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    • ECO Secretariat participated at the Expert Group Meeting on Regional and Sub-Regional Input to the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)
      ECO Secretariat participated at the Expert Group Meeting on Regional and Sub-Regional Input to the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)
      The Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) convened the Expert Group Meeting on Regional and Sub-Regional Input to the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) on 7-8 January 2019 at UNESCAP, Bangkok, Thailand. The Meeting was actively attended by the delegates from regional and sub-regional organizations and processes. The representative of ECO Secretariat also participated the Meeting upon invitation.

      The Meeting was jointly inaugurated by Ms. Barbara Tavora-Jainchill and Ms. Afsa Rothschild from the UNFF Secretariat and Mr. Peter Csoka from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who was designated as Facilitator of the Meeting. They made presentations on the recent global and regional/sub-regional forest-related developments, notably UNFF agenda, key outcomes of UNFF13, and role of regional/sub-regional organizations in promoting and advocating enhanced global forest policy coherence. During the 2-day Meeting, the participants discussed and deliberated on various key issues, specifically the contributions of the regional and sub-regional partners to the implementation of the UN Strategic Plan for Forest (UNSPF), regional and sub-regional contributions to the UNFF14 agenda item 6 on enhancing global forest policy coherence and a common understanding of sustainable forest management, exchange of ideas on the SDGs to be addressed by HLPF 2019 as they relate to the Global Forest Goals (GFGs) and others. The Meeting also took up the format and content of the regional and sub-regional's written inputs to UNFF and progress made towards the achievement of the Global Forests Goals and targets of the UNSPF 2030, HLPF 2019 and UNFF14 thematic priorities.

      Following extensive discussions, the Meeting finalized the format of the regional and sub-regional inputs to UNFF, agreed on organizing the Regional and Sub-regional's panel on the margins of the UNFF14 (May 2019, New York), and recommended to the UNFF and Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) to continue organizing the capacity building workshops for designing and submitting bankable forest-related projects to the multilateral financial mechanisms. A brief overview of the discussions and suggestions of the Expert Group Meeting will be incorporated in the pertinent UNFF14 official documentation for consideration by the Members of the Forum.

      On the sidelines of the Expert Meeting, Mr. Abolfazl Azizipanah, Programme Officer of the ECO Secretariat held consultation with the UNFF representatives, notably on preparation of the “Regional Strategy for mobilizing climate change financing for sustainable forest management in the ECO Region”, as well as on continuation of ECO cooperation with the UNFF in providing ECO Member States with special tools for preparing and submitting forest-related projects to the relevant multilateral financing mechanisms through organizing similar capacity building workshops, jointly held in the ECO Secretariat in 2014 and 2015.

      It is noteworthy that ECO and UNFF have been collaborating since 2014. As an outcome of these engagements, two workshops on regional capacity building have been co-organized in April/May 2014 and October 2015 in Tehran, as well as in-length consultations were held in March 2015 on project proposals on the Regional Strategy for mobilizing climate financing for Sustainable Forest Management in the ECO Region. These two workshops demonstrated common understanding between two organizations and strong interest of UNFF in building on sustainable forest management agenda for ECO Region. Furthermore, UNFF and ECO jointly organized the similar Expert Meeting on 26-28 September 2016 in ECO Secretariat, which identified 13 priority actions for enhancing involvement of regional and sub-regional organizations and processes in the UNFF and IAF Strategic Plan for 2017-2030.
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