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International Forest Day – Forest Restoration: A Road to Recovery and Welfare

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During 2020, ISC embarked on an ambitious project with the United Nations Development Program to explore Conversations on Human Development Rethinking. Through this project, the message from all of science was clear – that current ideas of progress and development threaten the stability of the planet and thus our well-being. This feeling is echoed in the main messages from UN International Forest Day – that the restoration of forests and the sustainable management of these ecosystems are very important for human well-being.

To celebrate the day, ISC is highlighting some of the key actions and influences from the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), as well as other major publications and projects exploring issues raised by the Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, who signaled in his International Day message that forest restoration will require a global, multidisciplinary effort from across science:

Restoring forests – and managing them more sustainably – is a cost-effective option to provide multiple benefits to both humans and the planet. Investments in forest restoration will contribute to the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by creating green jobs, generating livelihoods, greening cities and increasing food security.

Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu

ISC, together with its partner IIASA, an ISC member, as part of Jumping steadily forward: Paths to a Post-COVID World The project recently released a report on Elastic Food Systems, arguing for the adoption of ambitious goals for biodiversity conservation and the protection of critical natural resources, along with strengthened enforcement mechanisms and incentive structures for environmental management – a message that coincides with International Forest Day in the vital role of international cooperation and partnership.

Last published by IUFRO, Making everyone on board to succeed in restoring the forest landscape, also calls on the international scientific and policy-making community to urgently build partnerships through multidisciplinary action to restore degraded landscapes through collaborative efforts. IUFRO has also created a set of guidelines for implementing forest restoration to advance cooperation.

Lining and planting in EMS Komitibanda
Photo: Forest College & Research Institute, Telangana, India

Learn more: International Union of Forest Research Organizations

ISC member, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), works to highlight the links between forests, science and humans through advancing research, knowledge sharing and fostering the development of science-based solutions to forest-related challenges for the benefit of forests and humans around the world.

Sound science and practical experience provide opportunities to restore degraded forest landscapes for the benefit of forests and people. However, avoiding land degradation, deforestation and loss of biodiversity should always be our primary goal.

Dr. John Parrotta, President of IUFRO

In early 2020, IUFRO also described the ecological, social and economic dimensions of Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR), while recognizing the challenges associated in these areas in their publication Implementing Forest Landscape Restoration: Lessons Learned from Selected Landscapes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

To learn more about forests, to connect with others who are interested and to support the achievements of women in forestry, register for the upcoming IUFRO online conference Forests in the hands of Women International Online Conference on Women in Forestry which will take place on 12 – 13 April 2021.

Regular IUFRO updates are available at IUFRO news site, and more IUFRO events are listed in Calendar of IUFRO events.


UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

The theme of forest restoration for this year’s International Forest Day also coincides with UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 – 2030). As the planetary boundary for biodiversity integrity has been crossed and continues to be exceeded due to human activities, there is a growing need to protect and revitalize ecosystems around the world.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is led by the United Nations Environment Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and will officially launch on 5 June 2021. The mission of the decade is to build political momentum and field initiatives for it. revitalize eco-restoration efforts for a sustainable future.

To discover ways to get involved with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, register here to join the movement.


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Conversation on Human Development Rethinking

It has been 30 years since the first Human Development Report was published in 1990. Since then, our world has changed significantly. Current and imminent crises in ecological, health, political and economic systems have become apparent. Fundamental shifts are taking place in the way we understand ourselves and our connections to local and global societies and our planet in the light of new technologies, socio-political realities and profound environmental changes.


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