ITTO’s rich field expertise advancing sustainable forestry goals, ITTO tells COP28 events

9 December 2023

ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru speaking at the CBFP Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue. Photo: S. Kawaguchi/ITTO

Dubai, UAE, 9 December 2023: ITTO’s experience and expertise gained from implementing some 1200 field projects over more than three decades is advancing the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s tropical forests. Lesson from its work will benefit the conservation and management of remaining primary forests, as well as forests in the Congo Basin.

This message was delivered at two side-events held on 8 December 2023 during the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

At the side-event “Climate and Canopy Amplifying Action for SDG 13 & 15 through Primary Forest Conservation”, ITTO informed the audience of the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the Organization and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) during the 59th session of the International Tropical Timber Council, held in Pattaya, Thailand, in November 2023. The memorandum aims to assist UNFF and ITTO member countries to restore, maintain and sustainably manage tropical forests and promote the sustainable production of timber, non-wood forest products and ecosystem services, as well as to identify, develop and implement joint actions to support achievement of the Global Forest Goals.

ITTO also underlined the wealth of knowledge and experience gained by the implementation of its field projects across the tropics since it became operational 36 years ago. The projects have promoted the conservation, restoration and sustainable management, use and trade of tropical forest resources. ITTO’s capacities represent a valuable resource for accelerating actions that favour the sustainable use and conservation of remaining tropical primary forests.

The objective of the event jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Global Environment Facility, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the UNFF was to foster better understanding and awareness of the importance of primary forests and to explore concrete next steps to champion their conservation and maximize their contribution to Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate action) and 15 (Life on land). 

Later, at the Congo Basin Forest Partnership multi-stakeholder dialogue entitled “The Central African Forests, vital global biodiversity and carbon reserves: a major challenge for domestic and international mobilization”, ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru highlighted ITTO’s longstanding partnership with Congo Basin countries and how its field projects in the region have supported the goals of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC). She said that ITTO stands ready to strengthen collaboration with the Central African Forest Initiative and the Green Climate Fund for the execution of joint projects in support of the Declaration of Commitment of COMIFAC Member States for the Forests of Central Africa and the Call for Equitable Financing.

ITTO is also manning a booth at COP28 during 8 and 9 December 2023.

Group photo at the side-event “Climate and Canopy Amplifying Action for SDG 13 & 15 through Primary Forest Conservation”. Photo: S. Kawaguchi/ITTO


ITTO booth at COP28. Photo: S. Kawaguchi/ITTO