News

UNECE Timber Committee Discusses Sustainable Forest Products and Energy

UNECE25 October 2012: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Timber Committee convened to discuss the annual wood market, an action plan for the forest sector in a green economy, European Forest Week and the Committee's programme of work through 2017.

The meeting, which took place from 16-17 October 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland, noted in its discussion of forest markets that EU Timber Regulations will help ensure legality and sustainability of forest products. The statement of the Committee on Annual Markets stresses that wood energy comprises the main source of renewable energy in the region. The statement notes continuing debates on environmental credentialing for different types of wood energy due to different greenhouse gas (GHG) performance. The statement also underscorres that the main barrier to investment in wood energy is the low cost of competing energy sources, such as natural gas.

The Committee reviewed progress on the joint UNECE and UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Action Plan for the forest sector in a green economy. The Committee underscored that the forest sectors' contribution to a green economy will be through simultaneous reduction of environmental risk and ecological scarcity, and increasing human well-being and social equity. The Committee also agreed to convene the 2nd European Forest Week, in Rovaniemi, Finland, in 2013, to be held in parallel with a joint meeting of UNECE and FAO. [Publication: UNECE Timber Committee Market Statement] [UNECE Press Release]