“The World is losing forests almost equivalent to South Africa in size”

"the world’s forests are continuing to shrink"

“the world’s forests are continuing to shrink”

“The World is losing forests almost equivalent to South Africa in size”.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva dropped the bombshell in his opening statement at the 14th World Forestry Congress being held on the African continent for the first time.

Taking in every word at the WFC 2015 official opening

Taking in every word at the WFC 2015 official opening

Da Silva said that FAO’s latest Global Forest Resources Assessment, (the FRA 2015) shows us that the world’s forests are continuing to shrink, with some 129 million hectares of forest being lost since 1990.

He was quick to highlight that the document which builds on existing data, also provides figures that must encourage us to step up our efforts to safeguard forests in a sustainable way.

“While the rate of net global deforestation continues to be positive, it has slowed down by more than a half over the past 25 years. An increasing amount of forest areas have come under protection, while more countries are adopting or improving sustainable forest management practices”, Da Silva explained.

The FAO Director General said that there is a need to eradicate hunger and poverty by 2030, while ensuring lasting protection for our planet’s natural resources. He explained that forests, which cover one-third of the world’s land area, have a crucial role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, to be adopted by the international community later this month in New York.

Forests are home to over three quarters of the world´s terrestrial biodiversity, which represent an irreplaceable genetic resource for the future development of agriculture. They also support agriculture by keeping water catchments healthy, providing habitats for pollinators, and offering protection against climatic extremes.

When managed sustainably, they sequester carbon, thus mitigating climate change. Millions of people depend on forests, and on the plants and animals that dwell in them, to meet their needs for food, energy and shelter.

Forests also generate employment, and they are the basis for improving the rural livelihoods of millions of small enterprises.

It wasn’t all serious business as the Durban based trio Afrosoul provided some authentic African music.

 entertainment by Afrosoul

entertainment by Afrosoul

 

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