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Highlights of 19th United Nations Forum on Forests held in New York

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19th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF19) from 6 to 10 May 2024The 19th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF19) was held at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, United States (US) from May 6 to May 10, 2024. The forum was organized by UNFF Secretariat. It was chaired by Zéphyrin Maniratanga of Burundi.

  • The forum undertook its midterm review of the International Arrangement on Forests.
  • The key outcomes of the session were High-Level Segment declaration and an omnibus resolution, which included the outcome of the midterm review as well as the new Quadrennial Programme of Work of the Forum for 2025-2028.

India at UNFF19:

The Indian delegation was led by Jitendra Kumar, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

Key Points:

i.India highlighted the Forest Conservation and Sustainable Forest Management initiatives at the 19th UNFF which led to consistent increase in forest cover over the past fifteen years.

  • Globally, India ranks third in the net gain, in average annual forest area, between 2010 and 2020.

ii.India presented recommendations from the UNFF country-led initiative on long-term Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), which it hosted in Dehradun, Uttarakhand in October 2023.

iii.India also shared the introduction of the ‘Green Credit Program’, which aims to encourage entities to restore degraded forest lands and plant trees.

iv.MoEF&CC also hosted a side event on ‘Principles and Strategies for Landscape Integrated Fire Management through Collaborative Governance’ in partnership with Agency for Integrated Rural Fire Management, Portugal, the Korea Forest Service, and the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) at UNFF 19.


i.Delegates discussed a draft on the role of forests in combating climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation, but did not finalize the text.

ii.The forthcoming declaration will outline specific actions for UNFF and its stakeholders to halt deforestation and forest degradation, prevent land degradation, implement the UN Strategic Plan for Forests, and achieve the Global Forest Goals.

iii.International Forest Governance: A Critical Review Of Trends, Drawbacks, And New Approaches published by International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) showed deforestation rates dropped from 13 million to 10 million hectares per year between 2010 and 2023.

iv.Delegates emphasized using technology and innovative mechanisms for forest supervision.

v.The 20th session of the Forum (UNFF20) will be held from 5 to 9 May 2025.

Recent Related News:

i.India has presented its annual contribution of USD 1 million to the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Fund).

ii.Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), chaired the 62nd Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD62), held from 5-14 February 2024 at the UN Headquarters in New York, the United States of America (USA).

About United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF):
It is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with universal membership.
The Forum has set many milestones including the first UN Forest Instrument in 2007, the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) in 2015, and adoption of the first UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030 and its six Global Forest Goals in 2017
Establishment– 2000
Headquarters– New York, US