Each year, an area of forest the size of Belgium is lost from our planet. This comes with devastating consequences as forests are integral to the well-being of our planet. Forests regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and can help drive sustainable growth. When forests are lost and degraded, we see very different effects: greenhouse gas emissions, less chances to sequester carbon, development challenges, difficulty conserving ecosystems and perhaps most notably climate change. These effects are by no means isolated; here in Luxembourg, the young recently took to the streets, aware of how climate change is likely to affect their future.
The severity of these issues mean that a united effort is needed to stem the problem. It is not possible to combat deforestation through public initiatives alone, we all need to commit to change the current situation. As the WWF reported, it is through functioning forests that we have the best chance of withstanding climate change.
This conference explored the impact of “the Missing Belgium” and looked at projects which are helping to restore forests in Central America.
We wish to thank our participants, in particular:
- HE Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finances
- M. Rudi Belli, Senior Vice President, Secrétaire Général, Spuerkeess
- Professor Dr. Ravi Fernando, Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability (pvt) Ltd
- M. Kaspar Wansleben, Investing for Development SICAV
- Mrs. Apricot Wilson, Investing for Development SICAV
- The Spuerkeess Team