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Forest producer organisations as key actors in achieving global objectives

Forest producer organisations as key actors to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Accord was highlighted in a side event during the European Forestry Week/LAS2017 in Warsaw in which CEPF participated.

On 11 October 2017, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) organised a side event at the European Forestry Week/LAS2017 in Warsaw on “Linking livelihoods to climate resilient landscapes: Forest and farm producer organisations as key actors in achieving the SDGs and the Paris Accord”. 
 
A panel with representatives from producer organisations from national to pan-European to international level illuminated the important role of producer organisations and the significant efforts underway to further strengthen enabling policies, secure forest and farm tenure, support business development, provide extension and investments and help with capacity development on governance and member services to help producer organisations play a central role. 
 
The panel discussion was moderated by Peter Csoka, Deputy Head of the Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division in FAO and secretary of the Committee on Forestry. The national perspective was given by Pentti Linnamaa from the the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners in Finland (MTK), explaining how MTK organises the many small-scale forest owners in Finland. CEPF Secretary General Emma Berglund presented how CEPF organises family forest owners at the pan-European level, ensuring that they have a voice in policy processes at EU and pan-European level. The international perspective was given by Lennart Ackzell, Board member of the International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA).
 
The event highlighted how an estimated 1.5 billion forest and farm producers make up 90 percent of the world’s farmers. These producers supply approximately 80 percent of food supplies in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, managing 500 million family farms and control approximately 30 percent of forest lands in the global south and a significant proportion of forests in global north. 
 
These producers are more powerful when they are organised. Forest and farm producer organisations are the only organised groups in many remote areas and they depend on public services and infrastructure needed to achieve sustainable development.
 
Collectively, forest and farm producers have the transformative potential to achieve sustainable development and respond to climate change at landscape scales. Empowering producer organisations will be critical to delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for fighting climate change as part of the Paris Agreement. The event concluded that making rural areas viable and attractive for people to live in is one key issue to address.
 
For more information, see the presentations from the European Forestry Week/LAS2017 here.



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