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FAO Launches State of the World’s Forests 2009 Report

Increased attention to “green development” could provide a new direction to the development of the forest sector.

16 March 2009: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched the State of the World's Forests 2009. The report was released on the first day of the 19th session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO), which is taking place from 16-20 March 2009, in Rome, Italy. The report notes that the economic crisis and climate change raise the profile of forest management on the global agenda, as demand for products and environmental services is expected to increase in the coming decades.

It further finds that energy and climate change policies are increasing the use of wood as a source of energy, although this trend may be affected by the recent economic turmoil, which may lead some governments to dilute previously ambitious green goals or defer policy decisions related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, the report highlights that the crisis also provides opportunities, as attention increases on “green development,” including planting trees, increasing investments in sustainable forest management, and promoting wood in green building practices and renewable energy. The report also underscores the need to reform forestry institutions and increase investments in science and technology to improve forest management. [FAO Press Release]