What is Green Economy?
Green economy, according to UNEP, is a system which results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
Sustainably managed forests play an essential role in the carbon cycle and provide essential environmental and social values and services, beyond their contribution as a source of wood, such as biodiversity conservation; protection against erosion; watershed protection and employment in often fragile rural areas. The forest sector has therefore a key role to play in the transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy and forestry lies at the heart of this “green” movement.
How can the Forest Sector contribute to a Green Economy?
The forest sector contributes already largely to the Green Economy, but could play an even more significant role if governments and others seize the opportunity to use wood based products for green construction and furniture wherever possible and take measures to support the wider adoption of modern wood energy.
To promote those opportunities, the UNECE Timber Committee (TC) and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) decided to take action and prepared the Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy. The Action Plan was developed on the basis of an open consultation with member States and stakeholders and consolidated by the secretariat. Two stakeholder meetings in May 2011 and March 2012 and the 70th session of the Timber Committee in October 2012 reviewed the Action Plan. An extraordinary joint session of TC and EFC in June 2013 will consider last comments, after it will be finalized for the joint TC/EFC session Metsä2013 in December 2013.
What is the "Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy"?
This Action Plan describes how the forest sector in the UNECE region could lead the way towards the emerging green economy at the global level. It identifies an overall vision, strategies and a number of areas of activity. For each area of activity, it proposes specific actions, and identifies potential actors, who might contribute to achieving the stated objectives. It is not a binding work plan, nor does it contain prescriptive recommendations to Governments, international organizations or stakeholders, who are free to participate, or not to participate, in the Action Plan as they wish.
The Action Plan's Vision:
The 70th session of the ECE Timber Committee (TC), which took place in Geneva from 16 to 19 October 2012 reviewed the Action Plan and decided to hold an Special Session with the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) scheduled to take place in Geneva on 17 - 18 June 2013. During this meeting the Action Plan will be discuss and finalized, with a view to adopt this important document at the next joint session of the TC and the EFC (Metsä2013, 9-13 December 2013, Rovaniemi, Finland).
Currently a consultation process is taking place, which gathers comments from governments and all relevant stakeholders on the actions that are presented in the Action Plan.
The newest version is available below:
Metsä2013 Joint session of the ECE Timber Committee and the FAO European Forestry Commission, Rovaniemi, Finland 09 - 13 December 2013
Special Session of the ECE Timber Committee with the FAO European Forestry Commission, Geneva, 17 - 18 June 2013
70th session of UNECE Timber Committee, Geneva, 16 - 19 October 2012
Orman2011 Joint session of the ECE Timber Committee and the FAO European Forestry Commission, Antalya, Turkey 10 - 14 December 2011
Stakeholders meeting Action Plan on Forests and the Green Economy, Geneva, 10 May 2011
Policy Forum on The Forest Sector and the Green Economy, Geneva, 15 October 2010
Seminar on Environmental governance towards Green Economy, Geneva, 15-17 February 2010
See also UNEP's green economy initiative