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Forests Policy & Practice

Metsä2013 - Joint Session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) European Forestry Commission

9-13 December 2013 | Rovaniemi, Finland

Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Highlights for Monday, 9 December 2013

The joint session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the FAO European Forestry Commission opened today at Hotel Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland. The event is called Metsä2013, with "metsä" meaning forest in Finnish, and is organized in parallel with the second European Forest Week. The session is expected to focus on market discussions, on engaging the private sector and on measuring the green economy in forests.

Opening Ceremony
Juha Ojala, Deputy Chair of the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, chaired the Metsä2013 Opening Ceremony. He stressed that the objective of the joint session is to share a long-term vision of Europe's future forests and sustainable forest management for a green economy.

After enjoying a performance of traditional Sàmi music, participants heard addresses by forestry student Vera Chapchikova, winner of the 10th International Junior Forest Contest, and by Santa Claus, who resides near the city of Rovaniemi. Participants also heard presentations by: Esko Lotvonen, Mayor of Rovaniemi; Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary of UNECE; and Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Head of the FAO Forestry Department.

A panel discussion was held, chaired by Juha Ojala and Metsä2013 Co-Chairs Heikki Granholm, Director of the Natural Resources Department, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Andrey Filipchuk, Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency. The panel discussion started with a keynote presentation by Jürgen Blaser, Bern University of Applied Science and Swiss Global Forest Advisor. He elaborated on 300 years of scientific forestry and its implications for the future. Delegates then heard panel presentations by: Alexander Panfilov, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency; Magnus Kindbom, Swedish State Secretary of Rural Affairs; and Janusz Zaleski, Polish Deputy Minister of Environment.

Co-Chair Granholm then introduced a new UNECE/FAO film named "European forest innovation: charting a path towards a green economy", which highlighted Finland’s innovative approach towards using wood as a construction material. Switzerland announced its offer to host the third European Forest Week in 2015.

Later in the evening, participants gathered for a public, outdoor opening ceremony at the Museum Arktikum in Rovaniemi.

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A band opened the session, singing traditional Sàmi songs around Santa Claus.
Opening session
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From L-R: Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Head of the FAO Forestry Department; Co-Chair Andrey Filipchuk, Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency; Alexander Panfilov, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency; Chair of the Opening Ceremony Juha Ojala, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland; Co-Chair Heikki Granholm, Director of the Natural Resources Department, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary, UNECE
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Chair of the Opening Ceremony Juha Ojala, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland
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Santa Claus
Esko Lotvonen, Mayor of the city of Rovaniemi
Sven Alkalaj, UNECE Executive Secretary
Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Head of the FAO Forestry Department
Vera Chapchikova, winner of the 10th International Junior Forest Contest
Paola Deda and Dominique Reeb, UNECE/FAO
Jürgen Blaser, Bern University of Applied Science and Swiss Global Forest Advisor
Janusz Zaleski, Polish Deputy Minister of Environment
Magnus Kindbom, Swedish State Secretary of Rural Affairs
Alexander Panfilov, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency
Public opening ceremony
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Following the official Opening Ceremony, delegates took part in a public, outdoor opening ceremony at the Museum Arktikum in Rovaniemi, where they enjoyed local music and drinks in a scenic winter setting.
Participants networking
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Around the venue
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Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Related Links
Session resources

*Session website and documents

*Session agenda

*Draft UNECE/FAO Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy

*Draft Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017 for UNECE/FAO

*Side and parallel events


IISD RS resources

*IISD RS coverage of the Resumed Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally-Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe (INC-Forests4), 7-8 November 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

*IISD RS coverage of INC-Forests4, 10-14 June 2013, Warsaw, Poland

*IISD RS coverage of the Tenth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF10), 8-19 April 2013, Istanbul, Turkey

*IISD RS coverage of Resumed INC-Forest3, 3-5 April 2013, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

*IISD RS coverage of INC-Forests3, 28 January - 1 February 2013, Antalya, Turkey

*IISD RS coverage of Twelfth Rights and Resources Initiative Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change, 5 November 2012, Washington, DC, United States of America

*IISD RS summary report of INC-Forests2, 3-7 September 2012, Bonn, Germany (HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS coverage of the FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference Oslo 2011, 29 14-16 June 2011, Oslo, Norway

*IISD RS coverage of the UNFF9, 24 January - 4 February 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*IISD RS coverage of the Twentieth Session of the Committee on Forestry of the FAO, 4-8 October 2010, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy

*IISD RS archive of forestry meetings and backgrounder

*Forests-L - A news and announcement list on forest policy issues

*Forests Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Adressing Forests Policy

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
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