Global: "Despite obstacles , forests can be restored and protected"


"Despite the obstacles, forests can be restored and protected," according to Tim Rollinson, Director-General of the British Forestry Commission prior to the Commonwealth Forestry Conference in Edinburgh that opened today.

Mr Rollinson, who also chairs the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), said the world's remaining forests had to be protected soon or it would not be possible to prevent dangerous levels of climate change.

"Forests are essential to life on Earth - it's as simple as that," Mr Rollinson said. "Forests lock up carbon and help to regulate the climate, so we need them to help keep the Earth's climate in balance.

"They also protect the water and soil on which we all depend, they replenish the oxygen in the air we breathe, they mitigate flooding and erosion, they protect biodiversity and wildlife, and they provide places for people to refresh body and soul. When they are managed wisely, they can produce endless supplies of timber, food and many other products that need never run out.

"In short, without forests we're in serious trouble, yet they are still being lost and degraded at an alarming rate.

The Commonwealth Forestry Conferences are held approximately every four years. They bring together and share the knowledge and experience of foresters from Commonwealth and other state forest services, industry, research bodies and non-government organisations (NGOs) as well as experts from other disciplines that interact with forestry, such as economists, social scientists and environmental scientists.

The conferences are highly regarded by forest services, which recognise them as a valuable forum for maintaining contact and exchanging knowledge and broadening experience. Conference discussions can make a real contribution to the sustainable management, conservation and development of the world's forests.

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18th Commonwealth forest Conference

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