Push for action against fake forests

2015-09-04 10:06

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

AN environmental lobby group is hoping to put pressure on the world forestry conference in Durban next week to curb the growth of what they deem to be “fake forests”.

The Global Forest Coalition (GFC), which represents indigenous groups globally from more than 40 countries who believe their land rights are being violated by big government and corporations, is expected to petition the UN next week to have the definition of “planted forests” changed.

According to Durban-based Timberwatch project co-ordinator Wally Menne, they will also be hosting a counter-conference next week to ­coincide with the World Forestry Conference at the Durban ICC from September 7 to 11.

“We are hosting a counter-conference under the banner of the Civil Society Alternative Conference [CSAP]. We have been working on this conference for the last 18 months and have over 30 speakers, a film festival, talks and debates. Affected communities from the Midlands, Northern KZN, the Eastern Cape and the majority of provinces around the country will be attending,” said Menne.

Using the Botanical Gardens as the base, on September 10 they anticipate a crowd, several thousand strong, to march to the ICC to “resist monoculture tree plantations”. They will then hand over a petition to a delegate from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

“The FAO definition of ‘planted forests’ includes the commercial growth of wattle, eucalyptus or pine.

“We believe this definition is wrong. These trees are an industrial crop the same as we wouldn’t call a farm under sugarcane a grassland,” said Menne.

Currently, according to the FAO, planted forests are “intensively managed for production purposes but can also be established for protection, conservation or socio-economic purposes”.

Menne said while 1,5 million hectares countrywide was under managed plantations, in KZN an area “as large as the managed size” was under “feral plantation”.

“If you look in the KZN Midlands there are thousands of hectares of wattle tree that has escaped. They were not planted but seeded naturally. This can be said for all over the province.”

He said the industrial plantations, what he terms are “fake forests”, were incapable of doing what real forests do — purify the air, provide water, shelter for species and medicine and food for people

Read more on:    durban  |  trees

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.