Minister of Agriculture and Food, Lars Peder Brekk, political advisor Ane H. Kismul and Deputy Director-General Knut Øistad. Photo: Norway Mission/Emma Kwesiga Lydersen
Need to see agriculture and forestry in context
At the opening of the International Year of Forests in New York, Norway's Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr. Lars Peder Brekk, urged the world to see agriculture and forestry in context. This is best way to ensure highest possible level of food production, while preserving the world’s forests.
“Sustainably managed forests have an enormous potential to provide a multitude of benefits for a sound environment, sustainable economic development and the quality of life of millions of people,” Mr. Brekk said in his statement during the round table discussion “Forests for People”. The round table was one of four conferences that were organised as part of the official opening of the International Year of Forests 2011 and the 9th Session of the UN Forum on Forests.
Mr. Brekk noted that the increase in the global population means that there is a greater need for farmland.
“Rising food demands and food security create an outstanding challenge of today’s societies. Increased demand for agricultural land is one of the most important drivers of deforestation and the source of significant greenhouse gas emissions. We cannot look at these challenges in isolation. Agriculture, food security, forests and sustainable forest management are closely interlinked, “ the Agriculture Minister said.
The official opening of the International Year of Forests 2011 also constituted the High-level segment of the 9th Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), which ended on Thursday February 3rd. The participants have agreed on a Ministerial Declaration that will be sent to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – also called Rio + 20 Earth Summit - to be held in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in 2012.