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2012-02-28

Forest science issues need highlighting at Rio+20

IUFRO's Contribution to Rio+20 under the ICSU Umbrella

The International Council for Science (ICSU) will have a key role in the international Rio+20 process as a co-organizing partner for the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group, together with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO). Against this background, (ICSU) has collected policy statements from its member unions for integration into the "Input for Rio+20 Compilation Document". IUFRO scientists have put together an IUFRO statement which has now been published at: http://www.icsu.org/rio20/home/icsu-members/icsu-members

These statements, together with relevant policy briefs (http://www.icsu.org/rio20/policy-briefs) and information from five regional science and technology workshops (http://www.icsu.org/rio20/home), have served as the basis for ICSU's input to the Rio+20 Outcome Document "The Future We Want", particularly elaborating more thematic input to the zero draft on issues such as food, water and energy security. The zero draft includes a separate section (No. 90) on "Forests and biodiversity" calling for the urgent implementation of the "Non-Legally Binding Instrument on all Types of Forests (NLBI)".

Although ICSU's "Input for Rio+20 Compilation Document" (http://www.icsu.org/rio20/home) includes all elements that – also from the perspective of forest science – would be required, addressing
(a) securing renewed political commitment;
(b) assessing gaps in implementation in the light of new scientific evidence;
(c) green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development;
(d) institutional framework for sustainable development; and
(e) new and emerging challenges,
an explicit reference to forest is only made three times in the entire document ("deforestation" twice and "the role of the planet's forest in biodiversity conservation" once).

In the current final phase towards Rio+20, ICSU will sponsor the conference "Planet under Pressure: new knowledge towards solutions" (London, 26-29 March, http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/index.asp) and organize a 5-day Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro, 11-15 June 2012),

Looking at the past process of providing forest science input to Rio+20 through ICSU and the planned activities ahead until June 2012, it will now only be possible to further highlight forest and forest science issues through personal attendance of the above-mentioned two meetings.

If you plan to participate in one of these meetings, it would be an excellent opportunity to further promote IUFRO's course as outlined in the IUFRO statement to Rio+20. Kindly contact IUFRO Deputy Executive Director Michael Kleine (kleine(at)iufro.org) for further coordinating IUFRO's contributions.

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