The joint 75th session of COFFI and EFC addressed, among other things: global forest policy matters; regional cooperation; the 70th anniversary of the UNECE/FAO partnership; and an Integrated Programme of Work 2018-2021.
During a High-Level meeting at the opening of Las2017, speakers highlighted interconnections among efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the degradation of water quality, forests and biodiversity.
12 October 2017: The joint 75th session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the 39th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) European Forestry Commission (EFC), which convened from 9-12 October 2017, in Warsaw, Poland, convened under the title, ‘Las2017’, with “las” meaning forest in Polish.
The joint session addressed, among other things: global forest policy matters; regional cooperation; the 70th anniversary of the UNECE/FAO partnership; and an Integrated Programme of Work 2018-2021. A session titled, ‘Market discussions,’ addressed the role of the forest sector in climate change mitigation and forest products trends in the sub-regions. The meeting also addressed separate COFFI and EFC matters.
During a high-level meeting at the opening of Las2017, Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment of Poland, stressed the importance of Las2017 in the preparations for the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be hosted by Poland in 2018. He stressed the interconnections among efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to combat the degradation of water quality, forests and biodiversity. Eva Müller, Director of Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO, stressed that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mitigating and adapting to climate change “requires healthy and productive forests.” She called attention to the need to address forests as part of SDG 15 (life on land) and SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Targets. She also recalled that UN Strategic Plan on Forests, which was adopted in April 2017, includes the target to increase global forest cover by 3% by 2030. Andrey Vasilyev, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary, stressed the importance of addressing wood products and bioenergy, the forest sector’s contribution to a green economy, and innovation in forest-based industries.
The main outcome of the meeting was the adoption of the Warsaw Integrated Programme of Work 2018-2021 for COFFI and EFC. The meeting also produced a Forest Products Market Statement 2016-2017, which summarizes market trends and developments in the UNECE region.
In conjunction with Las2017, the 4th European Forest Week was celebrated throughout Europe, under the theme, ‘Forests, our common good.’ National and local activities, held simultaneously in participating countries, involved contests, exhibitions, talks and videos, and brought together a variety of stakeholders from the forest and non-forest sectors. [IISD RS coverage of Las2017]