1. What do you do?
The objective of the UNECE/FAO Timber and Forestry programme is to strengthen the forest sector and its contribution to sustainable development throughout the UNECE region. Activities also include broader cross-sectoral work; for example on forest fires, climate change and energy related issues. Cooperation is continuously being developed with sectors that affect and interact with the forest sector. These include the UNECE units responsible for energy, environment, housing and water.
2. What work do you do relevant to climate change and forests?
Climate Change-Related Activities include:
- Data Collection, Statistics and Analysis on the impact of climate change on the forest sector
- Serve as an Open Forum
- Strengthen Communication
- Organize Capacity-Building Workshops
UNECE/FAO has proposed 12 lines of activities, within the area of climate change and forests, which aim at mitigating adverse effects on the forest sector. During 2008-2013, the focus will be on updating the analysis of 2005 (European Forest Sector Outlook Study EFSOS) to take account of developments as regards to bioenergy and climate change, including interactions between these developments and the outlook for existing wood using industries.
3. Do you impose rules or regulations to governments?
We do not create regulations. That responsibility is at the national or sub-national level. (Provinces or states, länder, etc) All UNECE region countries have legislations dealing with forest protection.
4. Do you advise governments on policies?
Our objective is to help those who are responsible for setting the rules. We do it by providing them with good information and giving them the possibility of exchanging their experience. Our key activities are statistics, analysis of markets and of the forest resource and now forest policies and institutions. We also aim to educate governments and policy makers on the impacts of wood.
5. Are you involved in the Copenhagen discussions/negotiations?
No, we are not involved in the negotiations of a post-Kyoto agreement.
6. What other organizations do you work with?
We intend to develop further work on green building, by working jointly with the ECE Housing and Energy programmes. This could be done e.g. through contribution of sector representatives to workshops such as the ECE Workshop on Energy Efficiency in Housing (March 2009) organizing additional workshops on the subject, as planned for the 2009 TC session, and dedicating a policy brief to the issue. We also collaborate extensively with the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, FAO, the European Forestry Commission, United Nations Forum on Forests, and many other international organization and intergovernmental bodies.
7. Do you work with countries outside of the UNECE region?
As a regional division, our focus is the UNECE region which encompasses all of Europe, Russia, much of central Asia as well as Israel, however we cooperate with all regions and often have participation on projects from all regions of the world.
Contingent upon funds, we expect to organize capacity building workshops on climate change issues in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, to help governments develop climate change policies which are consistent with sustainable forest management and that the forest sector makes its optimum contribution to mitigation of climate change, whether by sequestration, carbon storage in forest or products, or substitution.