Planting forests for carbon-neutral economies, sustainable landscapes and livelihoods
By 2050 the overall consumption of industrial round wood is expected to increase by 37%1, requiring us to understand and scale up nature-based solutions to address growing global needs in forests products and services. For this reason, the World Forestry Week Side Event, “Planting Forests for Carbon-Neutral Economies, Sustainable Landscapes and Livelihoods,” held on 5 October 2022 in parallel with FAO’s 26th Technical Committee on Forestry (COFO 26), focused on how to rextract the full potential of planted forests in order to fulfill future demands.
Opening remarks delivered by Mr. Ewald Rametsteiner, Deputy Director at FAO’s Forestry Division, framed the dialogue, calling for planted forests that can produce more, and simultaneously become more diverse and resilient systems. Mr. Anssi Pekkarinen, Team Leader, Global Forest Resources Assessment with FAO, pointed out at the overall increase in the global planted forest area over the past 32 years, at a slower pace over the past 12 years, according to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 20202.
The event featured a dynamic panel discussion moderated by Ms Thais Linhares Juvenal, Team Leader Sustainable Forestry Value Chains, Investments and Innovation, and Secretary of the International Commission on Poplars and Other Fast-Growing Trees Sustaining People and the Environment (IPC), FAO Panelists included members of the scientific community, government representatives and other stakeholders, such as development organizations in the industry, namely:
-Ross Hampton, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Australia and Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Forest-Based Industries (ACSFI);
-Tom Okello Obong, Executive Director, Uganda National Forestry Authority;
-Christophe Orazio, Director, European Institute of Planted Forest (IEFC) and Lead of the IUFRO Taskforce “Resilient Planted Forests Serving Society & Bioeconomy”;
-Luis Neves Silva, New Generation Plantations Lead, World Wildlife Fund International
-Martin Weih, Chairperson of the IPC and Professor of Plant Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; and
-Julien Noël Rakotoarisoa, Forest and Landscape Restoration and African Restoration Initiative (AFR100) Focal Point, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Madagascar.
The interchanging of experiences and best practices contributed in enhancing knowledge on planted forests, highlighting the importance of science and the role of networks to enable the expansion of planted forests that may be used to prepare for the demands of the future while addressing the environmental and social concerns of the present, and discussing the private sector opportunity and responsibility.
1 FAO. 2022. Global forest sector outlook 2050: Assessing future demand and sources of timber for a sustainable economy – Background paper for The State of the World’s Forests 2022. FAO Forestry Working Paper, No. 31. Rome. Provisional.
2 FAO. 2020. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020: Main report. Rome.