Opening Ceremony COFO23/5th WFW-18 July 2016 Monday-10:00-11:30

The Committee on Forestry (COFO) is the highest FAO Forestry statutory body.The biennial sessions of COFO bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action.

This year of 2016, the COFO will be organised  at Rome, Italy  from 18-22 July 2016. The key theme has been idendifed as “Shaping a new agenda for forests”

The key themes of the Session seek to respond directly to the milestone agreements of 2015 and investigate how forests and sustainable forest management can contribute to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.  Together with the World Forest Week, COFO will consider how the full potential of forests, including forests’ contributions to livelihoods, food security, jobs, gender equality and many other global development goals including the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreements, can best be unlocked.


The Opening Ceremony of COFO23/5th WFW at 18 July 2016 Monday between 10:00-11:30. Key Not Speakers are listed below:

  1. HRH Prince Laurent of Belgium, FAO Special Ambassador for Forests and the Environment, Prince Laurent Foundation,
  2. Dr Hoesung Lee, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC Secretariat, Geneva
  3. Mr José Graziano da Silva, Director-General,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  4. Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Chairperson, 22nd and 23rd Session of the Committee on Forestry,Delegation of Guyana
  5. H.E. Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT)
  6. H.E. Vidar Helgesen, Minister for Climate and Environment,Ministry of Climate and Environment

As Turkish Delegation we prepared a statement in order to deliver after key not speakers with in the Opening Ceremony.

Statement of Turkish Delegation for

Opening Ceremony COFO23/5th WFW

18 July 2016- 10:00-11:30 Plenary Room


15.07.2016 11:02 version




Mr. Chairman,

Excellences’, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen’s,

On behalf of Turkish Delegation I would like extend our gratitude to the Bureau and the secretariat of committee for their valuable efforts for preparations of this COFO23/5TH WFW session.  I would like to also thank to the Key Note Speakers and wish to successfully   end of COFO 23. Session and V. World Forest Week hosting by your organization.


Mr. Chairman,

Year of the 2015 can be considered a fresh start for forestry and natural resource management as it includes organization of major events namely SDGs meeting and XV. World Forestry Congress in September, UNCCD COP 12 in October and UNFCCC COP21 in December. Among them, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have an important role due to fact that world leaders provided strong commitment to move the world onto a sustainable of development.

With regard to COFO23 agenda, the items are selected in coherence with outputs of those major events, particularly proposal for the establıshment of a workıng group on dryland forests and agrosılvopastoral systems and FAO’s programme of work ın forestry under the revıewed strategıc framework caught our attention.

Mr. Chairman,

FAO must continue to play its leading role on forestry in the international arena. And we, the Member States, have responsibilities for shaping its priorities and the achievement of FAO’s strategic objectives in line with SDGs.

Recognizing the leading role of FAO on forestry, Turkey has been working with FAO in Central Asia and Caucasus with the help of FAOSEC, in Near East Region with the help of Near East Forestry and Rangeland Commission, in Europe with the help of European Forestry Commission.  With the help of Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions- Silva Mediterranea, a statutory body of FAO, we have been able to work in Mediterranean region which has members from Europe, Africa and Near East.

Mr. Chairman,

As Turkey, we believe that dry land forests, restoration of degraded landscapes, combating desertification are very important for us especially arid and semiarid areas countries. As a predominantly arid and semi-arid country, Turkey has become a leader in forest and land management especially in areas vulnerable to drought. It has invested heavily to rehabilitate a wide variety of terrestrial ecosystems with national activities often planned at the watershed scale.  Success can be attributed to an integrated, participatory approach that strengthens the engagement and capacity of local people. Land governance has evolved to create the necessary conditions and legal environment for the widespread implementation of Sustainable Forest and Land Management (SLM) practices. In order to share its technical knowledge and expertise on forest and land management gained so far, Turkey has allied with international organizations including FAO.

Mr Chairman

As stated, the relation betwen FAO and Turkey has been increasing  due to close cooperation and collaboration in the field of sustainable natural resources management. Latest greatest output of this relation are partnership programs signed by both parties for the period 2015-2019 with broad objective of  providing assistance on work on food security and nutrition, agricultural and rural development, protection and sustainable management of natural resources and agricultural policies for the FAO Subregional of Central Asia (FAO SEC) as well as other countries from other region that FAO and Turkey has mutual interest. Turkey will support to implementation of SDG through to projects under this partnership in targeted areas and countries. And the upcoming National Developments Plan  (2019-2023) will be designed by the Ministry of Development in cooperation with respective Ministries in line with SDGs.

Mr Chairman

Turkey hosted UNCCD COP 12 in 2015 and launched Ankara initiative with secretariat in order to strengthen implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in the period 2016 to 2019. It will support the global sustainable development agenda and leverage the lessons learned from Turkey’s past experience and approaches to land management.

İn light with these developments, Turkey is supporting  for the  establishment of a Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems mentioned item 7.3. Turkey believe that the working group would be beneficial to work closely with Ankara initiative and as president of UNCCD COP12, Turkey has an opportunity to bring up significant forestry matters at UNCCD and other international level in most proper manner.

Mr Chairman

Turkey is also supporting the   proposed Mediterranean regional initiative on forest and landscape restoration as part of the working plan of the working group on “Desertification and Restoration of Mediterranean Drylands” and in connection with the V MFW, a Mediterranean regional initiative on forest and landscape restoration in the context of the Bonn Challenge. As concrete step,Turkey commits to support this initiative for next five years covering 2017-2021 working in yearly at least 100.00 ha. and invite other  member countries of Silva Mediterranean, Intergovernmental and multi-lateral organizations.

Mr. Chairman,

Excellences’, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen’s

Finally, even though it is not in the agenda of COFO23, I would like to propose to  COFO23 to take recommendation in order to identify main theme of 21 World Forestry Day and Week, inter alia, would recommend the main topic of the 2017 World Forest Day and Week is “Land Degradation Neutrality”.

Thank you

Letters for Future