Why in the news?
- The Seoul Declaration was recently accepted during the XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul, South Korea.
- The Declaration was signed by 141 countries.
- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization previously published the State of the World’s Forests 2022 (SOFO 2022). (FAO).
What is the World Forestry Congress all about?
- It takes place every six years.
- This year’s congress, hosted by the Republic of Korea and co-organized with FAO, was Asia’s second.
- In 1978, Indonesia held the inaugural Asian Congress.
- The Congress has served as a forum for open debate of the sector’s key concerns and future directions.
- The theme for 2022 is “Building a Green, Healthy, and Resilient Society.”
- To create a new vision – a new way of thinking and acting – for the future of forests and forestry in all levels of sustainable development.
- Investing in forests and forestry benefits people and their livelihoods, particularly the rural poor, young, and women.
- As a result, this is an investment in sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.
What are the Declaration’s main points?
Demands for Joint Responsibility:
- The declaration asks institutions, sectors, and stakeholders to share and integrate responsibility for forests.
- It was emphasised that forests transcend political, social, and environmental boundaries, and that they are critical for biodiversity as well as the carbon, water, and energy cycles on a global basis.
Investment in Forests:
Global investment in forest and landscape restoration must triple by 2030 in order to satisfy internationally agreed-upon objectives and targets for repairing degraded land.
One of the important messages from Congress was the significance of transitioning to a circular bioeconomy and achieving carbon neutrality.
The Declaration advocated for innovative green financing structures to boost investment in forest protection, restoration, and sustainable usage, as well as highlighting the promise of sustainably produced wood as a renewable, recyclable, and adaptable material.
Steps to Prevent Future Pandemics:
- Healthy, productive forests must also be preserved in order to lessen the risk of future pandemics and to give other important advantages to human physical and mental health.
- The Declaration emphasised the importance of continuing to develop and utilise new innovative technologies and procedures to enable evidence-based forest and landscape decision-making.
What are the XV World Forestry Congress’s other highlights?
- Other initiatives launched at the Congress to increase international involvement and cooperation.
- Assuring Forest Futures Through Integrated Risk Management (AFFIRM) Mechanism:
- AFFIRM intends to create integrated risk management plans that other nations can utilise as models, as well as a methodology that will allow countries to better undertake disturbance risk assessments and give a better knowledge of forest hazards and forest-related risks.
- The Initiative for Sustaining an Abundance of Forest Ecosystems (SAFE)
The Platform for REDD+ Capacity Building: REDD+ is a framework developed by the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to guide activities in the forest sector that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as sustainable forest management and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
What are India’s Major Forest Initiatives?
Green India National Mission:
It is one of the eight Missions established under the National Climate Change Action Plan (NAPCC).
It was established in February 2014 with the goal of protecting our country’s biological resources and associated livelihoods from the threat of adverse climate change, as well as to recognise the critical role of forestry in ecological sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and food, water, and livelihood security.
National Afforestation Programme (NAP):
- This programme has been in place since 2000 to reforest damaged forest lands.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change is in charge of carrying it out (MoEFCC).
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA Funds): Established in 2016, 90% of the fund will be distributed to states, with the remaining 10% kept by the Centre.
The funds can be used for catchment area treatment, assisted natural generation, forest management, wildlife protection and management, village relocation from protected areas, managing human-wildlife conflicts, training and awareness generation, supply of wood saving devices, and other related activities.
Desertification National Action Programme:
- It was created in 2001 to address the growing problem of desertification and to take necessary response.
- The MoEFCC is in charge of carrying it out.
- Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme (FFPM): This is the only government sponsored programme dedicated especially to assisting states in dealing with forest fires.