Africa: Looking Back on Forest Day

Doha — The world's top forestry experts and high-profile decision makers gathered on the sidelines of the UN Climate talks yesterday for the last Forest Day, as the event shifts to a more integrated focus on achieving food security and overcoming climate change challenges in the future.

Since its debut at COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia, just six years ago, Forest Day quickly became one of the most influential global events on forests. Its aim was to ensure forests were high on the agenda of global and national climate strategies - and to share the most up-to-date knowledge on forests and climate change.

"It's been quite a journey since we launched the first Forest Day at COP 13 in Bali. We had originally planned a relatively small science-oriented event - and then more than 800 people showed up," said former CIFOR Director General Frances Seymour, who was instrumental in the success of the first five Forest Days.

More than 5,000 people from more than a 100 countries have attended all six Forest Days. This includes about 1,000 UNFCCC negotiators, more than 400 journalists and more than 300 speakers - including a president, governors, government ministers, Nobel Laureates, scientists, global experts and indigenous leaders.

"Forest Day was designed to help put forests on the climate change agenda - and I think we can say that this mission has been completed. REDD+ is one of the policy areas that has made the most progress in the climate negotiatons in the last few years," said Peter Holmgren the current Director General of CIFOR.

For photos and videos from the Forest Day 6, visit our Flickr page and www.forestday.org/live.

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