Building back better

– CPF members respond to the COVID-19 crisis



The global coronavirus pandemic changed the realities of life in many unexpected ways and stresses once again the urgency for stepping up action against climate change. The crisis should be turned into an opportunity to promote legal and sustainable forest products and nature-based solutions to counter any short and long-term shocks to livelihoods, particularly for vulnerable people in rural societies who depend on income from land use.

CPF members continue to release information on various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the forest sector.

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) has undertaken a survey through the ITTO Market Information Service (MIS) and the Trade Advisory Group (TAG) in nine tropical countries which showed that the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are having substantial impacts on the tropical timber sector, with thousands of workers laid off and demand plummeting. Some governments are providing support for workers and companies, but others are yet to react (Survey shines light on COVID-19 impacts on tropical timber sector and  Pandemic pandemonium in the tropical timber sector published on 18 April 2020).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released an information note providing an overview for promoting awareness among environmental organisations on how gender-based violence and environment linkages can be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and suggested steps and resources.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) outlined its planned response to COVID-19 helping to address the situation and reduce the probability of new environmental crises emerging in the foreseeable future. The response spans measures to address wildlife trading, deforestation, urban sprawl, and other pressures on ecosystems that are bringing wild animals and humans in dangerous proximity.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) identified and perceived impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on development aspects interconnected with the forest sector, with a particular emphasis on the impacts on the production and trade of forest products. In a policy brief, a series of recommendations as a basis for policy development in the aftermath of the crisis are proposed, and potential opportunities to leverage the progress achieved so far, to ensure that decades of advances are not reversed are highlighted. A second policy brief focuses on the topic of global emergence of infectious diseases and its links with consumption of wild meat, ecosystem disruption, habitat degradation and biodiversity loss.

The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) published the policy brief “Forests: at the heart of a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”. The brief is the latest in a series of policy briefs produced by DESA, which look at the impact of COVID-19 from economic, social and sustainable development perspectives.

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) exchanges with its members on how to meet scientists virtually (