The Executive Secretary AFF, Prof Godwin Kowero led an AFF delegation to the Twenty Second Committee on Forestry (COFO 22) and the World Forest Week 4 from 23 – 27 June, 2014 in Rome, Italy. The delegation comprised Prof Mahamane Larwanou (AFF) and Ms Linda Mossop-Rousseau (South Africa).
COFO 22 reviewed the state of the world’s forests touching on forest policy measures, access to resources, markets and financing, equitable benefit sharing and valuation of forest products and services. COFO 22 recognized that forests full range contributions are not reflected in the broader development agenda. Member countries considered various ways of promoting forests’ contributions to global developmental objectives and that they contributed into the global negotiation processes.
Member states were urged to participate in the development of Sustainable Development Goals as part of the post-2015 development agenda, as well as in the review the International Arrangement on Forests that will be the subject of the 11th session of United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) in 2015. Progress in implementing earlier decisions and the FAO’s programme priorities for forestry in light of the Organization’s new Strategic Framework were also considered by addressing work on climate change, Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), boreal forests and dryland forests.
COFO being the highest FAO Forestry statutory body holds biennial sessions that bring together heads of forest services and other senior government and other officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, find solutions to them and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action to take.
For the fourth time, COFO was held in conjunction with the World Forest Week – a series of meetings and events sponsored by FAO and its partner organizations and institutions. The World Forest Week 4 was an opportunity for sharing state-of-the-art knowledge and major accomplishments and achievements in various areas.
Side event
AFF delegation at the COFO 22 and the World Forest Week 4 also attended side-meetings of relevance to AFF: the Global Partnership for Forest and Landscape Restoration, the advisory panel on forestry education, an event on dry forests and agroforestry and a special plenary session on the pre-planning and preparation of World Forestry Congress to be held in South Africa, September 2015. By participating at the Congress, AFF will increase its visibility through papers, posters, presentations and organizing side events.