As part of its tribute to the International Year of Forests in 2011, the Republic and Canton of Geneva paid the UN-REDD Programme a special honour by dedicating its 2011 grape and wine harvest to the UN-REDD Programme. Every year, Geneva extends this honour to an international organization headquartered in the city (the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat is based in Geneva), in part to put a spotlight on the issues these organizations address. The dedication was designed to bring awareness to the work of the UN-REDD Programme as a way to highlight the importance of preserving tropical forests around the world.
See pictures from the event on the UN-REDD Programme's Facebook page
Read more on Geneva's vineyard dedication to the UN-REDD Programme (French only)
At first glance, the link between a grape harvest in Geneva and tropical forests in developing countries might not seem an obvious one. But standing in those vineyards during the dedication ceremony was a good reminder of how important all facets of nature are to our livelihoods. From the vineyards in Geneva to the tropical forests across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America— global climate change presents a major threat to all these life-supporting systems. We all need to share a profound reverence and commitment to protecting and sustainably managing the world's environment, which nourishes us, inspires us spiritually, and directly and indirectly supports the livelihoods of millions.
This was an opportunity for the UN-REDD Programme to highlight the potential that REDD+ holds for the conservation of forest biodiversity, water regulation, and other non-timber forest products, such as medicines, and conserving forests for their intrinsic value. Climate change will require that we rethink how we value and use our forest resources, and that we will need to think of ways of managing forests and populations that will be impacted by a changing climate.
The UN-REDD Programme thanks the Republic and Canton of Geneva once again for the opportunity to speak about these vitally important issues. During the remaining months of the International Year of Forests, I hope there will be many more opportunities to highlight the variety of reasons the world must preserve its tropical forests.
Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat