COFO 2010

Forests are key to sustainable development. Although this is a widely held view, there are serious knowledge gaps in understanding how forests contribute to livelihoods, health, education, water and many other areas targeted by internationally agreed development goals. What does society expect of forests and what will be their role in sustainable development? What balance do we need among forests for people, climate change and conservation of biological diversity? Will forest fires become worse as a result of climate change? How will water flows from forests be affected in a changing climate? Are there new sources of finance for forests and how can the benefits of forests be shared widely and equitably? Even if we have the answers to these questions, are we communicating them well?  The International Year of Forests 2011 will offer a unique opportunity to further the forest agenda and the forest community should make the best use of it. Are we ready? These questions captured the attention of the Twentieth Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO), held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy from 4 - 8 October 2010. 

World Forest Week 2

For the second time, COFO was held in conjunction with World Forest Week - a series of meetings and events sponsored by FAO and its partner organizations and institutions. The events of the Week were organized around the key topics of COFO and shed more light on key issues and allowed for a more detailed discussion. The outcomes of these discussions contributed to the negotiations of COFO, helping members take informed decisions and finding solid answers to the above questions. The World Forest Week was also an opportunity for sharing state-of-the-art knowledge and informing on major accomplishments and achievements.

An innovative initiative of the World Forest Week was the international scientific conference on Emerging Economic Mechanisms: Implications for Forest-Related Policies and Sector Governance (5-7 October). co-organised by the University of Tuscia (Italy) and FAO, with the support of IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations).

The Committee on Forestry COFO - membership

The Committee on Forestry is the highest FAO Forestry statutory body. The biennial sessions of COFO (held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy) bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action. Other international organizations and, increasingly, non-governmental groups participate in COFO.  Participation in COFO is open to all FAO member countries.

Member countries of FAO which have not yet submitted their COFO Membership Notification form are encouraged to do so. Click here to access the form.

last updated:  Friday, April 19, 2013