UNFF8 Adopts Decision on Forests in a Changing Environment

UNFF8 Chair Boen M. Purnama gaveled UNFF8 to a close at 05h53m on Saturday, 2 May 20094 May 2009: Climate change featured heavily on the agenda of the eighth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF8), which convened from 20 April-1 May 2009, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. After a late night session on the final day of negotiations, UNFF8 delegates adopted a resolution on forests in a changing environment, which encourages member States to, inter alia, strengthen the implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) in addressing the challenges faced by forests due to climate change, forest degradation, and biodiversity and forest cover loss.

Throughout the two weeks of negotiations, delegates also discussed at length whether or not UNFF should send a message to UNFCCC, the other Rio Conventions or other international environmental agreements on the importance of SFM in addressing these challenges. This discussion considered concerns about interfering with UNFCCC's mandate or duplicating its work and the usefulness of a message directed specifically to UNFCCC. In the end, delegates agreed to include text in the resolution inviting member organizations of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), in particular the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to continue to integrate SFM into their strategies by: considering the Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests; and building on existing and well-established forest-related tools, processes and programmes available at all levels to implement SFM. [IISD RS coverage] [UNFF8 website]