New SAN Executive Director speaks about “forests, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment” in UNFF session


The new SAN Executive Director, José Joaquín Campos, presented today, within the framework of the 14th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) in New York, a background analytical study on forests, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment.

In his paper, Campos highlights that “forestry has become more integrative and participatory with more inclusive governance arrangements and adaptive learning for collective impact, especially in the growing movement of integrated landscape management, restoration, and integrated value chain approaches.”

“Over 1.6 billion people depend on forests for subsistence, livelihoods, employment and income generation, but at the end all of humanity depends on forests. Collaborative approaches are fundamental to realize the capacities and assets of multiple players at all levels, for transformational changes at the scale and speed needed,” he added.

According to the SAN Executive Director, understanding the link between forest and agriculture is key to address the issues we are facing as human race.

“Agriculture is by far the main driver of deforestation, while at the same time forests are important for food security and nutrition (FSN), especially for people living in remote areas. To accomplish the ambition of ending hunger and poverty, sectoral ministries could ensure policy coherence across governments, integrating strategies that deal with forests, agriculture, food, land use, and rural and national development,” he said.

Campos detailed that commercial agriculture drives at least two-thirds of tropical deforestation globally, with the majority of forest clearance and impacts stemming from the production of commodities such as palm oil, soy, timber and pulp, and cattle. “Unfortunately both sectors have a history of following separate, unconnected paths,” appointed.

The message to the UNFF was clear, a call for sectoral ministries to “ensure policy coherence across governments, integrating strategies and balancing trade-offs. Actions on forests, agriculture, food, water, energy, land use, rural and national development should be integrated in the future.”

 “Collaboration between the forest and agricultural sector is needed for addressing the main drivers of deforestation,” insisted Campos.

The UN Forum on Forests was established in 2000 by  Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The Forum has universal membership, and is composed of all Member States of the United Nations and specialized agencies.

Nancy De Lemos