The objective of National Forest Policy Dialogues (NFPDs) is to exchange knowledge on recent forest policy issues or development. National perspectives are provided by national experts and international perspectives by staff of the UNECE/FAO Section.
In this framework, the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section already facilitated the organization of three NFPDs.
National Forest Policy Dialogue, Poland
The international conference "Direction of development of Polish forestry in the context of state and trends of European forests", which was jointly organised by the Polish Ministry of Environment and ECE-FAO Forestry and Timber Section in Warsaw, on 22 November 2012, initiated the process of development of the National Forest Programme in Poland.
The conference, which was chaired by Mr. Janusz Zaleski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Environment, gathered around hundred participants, representing the top forest-related policy and decision-makers from central and regional authorities, non-governmental organisation and media. The Polish Forest Policy Dialogue was organized as part of a series of other national dialogues. These dialogues serve as a sharing platform to learn key information about the current national situation and perspectives on Polish forests and forest sector in the European context.
The results set the scene for the further work on the National Forest Programme, which is intended to be a holistic approach to forest-related issues - a rolling program which will be able to meet the challenges of forest sector foreseen in the perspective of 2030 and in 2070.
National Forest Policy Dialogue, Switzerland
The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section facilitated the organization of a NFPD at the request of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment in Bern, Switzerland.
The theme of the NFPD was “Forests in a Green Economy – International Perspectives and National Policies” and took place on November 6th 2012.
The day was organized around the following 5 sessions:
a. Setting the scene – What is Green Economy? What role forest goods and services can play?
b. Potential sustainable wood supply
c. Valuation and payment of ecosystem services
d. Criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management
e. Wrap-up, conclusions, follow-up and closing remarks A total of 12 presentations were made, including 4 from the UNECE/FAO Section and were followed by discussions.
For more information, click here or contact Dominique Reeb.
National Forest Policy Dialogue, Russian Federation
The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section contributed to a NFPD in Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation on 13-14 December 2012. The Russian Federation being the country with the largest forests resources in the world, its forest policy is a key element of forest sector developments in the ECE region.
In this context, the process set up by the Federal Forest Agency to review the Russian forest policy is of utmost importance. The Agency chose an inclusive approach, which encourages a genuine dialogue among stakeholders including the public and private sectors as well as environmental NGOs. The working group developing the new forest policy has now collected a good number of inputs and comments. These comments and inputs are now being addressed in a revised version of the text which is expected to provide a clear vision, specific objectives as well as indicators for implementation.
Forest Products Markets – Forecasts for 2012-2013
The UNECE Timber Committee, at its October 2012 meeting, approved a market statement, based on forecasts of production and trade for over 20 products covering 30 countries.The statement provides an overview of results and expectations for the period 2011-2013. The forecasts, organized by product and country, are available here (PDF also available)
Forest Products Statistics
The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section collects, validates and disseminates data for over 40 countries in the region. The data include removals, production and trade (in volume and value) for over 60 products including roundwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels, pulp and paper. Information on trade by value in secondary products (e.g. furniture) is also available.
Global data for the period 1961-2011, including the above figures, were published in December 2012 by the FAO through FAOSTAT. A new website with improved data management is available here.
We gratefully acknowledge the work carried out by national correspondents in providing these figures and by our partners at Eurostat, FAO and ITTO.
We are currently working on revising the Harmonised System’s trade classification for 2017 to provide an improved and more comprehensive understanding of global trade flows in forest products. Further information on this work will be provided during the upcoming Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management.
Forest Products Prices
The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section provides two kinds of price information on its website.
- Approximately 50 different price series covering primarily logs but also forest products such as sawnwood or panels in the UNECE region. Prices are mostly in nominal national currency and are available on a quarterly or monthly basis. These series are provided by publicly available sources, listed on the website and was last updated in July 2012.
- A longer-term series provides export unit prices (value divided by volume) in $ for over 60 forest products from 40+ countries for the period 1964-2010 (soon to be updated to 2011).
For more information on statistics, please contact Alex McCusker
Two forthcoming publications, both in the context of the role of forests in the green economy, are soon to be published by the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section.
Study Paper 31 - Forests and Economic Development: a Driver for the Green Economy in the Ece Region
The study reviews the many ways in which forests contribute to economic development in the ECE region, and analyses, on the basis of recent ECE/FAO studies, the outlook and main challenges for the forest sector in the region: wood energy, sustainability of wood supply, the forest sector workforce, payment for forest ecosystem services, innovation, demonstrating and communicating the sustainability of forest management. It concludes that the way forward is to establish forests and the goods and services they provide as an integrated part of the green economy. This is a major opportunity for the ECE region forest sector, which must not be missed. The Action Plan for the ECE region forest sector in a green economy maps out how the sector could rise to the challenges.
Study Paper 32 - Forests in a Green Economy for countries in Eastern Europe, Northern and Central Asia: Lviv Forum
The Lviv Forum on Forests in a green economy for countries in Eastern Europe, Northern and central Asia, a country led initiative in support of the UN Forum on Forests, reviewed experience and explored opportunities to enable the forest sector in this region to make a full contribution to the emerging green economy. Over 130 forestry professionals from 34 countries, including representatives of forest administrations, scientific organizations, politicians and international experts reviewed issues and challenges and made recommendations at the country group level on sustainable forest industries and products, forest ecosystem services and the role of forest in low carbon economies, employment and livelihood opportunities, and forest governance in a green economy. Finally the Forum approved the Lviv Vision and message on the forest sector in a green economy, including ten clear recommendations to governments and the forest sector in the region.
UNECE/FAO/InnovaWood Seminar on Innovation in the Forest Sector
Forest sector innovation plays a key role on the road towards a green economy. Innovation can be considered as a prerequisite for the green economy, towards a sustainable future where most products originate from renewable resources and materials are chosen according to their overall environmental impact. The seminar is divided in two parts:
(1) The Framework for Forest-Based Sector Innovation, which will give an overview of the current situation on innovation in the forest sector, and how it could assist the transition towards a green economy;
(2) Examples of Forest-Based Sector Innovation in Business, including examples of innovation in processes, products and materials.
Joint FAO/UNECE Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management, 35th Session
The Working Party will meet to provide exchange information and provide guidance on the activities in the five work areas of Markets and Statistics, Forest Resources, Outlook, Social and Cultural, and Policy and Cross-Sectoral. The results of the Joint Wood Energy Enquiry will be provided and discussed. Plans for global and pan-European forest reporting will be reviewed. In addition it will review the terms of reference for Teams of Specialists and carry out a self-assessment for the Strategic Review. A short field trip to the Geneva cantonal forests is also planned.
For more information and to register, please click here.
Focal point: Alex McCusker
Special Session of the ECE Timber Committee with the FAO European Forestry Commission
This special session is being held to discuss the following topics:
- The ECE review and other processes that might have a bearing on the joint work of ECE and FAO;
- The draft Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy;
- The recommendations of the Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management relevant to the Joint Programme of Work
- The draft Joint Programme of Work 2014-17 for the Timber Committee and the European Forestry Commission
The next joint session of the UNECE Timber Committee and the FAO European Forestry Commission will take place on 9-13 December 2013 in Rovaniemi, Finland.
The event is called Metsä2013, "metsä" means forest in Finnish. Mestä2013 will also include several side meetings of interested organisations covering forest and forest products related issues.
65 years of UNECE/FAO work on forest and timber
On December 13th 2012, to mark the importance of the sixty five-year history of partnership and joint activities on forestry and the forest sector in the ECE region, notably through the Joint ECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and Mr. José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), have signed a Partnership Agreement.
The Partnership Agreement is in response to the emphasis the United Nations put on the importance of regional cooperation and actions and on the significant role of forests and the forest sector in contributing to sustainable development and in achieving internationally agreed development goals. It also recognizes that in the context of climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest management, a coordinated and holistic response is required.
The objective of the present Agreement is to define working modalities that will guide the cooperation of the UNECE and FAO in supporting the implementation of the Integrated Programme of Work, often also referred to as the ‘Joint ECE-FAO programme of Work’, or the ‘Joint Programme of Work’ of the FAO European Forestry Commission and the ECE Timber Committee. The Agreement identifies areas and specifies forms of cooperation with a view to avoiding duplication, promoting synergies, enhancing effective resource utilization and promoting cooperation with third parties.