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Speakers on the opening day of UNFF 9 addressed issues related to forests and green economies, forests' ability to provide carbon-neutral energy, and forests' role in climate change mitigation.

24 January 2011: The ninth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 9) opened on 24 January 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, and will run until 4 February under the theme “Forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication.”

The session will include sharing of regional perspectives, approaches and experiences. Taking place during the International Year of Forests 2011, UNFF 9 will include a high-level ministerial segment, to be held from 2-3 February 2011, as well as four high-level roundtables addressing: forests for people; finance for forest-dependent communities; forests +: a cross-sectoral and cross-institutional approach; and forests and green economies.

On the opening day, the Forum addressed organizational matters, progress towards achieving sustainable forest management (SFM), and means of implementation. Delegates also heard opening statements, and held a panel discussion on food, energy and economic challenges and opportunities, with a special focus on women and youth. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, made a statement linking forest management to a green economy. Jan McAlpine, Director of the UNFF Secretariat, highlighted the interconnectedness of the Global Objectives on Forests and the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests. Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director General of Forestry at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), stressed that “forests are not just carbon,” noting forests’ ability to provide carbon-neutral energy and a multitude of key ecosystem resources and services, as well as their role in climate change mitigation. [IISD RS Coverage of UNFF 9] [UN Press Release] [UNFF 9 Website]

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