The joint session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI, formerly Timber Committee) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) European Forestry Commission (EFC) was held from 9-12 December 2013 in Rovaniemi, Finland. The event was called Metsä2013, with “metsä” meaning forest in Finnish, and was organized in parallel with the second European Forest Week. The joint session focused on market discussions, on engaging the private sector, and on measuring and communicating the contribution of the forest sector to a green economy.
Around 450 participants attended the meeting, representing governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector. The meeting was co-chaired by Heikki Granholm, Director, Natural Resources Department, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Andrey Filipchuk, Director, All-Russian Research Institute of Silviculture and Forest Mechanization.
The highlight of the meeting was the adoption of the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy. The Action Plan lists principles and activities, grouped under five pillars: sustainable production and consumption of forest products; a low-carbon forest sector; decent green jobs in the forest sector; long-term provision of forest ecosystem services; and policy development and monitoring of the forest sector in relation to a green economy.
Another important outcome of the meeting was an Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017 for the COFFI and the EFC. The meeting also produced a Market Statement 2013 that summarizes market trends and developments in the UNECE region.
On Monday afternoon, Juha Ojala, Director-General of the Natural Resources Department, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, chaired the Metsä2013 Opening Ceremony. He stressed that the objective of the joint session was to share a long-term vision for Europe’s future forests and sustainable forest management (SFM) for a green economy.
After enjoying a performance of traditional Sàmi music, participants heard an address by forestry student Vera Chapchikova, winner of the 10th International Junior Forest Contest. Underlining the vital importance of forests for biodiversity and human well-being, she stressed the role of forest science and education in ensuring a sustainable future.
Santa Claus, who resides near the city of Rovaniemi and was the Ambassador of the second European Forest Week, responded to Chapchikova’s address, calling for broad cooperation to make sure that awareness and knowledge of the role of forests are installed in all people from an early age.
Chair Ojala then opened Metsä2013, noting the importance of the forest sector to Finland’s culture and economy. He said much work and cooperation is needed to keep the sector healthy and productive now and in the future, and called for public and private participation in realizing a green, sustainable future.
Esko Lotvonen, Mayor of the city of Rovaniemi, commemorated the fact that Arctic international cooperation started in Rovaniemi over two decades ago, with the signing of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy in 1991. He said an EU Arctic Information Centre will be established in Rovaniemi in the near future.
Sven Alkalaj, UNECE Executive Secretary, stressed the importance of getting all stakeholders around the table to ensure an open and productive dialogue on forest policy. He highlighted the advantages of combined UNECE/FAO work on forestry, noting that it saves money, avoids overlap, and delivers effectively. He concluded by noting that “this week is a testimony of this cooperation and its benefits to all stakeholders.”
Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General of the FAO Forestry Department, noted that forests are a crucial factor in reaching several of the Millennium Development Goals, and called for increased efforts towards capacity building and communication in this regard. He said the green economy offers win-win opportunities for “climate-smart” forestry strategies and innovative business.
Delegates then engaged in a panel discussion, co-chaired by Opening Ceremony Chair Ojala and Metsä2013 Co-Chairs Heikki Granholm (Finland) and Andrey Filipchuk (Russian Federation).
Jürgen Blaser, Swiss Global Forest Advisor, delivered a keynote presentation on 300 years of forestry science and its implications for the future. He highlighted ever-increasing challenges, including human population growth and growth in consumption, climate change, over-use of ecosystem services, and “surprise elements.” Stressing the need for resilient forests and permanent carbon pools, he called for “climate-smart” forestry and for increased appreciation of planted forests, including urban forests.
Alexander Panfilov, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency, drew attention to the technical preconditions for a healthy forest sector. He said market changes call for quick action, as do challenges such as climate change, forest fires and illegal harvesting. He also highlighted key elements of Russia’s newly adopted forest policy, including measures to balance economic, environmental and social interests, and said there is room for new uses of wood fibers, including in the pharmaceutical and wood energy industries.
Magnus Kindbom, Swedish State Secretary of Rural Affairs, named tourism as an important driver of change in the forest sector. He also called for new and innovative uses of wood products, and stressed opportunities in the area of wood construction.
Janusz Zaleski, Polish Deputy Minister of Environment, outlined various challenges relating to forest management today and in the future. He highlighted a Polish initiative to support small- and medium-size companies in exploring new forest markets that benefit the economy, biodiversity, climate, and local populations.
Co-Chair Granholm introduced a newly released UNECE/FAO film titled “European forest innovation: charting a path towards a green economy,” which highlighted the advantages of using wood as a construction material.
Switzerland commended UNECE and FAO for their joint work relating to the forest sector, and offered to host the third European Forest Week, in 2015.
Following the official Opening Ceremony, delegates took part in a public, outdoor ceremony opening the second European Forest Week at the Museum Arktikum in Rovaniemi, where they enjoyed local music and drinks in a scenic winter setting.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
On Tuesday morning, in a session chaired by Co-Chair Filipchuk, delegates adopted the agenda (ECE/TIM/2013/1−FO:EFC/2013/1) without amendment.
GREEN ECONOMY DIALOGUES
MARKET DISCUSSIONS: On Tuesday morning, Co-Chair Granholm chaired a roundtable on the latest information regarding trends in the trade of forest products in the UNECE region. Florian Steierer, UNECE/FAO, introduced the discussion, noting that its outcomes would feed into the Market Statement that would emanate from Metsä2013 (ECE/TIM/2013/3−FO:EFC/2013/3).
Antti Koskinen, senior consultant at Pöyry Management Consulting, presented key findings of the European part of the UNECE/FAO Forest Products Annual Market Review 2012-2013. He elaborated on market trends for various forest products, noting an overall decline in consumption and production in Europe, and slightly more favorable market trends in Eastern Europe. He said the declining market is mostly due to the current economic situation and resulting low construction activity, and for the graphic paper market, due to the switch to digital media. He said structural changes are needed to sustain a healthy forest industry.
Presenting a European case study, Ramazan Bali, Harvesting and Marketing Department, Turkish General Directorate of Forestry, elaborated on developments in the forest market in Turkey. He said economic growth is high with a 5.1 percent average annual GDP growth in the past ten years. Noting that the annual forest increment surpasses the harvest, he said there is potential for extra felling, although the current oversupply is resulting in decreasing prices. He said there is no substantial investment in wood energy due to the competitive and political strength of the wood panel industry, as well as concerns about wood raw material availability and price. He stated that nearly 15 percent of total felling is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and a slight market recovery can be expected in 2014.
In response to questions from the floor, Koskinen said the European forest sector is underperforming on the global scale, although some products in selected markets are competitive. He did not expect any new products coming to market to increase the demand for wood on a large scale. Addressing a question on using wood as a construction material in areas prone to earthquakes, Bali said Turkish construction mainly uses concrete, but public-private initiatives are communicating the advantages of using wood in construction and its role in the green economy.
Delegates acknowledged the difficulty of certain forest statistical data being confidential, and concluded that there currently is no solution to that problem. On the potential conflict between wood energy and other uses of wood, Koskinen said this is a complex policy-related question, and noted that taxation and subsidies are instruments for increasing the use of wood in some sectors. Bali highlighted Turkish government support for the wood energy sector.
Vladimir Styazhkin, Russian State Research Center of the Timber Industry Complex, presented an overview of the timber industry and production in the Russian Federation, describing the negative effects of the overall economic and social transitions on the forest industry sector from 1990-2012. He highlighted: a reduction of harvested volumes and an increase in plywood production from 1990-2012; a reduction in roundwood export after 2007, following a government policy to increase domestic wood processing; and an increase in the monetary value of furniture exports from 2003-2012. He emphasized the need for infrastructure development, especially regarding energy and roads, and for innovation-related research, and stated that subsidies, tax benefits, credit systems with long payback periods and public-private partnerships could stimulate investments in the forest sector.
Responding to questions from the floor, Styazhkin noted large regional differences in the state of the forest industry, with a fast-developing market along the border with China where mainly unprocessed wood is traded. On the issue of the impact on the new EU Timber Regulation on Russian timber exports and on Russia’s new status as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Styazhkin said that forest management certification is active in Russia and that lower export duties in the framework of WTO rules will likely increase export figures.
Gordon Culbertson, Forest2Markets Inc., presented the North American market overview. He highlighted regional differences and trends among the main producing areas in the US and Canada. He underscored, inter alia, the negative environmental impacts of the US government policy to reduce harvesting in public-owned forests, such as increased numbers of wildfires; the effects of mountain pine beetle infestation on timber supply in Canada’s British Columbia; the increased importance of the Chinese market; and increased wood pellet exports from North America to satisfy European energy demand.
Responding to questions from the floor, Culbertson said that prospects for increased domestic demand for wood energy in the US are limited, and concerns over the ecological impact of pellet production are not justified. On the issue of a possible supply gap due to the recovery of the US housing market, Culbertson referred to the existing timber backlog in the Southern US and possible re-direction of Canadian export from Asian to US markets as potential supply sources.
ENGAGING THE PRIVATE SECTOR: On Tuesday afternoon, Culbertson moderated a roundtable on engaging the private sector, which addressed the following question: “What are the opportunities and challenges in forest product industries that policy makers and others should be aware of to maintain a thriving forest industry?” He invited eight speakers to share their experiences and views on this question.
Mike Jostrom, Plum Creek Timber Company, drew attention to the consequences of shifts in forest ownership. He identified several policy challenges, including: to recognize the carbon benefits of actively managed forests; to enable the emergence of bioenergy markets for wood fiber; and to recognize the importance of markets to sustainable forestry, since healthy forestry markets stimulate forestry investments.
Kimmo Järvinen, European Organization of the Sawmill Industry, said that increasing the use of logs, roundwood and wood biomass in Europe by 20 percent would result in 500,000 jobs, 70 billion euros in revenues, 20 billion euros in added value, and 6 billion euros in forestry income, all within the framework of SFM. He stated that: increasing the use of wood construction products provides an excellent opportunity to alleviate the scarcity of non-renewable raw materials while mitigating the adverse effects of climate change; Europe should reinvent its forest sector; and wood is also a geostrategic commodity in today’s world.
Isabelle Brose, Economic Adviser for the European Panel Federation, gave an overview of the wood-based panel market. She said overall economic development is slow, and the increasing cost and limited availability of raw materials, mainly due to competition with biofuel uses, are major challenges. She expressed support for the EU decision to include harvested wood products in its new carbon accounting rules.
Matti Mikkola, Stora Enso Building and Living, said wood is the only truly sustainable building material. He said there have been technical innovations in the use of wood as a construction material that have made it fully comparable to conventional building materials in terms of strength and fire resistance, but additional innovations are needed to ensure that wood “can become a winner.” Among challenges, he noted: the fragmented structure of woodworking companies; lack of replication of successful projects; lack of industrial solutions, such as prefabrication; and scaling up from a regional approach. He called for harmonization of building codes and norms, and for fair and equal rules for all building materials. In response to a comment from the floor, Mikkola acknowledged the need to address the lack of understanding of wood construction among architects, policy and standard makers, engineers and construction workers.
Bernard-Yves Capelle, wood construction architect, emphasized that the use of wood can contribute to addressing the challenges facing humanity today, including energy and material scarcity and the loss of biodiversity. He showed examples of successful and innovative wood construction projects around the world, and said wood construction can be applied not only in new buildings, but also in the renovation sector.
Bernard de Galembert, Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), identified several challenges, including: the need to increase the competitiveness of the European forest sector; raw material scarcity; rising energy costs; an aging workforce; and global competition. To increase the mobilization of raw materials, he advocated going through multiple cycles of reuse and recycling before finally using wood for bioenergy. He called for an increased emphasis on waste policy, education and innovative funding mechanisms.
Martin Forsén, Domsjö Fiber, said that “whatever can be made of oil can be made of wood.” He elaborated on innovative products of biorefineries, for instance cellulose fibers for the textile market and specialty cellulose applications including viscose, heat-resistant materials, and administration of medicines. He also cited the potential of wood-based bioenergy, bioethanol, biogas and bioresin. In response to a question from the floor, he said today’s wood-based viscose compares to cotton with regard to its environmental impact (pollution and use of water), but a third generation of wood-based viscose is now being developed with less of those environmental problems.
Stefan Sundman, UPM Kymmene Corporation, addressed the competitiveness of the forest sector. He said the main challenge is to develop new competencies to increase the value added of forest products. Noting that the large number of policies is making this issue quite complex, he described his company’s actions to make biorefineries an attractive growth investment, within the framework of the EU Bio-economy Strategy and Action Plan.
In the ensuing discussion, Järvinen remarked that Europe has 16 million forest owners – more than farmers – who have different needs and ambitions regarding their forests. He said it is a tremendous challenge to convince those owners to sell their raw materials to the industry, and suggested promoting new kinds of ownership structures.
Delegates also addressed decreasing the cost of mobilizing wood against a background of 30 percent underharvesting. They agreed on the need for: new schemes of forest ownership, including public-private partnerships; harmonized policies that support, rather than hinder, these processes; and regulatory predictability.
MEASURING AND COMMUNICATING THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE FOREST SECTOR TO A GREEN ECONOMY: This roundtable took place on Wednesday morning and was chaired by Nina Dobrzynska, Ministry of the Environment, Poland. Ivonne Higuero, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), presented the “Green Economy” concept and the work on indicators done by UNEP, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank under the Green Growth Knowledge Platform. She emphasized using existing indicators, and described enabling conditions for a green economy such as: regulatory frameworks; removal of harmful subsidies in energy, water and agriculture; green investments; smart market mechanisms such as payment for ecosystem services (PES); and capacity building.
André de Montmillon, Federal Statistical Office, Switzerland, presented the Swiss experience on developing national green economy indicators through the MONET project, and also emphasized using existing indicators, existing definitions and national accounting systems such as the System of National Accounts and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting.
Kit Prins, independent forest consultant, discussed challenges in measuring progress of the forest sector towards a green economy and proposals for possible indicators. He underscored that measuring progress towards the green economy is different from measuring progress towards SFM, as the latter only deals with one sector of the green economy, and that existing sets of criteria and indicators for SFM are useful but not sufficient. Building on the proposed Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy, he highlighted as possible areas of measurement: conservation of natural capital; efficient use of resources; contribution to climate change mitigation; integration of externalities and PES; sustainability of the forest-sector workforce; and good governance and evidence based decision making.
In the subsequent discussion, participants raised several issues, including the difference between “green economy” and “bioeconomy,” implementation mechanisms for the proposed indicators, and the justification for a workforce indicator in light of the declining employment in forestry.
During the second part of the session, Jürgen Blaser, Swiss Global Forest Advisor, moderated a panel discussion on: how to measure the “greenness” of the forest sector and what is the state-of-the-art in measurements; what is still needed for more thorough measurements; and which priorities should be included in the UNECE/FAO integrated programme of work. Liubov Poliakova, State Forest Resources Agency, Ukraine, emphasized national-level focus and capacity building. Rob Busink, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Guy Robertson, US Forest Services, provided insights from their national experiences, emphasizing communication with other sectors. Bernard de Galembert, CEPI, underlined the importance of sound, science-based communication and cautioned against oversimplification of environmental issues in forest industries. Thorsten Arndt, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, emphasized unified messages to show the contribution of the forest sector to sustainable societies, and Félix Romero Cañizares, FSC, underscored the role of certification schemes in measuring progress towards the green economy as evidence of responsible forestry in the field. Hubert Inhaizer, European Forest Institute, expressed the concern that, as with measuring progress towards SFM, measuring progress towards a green economy can be constrained by political issues, and underlined that some existing indicators might need to be improved.
In summarizing the main messages coming from the panelists and the interventions by participants, panel moderator Blaser emphasized the importance of: avoiding a long process and having results ready in 2015; defining an appropriate framework before starting the work on indicators; including all relevant stakeholders; relying on existing indicators while ensuring they are well designed and reliable; looking at forestry in relation to other sectors and ensuring compatibility with other sectors’ measurement systems; and improving communication.
FAO EUROPEAN FORESTRY COMMISSION MATTERS
These agenda items were addressed on Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, in sessions chaired by Co-Chair Filipchuk.
FOLLOW-UP TO THE DECISIONS OF THE 36TH EFC SESSION: Dominique Reeb, UNECE/FAO, described recent FAO activities in the EFC context (ECE/TIM/2013/4–FO: EFC/2013/4). He named several concrete outputs, including climate change guidelines for policy makers and forestry managers; a monthly newsletter; and an Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy, which was prepared in consultation with various stakeholders and forwarded to Metsä2013 for its consideration. He also highlighted EFC collaboration with the FAO Regional Commission for Europe, the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) and Forest Europe, and its services to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe (INC-Forests).
OVERVIEW OF RECENT ACTIVITIES OF THE FAO REGIONAL OFFICE FOR EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA: Norbert Winkler-Ráthonyi, FAO, addressed this agenda item. He said the main challenge in Europe is to ensure sustainable wood mobilization and maintain active management of forests, while in Central Asia the challenge is to strengthen the role of forests in, among other things, combating climate change and desertification. Ekrem Yazici, FAO, presented: FAO’s activities in the region, including the management of mountain watersheds in Central Asia and Caucasus; subregional and regional events; FAO assistance through the Global Environment Facility; and partnerships with other organizations.
OVERVIEW OF RECENT ACTIVITIES OF THE FAO COMMITTEE ON MEDITERRANEAN FORESTRY QUESTIONS SILVA MEDITERRANEA: Christophe Besacier, FAO, described Silva Mediterranea’s work on: the Mediterranean Forest Week; the “State of the Mediterranean Forests” report; the Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests; and the Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests. He also highlighted activities led by the Committee’s four Working Groups on Forest Fires, Cork Oak, Mediterranean Forests and Sustainable Development, and Forest Genetic Resources, and the establishment of two new working groups: on Urban and Peri-urban Forestry and on Desertification and Arid Zone Forestry.
REVIEW OF THE MANDATE AND MODUS OPERANDI OF THE EFC WORKING PARTY ON MANAGEMENT OF MOUNTAIN WATERSHEDS: Thomas Hofer, FAO, presented the document (ECE/TIM/2013/5–FO: EFC/2013/5). He underlined the diversity and vulnerability of Europe’s mountain watersheds, noting that they affect around 50 percent of the EU’s water balance, and described the main trends, including: damage due to climate change, fires and pollution; a reduction in biodiversity; and a loss of local knowledge and practices. He summarized the proposed mandate and modus operandi of the new Working Party on Management of Mountain Watersheds, and said two pilot working groups had been established: on forests and water; and on disaster risk management. He also described activities in the context of the International Mountain Partnership. Christophe Besacier, FAO, drew attention to potential cooperation of this Working Party with Silva Mediterranea.
OVERVIEW OF THE FAO STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK, THE FAO STRATEGIC EVALUATION, AND IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS: Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department, presented the documents (ECE/TIM/2013/6–FO: EFC/2013/6 and ECE/TIM/2013/7–FO: EFC/2013/7). He highlighted ongoing work on the FAO Strategic Framework, noting that FAO’s newly formulated objectives are: to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; to make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable; to enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems; and to increase the resilience of livelihoods to disasters. He identified areas of cross-cutting work where general FAO activities and forestry-related work by FAO and others could be integrated in order to better contribute to the goals of food security and poverty alleviation. He underlined the need to revise the Forest Strategy in the light of the evolving new Strategic Framework of FAO. Several delegates commended FAO on its efforts to raise the profile of forests in its Strategic Framework following the recommendations of the 21st session of COFO.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE DRAWN TO THE ATTENTION OF THE 29TH SESSION OF THE FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR EUROPE AND THE 22ND SESSION OF THE FAO COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY: Peter Csóka, FAO, introduced this item (ECE/TIM/2013/8–FO: EFC/2013/8). He highlighted the increased role of, and coordination among, FAO Regional Commissions and regional technical commissions, and said the EFC is to provide recommendations on topics to be considered at COFO-22 in June 2014. Dominique Reeb, UNECE/FAO, reported on the recommendations made by the joint COFFI/EFC Bureaux on possible topics, such as: boreal forests; gender in forestry; the role of FAO in the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF); and forests in the green economy. Delegates agreed to the suggestion made by two delegations to include forest governance and to link the issue of boreal forests to the FAO Strategic Framework.
Reeb then reported on the recommendations made by the joint Bureaux on topics for consideration at the next session of the FAO Regional Commission for Europe: the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy; implementation of the landscape approach; and bioenergy.
Some delegations suggested referring to “integrated land use” approach rather than a “landscape” approach, and finally agreed to entrust the Secretariat to bring the recommendation in line with language already agreed at previous COFO sessions.
ELECTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BUREAU: Co-Chair Filipchuk recalled that the EFC had, at its last session, elected the following members of the Bureau: Andrey Filipchuk (Russian Federation) as Chair; and Rob Busink (Netherlands), Peter Blombäck (Sweden) and Bekir Kayacan (Turkey) as Vice-Chairs. With Peter Blombäck and Bekir Kayacan stepping down from the Bureau, and Andrey Filipchuk’s end of term as Chair, delegates elected Christine Farcy (Belgium) and Kenan Kiliç (Turkey) as new Bureau members, and Rob Busink as new Chair of the EFC.
DATE AND PLACE OF THE NEXT SESSION: Delegates accepted Switzerland’s offer to host the next joint COFFI/EFC session in 2015, in parallel with the next European Forest Week.
ECE COMMITTEE ON FORESTS AND THE FOREST INDUSTRY MATTERS
Delegates considered this agenda item on Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon during sessions chaired by Co-Chair Granholm.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE 65TH SESSION OF THE ECE: Paola Deda, UNECE/FAO, addressed this agenda item, highlighting the outcome of the review of the 2005 reform of the UNECE, and emphasizing the UNECE’s new strategic focus on a green economy. She highlighted the activities of the COFFI, noting that new rules and procedures are now being developed for adoption at its next session in 2014.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE 70TH SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE: Deda elaborated on several initiatives arising from this meeting. She drew attention to the publication called “Forests and Economic Development,” which targets a general audience, and to several meetings held, including a special session of the Committee with the FAO EFC in June 2013.
ECE BIENNIAL EVALUATION PLAN AND PROGRAMME OF WORK 2014-2015: Deda introduced, and delegates adopted, the two relevant documents (ECE/TIM/2013/9–FO: EFC/2013/9 and ECE/TIM/2013/10–FO: EFC/2013/10).
ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Deda recalled that the COFFI, at its last session, had elected Heikki Granholm (Finland) as Chair and Anna Zornaczuk-Luba (Poland), Christoph Dürr (Switzerland) and Linda Langner (US) as Vice-Chairs, and noted that Linda Langner would be stepping down. Delegates elected Guy Robertson (US) as new Vice-Chair, and re-elected the other officers by acclamation.
DATE AND PLACE OF THE NEXT SESSION: The Russian Federation proposed that the next COFFI session be organized in the autumn of 2014 in the city of Kazan in the Federal Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation. Nail Magdeev, Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Tatarstan, gave a presentation on forestry in Tatarstan and showed a promotional video of the Republic. Delegates welcomed the Russian offer.
OUTCOME OF THE 10TH SESSION OF UNFF AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ECE REGION
This agenda item was addressed on Wednesday afternoon, in a session chaired by Co-Chair Granholm.
REGIONAL INPUTS, FORESTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Paola Deda, UNECE/FAO, introduced the relevant documents (ECE/TIM/2013/Inf.1–FO: EFC/2013/Inf.1). Delegates discussed the potential role of the UNECE Secretariat in providing input to the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). Deda clarified that the Secretariat is only to provide substantive input, leaving all input that has a political nature to member states. Delegates mandated the UNECE Secretariat to provide input to UNFF-11, based upon guidance to be provided by the member states.
REVIEW OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ARRANGEMENT ON FORESTS: Deda introduced the agenda item (ECE/TIM/2013/Inf.2–FO: EFC/2013/Inf.2), recalling that the Facilitative Dialogue Workshop on the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF), held in October 2013 in Vienna, Austria, had suggested to invite to the joint meeting of the COFFI and the EFC the two consultants carrying out the independent assessment of the IAF for the UNECE region. One of the two consultants, Jürgen Blaser, Swiss Global Forest Advisor, gave a presentation on the progress of the independent assessment, which will be concluded in September 2014.
ROLE OF FORESTS IN THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department, addressed this agenda item (ECE/TIM/2013/11–FO: EFC/2013/11). He recalled the background of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), which were first proposed at the “Rio+20” UN Conference on Sustainable Development. He said a proposal for SDGs will be submitted to the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in 2014 by an Open Working Group (OWG) consisting of 30 countries. He announced a discussion on forests by the OWG to take place in February 2014, based on a Forest Issues Brief to be prepared by an Interagency Technical Support Team for Forests, coordinated by the UNFF Secretariat, with inputs from the CPF.
He outlined three possible options to address forests in the context of the SDGs: an SDG specifically on forests; an SDG considering forests jointly with other natural resources; or targets and indicators on forests that are integrated in all SDGs. He highlighted the FAO’s preference for a separate SDG on forests, with inclusive targets and indicators, to raise the profile of forests in the SDG debate and reflect the multi-functionality of forests and all three dimensions of SFM. He said this SDG should build on the Global Objectives on Forests and existing criteria and indicators, and called for prudence, noting that any strategy or outcome in this regard depends on how other thematic issues are packaged.
Delegates discussed this issue for some time, with the first two options both receiving support from several delegations. No final conclusion was reached on this matter, but delegates agreed to mandate the joint Secretariat to organize an expert workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, on 22-24 January 2014, to exchange views and develop ideas on how to strategically include forests in the SDGs, and to report to the OWG in February 2014.
JOINT COMMITTEE/COMMISSION MATTERS
This agenda item was addressed on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning and afternoon, in sessions chaired by Co-Chair Granholm.
UNECE AND FAO IN A CHANGING INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT: BRIEFING AND DISCUSSION OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: Steve Smith and Jeremy Wall, European Commission, gave a presentation on the new “EU Forest Strategy: for forests and the forest-based sector,” adopted in September 2013. Smith recalled that the new Strategy was developed to respond to changed societal demands on forests and to new threats, and that its guiding principles are SFM, resource efficiency and global forest responsibility. Wall described the “Blueprint for Forest-Based Industries,” issued in conjunction with the new Strategy, including the challenges faced by forest-based industries and solutions to overcome them.
Co-Chair Granholm noted the many similarities between the new EU Strategy and the issues dealt with in the UNECE/FAO integrated programme of work.
Edurne Lacalle, Forest Europe, briefed delegates on recent activities by Forest Europe in areas of its programme of work, such as: further development of SFM tools; further improvement in forest monitoring and reporting; the “State of Europe’s Forests” report; efforts to combat illegal logging and associated trade; valuation of forest ecosystem services; forests and the green economy; servicing of INC-Forests; and facilitation of open policy dialogue.
Peter Csóka, FAO, gave an update on the INC-Forests sessions for which FAO provided secretariat services. He reported that at its final negotiating session in Geneva in November 2013, the Committee: agreed ad referendum on the majority of the articles of the text; left some issues pending, including the articles on the Conference of the Parties, right to vote, secretariat, compliance, entry into force, and depositary; and decided to transmit the text to the extraordinary Forest Europe Ministerial Conference, to be held at a date to be determined.
ACTION PLAN FOR THE FOREST SECTOR IN A GREEN ECONOMY: Arnaud Brizay, UNECE/FAO, outlined the background and history of the Action Plan (ECE/TIM/2013/12–FO: EFC/2013/12) and the list of activities from the Action Plan to be carried out by UNECE/FAO (ECE/TIM/2013/Inf.3–FO: EFC/2013/Inf.3). Some delegations expressed concerns with certain items contained within the Action Plan and with its prescriptive nature. Co-Chair Granholm reconfirmed, based on the proceedings of the Special Session of the COFFI and EFC held in Geneva in June 2013, that the Special Session had endorsed the Action Plan. Although several delegations emphasized the voluntary nature of the document, delegates agreed to one delegation’s request to delete one activity with potential legal implications. Delegates further agreed to delete reference to UNECE and FAO in the title of the Action Plan, to reflect the substantial input by the private sector, and to name it the “Rovaniemi Action Plan” instead. With this understanding, delegates adopted the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy and took note of the list of activities from the Action Plan to be carried out by UNECE/FAO.
The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the International Forestry Students’ Association delivered a joint statement, underlining the importance of forestry education to ensure the health of the forest sector into the future. They offered to take the lead on drafting an action plan to systematically assess the state of forestry education and to identify and address areas for improvement, and looked forward to working together with UNECE, FAO and others to address this important issue.
Final outcome: The Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy (ECE/TIM/2013/12–FO: EFC/2013/12) contains an introduction, outlining its background and mandate, scope and definitions, vision, overall goal, principles for the UNECE region forest sector in the emerging green economy, and suggestions regarding follow-up actions to the Action Plan.
The Action Plan itself consists of five pillars with their respective areas of activity: sustainable production and consumption of forest products; a low-carbon forest sector; decent green jobs in the forest sector; long-term provision of forest ecosystem services; and policy development and monitoring of the forest sector in relation to a green economy.
Under each of these pillars, the Action Plan lists several objectives with respective activities to be carried out by UNECE/FAO, governments, the private sector, academia and/or other relevant parties.
On sustainable production and consumption of forest products, the Action Plan lists the following objectives:
- to develop and communicate realistic and ambitious strategies for sustainable patterns of production, consumption and trade of forest products and the related services;
- to ensure that consumers are fully and accurately informed whether the forest products they purchase come from sustainable sources, and that certification and labeling systems encourage the sound and sustainable use of wood and forest products;
- to help public and private buyers of forest products to develop and implement procurement rules which encourage sustainable practices and promote demand for certified forest products;
- to ensure that wood supply from the region’s forests is sufficient to satisfy, on a sustainable basis, society’s needs for renewable raw materials and sources of energy;
- to promote innovation in forest management and in the production and use of forest products and the related services so that the forest sector is a competitive supplier of renewable and sustainably produced goods and services;
- to promote the use of lifecycle assessment data based on internationally agreed standards for all materials at all stages of manufacturing, use and recycling, to support decision making at all levels; and
- to ensure that only legally produced forest products enter the market.
On the low-carbon forest sector, the Action Plan lists the following objectives:
- to develop and communicate ambitious and realistic strategies for the low carbon forest sector;
- to encourage the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases by substituting wood from sustainable sources for non-renewable materials and energy;
- to promote the most efficient production, processing and use of wood raw material;
- to improve the capacity of the forest sector to adapt to climate change and manage the risks associated with a changing climate; and
- to promote the sequestration and storage of carbon in forest ecosystems and harvested wood products.
On decent green jobs in the forest sector, the Action Plan lists the following objectives:
- to develop and communicate ambitious and realistic strategies for decent green jobs in the forest sector;
- to ensure that the workforce has the necessary skills at all levels to carry out the increasingly complex tasks associated with SFM;
- to reduce the levels of illness and injury experienced by the forestry workforce, taking into account the changes in technology and their implications for occupational health and safety due to the transition to the green economy;
- to review the work methods used for harvesting and silviculture, determine whether they need to be improved and to ensure that best practices are applied everywhere; and
- to promote the use of tools to assess the socio-economic impacts of green economy policies on the forest sector.
On the long-term provision of forest ecosystem services, the Action Plan lists the following objectives:
- to develop and communicate ambitious and realistic strategies for the valuation of and payment for forest ecosystem services;
- to support the assigning of economic value to non-marketed forest goods and services and to enhance the understanding and recognition of the public goods provided by forests;
- to promote best practices in the development and implementation of PES; and
- to review ways in which forests contribute to or endanger human health and well-being, and ascertain whether this information is properly incorporated into policies and practices.
On policy development and monitoring of the forest sector in relation to a green economy, the Action Plan lists the following objectives:
- to develop and communicate ambitious and realistic strategies for governance and monitoring of the forest sector;
- to review existing forest sector policy instruments in light of the requirements of a green economy, and, if necessary, make proposals for a new approach, while improving synergies at the international level;
- to ensure that the forest information available is comprehensive and comparable, structured according to the regional criteria and indicator sets, at the appropriate spatial resolution for decision making, that analysis of the outlook makes it possible to assess the consequences of policy choices, and that policy makers make use of the best available information and analysis;
- to develop an agreed method for assessing SFM at the international level, based on criteria and indicator sets, and apply this method, to provide policy makers, particularly in the forest sector, with clear information on whether forest are being sustainably managed;
- to improve communication with the public and policy makers about the forest sector’s actual and potential role in the green economy and facilitate public participation in the debate on the green economy; and
- to communicate lessons learned in the forest sector to other sectors, and to learn from other sectors’ experience.
An Annex to the Action Plan lists all of the more than 100 stakeholders that were involved in the development of the Action Plan.
INTEGRATED PROGRAMME OF WORK (2014-2017): Arnaud Brizay, UNECE/FAO, elaborated on the development of the COFFI/EFC draft Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017 (ECE/TIM/2013/13−FO:EFC/2013/13), including the Terms of Reference for subsidiary bodies (Joint Working Party for Forest Statistics, Economics and Management and Teams of Specialists) (ECE/TIM/2013/14−FO:EFC/2013/14). He noted that the overall goal of the programme of work is to support member countries and stakeholders in their efforts to sustainably manage and use UNECE-region forests so that they provide products and ecosystem services to benefit society. He highlighted four work areas covered in the programme of work: data, monitoring and assessment; policy dialogue and advice; communication and outreach; and capacity building, noting that teams of specialists will work under each of these areas of work.
Dominique Reeb, UNECE/FAO, presented some changes not yet reflected in the document which were needed to align the text with FAO legal rules. He clarified that these changes would acknowledge the authority of the FAO Director-General to convene meetings of FAO’s bodies, and therefore the sentence “The two bodies hold a joint meeting every second year” should be changed to read “Based on the success of past experience, the two bodies are encouraged to hold joint sessions every two years.” One delegate lamented this procedure, noting insufficient time to review the changes, and stressing that member states, rather than the Secretariats of the organizations, have the power to convene meetings. Supported by others, he expressed concern that the new wording would not be strong enough to ensure sufficient cooperation between the two bodies.
Delegates discussed the joint meetings and their frequency at length, and in the end agreed to change the text to the effect that “the two bodies are encouraged to continue holding joint meetings in line with established practice and with the aim to further strengthen cooperation and exploit synergies.”
Delegates also agreed to the replacement of “ECE/FAO” with “ECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section” throughout the document, and to new text stating that “implementation of the Integrated Programme of Work will depend on regular programme funding levels and to a large extent on extrabudgetary resources made available. Member states and other donors are encouraged to support such activities in kind and/or with the necessary level of financial resources.”
With those changes, delegates adopted the Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017.
Delegates also adopted the relevant Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Joint FAO/ECE Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management and ToR and guidelines for nine Teams of Specialists on: Monitoring SFM; Sustainable Forest Products; Forest Products Statistics; Wood Energy; Forest Sector Outlook; Forest Policy; Forest Fire; Forest Communication; and Green Jobs in the Forest Sector.
Final outcome: The Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017 (ECE/TIM/2013/13−FO:EFC/2013/13) contains two parts. The first lists its scope, overall goal, objective, structure and work areas (data, monitoring and assessment; policy dialogue and advice; communication and outreach; and capacity building), principles guiding implementation, support to the Integrated Programme of Work and related resources, governance, and expert support. The second part lists recommendations in support of the implementation of the Integrated Programme of Work.
REVIEW OF 2013 ACTIVITIES, LIST OF ACTIVITIES FOR 2014 AND PUBLICATIONS FOR 2014-2017: Delegates briefly considered and then adopted the documents under this agenda item (ECE/TIM/2013/15–FO: EFC/2013/15 (List of activities) and 15/Add.1 (List of ECE/FAO publications for 2014-2017)).
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS AND THE EUROPEAN FOREST WEEK: Maria de Cristofaro, FAO, and Nina Peeva, UNECE/FAO, presented communication activities to celebrate and promote the International Day of Forests and the European Forest Week.
FAO GLOBAL ACTIVITIES ON SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT OF RELEVANCE TO THE MEETING
OVERVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF FAO TOOLS FOR SFM: Delegates addressed this agenda item on Thursday afternoon, in a session chaired by Co-Chair Filipchuk. Thomas Hofer, FAO, presented the document on the SFM Toolbox (ECE/TIM/2013/16–FO: EFC/2013/16), giving a demonstration of its use. He said that implementation is still a challenge, and outlined FAO efforts to bring the Toolbox to the attention of stakeholders. In response to a question from the floor, Hofer acknowledged the need to translate the Toolbox into languages other than English.
Hofer also presented the Voluntary Guidelines on National Forest Monitoring (ECE/TIM/2013/17–FO: EFC/2013/17). He said the main objectives of the Guidelines are to compile good practice principles, guidelines and selected methodologies and tools, and to present a general framework and a set of decision-support tools for planning and implementing a multi-purpose national forest monitoring system grounded in nationally appropriate and scientifically sound practice, taking into consideration national information needs and reporting requirements.
Hofer then introduced the document on fire management (ECE/TIM/2013/18–FO: EFC/2013/18). He highlighted recent fire management projects undertaken in various countries, and announced that the next International Wildland Fire Conference will take place in the Republic of Korea, in 2015.
Several delegations lamented the insufficient time to reflect on these three initiatives and provide guidance and recommendations.
OVERVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES ON THE RESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE OF TENURE OF LAND, FISHERIES AND FORESTS IN THE CONTEXT OF NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY: On Thursday afternoon, in a session chaired by Co-Chair Filipchuk, Tiina Vähänen, FAO, presented the relevant document (ECE/TIM/2013/19–FO: EFC/2013/19). She said the guidelines can be used: as a checklist against which existing strategies, policies, laws or systems can be assessed and then improved; as a model for developing new ones; to find guidance or direction when the laws and practices of a country are not clear; to educate and support arguments or calls for new strategies, policies, laws or systems, or for reform of existing ones; and to define processes for developing good governance. She reconfirmed FAO’s commitment to supporting country efforts to strengthen tenure systems.
STATE AND CONSERVATION OF THE WORLD’S FOREST GENETIC RESOURCES: This session took place on Tuesday afternoon and was chaired by Co-Chair Filipchuk. Christophe Besacier, FAO, reported on progress on the preparation of the State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources and the related Global Plan of Action (ECE/TIM/2013/Inf.4−FO:EFC/2013/Inf.4). He noted that 86 countries worldwide have submitted voluntary national reports, that 18 of these are from the European region, and that the first electronic version of the final report will be launched during the International Day of Forests in March 2014. He said the Global Plan of Action includes 27 strategic priorities to be implemented at national, regional and international levels.
In the ensuing discussion, delegates addressed, inter alia: the links with the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme; and in situ and ex situ conservation, policy and institutions and capacity building as strategic priorities. Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department, emphasized the collaboration between FAO and the Convention on Biological Diversity on forest genetic resources.
INFORMATION ON THE GLOBAL TIMBER FORUM: On Tuesday afternoon, at the end of the roundtable on engaging the private sector, Tiina Vähänen, FAO, highlighted the Global Timber Forum launched at FAO Headquarters in May 2013 (ECE/TIM/2013/Inf.5–FO: EFC/2013/Inf.5). She said the Forum is an informal network of private sector organizations aimed at sharing experiences and supporting collaboration on issues of common interest, such as meeting requirements for timber trade regulations.
OUTCOME OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FORESTS FOR FOOD SECURITY: This agenda item was addressed on Tuesday afternoon in a session chaired by Co-Chair Filipchuk. Peter Csóka, FAO, presented highlights from the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition, held from 13-15 May 2013 at FAO Headquarters (ECE/TIM/2013/Inf.6–FO: EFC/2013/Inf.6). Noting the direct and indirect contributions of forests to food and food production systems, he underscored the need for: forest-dependent communities’ secured access to forest resources; cross-sectoral policy approaches; more integrated land use planning; and restoration of degraded lands. In the ensuing discussion, Co-Chair Filipchuk noted that food security is more a concern for tropical forests than for boreal forests. Rojas-Briales stressed the importance of a system-wide approach to forests and food security that goes beyond contribution to diets. Dominique Reeb, UNECE/FAO, suggested considering the economic value of non-timber forest products in the European region.
IUFRO reported the launch of an assessment of forests and food security under the CPF Global Forests Expert Panel by a newly established Expert Panel on Forest and Food Security, whose work will be presented as a peer-reviewed scientific report and a summary for policymakers at UNFF-11 in May 2015.
PREPARATION OF THE 14TH WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS TO BE HELD IN DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA IN 2015: On Thursday afternoon, in a session chaired by Co-Chair Granholm, delegates heard a presentation by Tiina Vähänen, FAO, on the 14th World Forestry Congress (WFC), to be held on 7-11 September 2015, in Durban, South Africa (ECE/TIM/2013/20–FO: EFC/2013/20). Vähänen emphasized that WFCs are organized every six years and provide opportunities for strengthening the role of forests in sustainable development, sharing experiences, and highlighting forestry work by FAO and its member states. Delegates provided initial suggestions on possible themes for WFC-14, such as forests and climate change, the role of forests in the green economy, social aspects of forests, gender, and landscape management.
At the request of the Russian Federation, the UNECE/FAO Secretariat provided an update on the State of Europe’s Forests report, explaining that: the deadline for member states to fill the data collection questionnaire is the end of March 2014; the copyright of the report lies with Forest Europe; and the UNECE/FAO Timber section is providing technical assistance to the process.
REPORT, INCLUDING MARKET STATEMENT, AND CLOSURE OF THE JOINT SESSION
On Thursday, Metsä2013 convened in an late evening session, chaired by Co-Chair Granholm, to consider the draft Market Statement 2013 (ECE/TIM/2013/3−FO:EFC/2013/3). This document was adopted, with minor amendments, and annexed to the report of the 71st session of the COFFI.
Final outcome: The Market Statement 2013 (ECE/TIM/2013/3−FO:EFC/2013/3) underscores that forest products have a stronger potential role to play in the UNECE. It presents a market overview around the following headings: policy and regulatory development affecting the forest products sector; environment; and innovative wood-based products. It further presents a summary of regional and subregional markets under the headings: wood raw materials; softwood; sawn hardwood; wood-based panels; paper, paperboard and wood pulp; and wood energy.
Later in the night, Metsä2013 considered the draft joint meeting report (ECE/TIM/2013/2−FO:EFC/2013/2). In addition to making several editorial changes, delegates also amended the draft report to: reflect concerns on the development of a system of measurement under the section on measuring and communicating the contribution of the forest sector to a green economy; clarify that the legal and technical changes regarding the decision on the periodicity of joint sessions under the Integrated Programme of Work had been presented by the EFC Secretariat in agreement with the EFC Executive Committee; and reflect the importance of dissemination of the State of Europe’s Forests report in relevant languages.
Co-Chair Granholm closed the meeting at 3:45 AM on Friday, 13 December.
21st Session of the Near East Forestry and Range Commission: The meeting, convened by the FAO Near East Forestry and Range Commission, will facilitate discussions on forest issues in the Near East among government officials, civil society, and regional and sub-regional organizations. The meeting will also consider progress on the achievement of recommendations from the 20th meeting, as well as an update on current and emerging issues. dates: 26-30 January 2014 location: Jordan contact: Abdelhamied Adam email: email@example.com www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/31112/en/
Forest Europe Expert Level Meeting: Expert Level Meetings are the decision-making bodies that meet between the Forest Europe conferences. They discuss, inter alia, the Forest Europe work programme and the Forest Europe Roadmap to 2020. dates: 4-5 February 2014 location: Valladolid, Spain contact: Edurne Lacalle, Forest Europe phone: +34 914458410 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.foresteurope.org/events/forest-europe-expert-level-meeting-0
World Congress on Agroforestry: The World Congress on Agroforestry is organized under the theme “Trees for Life – Accelerating the Impacts of Agroforestry.” This Congress is intended to raise awareness and share knowledge and information on agroforestry and associated research. The Congress is also intended to increase support for agroforestry on all fronts, including through collaboration with the private sector. The event will be organized by the World Agroforestry Center, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the Indian Society of Agroforestry and Global Initiatives. dates: 10-14 February 2014 venue: Vigyan Bhavan and Kempinski Hotel location: Delhi, India contact: Global Initiatives phone: +254 20 722 4000 email: email@example.com www: http://www.wca2014.org
Open Ended Intergovernmental Ad Hoc Expert Group of the UN Forum on Forests on the International Arrangement on Forests: The Ad Hoc Expert Group was established at the tenth meeting of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-10) with a mandate to review the performance and effectiveness of the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF) and to develop recommendations on a strategic direction for the IAF for the period beyond 2015. dates: 24-28 February 2014 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: UNFF Secretariat www: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/pdf/iaf/NV-AHEG1.pdf
22nd Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry: This biennial session will bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action. Participants will also include representatives from other international organizations and non-governmental groups. Participation in COFO is open to all FAO member countries. dates: 23-27 June 2014 venue: FAO Headquarters location: Rome, Italy contact: Peter Csóka, FAO email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/57758/en/
XXIV IUFRO World Congress 2014 “Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research”: This meeting, organized by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), will reflect diverse contributions from the forest science community across the full range of natural and social science disciplines. dates: 5-11 October 2014 location: Salt Lake City, US contact: IUFRO Secretariat phone: +43 1 877 01 51 0 email: email@example.com www: http://www.iufro2014.org
International Conference “Economic Evaluation of Forest Management Sustainability”: The primary goal of this conference is to promote scientific information interchange between researchers in the field of economic evaluation of forest management sustainability. dates: 29-30 May 2014 location: Kaunas, Lithuania contact: Liana Sadauskienë phone: +370 37 547283 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.mi.lt/intconf/
72nd session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI): This meeting will focus on the implementation of the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy. dates: autumn of 2014 location: Kazan, Federal Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation contact: Paola Deda, UNECE/FAO Secretariat email: email@example.com www: http://www.unece.org/forests
UN Forum on Forests 11th Session (UNFF-11): UNFF-11 will consider the future of the IAF, based on challenges and its effectiveness. The meeting will also review progress in the implementation of the global objectives on forests and the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests. Thematic issues under consideration will include SFM and forest law enforcement, as well as cooperation and coordination. dates: 4-15 May 2015 location: New York City, US contact: UNFF Secretariat phone: +1 212 963 3401 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/session.html
14th World Forestry Congress: This FAO event is organized every six years. The 14th edition will: bring together knowledge and experience to give guidance on the formulation and implementation of forest policy; express views which may help research organizations to identify future areas of study and international organizations to plan future work; and promote the elaboration and world-wide acceptance of technical standards such as an international forestry terminology, a uniform classification of forestry literature, and consistent research methods. dates: 7-11 September 2015 location: Durban, South Africa contact: Tiina Vähänen, FAO Forestry Department phone: +39 06 5705562 email: email@example.com www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/wfc
6th International Wildfire Conference: This conference is held under the auspices of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and FAO, and will address three themes: global natural and cultural fire heritage; protecting the global natural and cultural heritage from fire; towards a cohesive global fire management strategy. dates: 12-16 October 2015 location: Alpensia Resort, Pyeongchang, Gangwon, Republic of Korea contact: Korea Forest Service phone: +82 42 481 4127 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.wildfire2015.kr
Joint session of the UNECE COFFI and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC): This will be a joint meeting of the UNECE’s 73rd COFFI and FAO’s 38th EFC. The meeting will take place during the third European Forest Week. dates: 2015 location: Switzerland contact: Paola Deda, UNECE/FAO Secretariat email: email@example.com www: http://www.unece.org/forests