The media is invited to attend the fifth Annual Forest Day on Sunday, 4 December 2011, as part of COP17
in Durban. Described as one of the leading annual global platforms on forests and climate change, this year, it will have a special focus on the role of African forests in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
More than 1000 forestry experts, activists, policymakers, global leaders and climate change negotiators will debate the latest in the UN negotiations on REDD+, (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries), a year after governments at the 2010 climate talks in Cancun agreed to include the REDD+ mechanism officially in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It will also discuss how forests can be better harnessed to slow the pace of global warming and help communities adapt to the changing environment.
Among the 60 speakers are:
- Helen Gichohi, president, African Wildlife Foundation, Kenya
- Bob Scholes, systems ecologist, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
- Tony La Viña, facilitator of the UNFCCC COP REDD+ negotiations
- Odigha Odigha, chairman of the Cross River State Forestry Commission, Nigeria
- Caroline Spelman, secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom
- Rachel Kyte, vice president of Sustainable Development, World Bank
- Tina Joemat-Pettersson, minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
- Raymond S Lumbuenamo, national coordinator, World Wide Fund for Nature, Democratic Republic of Congo
Scientists have warned that sub-Saharan Africa may be among the hardest hit regions by climate change. A string of climate-related disasters, most recently the drought-induced famine in the Greater Horn of Africa has already struck the continent.
Journalists can register by emailing gro.raigc@ofniaidem-rofic
or view a full lineup of speakers at www.ForestDay.org