Posted by: africanpressorganization | 4 March 2011

Africa Environment Day / Forest for sustainable development





Africa Environment Day / Forest for sustainable development



ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 4, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union Commission (AUC) marked on 3rd March 2011 the ninth Africa Environment Day under the theme “Forest for sustainable Development”. Indeed, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 International year of Forest, bearing in mind the social, economic and cultural role that they play in communities around the world in the actual context of climate change and global warming.


In collaboration with partners such the Unites Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and at a local level, the Nib Environment Club and the Forum for Environment, the AUC added 300 cuttings of olive and guava trees in a plantation of the surroundings of Addis Ababa managed by Nib Environment Club in order to replace eucalyptus trees. In fact, in the past ten year, the scientific community has proven that eucalyptus degrades the soil because it absorbs a lot of water and does not regenerate soil fertility. In this area 300 cuttings of indigenous species have been already planted. In his welcoming address, the President of Nib Environment Club explained that tree plantation is their solution to the challenge posed by climate change. He also underscored the need to act in common in order to impact positively on Africa’s agenda for climate change and to push it forward. In the same vein, the Representative of the Forum for Environment informed the audience of efforts undertaken in Ethiopia in order to rehabilitate degraded forest resources.


Speaking at the same occasion, Dr Serge Bounda, Representative of UNEP, emphasized on the role of African youth in addressing the issue of deforestation, a phenomenon affecting 39 out of the 53 Member States of the Union. He hoped that the voice of youth on this matter will be heard at the June 2011 African Union Summit which will be dedicated to youth empowerment. As the international community is preparing for Rio+20, he suggested that “discussions and dialogues should indentify solutions and way forwards on how to make sustainable forest management”.


On this same occasion, Dr Abebe Haile Gabriel, AU Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture announced that the Organisation is finalizing a Africa Strategy on Climate change aimed at participating concretely in the global debate on climate change and at addressing increasing disasters “ravaging the African continent with untold suffering of millions of people”. Acknowledging numerous challenges, he however mentioned successful initiatives of the AU aimed at meeting the objectives relating to climate change such as the Sahara and Sahel, the African monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development.


Thirteen million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Forests cover one third of the earth’s land mass. 1.6 billion Persons depend on forest benefits for their living.


All the speeches are available on



African Union Commission (AUC)


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