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Forests Policy & Practice
Resumed Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally-Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe (INC-Forests4)

7-8 November 2013 | Geneva, Switzerland
Highlights for Thursday 7 November 2013
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages

On Thursday, 7 November, the Resumed Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) on Forests in Europe (Resumed INC-Forests 4) opened in Geneva, Switzerland, with a welcome statement by Luca Arnold, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland. INC Chair Jan Heino called for the Committee to “tackle the tasks with flexibility, a cooperative spirit and commitment.”

The Russian Federation, EU, Liechtenstein, Serbia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan made opening statements expressing their preference for a lead organization in the LBA secretariat. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stressed the importance of the LBA for global forestry. The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) and Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) urged the Committee to consider agreeing on an interim secretariat arrangement if a permanent LBA secretariat cannot be agreed now.

The morning plenary read through LBA paragraphs containing brackets with the aim of reaching agreement on the title and articles concerning, inter alia, the conference of the parties (COP), right to vote, secretariat, compliance, convention amendments, depositary, signature, ratification, entry into force and termination.

During the afternoon plenary, a legal expert group met to review the draft negotiating text and a contact group met to discuss institutional arrangements. The plenary reconvened at 5:50 pm to hear progress reports from both groups.  Jolyon Thompson (UK), Chair, Legal Expert Group, reported the Group had reviewed four articles and will meet again in the evening to review the remaining articles of the text in order to provide recommendations to the Plenary in the morning.

Contact group co-facilitator Ingwald Gschwandtl reported that countries would work overnight on creating their own matrix of secretariat functions as listed in the draft negotiating text, and which organization they wanted to fulfill each one and why. The contact group will meet informally at 8:30 am on Friday to exchange notes before plenary.

In the evening, delegates enjoyed a buffet dinner hosted by the Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland.
INC-Forests Chair Jan Heino and Luca Arnold, Switzerland, during the Opening Ceremony
Opening Plenary
Albama Prifti, Albania
Valdas Vaiciunas, Lithuania
Potolodis-Beck Panagiotis, Liechtenstein
Ibrayev Maxat, Kazakhstan
Knut Øistad, Norway
Aibek Baidaliev, Kyrgyzstan
Marat Berdyev and Alexander Panfilov, Russian Federation

INC-Forests Chair Jan Heino, Luca Arnold, Switzerland, and Malgorzata Busko-Briggs, INC Secretary

Piotr Borkowsky, European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR)
Sibylle Vermont and Luca Arnold, Switzerland
Contact Group
Markus Holzer and Steve Smith, European Comission, and Valdas Vaiciunas, Lithuania
Legal Expert Group
Around the Conference Center
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages
Related Links
Session resources

*Session website and documents

*Annotated provisional agenda

*Draft negotiating text

*Draft organization of work for the Resumed INC-Forests4

*Oslo Mandate

*INC-Forests1 website

*INC-Forests2 website

*INC-Forests3 website

*Resumed INC-Forest3 website

*INC-Forest4 website

Other relevant resources


*UN Forum on Forests (UNFF)

*UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Forestry Department

IISD RS resources

*IISD RS coverage of INC-Forests4, 10-14 June 2013, Warsaw, Poland

*IISD RS coverage of the Tenth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF10), 8-19 April 2013, Istanbul, Turkey

*IISD RS coverage of Resumed INC-Forest3, 3-5 April 2013, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

*IISD RS coverage of INC-Forests3, 28 January - 1 February 2013, Antalya, Turkey

*IISD RS coverage of Twelfth Rights and Resources Initiative Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change, 5 November 2012, Washington, DC, United States of America

*IISD RS summary report of INC-Forests2, 3-7 September 2012, Bonn, Germany (HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS coverage of the FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference Oslo 2011, 29 14-16 June 2011, Oslo, Norway

*IISD RS coverage of the UNFF9, 24 January - 4 February 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*IISD RS coverage of the Twentieth Session of the Committee on Forestry of the FAO, 4-8 October 2010, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy

*IISD RS archive of forestry meetings and backgrounder

*Forests-L - A news and announcement list on forest policy issues

*Forests Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Adressing Forests Policy

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
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