The aim of the event was to create an international space for the exchange of knowledge and experience and to highlight the role of research on increasing the effectiveness of forest management, in accordance with the principles of the “Forest for Climate” ministerial declaration, adopted in Katowice. The Declaration calls on the Parties to preserve and increase carbon stocks in greenhouse gas reservoirs by 2050, as well as points to the key role of forests as carbon sinks, in order to enable the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement objectives. The participants of the event had the opportunity not only to listen to presentations about practices in Poland, Chile, China, Mozambique and the United Kingdom, but also to engage in an active debate with the speakers.
During the meeting, Monika Figaj, representative of the Polish Presidency, pointed out that Poland joined forces with Chile in order to create a special space within the UNFCCC for debating science, forests and climate. “To date, 80 Parties have signed the “Forests for Climate” Katowice Ministerial Declaration. We believe that it gives us a strong mandate to act and effectively implement its principles,” she stressed. She added that science is a very important building block of the declaration. “Forests play a significant role in mitigating climate change as greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs. They are our hope for achieving a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and their sequestration. That is why we should learn more about them, since this knowledge can help us, as well as the forest ecosystems,” she pointed out.
Jose Prado, representative of the Chilean Presidency, added that forests are crucial for Poland and Chile to achieve the objectives set forth in the Paris Agreement and that is why these Presidencies decided to organise a meeting where countries had the opportunity to talk about the role of science in increasing the significance of the role of forests in mitigating climate change. “Forests can make a huge contribution to this, but we still have a lot to learn – for example, how to manage them in order to achieve maximum benefits, both from the standpoint of climate change, as well as other environmental services. Science is a way to meet this challenge,” he pointed out.
The Polish Presidency prepared three special events for this year’s Bonn session: “Forests for Climate: How Science Helps Forests” workshop (link) , a workshop on Just Transition (link) , and a seminar on electromobility (link) , each corresponding to one of the main topics of COP24:
· Nature and environment – including multifunctional and sustainable forest management – as an element of climate neutrality and the role of forests as carbon sinks, as well as support for a synergistic view of the three key UN conventions on climate, biodiversity and desertification;
· Humans – highlighting the need to implement changes together with people through solidarity and just transition of regions and industrial sectors;
· Technology – pointing out climate-friendly and innovative solutions, such as electromobility, which enable achieving sustainable urban development and clean air, as well as providing new and modern jobs.
- Scaling up forest solutions for climate and sustainable development - FAO
- Forest science in support to climate change decision making in Mozambique - Almeida Sitoe, Bernard Guedes and Sa Lisboa, Departament of Forestry, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique
- Forest CO2 sink: bridging gaps between science and policy - Giacomo Grassi, Joint Research Centre, The European Commission's science and knowledge service
- Forest monitoring in support of climate change mitigation: role of Earth Observation - Veronique De Sy, Wageningen University & CIFOR