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    Forests for quality of life

    The Fifth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe “Forests for Quality of Life” was held on 5–7 November 2007 in Warsaw, Poland. At the Conference, ministers and high-level representatives of 46 European countries and the European Union endorsed the Warsaw Declaration and two Warsaw Resolutions: “Forests, Wood and Energy” and “Forests and Water”.

    The Conference Sessions provided a forum for dynamic discussions and sharing views on political challenges concerning European forests among the ministers, delegates from the MCPFE observer organisations and countries as well as representatives of the scientific community. The Warsaw Summit encompassed presentation of most recent information on the state of Europe’s forests as well as illustration of achievements of European countries in progressing towards sustainable forest management. Concrete actions to assure that Europe’s forests continue to be managed sustainably and provide benefits to the best of their potential were endorsed.

    The European forest ministers committed themselves to ensure that forests and sustainable forest management play an active role in the sustainable development and well being of the European society. In particular, the ministers highlighted the role of forests and sustainable forest management in combating negative effects of climate change, for energy supply and in water protection.
    The ministers also endorsed two ministerial statements. They declared the week of 20–24 October 2008 to be “The pan-European Forest Week 2008” and expressed their solidarity with the people and the governments of the countries of Southern Europe who have suffered during recent years from the effects of huge forest fires.

    “Forests for quality of life” was the leitmotif of the Warsaw Summit. It focused on the ecological, economical and social benefits of Europe’s forests and promoted public debate. The commitments also emphasised the need to continue the protection of European forests as a regional common heritage.

    A non-exhaustive list of the pan-European activities achieved for the implementation of the ministerial commitments in the period between the Vienna and the Warsaw Ministerial Conference is presented below.