The Green Economy Report – forestry chapter

IIED contributed a chapter on forestry to the UNEP report 'Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication'.

2009 - 2010

The aim of the UNEP green economy report (PDF) was to motivate and allow investment in green sectors and in green policy reforms. It aimed to show that:

  • In developing countries, green investments contribute to economic development, to the creation of decent jobs, and to poverty reduction while reducing carbon emissions and environmental degradation, and
  • In developed countries, investment in these sectors will allow faster and greater economic growth while laying the foundation for a future low carbon economy.

The central message from the report was the need for a major increase in investments in the green economy, which would translate into benefits in economic, developmental and environmental terms.

What did IIED do?

IIED produced the forestry chapter for this report. Background analysis was carried out on:

  • Modelling – to analyse the impact of higher investments in sustainable approaches in the sector, with particular attention to the assessment of social, economic and environmental repercussions, and
  • Enabling conditions – to present elements of domestic policy reform along with key fundamentals of a global policy architecture essential to achieving a transition towards a green economy.

Five background technical papers were also created.

The key messages of the chapter were:

  1. Forests are a foundation of the green economy, sustaining a wide range of sectors and livelihoods
  2. Short-term liquidation of forest assets for limited private gains threatens this foundation and needs to be halted
  3. International and national negotiations of a REDD+ regime may be the best opportunity to protect forests and ensure their contribution to a green economy
  4. Tried and tested economic mechanisms and markets exist that can be replicated and scaled up
  5. Investments in natural forests and plantations can deliver economic benefits, and
  6. Legal and governance changes are needed to tip the balance towards sustainable forestry, which is not yet at scale, and away from unsustainable practice, which is entrenched in both the forest sector andcompeting sectors,

This work led to a further collaboration with UNEP, producing a more detailed report on forestry in African green economy. The role of forests in a green economy transformation in Africa (PDF) was produced in partnership with the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme).