Forest Day Highlights Urgency to Act on REDD+

5 December 2010: Forest Day 4, held on the sidelines of the Cancun Climate Change Conference, addressed the need to press on with a global mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable use of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+).

Forest Day 4, organized around the theme "Time to Act," highlighted the urgency of ensuring the survival of the world's forests, their biodiversity and the hundreds of millions of people that depend on them. The 1500 people in attendance discussed how to accelerate the integration of forests into climate protection and adaptation schemes from local to global levels. Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico, addressed the day-long event, and underscored the urgency to "push and push hard for full incorporation of REDD+ into a long-term international climate change agreement."

Participants attended several sessions focusing on forest-related issues such as: biodiversity; mitigation and adaptation; forest governance; monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV); optimizing multiple benefits of sustainable forest management and REDD+; agricultural drivers of deforestation; land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF); and experiences with community-based forest management. Frances Seymour, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), commented that regardless of  whether an agreement on REDD will take place in Cancun, "voluntary commitments and initiatives have a momentum of their own," noting that rural communities were taking matters into their own hands with community-based forest enterprises.

The event was hosted by the Government of Mexico, through the National Forestry Commission, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and CIFOR. A summary of the event will be made available on CIFOR's website. [Forest Day 4 Website] [CIFOR Press Release]