Relevance of forests in UN Summit's "the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development"(2016/1/16)

During United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015, which was held on 25-27 September 2015 at UN Headquarter in New York, the General assembly adopted the "Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" (hereinafter "the 2030 Agenda"). It shows the direction of global common development and growth for next 15 years, consisted of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets.
1 Related link for United Nations | Sustainable Development - the United Nations
the 2030 Agenda | Original
Related webpage in Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) | About SDGs


(Japan and "the 2030 Agenda")

The greatest characteristic of "the 2030 Agenda" is "Universality" which notes that all countries and all stakeholders will implement this plan including the developed countries; hence it includes aspect how Japan should develop (and grow) (Japanese Government's position on the 2030 Agenda (Japanese)). However, there was some misunderstanding that it is the new aid framework for the developing countries because it described as "they seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and complete what they did not achieve" (Preamble).
Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has also categorized this topic as part of ODA for long time. Top Page > Foreign Policy > Global Issues and ODA > ODA > MDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

As Professor Kanie, Keio University mentioned "There is no developed countries for Sustainable Development. Japan is also developing" (Japanese), the 2030 Agenda includes the system to overseeing follow up and review by the high level political forum ("Follow-up and review" para 72-91).


(Japan Forest Information Review and "the 2030 Agenda")

I have been carefully monitored the role of forest sector to realize that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature, through participation to the other international forum such as Rio Plus 20 and World Forestry Congress.

SDGs and the Future of Forests (3) – Synthesis report of the Secretary-General on SDGs | 25 Jan 2015
SDGs and the Future of Forests (2) – The result of Open Working Group, forests in the draft plan | 21 Sep 2014
SDGs and the Future of Forests – Discussion in FAO Committee on Forestry | 21 July 2014
Open Working Group Meeting on Sustainable Development Goals – Prospects of Forest | 31 May 2014
(All links above in Japanese)


(Forests in General Statement)

The 2030 Agenda is composed of Preamble, declaration (53 paragraphs), and actual SDGs and targets (37 paragraphs). In General Statement, there is only one paragraph refers "forest", which is Para 33 under the section of "the new agenda".

 33. We recognize that social and economic development depends on the sustainable management of our planet's natural resources. We are therefore determined to conserve and sustainably use oceans and seas, freshwater resources, as well as forests, mountains and drylands and to protect biodiversity, ecosystems and wildlife. We are also determined to promote sustainable tourism, to tackle water scarcity and water pollution, to strengthen cooperation on desertification, dust storms, land degradation and drought and to promote resilience and disaster risk reduction. In this regard, we look forward to the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Mexico.

Also, let us see the paragraph 3 which shows the whole framework.

 3. We resolve, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. We resolve also to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.

It mentions 6 Agenda here and forests is related to all but especially last 2 points "to ensure the lasting protection of the natural resources" and "inclusive and sustained economic growth" are deeply relevant.


(Forests in SDGs)

The list of 17 SDGs

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

Goal 15 and Goal 6 includes forests. Goal 15 is about terrestrial ecosystem and forest management. Goal 6 is about water and sanitation has a target related to the forests (highlighted in Green).

In the next processes of policy development by Japanese government and municipalities, the national forest policies will be checked through the broader framework of development and growth. By 2020, how they put in place the targets such as "promotion of sustainable business management", "drastic increase of afforestation"?


(The Goals through the markets)

The Goals highlighted in yellow include targets related to forests despite not using word of "forests".

Especially amongst the market in the developed countries, it is significant issue how the sustainable forest products are dealt with when we pursue the inclusive and sustained economic growth.

This was suggested from forest sectors during the drafting process (E.g., Goal 9. Improvement of forests' contribution on Green economy - SDGs and the Future of Forests – Discussion in FAO Committee on Forestry), however, at the level of the relevant goals 7, 11 and 12 didn't include the words such as timber or wooden biomass.

It should be needed for countries like Japan where have industry oriented big markets to have the goals to mainstream the timber products from sustainable forests, with connection of keywords such as recyclable resources and sustainable use of natural resources. I think that is the challenge we have.