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World Forestry Congress to meet in Buenos Aires

Linking saving forests to climate change mitigation and sustainable livelihoods

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo
9 October 2009, Rome – As climate change negotiations enter their final stretch towards the December conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, the World Forestry Congress will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 18-23 October 2009.

The most important meeting on the global calendar with regard to the forestry sector, the World Forestry Congress has been held every six years since 1926, organized by the government of the host country under the auspices of FAO.  

4 500 participants

This year, some 4,500 participants — including government delegates and representatives from the private sector and environmental organizations from more than 120 countries — are expected to kick off the five day discussions under the theme: “Forests in development. A vital balance”.

300 papers were selected out of the over 3 500 which were received, thus ensuring a high quality discussion, with principal topics for debate being bio-energy, climate change, sustainable development and the need for synergies across diverse sectors in order to identify a green roadmap out of the crisis.

Forests affect everyone

“Damage to forest ecosystems is affecting everyone in the world through climate change, water scarcity and the loss of biological diversity,” said Jan Heino, FAO’s Assistant Director General of Forestry.

Heino urged those in attendance to endeavour to adopt more effective land, crop and livestock management practices. “Given that agriculture and land use changes such as deforestation contribute about one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, the potential role of these sectors in meeting the climate change challenge is great,” he said.  

Turning to climate change, one tangible outcome of the conference will be a technical recommendation to be presented at the UNFCCC COP15 meeting in Copenhagen.  

“With the world population rising, and with global warming at the top of the political agenda, it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the goals we set for ourselves in terms of combating hunger and eliminating poverty. The situation will worsen if leaders do not take bold action. Nothing else will suffice,” Heino added.

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