Takeoff of the Resumed Fourth Session of Forest Negotiations in Geneva

The Resumed fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe started today in Geneva, Switzerland. Almost 160 participants, representing 38 countries, the European Union, 14 observer organizations, and 1 observer country (the United States of America) are taking part in the two day session negotiations.

Jan Heino, Chair of the Committee welcomed delegates and resumed the session.

Mr. Luca Arnold, head of the Swiss delegation, welcomed participants on behalf of the host country stressing that parties involved in the negotiations can be proud of the results achieved so far, “which is a concise convention text promoting sustainable forest management while addressing all three pillars of sustainability in a balanced manner”. He concluded his speech by encouraging participants to seize this unique opportunity and to work in order to reach an agreement here in Geneva.




Mr. Heino underlined that a great deal was already reached and thanked the Government of Switzerland for generously hosting the meeting. He invited all delegations to make every effort to conclude the work, using the good spirit that has prevailed all through the process.

During these two days the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee is expected to discuss and decide on the limited number of pending issues, such as institutional arrangements and a compliance mechanism of the Legally Binding Agreement. During the first session day the Committee further improved the draft negotiating text and established a contact group on pending issues and a legal expert group to scrutinize the draft text from the legal point of view.