Reforestation and land management

Deforestation worldwide is responsible for up to 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, with most forest land cleared for agricultural use. Yet when managed effectively, forests are net carbon sinks, able to permanently absorb about one tenth of global carbon dioxide emissions into the biomass, soil, and forest products. Curbing deforestation and reforesting damaged areas is seen as a cost-effective way of mitigating climate change, while enhancing the security of the livelihoods of forest-dependent people.

On 28 April 2007, the UN Forum on Forests – of which DESA is the Secretariat – adopted a landmark international agreement on sustainable forest management. The new instrument sets a standard in forest management that is expected to have a major impact on international cooperation and national action to reduce deforestation, prevent forest degradation, and promote sustainable livelihoods. The Forum will devote its next session, in 2009, to the issue of forests in a changing environment.

Changing weather patterns and deforestation exacerbate drought, desertification and land degradation, especially in dry areas where soils are poor. Reclaiming degraded land, combating soil loss, and restoring vegetation through reforestation can help mitigate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Adopting land use practices such as conservation agriculture also keep large amounts of carbon in the soil. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, serviced by DESA, will consider land management, agriculture, rural development, drought, desertification, and Africa, in the 2008-2009 review and policy cycle.

 

Case studies


 

Partnerships


  • Mediaterre - Global information system on sustainable development
    Lead Partner:
    International Center of Resources and Innovation for the Sustainable Development-CIRIDD (former Association Agora 21) - Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (IEPF - Institut de la Francophonie Numérique - Unité Jeunesse)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The aim of the project is to create an information and discussion platform for sustainable development that is accessible to the various groups concerned (States and public administrations, local governments and international bodies, associations, the economic sector, scientists and the academic community, and ordinary citizens) by facilitating exchanges and integration of the available data on a ...
  • Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), The
    Lead Partner:
    The EOLSS Publishers Ltd. - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), EOLSS Joint Committee  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), the world biggest web-based archive as transdisciplinary knowledge base of sustainable development. It is, in fact, a global partnership among thousands of scholars aimed at creating an integrated knowledge base in support of sustainable development efforts. Thus, the EOLSS Project is a project in support of all other projects related to sustainab...
  • Partnership for Water Education & Research (PoWER)
    Lead Partner:
    UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The mission of the Partnership for Water Education and Research (PoWER) is to combine the strengths of all partners and enhance the capacity of each partner in order jointly to: - Deliver capable professionals in the water and environment sectors. - Find innovative solutions for water and environmental challenges. - Build up the capacity of institutions and communities with respect to better ...
  • Coalition for Rainforest Nations
    Lead Partner:
     
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The objective is ambitious – forested tropical countries collaborating to reconcile forest stewardship with economic development: facilitating new and improved revenue streams in order to underpin community-driven environmentally sustainable economic growth. The Rainforest Coalition will facilitate substantive change within existing international frameworks, national regulations, and corporate ...
  • My Community, Our Earth (MyCOE) - Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development
    Lead Partner:
    Association of American Geographers  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The general goal of My Community, Our Earth -- Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development is to build geographically literate generations able to use this knowledge in their everyday lives to bring about true sustainable development. In particular, the Program seeks to provide students and international leaders with the opportunity to discover and address real issues in their communities and...
  • Southern Caucus of NGOs for Sustainable Development Five Multi Regional Partnership and Policy Centers
    Lead Partner:
    Southern Caucus Of NGOs For Sustainable Development  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    THE PARTNERSHIP SHALL: 1. Establish Five Multi Regional Centers to assist in recruitment, mobilization and development of human resources and strengthen Southern Major Group NGO Institutions on Local, National and Regional Levels and increase their Capacity to participate in and contribute to the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation Locally, Nationally and Regionally. 2 Seek resources...
  • Congo Basin Forest Partnership
    Lead Partner:
    Government of United States of America - U.S. Department of State - Government of United States of America - U.S. Department of State  
    Geographical Scope:
    Sub-regional Central Africa- Congo Basin 
    Summary:
    The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) aims to promote the sustainable management of the Congo Basins' forests and wildlife by improving communication, cooperation, and collaboration among all the partners. It does not intend to create new institutions, but through the partnership forum and transparency and information sharing to assist partners and their associates to work better. Principal ...
  • ECOLEX - a global partnership for information on environmental law
    Lead Partner:
    The World Conservation Union (IUCN)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    There is high demand for information on environmental law. Various Governing Council decisions of UNEP recognise the need to make this information available and accessible, a task now included in the Montevideo Programme, adopted by UNEP/GC in 2001 and endorsed thereafter by UN/GA. Linguistic barriers must be overcome. The information is fragmented and changing constantly as new laws are being dra...