UN forest industry leaders to convene in Kazan, Russia, in November; top agenda item is transformation to green, bio-based economy in Europe, North America, the Caucasus and Central Asia according to plan adopted in 2013 at Rovaniemi, Finland

GENEVA , April 24, 2014 () – At the invitation of the Government of the Russian Federation and with the support of the Russian Federal Forest Agency and the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan will host the 72nd Session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI), from 18 to 21 November 2014.

The meeting will focus on the implementation of the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy. It will showcase how actors within and outside the forest sector can work together to make the best contribution to the emerging Green Economy. Their input are diverse: from improving forest-based technologies to develop innovative wood and non-wood forest products; from making forest work safer, to valuating and setting up payments for the multiple services that forests offers to the society in the UNECE region.

Delegates to the Committee session will discuss forest resources assessment and reporting issues, as well as the role of forests in the post-2015 development agenda. They will also provide guidance to the secretariat on how to implement the UNECE/FAO Integrated Programme of Work for the COFFI and the FAO European Forestry Commission adopted at their joint session “Metsä2013” in December 2013.

Historically focused on manufacturing and petrochemical industries, and on machine building, Tatarstan is heavily investing in developing its wood processing and forestry industry strong of 1,3 million hectares of forests (mainly composed of pine, beech, linden and trembling poplar). Hosting this COFFI session is part of the renewed commitment of the Republic of Tatarstan’s government towards the forestry sector.

Furthermore, the favourable economic climate of the region and the presence of the Alabuga Special Economic Zone have attracted a large number of foreign investors who are contributing to strengthen the local forestry and wood industry.

For more information about the program, please follow this link: http://www.unece.org/forests/kazan2014.html

To learn more about the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section: http://www.unece.org/forests

Should you have further questions, please contact Paola Deda: paola.deda@unece.org

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