EU Science Hub

Conference on Deforestation and Forest Degradation

May 26 2014
May 27 2014

IES Head of Unit Alan Belward has been invited to give a keynote address in the first panel session of the high-level Conference on Deforestation and Forest Degradation in the context of climate change and biodiversity loss, co-organised by DGs Environment, Climate Action and Devco.

Mr Poto─Źnik, European Commissioner for Environment, will open the Conference and it is expected that Mrs Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, will close it.

Deforestation, forest degradation and their socio-economic drivers are global challenges which can put at risk the global environment as well as economic and social development. This Conference aims at taking stock of what we know, at identifying new synergies and at informing future work, in our common fight against global deforestation and forest degradation.

Specifically, the Conference aims to:

  • Increase visibility of challenges and possible solutions related to forest loss and degradation at global level, identify possible areas of convergence/agreement between stakeholders, outline possible new actions in support of existing targets;
  • Build synergies between key players from public and private sectors, as well as civil society, both from EU and developing countries with a view to help future climate negotiations;
  • Inform further (EU) work on REDD+, Sustainable Development Goals, CBD Biodiversity Strategy, FLEGT Action Plan, Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the fight against deforestation move generally.

The conference will bring together approximately 100 participants invited to discuss key challenges and approaches by looking at forest-related issues at the intersection of the international climate, biodiversity and development agendas. It will provide a useful opportunity to consider "take home messages" by all different groups of stakeholders.

The conference will be organised in successive panel sessions focussing on thematic areas:

  • Starting with a scene setter at global and macroeconomic level (e.g. forest cover, land use, population, food/water/energy production and consumption), in a 2015-2030 perspective;
  • Secondly, moving on to landscape economics and the competition for land and resources between forest/agriculture, subsistence/commerce, production/protection;
  • Thirdly, zooming in on to the livelihood of forest dependent people, both forest dwellers and farming communities whose livelihoods depend on balancing agriculture with forest as well as outside users of forest and agricultural resources;
  • The final session will try and identify possible solutions: How can each stakeholder best use existing tools, which new ones can be considered. What are the relevant scales and time frames to address the challenges? Which opportunities could be seized?