Orman Mühendisleri Odası ve UNDP İşbirliği Girişimi09.Şub.2011
Dear President of Chamber of Forest Engineers
Representatives of the Ministries
Representatives of the Private Sector
Representatives of NGOs
It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to address this distinguished audience in this very important cooperation initiative of Chamber of Forest Engineers and UNDP.
UNDP is the UN's global development network, which is on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. Integrating what we do on development issues with what we do on sustainable forest management and environment issues is essential. There is no simple choice to be made between fostering growth and development or protecting our forests and related ecosystems. Both objectives are essential and fully compatible.
UNDP currently works with partners to provide support in the area of climate change and sustainable forest management by using its expertise and experience to assist countries to manage and address climate and biodiversity risks in a way which is pro-poor and advances human development and the achievement of the MDGs.
The entire UN development system - with its network of country offices and its tremendous knowledge on all areas related to climate change, sustainable forest management and biodiversity including on its inseparable link to development - is acting to promote climate-resilient development, and to support countries to place adaptation, and indeed mitigation, strategies at the very center of their national development plans.
As you are all aware, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to celebrate “Forests for People”.
The United Nations aim to raise awareness on forests and emphasize conservation and sustainable management of all types of forests for Millenium Development Goals and sustainable development.
In the last decade, forest’s ecological and social functions have been in focus more than its economic functions. We all know that:
Forests supply various important products and services for livelihoods and economic development.
Provides green jobs and mitigate climate change as main carbon sinks. Forests support life systems by access to clean water, soil fixation, erosion control, and climate regulation.
Support protection of water resources, conservation of natural resources, and amelioration of biodiversity loss; and
Forests, globally, play important global roles in supporting livelihoods, social developments, and poverty alleviation; and are key tools for Millennium Development Goals, especially for clean water, health and environmental sustainability.
Here, we would like to congratulate the Government of Turkey supporting the initiated 2011 International Year of Forests celebrations through various activities such as exhibitions, festivals, competitions, seminars.
The partnership that we are signing today aims at strengthening Chamber of Forest Engineers’ capacity through international networking and capacity development on the current international issues, with special focus on forest certification program and occupational experience internship program.
We, UNDP hope that this new partnership will further contribute and strengthen our ongoing activities towards 2011 Forests for People Celebrations beside the planned activities under the GEF supported “Enhancing Forest Protected Areas Management System in Turkey” project which is under preparation and GEF Kure Project will also support the celebration of 22 May International Biodiversity Day, through the organization of “National Parks Photograph Exhibition” in Bartın and Kastamonu for the period of 22 May – 5 June 2011 “Turkey’s Forest Hotspots” poster will be shared with the readers of National Geographic Turkey.
We believe that this partnership will open up new avenues to forest engineers in Turkey, also will bring new partnerships and exchange of knowledge both at the national and international level. Before I finish, let me take the opportunity of extending our gratitude to our partner Chamber of Forest Engineers and colleagues of Ministry of Environment and Forestry and General Directorate of Forestry for their valuable contributions and guidance during this partnership agreement preparation and I would like to mention that it has always been a great privilege for us, the UNDP, to be a partner of the Government of Turkey in their developmental efforts.