To contribute to achieving sustainable forest management, including the sound and legal use of wood, other forest products and services, throughout the UNECE region, and to ensure measurement of that progress. To contribute to meeting this objective, the TC and the EFC will promote cooperation between countries in the region and develop regional and sub-regional initiatives.
Strategy for 2005-2008
In order to support forest management, including the use of wood, other forest products and services, that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable, it is necessary to maintain a good balance between these three aspects. This balance should be based on a strong consensus on the goals and methods among all stakeholders, and well integrated into the policy framework for other sectors (the cross-sectoral approach).
Achieving sustainable forest management is primarily a sovereign national responsibility. However, regional international cooperation, through the integrated UNECE/FAO programme and its partners, will contribute by developing and disseminating concepts and information, sharing experience and defining standard measurement tools (indicators).
The main contribution of the programme is through developing and applying tools to analyse and monitor both policy and developments on the ground, collecting, validating and disseminating information and analysis, as well as stimulating the exchange of experience, and joint efforts to measure progress.
While all countries benefit from international cooperation, the programme recognizes the special needs of the countries of the CIS and south east Europe, where forest sector problems tend to be more acute and national capacity weaker.
Expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement
1. Improved practice of sustainable forest management, supported by an increased ability to measure sustainable forest management at the national and regional levels.
1.1. Percentage of UNECE countries with national forest programme (nfp) or similar holistic forest sector policy framework
1.2. Percentage of UNECE countries able to provide satisfactory data on indicators of sustainable forest management to the Fifth Ministerial Conference on the protection of Forests in Europe
2. Improved policies to promote the sound use of wood, and increased monitoring ability .
2.1. Percentage of UNECE countries with policies in place on sound use of wood, whether or not in the context of national forest programmes
2.2. Percentage of UNECE countries able to provide satisfactory responses to UNECE/FAO/ITTO/Eurostat joint forest sector questionnaire
3. Increased capacity of countries in CIS and south-east Europe to achieve sustainable forest management at the national level, notably through developing appropriate policy measures
3.1. Number of experts from CIS and south-east Europe participating in subprogramme workshops and seminars, and considering these activities of adequate relevance and quality
3.2. Improvement in administrative capacity of CIS and south east European countries, as evidenced by the number of these countries adopting national forest programmes
The programme has five work areas and 23 programme elements as follows:
Main activities and outputs, methods of work
The proposed main activities, outputs and methods of work, as well as partnerships and the allocation of Geneva based secretariat resources are attached. However, this operational information does not necessitate formal approval by intergovernmental bodies.
UNECE Timber Committee
Meets annually in Geneva, as a forum for policy discussion and for discussion of market trends and outlook. It also reviews implementation of the work programme. Every four years, it meets in joint session with the European Forestry Commission, to carry out a strategic review of the whole integrated programme. The next joint session after 2004 will be in 2008 in Rome.
FAO European Forestry Commission
Meets every two years, alternately in a HQ location (Geneva or Rome) and a member country. It reviews recent developments in policy and institutions and acts as a policy forum. It identifies emerging policy issues in the region for the FAO Committee on Forests (COFO). It also reviews implementation of the work programme.
The Bureaux consist of the office-holders (Chairman and Vice-Chairs) of the TC and the EFC and the Chair of the Working Party. They meet at least annually, usually with representatives of MCPFE. The Bureaux decide on how the work programme is to be implemented.
Joint FAO/ECE Working Party on Forest Economics and Statistics
Meets annually in Geneva to provide guidance to activities in work areas 1, 2 and 3, as well as any other linked activity.
Teams of specialists
Several activities are implemented or guided by teams of specialists, which are time limited, and voluntary groups of experts who work with the secretariat to achieve specified goals. Each team has time limited, specific terms of reference in a standard format. Drafts of these mandates are attached, although some await input from other partners, and are not final. The integrated programme has 7 teams as follows:
- Markets and marketing (work area 1)
- Monitoring forest resources for sustainable forest management in UNECE Region (work area 2)
- Gender and forestry (element 4.1)
- Best practices in forest contracting (element 4.3)
- Support and contribution to sustainable development of the forest sector in central and eastern Europe and in the CIS (element 5.3)
- Forest fire (element 5.5)
- Forest communicators network (element 5.6)
<small>Joint FAO/ECE/ILO experts network to implement sustainable forest management</small>
The network contributes to the implementation of the work programme, notably area 4, social and cultural aspects of forestry.
The TC and the EFC work wherever possible in partnership with other organisations. As of 2004, there are operational partnerships in place with MCPFE, Eurostat and ITTO, and cooperation with a very wide range of organisations. There is scope for developing and strengthening partnerships with several other organisations, including, among intergovernmental organisations the EU (DGs ENV, AGRI and INDUSTRY, COST Actions), EEA, International Labour Office (ILO), and a wide range of NGOs, including European Forest Institute (EFI), World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF), The World Conservation Union (IUCN), Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), European National Forestry Information Network (ENFIN). The modalities of cooperation should be determined and reported by programme element.
 An invitation to host the next session of the EFC in 2006 was received from Slovakia.