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Thursday, June 30 , 2011 4715

UEF was in Oslo 14-16.06.2011! I have together with Piotr Grygier participated in the sixth Forest Europe Ministerial Conference (MCPFE) in Oslo 14-16.6.2011. This was success thinking about the visibility of UEF, because I had the opportunity on Tuesday 14th in the beginning of the Conference to present the Group Statement and speak to all the 46 countries, observer countries and organizations on behalf of the Social Organizations Major group including UEF, BWI, PEFC, FSC and CIC. We got very good response for the Group statement from different people coming to say thank you for the balanced statement. I feel UEF broke ice again. Thank you to Piotr Grygier, who has participated in the Expert Level Meetings and in that way took care about the voice of the UEF during these four years between the Conferences in Warsaw and Oslo. The decision in favor of starting negotiations about a legally binding instrument for the forests in Europe was taken in consensus and all countries had positive statements about this. The process is separate from the Forest Europe process and the work is chaired by Mr Jan Heino, former Assistant Director General of FAO. The countries hope that the negotiations will be ended by approximately the end of 2013. It is not clear how stakeholders and organizations can participate in this between the countries process. My first impression of informal discussions in Oslo is, that we somehow will have possibilities to comment the things coming up, but the countries and the negotiation group will hold the process in their hands. I will work further on this question together with Piotr Grygier. The Forest Europe Conference approved two proposals. In addition to the decision about starting negotiations about LBI, the Conference decided about a program paper called European Forests 2020 with visions, goals, targets and actions for the forests in Europe and the Forest Europe process. The Liaison unit in Oslo will now move to Madrid in Spain for the next four years and the next Forest Europe Conference will be arranged in Madrid 2015. For further information and documents, please visit the homepage of Forest Europe I also send you here the statement of the Major Group Social Organizations, that I hope will be put on our homepage asap. Because of the embargo for spreading papers around in advance I have not been able to send this earlier to you. But as you see the statement follow what we have earlier lined about these matters in the Presidency. NEGOTIATIONS ABOUT THE EU FOREST STRATEGY Coming Monday the first meeting of the negotiation group for the EU Forest Strategy is arranged in Brussels. I am happy to announce, that UEF has a seat in the group. The discussions about who will be represented in the negotiation group via Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork took some time, but the result was positive for UEF. Because this is a sub Advisory Group work we are given the same representation as there. That means that I will participate in the work and my stand in is Michael Diemer. The first meeting came very fast and I could not arrange my schedules for that, so on Monday Michael Diemer takes the seat. The first information is that the meetings are reimbursed by the Commission. More information about how this negotiation process will go on will follow after the meeting coming Monday.
Best regards,
Håkan Nystrand
Union of European Foresters (UEF)

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