International Year of Forests: Taking Action for Our Forests

By Forest Europe, PRNE
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Europe's Forests Contributing to Sustainable Societies and a Healthy Environment

OSLO, Norway, February 2, 2011 - The UN is launching the International Year of Forests in New York at the
9th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) on 2 February to
raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forests. The FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference
on the Protection of Forests in Europe (14-16 June 2011, Oslo, Norway)
represents a major European contribution to the International Year of

"Benefits of healthy, sustainable forests in Europe go beyond Europe's
borders and make significant contributions globally," says Norway's Minister
of Agriculture and Food Mr Lars Peder Brekk. Norway holds the FOREST EUROPE
chairmanship and hosts the upcoming Ministerial Conference.

The cooperation within FOREST EUROPE has developed sustainable forest
management policies and guidelines since 1990. These contribute to the UNFF's
Global Objectives on Forests. Forests, continually expanding, cover 44
percent of Europe and represent 25 per cent of global forests.

Forests for people and nature

Europe's forests help mitigate climate change by storing carbon in trees,
soils and wood products, and can substitute non renewable materials and
energy sources. They help preserve biodiversity, secure the water supply and
minimise damage from storms, floods and droughts. Forests provide jobs and
income - important for over half of Europe's population living in rural
areas. Forests for recreation are also important.

Safeguarding healthy forests

Ministers at the FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference are expected to
adopt a vision, goals and targets for Europe's forests and consider opening
negotiations on a legally binding agreement on forests in Europe. Mr. Brekk
says: "Our intention is that the Conference will be a milestone in
international forest policy and a celebration of the International Year of

Contact:, +4794149351

Contact: kristin.dawes at, +4794149351

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