Forests key to climate change pact: Durban congress

September 12, 2015
A tree stands in a deforested area in the middle of the Amazon jungle during a flight by Greenpeace activists over areas of ille
A tree stands in a deforested area in the middle of the Amazon jungle during a flight by Greenpeace activists over areas of illegal exploitation of timber, in the state of Para, Brazil, on October 14, 2014

Two major UN conferences on climate change and sustainable development must tackle the key issue of deforestation, the World Forestry Congress urged Friday.

"Forests are an essential solution to adaptation and mitigation," according to a statement released by the congress, which drew 4,000 delegates from government, conservation groups and the private sector to the South African city of Durban this week.

Apart from offering oxygen, fuel and building material, trees store important quantities of carbon gas, which, if released, contribute to global warming.

Members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are due to meet in Paris from November 30 to December 11, bidding for a landmark agreement to curb carbon emissions.

"Climate change poses a serious threat to the planet and to forests and forest-dependent people, and there is a risk that actions will fall short of what is required," the congress said.

The Durban meeting also targeted the UN General Assembly summit in New York later this month on adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A UN report released at the congress on Monday noted that although some progress has been made in slowing the rate of forest destruction, an area of woodland the size of South Africa has been lost since 1990.

The international conservation organisation WWF hailed the 's declaration.

"As we head into the UN climate change talks in Paris, all parties need to make sure the new climate deal creates incentives for the actions needed to reduce loss," it said.

Explore further: Rate of global forest loss halved: UN report

Related Stories

Rate of global forest loss halved: UN report

September 7, 2015

The rate at which the world is losing its forests has been halved, but an area of woodland the size of South Africa has still been lost since 1990, a major UN report said Monday.

Boreal forests challenged by global change

August 20, 2015

Management of boreal forests needs greater attention from international policy, argued forestry experts from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Natural Resources Canada, and the University of ...

Indonesia to cut emission by 29 percent in 2030

September 2, 2015

Indonesia has unveiled an ambitious new target for reducing carbon emissions, promising to slash its greenhouse gas output by 29 percent by 2030, the government said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Two new planets discovered using artificial intelligence

March 26, 2019

Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with Google, have used artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover two more hidden planets in the Kepler space telescope archive. The technique shows promise for ...

Infertility's roots in DNA packaging

March 26, 2019

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7 percent of human males, and among those afflicted, 10 to 15 percent are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the ...

Facebook is free, but should it count toward GDP anyway?

March 26, 2019

For several decades, gross domestic product (GDP), a sum of the value of purchased goods, has been a ubiquitous yardstick of economic activity. More recently, some observers have suggested that GDP falls short because it ...

Droughts could hit aging power plants hard

March 26, 2019

Older power plants with once-through cooling systems generate about a third of all U.S. electricity, but their future generating capacity will be undercut by droughts and rising water temperatures linked to climate change. ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (2) Sep 12, 2015
Will climate science ever finally say it's; "PROVEN" before it's too late to avoid their CO2 Armageddon?
It's been 34 years of debate and delay to save the planet.

Is this how you want your children remembering you?

CO2 death threats?
Who's the neocon in the coming history books?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.