On Friday, 5 April, the Resumed Third Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) on Forests in Europe (INC-Forests3) opened with a short presentation by Poland on its plans for hosting INC-Forests4 from 10-14 June 2013 in Warsaw.
A non-paper summarizing in chart form the responses from FAO, UNECE and UNEP regarding the various issues and options involving bringing the LBA under the UN umbrella was distributed to the Commitee.
Facilitator Liubov Poliakova, Ukraine, reported on the results of the contact group on terms and definitions. The Committee discussed the section's text paragraph-by-paragraph, making significant progress. Outstanding issues remain, including on the definitions of "forest," "goods," "forest fragmentation" and "forest degradation."
Facilitator Stephen Lowe, UK, reported on the results of the legal expert group's review of the final clauses and the draft annex on arbitration. Lowe noted that the group had removed brackets from the final clauses except where the question went beyond the group's mandate and required a decision by the full Committee. As for the draft annex, the group recommended some minor textual changes but left it up to the Committee to make the political decision of whether it wanted such an annex. The INC then reviewed the group's suggested textual changes.
The Committee also discussed provisions relating to the Conference of the Parties, the right to vote and the secretariat, clarifying options and adding new text. These articles remain partially bracketed.
In the afternoon plenary, the Committee removed brackets from the preamble and finished agreeing ad referendum all its paragraphs. The INC Secretariat presented an oral report on the status of the Trust Fund for INC-Forests, and Hungary and Sweden announced new pledges for the Fund of 10,000 Euros and US$10,000, respectively. The Committee then amended and approved a provisional agenda for INC-Forests4, and the draft report of INC3.
During the closing plenary, the EU, Switzerland and Chair Heino all noted the cooperative spirit that had resulted in progress being made at INC-Forests3, but cautioned that many key tasks still faced the final round of negotiations at INC-Forests4.
Return to this webpage on Monday, 8 April 2013, for the IISD RS summary of the resumed session of INC-Forests3.