The European Forestry Commission, 35th Session
A) Forests and Climate Change
Climate change will have a significant, though varying impact on the forests throughout the pan-European region. While governments have already invested significantly in adopting mitigation strategies, adaptation policies and measures yet in the early stages of development by many governments. The session on climate change was organized to brief and discuss with participants on the way forward after the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Conference of the Parties (COP) 15 in Copenhagen and more specifically, on forests and climate change adaptation. The session addressed the following questions:
• What is the significance of the developments at COP 15 for the EFC region?
• What are the expectations and needs with regard to forest-related provisions in a future climate change agreement, notably related to LULUCF, including forest management and harvested wood products?
• What are the implications and constraints, as well as opportunities, of the present climate change compliance and voluntary markets?
• What is the current level of synergy between the forest and other climate related communities and what opportunities exist for UNECE/FAO to strengthen this cooperation through information exchange and capacity building?
• What are countries’ needs related to forest monitoring, and research on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, to be able to design and implement policies and field actions for forests and climate change adaptation? What should be the role of regional cooperation in addressing these needs?
• How might regional cooperation contribute to sharing of experiences in adaptation at field level and in adjusting forest policies, legislation and institutions for more effective climate change responses? What roles can EFC and other regional mechanisms play?
• What measures can European countries take to ensure that their financial and technical development assistance is appropriately directed and well coordinated and that the absorptive capacity of developing countries is taken into consideration?
B) Forests and Energy
The European Forestry Commission discussed the current status and potential future development of wood energy in the region. Wood is already the major source of renewable energy in the EFC region and is expected to increase in future in view of policy measures and targets. Increasingly, policy measures and decisions taken in other sectors impact the forest sector. The following questions were discussed:
• How can countries best use wood for energy to secure a balance of economic, environmental and social benefits?
• Does your country possess adequate, timely data about current and future wood energy sources, potential and uses? If not, what measures are in place or planned to improve data?
• How can the highest levels of efficiency for both industrial and energy use be achieved?
• Which steps are needed to improve cross-sectoral communication and cooperation between climate, energy and forestry sectors in your country?
C) Forests and Water
This session addressed forests and water as there is a need for a better understanding of the interactions, and for embedding the research findings into policy agendas. The session addressed how to develop long-term monitoring systems to detect quantitative and qualitative changes of water resources within and from forested catchments. In the context of the session of the European Forestry Commission, recommendations related to policy and financial mechanisms are particularly relevant. Therefore, two questions were discussed with the intent to help countries and institutions exchange views and agree upon future course of action:
• How can international bodies such us the Timber Committee, the EFC, the UNECE Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management and FAO better assist countries in developing harmonized policies and legislations between the forest and water sector?
• What recent cases of success can countries mention in connection to Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and valuation of water-related forest services?
D) Regional cooperation on forests
Europe is a diverse region spanning several climatic zones, a range of forest types and with varying cultures and economies. Consequently, the evolution of the forest sector has resulted in a number of regional initiatives and representative bodies. However, there is much common ground for working closely together and taking a combined approach in many situations. This section of the meeting highlighted the extent to which regional cooperation occurs already and how it may develop even more strongly in the future. The following topics were discussed:
• Cooperation with Union for the Mediterranean - Silva Mediterranea
• International events and initiatives (including collaboration among FAO EFC, Forest Europe, UNECE Timber Committee, UN Forum on Forests
• Outcome from the XIII World Forestry Congress
• FAO activities in Europe including launch of regional findings Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2010
Implication of the Copenhagen outcome for the forest sector
Combating climate change – a role for UK forests? By Pat Snowdon (Adviser on Economics and Climate Change, UK Forestry Commission)
Writing a LULUCF decision: how hard can it be? by Paulo Canaveira (Consultant, Portugal Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning)
Carbon markets: opportunities for forest owners in Europe? by Sebastian Hetsch (Project Manager, TÜV Süd)
Forests and climate change in Russia under current and future climate regimes by Daria Lugovaya (Forest and Climate Coordinator, WWF Russia)
Implications of the Copenhagen outcome for the forest sector by Susan Braatz (Forest and Climate Change Expert, FAO)
Adaptation of European Forests to climate change
Will forests be able to stand the heat? – A science perspective by Alexander Buck (Deputy Executive Director, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
Impacts of climate change on European forests and options for adaptation by Roland Beck (Policy Officer, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission)
Stakeholders perspective: case studies in south west Europe by Inazio Martinez de Arano (Executive President, Union des Sylviculteurs du Sud de l’Europe)
Adaptation of European forests to climate change by Susan Braatz (Forest and Climate Change Expert, FAO)
Wood Energy for Europe: Status and Outlook
Wood energy for Europe: status and outlook by Florian Steierer
Wood energy as an opportunity for forest owners by Morten Thorøe (Secretary General, Confederation of European Forest Owners)
Wood energy – the environmental perspective including air quality by Marco Keiner (Director, UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management Division)
Wood energy and sustainable wood mobilisation by Roland Beck (Policy Officer, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission)
Past, current and future developments of modern forest fuel systems by Henrik von Hofsten (Researcher, Forestry Research Institute Skogforsk Sweden)
Regional Cooperation on forests
FAO activities in Europe
Launch of regional findings of Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2010 by Roman Michalak (Forestry Officer – Forest Resources Assessment, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section)
Outcome of the 27th Session of the Working Party on the Management of Mountain Watersheds by Thomas Hofer (Forestry Officer – Forest Conservation and Hydrology, FAO)
Climate Change Impacts on Forest Management in Eastern Europe and Central Asia by Hubert Inhaizer (Forestry Consultant, FAO Sub-Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe)
Presentation by Thomas Hofer (Forestry Officer – Forestry Conservation and Hydrology, FAO)
XIII World Forestry Congress
Presentation by Peter Csoka (Team Leader, Forest Communication and Liaison, FAO)
International events and initiatives
Presentation by Arne-Ivar Sletnes (Head of Liaison Unit Oslo, Forest Europe)
Presentation by Virginia Cram-Martos (Director, UNECE/FAO Timber and Trade Division)
The European Commission Green paper on Forest Protection by Roland Beck (Policy Officer, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission)
ENPI-FLEG Programme on Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the European Neighbourhood Policy East Countries and Russia by Richard Aishton (ENPI FLEG Coordinator, Regional Office for Pan-Europe, IUCN)
European Forest Week
Presentation by Franziska Hirsch (Economic affairs officer, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section)
Presentation by Gerben Janse (International Coordinator, Swedish Forest Agency and Member of the UNECE/FAO Forest Communicators Network)
Progress in implementing the Strategic Plan of the Integrated Programme of Work of the UNECE/FAO Timber Section
Presentation by Paola Deda (Chief, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section)
Forests and Water
Economic agenda on forests and water - Payments for ecosystem services by Tomasz Juszczak (Environmental Affairs Officer, Water Convention Secretariat, UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management Division)
Science agenda on forests and water by Eero Kubin (Director of Research Unit, Finnish Forest Research Institute METLA)
The Challenge of bringing the forest sector into the picture while implementing the WFD by Elisabet Andersson (Swedish Forest Agency)
Forest and water: setting the stage by Thomas Hofer (Forestry Officer – Forestry Conservation and Hydrology, FAO)
International bodies and the development of harmonised policies and legislation between the forests and water sectors by Kit Prins
The complete agenda can be found here.
For additional information about the meeting itself please contact Ms. Paola Deda.