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FAO’s Unasylva Focuses on Forest Issues after Rio+20

FAODecember 2012: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released the 2012 volume of Unasylva on the theme "The power of forests." The report highlights outputs from the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment and examines forest issues in the wake of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The report outlines development policies' increasing recognition of the cultural, economic, ecological and social value of forests. Articles address issues such as: the role of forests in development and the green economy; the safety of forest workers; sustainable forest management (SFM) in the landscape context; illegal timber trade; forest restoration; and the links between REDD+, local communities and women.

On sustainable development and the green economy, the publication examines the forest sector's contribution to a "low carbon, green growth" vision in the Republic of Korea, and considers forest certification as a tool to promote the engagement of public and private actors in the environmentally and socially sustainable production of forest products. Korea's Fifth National Forest Plan (2008–2017), the report notes, emphasizes the importance of forest functions, including carbon sinks, in responding to climate change.

This edition of Unasylva also includes an article on the role of forests in development, highlighting job creation and support for livelihoods and the provision of critical ecosystem services, such as protection from natural disaster, the provision of clean air and water, and the supply of important timber and non-timber forest products.

Finally, the report also contains a special on the International Year of Forests, presents the winning photographs from the competition on “forests that people know and love,” and highlights FAO's key activities on forests and forestry, including the 21st Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO 21) and third World Forest Week, FAO's contribution to the International Year of Forests, and the forest-related outcomes of the FAO Committee on World Food Security. [Publication: Unasylva No. 239: Vol. 63, 2012/1: The Power of Forests]