EUROPEAN UNION QUESTIONS PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM LEADERS’ SILENCE ON LOGGING

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YAREN, Nauru (August 21, 2001)---The European Union has questioned why this year’s Pacific Island Forum leaders’ summit meeting seemed to avoid the issue of logging in Melanesia’s rain forests during its discussions on climate change.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports.

"The leader of the European Union’s delegation to the Post-Forum Dialogue in Nauru says he is astonished that despite containing a strong statement about rising sea levels, the Forum’s final communiqué makes no mention of the Pacific’s own contribution to global warming.

"The head of the European Commission’s General Directorate for Development, Christian Falkowski, told Forum members in their Post-Forum discussions that the rate at which the rain forests of Melanesia are being logged is of concern to the world.

"After he emerged from the dialogue session, Mr. Falkowski spoke to the media.

"He said, ‘If that forest is cut down then these countries, in a negative sense, are contributing to global warming and I must say I made the remark that I’m a bit astonished that it is not reflected in the communiqué at all. There’s no reference at all to that."

"Sean Dorney, Radio Australia, Nauru."

[SEE: 13th Post Forum Dialogue Statements: Christian Falkowski at http://pidp.ewc.hawaii.edu/pireport/2001/August/08-21-25C.htm.] 

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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