Regional forest dialogues vital to sustainability, says Council

The EU Council has urged Member States, the European Commission, regional and local administrations and the private sector to support forest-related activities in the context of the International Year of Forests.

Regional and sub-regional forest dialogues, such as those established in the Baltics, South-East Europe or more recently in the Mediterranean, are recognised by the Council as vital in fostering sustainable forest management. The Council also underlines the need to further strengthen international cooperation and action at all levels to combat deforestation and forest degradation.
The Council conclusions, adopted at a Council meeting on 24 January ahead of the EU’s participation in the 9th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, specifically call for the strengthening of forest governance and effective action against illegal logging and related trade.
Activities should also be coordinated with other forest-related conventions, agreements and processes, according to the Council.
The €6 million ENPI Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) programme for example supports governments, civil society and the private sector in the development of sound and sustainable forest management practices, including the prevention of illegal forestry activities. Participating countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
The Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests meanwhile was launched towards the end of 2010 with the aim of accelerating the implementation of sustainable forest management and the protection of forest-based ecosystem services in the Southern Mediterranean region. Participating countries include Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. (ENPI Info Centre)
Press release
ENPI-FLEG – website
ENPI-FLEG – fiche and news
Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests - Agreement
ENPI Info Centre feature - Forest protection and cranberry pies 31-05-2010
ENPI Info Centre feature Moldovan Forest under EU Protection11-06-2010
2011: International year of forests – UN website