The ThinkForest event on ‘Emerging opportunities for EU-Russia cooperation on forest-based sector governance’ will take place in Rovaniemi, Finland on 13 December 2013. It will be organised in connection with the Metsä 2013, a joint session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the FAO European Forestry Commission, which will be held at the 2nd European Forest Week during 9-13 December 2013.

Now, that Russia has become a WTO member, it is important to understand how this will impact the forest sectors in the EU and Russia. It seems that the WTO membership will boost both European and Russian forest sectors. The EU’s forest sector will gain from enhanced trade relationships with Russia, tariff reductions, and the increased predictability of the business and investment environment in Russia. The impacts to the Russian forest industry can range from growing imports, to increased stumpage prices, etc. In such a rapidly changing context, the potential of the EU-Russia cooperation around the forest-based sector and forest governance issues should be unlocked. Therefore, the high-Level science-policy forum on the future of forests in Europe – ThinkForest http://www.thinkforest.efi.int , is organizing an open seminar for policy-makers, members of the European Parliament, scientists and stakeholders to exchange views and discuss new ideas.

A tentative programme for the event is available here, and practical details on registration, travel and accommodation can be checked hereThere is no registration fee, but participants are requested to organise their own travel and accommodation. Since the Arctic Circle is a tourist destination and December is high season in Rovaniemi, the local authorities recommended booking hotels and making flight reservations much in advance of the event.