At UNFF 19, Executive Director stresses need for more collaboration and capacity building

10 May 2024

ITTO remains steadfast in its commitment to collaborate with stakeholders for advancing SFM, supporting the implementation of the UNSPF, the Global Forest Goals and the SDGs. Photo: ITTO

New York, USA, 10 May 2024: Collaboration and action must be ramped up to advance sustainable forest management (SFM) worldwide and to implement the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017–2030 (UNSPF), ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru informed participants at the 19th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) in a statement submitted on 6 May under agenda item 3 (b).

In the statement Ms Satkuru updated delegates on ITTO’s recent work in contributing to implementation of the UNSPF. She acknowledged the many initiatives that are helping drive progress on SFM globally and reiterated ITTO’s commitment to collaborating with countries, the UNFF, and other organizations towards this end.

Ms Satkuru commended India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for its leadership in steering recent international discussions on forest fire, forest certification and SFM. These, she said, highlighted the importance and benefits of exchanging best practices in thematic areas to advance the UNSPF.

Ms Satkuru underscored the pressing need for heightened collaboration and action to mitigate the impacts of wildfires in tropical countries and the importance of capacity building and integrated landscape fire management strategies.

“Effective capacity building is critical for this endeavour, encompassing knowledge exchange and the development of robust strategies for integrated landscape fire management,” she said.

Ms Satkuru outlined ITTO’s longstanding efforts to address tropical forest wildfires and to build capacity in partnership with governments and organizations, including, most recently, through ITTO-funded projects undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Indonesia and SERFOR in Peru.

Ms Satkuru informed delegates that ITTO had recently been accredited as an entity of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). She said ITTO is committed to identifying capacity-building projects in producer countries for submission to the GCF, particularly focusing on addressing landscape fire emergencies in tropical regions.

Forest certification has emerged as another cornerstone of ITTO’s commitment to promoting SFM practices, Ms Satkuru said. She emphasized ITTO’s support for capacity building and policy discussions on forest certification systems, which aligned with its work on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. She noted that ITTO’s Legal and Sustainable Supply Chains Programme is supporting the efforts of countries to combat illegal logging while also promoting transparency and legality in timber trade.

Ms Satkuru informed delegates that the next meeting of the Global Forum on Legal and Sustainable Timber will be held in China in September 2024 with the aim of enhancing sustainable forest management and promoting legal and sustainable wood product supply chains.

Download the statement below.