The seminar is as a collaborative initiative for the International Year of Forests 2011 and aims to actively contribute to further development of sustainable forest management and to provide input to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio + 20 Earth Summit, which will take place in 2012. The “International Seminar on Challenges of Sustainable Forest Management - integrating environmental, social and economic values of forests” is co-hosted by Japan and Indonesia and co-organised by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), FOREST EUROPE and the Montreal Process. FOREST EUROPE contributes to the seminar by demonstrating European policy tools and guidelines on sustainable forest management and showcasing the opportunities of sustainable forest management in Europe to meet global challenges, including climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation.
The seminar will focus on gaining an overview of the international trends related to sustainable forest management since the Rio Conference (UNCED) took place in 1992. This includes the discussion on policy tools and instruments in current issues, e.g. REDD+, biodiversity conservation, and multipurpose forest management including environmental services. Participants will also review a variety of policy tools and instruments that have been developed to realise sustainable forest management, and the evolving process of their application. They will also debate the challenges that project implementers in forest conservation and sustainable forest management currently are facing. Moreover, participants will discuss the issues on policy tools and instruments which are further required to realise sustainable forest management and contribute to international deliberations.
How Europe’s forest policies contribute to global sustainable development
Europe's forests represent 25 per cent of the world’s forest resources. Forests cover 44 percent of Europe’s land area and they continue to expand. Sustainable management of European forests is of huge importance for sustainable development globally. Europe has developed a concept for sustainable forest management, which forms a framework for implementation at national level. The policy process FOREST EUROPE has elaborated common principles, criteria and guidelines for sustainable forest management, which capture the multiple functions of forests and contribute to the achievement of international agreed goals.
At the upcoming FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe on 14-16 June 2011 in Oslo, Norway, ministers responsible for forests in Europe will take policy decisions aimed at the preservation of forests and the safeguarding of their environmental, societal and economic benefits for present and future generations. A key item to be addressed at the conference is the elaboration of a strengthened policy framework for sustainable forest management throughout Europe. In this context, the ministers are expected to decide whether to enter into negotiations on a legally binding agreement on forests in Europe. It is also expected that ministers will adopt a vision, goals and targets for forests in Europe as part of the future FOREST EUROPE strategy. The Ministerial Conference will also table the State of Europe’s Forests 2011 report, which will provide a comprehensive picture of the status of forests and trends in sustainable forest management in Europe.