UNFF11 Concludes with Ministerial Declaration, Decisions on IAF
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The Ministers invited: the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) to give appropriate consideration to the issue of financing for forests and SFM as one of its priorities; forum members, financing institutions and the private sector to aim to ensure investment and development finance take account of forests in poverty eradication and sustainable development; the UNFCCC COP to consider the importance of forests and SFM in both climate change mitigation and adaptation, in accordance with its mandates; the COPs to the CBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC to consider outputs of the future IAF; and existing and emerging forest-related financing initiatives, including GEF and GCF, to support the implementation of SFM.

iisdrs_unff1115 May 2015: The 11th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF11) was held at UN headquarters in New York from 4-15 May 2015, with the High-Level Segment taking place from 13-14 May 2015. Delegates convened to discuss, inter alia, progress, challenges and the way forward for the international arrangement on forests, including reviewing the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests (IAF), the progress towards the achievement of the global objectives on forests and the contribution of forests and the IAF to the internationally agreed development goals.

Delegates also addressed: means of implementation for sustainable forest management and forest law enforcement and governance at all levels; enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination; and regional and subregional inputs.

At the close of the meeting, UNFF Director Sobral congratulated delegates for the successful conclusion of UNFF11, saying they have “set the stage for a brighter future for forests and the communities that depend on them.” Noting that lack of implementation had been identified as a key weakness of the IAF, he stressed that the new Global Forest Financing Network agreed at UNFF11, and the decision to meet in alternate years to focus work on implementation and technical advice, has the potential to make the Forum much more effective.

In the Ministerial Declaration, ministers responsible for forests commit themselves to, inter alia: implement SFM as defined in the NLBI; affirm their commitments to a stronger and more effective post-2015 IAF with a view to providing leadership to promote the vital significance of forests in the global sustainable development agenda; promote integration of SFM and commitments contained in the NLBI into poverty reduction strategies, national sustainable development strategies and sectoral policies; support the CPF’s work as a strategy for improving coherence and synergy on forest issues at all levels; adopt cross-sectoral approaches and foster collaboration to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in a coherent and coordinated way; review and improve forest-related legislation, strengthen forest law enforcement and promote good governance at all levels in order to support SFM, create an enabling environment for forest investment and combat and eradicate illegal practices, as well as promote secure land tenure; continue to tackle deforestation and forest degradation and promote trade in forest products from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests; and promote the sustainable management of all types of forests including by stressing the importance of new and additional resources from all sources for SFM, continue to enhance capacity building, and strengthen the IAF and its components to perform their functions effectively.

The Ministers also invited: the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) to give appropriate consideration to the issue of financing for forests and SFM as one of its priorities; forum members, financing institutions and the private sector to aim to ensure investment and development finance take account of forests in poverty eradication and sustainable development; the UNFCCC COP to consider the importance of forests and SFM in both climate change mitigation and adaptation, in accordance with its mandates; the COPs to the CBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC to consider outputs of the future IAF; and existing and emerging forest-related financing initiatives, including GEF and GCF, to support the implementation of SFM.

UNFF11 forwarded a resolution to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) recommending, inter alia: strengthening and extending the IAF to 2030 and deciding that the IAF is composed of the UNFF and its Member States, the Secretariat of the Forum, the CPF, the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network and the UNFF Trust Fund. To strengthen and make the Facilitative Process more effective, the resolution proposes that ECOSOC decide: that the name of the Facilitative Process will be changed to “Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network”; to set clear priorities for the strengthened Facilitative Process in the strategic plan; and that it should serve as a clearinghouse on existing, new and emerging financing opportunities and as a tool for sharing lessons learned from successful projects, building on the CPF online sourcebook for forest financing. It also invites the GEF to consider options for establishing a new focal area on forests during its next replenishment and continue to seek to improve existing forest finance modalities.

The twelfth session of the UN Forum on Forests is expected to take place in 2017. [IISD RS coverage of UNFF11]


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