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Governments setting example for procurement of forest products Rewarding sustainable producers, discouraging illegal

Published: 05 October 2006

Several governments and local authorities in Europe, North America and Japan have adopted or are developing policies that will ensure that the forest products they buy come from legal and sustainably managed sources, FAO said today.

At the annual policy forum of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and FAO, held today in Geneva, several countries shared their experience of public procurement schemes with foresters, policy-makers and stakeholders from countries around the world in order to encourage sustainable management of forests and discourage illegal producers.

National and local governments are major consumers of wood and paper products, so their purchasing practices already have a major impact on markets and supply patterns of these products, and many sub-national bodies, notably municipal authorities, are developing similar policies.

“It is encouraging to learn that some governments have already implemented policies that reward sustainable paper and wood production,” said Wulf Killmann, Director of the FAO Forest Products and Economics Division. “However, if each country were to adopt different approaches, it could create market barriers. Harmonization could help to prevent the formation of trade barriers.”

Details of the presentations made at today’s meeting are available at: http://www.unece.org/trade/timber/docs/tc-sessions/tc-64/2006PolicyForum.htm. The conclusions of the discussions will also be made available shortly after the forum.

For further information, please contact:

Christopher Prins

Chief, UNECE/FAO Timber Section
Trade Development and Timber Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Palais des Nations
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Phone: +41 (0)22 917 2874
Fax: +41 (0)22 917 0041
E-mail: info.timber@unece.org

Website: http://www.unece.org/trade/timber

Ref: ECE/TIM/06/P04

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05