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Marianske Lazne +70: Celebrating 70 years of UNECE/FAO cooperation on forests

5 - 7 September 2017

Czechia, Marianske Lazne


The Czech Republic hosted the International Conference “Marianske Lazne +70” on 5 to 7 September 2017 to celebrate 70 years of fruitful ECE COFFI and FAO EFC cooperation on forests.

In May 1947, an International Timber Conference was convened in Marianske Lazne, former Czechoslovakia, to address the situation of forests and timber in post-war Europe, addressing both the future demand for timber and the capacity of forests to supply the necessary wood. New intergovernmental bodies were created to improve cooperation and promote mobilisation of wood on a sustainable basis after the wartime levels of harvest: the UNECE Timber Committee, later renamed the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI), and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC). 

For the last 70 years, these two intergovernmental bodies have been working in close partnership for forests and the forest sector. They were able to adapt to changing circumstances and needs, from a focus on urgent post war reconstruction, to becoming a leader of analysis of the forest sector’s long term outlook and an advocate of a “dynamic forest policy”, a forum for exchange of experience and information, to today’s emphasis on monitoring and advocating sustainable forest management and the forest sector’s contribution to the emerging green economy. Find out more about the history of ECE COFFI and FAO EFC cooperation on forests.

The report of the meeting is available here and you can read the press release issued on the event here.

To see the pictures of the event, please click here.


 The final programme can be downloaded here.


Date     Programme - Overview
5 Sept.Afternoon: Arrival of participants
(bus transport from the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague to Marianske Lazne)
Evening: Welcome Drink
6 Sept.Morning session: Field trip
Afternoon session: Roundtable Discussion on Forest Certification in the ECE Region
Evening: Dinner
7 Sept. Morning session: Tree planting ceremony; High-level panel on the past and future of the forest sector in the region
Anniversary Lunch
Afternoon: Departure of participants





On Wednesday afternoon, 6 September, a Rountable Discussion on Forest Certification in the ECE Region took place.

The objective was to provide a platform for forest owners, forest based industries, policymakers, forest certification organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders to discuss the latest trends and developments on forest certification in the ECE region, its future and its complementarity with current legislation, such as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the US Lacey Act. In particular, the discussion aimed at addressing current issues with certification, including (i) demands of certification schemes, (ii) advantages of certification and disadvantages of non-certification respectively, and (iii) challenges for and interests of various stakeholders; thus bringing together policy and market perspectives. This event offered an opportunity for open discussion, and enhanced the dialogue between different stakeholders.

Download the full concept note of the Roundtable Discussion on Forest Certification in the ECE Region (as of 31 August).

Download the introductory presentation on forest certification made by the moderator of the roundtable discussion, Mr Florian Steierer (ECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section).

In preparation of the roundtable discussion, a survey had been created to gather information on perceptions of sustainable forest management and on forest certification. The collected information may provide some preparatory insights to the roundtable discussion.

The survey is still available. To take the survey (15 minutes), please use the following link.


“Forest certification in the ECE region –are there any limits?”, presented by Florian Steierer.

"70thanniversary of ECE COFFI and FAO EFC: Celebrating 70 years of regional cooperation on forests", presented by Ekrem Yazici.

Presentation given at Stora Enso.

Historical Forestry Photo Exhibition: Countries shared pictures from the post-war period to nowadays, showing forest workers, forest related meetings, excursions, saw-mills, forest related industries in the UNECE region. This presentation has also been on display at Las2017, the Joint Session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC), which took place in Warsaw, Poland, from 9-13 October 2017.


Please find the pictures of the event here.


Should you have any questions or need more information please contact Maike Carstensen (maike.carstensen@unece.org).