Europe and Asia have long traditions of forest management and a large volume of trade in both directions of forest products. The Bali Road Map of the UNFCCC and the 2008 ASEM Beijing Sustainable Development both recognise the critical role of forests in combating climate change. Domestic and international trade in forest products is a key factor affecting the conservation and sustainable management of forests, and an understanding of likely future trends in such trade will help in the development of effective forest management policies. Similarly the sharing of information of trends in forest governance, such as decentralisation and international actions to combat illegal logging, will help inform such policies. A focus on 2020 and beyond will facilitate a forward-looking discussion of possible areas of action.

This conference will bring together policy-makers, academics and representatives of civil society and the private sector and will build synergies with other regional processes and programmes e.g. the Commission-funded Regional Support Programme for the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan in Asia, ASEAN initiative in the field of forestry, the Asia Forest Partnership, the East Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance process.