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Paper highlights key role of forestry in Sustainable Development Goals

A new paper has highlighted the key role that forests, forest managers and forest science can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were agreed by nations globally in 2015 to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, such as hunger, poverty, inequality, climate change and biodiversity loss. Source: Timberbiz

The Sustainable Development Goals, forests, and the role of Australian Forestry,’ published in Australian Forestry, the journal of The Institute of Foresters of Australia, commits to the rational and rigorous examination of all aspects of forests and the evidence-based improvement of forestry in Australia and the rest of the Indo-Pacific region.

Institute of Foresters of Australia and Australian Forest Growers (IFA/AFG) President Bob Gordon lauded the paper, saying that Australian forest scientists have an important role to play in informing and achieving the SDGs.

“Averting catastrophic environmental and hence developmental outcomes will require a concerted and efficient global effort, and high-quality science is essential to achieving this,” Mr Gordon said.

“Australia is a world leader in best-practice sustainable forest management and, as such, we can support not only our region, but the entire globe to meet the SDGs.

“Worldwide, 350 million people depend on forests for subsistence and income,” he said.

“Evidenced-based active and adaptive forest management can underpin a circular economy while also storing carbon, conserving biodiversity, protecting water supplies and meeting the cultural needs of societies. Well managed forests are a truly renewable resource.”

The paper is authored by Australian Forestry managing editor, Alastair Sarre, and Chairman of the journal’s editorial board, Stuart Davey. Drawing on several recent global publications, it includes a summary of the contributions of forests to the 17 SDGs and the potential impacts of the SDGs on forests and forest-related livelihoods and economies.

Dr Davey said that Australian Forestry is supporting the SDGs by communicating scientific, economic, social and policy research and analysis on forests in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.

“The world continues to face economic, social, health and environmental crises. Robust, peer-reviewed scientific inquiry and civil debate is vital if we are to avert and manage these crises,” he said.

“Our journal, Australian Forestry, is resolved to play its part, and we call on forest scientists and practitioners in Australia and the rest of the Indo-Pacific region to make full use of our platform to help achieve the SDGs.

“Most of the SDGs are to be achieved by 2030, which shows the urgency with which the world needs to act,” Mr Sarre said. “And we need to do so, backed by rigorous science. Forests are vital for our future; we need to know what’s happening to them, and we need to use them sustainably.”

The Sustainable Development Goals, forests, and the role of Australian Forestry,’ published in Australian Forestry is available to read at