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UNECE Timber Committee week, 67th session

12 - 16 October 2009

Geneva, Switzerland

The UNECE/FAO Timber Section is organising a Policy Forum on “The Forest Sector in the Green Economy” on 15 October 2009, back-to-back with the 67th session of the Timber Committee.


The current economic and financial crisis impacts the forest sector with diminished demand for wood and paper products causing falling prices, reduced income, mill closures, job cuts and budget reductions throughout the UNECE region. The devastating short-term ramifications span from the forest, to manufacturing, to trade and the links between them, including dependent, often rural, communities. However, the sector could benefit from economic stimulus programmes and other green public spending which are being put in place in many countries, some of which directly target the forest sector or influence it indirectly, notably through support to renewable energy.

The forest sector has strong potential to contribute to a greener economy and a more sustainable society, in particular by providing timber for buildings, wood for energy and environmental services. The long-term development of the sector and its ability to improve social welfare will depend, among other things, on the extent to which the sector will benefit from the major economic stimulus programmes and green subsidies, and thus influence policy-making. For further background on this subject, please download The Forest Sector in the Green Economy background paper.

Objective of the Forum

The Policy Forum will help evaluate the situation of the forest sector in the context of the global economic crisis; identify opportunities for the sector’s contribution to a more sustainable society and a greener economy; and discuss means of positioning the sector to bounce out of the current economic slump. The Forum will in particular assess the extent to which the sector can benefit from subsidies and stimulus programmes directed at greening the economy. Areas of interest would include green building, wood energy and environmental services from forests.

Forum Topics

  • Green economy and the forest sector
  • Green jobs and the forest sector
  • Forest products markets and long-term outlook, including for green building
  • Investing in mitigation and adaptation to climate change and proactive risk management Renewable energies: targets and policies to develop wood energy systems
  • The importance of communication and promoting the rational use of wood
  • Forests providing environmental services, rural employment and income
  • Strategies for short-term survival and long-term development of the forest sector

Target audience

Target audience Governments, industry, researchers and other stakeholders from all parts of the forest sector will gather to present case studies and exchange information and ideas on strategies for short-term survival and long-term development of the sector. Experts from other sectors are invited to provide the vital cross-sectoral perspective.