What is YOUR priority action for the forest sector in a green economy?
A roadmap for ECE Forests in a Green Economy Organized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), FAO and the Governments of Finland, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Sweden and the US.
During this side event, participants and members of a high-level panel chaired by Heikki Granholm, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Bekir Kayacan, Turkey, convened to discuss the draft ECE Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy, which identifies actions required at the national, regional and international levels for a transition towards a green economy.
On the Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy, Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary, ECE, elaborated on the five pillars of sustainable production and consumption, low carbon forest sector, decent green jobs, valuation of and payment for ecosystem services, and monitoring to improve forest governance.
Dominique Reeb, Deputy Chief of the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, reported on the roadmap and timeline for the Action Plan, emphasizing broad participation in the country-led initiatives leading up to its adoption in November 2012.
On the priority actions for the Finnish forest sector, Jari Koskinen, Finland’s Minister of Agriculture and Forests, proposed: replacing biomass use for energy with new sustainable solutions; innovative new technologies and products; enhancing service and jobs; and ensuring competitiveness and viability of current and new activities.
Veysel Eroğlu, Turkish Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs, presented on Turkey’s proposed actions, including developing national forest standards, wood energy technologies, honey production forests, and mapping ecosystem services.
Magnus Kindbom, Swedish Vice Minister for Rural Affairs, focused on priority actions for the Swedish forest sector and introduced the Forest Kingdom Initiative, aimed at developing green products and services through: skills provision and raising youth interest in forestry, with a particular focus on gender; wood constructions and energy-efficient building technologies; tourism, including in rural areas.
During the ensuing discussion, participants prepared recommendations indicating priority actions to foster the transition to a green economy, and discussed, inter alia: the philosophy of nature conservation; payments for ecosystem services; diversity of and within ecosystems; standardization of forests in Turkey; and awareness-raising on the importance of forests in Europe.
More information and photos of this event are available from the IISD ENB page.