CPET at Forest Day 3
19 December 2009
In recent weeks negotiations have been ongoing as to the content of future policy on the abatement of greenhouse gas emissions to prevent climate change. Forests play a key role in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that up to 18% of global carbon dioxide emissions are related to deforestation. Illegal and unsustainable logging is a major cause of deforestation in many countries.
Awareness of this connection has resulted in increased focus on forests in climate change negotiations. This year as in previous years, the Conference played host to the Forest day. CPET was fortunate to be able to attend the 3rd Annual Forest Day, where close to 1500 of the world’s forestry experts, climate change negotiators, representatives of environmental and social non‐governmental organizations and indigenous leaders, policy makers, and corporate representatives gathered to debate and converse on all manner of issues related to forestry, timber and the climate.
The event attracted a high calibre of speakers. Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Food, Environment and Rural affairs gave a compelling speech, highlighting the importance of public spending and timber procurement policies in preventing the growth of illegal logging which was highlighted as driver of increased greenhouse gas emissions. His speech was complemented by that of the Danish Minister of Environment, Troels Lund Poulsen, who extolled the virtues of a strong EU stance against illegal logging and the implementation of a due diligence mechanism which makes it illegal to procure timber from illegal sources. Other speeches and side events highlighted the importance of forests in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change.
The event demonstrated the significance of the UK government timber procurement policy in climate change mitigation and the importance of the policy in inhibiting illegal and unsustainable logging practices.