Delegates locked in negotiations at UN Forum on Forests in Istanbul

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Ms. Jan McAlpine, the Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests

Negotiations on the outcome of the UN Forum on Forests are continuing in Istanbul and word is delegates will convene in a plenary session some time this evening. But exactly when that will be is anyone's guess.

Director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat Jan McAlpine told reporters that this session of the Forum has really broken new ground in many ways in its commitment to implement sustainable forest management.

"Sustainable forest management means managing forests and trees outside of forests so that they could both contribute to peoples' livelihoods and to the economy of communities and countries and to address other social environment issues which are so significant."

Ms. McAlpine says the 197 countries represented at the session are still working – many of whom have been doing so since Thursday morning on negotiations of the decisions to be taken.

"We have Working Groups who have gone non-stop since yesterday to working at present – people who have not slept at all in order that our message to the world and actions to be taken by governments and other partners to much better address forests of a part of the natural resource landscape is achieved because that is what we need. So for the moment, we don't know final outcomes. But what I can tell you is that there are some very rich issues which have been addressed and there are issues with respect to the economic development and forest piece which have never been raised in multilateral negotiations around the world. So this forum raises new standards for discussions about forests and economic development and their relationship – one to the other."

Forests cover about one-third of earth's landmass and contain about 80% of all land-based biodiversity.

More than 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2'01"

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