UNFF Celebrates Upcoming International Year of Forests 2011

8 December 2010: The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), together with IUCN and the Clinton Climate Initiative Forestry Program, organized an event titled "International Year of Forests 2011: Forests for People" at the Cancun Climate Change Conference, celebrating the upcoming International Year of Forests 2011 and its theme of “Forests for People.”

Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF, explained that the first panel was hosted by the Clinton Climate Initiative Forestry Program. Stephen Devenish, Clinton Foundation, noted that his Foundation has set up a number of projects on REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable use of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks) around the world, which strive for simultaneous sustainable forest management and poverty elimination.

Chea Sam Ang, Cambodia, discussed linking community-based natural resource management to carbon markets in Cambodia. He said his government supports REDD+ implementation with at least 50% of net benefits going to local communities. Yetti Rusli, Ministry of Forestry on Environment and Climate Change, Indonesia, described national initiatives on forests and climate change, emphasizing that it is possible to involve small polluters and villages. She noted the need to scale-up finance. Salvador Anta, Mexico, discussed his country's projects on forests and climate, highlighting the “ProÁrbol” programme, and the recently created commission for climate change.

McAlpine explained that the second panel was sponsored by the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration. Stewart Maginnis, Forest Conservation Programme, IUCN, stressed the potential for landscape restoration to deliver triple benefits for climate change by: reducing emissions; sequestering carbon; and helping rural people adapt to climate impacts. He cited a recent study that indicates that the level of livelihood dependence on forests is constantly underestimated and highlighted a recent IUCN project in Tanzania that delivered benefits for forests, agro-forestry, food security, climate and women.

Cao Duc Phat, Viet Nam, said his country is severely impacted by climate change, and highlighted a recent initiative on payments for forests, which provides opportunities for poor people to improve livelihoods by managing forests sustainably. John Liu, Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP), presented a short film made up of several of the films he is working on around the world. He noted his films document ecosystem function, dysfunction and best management practices around the world. [ENBOTS Coverage of the Event]