Friday, March 30, 2007

Governor-General issues Statemen on the Gloabl Initiative on Forests and Climate

The Dominion of British West Florida welcomes the announcement today by the Government of Australia regarding the establishment of a new Global Initiative on Forests and Climate.

This ambitious, yet obtainable initiative presents an important opportunity to help save the world's forests and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without reducing the quality of life for anyone. Australia will engage key countries and international organizations in the initiative to support new forest planting, limit destruction of the world's remaining forests, and promote sustainable forest management. We are encouraged by the thoughtful, practicality of this proposal.

West Florida particularly welcomes this initiative's emphasis on building technical capacity in developing countries; strengthening regulatory and legal protections for forests; promoting the sustainable use of forest resources; and diversifying the economic base of forest dependent communities. We look forward to working with Australia on this proposal. West Florida's economy and future depend on sustainable agriculture, including forest management, and offer the skills and experience of our forest management experts to assit in the development of specific plans.

Almost 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from clearing the world's forests - second only to emissions from burning fossil fuels to produce electricity, and more than all of the world's emissions from transport. Globally, more than 4.4 million trees are removed every day or 1.6 billion trees each year - almost 1 billion of which are not replaced. Australia's initiative will commit more than USD $160 million to support new forest planting; limit destruction of the world's remaining forests; promote sustainable forest management; and encourage contributions from other countries.

The Government of the Dominion of British West Florida pledges our support for this effort, and encourages similar actions by other nations.

God Save Her Majesty the Queen of Australia,
God Save Her Majesty the Queen of West Florida.

Robert, Duke of Florida, Lord of St. George, GSB
Her Majesty's Governor-General in and for the
Dominion of British West Florida.

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