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Las2017 - Joint Session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) European Forestry Commission

9-12 October 2017 | Warsaw, Poland

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A horn music performance marks the opening of Las2017 in Warsaw.

Ivonne Higuero, UNECE, and Paola Deda, UNECE/FAO, speaking informally with Matthew Fonseca, UNECE/FAO

Highlights for Thursday, 12 October 2017

European Forest Week Las2017On the fourth and final day of Las2017, delegates met in a morning session to conclude EFC matters. They addressed: FAO contributions to the global process; EFC contributions to FAO governance; and the frequency of EFC sessions. After considerable discussion, this last issue was deferred until the next session of the EFC.

Delegates elected Christine Farcy (Belgium) as the new EFC Chair and Kenan Kiliç (Turkey) as EFC Vice-Chair. They re-elected Rob Busink (Netherlands) and Liubov Poliakova (Ukraine) as Vice-Chairs.

Delegates went on to conclude joint COFFI/EFC matters, including: Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA2020) – enhanced and streamlined international reporting; and a review of 2017 activities, with planned activities and publications for 2018.

In the afternoon, the joint session culminated with the adoption of the Warsaw Integrated Programme of Work 2018-2019, which provides the framework for cooperation between COFFI and EFC on forestry issues in four areas: data, monitoring, reporting and assessment; policy dialogue and advice; communication and outreach; and capacity building. It also contains terms of reference for the various subsidiary bodies, and refers to activities outlined in the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy, which are to be carried out “subject to availability of financial and human resources.”

During the closing session, delegates adopted the Las2017 report, including a Forest Products Market Statement 2016-2017, which summarizes market trends and developments in the UNECE region.

Following some brief closing remarks, Co-Chair Marta Gaworska (Poland) closed the meeting at 6:30 pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary report from Las2017. The summary report is now availavle in HTML and PDF.

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A view of the dais during the morning session

Liubov Poliakova, Ukraine

Johannes Hangler, Austria

Catherine Rivoal, France

Delegates applaud the adoption of the Las2017 report.

Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECE; Andrzej Konieczny, Deputy Minister of the Environment, Poland; and COFFI Chair Marta Gaworska, giving closing remarks

Highlights for Wednesday, 11 October 2017

European Forest Week Las2017On Wednesday morning, in a session chaired by COFFI Chair Marta Gaworska (Poland), Las2017 delegates convened to finish COFFI matters, namely: the Programme of Work and publications 2018-2019; Strategic Framework 2020-2021; election of officers; and the dates and venues of the next COFFI meetings. Canada expressed interest in hosting the 2018 COFFI meeting, and the Russian Federation offered to host the next joint COFFI/EFC session, which will take place in 2019.

During the remainder of the day, delegates addressed EFC matters, in a session chaired by EFC Chair Kenan Kiliç (Turkey) . The following agenda items were addressed: follow-up to the decisions of the 38th session of the EFC; forestry activities of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia; establishment of a Forest Invasive Species Network in Europe and Central Asia; progress of Silva Mediterranea and the Working Party on the Management of Mountain Watersheds; forest and landscape restoration works under climate change conditions in the region; strengthening FAO’s work on boreal and temperate forests; the Committee on World Food Security High-level Panel of Experts' study on sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition; and a new strategic document for FAO in forestry.

After the closing of the session, participants enjoyed an evening reception in the lobby of the Novotel Hotel, hosted by the FAO.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary report from Las2017.

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Delegates from Russian Federation

Matthias Schwoerer, Germany

View of the dais during the morning session

Catherine Rivoal, France

Robert Rezonja, Slovenia

Andrey Kushlin, FAO

Highlights for Tuesday, 10 October 2017

European Forest Week Las2017The second day of Las2017 in Warsaw started with Market Discussions, a shared COFFI/EFC agenda item. Iain Macdonald, TallWood Design Institute, gave a keynote presentation about tall buildings made from wood. He elaborated on advantages of using wood for structural building, describing cost, safety and durability aspects, and highlighted how legislative frameworks can pave the way for wood building. Keynote speaker Lotta Hahn, architect and concept developer, addressed “Linking global trends to the future of furniture.” She said wood can help meet the growing demand for more affordable, adaptable, smarter furniture from fewer materials. She said companies can fill the gap for more sustainable furniture solutions, and should work with organizations on sustainable forestry.

Delegates then heard presentations on forest product trends in the different sub-regions. Andrzej Samborski, Wood Supply and Biomass Manager at International Paper, addressed the Polish market for wood products. Sten Nilsson, Forest Sector Insights, addressed long-term changes in worldwide wood consumption and production, and structural implications for the industries involved. Nikolai Ivanov, Russian Union of Timber Manufacturers and Exporters, addressed the “Russian Federation Forest Market: 2015-2018 Review, 2017 Outlook.” Russell Taylor, FEA-Canada, gave a presentation on “North America: trends & outlook in sawn softwood and wood-based panels.”

In the afternoon, delegates heard a keynote presentation by Werner Kurz, Natural Resources Canada, on the role of the forest sector in climate change mitigation. Kurz drew attention to climate change effects that are already visible, and that contribute to further greenhouse gas emissions, including forest fires, peatland burning and permafrost thawing. Addressing the role of carbon sinks, he noted the need for “new, groundbreaking strategies” to convert carbon dioxide into valuable products, and called for a systems perspective that includes forest ecosystems as well as forest products.

Las2017 then turned to the COFFI agenda, addressing matters arising from the sixty-seventh session of the UNECE, matters arising from the seventy-fourth session of the COFFI, and draft rules of procedure and a draft programme of work for the COFFI. After some procedural discussions, delegates agreed to discuss the draft rules of procedure at the next COFFI meeting, and to resume discussion on the draft programme of work at another time during the week.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary report from Las2017.

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Christoph Dürr, Switzerland

Ali Temerit, General Director of Forestry, Turkey

Sten Nilsson, Forest Sector Insights

Nikolai Ivanov, Russian Union of Timber Manufacturers and Exporters

Paola Deda, UNECE/FAO

Highlights for Monday, 9 October 2017

European Forest Week Las2017The joint session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) opened on Monday 9 October 2017, at the Novotel Hotel in Warsaw, Poland.

The week started with a High-Level Meeting chaired by Jan Szyszko, Polish Minister of the Environment. Addresses were held by: Eva Müller, Director of Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO; Andrey Vasilyev, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary; Bishop Tadeusz Lityński, Polish national priest of the foresters; and Konrad Tomaszewski, Director General of the Polish State Forests.

Szyszko then chaired two high-level roundtables. The first addressed “Forests, our common good. Enhancing sustainable development in light of the Paris Agreement”, and drew attention to national initiatives relating to sustainable forest management. The second roundtable addressed the “Functional model of forests – national perspective. Challenges and expectations”, where participants outlined national challenges in relation to forest management, including forest fires, biodiversity loss and legal frameworks.

The High-Level Meeting was followed by the Opening of the European Forest Week (EFW). Short opening remarks were made by: Andrzej Konieczny, Undersecretary of State, Polish Ministry of the Environment; Konrad Tomaszewski, Director General of the Polish State Forests; and Michał Olszewski, Vice-President of Warsaw City.

In the afternoon, participants addressed joint COFFI/EFC matters, in a session co-chaired by COFFI Chair Marta Gaworska (Poland) and EFC Chair Kenan Kiliç  . Updates were heard on: the report of the Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management; global forest policy matters; regional cooperation; the seventieth anniversary of the UNECE/FAO Partnership; the System for the Evaluation of Management of Forests (SEMAFOR); and the COFFI/EFC Integrated Programme of Work.

In the evening, a reception took place in the Palace of Culture and Science, hosted by the Minister of the Environment of Poland.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary report from Las2017.

Photos by IISD/ENB+ | Sean Wu
For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page.

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Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment, Poland

Eva Müller, Director of Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO

Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECE

IISD/ENB+ team (L-R): Nienke Beintema, Team Leader; Sean Wu, Digital Editor; Iliana Cardenes, Writer


Daily Web CoverageAbout | 9 Oct | 10 Oct | 11 Oct | 12 Oct | Summary