Since July 16, Rome has become the centre of international dialogue on forests. While opening the event, Vice Minister Mazurek drew attention to the many functions of forests in Poland.
“Forests constitute a significant part of Poland's territory. They are also important from the standpoint of the economy. It is estimated that more than 300 thousand people found employment in the forestry and lumber industries” he reminded.
During the opening ceremony, the Vice Minister also mentioned the key role of forests in the country's development.
“Forests are not only our natural treasure, but also a pillar of the country's development. It is our duty to manage them in an appropriate and sustainable way. That is why we implement so many projects related to the forest sector in Poland,” said Sławomir Mazurek.
During COFO, the Vice Minister of Environment held numerous bilateral talks with, among others, the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, the Minister of the Forest Economy of the Republic of Congo Rosalie Matondo, as well as FAO Deputy Director Daniel Gustafson.
Vice Minister Mazurek also met with a U.S. delegation chaired by Victoria Christiansen, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. During the meeting, the role of forests at the COP24 climate summit was discussed in detail.
Forests and climate neutrality
One of the most important elements of COFO and the 6th Global Forest Week was the discussion panel on the implementation of Article 5 of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of climate neutrality by forests. In addition to the Vice Minister, it was attended by the Minister of the Forest Economy of the Republic of Congo Rosalie Matondo, the Minister of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Beth MacNeil representing the Canadian Forest Service.
In his answers to the questions asked, the Vice Minister pointed to timber construction as an important element of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“Our objective is to create conditions enabling the development of timber construction in Poland. This issue is particularly important in the context of the 5th Article. Timber construction improves the overall carbon balance, promotes energy efficient construction and mitigates climate change, since it is an important carbon reservoir,” said the Vice Minister.
The discussion also focused on the organisation of COP24 climate summit in Poland.
“We are aware that there can be no future without the fight against climate change, but there can also be no future without forests. Therefore, the dialogue on the role and many functions of forests initiated today will be continued during the summit in Katowice,” he stressed.