Day 1 | Dec 6   15.45 - 17.15

Strengthening forest landscapes to score Sustainable Development Goals

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

How can the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) catalyse policy and practice that enables ‘goal-scoring’ for forests and landscapes in a transformative, universal and integrated manner?  The discussion forum reviewed progress and discussed the best way forward to incorporating forests and a landscape approach in the SDGs: both in their formulation and in their implementation.

Forests contribute towards many sustainable development outcomes but incorporating forests and above all a landscape approach in the SDGs – both in their formulation and in their implementation – is a challenge. The session explored how institutions, strategies and approaches can enable integration across sectors, address systemic barriers and promote the essential enabling conditions.

There are strong linkages between the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the climate change agenda, which were addressed by this discussion forum. In particular, the session explored how the frameworks for financing, monitoring and accountability, associated with the post-2015 agenda and the new climate agreement, could be applied in a way that creates much needed synergies.

The discussion forum started by setting the scene regarding the process to formulate the SDGs and other aspects of the post-2015 agenda, and looked at where forests and landscapes stand in this. The co-organizers used their research of how to incorporate forests in the SDGs in an integrated, landscape approach as a starting point for discussion. Insights also came from the results of a workshop held in Lima 17-18 November aimed at advancing consensus-building on the themes of this discussion forum.

Panel members presented brief opening statements to summarise their unique insights and perspectives for consideration, followed by an interactive discussion based around the questions below.

Key questions addressed:

  1. In light of the SDGs proposed by the UN Open Working Group, what specific action is needed during the period up to September 2015 to enable forests and landscapes deliver sustainable development outcomes?
  2. What can we learn from forest sector experiences at national and local levels about how to deliver an integrated approach, including the kinds of institutional models that catalyse ‘goal scoring’?
  3. What is needed to ensure integration of post-2015, climate and other international frameworks of relevance to forests, including how to channel finance in support of integrated approaches?
  4. How can we best identify the right enablers for transformation, and ensure they are targeted for support?

Background reading:

Sustainable Development Goals: a forest module for a transformative agenda, IIED

SD goals from a forest perspective – Transformative, universal and integrated?

Cross-sectoral integration in the Sustainable Development Goals – a nexus approach

Landscape approach in action, International Model Forest Network

Progress with integrating forests in the SDGs: Reflections on the outcome document of the UN Open Working Group on SDGs

Sustainable Development Goals and forests: A summary of UN Open Working Group debates and country reflections

Sustainable Development Goals and forests: Integrating perspectives, priorities and experience from Asia