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03 - 06 May 1998
Sesimbra Portugal

Report of the Team Meeting


1.    The meeting of the Joint FAO/ECE Team of Public Relations Specialists in the Forest and Forest Industries (FFI) Sector was held in Sesimbra, Portugal on 3-6 May 1998.

2.    The following countries were represented by the 32 participants: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.  Also represented were the Associação das Indústrias de Madeira e Mobiliário de Portugal, Associação de Produtores Florestais de Setúbal, ECE, Estação Florestal Nacional, European Forest Institute (EFI), FAO and the Malaysian Timber Council.  A list of participants and speakers is attached as Annex 1.

3.    The participants were welcomed by Mr. Ávero Branco Vasco, Director General of Forests in Portugal.

4.    Mr. Ingwald Gschwandtl (Austria), Team Leader, chaired the meeting and Mr. Ed Pepke (FAO/ECE) was rapporteur.

5.    The provisional agenda was adopted

Potential markets for certified forest products in Europe and consequences for PR activities (item 1)

6.    Mr. Ewald Rametsteiner (Austria), Institute of Forest Sector Policy and Economics, presented the results of a public opinion survey on the attitudes of consumers from Austria, France, Italy and Germany and the United Kingdom to forests, sustainable forest management (SFM) and wood.  The following are some of his conclusions: EU citizens think that forest conditions are decreasing, partly due to forestry, especially in the tropics; wood is regarded as environmentally friendly; people are not knowledgable about SFM and are generally unwilling to pay extra for certified forest products; E-NGOs are the most trusted information source.

7.    The proceedings of a seminar on the same subject and the report itself will be published by EFI.  A report of the Timber Committee's special topic discussion on markets for certified forest products was distributed.

The environmental promotion of competitors to wood, paper and paperboard (item 2)

8.    Ms. Berit Sanness (Norway), Deputy Team Leader, presented the third draft of the Substitution Subgroup's report, "Factors affecting the substitution of forest products of wood and paper packaging products."  The objective of the report is to provide information about forest products industries and their competitors in order to better understand the reasons for the product substitutions and to increase international cooperation and network building within the FFI sector.

9.    Comments on the draft are requested by 20 May 1998.  A final draft will be circulated in mid-June for approval by the Team with a deadline of 1 July to allow time for approval of the Bureaux of the Timber Committee and European Forestry Commission.  The executive summary is to become part of the meeting documents for the parent bodies, although some questions on printing of the report remain.

10.    After presentation to the parent bodies, the report is to be launched with a press release.  Ms. Kate Watson (United States) will prepare responses to potential negative questions.  FAO will make the report ready for the Timber Committee website.

11.    In summarizing, Mr. Gschwandtl asked members for their comments on the report's content, distribution and main messages.  Members of the Team not present in Sesimbra are requested to contact Ms. Sanness for a draft for comment.

PR activities for the Third Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (item 3)

12.    Mr. Luis Costa Leal (Portugal), head of the Liaison Unit for the Conference, presented the General Declaration and its two resolutions: L1 on the socio-economic aspects of SFM; and L2 on criteria and indicators and operational guidelines for SFM.  He requested assistance from the Team to identify the messages in the resolutions and do develop a communications strategy for the Conference and its follow-up.

13.    The Team offered considerations for the strategy, including suggestions for the press conferences.  In summary, Mr. Gschwandtl, who is also working together with the Liaison Unit, said the ministers will stress the individual items within the resolutions and that the guidelines will provide a democratic approach to SFM.

Evaluation of ECE and FAO PR activities (item 4)

14.    Mr. Pepke reported on ECE/FAO PR opportunities in addition to the items above.  The Timber Section has prepared reports on the follow-up of the Helsinki Resolutions, using new Forest Resource Assessment data and updates on assistance to countries in transition.  Two workshops in 1998 were mentioned as their recommendations on certification of SFM in countries in transition to market economies (CITs) and recycling, energy and market interactions could have PR possibilities.

15.    The "Country fact sheets" publication will be updated, not only with current data, but also without some controversial categories.  A user survey is under way of Timber Committee publications and products.

16.    A PR Team website under the Timber Committee site was proposed and the members agreed that the secretariat should launch two sites for the Team: 1. a public site; and 2. a Team site accessible only by a password (with more information plus the member and mailing lists).  The Team recommended that the secretariat establish a European Forestry Commission website too.

Special PR activities in countries and regions (item 5)

17.    Mr. Alan Kocher (Switzerland) presented various national activities, including celebration of International Forestry Day.  Several other countries also have PR activities on this Day which falls in March.  The meeting recommended that FAO re-establish the lead in International Forestry Day beginning in 1999.

18.    Ms. Agneta Lindsted (Sweden) presented Paper Online, a website linking national pulp and paper associations and other websites.  Although it had a high initial cost, it has succeeded in receiving thousands of hits.  Mr. Lars-Erik Holmberg (Sweden) presented a $25 million, 3-year "Greener Forest Campaign" which will be launched in 1999.

19.    Ms. Maria Carolina Varela (Portugal) presented a paper on "Promotion of cork and cork products."  She said Portuguese cork production faces a "bottleneck" because of increased substitution and competition from other countries.  FAO Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions has established a cork mark to promote real cork.

20.    Mr. Kristjan Tonosson (Estonia) presented statistics on the increasingly privatized forests and stated that new owners' attitudes differed from those of western Europe.

21.    Mr. Werner Ebert (Germany) described the new mark of origin launched by the forest owners with a multi-media publicity campaign.

22.    Ms. Watson distributed the 1998 annual report on the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, a certification scheme originally for American Forest and Paper Association members which has been extended to non-member lands and has trained 20,000 loggers and foresters in SFM.

23.    Mr. Pepke presented The Tree Council of Ireland's "Tree Day" and their proposal for a European-wide day.  The members reiterated that it would be appropriate for revival of the FAO International Forestry Day with appropriate national level activities.

Evaluation of the field trip from a PR perspective (item 6)

24.    The forthcoming Ministerial Conference field trip was previewed by the Team.  The tour includes visits to pine and cork oak forests, demonstration of forest fire suppression, and discussion of issues linked to the Conference Resolutions.

25.    The Team praised the field trip, especially for the Team's purposes, ie to examine a high level field trip from a PR perspective.  Then they went on to offer about 70 suggestions for the Liaison Unit's consideration.

Team operations and follow-up of the meeting (item 7)

26.    Mr. Gschwandtl noted the importance of the UN bodies stature for the Team and the members requested an extension of their mandate to enable:

  1. finalization, dissemination and presentation of the substitution report;
  2. building of the Team's network, especially to CITs, perhaps by meeting there in 1999;
  3. conducting an international forestry communicators forum;
  4. the PR activities follow-up of the Lisbon Ministerial Conference.  A mandate proposal is attached in Annex 2.

27.    Ms. Sanness presented the preliminary plans for an international forestry communicators forum which could take place in FAO, Rome in 2000.  The organizing committee is led by Mr. Yves St-Onge (Canada) and Finland was appointed as Deputy Leader.  Austria, France, Norway and Portugal are the other members on the committee.  Should the Team members not have time to do all the preparations for the forum, it was suggested to consider hiring a consultant or another PR group in the FFI sector.

28     The next meeting will be held in Estonia pending approval of the authorities and extension of the mandate.  An obvious topic would be PR in CITs.  Member countries are requested to consider assisting the Estonian organizers to bring other members and participants from CITs to the meeting.

Other matters (item 8)

29.    In thanking them for their devoted work, Mr. Gschwandtl and Ms. Sanness were unanimously re-elected as officers.

30.    The rapporteur was instructed to produce the meeting report in conjunction with the officers.

31.    Before closing, Mr. Gschwandtl on behalf of the Team warmly thanked the hosts for their superb arrangements and hospitality in both the meeting and the study tour.  Mr. Pepke expressed his gratitude for the host's sponsorship of the secretariat's participation.

Annex 1

        GSCHWANDTL, Ingwald
        Fed. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
        Ferdinandstrasse 4
        A - 1020 Vienna
        Tel.: +43 1 21323-7307
        Fax: +43 1 21323-7216

        RAMETSTEINER, Ewald
        Universität für Bodenkultur
        Gregor Mendel str. 33
        A - 1180 Vienna
        Tel.: +43 1 47 654 4403
        Fax: +43 1 47 654 4407

        DUMAS, Jean
        Ministère des Ressources Naturelles
        5700 4e Avenue Ouest - Local B 302
        CDN - Charlesbourg (Québec)
        Tel.: +1 418 627 8609 ext. 3007
        Fax: +1 418 643 0720

        SZYNKARSKY, Esther
        Canadian Pulp & Paper Association
        1155 Metcalfe St. 19th Floor
        CDN - Montreal H3B 4T6
        Tel.: +1 514 866 6621 #206
        Fax: +1 514 866 3035

        EINFELDT, Martin
        Danish Forest Association
        Amalievej 20
        DK - 1875 Frederiksberg C
        Tel.: +45 33 244266
        Fax: +45 33 240242

        TONISSON, Kristjan
        National Forestry Board
        Toompuiestee 24
        EE - 0100 Tallinn
        Tel.: +372 62 62 905
        Fax: +372 62 62 901

        KARVONEN, Juhani
        Finnish Forest Association
        Salomonkatu 17B
        FIN - 00100 Helsinki
        Tel.: +358 9 694 0040/+358 40 550 3040
        Fax: +358 9 693 3466

        VITIE, Kari
        Finnish Forest Industries Federation
        Eteläesplanadi 2
        FIN - 00130 Helsinki
        Tel.: +358 9 132 6650/+358 50 66152
        Fax: +358 9 174 479

        NIEF, Annie
        Office National des Forêts
        2, avenue de St. Mandé
        F - 75570 Paris
        Tel.: +1 40 19 58 40
        Fax: +1 40 19 78 95

        EBERT, Werner
        Flughafenstr. 3
        D - 60528 Frankfurt
        Tel.: +069 212 33 814  /  Fax: +069 212 30 708

        Malaysian Timber Council
        24 Old Queen Street
        London SW1H 9HP
        United Kingdom
        Tel.: +44 171 222 8188
        Fax: +44 171 222 8884

        SANNESS, Berit
        Living Forests
        P.O.Box 1438 Vika
        N - 0115 Oslo
        Tel.: +47 22 01 05 80
        Fax: +47 22 83 39 89
        E-mail: ( not always functioning

        ÁLVARES, Luís Rochartre
        AFLOPS - Associação de Produtores Florestais de Setúbal
        Rua José Augusto Coelho, 133-1ºdto
        Vila Nogueira de Azeitão
        P - 2925 Azeitão
        Tel.: +351 1 218 21 28
        Fax: +351 1 218 21 27

        CAVACA, Ana Martins
        Direcção Geral das Florestas
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P - 1050 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 00
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 96

        HORTA, Maria Dulce
        Direcção Geral das Florestas
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P - 1050 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 00
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 96

        LEAL, Luís Costa
        Liaison Unit
        Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P - 1050 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 07
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 92

        LUÍS, Celina
        Liaison Unit
        Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P - 1050 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 07
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 92

        PEREIRA, Manuel Rodrigues
        Direcção Geral das Florestas
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P - 1000 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 00
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 96

        SILVA, Manuel Celestino da
        AIMMP-Assoc. das Indústrias de Madeira e Mobiliário de Portugal
        R. Álvares Cabral, 281
        P - 4050 Porto
        Tel.: +351 2 32 40 16
        Fax: +351 2 31 65 73

        TAVARES, António Manuel
        Direcção Geral das Florestas
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P - 1000 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 00
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 96

        TEIXEIRA, João de Sousa
        Direcção Geral das Florestas
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P - 1000 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 00
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 96

        VARELA, Maria Carolina
        Estação Florestal Nacional
        Quinta do Marquês
        P - 2780 Oeiras
        Tel.: +351 1 441 57 63
        Fax: +351 1 441 56 60

        VASCO, Álvaro Branco
        Direcção Geral das Florestas
        Av. João Crisóstomo, 28
        P-1000 Lisboa
        Tel.: +351 1 312 48 00
        Fax: +351 1 312 49 96

        HOLMBERG, Lars-Erik
        National Board of Forestry
        S - 55183 Jönköping
        Tel.: +46 36 155662
        Fax: +46 36 190622

        LINDSTEDT, Agneta
        Swedish Forest Industries Association
        Box 5518
        S - 11 485 Stockholm
        Tel.: + 46 8 783 8479
        Fax: +46 8 661 7306

        KOCHER, Alan
        Swiss Forestry Association
        Rosenweg 14
        CH - 4501 SOLOTHURN
        Tel.: +41 32 625 88 00
        Fax: +41 32 625 88 99
        E-mail: (

        McNIVEN, Dawn
        The Forestry Industry Council of Great Britain
        Stirling Business Centre, Wellgreen Place
        UK - Stirling FK8 2DZ
        Tel.: +44 1786 473717
        Fax: +44 1786 473731

        MURRAY, Jane
        Forestry Commission
        231 Corstorphine Road
        UK - Edinburgh E12 7AT
        Tel.: +44 131 314 6508
        Fax: +44 131 334 4473

        WATSON, Kate
        American Forest & Paper Association
        1111 19th Street, NW
        Suite 800
        USA - Washington DC 20036
        Tel.: +202 463 2478
        Fax: +202 463 4704

        HUNTER, Ian
        European Forest Institute
        Torikatu 34
        FIN - Joensuu
        Tel.: +358 13 252 020
        Fax: +358 13 124 393

        DEMBNER, Stephen
        Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
         I  - 00100 Rome
        Tel.: +39 6 5705 4778
        Fax: +39 6 5705 3024

        PEPKE, Ed
        UN-ECE and FAO Timber Section
        Palais des Nations , Room 390
        CH - 1211 Geneva 10
        Tel.: +41 22 917 2872
        Fax: +41 22 917 0041


    Annex 2

    Proposed mandate of the team (replaced by approved mandate)


    Annex 3

     Publications and papers distributed at the meeting

     (additional copies available from respective country representatives)

    PR Team, Substitution Project Subgroup
    "Factors affecting the substitution of forest products of wood and paper packaging", draft report III, 2 May 1998

    Canada (Québec)
    "Dommages causés à la forêt par le verglas de 1998", Direction de la conservation des forêts,  Ministère des ressources naturelles

    "Readiness for forest certification will be established in Finland by the end of 1998", by  Plusforest of the Finnish Forest Association
    "Annual ring 1997" by Finnish Forest Association

    "Tree day:  a resource pack on trees for primary schools" by the Tree Council of Ireland and  the Ireland Forest Service

    "Consensus on Norwegian standards for SFM" by Living Forests
    "The Living Forests' Standards on sustainable Norwegian Forestry", by Working Group 2 of  Living Forests
    "SFM - standards and certification" by Living Forests
    "Family forestry" by Living Forests

    "Promotion of cork and cork products" by Ms. Maria Carolina Verela
    "General declaration of the Third Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe"  by Liaison Unit
    "Resolution L1: 'People, forests and forestry' Enhancement of socio-economic aspects of SFM"
    Expo'98 Lisbon packet, including promotional material about the world exposition
    "Le Portugal : pays de forêts" by General Direction of Forests
    "Annual statistics of the Portuguuese paper industry" by CELPA, the Association of the paper  industry, 1996
    1998 calendar by the General Direction of Forests
    "Pergaminho e papel am Portugal" by Ana Maria Leitao Bandeira
    "Caderno escolar : Preservar a floresta e garantir riqueza e ben estar"
    "Promotion of cork and cork products" by Maria Carolina Varela
    "Floresta, uma riqueza a conservar", Video by Ministry of Agriculture
    "Parque Natural da Arrabida"

    "The forest industry:  an industry of the future" by Skogsindustrierna
    "Development of the Swedish forests and forest policy during the last 100 years" by Skogsstyrelsen
    "The Swedish forest industry facts and figures 1996" by Skogsindustrierna
    "Much new on the Eastern front" by Skogsindustrierna
    "Spruce forest swampland" by National Board of Forestry

    "Freizeil im Wald" by Bundesamt für Omwelt, Wald und Landschaft (BUWAL)
    "Der Wald schützt auch Dich" by BUWAL
    "Entdeckungoreisen durch den Wald"
    "Holz-dernaheliegende Energieträger" by Energi 2000
    "La forêt : un capital" by Office fédéral de l'environnement, des forêts et du paysage
    "Wald ist action" by Waldwirtschaft
    "Waldwirtschaft heisst:  Veraut wortung für Wald und Umwelt übernehmen!" by Waldwirtschaft  Verbaud Schweiz

    United Kingdom
    "The wood products sector for prospectus" by the Forestry Industry Council of Great Britain

    United States
    "Sustainable forestry for tomorrow's world:  1998 progress report on the American Forest and  Paper Association's Sustainable Forestry Initiative programme" by AFSPA
    "Managing forests/managing fire:  a report to Congress on the status of wildfire management  in the US" by AFSPA and National Association of State Forests

    "Markets for certified forest products".  A summary of the UN/ECE Timber Committee's 55th  session special topic