COFO 19 Concludes Successfully
Above: COFO Chair Abigail Kimbell, US and fellow panelist Russ
Taylor, International Markets Group, talked with participants before
the morning event on economic turbulence.
On Friday, delegates gathered for the final day of the 19th session of the
FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) and World Forest Week at FAO headquarters
The morning began with a World Forest Week special event on the impacts of
economic turbulence on the forest sector. After this event, the COFO
Secretary announced a recess to provide additional time for preparation of
the report of the meeting.
Plenary convened at in the afternoon, chaired by COFO Vice-Chair Kubilay
Ozyalcin of Turkey, and delegates discussed the draft report. On the summary
of discussions on shaping an action programme for FAO in forestry, the Czech
Republic, speaking on behalf of the EU, proposed to move text referring to
fact that the process of priority-setting in FAO is work in progress into a
paragraph on the FAO Strategy for Forests and Forestry. Many countries
raised objections, with Ecuador pointing out that the Strategy for Forests
and Forestry cannot be revised by the committee working on FAO reforms.
Australia queried whether the EU's disagreement with the text referred to
recommending the use of technical experts in the FAO's priority-setting
process, which was not mentioned in either paragraph. The Czech Republic,
for the EU, responded that he had reserved his overall position within the
drafting group's discussions but ultimately withdrew the proposal so as not
to block consensus on the report, and this was well received by the plenary.
Delegates adopted the report, and after brief closing statements Chair
Ozyalcin declared the 19th session of COFO closed at 4:06pm.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the 19th
Session of the Committee on Forestry will be available from this site on
Monday, 23 March 2009.