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Theme of Future Policy Award 2011: Forests

World Future Council to present awards in New York, September 2011

New York / Montreal / Hamburg, 3 February 2011. During the International Year of Forests, decision makers will be asking the question: what are the policies that most successfully protect and manage forests? The World Future Council, an international forum that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions, will come up with some answers. At today’s Annual Meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York, the World Future Council (WFC) announced that it will provide this year’s distinguished Future Policy Award to the world’s most inspiring, innovative and influential laws on forest protection and management. The Awards will be presented in New York in September 2011 at a reception hosted by the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the WFC.

In making the announcement, Alexandra Wandel, Executive Member of the Management Board of the German-based organization, said, “Exemplary policy solutions do exist. The Future Policy Award celebrates the best of them. The aim of the award is to raise global awareness for these policies and speed up policy action. At the World Future Council we strive to enhance policy progress in the interest of future generations.”

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said, “Forests hold more than 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biological diversity and as highlighted in 2010, deforestation and forest degradation are major reasons for the world’s unprecedented biodiversity loss. This is why it is urgent to identify policies which protect biodiversity while contributing to the fight against land degradation and climate change.”

Speaking in New York at the opening ceremony of the International Year on Forests, WFC Honorary Councillor, Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Laureate and Founder of the Green Belt Movement, said, “Governments have a responsibility to ensure that the ecological services provided by the trees and forests are available for the common good of all communities, including the future generations.”

Nominations for the Future Policy Award are received from a select group of international organizations as well as from Councillors and Advisors of the World Future Council. A research team screens all nominated policies according to the seven principles for sustainable development law that were presented at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. As a result, an evaluation report is presented to the international jury composed of experts from all five continents.


Notes to Editors

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. With its Future Policy Award the Council celebrates the world’s most exemplary national policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations and that produce practical and tangible results. The Award topics, on which policy progress is particularly urgent, are chosen on an annual basis. In close cooperation with civil society, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies future just policies around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany. For more information, visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

For further information on the Future Policy Award, please visit: http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/future_policy_award.html

Contact: Alexandra Wandel, World Future Council: +49-1578-9119229, fpa(at)worldfuturecouncil.org

The International Year of Forests

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs serves as the focal point for the implementation of the International Year of Forests, in cooperation with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and international, regional and sub-regional organizations and processes as well as relevant major groups.

For more information visit www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/

The United Nations Forum on Forests

The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) was established in October 2000 by the Resolution 2000/35 of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). It is a subsidiary body with the main objective to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end, based on the Rio Declaration, the Forest Principles, Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the outcome of the IPF/IFF Processes and other key milestones of international forest policy. The Forum has universal membership, and is composed of all Member States of the United Nations and specialized agencies.

For more information visit http://www.un.org/esa/forests/index.html

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a subsidiary agreement to the Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 159 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal, Canada. For more information visit www.cbd.int

For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at david.ainsworth(at)cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund(at)cbd.int.

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