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Spain launches FOREST EUROPE’s co-chairmanship, the Ministerial Conference on Protection of Forest in Europe

FOREST EUROPE will hold the next Expert Level Meeting (ELM) on the 14th and 15th of February in Madrid, the first event of the Spanish Co-chairmanship of the Ministerial Conference on Protection of Forest in Europe. General Director of Rural Development and Forest Policy Ms. Begoña Nieto Gilarte will chair the opening session.  More than 80 representative from signatory members of the process (46 European countries and the European Community), observers from non-European countries and international organizations such as environmental and social NGOs, forest owners’ federations, forestry industry and scientific community will all be present at this meeting in Madrid. During the meeting, FOREST EUROPE experts will discuss and approve the Work Programme which will turn the Oslo Ministerial Conference (14-16 June 2011) decisions into action. FOREST EUROPE, born in 1990 out the cooperation between policy and science, is a forum that aims to bring Sustainable Forest Management to the highest political level by taking into consideration its three pillars, namely the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects. It understands forests as ecosystems, but also as basis for forestry and related economic activities. Sustainable Forest Management contributes to climate change mitigation, conservation of biodiversity, creates employment, and boosts rural development. Between 2005 and 2010, about 870 million tones of CO2 have been removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis and the European trees biomass growth. This corresponds to about 10 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 of these countries. There are 1.02 billion hectares of forest in Europe, which amount to 25 percent of the world’s total. Over the last 20 years, the forest area has expanded in all European regions and has gained 0.8 million hectares each year. For more information about the Work Program and related documents, please visit
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