This conference held in Brussels on 26-27 May 2014 focused debate on solutions to global deforestation and forest degradation and their implications for climate change, development and biodiversity loss. Representatives from industry, academia, NGOs and governments met to discuss the main drivers and impacts of deforestation, the role of business and how to secure livelihoods, biodiversity and climate through the sustainable management of forests and land resources. Speakers included EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik. According to FAO estimates, some 13 million hectares of forest are lost every year. Competing and conflicting demands for land are likely to grow further towards 2050, when 9 billion people will be sharing one planet and its limited resources, under changing climate patterns and socio-economic conditions. To date, the land on which forest grows is often considered more valuable than the standing forest itself. Deforestation and agriculture account for some 30% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – more than the total EU greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing unsustainable land use therefore represents up to 60% of the national mitigation potentials against climate change in some countries, with significant co-benefits for adaptation. Threats to forests also threaten biodiversity hotspots, economic prosperity and development. Roundtable discussions at the conference will inform future work in various policy fields, including REDD+, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, the EU FLEGT Action Plan Review and the implementation of the EU Resource Efficiency Roadmap.
All speeches and presentations can be found by clicking on the relevant hyperlink in the attached agenda.