Fourth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe

30 April 2003: The fourth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE-4), also called the “Vienna Living Forest Summit,” convened at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, from 28-30 April 2003. It was attended by Ministers responsible for forests and high-level representatives of 40 European countries and the European Community, as well as representatives of four observer countries and 22 international governmental and non-governmental organizations. The Conference provided an opportunity to discuss and take decisions on the future of the protection and sustainable management of forests in Europe.

Conference participants adopted the Vienna Living Forest Summit Declaration, “European Forests-Common Benefits, Shared Responsibilities,” and five Resolutions on: strengthening synergies for sustainable forest management (SFM) in Europe through cross-sectoral cooperation and national forest programmes; enhancing the economic viability of SFM in Europe; preserving and enhancing the social and cultural dimensions of SFM in Europe; conserving and enhancing forest biological diversity in Europe; and climate change and SFM in Europe. Other highlights of the Conference included: a tree-planting ceremony; the opening of an international exhibition “Forest.Art”; a multi-stakeholder dialogue; a signing ceremony for the Vienna Declaration; and an excursion to the Danube Floodplain National Park. [IISD RS coverage:]