Istanbul ceremony honors real 'forest heroes'

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In Istanbul, Turkey, the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) presented the 2012/2013 UN Forest for People Awards. Donn Bobb reports.

The Forest Heroes Awards and Forest Film Festival were launched in 2011 in celebration of the International Year of Forests.

The jury selected 5 regional winners and three honorable mentions.

The winners by region for Africa: Rose Mukankomeje of Rwanda; Asia and the Pacific – Preecha Siri of Thailand; Latin America and the Caribbean Almir Narayamoga Surui of Brazil; from Europe Hayrettin Karaca of Turkey and from North America Ariel Lugo of the United States.

Speaking through an interpreter, Brazilian environmentalist and political activist, Almir Narayamoga Surui emphasized how hard it was to fight for the rights of the people.

He said he had to think globally to find solutions for his people.

"So our basic struggle is about how to recognize the value of the forests and how forests signify the continuity of human life….I am not saying that the forests should remain untouched. What I am saying is that forests needs to be respected, admired and used in order for us to be able to continue having a relationship with it." 

All over the world people are working in quiet and heroic ways to sustain, protect and manage our forests.

The Forest Hero Award celebrates these "unsung" heroes who inspire positive change for forests.

Duration: 1'27"

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