22 September 2017: Addressing the 125th Anniversary Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Hiroto Mitsugi, Assistant Director-General for Forestry of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), highlighted that greater awareness of forests’ contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is needed.
Held from 19-22 September 2017, in Freiburg, Germany, under the theme, ‘Interconnecting forests, science and people,’ the IUFRO Anniversary Congress provided an opportunity for scientists from all forest-related disciplines to share knowledge and discuss their research with policy makers.
Recognition of how forests can contribute to the SDGs, or lack thereof, could have far-reaching implications for cross-sectoral policy development.
Speaking at a session on ‘Science Meets Policy,’ Mitsugi said that recognition of how forests can contribute to the SDGs, or lack thereof, could have far-reaching implications for cross-sectoral policy development. The lack of sufficiently solid knowledge and information, he said, may become the limiting factors for converting forests’ political relevance into concrete policies and actions. Mitsugi further announced that FAO will analyze forests’ contributions in its 2018 State of the World’s Forests report, and drew attention to opportunities for collaboration between science, policy and practice provided by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.
A major scientific meeting, the IUFRO Anniversary Congress featured, among others, launch of a publication on the history of IUFRO and several panel and keynote plenary sessions, including on: using the forest sector to help mitigate climate change; forest restoration; the Earth System, the Anthropocene and the world’s forests; biodiversity and forests; communication and forests; innovative forest assessment and sustainable management; incentives and forest conservation; and forest and tree research for sustainable development.