Highlights and images for 25 April 2016


The first meeting of the UN Forum on Forests' (UNFF) Open-ended Intergovernmental Αd Ηoc Expert Group (AHEG1) Established Pursuant to Paragraph 48 of ECOSOC resolution 2015/33 opened at UN Headquarters in New York City, USA. Just prior to the AHEG1, the first meeting of the 12th session of UNFF opened briefly to elect a new Bureau to guide UNFF work through the full UNFF12 session in May 2017. Peter Besseau (Canada) was elected Chair, and Wu Zhimin (China), Tomas Krejzak (Czech Republic), and Clarissa Souza Della Nina (Brazil) as Vice-Chairs.

In their opening remarks, AHEG1 Co-Chairs Hans Hoogeveen (Netherlands) and Gholamhossein Dehghani (Iran) emphasized the importance of the tasks assigned to AHEG1, namely replacing the reference to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the UN Forest Instrument with an appropriate reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, and drafting the UNFF Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2030 and the quadrennial programme of work for the period 2017-2020. Manoel Sobral Filho, UNFF Director, outlined the many developments since UNFF11 that affect AHEG1 work, including the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and relevant ECOSOC and UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions. Peter Csoka, FAO, on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), stressed linkages between the UNFF Strategic Plan and implementation of the SDGs.

Stephanie Caswell, Independent Consultant, presented on the background paper on ‘Elements for the Strategic Plan 2017-2030.’ Toshimasa Masuyama, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan, briefed the AHEG on the discussions of a March 2016 expert panel on the UNFF Strategic Plan.

In the afternoon, AHEG members began exchanging views on the required strategic approaches and actions to achieve the objectives of the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF), including the mission, vision, communication strategy and possible goals and targets for the Strategic Plan. They also held an initial discussion on possible elements for the four-year programme of work for 2017-2020.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web updates and a summary and analysis from AHEG1 which is available in HTML and PDF formats.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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Co-Chair Hans Hoogeveen (Netherlands)

L-R: Hossein Moeini-Meybodi, UNFF Secretariat; Co-Chair Gholamhossein Dehghani (Iran); Co-Chair Hans Hoogeveen (Netherlands); Manoel Sobral Filho, UNFF Director; and Peter Csoka, FAO