FOREST EUROPE ministers launch negotiations for a Legally Binding Agreement

Oslo, 16 June 2011

European 2020 targets set for protection and sustainable management of forests

Health and sustainability of Europe's forests are essential in solving the challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity protection and fresh water supplies. Forest vitality is also crucial for fostering a green economy in Europe and across the globe. The protection and sustainable management of Europe's forests thus requires a stable and efficient platform for coherent policy development and implementation. Therefore, European ministers responsible for forests made the historical decision yesterday to launch negotiations for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe. They also adopted European 2020 targets for forests. This far-reaching political step was taken at the FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, which currently takes place in Oslo, Norway.

"The decision by ministers to go ahead with the negotiations towards a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests represents a major step towards creating the necessary structure for a coherent approach to the continent's forests," said the Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr Lars Peder Brekk, chairman of the FOREST EUROPE process. "A strengthened political cooperation in Europe will be vital for achieving a balanced and stable continuity of all environmental, economic and social forest functions, and for contributing to the achievement of international agreed objectives."

As part of the future FOREST EUROPE strategy, ministers agreed on European 2020 targets for forests.

At the Ministerial Conference, Spain took over the chairmanship from Norway.

The conference was attended by ministers and high-level representatives from 42 FOREST EUROPE countries.

For more details:

· FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference Oslo 2011: www.foresteurope.org/conference2011.

• FOREST EUROPE: www.foresteurope.org.

• International Year of Forests: www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011.

For further information:


Kristin Dawes, + 47 941 49 351