COFO 21 Considers Implications of Rio+20 Outcomes

COFO 2128 September 2012: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) convened the 21st meeting of the Committee of Forestry (COFO 21) as well as the third World Forest Week, from 24-28 September 2012, in Rome, Italy. The meeting, chaired by Feliciano Kilahama from Tanzania, addressed a number of issues related to the implementation of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) outcomes relevant to forests and the forest sector.

In particular, COFO 21 considered links between forests and other sectors, land use policies and rural development actions, improved financing for forest products and enhancing knowledge and information. The Committee welcomed the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests.

The Committee also reviewed reports on the International Year of Forests (2011), forest and rangeland activities in the Near East, and FAO's strategic role in forestry.

Taking decisions, the meeting adopted the multi-year programme of work for COFO 2012-2015, considered enhanced action on vegetation fires and long term resource mobilization, and established priorities to guide FAO's work on forestry. The meeting also reviewed FAO's strategic objectives, in particular strategic objective two, on “ensuring enabling policy and regulatory frameworks for food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry”, and requested that forests be better integrated into all strategic objectives.

The Committee agreed to continue to conduct reviews of issues related to forests and forestry considering environmental, economic and social aspects, and to provide advice and guidance to member countries and organizations, the FAO Council and the Conference on global policy and regulatory matters.

World Forest Week, taking place in parallel to COFO 21, considered parallel agenda items, allowing for informal discussions and brainstorming on major issues, lessons learned and the way forward. [Webpage for COFO 21] [IISD RS Sources]