UNCCD stressed the need to halt land degradation to achieve sustainable forest management on a global scale at The Economist's World Forest Summit, 5-6 March 2013 in Stockholm
“Forests are crucial in all sorts of ways because of the manifold services they provide. Yet policies at every level conspire
to wreak its destruction. Changing them...is a daunting task. But it is not impossible—and it must be done. The cost of failure
would simply be too great.”
The Economist’s special report on Forests
Forests play a crucial role in the world's environment, health and economy - yet they are under threat.
The World Forest Summit hosted by The Economist held last week in Stockholm was looking into options on how to achieve sustainable forest management on a global scale. The conference assembled a leading group of experts from around the world to identify common ground and discuss mechanisms for forest stakeholders to work together differently. The summit openly explored the tensions and compromises that are involved in creating a thriving global green economy, delivering fresh insight into solving critical challenges at both global and national levels.
In this occasion, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Mr. Luc Gnacadja, stressed the important role healthy land plays in sustainable forest management. In his keynote speech he responded to the question "Can we achieve sustainable forest management on a global scale without halting land degradation?" with a clear "NO, we cannot!". He explained, that even though the current rationale and focus of existing tools and mechanisms designed to promote sustainable forest management are pretending that this can be done without taking land and soil into account, sustainable land management is the basis for sustainable forest management. Mr. Gnacadja elaborated on the nexus of land degradation and sustainable forest management, while at the same time highlighting the specific case of drylands. He highlighted that the UNCCD is addressing this nexus by striving to achieve a land-degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable land management as it has been recognized by governments during the Rio+20 Conference last summer.