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  • Don Bain
    ... Subject: UN ADOPTS NEW INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT TO PROTECT WORLD S FORESTS Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2007 23:00:31 -0400 From: UNNews@un.org Reply-To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2007
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      -------- Original Message --------
      Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2007 23:00:31 -0400
      From: UNNews@...
      Reply-To: unnews@...
      Organization: United Nations
      To: <news11@...>

      New York, Apr 28 2007 11:00PM
      After 15 years of discussions and negotiations on a global approach to
      protect the world's forests, countries meeting at United Nations
      Headquarters in New York have adopted a landmark agreement on
      international forest policy and cooperation following two weeks of
      intense negotiations.

      The final agreement was reached after delegates to the UN Forum on
      Forests worked through the night, concluding just after dawn this
      morning. Exhausted delegates nevertheless called the agreement a
      milestone, noting it was the first time States have agreed to an
      international instrument for sustainable forest management."

      Forum on Forest Chair Hans Hoogeveen, hailed the agreement as an
      "outstanding achievement" and said it ushered in "a new chapter" in
      forest management. Mr. Hoogeveen earlier told the delegates that the
      livelihoods of over a billion of the world's poor are at stake. "We have
      only one planet to share, and we must ensure its health and sustainability."

      The new agreement, although not legally binding, sets a standard in
      forest management that is expected to have a major impact on
      international cooperation and national action to reduce deforestation,
      prevent forest degradation, promote sustainable livelihoods and reduce
      poverty for all forest-dependent peoples.

      More than 1.6 billion people, according to World Bank estimates, depend
      on forests for their livelihoods. The forest product industry is a
      source of economic growth and employment, with global forest products
      traded internationally in the order of $270 billion.

      At the same time, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
      estimates that 13 million hectares of the world's forests are lost due
      to deforestation every year, which, in turn accounts for up to 20
      percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global
      warming. The world's forests and forest soils store more than one
      trillion tons of carbon - twice the amount found in the atmosphere.

      Pekka Patosaari, Director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat, told
      delegates that the agreement was a major step toward the creation of a
      new "people-centred" forest policy. "You have sent a clear message to
      the global community on the critical role of forests in internationally

      For years countries debated whether to negotiate a formal treaty or a
      non-legally binding instrument on forest management. But many developing
      countries with significant forest cover objected to any action that
      would compromise their sovereignty or control over their natural resources.

      The resulting agreement, however, is considered a reflection of a strong
      international commitment to promote on the ground implementation of
      sustainable forest management through a new, more holistic approach that
      brings all stakeholders together. In addition, the agreement is expected
      to reinforce practical measures at the country-level to integrate
      forests more closely with other government policies.

      Another area of disagreement that has long plagued forest negotiations
      concerned a financing mechanism to mobilize funding for sustainable
      forest management. The agreement calls on countries to adopt, by 2009, a
      voluntary global financing mechanism for forest management.
      2007-04-28 00:00:00.000


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