San Marino, 20 - 23 November 2023, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), represented by Hon. Adele Tonnini, RSM, Special Rapporteur of the Assembly on Environmental Crimes, participated in and contributed to the joint session of the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and of the FAO European Forestry Commission, hosted by the San Marino Government. Hon Tonnini participated as keynote speaker in the Panel on: “International and regional forest-related development”.
After praising the work of UNECE and FAO, two key partner organizations of PAM, , for their continuous cooperation on a number of crucial areas, including food security, environmental protection and forest-related issues, Hon. Tonnini presented the work of PAM in the current international negotiations on the issue of sustainable forests management.
“Despite a decrease in regional deforestation in the last years, much is yet to be done to ensure a sustainable forest management”, explained Hon. Tonnini.
She also stated “I believe it is now time for relaunching the Agadir Commitments for the restoration of forests in the Mediterranean. They could and must be supported by an updated assessment on the State of Mediterranean Forests, which FAO had published a few years ago.
As PAM Rapporteur on Environmental Crimes, Hon. Tonnini stressed that a new assessment of such kind must be taken into consideration new emerging phenomena, such as greenwashing, and recalled that Sustainable Forests Certifications are often ineffective in combating deforestation due to the several legal loopholes that can be easily bypassed by private companies for their own profits.
Hon. Tonnini recalled that last year PAM participated in the UN “Forum on Forests”, whose outcome may represent a game changer in forests management. In this regard, she reaffirmed that PAM stands ready to assist and to cooperate with both UNECE and FAO to this end.
Hon. Tonnini concluded her speech reasserting that cooperation between international and regional organizations is crucial towards this common goal: to align the Euro-Mediterranean and Gulf area to the Paris Agreement, and bring forward this crucial issue at the forthcoming COP28 in the UAE and the COP 23 in Slovenia. In Dubai, as a concrete follow-up to the San Marino event, Hon. Pedro Roque, Portugal, PAM Vice-President, will also contribute to the UNECE High-Level Side event on Urban Forestry.//