The 9th Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) is taking place in New York from 24 January to 4 February 2011.
Of key importance for the preservation of biodiversity, and the fight against climate change, forests are severely threatened in many regions of the world.
The main objective of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), established in October 2000 by resolution 2000/35 of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is to promote "the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forest and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end."
During its 9th session, the UNFF is examining the strategies to enable forests to contribute to the promotion of social development and to the livelihoods of the populations. It is assessing the progress made on the implementation of the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests adopted by General Assembly resolution 62/98.
This session is also an opportunity for the Forum, which brings together the 192 Member States of the United Nations, to celebrate the International Year of Forests (IYF) and to increase public awareness of the role played by healthy forests throughout the world.
Established by General Assembly resolution 61/193, the International Year of Forests will be celebrated throughout 2011. It aims to encourage all of the stakeholders concerned (governments, UN agencies, NGOs, the private sector, etc.) to make concerted efforts to increase awareness at all levels in order to strengthen the sustainable management, conservation and viable development of all types of forest in the interest of current and future generations, through the organization of numerous events at the international as well as national level.
France, which has a strong tradition of forestry and is one of the few European countries to have expanded its forest area during the last few decades, supports this initiative for which it intends to signal its particular commitment.
— At the diplomatic level, it will share with Brazil the presidency of the international partnership on the fight against deforestation (REDD+); the 6th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe will take place in Oslo from 14 to 16 June and France will endeavor to ensure that this will be an opportunity to begin new negotiations with a view towards achieving a Pan-European Convention on Forests.
— At the national level, numerous activities will also mark the IYF.
Progress achieved in Cancun, in particular the inclusion of forests in the international discussions on climate change make the efforts to continue the fight against deforestation all the more necessary. This international year devoted to forests should also allow us to vigorously reaffirm that the fight against deforestation and global warming is a key priority for France’s external action.