Forest Day 5 Highlights African Forests

4 December 2011: Forest Day 5 convened in Durban, South Africa, under the theme “From Policy to Practice,” with a special focus on the role of African forests in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The 4 December 2011 event was co-hosted  by the Government of South Africa, the Centre for International Forest Research (CIFOR), and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). Discussion forums considered: how is REDD+ unfolding on the ground? an exploration of the social, political and biophysical issues biodiversity safeguards in REDD+; financing opportunities and issues for mitigation and adaptation with a focus on the private sector; and addressing gender considerations in climate change adaptation and REDD+ efforts.

According to Frances Seymour, Director General, CIFOR, discussions at Forest Day 5 addressed the specific opportunities and challenges of forest management in Africa, successfully launched the first informal market place, and showcased the innovative use of instant voting by participants to identify priority areas for future action. Seymour also highlighted the many tributes paid to the late Wangari Maathai's work and legacy. Following Seymour's announcement that she will be stepping down as CIFOR Director-General in 2012, she was lauded the "mother" of the Forest Days for her inspiring leadership in bridging the science-policy gap and building broad consensus on REDD. [IISD RS Coverage of Forest Day 5] [FAO Press Release]