Partnerships of purpose at IUCN Congress: Collaborating to protect and maintain healthy forests

Bringing together governments, businesses and local communities in forest projects is not an easy task, but it is crucial to the success of these undertakings. At IUCN Congress, we are showcasing some of these exceptional stories of collaboration and dialogue from partners and projects around the world.

Men around map on stilt houses

The ‘Partnerships to protect and maintain healthy forests’ theme is one of four streams under the Forest Journey at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. Featuring experts from the United States Forest Service, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), The Body Shop, the Forest and Farm Facility, National Wildlife Federation, Asia Pulp & Paper Group, and many more; this series of events focuses on multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Here’s a quick overview of the events taking place. Click here for a detailed schedule.

September 2

Cameroon has made strides in incorporating gender considerations in REDD+ projects and an interactive workshop on how Cameroon’s experiences can be applied to other countries will be held in the morning. The workshop will be divided into four sub-sessions, each comprising a presentation and 30-minute learning exchange.

September 3

Start your day with a discussion on everyone’s favourite food – chocolate! Indigenous producers in Guatemala will introduce their unique partnership with a chocolate company aimed at supplying high-quality chocolates while ensuring sustainable economic gains for communities. A parallel session focusses on the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Programme (FLEG) that builds forest governance mechanisms responsive to community needs. Experts from the University of Michigan will run participants through case studies from various countries and invite feedback and informal discussion.

September 4

Spend your Sunday afternoon in conversation with United States Forest Service Chief, Tom Tidwell, as he discusses the challenges and opportunities of forestry in the U.S. In the afternoon, experts from a host of organisations including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Amigos da Terra – Amazônia Brasileira (AdT) will debate the potential for zero deforestation agricultural supply chains

September 5

It’s an action-packed Monday at the IUCN World Conservation Congress! Followers of the Partnerships theme under the Forest Journey have nine events to select from. The day begins with an open dialogue led by the Forest and Farm Facility on strengthening local representation in conservation initiatives, including a video premiere and other interactive activities. Stay on at the Forest Pavilion for a book launch on how eight locally-controlled forestry enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America are managing risks.

In the afternoon, join a session on using Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) as a tool to foster local ownership and sustainable management of forests; a discourse with governments, NGOs and business on the use of landscape approaches in Indonesia and a presentation by The Body Shop on their new initiative, Bio-Bridges, aimed at restoring forests and protecting endangered species. 

The afternoon continues with a session on the action plan designed by the IUCN Oceania office. Planned in collaboration with government officials from Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the action plan identifies measures to tackle the growing demand for timber and agricultural land. The next session is hosted by Asia Pulp & Paper, the Government of South Sumatra, ZSL and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) on removing deforestation from supply chains.

End your day with a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet show on the country’s landmark Kelola Sendang Project that highlights the effectiveness of public-private partnerships. The show is followed by a cocktail reception.

You can find the entire schedule of events here. Remember to tweet to us using #ForestJourney and #IUCNCongress and tagging @IUCN_Forests so we can share these events along with you!

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