Press release

IISD to host North American Public Hearing on Forests

June 19, 1996

WINNIPEG — The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy today announced that Winnipeg will be the site of the North American Regional Public Hearing on Forests in September. The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will host the Hearing on behalf of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development (WCFSD).

"The Government of Canada takes great pleasure in welcoming this important dialogue over the future of the world's forests," said Axworthy. "We think it appropriate that Winnipeg, located in the heart of North America, will be at the heart of this international event."

The North American Public Hearing will take place from 30 September to 2 October 1996 and is expected to attract upwards of 300 individuals and groups from Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The WCFSD is an independent group of distinguished leaders drawn from politics, science, international organizations and civil society. The Canadian member is the Honourable Charles Caccia who Chairs the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. The Commission is modeled after the Brundtland Commission, and plans five major public hearings by the middle of next year in Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Siberia.

According to Commission Co-Chair Dr. Emil Salim, of Indonesia, "The first hearing which recently took place in Jakarta in March brought together 300 participants from the Asia region. The event was marked by frank and open discussions. Rainforest loss, fairer North-South relations over forest resources and ethical corporate conduct were among the many substantive issues discussed."

"This is a unique opportunity for people from all three countries to discuss forest matters as they relate to North America and the wider international forest policy dialogue," said Dr. Arthur J. Hanson, President and CEO of IISD. "Major international decisions on forests are expected to be taken next year - this is our chance to influence them."

The WCFSD's purpose is to promote adoption of key policy recommendations for forest policy reform and action. It will interact with communities, industry, the general public and non-governmental organizations and it will participate in key United Nations processes for shaping both national and global forest strategies in the 21st century.

Current supporters of this Hearing include: the Governments of Canada and several Provinces, the International Development Research Centre, the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, the International Model Forest Program; the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, and Manitoba Hydro.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.