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Hodgson to New York for UN Forum on Forests

Monday, 11 March 2002 Media Statement

Hodgson to New York for UN Forum on Forests

Forestry Minister Pete Hodgson departs New Zealand for New York City tonight for a meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests.

The forum was established in 2000 to oversee the implementation of internationally agreed measures to promote sustainable forest management.

Key issues on the agenda:
- finance, technology transfer and capacity-building for sustainable forest management;
- combating deforestation and forest degradation;
- forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems;
- rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover;
- rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and the promotion of natural and planted forests.

“New Zealand has a significant environmental and economic interest in this forum,” Mr Hodgson said. “We will be supporting international action to promote sustainable forest management, with particular emphasis on the contribution plantation forestry can make. We will also be watching closely to ensure no discriminatory decisions are made on planted forests that could affect future market access for planted forest products.”

The ministerial segment of the forum takes place on Wednesday 13 March and Thursday 14 March. Mr Hodgson is expected to have bilateral meetings with the forestry ministers of India, China and the Republic of Korea.

While in the United States Mr Hodgson will also be involved in New Zealand trade and investment promotion functions.

In San Francisco on the way back to New Zealand Mr Hodgson will speak at the launch of the Kiwi Expat Association, at the University of California (Berkeley).

He returns to New Zealand on Monday 18 March.


ENDS

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