United Nations Forum on Forests: Launch of the International Year of Forests during the opening of the high level round tables of UNFF
The UN proclaimed 2011 'International Year' of Forests’. This celebration aims at promoting sound management, sustainable conservation and development of all types of forests on earth and reinforcing the political commitment and sensitizing the civil society
New York (USA), 2 February 2011 – Official launching ceremony of the celebration of the ‘International Year of Forests, 2011’ under the main theme ‘Forests for People’. This celebration is in line with the increasing acknowledgement of the role the sustainable management of forest can play in mitigating global warming, and also in the provision of wood, drugs and livelihoods to people worldwide.
Chaired by Mr Joseph Deiss, President of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly, this ceremony was marked by the presence of the 2004 Nobel Peace-Prize winner and Co-president of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership Fund (CBFPF), Mrs Wangari Maathai, ministers and high representatives, personalities from the political and academic milieus, the civil society, UN forest experts, and also by the world première of the film entitled ‘Forêts’ (produced by Yann Arthus-Bertrand). This ceremony was organized alongside the high level ministerial segment during the 9th session of the UN Forum on Forests (FNUF9), which took place from 24 January to 4 February 2011 at the UN Headquarters. FNUF aims at promoting the sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests and similarly, reinforcing long term political commitment.
This official opening enabled the inauguration of an important series of events dedicated to forest-related challenges. Addressing participants in a video message, Mr BAN KI-MOON, UN Secretary General, stated that by declaring 2011, the International Year of Forests, the UN General Assembly created an important platform to educate world communities on the value of forests and the substantial social, economic and environmental costs related to their destruction. He recalled that governments made an important step towards the construction of a future marked by climate resilience and a reduction in carbon emissions.
Mr Joseph Deiss denounced excessive forest exploitation and the poor management of forest resources, which hinder poverty eradication and measures against global warming. Like the General Assembly did in 2006, he reaffirmed the need to promote the sustainable management of forests. He pointed out the fact that this Year of Forests comes at the right time after the International Year of Biodiversity. Also, he mentioned the high level Meeting at the General Assembly that will take place in September under the theme of desertification, soil degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Mr Deiss wished that the International Year of Forests would lead to activities which promote a better management of the various challenges and enable the success of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled to hold next year in Rio de Janeiro.
In the same vein, Mr Sha Zukang, Deputy Secretary General in charge of economic and social affairs and the Secretary General of the UN Conference on sustainable development highlighted how the deterioration of forests and forest clearing are detrimental to individuals and communities. Mrs Wangari Maathai delivered a keynote address concerning initiatives undertaken by her organization, Green Belt, in favour of forest. This organization has already planted 30 million trees in Africa since 1977.
To learn more, watch the video of the opening ceremony through the following link here
On this same occasion, FAO published its mid-year report on the State of the World’s Forest. This report is essentially made up of data published last year in the Forest Resource Assessment (FRA 2010), an evaluation carried out by FAO every five or ten years since 1946. Furthermore, in order to access the Table of contents of the ‘need for the forest sector to innovate’ including the following three chapters: (1) Towards a greener economy (2) REDD+ must address local problems (3) Adaptation strategies are underestimated: Download ‘the State of the World’s Forests in 2011’: http://www.fao.org/news/story/fr/item/50465/icode/
For additional information in the press on the launch of the International Year of Forest
WWF: LAUNCH OF THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS, A VALUABLE ECOSYSTEM TO BE PROTECTED FIRST – WWF launches the ‘living forests’ campaign aiming at: Zero net deforestation in 2010
Jean-Charles BATENBAUM: Launch of the International Year of Forests: http://www.actualites-news-environnement.com/25277-Lancement-Annee-Internationale-Foret.html
Social and Economic Council – Department of Information • Service of Information and Accreditations • New York – LANCH OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS DURING THE OPENING OF HIGH LEVEL ROUND TABLES OF THE UN FORUM ON FORESTS
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