The European forest products sector is sending a message to the UN demanding acknowledgement of its contribution to the battle against global warming.

The move came out of a seminar in Brussels yesterday attended by 200 delegates from across the industry. The event, ‘From forest management to wood products and paper: The unique link against climate change’, was organised by the three lead European trade associations: the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI Bois), the Confederation of European private Forest Owners (CEPF) and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).

Key note addresses were given by Frieda Brepoels MEP; Martijn Quinn, Member of European Commissioner Dimas’ Cabinet; Marie-Laurence Madignier from the French Ministry of Agriculture, representing the current EU Presidency and Wulf Killman from FAO.

Speakers and delegates discussed the International Climate Change Partnership’s latest Assessment Report, which stated that sustainable forest management is the key to global warming mitigation, and it was decided that the culmination of the seminar should be a statement demanding recognition of its status as “part of the solution in combating climate change”. In addition, the message was to urge that increasing competition for wood must not be allowed to result in a negative impact on the competitiveness of the sector in Europe.

This statment was signed on behalf of the industry by Christer Segersteen, President of CEPF, Mikael Eliasson, Chairman of CEI-BOIS and Magnus Hall, Chairman of CEPI. It will be sent to the UN Forum of the Climate Change Convention COP14 meeting due to be held in Poznan in December.