A new European agreement will see 46 countries, including Switzerland, sign up to a single convention on the protection and sustainable management of forests.
The decision to open negotiations for a legally binding forest convention for Europe was taken at the Forest Europe ministerial conference which wraps up in Oslo on Thursday.
The convention aims to create a single set of standards for European forests, and to facilitate the development of trade regulations covering imports and sales of sustainably produced forest products.
Responding to the decision, the Federal Environment Office said such an agreement would align European forest management standards with those of Switzerland and would boost the country’s resource policy for managing forests and wood.
“Greater demand for forest services (protection, harvesting, carbon sink biodiversity, recreation), the poor profit situation of the forestry sector and new challenges such as the effects of climate change necessitate the adoption of new approaches and solutions,” the Environment Office said in a statement.
A working group will draft a convention to be ready for signature in 2013.