Good progress made at the Fourth Session of Forest Negotiations


At the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to agree a Legally Binding Agreement on forests in Europe, held in Warsaw, Poland from 10-14 June, good progress was made on the draft text of the convention that will ensure Europe’s forests are sustainably managed. The text is now very close to a final version with a limited number of outstanding points to be resolved. The desire of the participating parties is for an agreement that will recognize the importance of forests and the multiple economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits they provide.

In order to finalize the text of the convention the parties involved have therefore agreed to meet after the summer for a short negotiating session to reach an agreement on the remaining issues. At this meeting the countries will also take a decision on Institutional arrangements, right to vote, observer admission and other outstanding issues. The final text of the convention will then be presented to a Ministerial Conference in Spain, for consideration.

 

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In closing Chairman Jan Heino praised the delegates’ efforts and “hard work in a spirit of compromise” throughout the week that has brought the first binding agreement on forests in Europe one step closer.

The delegates of Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland and the EU amongst others, as well as the Chairman, in statements to the plenary session, praised the host country, Poland, for the “perfect” organization of the negotiations. The Chairman then suspended the session and convened the delegates to continue the talks in the autumn.