Photo: Paula Alvarado.
As we mentioned last week, from October 18 until 23 Buenos Aires was host of the XIII World Forestry Congress. With less than two months to Copenhagen, climate change in the center of political discussions, and forests being a critical tool to fight global warming, the discussions inside the panels were of special interest this year.
TreeHugger attended many of the conferences and here are some ideas and conclusions drawn from the conversations.
Conclusions and concepts from the 2009 WFC
From what we could experience, the main subjects of the congress were around the following concepts:
-Woods are not sacred temples which man cannot interfere with. However, and obviously, the use of forest resources has to be done with planning and responsibility;
-Woods are not just about carbon: they harbor two thirds of all land based biological diversity, they generate precious goods like water, food, and income, which comes from 5000 forest products. They also are part of the identity of millions of people;
-Any and all decisions taken to preserve forests has to consider the improvement of the lives of people who live from the woods. Mainly because poverty and lack of resources drive irresponsible deforestation in many parts of the world;
-With a growing population that must be fed, it is impossible to completely stop deforestation. However, the expansion of agriculture lands and use of forests must be done in a responsible and planned way;
-Urban and peri urban forests can be powerful tools to adapt to climate change;
-We need more and better monitoring and data collecting technologies for forests to take more informed decisions;
-Even though REDD and REDD+ programs can be interesting tools to deal with climate change, they have to be simplified for countries to adopt them faster;
-In order to move forward with conservation, there's a need to work in coordination with governments, organizations and native communities;
-And, last but not least: shaping a sustainable use of forests doesn't have to mean we have to resign growth, on the contrary, it represents a great opportunity to generate jobs and new services.
Apart from these ideas drawn from the talks by this writer, the authorities of the event elaborated a set of official conclusions and a document with recommendations to world leaders that will be taken to Copenhagen.
More on the congress:
CFM2009.org (in English)
More on Forestry and Forests:
WFC 2009: Zero Deforestation by 2020 a Utopia; Net Deforestation Reduction, not that Much
What Remains After the Continued Leveling of Appalachia
Eliminating Eucalyptus to Aid Ethiopia