G3 at COP17 and Forest Day 5

The G3 (Three Rightsholders' Group) at the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban, December 2011. Photo: G3

The G3 alliances - GACF, IAITPTF and IFFA - have been busy in Durban during the UNFCCC's COP 17.

Lennart Ackzell from IFFA reports back on some important moments and messages from COP17 so far.

Parallel to the climate change negotiations many organisations are in Durban at the UNFCCC exhibition area. The G3 is collaborating with IIED there and has been distributing the newly produced publications on Growing Forest Partnerships (GFP) and REDD and on the G3's perspective on climate change which have proved very popular.

The G3 has also had its own internal meetings to discuss the ongoing negotiations, further activities in Durban and upcoming events such as Rio+20 in June 2012 and the UNFCCC COP18 in Doha in December 2012.

Forest Day 5 on 4 December was a success. The G3 distributed both the GFP materials as well as information about a new joint project between the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and the G3. The PEFC Forest Day stand also served as the G3 hub.

Very exciting speakers including South-Africa's Minister of Agriculture-Forestry-Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, highlighted key GFP themes such as the importance of people living in or close to the forest, livelihood of forest dependent people, that forests are much more than CO2 and that the sustainable use of the forest is the solution to many of the problems raised at the negotiations.

A touching film was presented as a tribute to Nobel Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, who recently died, and her mission in the Green Belt Movement with the basic principle of engaging local people in the management of forests.

Forest Day 5 ended with closing remarks from the UNFCCC Secretary General, Christiana Figueres, where she concluded that the Climate Change negotiations now have a third pillar in addition to mitigation and adaptation, namely poverty eradication. A very welcome message to focus on the human component of Climate Change and Forests.