The Global Environment Facility (GEF) presented its report to the eleventh session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF11), highlighting its support for sustainable forest management (SFM) through the GEF-5 SFM/REDD+ Incentive Mechanism, and its provision of over US$700 million in grant support in 80 countries for a range of SFM-related projects.
20 May 2015: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) presented its report to the eleventh session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF11), highlighting its support for sustainable forest management (SFM) through the GEF-5 SFM/REDD+ Incentive Mechanism, and its provision of over US$700 million in grant support in 80 countries for a range of SFM-related projects.
UNFF11, which met from 4-15 May 2015 in New York, US, welcomed the GEF-6 SFM strategy, which aims to strengthen support for countries seeking to enhance the range of ecosystem services and benefits that sustainably managed forests can provide.
GEF CEO Naoko Ishii noted the GEF has supported countries’ efforts since 1992, assisting in over 380 forest-related projects, and investing over US$2.1 billion in GEF funds, which leveraged US$9.5 billion in co-financing from the private sector, local communities and indigenous groups, among others. The GEF aims to support and strengthen the links between forests, biodiversity, climate change, local livelihoods and countries’ plans for incorporating forests into sustainable development plans.
The GEF highlighted various successes of its synergistic approach to forests, including benefits for land degradation, climate change and biodiversity. For example, since 2010, 31.6 million hectares of forests are benefitting from GEF SFM projects and activities, and over 424,000 hectares of degraded forest land are being restored, providing a range of ecosystem services.
During the Forum’s high-level segment, the GEF stressed: that much work remains to implement pledges made on forest landscape restoration; and the importance of addressing forest issues in a holistic and integrated manner. It also reaffirmed its commitment to continue, both individually and with other members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), to support the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF), providing a multi-disciplinary approach to SFM and ensuring forests remain essential to sustainable development.
The Ministerial Declaration adopted by UNFF11 emphasizes a strengthened UNFF as an important policy forum for: promoting SFM and the work of the CPF, of which the GEF is a member; and integrating forests into the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [GEF News Story] [GEF Report to UNFF 11] [Draft Ministerial Declaration of UNFF 11] [IISD RS Coverage of UNFF11]