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EU and the "International Forest Regime"

 

The FOREST EUROPE - Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE)

The FOREST EUROPE, formerly known as MCPFE involves more than 46 European countries, including all 27 EU Member States, and the European Union, as well as observers from other non-European countries, stakeholders and international organisations, in order to address common threats and opportunities related to forests and forestry.

The main aim of all participants working together in this process is to further develop a common understanding regarding the protection and the sustainable management of forests in Europe. This process is based on Ministerial Conferences (Strasbourg 1990, Helsinki 1993, Lisbon 1998, Vienna 2003, Warsaw 2007 and Oslo 2011), at which ministerial declarations, resolutions and decisions are adopted that are prepared by ad-hoc working groups and expert level meetings. The discussion and work between the conferences, which is called the "FOREST EUROPE Process", has focussed on monitoring and on national level implementation.

The European Union has signed all FOREST EUROPE ministerial declarations, resolutions and decisions, which are reflected in the EU Forestry Strategy. As a signatory to the FOREST EUROPE, the European Community is directly involved in the follow-up and implementation of the Resolutions. In 2010, the Commission submitted to the FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit a report concerning progress on the implementation at EU level of the FOREST EUROPE declarations and resolutions during the period 2007–2010. The report highlights the contribution of EU policies and measures to the implementation of the FOREST EUROPE ministerial commitments at EU level. It has been included into the FOREST EUROPE publication: "Implementation of the FOREST EUROPE Commitments - National and Pan-European Actions 2008-2011.

The most recent, 6th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, held on 14-16 June 2011 in Oslo, adopted two ministerial decisions:

- European Forests 2020 with a new vision, goals and 2020 targets for forests in Europe as well as with a new mission of the FOREST EUROPE process and proposals for the European and national actions;

- Oslo Ministerial Mandate for Negotiating a Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) on Forests in Europe, which launches the negotiating process by establishing an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) and its Bureau as well as by appointing a Chairman of the INC.

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An EU initiative to address deforestation

The European Commission has presented a Communication on deforestation which sets out the EU's response to the challenge of climate change. It proposes that at the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) negotiations on the future climate regime, the EU calls for halting global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and reducing gross tropical deforestation by at least 50% by 2020 from current levels. This objective would provide major climate change and biodiversity benefits by 2020.

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Last update: 03-08-2011