Expanded Programme of Work on Forest Biological Diversity


GOAL 1.1: To apply the ecosystem approach to the management of all types of forests

1.1.1. Develop practical methods, guidelines, indicators and strategies to apply the ecosystem approach adapted to regional differences to forests both inside and outside protected forest areas as well as both in managed and unmanaged forests

  1. Clarify the conceptual basis of the ecosystem approach in relation to sustainable forest management.
  2. Develop guidance for applying the ecosystem approach in forest ecosystems.
  3. Identify key structural and functional ecosystem elements to be used as indicators for decision-making and develop decision-support tools on a hierarchy of scales.
  4. Develop and implement guidance to help the selection of suitable forest management practices for specific forest ecosystems.
  5. Develop and implement appropriate mechanisms for the participation of all stakeholders in ecosystem-level planning and management.
  6. Develop an informal international network of forest areas for piloting and demonstrating the ecosystem approach and exchange related information through the clearing-house mechanism.
  7. Hold workshops to train and familiarize decision makers and managers with the foundations, principles and modalities of the ecosystem approach.
  8. Promote research and pilot projects to develop understanding of the functional linkages between forest biological diversity and agriculture with the aim to developing practices that could improve the relations between forest management and other land use methods. Promote assessment of functional linkages between mining, infrastructure and other development projects and forest biodiversity, and develop best practice, guidelines for such development projects to mitigate adverse impacts on forest biodiversity.
  9. Promote activities that minimize the negative impacts of forest fragmentation on forest biodiversity, including afforestation, forest restoration, secondary forest and plantation management, and agroforestry, watershed management and land use planning aimed at providing a combination of economic and environmental goods and services to stakeholders.

GOAL 1.2: To reduce the threats and mitigate the impacts of threatening process on forest biological diversity

1.2.1. Prevent the introduction of invasive alien species that threaten ecosystems, and mitigate their negative impacts on forest biological diversity in accordance with international law

  1. Reinforce, develop and implement strategies at regional and national level to prevent and mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species that threaten ecosystems, including risk assessment, strengthening of quarantine regulation, and containment or eradication programmes taking into account the guiding principles on invasive alien species if adopted at the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
  2. Improve the knowledge of the impacts of invasive alien species on forest ecosystems and adjacent ecosystems.

1.2.2. Mitigate the impact of pollution such as acidification and eutrophication on forest biodiversity

  1. Increase the understanding of the impact of pollution, e.g., acidification and eutrophication, and other pollutants (such as mercury and cyanide) on forest biodiversity; at genetic, species, ecosystem and landscape levels.
  2. Support monitoring programmes that help evaluate the impacts of air, soil and water pollution on forest ecosystems, and address the impacts of changing environmental conditions on forest ecosystems.
  3. Encourage the integration of forest biodiversity consideration into strategies and policies to reduce pollution.
  4. To promote the reduction of pollution levels that adversely affect forest biodiversity and encourage forest management techniques that reduce the impacts of changing environmental conditions on forest ecosystems.

1.2.3. Mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on forest biodiversity

Activities: Taking into account the work of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Climate Change and Biodiversity:
  1. Promote monitoring and research on the impacts of climate change on forest biological diversity and investigate the interface between forest components and the atmosphere;
  2. Develop coordinated response strategies and action plans at global, regional and national levels;
  3. Promote the maintenance and restoration of biodiversity in forests in order to enhance their capacity to resist to, and recover from and adapt to climate change;
  4. Promote forest biodiversity conservation and restoration in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures;
  5. Assess how the conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity can contribute to the international work relating to climate change.

1.2.4. To prevent and mitigate the adverse effects of forest fires and fire suppression

  1. Identify policies, practices and measures aimed at addressing the causes and reducing impacts on forest biological diversity resulting from human-induced uncontrolled/unwanted fires, often associated with land clearing and other land use activities.
  2. Promote understanding of the role of human-induced fires on forest ecosystems and on species, and of the underlying causes.
  3. Develop and promote the use of fire management tools for maintaining and enhancing forest biological diversity, especially when there has been a shift in fire regimes.
  4. To promote practices of fire prevention and control to mitigate the impacts of unwanted fires on forest biological diversity.
  5. Promote development of systems for risk assessment and early warning, monitoring and control, and enhance capacity for prevention and post-fire forest biodiversity restoration at the community, national and regional levels.
  6. To advise on fire-risk prediction systems, surveillance, public education and other methods to minimize human-induced uncontrolled/unwanted fires.
  7. Develop strategies to avoid the negative effects of sectoral programmes and policies which could induce uncontrolled forest fires.
  8. Develop prevention plans against devastating fires and integrate them into national plans targeting the biological diversity of forests.
  9. Develop mechanisms, including early warning systems, for exchange of information related to the causes of forest biodiversity loss, including fires, pests and diseases, and invasive species.

1.2.5. To mitigate effects of the loss of natural disturbances necessary to maintain biodiversity in regions where these no longer occur


  1. Develop and promote management methods that restore or mimic natural disturbances such as fire, wind-throw and floods.

1.2.6. To prevent and mitigate losses due to fragmentation and conversion to other land uses

  1. Encourage the creation of private reserves and private conservation methods where appropriate, respecting the rights and interests of indigenous and local communities.
  2. Establish ecological corridors on a national and regional basis.
  3. Promote cost-benefit analysis of development projects that might lead to the conversion of forest into other land uses incorporating the impacts on forest biological diversity.
  4. Implement policies, practices and measures aimed at addressing the causes and reducing impacts on forest biological diversity resulting from human-induced uncontrolled clearing or other uncontrolled land-use activities

Goal1.3: To protect, recover and restore forest biological diversity

1.3.1. Restore forest biological diversity in degraded secondary forests and in forests established on former forestlands and other landscapes, including in plantations

  1. Promote the implementation of systems and practices for restoration in accordance with the ecosystem approach
  2. Promote restoration of forest biological diversity with the aim to restore ecosystem services. 2 Create and improve where appropriate international, regional and national databases and case-studies on the status of degraded forests, deforested, restored and afforested lands.

1.3.2. Promote forest management practices that further the conservation of endemic and threatened species

  1. Determine status and conservation needs of endemic or threatened species and the impacts of current forest management practices on these species.
  2. Develop and implement conservation strategies for endemic and threatened species for global or regional application, and practical systems of adaptive management at national level.

1.3.3. Ensure adequate and effective protected forest area networks

  1. Assess the comprehensiveness, representativeness and adequacy of protected areas relative to forest types and identify gaps and weaknesses.
  2. Establish (in accordance with Article 8(j)) with the full participation and with respect for the rights of indigenous and local communities, and other relevant stakeholders, comprehensive, adequate, biologically and geographically representative and effective networks of protected areas.
  3. Establish, in a similar manner, restoration areas to complement the network of protected areas where needed.
  4. Revise in a similar manner and ensure the comprehensiveness, adequacy, representativeness and efficacy of existing protected area networks.
  5. Assess the efficacy of protected forest areas for the conservation of biological diversity.
  6. Ensure that relevant protected areas are managed to maintain and enhance their forest biodiversity components, services and values;

GOAL 1.4: To promote the sustainable use of forest biological diversity

1.4.1. Promote sustainable use of forest resources to enhance the conservation of forest biological diversity

  1. Support activities of indigenous and local communities involving the use of traditional forest-related knowledge in biodiversity management.
  2. Develop, support and promote programmes and initiatives that address the sustainable use of timber and non-timber forest products.
  3. Support regional cooperation and work on sustainable use of timber and non-timber forest products and services, including through technology transfer and capacity-building within and between regions.
  4. Improve forest management and planning practices that incorporate socio-economic and cultural values to support and facilitate sustainable use.
  5. Promote cooperative work on the sustainable use of forest products and services and its relation to biodiversity conservation with the other members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.
  6. Encourage implementation of voluntary third-party credible forest certification schemes that take into consideration relevant forest biodiversity criteria and that would be audited, taking into consideration indigenous and local community rights and interests.
  7. Set up demonstration sites that would illustrate forest conservation and on-ground delivery of goods and services through sustainable forest management, which are also representative of various types of forest, themes and regional needs, through case-studies
  8. Facilitate and support a responsible private sector committed to sustainable harvesting practices and compliance with domestic laws through effective development and enforcement of laws on sustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber resources.

1.4.2. Prevent losses caused by unsustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber forest resources

  1. Establish a liaison group with an associated workshop to facilitate development of a joint work plan with relevant members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to bring harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFP)s, with a particular focus on bush meat, to sustainable levels. This group should have a proportionate regional representation, giving special consideration to subregions where bush meat is a major issue and representation of relevant organizations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The mandate of this group is to:
    i. Consult in a participatory manner with key stakeholders to identify and prioritize major issues pertaining the unsustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products, particularly of bushmeat and related products
    ii. Provide advice on the development of policies, enabling legislation and strategies that promote sustainable use of, and trade in, non-timber forest products, particularly bushmeat and related products
    iii. Provide advice on appropriate alternative sustainable livelihood technologies and practices for the affected communities
    iv. Provide advice on appropriate monitoring tools
  2. Promote projects and activities that encourage the use and supply of alternative sources of energy to prevent forest degradation due to the use of firewood by local communities.
  3. Develop any necessary legislation for the sustainable management and harvesting of non-timber forest resources.
  4. Solicit input from Parties, other countries and relevant organizations on ways and means to encourage and assist importing countries to prevent the entry of unsustainably harvested forest resources, which are not covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and consider this information as a basis for further steps on this issue.

1.4.3. Enable indigenous and local communities to develop and implement adaptive community-management systems to conserve and sustainable use forest biological diversity

  1. Strengthen the capacity of, and provide incentives for, indigenous and local communities to generate opportunities for sustainable use of forest biodiversity and for access to markets;
  2. Strengthen the capacity of indigenous and local communities to resolve land rights and land use disputes in order to sustainably manage forest biodiversity;
  3. Encourage the conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity by indigenous and local communities through their development of adaptive management practices, using as appropriate traditional forest-related knowledge;
  4. Provide incentives for the maintenance of cultural diversity as an instrument to enhance forest biological diversity;
  5. Develop and implement education and awareness programmes on traditional uses of forest biological diversity in accordance with Article 8(j);
  6. Create an environment that fosters respect, and stimulates, preserves and maintains traditional knowledge related to forest biological diversity, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities.

1.4.4. Develop effective and equitable information systems and strategies and promote implementation of those strategies for in situ and ex situ conservation and sustainable use of genetic diversity, and support countries in their implementation and monitoring

  1. Develop, harmonize and assess the diversity of forest genetic resources, taking into consideration the identification of key functional/keystone species populations, model species and genetic variability at the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) level.
  2. Select, at a national level, the most threatened forest ecosystems based on the genetic diversity of their priority species and populations and develop an appropriate action plan in order to protect the genetic resources of the most threatened forest ecosystems.
  3. Improve understanding of patterns of genetic diversity and its conservation in situ, in relation to forest management, landscape-scale forest change and climate variations.
  4. Provide guidance for countries to assess the state of their forest genetic resources, and to develop and evaluate strategies for their conservation, both in situ and ex situ.
  5. Develop national legislative, administrative policy measures on access and benefit-sharing on forest genetic resources, taking into account the provisions under Articles 8(j), 10(c), 15, 16 and 19 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and in conformity with future decisions of the Conference of the Parties, as appropriate.
  6. Monitor developments in new biotechnologies and ensure their applications are compatible with the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity with respect to forest biological diversity, and develop and enforce regulations for controlling the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) when appropriate.
  7. Develop a holistic framework for the conservation and management of forest genetic resources at national, subregional and global levels.
  8. Implement activities to ensure adequate and representative in situ conservation of the genetic diversity of endangered, overexploited and narrow endemic forest species and complement the in situ conservation with adequate ex situ conservation of the genetic diversity of endangered, overexploited and narrow endemic species and species of economic potential.

Goal 1.5: Access and benefit-sharing of forest genetic resources

1.5.1. Promote the fair and equitable sharing of benefits resulting from the utilization of forest genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge

Based on the Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of their Utilization, as adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting(48):
  1. Establish mechanisms to facilitate the sharing of benefits at local, national, regional and global levels.
  2. Strengthen capacity of indigenous and local communities to negotiate benefit-sharing arrangements.
  3. Promote dissemination of information about benefit-sharing experiences through the clearing-house mechanism and appropriate means at the local level.