Metsä2013, the Joint Session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) European Forestry Commission (EFC) announced the adoption of the 'Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy.'
13 December 2013: Metsä2013, the Joint Session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) European Forestry Commission (EFC) announced the adoption of the ‘Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy.’
Metsä2013, was held from 9-13 December 2013, in Rovaniemi, Finland, in conjunction with the second European Forest Week.
The Action Plan, agreed to by members of the UNECE COFFI and the FAO EFC, is intended to promote the contribution of forests to a green economy. The plan aims to link forests and the green economy through the replacement of high-energy and un-sustainable products and processes with forest-based alternatives. It also intends to support the continued provision of forest ecosystem services and forest-based livelihoods across Europe, North America, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The Action Plan is based on five main steps: support for the sustainable production and consumption of forest products; the promotion of a low carbon forest sector; the insurance of decent green jobs in the forest sector; enhancement of the long term provision of forest ecosystem services; and policy development and monitoring of the forest sector.
Metsä2013 also agreed to the Programme of Work 2014-2017 for the UNECE COFFI and the FAO EFC, their related bodies and the Teams of Specialists. The Programme of Work focuses on sustainable forest management (SFM) and a green economy, innovation in the forest sector, wood energy, payments for ecosystem services (PES), links between forest policy and other sector policies, climate change adaptation, forest health and disturbances to and the mainstreaming of biodiversity.
The meeting also addressed, inter alia, trends in forest product markets and trade, including the potential of the forestry sector to contribute to economic, social and environmental objectives in the region. A report titled ‘The Value of Forests: Payment for Ecosystem Services in a Green Economy,’ was also considered. The publication highlights 14 best practice examples from across the region and notes that PES can contribute significantly to rural development, especially if public-private partnerships are built successfully. Metsä2013 also produced a Market Statement 2013, which summarizes market trends and developments in the UNECE region.
The next joint COFFI/EFC meeting will take place in Switzerland in 2015. [FAO Press Release] [UNECE Press Release on forest products] [UNECE Press Release on PES Report] [UNECE Press Release on Action Plan] [Draft Integrated Programme of Work 2014-17 for the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the European Forestry Commission] [The Value of Forests: Payment for Ecosystem Services in a Green Economy] [IISD RS Coverage of Metsä2013]