Events Update: Summary of Forest day 5
The fifth Forest Day took place in Durban, South Africa, in parallel with the UN Durban Climate Change Conference, which convened from 28 November – 9 December 2011.
Frances Seymour, Director General, CIFOR highlighted a number of achievements, including: positive feedback from participants of Forest Day 4; the introduction of an “Issues Market Place” at this session, to facilitate information exchange and networking; and the special focus being paid to Africa.
Tina Joemat-Peterson, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa, emphasized that forests embody the need to balance environmental sustainability with economic development. She noted that her country’s energy intensive and fossil-fuel powered economy makes it particularly vulnerable to climate change. Stressing that the science behind carbon sinks “is well understood,” she urged participants to deliver a comprehensive adaptation programme as a contribution to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20 or UNCSD).
Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Chair, CPF, said a tipping point has been reached in recognizing the contribution of forests and REDD+ approaches in meeting the interrelated goals of food and energy security, biodiversity protection and economic development. He stressed, however, that creating the enabling conditions for a low-carbon development path hinges on reaching agreement on a post-Kyoto mechanism. To optimize utilization of biodiversity ecosystem services, he further noted the importance of: focusing equally on tropical forests and dryland forests; paying attention to the full range of land uses; and involving women in sustainable forest management.
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