Global leaders, activists and academics gathering for COP15 Forest Day 3 in Copenhagen

November 30, 2009

In the midst of contentious negotiations in Copenhagen, more than 1,500 leading forestry experts, activists, policymakers, and global leaders will gather for the third annual Forest Day (FD3). Participants will explore and debate the implications of new scientific findings on the evolving relationship between forests and climate adaptation and mitigation. Attendees will debate whether REDD mechanisms will work in practice, whether adaptation has a role to play in sustaining forests and the people who depend on them, and what is the potential for restoring deforested and degraded forest lands.

Attendees will also address the drivers of deforestation from within and beyond the forest sector, and the opportunities and challenges for REDD as a tool for simultaneously slowing deforestation and removing carbon from the atmosphere.

Key speakers: Key issues to be discussed at FD3: Journalists can find more information on Forest Day 3 at www.forestday3.org. Journalists unable to register will be able to register on the day of the event.

"The diversity of speakers represents the need for broad-based participation in REDD schemes," said Frances Seymour, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), one of 15 centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). "Forestry ministries cannot carry out REDD alone. Ministries covering areas such as agriculture, rural development, planning and finance must be involved. Local governments and communities will also have important roles to play."

REDD seeks to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by directly compensating countries for cutting their deforestation rates. As currently envisioned, REDD could potentially see the transfer of US$15-25 billion per year from developed to forest-rich developing countries. These funds would be used to implement policies to control the drivers of deforestation and degradation and to compensate forest owners for foregoing income available from converting forests to other uses.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land conversion and deforestation emits around 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon annually, more than 20 percent of all global emissions. If properly managed, tropical forests could absorb as much as 1 billion tonnes of carbon per year and preserve habitats for thousands of plant and animal species.

"It's now clear that without action on forest-related emissions, the international community has no chance of keeping global warming below the 2 degree target," said Seymour. "Exceeding that threshold would have catastrophic implications for hundreds of millions of people. Reaching a deal on forests could buy time for other emissions measures to come on stream."

While REDD is seen as a crucial part of a new global climate pact, there is little consensus among decision makers and interest groups over how the mechanism should be implemented at the national level and below. A major outcome of FD3 is to build consensus among the broad range of actors in the forest sector and beyond on how REDD can be successfully implemented globally and nationally to ensure it contributes to climate mitigation and sustainable forest management and development.
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About the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR): CIFOR advances human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing counties. CIFOR helps ensure that decision making that affects forests is based on solid science and principles of good governance, and reflects the perspectives of developing countries and forest-dependent people. CIFOR is one of 15 centres within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. For more information, please visit: www.cifor.cgiar.org.

About Forest Day 3: The day-long event will take place on Sunday, 13 December. Forest Day 3 (FD3) is hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and the Government of Denmark. Forest Day 3 will build on the success of Forest Day 1 and 2 in helping to place forests high on the agenda in current and future climate negotiations. For more information, please visit: www.forestday3.org.

Burness

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