EU/UN/ENVIRONMENT : FOREST PROTECTION, A GLOBAL PRIORITY IN 2011.

After biodiversity in 2010, forests will be at the heart of international concerns this year. The United Nations has declared 2011 the International Year of Forests. The aim is to alert global opinion to the dangers that threaten forests and to promote sustainable forest management at every level - international, national, regional and local. The year will be officially launched at United Nations headquarters in New York, on 2 and 3 February, during the high-level debate of the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests.

At international level, the UN Forum on Forests is in charge of coordinating activities organised worldwide on this theme. It is working in close collaboration with the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in order to identify potential synergistic effects between the International Year of Biological Diversity in 2010 and the International Year of Forests; of the Climate Convention (UNFCCC), particularly on implementation of the REDD+ programme to combat deforestation; and of the Ramsar Convention (protection of wetlands) for the drafting of a brochure on wetlands and forests for World Wetlands Day in 2011.

A wide variety of events, conferences and seminars will be organised worldwide, including in Europe. A number of EU member states have already notified the forum of the events they will be sponsoring this year, including:

Bulgaria: traditional forest celebration in April

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