African wins 2022 Global Forest Champion Award

An African has won the prestigious Wagari Maathai Forest Championship Award for 2022, an official has said.

Theresa Loeffler, Associate Forestry Officer, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Forestry Division, announced this ahead of this year’s award ceremony on Thursday in Seoul.

Loeffler however said at the media seminar for international journalists that the identity of the champion would be revealed on May 5, during the world forestry congress in Seoul.

This winner, she claimed, would receive a cash prize of $20,000 and travel support to attend the congress, alongside other international recognition and prestige.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award was named after Wagari Maathai, a former Member of Parliament of Kenya renowned for being the first African woman to win Nobel Peace Prize after planting 50 million trees in 10 years.

The FAO official noted that the 2022 champion would be recognised for the outstanding contributions to conserve, restore and sustainably manage forests and raise awareness of the key role forests play in supporting local communities, rural livelihoods, women, youth and environment.

Meanwhile, the Global Landscape Forum (GLF), a multi-stakeholder forum dedicated to promoting the landscape, has reeled out the agenda for the XV World Forestry Congress (WFC), holding in Seoul, South Korea, from May 2 to 6.

The GLF 2021, which could not hold due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, is themed “Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests”, with six sub-themes.

Giving an overview about the congress during a media seminar, organised for international journalists, Eva Müller, Programme Consultant for the WFC, said five parallel technical sessions would form discussion on each sub-theme.

Muller listed the sub-themes as “Turning the tide: reversing deforestation and forest degradation”; Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation and biodiversity conservation, and “The green pathway to growth and sustainability.

Others are “Forest and human health: revising the connections”, “Managing and communicating forest information and knowledge” and “Forest without boundaries: enhacing management and cooperation”.

The WFC programme consultant noted that the congress would provide a forum for exchange of experiences and views, which would form a position on forests and forestry worldwide.

The event, she said, would avail world’s foresters, decision-makers and other stakeholders an opportunity to build a vision for the future and share information and experience on scientific, technical and policy matters.

“This will afford an opportunity to exchange ideas and seek common solutions as well as maintain the old and create new contacts.

“There will be four plenary sessions on ecosystem restoration forest for a healthier world, forest products and sustainable pathways, as well as summary session.

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