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Summary and Analysis
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Ninth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF9)

24 January - 4 February 2011 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
Daily highlights (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Highlights for Wednesday, 2 February 2011
On Wednesday, 2 February, delegates convened for the opening of the High-Level Segment of the ninth session of the UNFF. In the morning, delegates met in a special session of the UN General Assembly for the launch of the International Year of Forests 2011 (IYF 2011). In the afternoon, delegates convened in two high-level roundtable sessions on “Forests for people” and “Finance for forest-dependent communities.”

Welcomed by Joseph Deiss, President of the sixty-fifth session of the UN General Assembly, delegates heard a video message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who stressed that the IYF 2011 is an important platform for increasing awareness of the importance of forests. Participants then heard messages from a number of dignitaries, including Nobel Laureate Wangari Mathaai, who noted that sustainable management of natural resources and equitable sharing of benefits was imperative to improve livelihoods. Delegates were also given the opportunity to view film clips from the International Forest Film Festival.

Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations Office at Nairobi, moderated the Round Table on “Finance for forest-dependent communities”. Sampaio introduced some key questions to address, including: which are the more adequate sources of funding for forest-dependent communities; the implications of REDD+ for local communities; and possible ways to secure long-term financing. High-level country representatives presented on national experiences, noting remaining key challenges in sustainable forest management (SFM) financing both at the national and international levels. In the ensuing discussions participants discussed: how to ensure that forests are prioritized for financing in the international arena, among MEAs and other sectors; and how to ensure a greater allocation of the national budget to forests.

Mohammed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation, and former CEO, Global Environment Facility (GEF) moderated the Round Table on Forests for people, where high-level country representatives made statements highlighting country experiences on this topic. In their interventions, delegates highlighted the multiple values and contributions of forests to human well-being and environmental stability, including their contributions to economic development, poverty eradication, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, natural disaster risks reduction, and soil and water quality, recreation and spiritual well-being, among many other goods. Delegates also shared their national experiences with SFM for the benefit of people, including successes and challenges.
Juan Manuel Gómez-Robledo Verduzco, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, stressed the importance of forests in mitigating climate change, preserving species and protecting biodiversity.
Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF, stressed the need to ascertain the true value of forests in order to protect them.
Stanislas Kamanzi, Minister  of Environment and Lands, Rwanda, highlighted a collaborative project with UNFF, among others, to improve Rwanda’s forest landscape.
Božidar Pankretić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Forests and Water Management, Croatia, expressed hope that the implementation of the Forest Instrument will be the basis for political will and action at all levels, to achieve the four Global Objectives on Forests.
L-R: Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF; Arvids Ozols, Chair, UNFF9; Joseph Deiss, President, UN General Assembly; Vivian Pliner, Secretary, UNFF.
The photos are credited from the UNFF Secretariat.
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Related Links
Meeting resources
*UNFF9 website
*UNFF9 provisional agenda
*UNFF9 official documents
*UNFF9 provisional organization of work
*UNFF9 informational note
*UNFF9 Bureau minutes
*UNFF9 side events
*Key forest related events in 2011

IISD RS resources
IISD RS coverage of the Forty-sixth Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-46) and Associated Sessions of the Committees, 13-18 December 2010, Yokohama, Japan
*IISD RS coverage of the Twentieth Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO 2010) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 4-8 October 2010, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
*IISD RS coverage of UNFF8, 20 April - 1 May 2009, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of UNFF7, 16-27 April 2007, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS forests, desertification and land web page
*IISD RS introduction to forests processes
*Forests-L - A mailing list for news on forest policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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