UNFF Officials Brief on Structure, Goals of AHEG 2

19 November 2012: The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) held a briefing on preparations for the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Forest Financing (AHEG 2,) taking place from 14-18 January 2013, in Vienna, Austria. The briefing also included information on UNFF's 10th meeting (UNFF 10), to be held in April 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The briefing took place on 19 November 2012, in New York, US, and was led by the Co-Chairs of AHEG 1, the Ambassadors of Kenya and Finland, and joined by the Ambassador of Brazil, who will replace Kenya as Co-Chair of AHEG 2, and Jan McAlpine, UNFF Director.

The Co-Chairs outlined the mandate for AHEG 2, which is for country experts to create a road map for forest financing by reviewing all inputs, and submit final recommendations to UNFF 10. The briefing also outlined the structure of AHEG 2: Plenary sessions on 14-15 January; two parallel working group meetings 16-17 January; and a closing plenary on 18 January. The Organization of Work is expected to be released shortly, the Co-Chairs said. As of 16 November, 47 countries have nominated their meeting experts, and the Co-Chairs encouraged all others to do so by 30 November.

McAlpine informed participants about the history of UNFF meetings and the continuing stalemate on forest financing. She expressed her belief that the best opportunity for a decision on forest financing is now, given the momentum from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) and the ongoing negotiations for a Post-2015 Development Agenda. She said the UNFF has agreed that “business as usual is not an option,” and will work to make sure that AHEG 2 yields consensus.

Relevant documents are available on the AHEG website, including advisory group summaries and the compilations of country submissions. [UNFF Webpage on AHEG2]