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Silva2015 - joint session of the ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the FAO European Forestry Commission

2 - 6 November 2015

Engelberg, Switzerland

Values of Forests at the Heart of Silva2015

Thirty-nine countries from Europe, the Russian Federation, Central Asia, the Caucasus and North America agreed to continue their efforts to build climate change into national forest programmes, strategies and plans, and encouraged each other to play an active part in the work of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF). They also asked UNECE and FAO to work on developing global forest-related indicators related to Sustainable Development Goals, building on existing indicators. Countries were strongly interested in developing markets and investments for forest ecosystem services, and appraised the Market Discussions as a unique platform for information and experience exchange on forest products markets at regional level.

These were the main outcomes of Silva 2015, the joint session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC), which took place from 2 - 6 November 2015 in Engelberg, Switzerland, during the 3rd European Forest Week.

Mr Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE; Mr Tony Alonzi, Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, FAO; Ms Doris Leuthard, Minister of Environment, Switzerland, addressed more than two hundred international participants at the opening ceremony. Mr Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, underlined the importance of forests in meeting the Sustainable Developments Goals and stressed the importance of taking a cross-sectoral approach.

Participants of Silva 2015 discussed the values of forests. The meeting brought together people from forestry and other interests, including government representatives and delegations, forest owners, industry, businesses, environmental NGOs, academics and students. 

The 3rd European Forest Week opened with the announcements of the winners of the FAO photo contest “Value of Forests” and the International Russian Junior Forestry Contest organized by the Russian Federation. More than 25 forest related side events took place during the week. There were almost 40 poster displays from Swiss and international research institutes and others. Side events covered a huge range of forest-related topics, including most recent innovative applications of wood, Canadian and Central African indigenous community forest management, green jobs in the forest sector, forest biodiversity and wildlife management.

Silva2015 and European Forest Week ended with a day of excursions in the magnificent Oberwald and NeidWald regions, organized by the host country Switzerland, covering disaster risk management, forest biodiversity, protective forests in mountainous regions and use of wood for building and energy

Pictures from Silva2015 and European Forest Week are available at UNECE-FAO Forests Flickr account.


Official DocumentENGFRRUSCORR.

Annotated provisional agenda for the seventy-third session of COFFI and thirty-eighth session of the EFC - ECE/TIM/2015/1 - FO:EFC/15/1

Report of the meeting - ECE/TIM/2015/2 - FO:EFC/15/2PDFPDFPDF

Global and regional context - ECE/TIM/2015/3-FO:EFC/15/3


Wood and wood products/Market discussions - ECE/TIM/2015/4-FO:EFC/15/4

2015 Country Market Statements


Forest Ecosystem Services and financing Sustainable Forest Management - ECE/TIM/2015/5-FO:EFC/15/5


Forest ecosystem services - ECE/TIM/2015/6 - FO:EFC/15/6


Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017 - ECE/TIM/2015/7 - FO:EFC/15/7


COFFI Programme of Work 2016-2017 - ECE/TIM/2015/8 - FO:EFC/15/8

Strategic Framework 2018-2019 - ECE/TIM/2015/9/Rev.1 - FO:EFC/15/9/Rev.1PDFPDFPDF

COFFI Rules of Procedure - ECE/TIM/2015/10 - FO:EFC/15/10


Follow-up to the decisions of the thirty-seventh session of the European Forestry Commission - ECE/TIM/2015/11-FO:EFC/15/11


Gender, youth and education - ECE/TIM/2015/12-FO:EFC/15/12

Contributions to FAO Governance - ECE/TIM/2015/13-FO:EFC/15/13 PDFPDFPDFPDF

Progress in Silva Mediterranea and the Working Party on the Management of Mountain Watersheds - ECE/TIM/2015/14-FO:EFC/15/14




Information Document                       ENG

List of documents - ECE/TIM/2015/INF.1-FO:EFC/15/INF.1                                                                                                                            

Global and regional context - ECE/TIM/2015/INF.2-FO:EFC/15/INF.2 PDF

Rovaniemi Action Plan Implementation - ECE/TIM/2015/INF.3-FO:EFC/15/INF.3


Matters arising from the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe - ECE/TIM/2015/INF.4-FO:EFC/15/INF.4

Frequency of sessions of the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry - ECE/TIM/2015/INF.5-FO:EFC/15/INF.5 PDF

Declaration of Competence and Voting Rights submitted by the European Union and its Member States - CE/TIM/2015/INF.6-FO:EFC/15/INF.6

Referred Document                       ENGFRRU

Report of the thirty-seventh session of the Joint ECE/FAO Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management  


Report of the seventy-second session of the ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry - ECE/TIM/2014/2PDFPDFPDF

Report of the joint seventy-first session of the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and thirty-seventh session of the European Forestry Commission -  ECE/TIM/2013/2-FO:EFC/13/2



Agenda item




Official opening

Opening Speech, Welcome by the host country and the federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)Doris Leuthard (Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication) PDF
Welcome by UNECEChristian Friis Bach, Executive Director, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Welcome by FAOTony Alonzi, Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Welcome by the Conference of the Cantonal Councillors (in French)Mme Jacqueline de Quattro, President of the conference of the 26 Cantonal Councillors responsible for ForestsPDF
Welcome by the cantonal CouncillorPaul Federer, Cantonal Councillor of ObwaldenPDF and speech


Global and regional context

2aThe United Nations summit on the post-2015 development agenda (including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Role of forests in post-2015 agendaThomas Gass, Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UN DESA Video
2bOutcomes of the 11th Session of the UN Forum on ForestsHeikki Granholm, Vice-Chair of UNFF11 PDF
2cOutcome of XIV World Forestry CongressEva Müller, Director, Forest Economic Policy and Products Division, FAO

FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conferences Madrid 2015

Elena Estrada Wilke, Policy Advisor, FOREST EUROPE, Liaison Unit MadridPDF
2eRegional implementation of global challengesBruno Oberle, State Secretary and Director of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment PDF and speech
2eGlobal and regional forest-related developments: Relevance to the ECE regionHelga Puelzl, Senior policy scientist, European Forest InstitutePDF
2fHow have forests changed? Results from FRA 2015Kenneth MacDicken
Senior Forestry Officer/Team Leader
Global Forest Resources Assessment, FAO
Presentation of infographics on forests in UNECE regionVideo

Forests in the ECE Region: Trends and challenges in achieving the Global Objectives on Forests

Kit Prins, Independent Forest ExpertPDF

Regional reporting on forests and Sustainable Forest Management

Stein Tomter, Senior Scientific Adviser, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy ResearchPDF


Forest products and services

European Market Overview

Sten NilssonPDF
Russian Federation Market OverviewNikolay IvanovPDF
North American Market Overview Gordon CulbertsonPDF
International best practices for the use of hardwood in construction Hermann BlumerPDF
Glued wood products for structural use Gerhard SchickhoferPDF


Markets and investments in Forest Ecosystem Services

Markets for Forest Ecosystem Services. Concepts and ExamplesGuy Robertson, National Sustainability Program Leader, USDA Forest Service, United StatesPDF
Institutional Forestland Ownership and its Effects on Forest Products MarketsTapani Pahkasalo, Vice-President, Timberland Investment, Quantum Global, SwitzerlandPDF
Barriers to Overcome in Financing Payments for Ecosystem Services: Experiences from SwitzerlandJosef Hess, Vice Director, Swiss Federal Office for the EnvironmentPDF and speech
Values and Financing of Forest Ecosystem Services- the Example of GermanyMatthias Dieter, Head of Institute, Thünen-Institute of International Forestry and Forest EconomicsPDF


Forest ecosystem services

Panel 1. Disaster risk reduction and watershed management
Forests – a crucial component in watershed management for disaster risk reductionCatrin Promper, Expert on Disaster Risk Management, FAOPDF
The function of forests in natural hazard mitigation in AustriaSiegfried Sauermoser, County Director of Tyrol, Austrian Service for Torrent and Avalanche ControlPDF
ProtectBio – effect of protection forests on natural hazards due to gravityArtur Sandri, Head, Landslides, Avalanches and Forest Protection Section, FOEN, SwitzerlandPDF
Restoration of degraded land through afforestation of the dried seabed of the Aral Sea areaNormukhamad Sheraliyev, Representative from Uzbekistan in Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral SeaPDF

Panel 2. Biodiversity maintenance

Swiss experience and approach to biodiversity maintenanceReinhard Schnidrig, Head of Section, Wildlife and Forest Biodiversity, FOEN, SwitzerlandPDF
EEA's contribution to biodiversity maintenanceAnnemarie Bastrup-Birk, Forests and Environment, European Environment Agency (EEA), DenmarkPDF
FSC’s contribution to biodiversity protectionJohn Hontelez, Chief Advocacy Officer, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), BelgiumPDF
Integration of biodiversity considerations in the forest sector in selected non OECD countries in the pan European regionIvonne Higuero, Chief of Operational Activities and Review Section, Environment Division, UNECEPDF
FAO approach to biodiversity maintenanceSusan Braatz, Senior Forestry Officer (Forests and Climate Change), Forestry Department, Forest Management Division, Forest Conservation Service, FAOPDF
Panel 3. Climate change mitigation, substitution and adaptation, and forest and landscape restoration
Kyrgyzstan experiences with climate changeVenera Surappaeva, Chief of Forest Monitoring Division, Sector of Forest Monitoring, Department of Forest and Hunting Inventory, State Agency of Environment Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyz RepublicPDF
The role of forest ecosystem services in tackling the issues related to climate changeAlexander Panfilov, Deputy Head, Federal Forestry Agency of the Russian FederationPDFE / PDFR 
Keynote of Switzerland: No mitigation without adaptation of forests to climate changeRolf Manser, Head of Forest Division, FOEN, Switzerland PDF
Climate change mitigation and adaptation – problems and possible solutions for Ukrainian forestsLiubov Poliakova, Senior Officer, International Cooperation Department, State Forest Resources Agency of UkrainePDF
FAO climate change approach and forest and landscape restorationSusan Braatz, Senior Forestry Officer (Forests and Climate Change), Forestry Department, Forest Management Division, Forest Conservation Service, FAO




Joint ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the FAO European Forestry Commission matters

6aReview of 2015 activities and planned activities for 2016Ekrem Yazici
6bRevision of the terms of references for the UNECE/FAO Team of SpecialistsElina WarstaPDF
6cTowards the review of the implementation of the Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017Florian Steierer PDF
6d Report of the Joint UNECE/FAO Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and ManagementJohannes Hangler PDF
6fRovaniemi Action Plan ImplementationYana Trofimova PDF


ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry matters

7aMatters arising from the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations Economic Commission for EuropeMarco KeinerPDF
7bMatters arising from the seventy-second session of the Committee on Forests and the Forest IndustryRoman MichalakPDF
7cCOFFI Programme of Work 2016-17 and publicationsElina WarstaPDF
7dStrategic FrameworkMarco KeinerPDF
7eCOFFI Rules of ProcedureRoman MichalakPDF


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Please find the programme here for the COFFI and EFC meeting.

Here you can find the programme for EFW Side Events and Parallel Meetings.


Please find a description of excursions here.

Excursion 1- Protective Forests, Management and Regeneration - 8 a.m. -12 noon

Excursion 2 - Use of Wood for Buildings and Energy - 8 a.m. -12 noon

Excursion 3 - Mountain, Water, Forest and Landscape - 8:15 a.m. -12 noon

Excursion 4 - Risk Management and Forest - 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Excursion 5 - Forest Biodiversity - 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.




European Forest Week

Side Events and Parallel Meetings

Here is the programme for the side events and parallel meetings.

Here are the guidelines for Side Events and Parallel Meetings and a form to request one.


Please find here the guidelines for the poster exhibition.


Here you will find a list of partners.

Silva2015 messages

Here you can find Silva2015 key messages.


European Forest Week Photo Contest (held by the FAO)

XII International junior forest contest (held by the Russian Federal Forestry Agency)