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U.N. says forests to play a prominent role in global sustainable development agenda

International Day of Forests celebrated to further enhance the awareness of the importance of forests.
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DOHA, Qatar (3 December 2012)_Forests are going to feature very importantly in the future international sustainable development agenda, said the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo.

Speaking at Forest Day on the sidelines of the U.N. climate conference in Doha, Qatar, Ambassador Wu said paying attention to forests also contributes to environmental protection, economic growth and social development.

At the Rio +20 summit in June 2012, U.N. member states agreed to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nations agreed that the process of developing these goals would be inclusive and transparent, and that the final goals will be voted on by the U.N. General Assembly.

“This is an all-inclusive process, including developed, developing and emerging countries,” said Ambassador Wu.

“The future SDGs will be built on the rich experiences and lessons learned from the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Where were the MDGs implemented? In developing countries.”

“So they are in a position to share with the international community the lessons learned and their successful experiences.”

Ambassador Wu said that Forest Day – now in its sixth year – has spurred important discussions about forests, raising people’s awareness of their value.

In addition, he said, the UN General Assembly Second Committee has just passed an important resolution that an International Day of Forests will be celebrated every year on 21 March.

“This is a further step by the international community to further enhance the awareness of the importance of forests,” Ambassador Wu said.

But, he added, “There’s much more work we can do.”

“I believe that forests will feature very prominently in the future sustainable development agenda.”

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