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Protection of the rainforests and their biodiversity

Published on October 13, 2010
Submission of the Le Guen report – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, October 12, 2010

M. Jacques Le Guen, National Assembly Deputy for Finistère, today submitted to President Sarkozy his report on the protection of the rainforests and their biodiversity.

Addressing the same concerns as the international conference on major forest areas held in Paris on 11 March this year, the Head of State had tasked M. Le Guen with identifying the “instruments and policies deployable at European and international level” to “fight deforestation” and protect biodiversity.

With 13 million hectares of forest disappearing every year, M. Le Guen argues for an international reforestation policy carried out with and for the benefit of the local people. This forest biodiversity conservation policy can succeed only if the forest sector is integrated in the broader framework of the climate negotiations. In this respect, the Global Forest Partnership initiated by Norway and France in May 2010 is a step in the right direction.

Convinced that global governance is necessary, he is proposing transforming the FAO forestry department into a global forestry watchdog tasked with both certifying forestry management and monitoring the rate of afforestation using an international satellite remote sensing system. To persuade countries with large forest areas to move from a policy of exploitation to one of preservation, he suggests the provision of international aid and creation of a global fund for afforestation and adaptation to climate change [in French: FRAC – Fonds mondial de reboisement et d’adaptation au changement climatique]. The money for the fund would come from innovative financing.

President Sarkozy informed M. Le Guen that France would back his proposals on governance and take up the key issue of forestry certification with a view to the Cancún summit in December. He also called for a study of the possibility of “earmarking for making the best use of forestry resources” part of the receipts of the tax on financial transactions he has proposed to his G20 partners.

Finally, President Sarkozy expressed the wish that M. Le Guen accompany him during his forthcoming official visits, which will provide the opportunity of tackling this issue./.

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