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FAO 19th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Committee on Forestry
Rome | 16-20 March 2009
United Nations
Daily Web Coverage
Monday, 16 March
Tuesday, 17 March
Wednesday, 18 March
Thursday, 19 March
Friday, 20 March
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COFO 19 Opens in Rome

Above: COFO 19 Chair Abigail Kimbell, US, conferred with COFO Secretary Douglas Kneeland during opening plenary.

On Monday, delegates convened at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome for the 19th session of its Committee on Forestry (COFO), in conjunction with World Forest Week 2009.

The event was officially opened with an afternoon plenary session. The Committee addressed several agenda items, including the adoption of the agenda, the election of officers and the selection of the drafting committee, and listened to several opening speeches.

Jan Heino, FAO, introduced the draft FAO Strategy for Forests and Forestry, noting its close link to the FAO Strategic Framework and Medium-term Plan, and called for a decision on the draft this week.

C.T.S. Nair presented FAO's State of the World's Forests (SOFO) 2009, on "Society, Forests, and Forestry: Adapting for the Future." He highlighted that its two sections summarize the outlook for the world's forests and the sector's response to these challenges.

Jan McAlpine, Director, UN Forum on Forests, provided an overview of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) Strategic Framework on Forests and Climate Change. She emphasized the need to consider the multiple functions of forests, and cautioned against focusing solely on their role in carbon sequestration.

Countries were given the opportunity to present opening statements. Many countries echoed the call for closer linkages between forest organizations and the climate change agenda. Several developing countries highlighted the need for financial and technical support to manage their forests sustainably.

In the morning, the Bureaux of the Regional Forestry Commissions (RFC) met to discuss several agenda items. On recent experiences of the RFCs, delegates discussed: the importance of forests with regard to climate change; forests and the management of water resources, wildfire and wildlife; institution and policy development; information exchange; financing; capacity-building; and poverty reduction.

Also Monday morning, Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF, and members of the UNFF Secretariat, gave COFO delegates a briefing on the UNFF informal consultations on mobilizing financing for sustainable forest management, held in Rome on 12-13 March, 2009. The informal consultation intended to provide an opportunity to discuss options for forest financing and the role and actions of the UNFF, in order to facilitate and advance consensus at the eighth session of UNFF.

Monday, 16 March
Opening Plenary

Pham Minh Thoa, Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, acted as COFO 18 Chair.

Douglas Kneeland, COFO Secretary.

Jan Heino, Assistant Director-General for Forestry, FAO.

C.T.S. Nair, FAO.

Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF.

COFO 19 Chair Abigail Kimbell, United States.

José Antonio Marcondes, Brazil.

Carlos Gonzalez Vicente, Mexico.

Abdul Razak Ayazi, Afghanistan.

Peter Besseau, Canada.

Ndiawar Dieng, Senegal.

Poet Marcia Theophilo, Brazil.

Meeting of the Bureaux of the Regional Forestry Commissions

Pham Minh Thoa, APFC, and Jan Heino, FAO, led the meeting of the regional commission bureaux.
Around COFO 19

Participants enjoyed the sunny weather during lunch on the rooftop terrace.

Related Links

FAO Forestry web site
FAO Committee on Forestry
Schedule of Events
Conference Documents

Related IISD-RS Coverage

Linkages Forests, Desertification and Land
Linkages Introduction to Forests Processes
ENB Coverage of COFO 18
ENB Coverage of COFO 17
ENB Coverage of COFO 16


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