To celebrate the World Forest Day of the International Year of Forests, on 21 March 2011, the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section held a tree planting ceremony in the “Parc Ariana” which surrounds the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
A tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) from the “Art of Trees: A Forest Gallery” exhibit which was held inside the Palais from 15 to 25 February 20111, was planted by distinguished guests including the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Mr. Ján Kubiš, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, Ambassador Betty E. King, the Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, Ambassador Hannu Himanen, the Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Geneva, Mr. Abdessalam Ould Ahmed and Mr. Clemens Adams from the United Nations Office in Geneva.
As a symbolic gesture, messages for future generations from each of the distinguished guests were collected and buried in a “time capsule” at the foot of the tree. In their remarks to the attendees, speakers touched upon the importance of forests’ contribution to economic and social wellbeing. For example, in Finland where, for centuries, forest provided “practically everything people needed to survive”. As the Rio+202 conference approaches, speakers concurred on the need to raise awareness on the vital role of forests in sustainable development, with Ambassador King mentioning the need to “put forest ecosystems into the mainstream of politics and policy and adopt more eco-sensitive and sustainable forest management practices”.
The ceremony was followed by a Seminar on the State of Forests in the UNECE region3 gathering policymakers and experts from across the UNECE member states.
For more information, please contact:
Chief, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section
Tel. +41 (0)22 917 2553
2 The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, 4-6 June 2012.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05
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