On 11 March the Foreign and European Affairs and Sustainable Development Ministries hosted an international conference on the role of forests in combating climate change at the Ministerial Conference Centre.
Following the Copenhagen discussions, on 22 December last year President Sarkozy announced that a conference on the major forest areas was to be held early in 2010 in Paris. The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, whose country has distinguished itself by the scale of its efforts to fight deforestation, proposed a similar initiative. In the ensuing Franco-Norwegian consultations, the decision was taken to hold this first ministerial meeting in Paris and then a second one in Oslo at the end of May, with the shared goal of establishing a partnership open to all countries wishing to move forward together with implementing a global strategy to combat deforestation.
This first ministerial conference on major forest areas was opened by President Sarkozy and the working sessions by Bernard Kouchner and the Ministre d’Etat responsible for sustainable development, Jean-Louis Borloo.
The advances obtained in Copenhagen, particularly the inclusion of forests in the international climate discussions, make the efforts to pursue the battle against deforestation even more necessary. Building on the Copenhagen discussions and with the aim of making a success of the forthcoming Bonn and Mexico meetings in 2010, this international meeting has forcefully reaffirmed that the fight against global warming is a major priority of France’s external action.
At Bernard Kouchner’s invitation, the heads of foreign delegations taking part in the conference, including the representatives of the countries home to the largest forest areas (Congo, Amazon and Indonesia) attended a working dinner at the Quai d’Orsay./.