*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***
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(November 29, 2012) Hundreds of forestry experts, activists, policymakers, global leaders and climate change negotiators will gather on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in Doha this Sunday for the sixth annual Forest Day to discuss how forests can be better harnessed to slow the pace of global warming and help communities adapt to the changing environment.
Among the 70 speakers are:
- Mary Barton-Dock, Director of Climate Policy and Finance at the World Bank
- Justin Lee, Australian Ambassador for Climate Change
- Will Steffen, Executive Director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute
- Bianca Jagger, Plant a Pledge Campaign Ambassador
- Herman Humberto Rosa Chavez, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador
- Hans Brattskar, Director General of the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment and Special Envoy for Climate Change
- Naoko Ishii, CEO of the Global Environment Facility
- Matthew Wyatt, Head of the Climate and Environment Group at the UK Department for International Development
The conference will dissect some of the options available for policymakers as they grapple with challenges related to forest preservation, food security and development in a world vulnerable to climate change. A panel of experts will highlight how better collaboration between the forestry and agriculture sectors could tackle the food security crisis, and still meet conservation, climate change and development needs.
Participants will discuss the latest developments of the U.N. negotiations on REDD+, (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries). Proponents hope the world’s forests will be safeguarded by channeling billions of dollars to forest-rich countries through REDD+. However, critics fear the plan could be undermined by poor design, weak governance, corruption and a lack of clarity over land or resource ownership. There are concerns this could lead to land grabs or impinge on the traditional rights of forest-dependent communities.
While significant progress is being made at the local level to move ahead with REDD+ (340 REDD+ projects are underway in 52 countries worldwide and US$4.5 billion has been pledged for REDD+ readiness activities over the last two years), speakers at Forest Day will look at how the scheme could be financed without an overarching agreement to curb carbon emissions. Experts warn that without predictable, sufficient REDD+ finance, there is a danger that the REDD+ momentum in forest nations might fade.
Journalists who are not in Doha will be able to follow Forest Day via a live video feed online at www.ForestDay.org/live. You can also get updates via Twitter by following the event hashtag: #ALLforest
For the latest news on how forests and climate change are progressing in Doha, visit www.blog.cifor.org/cop18
Forest Day is convened by the Center for International Forestry Research on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. Forest Day is the first of two popular conferences on the sidelines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) annual Conference of the Parties. Forest Day 6 will be followed by Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day 5 slated for December 3 at the same venue – both with the banner of "Living Landscapes", which refers to the interconnections between forests and agriculture and their impacts on people and society. For more information, visit www.ForestDay.org
The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) is a voluntary arrangement among 14 international organisations and secretariats with substantial programmes on forests (CIFOR, FAO, ITTO, IUFRO, CBD, GEF, UNCCD, UNFF, UNFCCC, UNDP, UNEP, ICRAF, WB and IUCN). The CPF’s mission is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forest and strengthen long-term political commitment to this end.
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) advances human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. CIFOR is a CGIAR Consortium Research Center.