Regional Voices champions forests worldwide
18 August 2011, New York
In order to better co-ordinate the work being done to conserve and manage forests around the world, the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat has begun sharing information through the Regional Voices newsletter. The first publication highlights the range and scale of forest management endeavors worldwide, and draws into focus developments in Europe and in tropical ecosystems.
Europe is home to a quarter of the world’s forests, and they are still expanding. This means that Europe’s forests go some way to counteracting climate change, and provide materials for a green economy. In order to safeguard these priceless resources, European officials met in Oslo and adopted new policy mandates which commit to protect biodiversity and promote economic progress.
Also leading the fight against climate change, Cameroon’s Green Heart, Rosy Future campaign has seen the planting of 32,000 trees already, with a further 27,000 to come. Cameroon will also be one of the nations represented in Libreville, Gabon when central African states meet to discuss sustainable forests ecosystems. This regional initiative has been pursued since 2006, and Jan McAlpine, Director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat described the work of regional organizations like this as “inspiring”.
Further to regional activities, global co-operation is a huge feature of the work being done to preserve and extend forests worldwide. Africa is again at the forefront of developments, and a recent summit in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo was aimed at fostering collaboration between such geographically distant areas as Amazonia, Congo and Borneo-Mekong, which contain 80% of the world’s tropical forests.
The learning that this sort of interaction will promote is also a feature of the International Model Forest Network, which facilitates the exchange of ideas across the world, and all these projects should encourage a very positive view of the future of forests and the biodiversity and livelihoods they sustain. The aim of Regional Voices is to make sure the good news gets out, as Jan McAlpine says “We’ve heard too much negative and not enough positive… the goal is to celebrate the role of forests and people”.