One of the objectives of International Arrangement on Forests is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

IAF and the 2030 Agenda


While forests contribute and are affected by all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda contains a goal and various targets on forests. In light of the objectives of the International Arrangement on Forests, and the specific mandates and functions of the arrangement, the UNFF and UNFF Secretariat play a role in assisting countries to achieve the goals and targets.

Forests cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface and in addition to providing food security and shelter, forests are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and the homes of the indigenous population.

SDG 15

SDG 15

In Sustainable Development Goal 15 member states declared to “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.

To achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals the members of the United Nations have set specific targets. Relevant to the IAF beyond 2015 are target 15.1, 15.2 and 15.b. The first one reads that “By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements” . Target 15.2 says that “By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally”. Target 15.b mentions: “Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation.”

Also target 6.6, part of another SDG, mentions forests. “By 2020, protect and restore water – related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes” .

In his conversation with DESA News, Manoel Sobral Filho, Director of UNFFS, highlights key challenges and opportunities for forests, and how 2015 is truly a year for global action for forests.

Forests in the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Open Working Group (OWG) of the UN General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals was established in January 2013 mandated by the outcome document (The Future We Want) of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

It was charged with proposing a set of SDGs to the UNGA by September 2014 that should be “limited in number, aspirational and easy to communicate, addressing all three dimensions of sustainable development (social, economic and environmental)” calling on inputs from “relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system in its work”.

UNFF Secretariat has been working closely with other CPF members to promote the importance of forests for sustainable development and supports the integration of forests in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UNFF Secretariat prepared and provided the following inputs.

OWG Background Notes

The UNFF Secretariat has prepared the following highlights and Background Notes of the formal Open Working Group sessions: