Delegates Find Work and Fun at COFO
Above: Native Canadian champion hoop dancer Quentin Pipestem
performed to the delight of participants at the evening reception,
hosted by FAO.
On Tuesday, delegates met for the second day of the 19th session of the FAO
Committee on Forestry (COFO) at FAO headquarters in Rome. The morning
plenary focused on linking forest management and the climate change agenda.
Participants listened to several keynote speeches and were given the
opportunity to present their views on the relationship between forests and
climate change, and the role of FAO in this regard.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Climate
Change, outlined the importance of including forests in a post-Kyoto climate
agreement, and said that reducing deforestation and forest degradation are
cost-effective ways of addressing climate change. Emmanuel Ze Meka,
Executive Director, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO),
called for attention to the conditions, financial and technical support,
capacity-building and good governance that are necessary to ensure the
integration of forest management into national climate strategies. Frances
Seymour, Director-General, Centre for International Forest Research (CIFOR),
underscored the importance of forests to climate change initiatives and
reviewed CIFOR's activities related to its involvement in the Collaborative
Partnership on Forests.
At lunch, a special event on Growing Forest Partnerships (GFP) was put on by the
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), allowing
participants to discuss GFP goals and strategy, and a recent pilot study in
At the afternoon plenary session delegates addressed the issues of adapting
forest institutions to change and the FAO's Results-based Programme
Framework. Concurrently, World Forest Week special events were held on: the
state of the world's forest genetic resources, focusing on the importance
and unique challenges of collecting information on these resources; and
Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) reporting on sustainable forest management
(SFM) and climate change.