Press Releases

Note to Correspondents

Note No 195
7 June 2002

WEEK OF FOREST IN THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR
OF MOUNTAINS 2002

From 10 to 16 June a mountain river flows at the bottom of the climbing wall
in the heart of Vienna

NEW YORK, 7 June (UN Headquarters) -- "The forest comes to town". This is the motto of an exhibition initiated by the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, together with the United Nations Information Service (UNIS), the City of Vienna and other partners, which is taking place in Vienna from 10 to 16 June 2002.

In recognition of the International Year of Mountains, the UNIS presence at the exhibition will draw attention to the necessity of protecting and sustainably developing the sensitive mountain ecosystems. Not only are the mountains a unique natural landscape, but also a source of income and livelihood for millions of people worldwide. Mountains and forests have always been inseparably connected, and potentially disastrous effects of deforestation in mountain areas include avalanches, floods, landslides and soil erosion.

Other exhibits include a model mountain river with real fish, a tree nursery, a climbing wall, and demonstrations of innovative methods of processing wood as a sustainable natural resource. Visitors will be able to participate in activities such as "virtual" tree logging, using a computer-simulated model of a "Harvester" machine. A further highlight will be a device producing "wood products out of the nozzle". Competent experts are present to inform on global wood resources and the importance of forestry research.

The exhibition will be opened at Josef-Meinrad-Platz, in front of the Burgtheater, from Monday, 10 June, to Sunday, 16 June 2002, from 9.00 to 19.00 daily. The "Week of the Forest 2002" will be officially inaugurated at 10.30 on 10 June by the Austrian Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Wilhelm Molterer.

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