The Conference on Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy took place in Bonn, Germany, from 2-7 October 2011. The Conference was organized by the government of Germany, with support from Finland and Austria, as a Country-Led Initiative (CLI) to support the work of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), and as one of Germany’s activities to celebrate 2011 as the International Year of Forests. Approximately 80 participants representing governments, international and regional organizations, and civil society from around the world attended the conference, which was aimed at exchanging ideas and experiences on the role of forests and sustainable forest management in developing a green economy, and promoting alliances, partnerships and networking.
Following a plenary session on the first day, four parallel Working Groups were created to discuss the challenges and opportunities of: forest valuation and financing; institutions, governance and stakeholders; benefiting people; and technology transfer, capacity building, bio-based products and the role of the private sector. Each of the Working Groups met for four sessions over the course of three days, before presenting the results of their sessions to plenary on the morning of the third day. The recommendations of the Working Groups were then synthesized into a draft “Co-chairs’ summary” by a drafting group, and discussed in plenary on the final day of the conference. The draft summary included five broad categories: “Forests play a key role for achieving a transition to green economy”; “Significant progress has been made since Rio 1992”; “Forests for the future”; “Limitations”; and “Unleashing the potential.”
The Co-chairs’ summary will be revised to take into account suggestions and concerns raised in the final plenary, and transmitted to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, for consideration in the processes leading up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, also called Rio+20), and the tenth session of the UNFF (UNFF10) in 2013.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNFF COUNTRY-LED INITIATIVES
In October 2000, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations established the UNFF as a subsidiary body with the main objective of promoting the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The UNFF succeeded a five-year period (1995-2000) of forest policy dialogue facilitated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF).
During the IPF/IFF process there were 21 country- and international organization-led initiatives, in the form of international meetings, to support the work of the Panel and the Forum. These initiatives were co-sponsored by both developed and developing countries, and also by international and non-governmental organizations. Many of the complex and politically sensitive issues concerning forests were extensively discussed and analyzed in these meetings, helping the consensus building process at the IPF and the IFF sessions.
In view of the contributions made by these initiatives in support of the IPF and IFF processes, the first session of the UNFF in 2001 invited the timely convening of such initiatives to facilitate the work of the Forum. At its sixth session in 2006, the UNFF expanded the role of the initiatives, recommending that they address issues identified in the UNFF’s 2007-2015 multi-year programme of work (MYPOW) for a given cycle, and stressing that the Forum should consider inputs from such Initiatives. Member States were invited to consider sponsoring country-led initiatives to contribute to the work of the Forum.
At its seventh session in 2007, the UNFF adopted the 2007-2015 MYPOW and recommended that the convening of country-, organization- and region-led initiatives focus on topical issues of the programme of work, to inform the upcoming session of the UNFF. The overall themes of the 2007-2015 MYPOW include: forests in a changing environment; means of implementation for sustainable forest management; forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication; forests and economic development; and progress, challenges and the way forward for the international arrangement on forests.
A set of guidelines for country-, organization-, and region-led initiatives in support of the UNFF, revised in 2008, state that the final reports of these initiatives will become official documents of the UNFF session if they are officially transmitted to the United Nations. Over 25 such initiatives have taken place since 2000.
The Ministerial Declaration of the ninth session of the UNFF, held in 2011, called for substantive contributions to UNCSD that highlight the economic, social and environmental benefits of forests, and the contributions of sustainable forest management (SFM) to the themes and goals of the Conference. One of the two themes selected for UNCSD is “Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.” UNFF also chose to set a related theme for its tenth session slated for 2013, “Forests and Economic Development.”
REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE
Co-chair Manfred Konukiewitz, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany, opened the conference and introduced the opening speakers. State Secretary Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, BMZ, discussed the importance of forests to German culture and its economy; Germany’s support for forest-related activities in 30 countries and for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; and Germany’s role in launching the new three-year global initiative looking at the economics of land degradation. He called for the creation of a viable roadmap to a green economy at UNCSD, including changes in land use and combatting deforestation.
Co-chair Everton Vieira Vargas, Brazilian Ambassador to Germany, said processes and actions post-1992 clarified the complexity of protecting forests. He called for new paradigms to address the challenge of international cooperation and said that the conference could contribute to discussions on other challenges, particularly innovation, risk awareness, and technology transfer.
Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF, said while a comparison of the UNCSD logo with that of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development suggests lost humor and “the party is over,” “we should not lose our joy.” She commended country activities celebrating the International Year of Forests (IYOF). Noting the importance of employment as a topic for discussion at this meeting, she urged participants not to forget that “one size does not fit all” when considering green growth policies.
Delivering the keynote, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Conservation International, shared how Costa Rica has overcome development challenges with innovative policies and economic instruments while providing ecosystem services. He pointed to shifting the political mindset away from incentives for landscape change, to integrated knowledge and assigned value for services and goods from nature as a critical starting point. He recounted how, with early support from the government of Germany, economic studies have justified that protected areas can produce value and social benefits. Rodríguez closed by emphasizing that conservation and development can occur at the same time and are not a contradiction.
PLENARY PANEL I: CURRENT CONTRIBUTIONS OF FORESTS TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE ROLE OF THE FOREST SECTOR IN THE TRANSITION TO A GREEN ECONOMY: Delivering the keynote, Sten Nilsson, former Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), said population and economic growth led to increasing demands in the forest sector, particularly in developing countries. He noted that the forest sector contributes to the transition towards a green economy mainly through the value of non-wood forest products, direct employment, ecosystem services, and the provision of an ecological infrastructure. He stressed that embedding the forest sector in a green economy must consider the complete value chain, and requires better understanding of the end-uses and links to other sectors. Cautioning against the use of a single definition of “green economy”, he called for innovation networks based on a concrete vision of how the forest sector can help realize a technology-rich, innovation-driven and service-focused green economy.
Chris Buss, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), stressed the work of the Forest Dialogues in bridging the gaps between investors and rights holders, and showing the potential for partnerships.
Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, stressed the need for the forest community to communicate with other sectors. He discussed the role of certification systems, the proposals for “Earth Bonds” and a global convention on corporate sustainability, and the demand from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for UNCSD to set goals on deforestation and reforestation.
Olof Freiherr von Gagern, Danzer AG, Switzerland, said that despite his company’s commitment to SFM certification, it was proving difficult to get financing for investment in African forestry.
In response to a question, Nilsson stressed the need to link activities on the ground with macroeconomics. He also pointed out that China, Costa Rica, and the Republic of Korea have shown how to reverse land degradation with little international input.
In the ensuing discussion, participants and panelists underscored the: need to involve and consider all stakeholders, particularly women; importance of partnerships; mainstreaming of certification schemes; importance of project management plans that identify frameworks to sustain projects and further investments; need to value all forest services; lack of understanding of the meaning of ecosystem services at the policy level; macro- and microeconomics within a forest economy; and the need to define “green economy”, along with the principles of how a green economy should operate.
PLENARY PANEL II: POTENTIALS OF FORESTS: MEETING MULTIPLE DEMANDS: Delivering the keynote address, Sunita Narain, Director-General, Centre for Science and Environment, India, stressed the role of forests not only as carbon stocks and sinks, but also as habitats and an economic asset base for people, particularly the poorest in the developing world. She said a green economy should be equitable, inclusive and sustainable, in which the development and management of forests accommodate local green futures and sustainable economies of the poor.
Panelist Paola Deda, UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)/UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Forestry and Timber Section, introduced the ECE regional outlook study and green economy action plans as a practical and tangible approach towards accomplishing the objective of UNCSD.
Stefan Sundman, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, outlined his company’s efforts to be an environmentally responsible buyer, but stressed the need to stimulate green consumer demand and behavior if a green economy is to be realized.
Tuukka Castren, World Bank, underscored that: forest sectors are very diverse, and all types should be addressed while acting appropriately to each; the transition to a green economy requires fundamental changes that will take time; and forest projects should take into account surrounding land-use.
Responding to interventions from participants, Deda underscored the importance of understanding the probable consequences of policy options before making decisions. Narain differentiated between forests and forestry, noting the perception of many that forest protection activities are anti-growth and anti-development. In the subsequent discussion, panelists and participants asked what concrete measures and modalities can be devised to ensure forests as a pillar of the green economy; and whether the green economy would really solve developing countries’ problems in gaining financial resources for SFM. They noted that funding from multilateral development banks in the forest sector is driven by the priority the sector has in national development plans.
Following the two panel sessions at plenary on the first day, four Working Groups were created to discuss the national and international challenges and opportunities of: forest valuation and financing; institutions, governance and stakeholders; benefiting people; and technology transfer, capacity building, bio-based products and the role of the private sector. Each of the Working Groups met for four sessions over the course of three days, before presenting the results of their sessions to plenary on the morning of the third day.
Additional brief plenary sessions were held on the mornings of the second and third day, to outline the procedures and vision for Working Group deliberations. The Working Groups also convened in plenary on the afternoon of the second day, to present progress reports and discuss how best to handle several cross-cutting issues identified by the Working Group facilitators. It was decided that capacity building and training, information access and sharing, and the role of science and research and development should be dealt with by several Working Groups, while forest governance, enabling environment and progress in forest law should be handled in Group B (institutions, governance and stakeholders), perhaps with input from the day’s discussion on the subject by Group A (forest valuation and financing).
The Conference’s chief facilitator, Alexander Buck, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), urged all groups to: limit their recommendations to three or four apiece for national and international dimensions; consider the inclusion of references to specific tools and best practices; and keep in mind the Conference theme of the contribution of forests to a green economy.
WORKING GROUP A: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES – FOREST VALUATION AND FINANCING
Working Group Deliberations: The Working Group on Forest Valuation and Financing was facilitated by Bernd-Markus Liss, German Development Corporation (GIZ).
On the afternoon of the first day, the group brainstormed key issues, including: defining and financing the green economy; establishing methods for data collection and mitigating risk; creating an enabling environment through governance; and addressing the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). The group noted that while quality information does exist, for instance within scientific and indigenous communities, it is not readily accessible. The group discussed the impact of stakeholders who are unaware of their role and of cross-linkages; and the challenges within the political economy of decision-making, insecure rights and overlapping tenure, corruption and poverty, and the need to reconcile short-term survival needs with long-term benefits. Acknowledging that national priorities tend to focus on issues such as health care and water management, the group identified opportunities to communicate the impact of the role of forests. The group agreed that financing is available, and leveraging the financing can open new opportunities.
On the morning of the second day, the group discussed financing and forest valuation. Discussions highlighted the opportunity to leverage support for the green economy by: utilizing current attention on forests during IYOF; accessing vast existing resources available; and identifying the instability of the current economic model.
Facilitator Liss then organized three subgroups on: “Political economy, governance and enabling environment,” bearing in mind the discussion in the Working Group B; “Global instruments/opportunities”; and “Forest valuation, communication.” The subgroups reported back in the afternoon session.
The subgroup on the political economy, governance and enabling environments highlighted the need to create a realistic vision of a green economy, to activate political will. In the process of developing suggestions ranging from awareness campaigns for policy makers and the general public, to developing a set of green economy goals similar to those of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the subgroup indentified several cross-cutting issues.
The subgroup on global instruments/opportunities and initiatives identified capacity strengthening and information sharing as key issues. The subgroup on forest valuation, communication asserted that valuation is not a tool, but rather a process to help identify the real value of forest landscapes, and develop analyses to influence financing.
Presenting the group’s discussion to the afternoon plenary, rapporteur Hossein Moeini-Meybodi, UNFF, outlined the key points of discussion including: green accounting as a tool to highlight the role of forests in green economies; comprehensive data and information availability and communication; the role of the informal sector and the “gross domestic product of the poor”; political assessment of future options; initiatives on valuation of forest landscape services; REDD+ investment and green economies; political acceptance of payment for forest services; mobilizing finance; forest financing policies; forest governance and enabling environments; taxes, subsidies and budget allocation; and risks and safeguards.
Rapporteur Moeini-Meybodi also reviewed the list the group had created of specific challenges and opportunities in forest valuation and financing. He concluded by describing the subgroups, and listing cross-cutting issues with other Working Groups including: political will; capacity building; implementation; information and data availability and sharing; governance and anti-corruption measure; research and science; and the empowerment of women.
On the morning of the third day, the group reconvened to prepare their final conclusions and recommendations for the Chairs’ summary, focusing specifically on relevance to UNCSD in the context of sustainable development, poverty alleviation and reduction, and rationality and innovation. Facilitator Liss reviewed outcomes from previous discussions, highlighting: opportunities for implementation; the need for a paradigm shift for economic models as well as viewing the forests as part of a larger landscape; participation; and communication and awareness building.
Report to the Plenary. Rapporteur Moeini-Meybodi’s final report to plenary emphasized the need for continued refinement of Working Group input before submission to the Chairs. The group concluded that while the forest sector offers a vision for a green economy for the future with significant contributions, gaps do exist. The group identified specific existing methodologies, tools and expertise for valuation that require improved application and communication, concluding that national economic policies need to be redefined towards a green economy, including the contribution of the informal sector. Finally, the group agreed that because the causes of deforestation and forest degradation lay mainly outside of the forest sector, policies should also reach beyond the forest sector.
Several recommendations were made, including the importance of: communication and awareness building during the IYOF and UNCSD of the interconnectivity of forests to water and food security; highlighting the GDP contribution of forests; the importance of disaster risk management and rural development; international support for national decision making; knowledge and experience sharing to maximize existing methodologies/tools; capacity building for academics, civil society, and the private sector; application of green accounting by countries to improve communication and cooperation among different policy-making bodies; guidance and tools for countries on green accounting and valuation; use of REDD+ financing, especially for developing countries; and the development of frame conditions in countries, for SFM investments and for fiscal reform towards a green economy.
WORKING GROUP B: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES – INSTITUTIONS, GOVERNANCE AND STAKEHOLDERS
Working Group Deliberations: Facilitated by Evy von Pfeil, GIZ, the Working Group on Institutions, Governance and Stakeholders identified a long and diverse list of issues for discussion, with several participants urging the group to “think outside the box” and consider fundamental transformation of national and international institutions and governance structures dealing with forests, since as one participant put it, “we cannot solve the problem with the same institutions that created it.”
The group agreed to divide into the following three subgroups: subgroup one examined horizontal and vertical cooperation, cross-sectoral and cross-institutional organization and communication; subgroup two discussed the legal framework and enabling conditions; and subgroup three focused on empowering stakeholders through information, innovative technologies and practice.
At midafternoon on the second day, the Working Group reconvened to hear inputs from the subgroups. As reported by rapporteur Jose Luis Sutera, Ministry of Foreign Relations, Argentina, to the plenary later that afternoon, subgroup one concluded that: transformation needs change; business-as-usual is not an option; one size does not fit all; driving forces need to be identified, made transparent and dealt with openly; a gradual approach is needed, starting by tackling simple things first; and an inclusive approach is best in order to build trust and confidence among the partners.
For national recommendations the subgroup suggested, inter alia: examining inter-agency planning and the need for a strong planning authority; defining the appropriate level of integration, and building networks and partnerships across sectors; redefining the forest policy domain; identifying critical actors and civil society institutions for a more prominent role in the development agenda; mainstreaming forests into economic decisions; and employing more science for land use planning. At the international level, the group called for strengthening the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), taking advantage of the 2015 review of international arrangements on forests at UNFF, and redefining the forest policy domain.
Subgroup two, working on the legal framework and enabling conditions, divided its discussions into seven areas: land tenure; gender; youth; promoting investments; legal compliance; institutional arrangements; and capacity building. They noted many examples of clear, strong, enforceable tenure systems that produce strong results in terms of poverty reduction, SFM and revenues for governments. They urged that the potential of women in a green economy should be captured and recognized. The subgroup called for: a full range of investment; forest institutions to adapt to a broader group of stakeholders managing forests; capacity building at all levels; and promotion of sustainable forest products. The subgroup also noted that non-compliance with forest-related legislation poses problems in achieving a green economy.
Subgroup three, working on empowering stakeholders through information, innovative technologies and practice decided to refrain from developing recommendations, since they felt that they were addressing developments that were already a reality and must be adapted to. Instead, they identified useful tools, including Earth observation applications such as remote sensing and Google Earth; and tools to aid community-based activism, organization and monitoring, such as smart phones with global position system (GPS), social networking and realtime feedback loops. They also identified forest-related applications for such tools, including, inter alia: land capability assessment; fire management; preventing, detecting and monitoring illegal logging, mining or other activities in forests; informing policy with better science and information, and dissemination of both; monitoring the results of payment for ecosystem services (PES) and lowering PES payment system transaction costs; lowering costs and increasing transparency of market reference value systems for REDD+; and more efficient matching of buyers and sellers of green products and services.
Report to the Plenary. On the morning of the third day, rapporteur Sutera reported on the conclusions of Working Group B to the plenary, saying that: fragmentation of sectors and institutions dealing with forests should be overcome; countries should follow a gradual and transparent approach involving all stakeholders; the move to a green economy will provide an opportunity for all countries to enhance strengths, fill gaps and improve functionality in forest-related legal frameworks and governance; and changes toward more open and inclusive governance, and the availability of new information and communications technology (ICT), have come together to offer informed choices by policy makers, citizens, consumers and producers.
Regarding national recommendations, the group called for expanding the forest policy perspective in order to achieve a more holistic approach, striving for better inter-agency coordination and planning, and building networks and partnerships across sectors and institutions. The group also called for the integration of forests and forestry into national sustainable development plans and strategies in an inclusive and participatory way; equitable tenure programmes within local communities and organizations; effective legal and institutional frameworks; science and information technology; and an effective role for youth and women. The group called for creating enabling conditions and capacities to expand access to ICT and geospatial technology services to rural and underserved areas, as well as support for transparent and participatory governance of natural resource decision-making.
In their international recommendations, the group called for intensifying the work of the CPF and taking full advantage of the 2015 review of the international arrangement on forests. The group said that UNCSD should welcome and support the growing confluence of open and inclusive governance and emerging information, communication and geospatial technologies for SFM.
WORKING GROUP C: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES – BENEFITING PEOPLE
Working Group Deliberations:Facilitated by Cornelia Sepp, ECO Consulting Group, Germany, the Working Group on Benefiting People was tasked with developing recommendations and conclusions on how to include forests in a green economy in a way that benefits all forest stakeholders.
On the afternoon of the first day, Sepp led a brainstorming activity to identify key issues to guide the rest of the group’s discussions. Participants discussed ways in which benefit-sharing mechanisms could transfer benefits to people. Some participants noted that developed countries were more interested in accessing resources than benefiting people. A participant noted the small size of the group and that all the participants were from developing countries, asking “Why are we dealing with this on our own?” It was suggested that developing countries, as owners of the forests, should play a key role in creating benefit-sharing strategies. Other key issues identified included, inter alia, raising awareness, power relationships, resource ownership and land tenure, and access to finance and technology.
The group divided into two subgroups on the morning of the second day, and reconvened in the afternoon. The first group focused on the development of benefits, particularly value chains, markets, employment, and rights to resources. They identified the lack of political will to address community needs and difficulties in accessing finance as key challenges in developing benefits, saying that most funding supports climate change. They noted the need to increase transparency in the marketing of forest produce, and improve technical assistance to increase local skills and employment. They said uncertainties in land and tree tenure posed a challenge, but recognized that international policy instruments could be used to develop micro-enterprises to increase rights to resources, and foster local economic growth. The group emphasized that lessons learned, particularly success stories, should be exchanged more frequently.
The second subgroup, focusing on benefit-sharing mechanisms and participation, said challenges include, inter alia: low valuation of indigenous knowledge; lack of institutional capacity; and ineffective implementation of frameworks. They noted the need to develop frameworks at the local level, not just at the national and international levels, and identified lack of capacity and information as the main challenges to participation. The group called for improved two-way communication and implementation of fully informed and prior consent programmes. Among the lessons learned, they listed effective stakeholder participation in the design of benefit-sharing mechanisms, fostered through clear legal frameworks and national forest forums, and the need for simple methods to compute benefits.
The Working Group reconvened to discuss final recommendations, which were presented by Rapporteur Linda Mossop-Rousseau from Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), South Africa, in that afternoon’s plenary. The following recommendations, inter alia, were agreed for the national level:
- local and customary practices and rights should be legally recognized by forest management;
- legal and policy frameworks should be improved to ensure participation of all stakeholders;
- legal recognition of major stakeholders should be enhanced, and mechanisms developed to actively engage them in national strategic development plans;
- green jobs should be created for local communities and green microenterprises should be developed at the local level;
- transparency should be improved within the market; and
- free, prior informed consent programmes should be enforced and implemented.
The group felt that platforms should be created at the national level to engage all stakeholders in the design of benefit-sharing schemes for forest products and services, and in the valuation of ecosystem services for the benefit of local communities. It was also suggested that existing international frameworks related to benefit sharing, such as those under the Convention for Biological Diversity, should be implemented.
On the morning of the third day, the group welcomed new participants from developed countries. Discussions reiterated the environmental, social and economic benefits of forests, and the application of forest policies to both developed and developing countries. The recommendations and conclusions discussed earlier were revised to focus on those most relevant to the UNCSD; promoting a green economy; and innovation, clarity and comprehensiveness.
Final Report to the Plenary: Rapporteur Mossop-Rousseau reported to plenary on the group’s behalf. She said the group defined the people who should most benefit from forests as “forest dependent and indigenous people living in economically disadvantaged and rural regions in all countries.”
Mossop-Rousseau said local and customary practices should be legally recognized in law and policy, stressing the need for national governments to explore options to develop clear and appropriate forest tenure arrangements that benefit people. She said the group recommended that donors, foundations and NGOs should be encouraged to allocate resources to local stakeholders for knowledge management, capacity building and technical assistance; and that green jobs and enterprises based on forest products and services should be created at the local level.
Further recommendations from the group focused on legal frameworks to increase participation and enhance recognition of all stakeholders; and national communication strategies on the role of forests in a green economy, targeted at all relevant stakeholders to enhance information exchange and networking. On benefit-sharing mechanisms, the group recommended, inter alia, the need to create specific platforms to engage stakeholders in the design of benefit-sharing schemes for specific forest products and services, including valuation of ecosystems services for the benefit of local communities, and the need to conduct research on, and develop clear modalities for, benefit sharing.
WORKING GROUP D: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES – TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, CAPACITY BUILDING, BIO-BASED PRODUCTS AND THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Working Group Deliberations: Working Group D, facilitated by Anja Wucke, GIZ, Germany, convened on the afternoon of the first day, and clustered discussions into green investments, products and services; production processes; and the transfer of technologies and capacities.
Participants discussed the criteria of green investment, including resource efficiency, social equity, renewable raw material, ecosystem services, and climate-friendly measures. Regarding bio-based products, discussions focused on wood and non-wood bio-refinery technologies, new functionalities derived from the application of bio-refineries to increase efficiency of production processes and resource stocks, and life cycle assessment. The discussion on production processes focused on adding value along the value chain while taking into account the equity aspect; standing forests and forest products; certification and standard schemes; and forest owners and users. Participants identified enabling tools, including: training and education; research and development for technology transfer and capacity building; PES; and sharing of best practices.
On the morning of the second day, participants had an in-depth discussion on the opportunities and challenges related to forest products and production. Among the opportunities the group listed, inter alia, the:
- increasing demand for, and the renewable and degradable features of, forest-related products;
- scarcity and increasing prices of non-forest products related to fossil- and mineral-based resources;
- existing understanding and methods of SFM and forest certification;
- diversity of products and services;
- new trend in favor of environmentally friendly products, and increasing green awareness at various levels;
- accessibility of agro-forestry products at the community level;
- linkages with climate benefits and carbon stock;
- potential to increase the forest stock;
- awareness of cleaner production;
- green jobs implication; and
- poverty elevation potential.
The group listed the following challenges:
- reflecting the true costs of non-green products;
- converting green awareness into willingness to pay;
- integrating local communities into the global market;
- accessing information at all levels;
- avoiding trade barriers resulting from standards and certification;
- transforming innovations into practice;
- creating a level playing field with competitive non-forest products;
- indirect return of investments, which constrains private sector initiatives;
- difficulties in accessing finance;
- monitoring production standards;
- lack of available information on greener production for consumers and producers; and
- the shortage of labor and competences.
In the afternoon, the group looked into the opportunities and challenges regarding green investment, and technology transfer and capacity building. They discussed best practices and success factors in relation to all the issue clusters. The group agreed that the forest sector could potentially provide an area for long-term and safe investment with multiple benefits related to biodiversity, climate change, water and health, and with positive effects for rural communities. Participants noted that the forest sector should take advantage of the existing momentum and political attention on promoting a green economy. They identified the matching of investments with needs as a key challenge. Noting the multifaceted nature of technology transfer and capacity building, some participants highlighted the importance of enabling technology transfer on a commercial basis, while others anticipated that public funding would be less attractive to the private sector if technology sharing is compulsory. On best practices and success factors, the pros and cons of measures such as environmental levies, voluntary markets, eco-labeling, life cycle assessments, emission-trading schemes, certified forest schemes and feed-in tariffs were debated.
The group reconvened on the morning of the third day to finalize conclusions and recommendations for plenary.
Final Report to the Plenary: The group rapporteur Heikki Granholm, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland, presented the group’s conclusions and recommendations to the plenary on the morning of the third day. He said the forest sector could:
- satisfy not only the growing and changing markets on food, feed, fiber and fuel, the so-called “4Fs,” but also the expectations of society through innovation in forest management;
- develop new process technologies and new forest- and bio-based products;
- offer employment in rural areas, contributing to livelihoods and poverty alleviation; and
- improve resource efficiency while reducing the environmental footprint in terms of effluents, emissions, and wastes.
He noted that the forest sector is attractive for green investors seeking safe and long-term rates on returns, together with multiple co-benefits related to climate change, biodiversity, protective functions for soil and water, and employment for communities. The Working Group, he said, recognized that significant progress has been made in improving management of forests and production processes, and in demonstrating progress to markets through various instruments, including standards, certification, eco-labeling, and chain of custody. He highlighted that more work is needed to ensure a level playing field between different products and/or regions; and to expand green markets through increasing the willingness to pay for green products, improving access to market information, and raising consumer awareness. On behalf of the Working Group, he called for actions to:
- clarify and/or ensure land tenure and ownership rights at the national and local levels as prerequisites to a green economy;
- ensure tools used to demonstrate the sustainability credentials of the forest sector guarantee fair competition with other resource-based sectors, and fair trade between countries;
- overcome the information gap between academia and practitioners via public-private partnerships; and
- dedicate seed funds from the public sector and/or private sector to help local communities develop businesses and acquire access to market, and to support pre-competitive research and development for innovation.
Following the reports from the four Working Groups to plenary on the morning of the third day, Co-chair Vargas thanked the groups for their hard work. Chief facilitator Buck explained that a drafting group, composed of Working Group facilitators, rapporteurs and Conference organizers would work on formulating the draft Co-chairs’ summary while the rest of the participants went on a boat trip on the Rhine. Co-chair Vargas urged the drafters “not to be shy, be ambitious, but also realistic.”
On the morning of the final day of the conference, Co-chairs Vargas and Konukiewitz presented a draft Co-chairs’ Summary to the plenary, aimed at conveying a concise and strategic message from the Conference to UNCSD and UNFF10. The summary synthesized findings and recommendations from panels, keynote presentations, plenary discussions and the output of the four Working Groups. Commending the drafting committee for their hard work, the Co-chairs said the document was not part of a formal negotiation process, and would therefore not be open to renegotiation.
DRAFT CO-CHAIRS’ SUMMARY: The draft summary is a six-page document containing an introduction and a set of main conference findings, including a final section on “unleashing the potential,” with recommended actions. The recommendations are based on the themes of the conference’s four Working Groups, and include a section on cross-cutting issues.
Introduction: The introduction briefly describes the conference and its key objective of providing conclusions and recommendations, on realizing the potential of forests in building a green economy, to UNCSD and UNFF10. It also cautions that the Co-chairs’ Summary does not imply that a consensus was reached on all elements, but rather only seeks to describe the general perceptions of conference participants.
Major Findings: The findings are grouped into five broad categories: “Forests play a key role for achieving a transition to green economy”; “Significant progress has been made since Rio 1992”; “Forests for the future”; “Limitations”; and “Unleashing the potential.”
“Forests play a key role” points out that forests: provide a variety of goods and services that support human well-being and poverty reduction; contribute to long-term social and economic development; reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities; and provide income, subsistence and livelihood to millions. The draft summary also emphasized that green investments in the forest sector are attractive for those who are looking for safe and long-term rates on return, together with multiple co-benefits such as climate mitigation, biodiversity conservation, protective functions related to soil, water, flood control, and employment for indigenous people.
“Significant progress” highlights key environmental, economic, political, cultural and technological changes since UNCED in 1992, which have, inter alia: enabled more informed choices; changed perceptions of forests, their values and benefits; led to the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (NLBI) and the integration of forests into the work of several multilateral environmental agreements; and improved forest law enforcement, governance and related trade, as well as the application of voluntary market mechanisms.
“Forests for the future” asserts that forests have the potential to contribute to overcoming challenges such as poverty, hunger, employment, renewable energy, climate change and biodiversity loss. Realizing such potential requires innovative policies and market solutions that assign appropriate value to forest benefits, and present forests as investment-worthy assets in the economic system.
“Limitations” notes the continuing loss of forests; the increasing land use competition; the bias in the current economic system that favors short-term economic benefits over long-term sustainable investment; incomplete accounting and inadequate market valuation of the economic values of forest goods and services; and pressures on forests resulting from increasing and competing demands for forests goods and services, food and raw materials.
“Unleashing the potential” posits that the emergence of a green economy provides an opportunity for developing policy frameworks and market instruments that effectively curb deforestation and forest degradation, and unleash the full potential of forests to contribute to long-term sustainable development.
Institutions, Governance and Stakeholders: This section identified recommendations to overcome fragmentation of sectors and institutions dealing with forests, and enhance strengths, fill gaps and improve functionality in forest-related legal frameworks and governance practices. The six recommendations in this section include:
- Achieving a more holistic approach to forests by taking into account the environmental, social and economic dimensions;
- Striving for better inter-agency coordination and planning, and building networks and partnerships across sectors and institutions;
- Integrating forests and forestry into national sustainable development plans and strategies in an inclusive and participatory way, addressing: the role of youth and gender; equitable tenure systems; the need for effective legal and institutional frameworks; and science and ICT;
- Creating enabling conditions and capacity to expand access to ICT and geospatial technology services to rural and underserved areas, in order to support transparent and participatory decision-making about natural resources;
- Enhancing coordination among international organizations by strengthening the work of the CPF and its members; and
- Taking full advantage of the 2015 review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests.
Forest Valuation and Finance: This section identifies recommendations to maximize the value of forests, utilize existing opportunities and communicate and share information and capacities to transform national economic policies towards a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development. The six recommendations in this section include:
- Providing and sharing information, experiences and tools regarding valuation; including the informal sector’s contribution in national accounting systems; building relevant capacities for country specific application involving academia, civil society, and the private sector;
- Utilizing REDD+ financing, especially for small island developing states and low forest cover countries;
- Promoting fiscal reforms to stimulate transformation to a green economy, taking into account national circumstances;
- Developing and applying a payment for ecosystem services system related to forests;
- Initiating a comprehensive assessment of available knowledge regarding valuation of forest goods and services in practice; and
- Taking a meaningful decision on forest financing at UNFF10 in 2013, as envisaged in the resolutions of UNFF9.
Benefiting People: This section is identified as one of the guiding principles and main characteristics of a green economy, underlining that forests supply unique, and sometimes the only opportunity to generate income and employment, particularly for forest dependent indigenous people and local communities. Recommendations for further actions in the section include:
- Enhancing involvement of stakeholders by developing and implementing a legal and policy framework for participation in decision making regarding forests, and in the design of mechanisms for sharing benefits from specific forest products and services;
- Researching and developing clear models for benefit sharing;
- Creating employment and generating income from forest products and services at the local level;
- Recognizing local and customary practices in law or in policy and taking them into account in the practice of SFM;
- National governments exploring options to develop clear and appropriate forest tenure arrangements benefiting people;
- Encouraging governments, donors, foundations and NGOs to channel resources to local stakeholders for knowledge management, organization, capacity building, and technical assistance;
- Developing and implementing national and regional communication strategies regarding the role of forests in a green economy, targeted at all relevant stakeholders across sectors; and
- Fully implementing international forest related traditional knowledge and the free, prior and informed consent principles.
Bio-based Products and the Private Sector: Recognizing the multiple renewable resources possessed in forests, this section states that the forest sector can satisfy the growing and changing markets for food, feed, fiber and fuel, and meet the expectations of society, including ecosystem services, through innovation in forest management, process technologies, and new forest and bio-based products. It highlights the significant progress made in improving forest management and production processes, reflected through voluntary forest certification and chain of custody verification. It also stresses the need for a level playing field between different products and/or regions, and for consistency and harmony with relevant international obligations. This section states that green markets can be expanded through increased willingness-to-pay for green products, better access to market information, and raised consumer awareness.
The recommendations for further action in this section include:
- Ensuring tools used to enhance and demonstrate the sustainability of forest management and production processes guarantee fair competition with other resource-based sectors, and fair trade between countries;
- Promoting public and private partnerships to strengthen dialogue and information flow between science and practice along the whole value chain;
- Dedicating seed funds from public and/or private sector to support pre-competitive research and development for innovation, and help local communities to develop businesses and get access to markets; and
- Ensuring transparency of value chains and markets for forest products and services.
Cross-cutting Issues: This section highlights the following cross-cutting issues for particular attention:
- Mainstreaming gender in all forest policies and programmes at national and international levels;
- Promoting international cooperation in research, development, transfer and diffusion of technology;
- Promoting capacity development, in particular for developing countries and local communities;
- Enhancing participation and active involvement of all relevant stakeholders in decision making and implementation; and
- Further strengthening international cooperation on assessment and monitoring of forests and the products and services they provide.
DISCUSSION OF THE DRAFT CO-CHAIR’S SUMMARY: During the plenary discussion of the draft Co-Chair’s Summary, participants requested: the inclusion of new language to express urgency; addressing substantial grammatical editing; highlighting the role of forests, not only the forest sector, within the broader landscape and economy; the inclusion of non-wood forest products; adding the term “local communities” with indigenous people; and acknowledging aquatic biodiversity when discussing biodiversity.
Topics noted as missing in the document included, inter alia: the present global financial crisis; the role of water; and the economic role of forests amongst the blue- and white-collar communities. Other topics addressed by participants included: the prioritization of forests across national ministries when discussing the potential for sustainable development; the importance of SFM when addressing limitations and associated pressures on rights holders alongside stakeholders; and the consideration of human capacity building to enable evaluation of forest contributions.
Multiple participants raised the need to address: technology transfer and capacity building; avoidance of non-tariff barriers; and new additional financial resources when considering bio-based products and the private sector.
On the need for new and additional financial resources, Co-chair Vargas noted the text referred to the agreement on NLBI, which includes provisions on finance. One private sector representative suggested incorporating the substantial benefits provided by the forest sector, another noted that clarity on the scope of bio-based products is needed. Jan McAlpine, UNFF, cautioned against singling out any specific agreements.
Taking note of all the comments, Co-chair Vargas highlighted the need for consistency with relevant international obligations, which capture a broad range of trade barriers including non-tariff barriers. He said the final summary would incorporate the views to the maximum extent possible.
CLOSURE OF THE CONFERENCE
Reiterating the balance and comprehensiveness of the text and encouraging countries to take on the recommendations in their respective preparations for UNCSD, Co-chairs Vargas and Konukiewitz said the summary will be finalized and posted online by 14 October 2011.
Michael Martin, FAO, made closing remarks highlighting the need to: unify the efforts across initiatives and institutions on forests for UNCSD; integrate knowledge from science and practices, and from stakeholders at all levels in the forest community; and increase the visibility of forest products as part of the solution to move beyond disunity in the marketplace.
The Conference closed on 7 October 2011, at 11:35 am.
Conference on the Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension: Hosted by the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), this conference will examine: the social impacts and distributional consequences of policies and processes associated with the green economy; the potential and limits of structural and institutional change; and agency and social mobilization for institutional and policy change. dates: 10-11 October 2011 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Kiah Smith, UNRISD e-mail:email@example.com www: http://www.unrisd.org/
Joint Session of the UNECE Timber Committee and the FAO European Forestry Commission: The Joint Session will adopt the Action Plan on the Role of the Forest Sector in a Green Economy, which is intended to provide policymakers with ideas for ways and means of improving and promoting the forest sector’s contribution to a green economy. It could be presented to UNCSD as a practical contribution to greener economies in the ECE region. dates: 10-14 October 2011 location: Antalya (Antalya), Turkey contact: UNECE Forestry and Timber Section phone: +41 22 917 1286 fax: +41 22 917 0041 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/efc/en/
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa: The UN Economic Commission for Africa and partners will convene an African regional preparatory meeting for the UNCSD. dates: 10-14 October 2011 location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contact: UNCSD Secretariat e-mail:email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26
GEF Carbon Benefits Project Workshop: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is organizing this workshop to showcase a set of methodologies and tools to measure, monitor and model carbon stock changes and greenhouse gas emissions in a standardized way. date: 11 October 2011 venue: World Bank Headquarters location: Washington (District of Columbia), United States of America contact: Robin Burgess e-mail:Robin.Burgess@unep.org www: http://www.unep.org/climatechange/carbon-benefits/
Sharing Green Economy Best Practices Towards Rio+20: The Polish Ministry of the Environment is organizing a high-level conference aimed at consultation between EU member states and key countries in the process of preparing for the UNCSD conference. dates: 11-12 October 2011 location: Warsaw, Poland contact: Agnieszka Koz-Bowska-Korbicz (Ministry of the Environment) phone: +48 22 57 92 855 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=13&nr=321&menu=46
First Global Green Growth Forum: The Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) is an initiative by the Danish Government, launched with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea and developed in association with the international Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to hold annual high-level forums in Denmark for representatives from governments, global corporations, investors and experts in order to come up with solutions on how to reap the economic growth potential of the industrial transition to a green economy. Selected outcomes and recommendations from the 3GF sessions will flow into the third meeting of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in London in April 2012, as well as its related initiatives. dates: 11-12 October 2011 location: Copenhagen, Denmark contact: Louise Jørgensen phone: +45 33 32 17 11 www: http://www.globalgreengrowthforum.com
Seventh UN-REDD Program Policy Board Meeting: Participation in the seventh UN-REDD Policy Board Meeting is by invitation only. dates: 13-14 October 2011 location: Berlin, Germany e-mail:email@example.com www: http://www.unredd.org/PolicyBoard/7thPolicyBoard/tabid/54129/Default.aspx
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting in the Arab Region: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and partners will convene an Arab regional meeting in preparation for UNCSD. dates: 16-17 October 2011 location: Cairo, Egypt contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26
International Year of Forests: Research Needs and Perspectives: The National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Department of Earth and Environment, in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization is organizing an international conference on the scientific gaps and challenges related to scientific research in the field of forestry and environmental sciences. date: 17 October 2011 venue: CNR Headquarters location: Rome, Italy contact: Dipartimento Terra Ambiente Segreteria phone: +39 06 4993 3836 fax: +39 06 4993 3887 e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.dta.cnr.it/index.php?lang=en
34th Meeting of the CDM Afforestation/Reforestation Working Group: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Afforestation/Reforestation Working Group will meet to consider issues relating to baselines and monitoring methodologies for CDM afforestation/reforestation project activities. dates: 17-19 October 2011 location: Bonn (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Germany contact: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat phone: +49 228 815 1000 fax: +49 228-815-1999 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://cdm.unfccc.int/calendar/index.html
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting in the Asia-Pacific Region: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and partners will convene a regional meeting in preparation for UNCSD. dates: 17-20 October 2011 location: Seoul, Republic of Korea contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26
Fifth Latin American Forestry Congress (CONFLAT V): The fifth Latin American Forestry Congress, co-sponsored by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Peru’s La Molina National Agrarian University and Peru’s National Forestry Chamber, will discuss: forests and climate change; degraded areas and reforestation; forest governance in Latin America; advances in forestry zoning in tropical forests; and the international market, value-added and environmental services of forests. dates: 18-21 October 2011 location: Lima, Peru phone: +511 651 6197 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2011: Organized by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), this meeting will convene under the theme “The tipping point: Sustained stability in the next economy.” The 2011 Roundtable aims to provide a platform for the global financial sector to define what it expects to achieve at UNCSD. dates: 19-20 October 2011 location: Washington, DC contact: Cecilia Serin fax: +41 22 796 9240 email:email@example.com www:http://www.unepfi.org/washington
Rediscovering Wood, the Key to a Sustainable Future: FAO with the Government of India will hold this international conference on how the production and use of wood products can contribute to sustainable development. The conference will focus on the socioeconomic, aesthetic and cultural dimensions of wood use. dates: 19-22 October 2011 location: Bangalore, India contact: Adrian Whiteman e-mail:Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.artjoywood.org
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa Region (ECA): The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and partners will organize a regional implementation meeting (RIM) for the African region, in preparation for UNCSD. dates: 20-25 October 2011 location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26
UNEP FI Banking for Biodiversity Workshop: Hosted by UNEP FI, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, the Equator Principles and the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme, this workshop aims to raise awareness and build capacity at banks to identify and manage biodiversity and ecosystem services risks in project finance, corporate loans and investments. dates: 21 October 2011 location: Washington DC, United States of America contact: Sunyoung Suh fax: +41-2279-69240 e-mail:Sunyoung.email@example.com www: http://www.unepfi.org/events/2011/biodiversity_workshop/inde...
GURN Workshop on Green Economy: The Global Union Research Network (GURN), in collaboration with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), invites the participation of trade unionists and researchers to a workshop on the challenges a green economy poses for organized labor. dates: 24-25 October 2011 venue: International Trade Union House location: Brussels, Belgium contact: Anabella Rosemberg phone: +41 22 799 70 87 fax: +41 22 799 65 70 e-mail: Anabella.Rosemberg@ituc-csi.org www: http://www.gurn.info/en/call-for-papers-a-green-economy-that-works-for-social-progress
High-Level Expert Group Meeting on Using Green Agriculture to Stimulate Economic Growth and Eradicate Poverty: This high-level meeting is being co-organized by the Government of Israel, through MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation), the Ministry of Agriculture, and the UNCSD Secretariat to raise awareness of the central role that green and sustainable agriculture can play to stimulate economic growth and combat poverty through the sharing of know-how, best practices and lessons learned. dates: 25 - 27 October 2011 location: Ramat Gan, Israel www: http://uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=13&nr=391&menu=46
Second Asia Pacific Forestry Week: This event will take place in conjunction with the 24th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission. dates: 7-11 November 2011 location: Beijing, China contact: FAO phone: +66 2 697 4000 fax: +66 2 697 4445 e-mail: FAO-RAP@fao.org www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/ap-forestry-week/en/
UNCTAD Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on the Green Economy: Trade and Sustainable Development Implications: Organized by the Secretariat of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), this meeting will address the trade and sustainable development implications of the green economy, in particular, the concerns related to new forms of green protectionism and aid conditionality. dates: 8-11 November 2011 venue: Palais des Nations, Room XXVI location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: UNCTAD Secretariat phone: +41 0 22 917 5731 fax: +41 0 22 917 0247 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.unctad.org/Templates/meeting.asp?intItemID=2068&lang=1&m=21807&info=not
Bonn 2011 Conference: The Conference on “Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus”: Solutions for the Green Economy: Organized by the German government, this conference pursues two objectives: to develop cross-sectoral solutions for achieving water, energy and food security; and to position the interface of water, energy and food security within the discourse of the UNCSD process and green economy. dates: 16-18 November 2011 location: Bonn, Germany contact: Imke Thiem phone: +49 6196 79 1547 e-mail:email@example.com www: http://www.water-energy-food.org/
ITTC 47: The 47th meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC 47) and associated sessions of the four committees will be held in Antigua, Guatemala. dates: 14-19 November 2011 location: Guatemala contact: ITTO Secretariat phone: +81 45 223 1110 fax: +81 45 223 1111 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.itto.int
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for ECE Region: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will convene a regional meeting in preparation for the UNCSD. dates: 1-2 December 2011 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: UNCSD Secretariat e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26
Forest Day 5: Forest Day 5 will take place on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC. The Day will seek to inform the UNFCCC global agenda and forest stakeholders on ways to implement an international REDD+ funding mechanism that produces social and environmental benefits, above and beyond avoided emissions. date: 4 December 2011 location: Durban, South Africa e-mail:CIFOR-FORESTDAY@cgiar.org www: http://www.forestsclimatechange.org/events/forest-day/forest-day-5.html
Second Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD: The second intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in late 2011. dates: 15-16 December 2011 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, United States of America contact: UNCSD Secretariat e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=13&nr=46&menu=46
Third Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD: The third intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in early 2012. dates: 26-27 March 2012 location: New York City, United States of America contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=25
18th Session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission: The 18th session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission will convene alongside the second African Forestry and Wildlife Week and will consider the theme “The Importance of Governance and Benefit Sharing in the Sustainable Management of African Forests, Trees and Wildlife”. dates: 16-20 January 2012 location: Cotonou, Benin contact: Foday Bojang phone: +233 30 267 5000 fax: +233 30 266 8427 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/afwc/en/
Third PrepCom for UNCSD: The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD will take place in Brazil just prior to the conference. dates: 28-30 May 2012 location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat e-mail:email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD): UNCSD will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. dates: 4-6 June 2012 location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/