Joint work between ITTO and Convention on Biological Diversity lauded

3 March 2022

A pale blue flycatcher rests on a branch in the Cibodas Biosphere Reserve, Indonesia, the location of ITTO project 777/15, one of 16 projects implemented under the ITTO–CBD Collaborative Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity. Photo: Ida Rohaida

Yokohama, 3 March 2022: A new policy brief, released today, reports on an independent review of a joint initiative between ITTO and the Convention on Biological Diversity, which began in 2011. The review found that, despite modest budgets, the initiative’s 16 projects achieved “extraordinary success” in improving livelihoods and conserving biodiversity. A new phase of the initiative is planned between the two organizations.

ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru said that the ITTO–CBD Collaborative Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity has clearly made important contributions to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Forest Goals and the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) 2006, but a great deal more needs to be done.

“Biodiversity conservation is crucial for sustainable forest management,” she said. “The review shows that the partnership between ITTO and the CBD is effective and efficient in helping our member countries conserve and sustainably use their precious biodiversity. We need to continue the work and scale it up.”

Ms Satkuru said she was especially pleased to be releasing the policy brief, “Improving outcomes for biodiversity and people”, on UN World Wildlife Day, the purpose of which is to celebrate and raise awareness on the world’s wild animals and plants.

“Biodiversity is our planet’s greatest asset, and tropical forests are especially biodiversity-rich,” she said. “Sustainable tropical forest use is an essential tool for conserving biodiversity and improving livelihoods, and it is heartening to see the positive outcomes of the collaborative initiative.”

The next phase of the initiative, likely to begin in 2023, will comprise part of efforts to achieve the forest-related targets of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

“The policy brief sets out a number of lessons we can learn from to further increase the initiative’s effectiveness,” said Ms Satkuru. “We look forward to continuing the work with our colleagues in the CBD Secretariat and our member countries to achieve more progress on the ground.”

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, CBD Executive Secretary echoed this sentiment.

“Forest biodiversity conservation and restoration is an accelerator for multiple targets of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to be adopted by the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention. Guided by the lessons of this review, the Secretariat looks forward to continuing and deepening the relationship with ITTO to better support the countries as they strive to implement these critical activities.”

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Related SDGs

The work of both CBD and ITTO assists in preventing the degradation of terrestrial resources and loss of biodiversity. Both institutions also support the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030, which recognizes the global need to restore degraded landscapes for, among other reasons, the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of biodiversity.