5th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE)
5-7 November 2007 | Warsaw, Poland
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Daily web coverage:
Monday, 5 Nov 2007 - Tuesday, 6 Nov 2007 - Wednesday, 7 Nov 2007

The 5th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE 5) opened today at the Sheraton Hotel in Warsaw, Poland. In attendance were ministers responsible for forests and high-level representatives of 44 European countries and the European Community, as well as representatives of 14 observer countries and 31 observer organizations.

The President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, opened the conference and welcomed participants to Warsaw. After the opening ceremonies, delegates participated in a thematic session entitled "Europe's forests - state of the art and challenges ahead," and engaged in a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue. In the afternoon, delegates heard statements from signatory countries.

Opening ceremony
L-R: Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment, Poland; His Excellency Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland; and Terje Riis-Johansen, Minister of Agriculture and Food, Norway.
Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland, drew linkages between forests and climate change and highlighted Poland's achievements in increasing its forest cover in the past 15 years.
Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment of Poland and co-Chair of MCPFE 5, underscored the role of sound forest management in combating climate change, species extinction and desertification.

Terje Riis-Johansen, Minister of Agriculture and Food of Norway and co-Chair of MCPFE 5, emphasized the importance of securing sustainable forest management (SFM) to enhance the contribution of forests to quality of life.

Following the President's statement, delegates enjoyed a performance by a local choir.
Thematic Session: Europe's Forests - state of the art and challenges ahead
Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment, Poland, led delegates in adopting the MCPFE 5 agenda by acclamation.
Delegates at the conference during the thematic session.
Marek Belka, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), said that the next challenge for Europe is to develop a rational consensus on the role of wood in renewable energy supply.
Mariann Fischer Boel, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, emphasized the need to balance two objectives in the forest sector: encouraging competitiveness and supporting the role of forests in biodiversity, water, climate and quality of life.
Piotr Borkowski, Head of the MCPFE Liaison Unit Warsaw, presented the report “Implementation of MCPFE Commitments, National and Pan-European Activities 2003-2007.”
Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue
Delegates participated in a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue, facilitated by Hosny El-Lakany, Professor of Forestry, University of British Columbia. After hearing statements from six Major Groups, participants engaged in a lively discussion on forests and bioenergy.
Press Conference of the Ministers of the MCPFE General Coordinating Committee
L-R: Gerhard Mannsberger, Director General, Forestry Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water, Austria; Terfe Riis-Johansen, Minister of Agriculture and Food, Norway; Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment, Poland; and Jose Luis Herranz Saez, Director General for Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment, Spain.
Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment, Poland.
Jose Luis Herranz Saez, Director General for Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment, Spain
Terje Riis-Johansen, Minister of Agriculture and Food, Norway
Statements by the MCPFE signatory countries and the European Community
Delegates heard statements by the MCPFE signatory countries.
Gerhard Mannsberger, Director-General of Forestry, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water of Austria, said that Austria is currently analyzing the full potential of wood that can be mobilized sustainably from national forests.
Piotr Semashko, Minister of Forests, Republic of Belarus, reported on national efforts on certification, forest monitoring, and adapting forest management plans in the face of climate change.
Karel Turecek, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Czech Republic, highlighted the importance of bioenergy to his country.
Tono Kruzic, on behalf of the State Secretary of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Croatia, called for integrating the "Year of Forests 2011" into the "Pan-European Forest Week 2008."
Rita Annus, Deputy Minister of Environment of Estonia, reported on national plans and activities in the forest sector, noting that forests are monitored and evaluated using Pan-European indicators.
Hilkka Summa, European Commission, urged the use of biomass in a sustainable way, and improving forest fire management capabilities at all levels.
Alain Moulinier, Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture, France, called for balancing the role of energy from biomass production with other energy sources.
Mons. Edward Janiak, Holy See, referred to the importance of education in SFM.
Around the Conference
Daily web coverage:
Monday, 5 Nov 2007 - Tuesday, 6 Nov 2007 - Wednesday, 7 Nov 2007
Related Links

Links to IISD Resources

International Forum on Soils, Society and Global Change, 31 August - 4 September 2007, Selfoss, Iceland
Seventh Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF7), 16-27 April 2007, United Nations (UN) Headquarters, New York, United States of America
United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) ad hoc expert group on the consideration of the content of the non-legally binding instrument (NLBI) on all types of forests, 11-15 December 2006, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
Scoping for a Future Agreement on Forests, 16-18 November 2005, Berlin, Germany
4th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, 28-30 April 2003, Vienna, Austria
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