Every day, forests contribute substantially to people’s well-being, through food, shelter, medicine and raw materials and support the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people around the world. They are also the lungs of the earth, helping to regulate global climate and producing the oxygen we breathe. This week, a conference on the theme “Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy” is taking place in Bonn, Germany.
The meeting, held on 4-7 October, is a country-led initiative in support of the UN Forum on Forests by the German Government in preparation for the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). It is being jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in collaboration with the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The theme of the meeting builds on the notion that ecological stewardship and economic productivity are not mutually exclusive. It brings together government officials, members of the Collaborative Partnerships on Forests (CPF) and representatives from intergovernmental organizations and major groups.
Presentations and panel discussions are focusing on the essential role that sustainably managed forests play in ensuring that our planet can continue to meet human needs in the long term. Discussions are also being held on the challenges and opportunities in forest valuation and financing, effective strategies in strengthening commitment to halting deforestation, and forest-related green technologies that increase job creation while ensuring vital forest functions.