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Preparing an action plan on the forest sector for a green economy

Published: 18 November 2010


Within the UNECE region, three countries alone—Russia, Canada and the United States— account for 35% of the world’s forest coverage. Together with the remaining countries in the region, this figure rises to 41%.  Since 1990, protected forests in the UNECE region have increased by almost 25%, or 30 million hectares; and in Europe, the area of protected forests tripled. Even though the region continues to be a significant source of wood, wood extraction is well below the level of increment. This means that biomass and carbon sequestered there continued to increase in all parts of the UNECE region.

This means that the region’s forests continue to contribute enormously to ecological and economic functions such as carbon storage, biodiversity conservation, timber production and wood energy. For instance, 72 % of the global production of industrial roundwood comes from this region.

In order to identify ways to maintain the important ecological functions of forests in the region, while strengthening the contribution of the sector to the economy, the UNECE Timber Committee (TC) and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) are jointly preparing a comprehensive ”Action Plan on the Forest Sector for a Green Economy”.  Intended for policymakers in the UNECE region, the Plan will set out ways and means of improving and promoting the forest sector’s contribution to a green economy.

It will deal with issues ranging from forest-based products, wood energy and forest management to forestry policy and the institutional framework; including sustainable building, sustainable production and consumption, and valuation of forest ecosystem services. 

To ensure that the Plan includes all sectors and provides a comprehensive set of actions, the secretariat is consulting with member States, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. Should you wish to provide your contribution to the plan, please respond to the call for contributions launched by the TC and EFC, http://timber.unece.org/index.php?id=323. The Plan will be presented to the Rio+20 Earth Summit after being reviewed next year by the UNECE Timber Committee and the FAO European Forestry Commission at their joint session in October.    

For more information, please contact:

Ref: ECE/TIM/10/P14


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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