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Minister of State Wallace attends 5th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe in Warsaw, Poland from 5th-7th November 2007

Ms Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food attended the 5th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe in Warsaw, Poland. A large number of Ministers with responsibility for forestry throughout Europe attended the Conference at which they discussed and considered future forest policy and other emerging issues relating to implementing sustainable forest management, both nationally and at a regional level.

This high-level event follows previous Ministerial sessions, which took place in Strasbourg in 1990, Helsinki in 1993, Lisbon in 1998 and Vienna in 2003. It is a Pan-European process comprising of 46 Member States, the European Commission, and a broad range of policy stakeholders representing industry, environmental, social and cultural dimensions of forests.

The purpose of the 5th MCPFE was to agree and sign the Warsaw Declaration on the theme Forests for Quality of Life, and adopt the Warsaw Resolution 1 on Forests, Wood and Energy and Warsaw Resolution 2 on Forests and Water. The conference was structured around a plenary session, multi-stakeholder dialogue, official Ministerial statements and finally, a signing ceremony.

Speaking at the conference, Minister Wallace said: "From the commitments we will be signing today, it is clear that the participants in this Pan-European process recognise the current challenges for forestry in relation to climate change, energy supply and water protection. By signing up to these commitments we are ensuring that forestry issues are considered and integrated into our own country's Governmental policies on sustainable development."

Minister Wallace also welcomed reports on the "State of Forests and Sustainable Forest Management in Europe 2007" and "Implementation of MCPFE Commitments", which highlighted the achievements of European countries in implementing sustainable forest management.

The 5th MCPFE was organised under the joint chairmanship of Poland and Norway, and was hosted by the Polish Minister for the Environment and the Norwegian Minister for Agriculture and Food.

6 November 2007

Date Released: 06 November 2007