Forest financing holds the key to sustainable recovery from COVID-19

As the impacts of COVID-19 on economies and societies continue to undermine progress towards sustainable development, the United Nations today called for the inclusion of forest financing in efforts to recover from the pandemic.

“Forests offer nature-friendly solutions to recover from social and economic impacts of the pandemic,” said Alexander Trepelkov, Officer-in-Charge of the UNFF Secretariat. “Investing in forests is essential to build sustainable, resilient and fair societies, capable of withstanding future pandemics and global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss,” he added.

Forests provide a wide spectrum of benefits and services, from maintaining the health of ecosystems to supporting income and livelihoods for millions of people. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressure and reliance on essential forest products and resources. Yet, forests are under threat from unsustainable activities and natural disasters. In view of the emergency humanitarian needs stemming from the pandemic, financial resources allocated for sustainable forest management could be at risk of being reallocated or reduced.

In its latest policy brief on forest financing and COVID-19, published today, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) analyses the adverse impacts of the pandemic on income generation from forests, as well as the implications for current and future funding for forests. The brief proposes measures to finance sustainable forest management, mobilize investment and other resources for forests, as an essential component for effective post-pandemic recovery plans.

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UN, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Forests , Nov 16 2020