More innovation needed in forestry, says ITTO Executive Director

21 March 2024

21 March 2024: Creative new technologies and processes are needed to maximize the role of forests in addressing global challenges, said ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru in a statement to mark the International Day of Forests.

The International Day of Forests is held each year on 21 March to celebrate and enhance awareness of the importance of forests and trees for the benefit of current and future generations. This year’s theme is “Forests and innovation: solutions for a sustainable world”.

Ms Satkuru said tropical forests are under pressure due to conflicts over land use, the expansion of the agriculture sector, climate change, wildfires and other stressors.

“We need to find ways of averting the threats facing forests and boosting their roles as nature-based solutions to global challenges,” she said.

This makes the theme of this year’s IDF especially important.

“The forest sector is evolving quickly, with new technological advances, institutional arrangements and policies supporting improved forest management, the expansion of forest landscape restoration, and the sustainable use of a vast and growing range of forest products,” said Ms Satkuru in the statement.

The statement outlines some of the innovations ITTO is bringing to tropical forestry, such as apps for tracking timber from the forest to the final consumer in support of legal and sustainable supply chains and to measure timber volume, as well as groundbreaking policy solutions.

“If we are to maximize the contributions of forests to sustainable development, we will need more such innovations,” said Ms Satkuru in the statement. “Around the world, millions of forest stakeholders continue to research and identify solutions that enable the conservation, sustainable management and sustainable use of forests, where urgent investment is needed to encourage increased uptake. The role of organizations like ITTO is to support them in their efforts … We will continue to do so, in close collaboration with our partners and members.”

Read the full statement here.