Russia emphasizes importance of forestry issues in the sustainable global development agenda
24 June 2014, Roma – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with Russia’s Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment and head of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency, Vladimir Lebedev, who was in Rome to attend the Committee on Forestry (COFO) at FAO headquarters.
Both sides emphasized the importance of COFO discussions to step up the reflection of forestry issues in the sustainable global development agenda.
Deputy Minister Lebedev commended FAO’s role in sustainable forest management and praised the Organization’s “well balanced approach towards both social and economic aspects of forests and natural resources management”.
“We discussed a number of challenges that boreal forests face, such as how to mitigate climate change impact and ways of tackling organism invasions which lead to harmful and sometimes unknown diseases,’ Lebedev said after the meeting.
Graziano da Silva and Lebedev discussed several areas of bilateral cooperation between the Organization and Russia, including FAO’s contribution to Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects in the country.
The GEF is the designated financial mechanism assisting countries in implementing their obligations under a number of multilateral environmental agreements or conventions. The facility provides financing under six main areas, plus two funds supporting adaptation to climate change.
“Forests play a vital role for food and nutrition, not only in Russia -where they provide tons of high quality nutritious foods such as nuts, mushrooms and berries as well as jobs and hunting - but everywhere,” he said with regard to the high-level, intergovernmental Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which FAO is co-organizing with the United Nations World Health Organization in Rome in November 2014.