The State of the World’s Forests 2018

Forest Pathways to Sustainable Development

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Nearly three years ago, world leaders agreed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the central framework for guiding development policies throughout the world. This edition of The State of the World’s Forests is aimed at enhancing our understanding of how forests and their sustainable management contribute to achieving several of the SDGs. Time is running out for the world’s forests: we need to work across sectors, bring stakeholders together, and take urgent action. The State of the World’s Forests 2018 identifies actions that can be taken to increase the contributions of forests and trees that are necessary to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. It is now critical that steps be taken to work more effectively with the private sector, and the informal forest sector must be transformed in order to bring broader economic, social and environmental benefits. Seventy years ago, when FAO completed its first assessment of the world’s forest resources, the major concern was whether there would be enough timber to supply global demand; now we recognize the greater global relevance of our forests and trees. For the first time, The State of the World’s Forests 2018 provides an assessment of the contribution of forests and trees to our landscapes and livelihoods. The purpose of this publication is to provide a much wider audience with an understanding of why forests and trees matter for people, the planet and posterity.

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In 2015, governments around the world took bold and decisive action by adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN, 2015), or the 2030 Agenda as it is often called. Since then, the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become the overarching framework for sustainable development. The universal and inclusive nature of the 2030 Agenda commits the international communit y to act together to overcome the multiple and complex challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century. It will guide development policies worldwide during the next decade and beyond.

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