Busy day at Forest Forum - Thursday 3 February

It was another busy day at the 9th UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), according to IUCN's José-Arturo Santos. Today a meeting was held between the World Future Council, IUCN and others. Discussions were centred around an award for innovation in forest law.

Arturo Santos Photo: IUCN

Plans are that IUCN and others will nominate candidates for this year's award. So far we are looking forward to nominating several countries from Central and South America, such as Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica. We are also discussing nominations from Asia and Africa.

Meanwhile at the Roundtable on Forests and the Rio +20 Conference, scheduled for next year, several countries stated that they are especially looking forward to the role this conference plays in addressing the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. They also eagerly emphasized the role of forests for human well-being.

States acknowledged the need for global programmes and projects that can help countries to increase direct investment in forest management to ensure environmental services, eradicate poverty, reduce climate change impacts and restore resilience in ecosystems.

Canada, China, Japan, Senegal and others pointed out that their governments are willing to invest in a green economy by integrating forests in to government policies and national projects. But they also stressed that urgent programmes such as a global forest fund are required in order to achieve local, national and global goals.

Many African countries also emphasized the importance of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest  Degradation (REDD). They underlined the need to strengthen international cooperation for achieving forest management at all levels to ensure we reach the Rio +20 targets.

Elsewhere, IUCN's Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, moderated the Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) side event, at which there was a good turnout. They presented a video developed by John D. Liu, IUCN Senior Research Fellow, on the importance of forest landscape restoration in Rwanda. GPFLR presented next steps; emphasizing the need to put back what was lost.

GPFLR indicated that they have joined forces with several organizations from different sectors, such as IUCN, to share experiences of what’s working in different countries and exchange that knowledge. The overall aim is to restore ecological integrity, not just plant trees, but develop keen alliances and work across different landscapes.

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