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Green Economy

logs, powerplant

What is Green Economy?

Green economy, according to UNEP, is a system which results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

Sustainably managed forests play an essential role in the carbon cycle and provide essential environmental and social values and services, beyond their contribution as a source of wood, such as biodiversity conservation; protection against erosion; watershed protection and employment in often fragile rural areas. The forest sector has therefore a key role to play in the transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy and forestry lies at the heart of this “green” movement.


How can the Forest Sector contribute to a Green Economy?

The forest sector contributes already largely to the Green Economy, but could play an even more significant role if governments and others seize the opportunity to use wood based products for green construction and furniture wherever possible and take measures to support the wider adoption of modern wood energy.

To promote those opportunities, the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) decided to take action and prepared the Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy. The Action Plan was developed on the basis of an open consultation with member States and stakeholders and consolidated by the secretariat.

What is the "Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy"?

This Action Plan describes how the forest sector in the UNECE region could lead the way towards the emerging green economy at the global level. It identifies an overall vision, strategies and a number of areas of activity. For each area of activity, it proposes specific actions, and identifies potential actors, who might contribute to achieving the stated objectives. It is not a binding work plan, nor does it contain prescriptive recommendations to Governments, international organizations or stakeholders, who are free to participate, or not to participate, in the Action Plan as they wish.

The Action Plan's Vision:

  • "In a green economy, the forest sector makes a maximum contribution to human well-being, through the supply of marketed and unmarketed forest goods and services, and the creation of revenue and livelihoods, while conserving forest biodiversity, and maintaining and developing forest ecosystem services on a sustainable basis, all within the context of a changing climate. A green economy opens up additional opportunities for growth and employment in the forest sector."

  • "In a green economy, the forest sector protects the welfare of all stakeholders, including forest dependent indigenous peoples, forest owners,forest industry and the forestry workforce, uses all resources wisely and economically, and contributes to the mitigation of climate change through both sequestration and substitution, while providing tools for climate change adaptation of societies.”
  • "In a green economy, forest sector governance systems take into full account all of the ecosystem services provided by the forest, compensating suppliers for providing them whenever feasible. Progress is monitored in a transparent way, and policies adjusted to reach the goals which will be agreed at the national, regional or local levels. The forest sector learns from other parts of the emerging green economy and shares its own experience with them, to mutual benefit."


The Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy was adopted on 13 December 2013 in Rovaniemy Finland, at the joint session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the FAO European Forestry Commission. The publication based on the adopted version is available here.

Meetings with relevance to the development of the Action Plan: