UNFF19: High level segment roundtable

UNFF19's (United Nations Forum on Forests) high level segment roundtable.

Excellencies, chair, Director of UNFF, members of the forum,

One hundred years ago the forests in Norway were depleted from overexploitation.

Political action has reversed this situation. The forest practices have changed through the years but the goal of the Norwegian forest policies in the last century has remained to safeguard the forests for future generations while serving the present needs of society.

Norway’s economy has been increasingly dependent on oil and gas. Today, we face a need to change our economy in a green direction. Forest and wood industries is one of the priority areas in the governments new green industrial initiative.

The possibilities from utilising wood and other biomass are endless. As the demand for wood easily could exceed a sustainable supply, we will have to respect the principles of sustainable forest management. We need to develop new ways to use the resources effective and increase circular use of wood where possible.

We will also have to adapt our forests to a changing climate. This includes the right choice of plants and species for regeneration, and new management methods. Forestry must be profitable to secure investments in sustainable forest management and a predictable supply for the forest industries.

Science, innovation, and technology will play an important role, both in climate adaption of the forests and for substituting fossil-based materials and energy.

Other challenges are related to private finance involvement in innovation and untested technologies, and regulatory issues. Here governments have a role in risk relief to encourage establishment and development of new industries.

Looking outside our own country, we acknowledge the importance of global cooperation for protecting the pristine tropical forests that still exist around the world.

In 2008, Norway launched our International Climate and Forest Initiative – our most important international contribution for the climate, and for nature.

Since then, Norway has disbursed five billion dollars to preserve tropical forests. We will continue this effort at high levels at least through 2030.

We are engaged in multiple partnerships with important forest countries, and we see unprecedented political leadership to protect forests in countries like Brazil, Indonesia, and Colombia.

Excellencies, enhanced efforts to implement the UN strategic plan for forests are necessary to solve the global challenges we are facing. Norway aligns itself to the global forest goals and will continue to be a partner in reaching those.