ITTO stresses synergies between SFM and reforestation at major conference in Africa

8 July 2024

Forest inventory being conducted as part of SFM practices in the Congo. Photo: J. Blaser

8 July 2024: There is a need to enhance synergies between sustainable forest management (SFM) and afforestation and reforestation to ensure that tropical forests continue to perform their economic, social and environmental functions for people and the planet.

This is the view expressed in a presentation made by ITTO market and system analyst Li Qiang at an expert panel on sustainable forest management and the ministerial round table on global mobilization and commitment during the 1st International Conference on Afforestation and Reforestation, held last week in Brazzaville, the Congo.

The aim of the conference was to define a strategy for increasing the world’s forest area through international cooperation on afforestation and reforestation, with a view to increasing carbon sequestration, conserving biodiversity and supporting the production of forest goods and services.

“Forests are at the centre of global efforts to address climate change and biodiversity,” said Mr Li. “SFM, therefore, combined with appropriate afforestation and reforestation efforts and linked to legal and sustainable supply chains for tropical timber and tropical wood products can enhance the value of degraded and secondary forests, prevent competition of other land-uses and provide nature-based solutions to global challenges.”

Sustainability is a global priority, Mr Li reemphaized that SFM is an essential element in the toolbox for achieving outcomes that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. He noted the need for balance and coherence among afforestation and reforestation short- and long-term benefits, investors’ expectations, and synergies across financial sources.  

Mr Li also outlined the Organization expertise in criteria and indicators for the sustainable management of tropical forests (including the criteria and indicators edition for African tropical forests—which has been used as a basis for forest certification in the region); ITTO’s vast resource of data on the production and international trade of tropical timber; the Tropical Timber Market Report (issued every two weeks); the monthly Global Timber Index; field projects and capacity building. All designed to guide and assist tropical countries in their efforts to implement SFM and build legal and sustainable timber supply chains.

“Building innovative financing mechanisms will be critically important for all stakeholders in funding mobilization. ITTO stands ready to enhance regional and international cooperation for making this vision a reality” he said.