Most people don’t live in, or even near, a forest. While it is true that 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods, for most people, forests are out of sight, out of mind.
And yet if people had to pay for what forests provide, for wood, paper, clean water, clean air, biodiversity, it would amount to a pretty penny, and this is at the heart of the discussions now taking place at the United Nations Forum on Forests in Istanbul, Turkey.
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, put it this way at the opening of the Forum: “We must all see and understand that if the process we call growth and development continues in this way, will not have a liveable world.” Citing a Native American saying, he added, “when all the trees are cut, all animals are hunted, all waters are polluted and the air becomes unbreathable you will understand that money is something that you cannot eat.”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, says the Forum is meeting “at a critical time”. He said the vital issues forests influenced – from livelihoods to biodiversity and climate change – had been highlighted in the outcome of Rio+20 and would be considered during negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.
- Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo
- Forum Chair Mario Ruales Carranza (Ecuador)
International Forest Short Film Festival – Winners
- The Forests Secretariat partnered with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival to honor creative efforts of filmmakers who visually capture how forests inspire, shelter, nurture and contribute to our lives. This year’s Film Festival is for short films of five minutes or less. The winners of the Film Festival include Rowan Pybus of South Africa, Paul Rosolie of the United States, Elio Alonso Vasquez Miranda of Peru, Sébastien Pins of Belgium, and Dan Childs and Nick Werber of the United Kingdom. More information on the winners can be found here.
- Special items from the UN News Centre: