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Forests are Key in Reducing Poverty

Forests Are Key To Alleviating Poverty And Protecting Environment, UN Agency Says

Just ahead of a United Nations-backed meeting on forests, the world body's food agency today underscored the role these natural habitats can play in alleviating poverty and protecting the environment.

"Forestry needs to be fully integrated with other sectors in policy development, particularly agriculture," said Hosny El-Lakany of the Rome-based UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Commenting on the forthcoming meeting of FAO's African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, set to open in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday, Mr. El-Lakany underlined the need "to end the isolation of forestry from mainstream development initiatives."

He said that while forests are gaining greater global attention, deforestation and forest degradation are continuing at an alarming rate. The Accra meeting will offer a chance for delegates from across Africa to review these issues and to exchange national experiences in sustainable forest management.

The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission is one of six regional forestry commissions worldwide that provide a high-level forum for addressing emerging forest issues with key players both from within and outside government.

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