GLF Panel Highlights Role of Sustainable Wood Supply Chains in Achieving SDGs

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) co-organized a panel discussion that highlighted the potential of wood production to contribute to meeting the SDGs. The discussion convened at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Kyoto, Japan.

The discussion focused on the topic, ‘From Climate and SDG Commitments to Action on the Ground: Scaling Up the Contribution of Forests, Sustainable Forest Products and Climate-resilient Land Use.’ ITTO, Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the Matsushita Gobel Foundation and Kanematsu Corporation co-organized the panel discussion.

IITO Executive Director Gerhard Dieterle said productive forests are critical to provide sustainable supplies of wood and non-wood forest products to meet demands for construction, housing, furniture, biofuels and medicines. If this supply is linked to legal, sustainable supply chains, he said, increasing global demand for wood could help reduce deforestation and forest degradation by adding value to sustainable forest management (SFM) and forest and landscape restoration. Dieterle further emphasized that legal, sustainable supply chains could help to achieve SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 13 (climate action), among others.

Dieterle said ITTO and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) are preparing new guidelines for tropical forest and landscape restoration that will provide guidance on implementation and help to attract investment in forest and landscape restoration as a way of developing sustainable supply chains.

FFPRI Director General Haruo Sawada said SFM has the potential to contribute to as many as ten SDGs and their associated targets, particularly SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 13 and SDG 15 (life on land). Forests and forest products, for example, can substitute for more energy-intensive and non-renewable resources, contributing to climate change mitigation. Sawada called for supporting comprehensive integrated research and development to “increase the contributions of forests, forestry and forest products to SDGs.” JICA Representative Takahiro Morita highlighted JICA’s efforts to increase the impacts of forestry in achieving the SDGs.

Participants also shared examples of participatory watershed management and climate resilience; restoration of peat ecosystems damaged by fire; and development of a new value chain for chocolate markets in Japan, which is contributing to poverty alleviation and environmental restoration.

GLF Kyoto 2019 took place on 13 May. It is followed by GLF Bonn 2019, convening from 22-23 June.