FAO calls for "Zero illegal Deforestation" target

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Volunteers preparing pine seedlings for planting as part of a reforestation project following forest fires, Ramlieh, Chouf Mountains, Lebanon.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is calling for a zero illegal deforestation target.

The call comes on the first International Day of Forests observed by the United Nations on 21 March.

FAO says that in many countries, illegal deforestation is degrading ecosystems, diminishing water availability and limiting the supply of fuel wood.

The agency says this reduces food security especially for the poor and stopping illegal deforestation and forest degradation would do much to end hunger, extreme poverty and bring about sustainability.

Eduardo Rojas-Briales is Assistant Director-General for Forests at FAO.

"The zero illegal deforestation initiative that is also, in some way, linked to other similar initiatives in other frames and the cereal hunger challenge as well, tries to implement quite a near goal which is really coming to zero deforestation as during the last three decades, especially the last one, there has been encouraging progress in reducing deforestation. By 2010, FAO estimated that net deforestation was around five million hectares in comparison to about fifteen two three decades ago." (28")

A new FAO report warns that Mediterranean forests risk being hit hard by climate change.

World Forest Day coincided with the conclusion of a meeting of Mediterranean countries in Tlemcen, Algeria from 17 to 21 March to discuss the state of Mediterranean forests.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'30″

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