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World Forestry Congress produces a message to be presented at COP 15
in Copenhagen

Buenos Aires, Argentina - “We should not exclude any potential means of mitigating climate change¨ said Jan Heino, Assistant Director General of the Forestry Department at FAO, just as
the World Forestry Congress drew to a close on Friday 23 October. In as little as five days, a major exercise of discussion, partnership and knowledge sharing occurred, seeing the
involvement of the private sector as well as of civil society,  the academia, NGOs and international organizations. With an initial expected number of 4 000 participants rising up to
over 7 000, the meeting in Buenos Aires was evidence of the momentum generated by this crucial juncture. 
Key note speakers on the panel spelled out that climate change is happening here and now, that several countries have already been badly  affected by it and, that as the clock to
Copenhagen keeps ticking, cooperation across different sectors is crucial to turn climate change into an opportunity, one fostering a green solution to the financial crisis which struck in the last  few years. 

“The woods are the cradle of human beings. The earth is our shared home. Protecting forests is protecting our shared home” said Mr Zhibang,  China´s Minister for Forestry at the Opening
Ceremony on Sunday 18 October. “Human beings have woken up in light of the serious ecological crisis”, he added, further urging all key players around the table to take up an
involved, committed, responsible role.

Mr Zhibang´s remarks were echoed during the Closing Ceremony by representatives of India and South Africa, as both countries were invited on the podium by Mr Heino in order to voice
their expression of interest in holding the XIV World Forestry Congress, six years from now.

Dawning of a new forestry management
With preparations for the Congress starting at  the most difficult financial and economic time, FAO proposed involving the private sector by devoting two special events to it - a roundtable
session of face to face meetings with business down the table, and a roundtable on investment and financing. “FAO’s past experience of similar congresses showed that there is too little
participation of the private sector, which was found to be unfortunate as they are a very important stakeholder in the development and sustainability of the forest sector” said Jukka
Tissari, FAO, who chaired the special event on investment and financing. 
“We are at the dawn of a new era for forestry” remarked Tim Rollinson, Director General of the UK Forestry Commission, chair of the Forum on Forests and Climate Change. Tim Rollinson
also attended the Congress in another capacity, as presenter of the work of the Prince of Wales’ Rainforests Project (PRP), on behalf of Justin Mundy, Director of the PRP. In fact, the Prince of
Wales even sent a video-message of encouragement to the participants and to the forestry community at large, soliciting decisive action.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut