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Timber and Forestry

Welcome page

What are your main outputs ?
How do you protect the forest?  Do you stop illegal logging?
How much deforestation occurs in the UNECE region every year?
Where can I find country data on forests and markets?  Do you have information on prices of wood and forest products?
How are your data obtained?  Do I have to pay for them?  Why are there different data in different international organisations?
Can I participate in UNECE/FAO meetings?  If so, on what conditions?
How does my country participate in UNECE/FAO work?  Who is my country’s representative?
Are the Timber Committee and the Timber Section the same thing?
Are there UNECE conventions or treaties on timber and forests?


What are your main outputs ?

We produce data and studies for governments, NGOs and the private sector and we organise workshops and forums on a wide range of topics. (http://www.unece.org.unecedev.colo.iway.ch/timber/tc-docs.html)

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How do you protect the forest?  Do you stop illegal logging?

We protect the forest through helping governments make better decisions, based on the comprehensive and objective information and analysis we provide.  We do not have direct operational responsibilities: that is the task of our member governments.

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How much deforestation occurs in the UNECE region every year?

Very little.  In all countries of the region, some forest is lost every year, mostly to infrastructure and urban development, but in most countries this is heavily outweighed by plantation and natural extension of forests.  In Europe, between 2000 and 2005, forests expanded at an average rate of nearly 1 million ha every year, continuing a trend apparent since the 1950s.  In a very few countries of the region, overcutting, often for fuelwood and over grazing, are threatening the forest

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Where can I find country data on forests and markets?  Do you have information on prices of wood and forest products?

We have detailed information for forest resources, production and trade of wood products by country.  The forest products data are available for all years since 1964 and we release these data twice a year (July and January).  We collect a limited amount of information on prices of forest products, which is updated throughout the year.

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How are your data obtained?  Do I have to pay for them?  Why are there different data in different international organisations?

The statistics we collect are supplied by official government sources, using internationally agreed definitions and methods.  They are carefully validated, so that they are comparable between countries and over time.  For this reason, they are sometimes different from data presented according to national definitions,.  We work hard to minimize discrepancies with other international organisations, for instance by having joint questionnaires, but unfortunately a few differences remain.  All our data is free to all on the website, and most of our publications are also free.

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Can I participate in UNECE/FAO meetings?  If so, on what conditions?

All UNECE/FAO meetings are advertised on the website, and by circulars.  If you are part of the identified target group and have expertise in the topic under discussion, you may register to participate, using the modalities presented.  No registration fee is required, but UNECE/FAO will not contribute to your costs of travel or subsistence.  For some meetings and activities, the national focal points may be asked if they have any objection to participation from experts from their country.

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How does my country participate in UNECE/FAO work?  Who is my country’s representative?

Countries participate through official delegations sent by government ministries, but also through a wide range of private sector and NGO experts with an interest in the topics under consideration.  Each country has an official focal point or head of delegation, who coordinates the country’s contribution to the work.  To discover who is the head of delegation for your country, e-mail info.timber@unece.org.

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Are the Timber Committee and the Timber Section the same thing?

No.  The Timber Committee is an intergovernmental committee of the UNECE.  The Timber Section is a small team of UNECE and FAO staff, based in Geneva who implement the work programme of the Timber Committee and its sister body, the FAO European Forestry Commission

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Are there UNECE conventions or treaties on timber and forests?

No.  Forest policy is primarily a national responsibility and the member governments have chosen not to negotiate legally binding instruments for the forest sector through UNECE and FAO (or through other organisations).  Our programme works through improved information and “soft law”.


If you did not find a question and answer related to your concerns, please feel free to ask UNECE your question by filling in the form.


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013