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Forests in the UNECE region: UN works as one

Published: 10 February 2014

On 6 February, UNECE confirmed its commitment to its work on forests in partnership with FAO in the region, with the Executive Committee’s decision to approve the UNECE-FAO Integrated Programme of Work on forests for the period 2014-17.  The UNECE-FAO Integrated Programme of Work is a very comprehensive plan to monitor, promote, support, implement and communicate about sustainable forest management in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe and North America.

Eight teams of international experts and specialists were approved at the same time as the programme of work. Through these teams, experts will cover issues such as wood energy, sustainable forest products, forest policy, statistics, monitoring of forests, outlook on the forest sector, communication on forests and green jobs. Experts will work to provide the forest sector with the best available and up-to-date information and knowledge in the region to ensure that the forest will be one of the main contributors to the transition towards a green economy.

UNECE and FAO, through the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the European Forestry Commission respectively, as well as their joint Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management will guide the implementation of the programme of work. These UNECE and FAO bodies, with their networks of experts, form the backbone of the forest institutional architecture in the region. The Committee, the Commission and Working Party  are intergovernmental bodies, at the same time, through their expert groups and open meetings  their work actively engages with and includes civil society, and the private sector.

For instance, the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green economy, adopted in December 2013 by UNECE and FAO, is a tool for the entire forest sector to use for initiating actions to make forests a sustainable source of a wide range of renewable products while, at the same time, maintaining their health and vitality. Its implementation is a collective task, which will require the commitment of all forest actors in the region.

The calendar of meetings for the coming year is intense, with a series of events covering topics such as indicators for forests and the green economy, green building, forests fibers, sustainable development goals, forest monitoring and assessment and policy dialogues. The year will culminate with the seventy-second session of the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry, to take place in Kazan, Russian Federation, in late fall 2014.

For more information please visit http://www.unece.org/forests.html

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