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Celebrating forests by burning them is the wrong road, say 46 NGOs

The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has chosen to use the International Day of Forests 2017 to promote the use of wood for energy, calling forests “nature’s power house”. Forests are precious ecosystems and well worth of celebrating, but the chosen theme of the day is unfortunate as growing demand for wood based bioenergy has serious negative impacts on environment, local communities, people’s health, the climate and, of course, our forests. In an open letter to the FAO, 46 NGOs explain the risks of increasing use of wood for energy and urge the FAO to stop the misleading presentation of all woody biomass as ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘sustainable’, and refocus its energies on promoting the conservation of biodiverse forest ecosystems.