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United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Working Group and Special Session

16-20 January 2017 | UN Headquarters, New York

Highlights for Friday, 20 January 2017

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UNFF Working Group and Special Session

Co-Chair Hans Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, and Moncef Khane, UNFF Secretary,
applaud the successful outcome of the meeting.

On Friday, 20 January 2017, the UN Forum on Forests concluded Working Group discussions at UN Headquarters in New York City, and in a Special Session adopted the UN’s first strategic plan for the world’s forests.

In the morning, following informal negotiations that went until 3:30 am the night before, delegates returned to discuss a revised proposal for the quadrennial Programme of Work 2017-2020 (4POW).

In the afternoon, delegates resumed discussions on the Strategic Plan, to finalize the global forest goals and targets, implementation framework, review framework, and the communication and outreach strategy. Some of the issues discussed included how to refer to the Global Environment Facility, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and new indicative thematic areas for actions. The Working Group reached consensus on all elements of the Strategic Plan and the 4POW and concluded at 6:05 pm.

Immediately following this, a Special Session of the UNFF was held, and the report of the UNFF Working Group and the draft Report of the Forum at its Special Session was adopted. UNFF12 Chair Peter Besseau closed the meeting at 6:15 pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web updates from the UNFF Working Group and Special Session. In addition, IISD Reporting Serivces has published a summary and analysis report of this event, which is available in HTML and PDF.


Luca Perez, EU, suggested additional thematic areas for the Programme of Work, including biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production, energy.

Christoph Dürr, Switzerland


Delegates confer

Delegates follow on-screen editing of the draft Strategic Plan on Forests.


Manoel Sobral Filho, Director, UNFF Secretariat, gavels the Working Group to a close.

Manoel Sobral Filho, Director, UNFF Secretariat, gives the floor to UNFF12 Chair Besseau


The delegation from Papua New Guinea
(L-R) Dambis Kaip and Fred Sarufa

Co-Chair Mohammad Ali Zarie Zare, Iran and Hans Hoogeveen, the Netherlands


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IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union, the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES).