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The world must halt deforestation and use forests sustainably, FAO Director-General says
Thursday, 2022/10/06 | 08:46:46

26th Session of Committee on Forestry opens

Figure: (L-R) Princess Basma Bint Ali of Jordan, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, COFO chairperson Glenn Hargrove, winner of the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2022 Cécile Ndjebet, and World Forestry Congress Youth Forest Change-makers winner Analí Bustos. ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti


FAO News - 03/10/2022


Rome – The world must halt deforestation, plant trees to make the planet greener and restore productive capacities, and use forests and trees sustainably, QU Dongyu, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), today told the opening of the 26th Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO).


COFO26 is being held in hybrid format from 3 to 7 October at FAO’s Rome headquarters and will provide a platform for exchange and dialogue among participants and provide suggestions for FAO’s work in forestry.


Princess Basma Bint Ali of Jordan, FAO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Near East and North Africa, Cécile Ndjebet, Founder of the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests and the winner of the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2022, and Analí Bustos, World Forestry Congress Youth Forest Change-makers winner also spoke at the opening.

Part of the solution

Forests cover 31 percent of the world’s land surface, store an estimated 296 gigatonnes of carbon and are home to the majority of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. They are a source of fibre, fuel, food and fodder, and they provide livelihoods for millions of people, including many of the world’s poorest. Forests help mitigate and adapt to climate change and improve soil, air and water quality. If sustainably managed, forests are also a source of renewable raw materials.


In his opening remarks at COFO26, Qu said the impacts of the climate crisis and humanitarian emergencies are being felt more than ever around the world, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. He pointed to droughts, floods, fires and storms of increasing frequency and intensity. At the same time, he said there are overlapping crises from the global pandemic, economic downturns, and price increases of food, feed, fuel and fertilizer. Hunger continues to rise, reflecting growing inequalities.

FAO's work on forestry

FAO carries out a broad range of activities concerning the forestry sector.


FAO, together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has been supporting over 60 countries in reducing deforestation and forest degradation, through the UN-REDD programme. The Organization's work on forest law enforcement, governance and trade help countries combat illegal logging and promote trade in timber, which is sustainably produced by small-scale enterprises.


FAO's Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme is spearheading efforts to ensure optimal health for people, animals and the environment as part of a One Health approach, while strengthening wildlife management and enhancing food security of local communities.


Improving forest-based livelihoods, prosperity and human well-being is the aim of the Forest and Farm Facility. More than 25 million people in 30 countries have directly or indirectly benefitted from this initiative, including during the current COVID-19 pandemic.


FAO’s Action Against Desertification in support of Africa’s Great Green Wall Initiative has helped to restore the productivity of degraded lands and the livelihoods of local communities in the Sahel. Its support in ten countries has resulted in over 56 000 hectares of land being restored.


FAO, together with UNEP and the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, supports governments committed to restore 100 million hectares of degraded lands, sequester 250 million tons of CO2 and create 10 million green jobs under Africa’s Great Green Wall Initiative.


Held on the margins of the Committee on Forestry, the 8th World Forest Week, from 29 September to 7 October, is a series of special events that bring FAO Members, partner organizations, leaders, scientists, women and youth to discuss forestry's most pressing issues. The theme of this year's World Forest Week is Growing a better planet.


See more: https://www.fao.org/newsroom/detail/the-world-must-halt-deforestation-and-use-forests-sustainably-fao-director-general-says/en


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