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Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People

Published: 16 December 2019

A new comprehensive assessment of potential and anticipated impacts of efforts towards attaining the different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on forests and forest-related livelihoods and development has recently been published. Seema Arora-Jonsson, professor in Rural Development at SLU, has contributed to the chapter on SDG 5: Gender Equality.

Forests provide vital ecosystem services crucial to human well-being and sustainable development, and have an important role to play in achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Little attention, however, has yet focused on how efforts to achieve the SDGs will impact forests and forest-related livelihoods, and how these impacts may, in turn, enhance or undermine the contributions of forests to climate and development. Understanding the potential impacts of SDGs on forests and forest-related livelihoods and development as well as the related trade-offs and synergies is crucial for the efforts undertaken to reach these goals. It is especially important for reducing potential negative impacts and to leverage opportunities to create synergies that will ultimately determine whether comprehensive progress towards the SDGs will be made.

This book discusses the conditions that influence how SDGs are implemented and prioritized, and provides a systematic, multidisciplinary global assessment of interlinkages among the SDGs and their targets, increasing understanding of potential synergies and unavoidable trade-offs between goals from the point of view of forests and people. Ideal for academic researchers, students and decision-makers interested in sustainable development in the context of forests, this book will provide invaluable knowledge for efforts undertaken to reach the SDGs.

The assessment was undertaken by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ Special Project World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO WFSE). It involved 120 scientists and experts from 60 different universities and research and development institutions as well as 38 scientists who acted as peer reviewers of the different SDG chapters. The development and publication of the book and policy brief were made possible by the financial contributions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Natural Resources Institute Finland.


The book is published by Cambridge University Press and available as Open Access via Cambridge Core here:

Seema Arora-Jonsson from the Department of Urban and Rural Development at SLU has contributed to the chapter on SDG 5: Gender Equality – A Precondition for Sustainable Forestry.

The related Policy Brief Harnessing forests for the Sustainable Development Goals: Building synergies and mitigating trade-offs is available for download here.

For more information about IUFRO WFSE visit:

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