Sustainable Development Goals and Forest Management in Turkey

With 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets, the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” aims to account for the complexities of today’s world by explicitly acknowledging and addressing the adverse effects that development decisions can have on different sectors, societies, and environments. 

The Forest & Ecosystem Management System (FEMS) tackles this complexity in the forestry sector. In a collaboration between the United Nations Development Program, University of Washington, the General Directorate of Forestry of Turkey (GDF/OGM), and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, a team of experts and practitioners is developing a decision support system for sustainable forest management—first for application in Turkey and eventually as an open source project to be adapted to other parts of the world.

The project focuses on four Sustainable Developments Goals:

#1 – No Poverty

#6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

#8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

#15 – Life on Land.

Forest & Ecosystem Management System

FEMS is based on the Landscape Management System (LMS) and takes a landscape approach to forest management. In the original version of LMS, an Excel model calculates and visualizes tradeoffs among different management goals, such as timber production, carbon storage, and stand structures. The new tool, FEMS, builds on the LMS to relate forest management decisions and objectives to tradeoffs and outcomes for the four Sustainable Development Goals outlined above. FEMS will be open source, with a user-friendly design to encourage widespread use and continuous improvement and adaptation.

Thus, the FEMS project is situated at the center of ongoing scientific and political discussions and aspirations that seek to provide solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our times and to mediate across sectors, interests, and scientific disciplines.