Forests have an inestimable value and they are of crucial importance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. They provide income, host an important part of all terrestrial biodiversity, form unique ecosystems, are important to our health, etcetera.

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For the same reason, forests play an important part in various environmental treaties, such as the UN Convention on Climate Change, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, etc. The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), established in 2000, also plays an important role. This is a global platform for policy development, dialogue, cooperation and coordination in connection with forests. It aims to strengthen global knowledge management and political commitment to sustainable forest management.

Belgium contributes to concrete international initiatives with regard to forests.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) is a mechanism that gives economic stimuli to developing countries reducing their CO2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

International organisations and funds

International organisations and funds have specific components for forest programmes:

EU FLEGT action plan

The EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan was published in 2003 and sets out a range of measures to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, supporting good governance and promoting trade in legal timber. The FLEGT action plan contains a combination of measures on the supply side (producing countries) and on the demand side (EU) for combating illegal logging and related trade. For more information on the EU FLEGT action plan go to the official website of the EU FLEGT Facility.

Congo Bassin Forest Partnership (CBFP)

Established in 2002, the CBFP (Congo Basin Forest Partnership) brings together 70 partners, including African countries, donor agencies and governments, international organisations, NGOs, scientific institutions and the private sector. Their objective is to coordinate efforts to preserve the forests of the Congo Basin, while improving the living standards of the local inhabitants.

The CBFP is managed by a Facility, i.e., a partner committed to this for a period of two years. Belgium took on this role in 2018-2019 on the basis of the commitment of Mr François-Xavier de Donéa, Minister of State.