Forests play critical role in global sustainable development: ECOSOC ChiefListen /
The UN Forum on Forests opened in Istanbul Monday with calls for adequate and sustainable financing and for concerted efforts to protect the world's forests.
The calls came from UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo.
He says forests play a critical role in global sustainable development.
“ They abate climate change, protect biodiversity, conserve watersheds and land fertility; and preserve livelihood of forest-dependent people. But let's be very clear. The challenge(s) to maintain this precious gift of nature and manage in a sustainable way are many and very serious. Moreover, the services provided by forests are still taken for granted.”
Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo lamented that forests continue to be over- exploited and cleared for agriculture and other uses.
The objective of the forum is to strengthen sustainable forest management worldwide and political commitment towards that goal.
But the forum also aims to improve the livelihoods and economies of people who derive their living from forests; and increase assistance to developing countries to improve forest management.
Gerry Adams, United Nations.