The ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF9) was held from 24 January – 4 February 2011, at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States. Under the theme of “Forests for Peoples, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication”, the Forum attracted hundreds of representatives from UN member states, UN agencies and funds, International Governmental Organizations as well as international and regional entities to the 2-week event.
At the opening session, Mr. Sha Zukang, Under Secretary-General of UN, stressed the better understanding of the comprehensive benefits of forests and the mutual-reinforcing effect between sustainable forest management and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (“Rio+20”). Jan McAlpine, Director of the UNFF Secretariat, presented the Secretary-General's report on implementing the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests (NLBI) and achieving Global Objectives on Forests (GOFs) contained therein.
In the following plenary and working group consultations, agenda items on, inter alia, the implementation of NLBI, regional and sub-regional inputs, forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication, were discussed at an in-depth manner with delegates actively sharing their success stories and voicing their views as building blocks for the outcomes of the UNFF9. The Forum also features the launch of the International Year of Forests 2011 to celebrate “Forests for People” for a year-long period, a two-day high-level segment where dozens of forestry ministers were invited to round table discussions and dynamic side events that enabled organizations and entities to update progress and share information in the relevant fields.
A Ministerial Declaration was adopted during the closing plenary session of the High-level Segment on 3 February. On the final day of the Forum session, the Resolution on Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication was adopted based on rounds of negotiations. Both documents renew the international commitment to help advance international/regional/national efforts in implementing NLBI and call for a cross-sectoral approach towards sustainable forest management.
APFNet, as a regional entity was invited to make a statement on its efforts in regional inputs and cooperation and highlighted its activities in 2011 in support of the International Year of Forests.