Working Group meeting, a Special Session of UNFF12 convened, with Member States adopting the UNFF Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2030 and the quadrennial programme of work for the period 2017-2020.

20 January 2017: Following a week of negotiations, the Working Group of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) succeeded in drafting the UN’s first Strategic Plan for Forests, which features six universal and voluntary Global Forest Goals (GFGs) and associated targets to be reached by 2030. 

On 20 January 2017, immediately following the adjournment of the Working Group meeting, a Special Session of UNFF12 convened, with Member States adopting the UNFF Strategic Plan (UNSPF) for the period 2017-2030 and the quadrennial programme of work (4POW) for the period 2017-2020.

The UNSPF provides a global framework for actions at all levels to sustainably manage all types of forests and trees outside forests and halt deforestation and forest degradation.

The Working Group was established in accordance with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 2015/33 on the International Arrangement on Forests beyond 2015, with a view to developing proposals on: replacement of the reference to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in paragraph 1(b) of the UN Forest Instrument with an appropriate reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets; and the UNSPF and 4POW.

The UNSPF provides a global framework for actions at all levels to sustainably manage all types of forests and trees outside forests and halt deforestation and forest degradation. It is meant to serve as a reference for the forest-related work of the UN system.

During the meeting, discussions on the UNSPF centered on the GFGs and targets, implementation framework, review framework, and the communication and outreach strategy. The resulting UNSPF is composed of five chapters and an annex containing the indicative thematic areas for action associated with the GFGs and targets.

The six GFGs, accompanied by targets, are presented in the second chapter of the UNSPF. The Goals include: Reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide through sustainable forest management (SFM); Enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits; Increase significantly the area of protected forests worldwide and other areas of sustainably managed forests; Mobilize significantly increased, new and additional financial resources from all sources for the implementation of SFM and strengthen scientific and technical cooperation and partnerships; Promote governance frameworks to implement SFM; and Enhance cooperation, coordination, coherence and synergies on forest-related issues. Other chapters address communications and outreach, the implementation framework, review framework and the UNSPF’s contribution to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Working Group discussions on the 4POW included the thematic and operational activities and resources required to implement the UNSPF, and priority actions for even and odd-year sessions within the quadrennium, 2017-2020. Odd-year sessions will focus on implementation and technical advice, while even-year sessions will focus on policy dialogue, development and decision-making. Odd and even-year sessions for a given biennium will be thematically linked. The 4POW also contains four detailed tables describing priority actions for the next four sessions of the UNFF.

In 2015, UNFF11 charged member States with producing a strategic plan for adoption by UNFF12 in May 2017. Two Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEGs) meetings were held in 2016 to develop detailed proposals for the construction of the UNSPF and the Quadrennial Programme of Work 2017-2020. Twenty organizations representing the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and representatives of Major Groups along with 75 participants from 82 countries attended the Working Group meeting, which was held from 16-20 January 2017, in New York, US. [IISD RS Coverage of the Working Group Meeting and Special Session] [UNFF Press Release on UNSPF] [UNFF Press Release on GFGs] [UN DESA Press Release]


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