Emerging opportunities for EU-Russia cooperation

13 December 2013

The forests of Russia comprise almost one fourth of the world's forest cover, contributing about half of the terrestrial Net Primary Production. Russia is the largest exporter of industrial roundwood in the world.

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However, Russia's share in the world forest products trade is below 4 percent and the share of the forest sector in the GDP is only 1.3 percent.

Now that Russia became a WTO member, it is important to understand how this will impact the EU’s forest sector and vice versa. 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 could range from growing imports, to increased stumpage prices, etc. However, the indirect institutional impacts may be of much more significance in the coming years. Especially, considering that a draft for a new forest policy in Russia is now in the political debate.

In such a rapidly changing context, it is crucial that the potential of the EU-Russia cooperation around the forest-based sector and forest governance issues is unlocked based on improve communication, knowledge sharing and joint initiatives between EU and Russia. For instance the experience in the EU regarding forest-based sector governance and how the EU forest-related framework has evolved over the last years could be valuable experiences in the context of the Russian forest policy discussions.

This ThinkForest seminar will offer policy makers, scientists and stakeholders a forum to discuss:

1. Experiences from EU and Russia frameworks on forest policy and governance
2. Outlook for the European and Russian forest sector: emphasis on synergies and business opportunities
3. Potential impacts of Russia’s WTO membership for the European and Russian forest sectors.

Further information:

The final programme of the event is available here.
List of participants
Dr. Marc Palahí, ThinkForest Coordinator, marc.palahi@efi.int


Russian forest sector outlook study
Mr. A.V. Panfilov, Federal Forestry Agency, The Russian Federation

European forest sector outlook study
Mr. Florian Steierer, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section

EU-Russia forest based sectors: Foresight and emerging needs
Mr. Lauri Hetemäki, EFI

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia: what potential for the forest sector?
Mr. Olli Pirkanniemi, Delegation of the European Union to Russia