International Arrangement on Forests in UNFF limelight
CEPF members show strong presence at the 11th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) at the UN Headquarters in New York, 4-15 May 2015, discussing the progress, challenges and the way forward on the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF) and the future of UNFF.

Today the 11th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) kicked off under the theme “Forests: progress, challenges and the way forward on the international arrangement on forests (IAF)”. Over the following days, government officials, representatives from specialized agencies, as well as stakeholders, including private forest owners, will review the effectiveness of the IAF and consider all future options to further develop the IAF, and with this decide on the future role and developments of the UNFF. Further, the progress towards achieving the global objectives on forests, the implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests (NLBI) and its contributions to the internationally agreed sustainable development goals (SDGs) will be discussed. On 15 May 2015, the Forum will conclude with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration on the future IAF.

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In this context, the CEPF has submitted a statement, calling for

  • The future international arrangement on forests needs to strive for higher recognition within the UN hierarchy to ensure that other sector policies do not thwart the potential of forest and forestry to contribute to the solution of global challenges as defined in the Four Global objectives on forests and the SDG´s, in particular goal 15.
  • The cooperation between governments and Major Groups has developed over the past 15 years. Yet there is a lot of room for improvement. In a true partnership, and whenever SFM issues are addressed at global, regional or national level, forest owners must be able to participate to ensure that their views and practical knowledge are taken into account.
  • Secured property and land tenure rights embedded in a reliable legal framework are at the heart of SFM. Ownership and collaboration in producer organisations create values and a sound commitment to use and manage those values responsibly to the benefit of the immediate and wider social environment in medium and long term.
  • Global and regional forest processes, such as UNFF or Forest Europe, have to secure that the economic viability and the need for a strong competitive forest sector are promoted and politically well recognised, not only for the benefits of forest owners, but to fulfil other policy commitments and address todays global challenges by solutions from an innovative sector.
  • To better facilitate dialogue and commitment towards SFM and consider the specific and diverse characteristics of the world regions, regional approaches, such as Forest Europe, need to be further strengthened, ideally with a more binding commitment and wider stakeholder involvement.

The full CEPF statement on the todays and future relevance of the UNFF can be found below.

At the occasion of UNFF11 in New York, the European forest owners are represented by the CEPF Vice-President Philipp zu Guttenberg (AGDW Germany), CEPF Board member Sven-Erik Hammar (LRF Sweden), Lennart Ackzell (LRF Sweden) and Janne Närkkä (MTK Finland).

Philipp zu Guttenberg and Sven-Erik Hammar.

Lennart Ackzell and Janne Närkkä.