14 Aug 2009 -- MEDIA ADVISORY
Hanoi - 2009 is a crucial year for global efforts to address climate change, with the hope that an ambitious and effective mitigation and adaptation agreement will be forged at the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.
Deforestation and forest degradation contribute some 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Forest-related mitigation measures are now recognized to be amongst the most practical and cost-effective measures to slow global warming.
However, rural poverty, weak law enforcement, and escalating demand for food and fuel continue to drive forest destruction at an alarming rate - in the Asia-Pacific region alone, some 1.7 million hectares of natural forest are lost every year. This also threatens millions of already vulnerable rural livelihoods, often undermining local rights and access to forest resources.
Carbon financing may provide promising new opportunities for achieving the health of the world’s forests and, if designed well, reducing rural poverty. But if schemes such as ‘REDD’ do not engage Asia-Pacific’s 450 million forest dependent people and deliver them tangible benefits, then the social and economic impacts could be severe. Ultimately it increases the risk that forest-related mitigation efforts will fail.
Key country decision-makers and over 80 participants from 12 Asia-Pacific nations will meet to consider these issues at the First Regional Forum for People and Forests, which will be held at the Hanoi Horison Hotel in Vietnam from 18 to 20 August. The Forum will consider:
• What benefits could communities gain from carbon-financing schemes?
• What are the potential pitfalls and risks for them?
• How can carbon markets strengthen sustainable forest management regimes in a way that meets rural communities’ needs and fairly rewards their contributions?
The opening session will take place on Tuesday 18 August at 8:30am, with the keynote address delivered at 9:15am by Secretary Heherson Alvarez, the Philippines Presidential Adviser on Climate Change.
Forum organizers are RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, the Forest Sector Support Partnership under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
Media Arrangements and Further Information
Journalists accredited in Vietnam are invited to attend the opening session and will need to register at the Forum reception desk outside of the Van Mieu II conference room from 8:00am.
For further information, please contact Duncan McLeod:
Phone: +66 (0) 8 94816367 (until Sunday evening 16 August) and + 84(0)168 3530 837 (Monday 17 Aug until Friday 21 August) Email: Duncan@recoftc.org
More information at: