Forestry important in Green Economy!
Forestry as an important part of Green Economy was solidly manifested when IFFA and G3 took an active part in the Rio+20 Conference.
Published: 1.July, 2012
|The G3 Group at the Rio+20 Conference|
The results from the Sustainable Development conference in Rio in June 2012 document the importance of forestry and especially locally controlled forestry. This importance was recognized as well by representatives in the high level segment and important conventions like CBD, the convention of biological diversity. During the conference the importance of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) was demonstrated and the further work on a non-legal binding instrument on forests was encouraged.
The Rio conference was a huge gathering of representatives from all over the world. There were many side events. The overreaching theme of the conference Rio+20 was Green Economy which is UN jargon for sustainable development. The sub-titles were economic growth, social inclusion and environment protection, the three pillars in sustainable development.
|IFFA chair, Peter deMarsh, speaking at Rio+20|
IFFA and our partners in the G3 Alliance, Community Forestry and Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests wanted to support family forestry and community forestry as an important component in Green Economy. People in rural areas are through their forest management an evident part of sustainable development.
By our engagement in the Right Holders Group, G3, we were invited to speak at several events in Rio.
First we spoke at PEFC arrangement about certification and family forestry. Among the participants were William (Bill) Street Int President PEFC, Thorsten Arndt PEFC, Jan McAlpine Director UNFF, Antonio Carlos Hummel DG Brazilian Forest Service, Alfredo Lobo Forest Director Min of Development & Industry Brazil.
IFFA and G3 had a stand, and the new IFFA brochure was well taken! We also took the opportunity to meet and discuss as G3 to elaborated components for at partnership agreement with the Forest & Farm Facility at FAO. This will now be sent to FAO for their consideration. That document can be used to present common G3 tasks for other donors as well. PEFC indicated a certain interest in further collaboration.
IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development, London), arranged a series of panel discussions at a University Campus during the week-end. The general theme was “Fair Ideas”. We were invited to present success stories from locally controlled forestry. Jan McAlpine, UNFF director, summarized the smallholder perspective and the factors necessary for success Hopefully Jan’s insight in locally controlled forestry will give us a good position at next UNFF session in 2013.
FAO’s Assistant Director General Eduardo Rojas arranged a Forest Day on the theme “Forest at the heart of green economy” where we were invited to speak. Honorable guest was Prince Albert II from Monaco.
It became a series of praising more use of forest products and the mutual interest between forest growers and forest industry. Substitution of fossil energy, steel, aluminum and plastic was Eduardo’s message.
Eduardo Rojas also told us about his efforts to make IFFA part of FAO’s Advisory Committee, with supportive documents from IFFA, and that decision will be taken at COFO in September. On the spot we took contact with Heikki Granholm Finnish Min For& Agri and Anders Lönnblad Swedish Min Rural Affairs to guaranty EU support for this proposal at COFO. Moving Family Forest positions forward! This was a nice example on possible networking in such global events.
Media attendance was obvious and we were interviewed by the news agency IPS, Brazilian TV Global and Swiss radio.
On Tuesday the 19th, when head of state started to arrive, the forest sector organised a final event for visibility. The event was led by FAO Eduardo Rojas and UNFF Jan McAlpine. The high level statements were delivered by Brazils environment minister, Head of, ITTO (Tropical Timber org), GEF (Global Env Fund), CBD Conv Biological div), UNFCCC (Conv Climate Change), UNCCD (Conv Desertification) , ICRAF (Agroforestry), deputy head of WB (World Bank), IUCN (Int Union of Nature Conservation), UNEP (UN Env Programme), IUFRO (Umbrella Int Forest Research) and ministers from South Korea and Gambia.
The message was: forest is an enormous potential, the sustainable use is the model and it is involvement by small holder through robust owner- and user rights that can realize this potential and herby give the forest its right value in the future Green Economy.
What a meeting place! And it went our way! Especially interesting that CBD’s Executive Secretary Braulio de Souza Dias very clearly said involvement of local stakeholders for better rural livelihood will be the CBD’s new strategy. With, not against, people!
The conference ended the 20-22 of June with Head of State and ministers from UNs 193 member states to endorse a conference declaration. In the final endorsed conference document “The Future We Want” certain important family forest interest is included.
|Peter deMarsh (left) and Lennart Ackzell (right) represented IFFA at this conference. Duncan Macqueen IIED was an important IFFA Sponsor|
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