Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 02:50:09 AM

The latest UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report highlights the sorry plight of the world's forests. According to the State of the World's Forests 1997, an estimated 11.3 million hectares (ha) of the world's forests are lost each year. The report also estimates that the area of the world's forests including natural forests and plantations, was at about 3.5 billion ha in 1995, which is 26.6 per cent of the total land area of the world excluding Greenland and the Antarctica. The FAO committee met in Rome from March 10-13 to review the progress made towards sustainable forestry management and to consider the implications of the World Food Summit plan of action on forestry.

An environment and sustainable development council was recently set up in Algeria with the assistance of the UN Development Programme.The council will help formulate national policies and options to protect Algeria's environment, promote sustainable development and evaluate and speed up implementation of environmental laws. It will consist of high-level government ministers and environmental experts, two of whom will be from national NGOs. The council will also monitor international policies and conduct national studies relating to environment and sustainable development.

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