Ministerial Meeting on Forests 14 March Committee on Forestry 15-19 March
Rome, 9March 2005 Twohigh level meetings on Forestry will be held at FAOs headquarters in Romenext week. FAO will hold the Ministerial Meeting on Forestson 14March and the seventeenth session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO)from 15 to 19 March. Both are open to journalists.
One ofthe main agenda items tabled for the Ministerial Meeting on Forests is internationalcooperation on forest fires. Forest fires are a significant precipitatingcause of deforestation and they emit carbon dioxide into the atmospherecontributing to climate change. Until now, cooperation on forest fire managementfocused on fire suppression. However, there is growing recognition that forestfires are directly linked with forest management better managed forestscontribute to less forest fires. The causes of forest fires also often lieoutside the forestry sector, such as the application of slash-and-burn foragriculture. The ministers at the meeting will therefore discuss opportunitiesfor cooperation at local, regional and international levels to address forestfires at the root cause.
TheMinisterial Meeting will also address the international commitment tosustainable forest management, and the role of the forest sector in therehabilitation of Asian communities following the tsunami disaster of 26December 2004.
Approximately50 ministers have confirmed their attendance to the Ministerial Meeting. DrJacques Diouf Director-General of FAO and H.E. Sassou Nguesso, Presidentof the Republic of Congo, will address the opening session.
Approximately100 heads of national forestry agencies will discuss ways to implement inpractical terms what the ministers propose at the Committee on Forestry (COFO).In addition, they will discuss specific ways that forests contribute to theachievement of the Millennium Development Goals with emphasis on practicalimplementation on the ground.
Morethan 400 representatives of member countries, non-governmentalorganizations and international organizations are expected to attend COFO. H.E.Matti Vanhanen, Prime Minister of Finland will speak at the opening session.
A totalof 20 side events are planned during the afternoon sessions throughoutthe week, including topics such as Forest Law Compliance; Forests and ClimateChange; Forests and Bioenergy; invasive species; and Forests and Conflict. Mostof these events will feature presentations by representatives of otherorganizations and the private sector, followed by informal discussions. Forexample, the meeting on Forest Law Compliance will feature new guidelines forthe use of countries to address illegal logging.
Foraccreditation purposes, please contact FAO Media Relations Office, firstname.lastname@example.org , tel: 0039-06-5705-3625. Accreditation will be at theFAO main entrance throughout the week on production of a valid press pass.
For radiointerviews, call: Liliane Kambirigi, Radio Information Officer, (+39) 06 570 53223
Television: Bou Downes, TV Information Officer, (+39) 06 57055980/52518