Use wood

Why is Sustainable Management of Forests important?

Walking through a forest you will notice the different types of trees surrounding you, enjoy the clean air, a feeling of relax and happiness pervading you, and, with a bit of luck, you will spot some animals climbing down a tree or hiding in a bush.

What you might not notice is what this ecosystem provides you with beyond that. You use forest products everyday: the xylitol in your chewing gum, the wooden floor and the furniture in your house, the active principle in your medicines, that dress you fancied at the store, the pencil you write with, your new designer’s glasses, your favourite fishing floats, and much more. Sometimes, living in an industrial or post-industrial world, it is difficult to realize that we really all are forest dependent people.

But who is taking care of this invaluable ecosystem? Who is working to ensure that forests are managed sustainably?

Over the past sixty years UNECE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have worked in partnership, through a joint office located in Geneva, to monitor forests’ status and strengthen the forestry sector in the region.

To best promote sustainable forest management and development, UNECE and FAO have adopted an action plan that, building on existing knowledge, is able to look into the future.

The Rovaniemi Action Plan gives guidance and support to both people working in the forestry sector and to countries to develop public policies that will preserve forests for the current and future generations as well as promoting sustainable development. For example, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan are using the Action Plan to design their National Action Plans, improve the collection and management of data on forests and foster the generation of bioenergy from wood. This advances countries’ ability to develop and strengthen their forest sector, and demonstrates the possibility to create public policies able to increase significantly CO2 sequestration, protect land from natural disasters and create green jobs.

As a guiding tool for countries to develop green economy policies for the forest sector, the Action Plan aims to maximise the production and consumption of forests products within a sustainable framework. Investing time and energy in implementing and developing sustainable forest management also results in the creation of decent green jobs in the different areas of the forestry sector and it leads to identify and value forest functions for which payments are established so to encourage sustainable production and consumption patterns.

If properly applied this ensures that the forest sector substantially contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation through carbon sequestration, storage and substitution.

When you enjoy fresh water, a walk in the forest, wood based products, innovative cellulose-made textiles, or simply the fire place in your house remember that it is also thanks to the UNECE and FAO that you can enjoy these benefits in a sustainable way.

For more information, visit: http://www.unece.org/forests/welcome.html