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Opening ceremony of the International Year of Forests

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section held its opening event for the International Year of Forests 2011 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, on 14 February. Together with the Permanent Mission of the United States and the UNOG Cultural Programme, the Forestry and Timber Section organized the exhibition “The Art of Trees – a Forest Gallery”. This exhibition in the Hall des Pas Perdus of the Palais des Nations included almost 100 living trees, together with illustrations by United States artist Monte Dolack, and other forest and wood products from North America and Europe.

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World Forest Day

To celebrate World Forestry Day on 21 March, a tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) from the "Art of tree" exhibit, was planted by distinguished guests in the United Nations Biodiversity Park Ariana.

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Regional Forest Information Week

The tree planting ceremony officially opened the UNECE/FAO Regional Forest Information Week, 21-25 March, organized to enhance knowledge on forests and communicate the latest developments of the sector in the UNECE region. The week featured a series of events including a seminar on the State of Forests in the North American and Pan-European region; the annual session of the joint FAO/UNECE Working Party on Forest Economics and Statistics, a roundtable on forest information challenges in the region; and a “zero meeting” on a possible working party to facilitate exchange of expert advice based on the work of UNECE/FAO Teams of Specialists.  The week also marked the launch of a 2011 PhD Thesis Award on sustainable forest management and forest product markets in the UNECE region. This award, sponsored by the Geneva independent asset management house Pictet, presented at the opening of the joint TC/EFC session in Antalya, Turkey

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Stakeholders Meeting: Action Plan on Forests in a Green Economy

A stakeholders meeting was organized by the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in May 2011. The meeting gathered numerous stakeholders active on forest-sector issues, comprising environmental NGOs, academia, research organizations, private sector and government representatives throughout the UNECE region, who reviewed and commented on the ECE/FAO Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy.

World Environment Day

The ECE/FAO forestry and Timber section was invited at a roundtable on "Forests: Nature at your service" organized by UNEP on the occasion of WED, to present its work on wood energy. That week, UNEP and ECE also organized a press briefing to present the State of Europe's Forests 2011 preliminary findings.

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Forests and Water Week

A workshop on ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services – what role for a green economy’ was also organized on 4-6 July as part of the UNECE Forest and Water Week (4-8 July)

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Policy Talk: "Forests 2030: The future of forests in Europe and North America"

What will European and North American forests look like in 2030? Will they store carbon, preserve biodiversity or help countries meet renewable energy commitments? Are trade-offs unavoidable?

A distinguished group of experts from governments, international organizations, NGOs and industry debated these issues in a panel on "Forests 2030: The future of forests in Europe and North America" chaired by Michael Zammit Cutajar, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Janusz Zaleski, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Environment, Poland. Discussions focused on the key findings of three major reports:  the State of Europe's Forests 2011 report; the European Forest Sector Outlook Study (2010-2030); and the North American Forest Sector Outlook Study (2006-2030).

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Closing ceremony of the International Year of Forests

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section together with the Republic of Poland and the United States of America organized a closing ceremony and a reception to symbolically close the International Year of Forests in Geneva. On that occasion, a "United Nations Tree" was brought inside the Palais des Nations and decorated by contributions from Geneva-based Missions; decorations representing the values of forest (economic, environmental and social) in respective countries.

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