FAO underlines the positive side of planted forests
The most recent edition of Unasylva, the FAO forestry magazine, has planted forests as overarching team. The magazine argues that there is a negative stigma around planted forests, but that they will play a major role in our transition to a sustainable bioeconomy. Zhihim Wu, Director of the FAO Forestry Division, states: “Planted forests are not always valued by all and their benefits are not as widely known as they should be. However, sustainably managed planted forests are a winning strategy with huge benefits to humanity and the planet.”
Only composing 7% of all forests worldwide, the planted forests supply 46% of industrial roundwood. With an ever-growing demand for wood and wood products, will planted forests be even more important in developing a healthy bioeconomy and battling climate change. One of the UN Global Forest Goals is to increase global forest cover by 30%, a goal that requires increase in planted forests. The journal adds that these planted forests cannot be managed as wood factories, but need to be part of the solution for ecosystem restoration.
Parallel to this edition of Unasylva, the FAO has released a handbook for Business Organizations on how to make sure that their activities do not lead to deforestation. This is very useful to companies in the light of the recently accepted EU Deforestation Regulation, which will come into action in 2025.
The OECD-FAO handbook sets out a risk-based due diligence framework which companies of all sizes can use to identify, prevent and address risks of deforestation and forest degradation in their operations, supply chains and business relationships.
The handbook is important, as forests continue to be cleared worldwide, at rates that are not sustainable in the long run, especially in tropical areas. Now with the new EUDR, it is important that a balance is found in utilization and regeneration, and that forest losses due to production of other resources, like soy, meat and coffee, are kept at a minimum.
Published 08/12/2023, Brussels
Mr. Roberto Stelstra
Communications & Policy Officer
- +32 (0) 493 555 938