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On March 21st, while the UN General Assembly celebrates the International Day of the Forests, the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) and more than 300 social movements and organizations warn that addressing the underlying drivers of deforestation is urgently needed.
The WRM and the different social groups call on the General Assembly and UN institutions and initiatives related to forest issues to “use the new initiative to address the underlying drivers of deforestation”. The full version of the letter is available here: http://www.wrm.org.uy/forests/letter_Day_of_the_Forests.html
Real World Radio interviewed today activist Winnie Overbeek, international coordinator at WRM, organization based in Montevideo, Uruguay.
“In spite of several UN initiatives aimed at calling attention for forests at the international level, the process of deforestation -affecting especially tropical forests- continues and the proposed solutions have not slowed down tropical forest loss worldwide - on the contrary”, reads WRM´s press release on the new letter.
“Continuous forest destruction affects directly the life and future of hundreds of millions of forest peoples, therefore urgent action is needed such as recognizing the rights of forest and forest-dependent communities over their communal territories, as well as defining forests by their true meaning for these peoples, excluding industrial tree monoculture plantations from the present definition that the FAO applies and that defines these monocultures as “forests””, adds the press release.
The WRM also considers that the large-scale land grabbing and destruction of tropical forests worldwide driven by transnational corporations (TNCs) that increasingly certify their activities as “sustainable”, needs to be urgently halted.
The letter issued today concludes that “on this first International Day of Forests we call on the UN and its forest-related institutions to heed the lessons of past initiatives aimed at ending deforestation: Halting forest loss will remain an illusion until action is undertaken to eliminate the underlying causes that drive deforestation”.
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