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A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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04 June 2014                                                           


Signature Ceremony of the FAO Turkey Forestry Programme

Your Excellency Veysel Eroğlu, Minister for Forestry and Water Affairs of Turkey,

Distinguished Members of the Press,

Members of the Ministry,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking you for the support that the Government of Turkey gives to the Organization and its goals.

I am pleased to join you today for the signing of the FAO-Turkey Forestry Partnership Program.

This South-South Cooperation program will make it possible to share the Turkish experience with other countries of the region.

It will help respond to the priorities identified at the national level in the Country Programming Frameworks and at the global level in the Reviewed Strategic Framework.

In particular, we will work to expand our existing positive collaboration in the areas of sustainable management of forests and tree resources.

This partnership will allow us to engage in projects here in Turkey but also support other countries in this region and in North of Africa, allowing us to count on more experts from the Ministry to work with FAO in this programme.

We are working on the same priorities, in the same countries and so we will try to count on the expertise of your Ministry as much as possible.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We recognize the strong leadership of Turkey on forest issues.

The country has played an active role in this area by hosting the 10th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), by hosting and chairing Silva Mediterranea, and by participating in the FAO European Forestry Commissions.

Turkey also participated in the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe. I would like to thank you for the support you offered to FAO’s role.

FAO is also pleased that Turkey will host the 12th session of Conference of the Parties the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The Conference will be a good opportunity to discuss issues such as dry land forestry, an area of mutual interest. 

We are also very glad that the Ministry, as the national operational focal point of the Global Environment Facility, has entrusted FAO with the implementation of several of its national and regional projects. We hope that we can also continue strengthening the existing FAO-Turkey cooperation also in the GEF framework.

Finally, I would like to thank the Turkish Government once again for the outstanding cooperation and continuous support to FAO and to its Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia.

I am certain that the Forestry Partnership Programme will strengthen our efforts to achieve the sustainable management of forest and water resources and food security.

Thank you for your kind attention.