Commission on Ecosystem Management

Forest Ecosystems

Llamjung Nepal

Forests cover almost 4 billion hectares, or almost one-third of the world’s land area. They provide a wide range of environmental goods and services, such as timber, fuel, food, medicines, carbon storage, that are used in poverty alleviation and other social, economic, and environmental benefits generating activities that extend beyond national boundaries to the benefit of all humankind and life on earth. Forests support the livelihoods of almost 1.6 billion people and host about 85% of the earth’s terrestrial biodiversity. Although forests have multiple values affecting the health of world ecosystems and people, and across the whole agenda of sustainable development, their roles are often considered only in a limited way such as timber, with focus on extrinsic benefits to the economy and environment.

To this end, forest ecosystems specialist group aim to improve the knowledge base and highlight the role of forests as essential element in all SDGs by exploring sustainable landscape as a crosscutting SDG, in which forests are key component.

More specifically:

  • stimulate research on  the role of Forest Ecosystems in both, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and biodiversity conservation;
  • highlight the contribution of forests to renewable energy,  food and nutrition, water; and other ecosystem services and livelihoods;
  • collate information and communicate the fundamental role of forest ecosystem to wide range of stakeholders from decision makers at all scales and the general public, NGOS, conservation organisations;
  • develop and strengthen a global network of researchers and practitioner to communicate role of sustainable forest management for sustained supply of ecosystem services for human wellbeing.

Expected outputs/products:

  • Factsheets, Forestry News and Blogs related to forests and the SDGs;
  • Web-based journal articles and research papers on relevant topics;
  • Presentation in different scientific forums;
  • Idea sharing with other SGs and TGs.


If you are interested in the activities of the Forest Ecosystems Specialist Group – and particularly if you would like to contribute to them – please complete your application online and contact the Specialist Group Lead. We welcome a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds from biophysical as well as socio-economic issue related to forest ecosystems.  We particular welcome forestry practitioners, resource planners, and policy and decision makers.

Thematic Group Lead

Group lead: Himlal Baral, PhD

Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia


Phone: 62 251-8622-622

Group advisor: Prof. Rodney J Keenan, PhD

The University of Melbourne, Australia

Focal Point:     Madhav Karki, Phd

                        Co-Chair, IUCN-CEM



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