Forests 2011 2011: International Year of Forests
The General Assembly of the United Nations has designated 2011 International Year of Forests. The aim is to raise public awareness and promote sustainable forest development, conservation and protection the world over. With its wealth of experience acquired through many years of tropical forest research, CIRAD is naturally involved in this international event.
As Eduardo Rojas, Assistant Director General of the FAO Forestry Department, stressed at the official launch of the International Year of Forests on 2 February, the International Year of Forests has to serve to highlight the links between people and forests, and the benefits local populations can derive from managing their forests in a sustainable, innovative way.
This is also what motivates CIRAD to work on tropical forests, which are valuable ecosystems, at the heart of a range of complex issues, on which the organization has been working for more than 50 years.
There are many reasons for preserving forests, which are often at the heart of current events. Forests house 80% of all terrestrial biomass. They provide many resources, notably wood for construction and paper pulp, and as a renewable energy source. Trees also sequester carbon, and thus help to limit climate change. On a local level, forests also render many services: soil protection and enrichment, water recycling, coastal protection, local climate regulation, etc. More than 1.6 billion people depend on forests.
Throughout the year, this web portal will be reporting on the highlights relating to tropical forests, and will be supplemented with various resources aimed at providing a better understanding of the global issues linked to forests: development, the environment, the energy crisis, and climate change.
In France and overseas, CIRAD's researchers will be organizing and participating in scientific events, international workshops and exhibitions. They will be meeting the general public to raise awareness of tropical forests and the major role they play in our daily lives.
CIRAD has naturally chosen the theme of tropical forests for the Paris International Agricultural Fair. In particular, it is planning:
- a stand demonstrating the range of CIRAD's research operations on forests in the South
- two days of round tables (21 and 22 February 2011) on the topic of whether we should pay for tropical forests.
In partnership with the Paris City Council, we are organizing an exhibition at the Parc de Bagatelle, on the global issues surrounding tropical forests (May to October 2011 ). The Jardin d’agronomie tropicale in Nogent-sur-Marne will also be hosting several events, in particular an exhibition on the history of forest research.
This unprecedented event is being organized by the government of the Republic of Congo. CIRAD will be present. More info on the event website.
A conference, entitled "Research priorities in tropical silviculture: towards new paradigms?", is being organized by CIRAD, CIFOR and ECOFOR, under the aegis of the IUFRO.
It is being organized by CIRAD and the Paris City Council, with the prospect of wide-ranging global partnerships (territorial authorities, foundations, NGOs, research organizations).