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Press Releases 2013



Although a final agreement could not be reached in Geneva during the Resumed Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Forests in Europe (Resumed INC-Forests4), FOREST EUROPE remains hopeful of a Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) on this matter in the pan-European region.


The current draft version of a convention on European forests is the result of two years of intense negotiations, which started at the FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference held in Oslo in 2011. At this conference, ministers responsible for forests decided to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) with the mandate to develop a legally binding agreement on forests in Europe.


At this last session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, agreement was reached on all points related to sustainable forest management. However, there are still significant differences of opinion on institutional arrangements.


The text will be presented to an Extraordinary Ministerial Conference, which will take place in Madrid in the first half of 2014. The ministers of FOREST EUROPE will receive the results of the Committee and decide on further guidance and appropriate actions.


Such a convention on forests would create a stable and efficient platform to develop and implement a coherent forest policy addressing environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects in the pan-European region, which contains a fifth of the world's forests.


FOREST EUROPE’s 46 signatory countries, the European Union, and observers to the process including non-European countries, international organizations, NGOs, representatives of forest owners, related industries, academic and scientific community and other forest stakeholders have all been involved in a negotiation process that is now one step closer to its end.



Madrid, 4 March 2013- Next Wednesday, the FOREST EUROPE Expert Level Meeting (ELM) will open in Madrid. This is the second time the experts meet in Madrid since the Spanish Co-chairmanship of the Ministerial Conference on Protection of Forest in Europe started.


During two days, more than 50 attendees from 25 signatory countries plus de European Union and 12 international observer organizations, such as environmental and social NGOs, forest owners’ federations, unions, forestry industry and scientific community will discuss the progress made on the Work Program approved last year in Madrid.  They will review the on-going work on Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and its tool, the monitoring and reporting activities carried out with other forestry regional processes, a workshop on governance and forest law enforcement, the kick-off meeting on valuation of ecosystem services, considerations of the activities related to SFM in a green economy, as well as international activities and cooperation with other organizations. These voluntary actions are the direct result of the implementation of the Oslo Ministerial Decision European Forests 2020 and other prior ministerial resolutions.


Among other issues, the experts will be updated on the progress made in the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which has the mandate to develop a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe. The negotiations should produce the text by the end of June.


On Thursday, Mr. José María Solano, the Spanish representative, will present a summary on the preparations for the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference to be held within six months of the conclusion of the work of the INC, for the consideration of its results and possible adoption, and opening for signature. The Government of Spain will hold the Extraordinary Conference in Madrid, most likely by the end of October or beginning of November (dates to be confirmed).




Madrid, 5 marzo 2013- Mañana miércoles se inicia en Madrid la Reunión de Expertos de FOREST EUROPE (ELM, por su sigla en inglés), la segunda celebrada desde el inicio de la presidencia española de la Conferencia Ministerial sobre la Protección de los Bosques en Europa.


Durante dos días, más de 50 representantes de 25 países signatarios y de la Unión Europea, y de 12 organizaciones internacionales observadores del proceso, tales como ONG medioambientales y sociales, federaciones de propietarios forestales, sindicatos, industria forestal y comunidad científica, discutirán el progreso llevado a cabo en el Programa de Trabajo aprobado en Madrid el año pasado. Los expertos revisarán las actividades desarrolladas sobre Gestión Forestal Sostenible (GFS) y sus instrumentos, las realizadas conjuntamente con otros procesos forestales sobre seguimiento e información forestal, los resultados de un taller sobre gobernanza y aplicación de la normativa forestal, el lanzamiento de una reunión de expertos sobre valoración de servicios de los ecosistemas forestales, las consideraciones sobre las actividades previstas relacionadas con GFS en una economía verde, además de las actividades emprendidas  a nivel internacional en cooperación con otras organizaciones. Estas acciones de carácter voluntario son la implementación de la Decisión Ministerial de Oslo Bosques Europeos 2020 y de resoluciones ministeriales previas.


Además, los asistentes serán informados sobre el progreso llevado a cabo por el Comité Intergubernamental de negociación (INC, por su sigla en inglés), que tiene el mandato de negociar y desarrollar un Acuerdo Legalmente Vinculante sobre bosques en Europa. Las negociaciones deberían producir un texto para finales de junio.


El jueves, José María Solano, representante de España, hará un resumen de las preparaciones que se están llevando a cabo para organizar la Conferencia Ministerial Extraordinaria de FOREST EUROPE, que debe celebrarse en los seis meses siguientes tras terminar los trabajos del INC, y en la que se considerarán los resultados de las negociaciones para la ratificación y posible adopción del texto. El gobierno de España baraja finales de octubre o primeros de Noviembre como las posibles fechas para la Conferencia Ministerial Extraordinaria en Madrid. 



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