Topic 7: Intergovernmental Conventions and Instruments Relevant to Forests


Forests are an important component of the global carbon cycle. They both influence and are influenced by climate change. Sustainable forest management, as well as forest conservation, reducing deforestation, afforestation, and reforestation, among others, can contribute towards emissions reductions and to carbon sequestration. Therefore, forests have been a major concern of global climate change policy for a long time, especially during and immediately after the UNCED of 1992, where the Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted.

The earth’s biological resources are vital to humanity’s economic and social development. As a result, there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been so high as it is today. Species extinction, including forest trees, caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate, which is a serious threat to the very existence of forests on the planet.

Deforestation and the resultant desertification adversely affect the productivity of the land, human and livestock health, and other socio-economic activities. Forests and tree cover prevent land degradation and desertification by stabilizing soils, reducing water and wind erosion, and maintaining water and nutrient cycling in soils

Video Lecture

Please view the following voice-over-ppt presentations and videos for this topic.

Module 3 Lecture 7: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diveristy (CBD), and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)


Module 3 Lecture 7 Video: Forest Product Traceability Promotes Responsible Resource Management



Reflection Questions

Please answer the following self-reflection questions. After formulating your answers, you may post them online at the Knowledge Café for this course as a way to share your ideas and glean knowledge from other students’ responses.

  1. Reflect on the major intergovernmental environmental conventions that address forests as part of their mandates.
  2. How, in your views, can forests and forestry better be served in multi-lateral agreements?