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South Africa ready to host World Forestry Congress, says Deputy Minister

Bhekokwakhe Cele met FAO Director-General during FAO Conference

Giulio Napolitano/FAO

Rome, 11 June 2015 - South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Bhekokwakhe Cele has highlighted the importance of 15th World Forestry Congress, to be held in September in Durban (Africa), during a meeting with FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the sidelines of the 39th session of the FAO Conference.

According to the Minister, this year’s Congress will gather the global forestry community of experts and policy makers to analyze and address current key issues on the utilization and preservation of forests, including hunger prevention and mitigation of climate impacts.

- We cannot take about health or food if without talking about forests. Global warming is a major issue for them – said Cele.

The Minister also said South Africa is getting ready to showcase with other African countries the good practices from the region when it comes to forest preservation and management. He said he expects that the recommendations approved during the World Forestry Congress will be adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) to be held this December in Paris. 

Besides, Cele thanked the Director General for bringing evidence to the very positive results achieved by African countries in reducing hunger.