Chapter 19 - The Impacts of the Sustainable Development Goals on Forests and People - Conclusions and the Way Forward

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This chapter summarises the lessons learnt in the book, based on a reflection process amongst the editors and a joint workshop with the lead authors. The key messages are that 1) forests are a crucial base for sustainable development, and need to be fully considered in all related decision making, 2) the SDGs will impact forests and the people dependent on them in many ways, with the exact impact being highly dependant on the respective ecological and socio-economic context, 3) the SDGs include partially conflicting visions for forests and people, corresponding to distinct values and interests, involving the necessity to consider trade-offs and set priorities when implementing them, 4) there are fundamental values and principles that may guide sustainable development related to forests and people regardless of the context, including basic human rights but also forest-specific aspects and principles for how existing trade-offs can be managed, 5) that there is the necessity to continuously learn from, and adapt, the process of implementing the SDGs. The chapter concludes by addressing the urgency of creative and forward-looking human engagement at the forest–people interface, to make sure that sustainable development can benefit both forests and people.

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