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Biodiversity & Environment

Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Forestry Report: FAO

  • 11 Oct 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Food and Agriculture Organization, India State of Forest Report, 2021, National Afforestation Programme, Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, Environment Protection Act of 1986, Biodiversity Diversity Act of 2002

For Mains: Forest Conservation and its importance, Forest Resources

Why in News?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s recently released report titled “Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Forestry Report”, integrating biodiversity into such 'production forests' is paramount.

  • Mainstreaming Biodiversity is the process of embedding biodiversity considerations into policies, strategies, and practices of key public and private actors to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

What are the Threats to Mainstreaming Biodiversity?

  • Deforestation: Deforestation continues at an alarming rate of 10 million ha per year (mainly for agricultural expansion) especially in lower income tropical countries.
  • Illegal Forest Activities: Illegal timber harvesting is estimated to account for 15–30% of global timber production.
  • Low Conservation Profile: Low profile of conservation outside protected areas.
  • Insufficient Capacity: Developing countries struggle to enforce forest and biodiversity regulations.
  • Lack of Participation: Lack of Indigenous People and local community participation.
  • Weak Governance: Weak governance and law enforcement are the biggest stumbling blocks behind biodiversity conservation in protected areas.

Why is Forest Conservation Important?

  • Forests that are managed primarily for economic benefits are critical for biodiversity conservation.
  • Forests cover 31% of the world’s land surface, store an estimated 296 gigatonnes of carbon and are home to most of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
  • The world’s forests provide habitats for about 80% of amphibian species, 75% of bird species and 68% of mammal species. In addition, about 60% of all vascular plants occur in tropical forests.
  • The role of forests in maintaining biodiversity is explicitly recognised by the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017–2030.
    • In 2019, FAO adopted the Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across Agricultural Sectors.

What is the State of Forest and Biodiversity Conservation in India?

What are the Recommendations of the Report?

  • Recognizing the forest tenure of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, with emphasis on enhancing the equitable sharing of benefits.
  • Preventing the conversion of natural forests into monospecific forest plantations.
  • Ensuring the sustainable management of harvested species to control overharvesting of plants and wildlife.
  • Adopting a multisectoral perspective by mainstreaming biodiversity across other land use sectors.
  • Providing economic incentives, like compensation for reduced production to promote biodiversity benefits and investing in knowledge and capacity development.
  • Facilitating market-based instruments like engaging in public–private partnerships to leverage corporate social responsibility commitments.
  • Leveraging global momentum on restoration to enhance biodiversity conservation.

Way Forward

  • Biodiversity mainstreaming in the forest sector requires integrated multi-stakeholder approaches that cross sectoral boundaries.
  • Mainstreaming biodiversity in forestry involves prioritising forest policies, plans, programmes, projects and investments that have a positive impact on biodiversity at the ecosystem, species and genetic levels.

Source: DTE

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