SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals - Focus on Forest Finance and Partnerships

Humphreys, David; Singer, Benjamin; McGinley, Kathleen; Smith, Roy; Budds, Jessica; Gabay, Monica; Bhagwat, Shonil; de Jong, Wil; Newing, Helen; Cross, Charlotte and Satyal, Poshendra (2019). SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals - Focus on Forest Finance and Partnerships. In: Katila, Pia; Pierce Colfer, Carol J.; de Jong, Wil; Galloway, Glenn; Pacheco, Pablo and Winkel, Georg eds. Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 541–576.



Successful attainment of SDG17 is essential for implementing the other 16 SDGs, all of which depend upon secure means of implementation and durable partnerships. Funding for forests from ODA and other sources has trended upwards since 2000, providing reason for cautious optimism. However, REDD+ finance is declining. Private sector investment remains important. The idea of impact investment, which aims to solve pressing environmental and social problems while providing a return for investors, could make a significant contribution to the SDGs. However, not all sustainable development finance promotes forest conservation. Increasing funding for agricultural production often incentivises the conversion of forests to agricultural land while generating deforestation. The policy of zero net deforestation (ZND) is leading to the creation of partnerships to promote deforestation-free commodity supply chains for four forest risk commodities (palm oil, soy, beef and timber). Some innovative partnerships have been created to promote sustainable development involving intergovernmental organisations, the private sector, research institutes, NGOs and grass roots organisations. However, such partnerships exist within a neoliberal global economic order in which there are net financial flows from the Global South to the Global North that negate financial flows for sustainable development.

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