Finding strategies to help the world’s forests

Member States  have gathered at the 9th Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF9) to discuss strategies for the world’s forests to promote social development, improve livelihoods and contribute towards global poverty eradication.

The UNFF9 runs for two weeks and its main objective is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end.

As part of its multi-year programme of work for the period 2007-2015, this session is scheduled to consider the most important issues related to community-based forest management, social development for indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities, and additional social and cultural aspects of forests.

Today, it is recognized that forests play a key role in rural economic development, prosperity, and poverty eradication. When communities properly manage forests and products are processed and utilized in harmony with societal needs, forests can significantly contribute to poverty alleviation.

Consequently, during this session, members are expected to engage in a discussion where they will find ways to develop and implement policies that make forests work for people’s welfare.

 “Forests are the intersection of all aspects of human life – forest history, at its core, is about the changing relationships between people and forests,” said the Director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat, Jan McAlpine. “At this session of the Forum, we must listen to these lessons from our natural history, and incorporate the voices of the people into forest policies to build a sustainable future for both forests and people.”

This year’s meeting will be an important step towards the achievement of the multi-year programme of work as it will hold two major events, the first high-level ministerial segment and the official launch of the International Year of Forests 2011. These events are aimed at engaging policy makers and civil society and reminding them of  the urgent need to take appropriate measures to promote and enhance forests preservation.