In News: In a report released at the 8th World Forest Week held in Rome, on the side lines of the 26th session of Committee on Forestry (COFO), Mainstreaming biodiversity in ‘production forests’ has been cited as paramount.
- The report was produced through a partnership between FAO and the non-profit Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the lead centre of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.
- In 2019, FAO adopted the Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across Agricultural Sectors.
- Mainstreaming biodiversity means embedding biodiversity considerations into policies, strategies and practices of key public and private actors to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
- Mainstreaming biodiversity in forestry involves prioritising forest policies, plans, programmes, projects and investments that have a positive impact on biodiversity at the ecosystem, species and genetic levels.
- Biodiversity mainstreaming in the forest sector requires integrated multi-stakeholder approaches that cross-sectoral boundaries
- COFO is FAO’s forestry statutory body.
- CGIAR is a global partnership that unites international organisations engaged in research about food security.
- Forests are home to most of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
- Forests cover 31 per cent of the world’s land surface & store an estimated 296 gigatonnes of carbon.
- The world’s forests provide habitats for about 80 per cent of amphibian species, 75 per cent of bird species and 68 per cent of mammal species. In addition, about 60 per cent of all vascular plants occur in tropical forests.
- The role of forests in maintaining biodiversity is explicitly recognised by the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017–2030.
- Deforestation is the greatest driver of the loss of valuable biodiversity, with around 10 million hectares lost to deforestation each year, mainly for agricultural expansion.
- Other threats include over-harvesting of timber, invasive species, climate change, desertification and forest fires.
- On the one hand, much progress has been made towards mainstreaming biodiversity in production forest management. On the other hand, biodiversity continues to decline globally.
- Weak governance is the biggest challenge to law enforcement.
- Lack of documentation on species and inadequate definitions of institutional mandates and instruments for cross-sectoral collaboration such as in Ethiopia.
Recommendations of the report:
- Halting and reversing deforestation.
- Combating illegal and unregulated forest activities.
- Recognising the forest tenure of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
- Preventing the conversion of natural forests into monospecific forest plantations.
- Ensuring the sustainable management of harvested species.
- Managing and controlling invasive and overabundant species.
- Leveraging global momentum on restoration to enhance biodiversity conservation.
- Adopting a multisectoral perspective.
- Providing economic incentives.
- Facilitating market-based instruments.
- Investing in knowledge and capacity development.
- in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the involvement of Indigenous Peoples, local communities and the private sector in biodiversity management should be a priority and laws, policies and national strategies for biodiversity conservation should consider forests other than protected areas.
Source: Down to Earth
Previous Year Question
Q.1) The most important strategy for the conservation of biodiversity together with traditional human life is the establishment of: (2014)
- biosphere reserves
- botanical gardens
- national parks
- wildlife sanctuaries