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United Nations Conference for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1994, 4th part


16–27 January 2006 | Geneva, Switzerland
 

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Highlights from Wednesday, 18 January 2006

The world’s principal Producers and Consumers of tropical timber continued to grapple with contentious issues on the third day of the UN Conference for the Negotiation of the Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1994 (ITTA, 1994), Fourth Part. In the morning, Working Group I (WGI) continued to debate the inclusion of “environmental services” within the Preamble and Objectives, while Working Group II (WGII) considered project activities of the Organization; financial accounts; and statistics, studies and information. In the afternoon, smaller sub-groups met informally to resolve specific issues of contention.

 

Working Group I

In the morning, WGI Chair Attah (Ghana) kept delegates focused on outstanding issues in the Preamble and Objectives, such as the inclusion of “environmental” or “ecological” services and managed to avoid re-opening agreed text.

 

Working Group I discussed the objectives of the Agreement
Chair Attah noted further consultation is needed regarding a proposal to include text on “promoting the certification of tropical timber producing forests and information sharing on voluntary mechanisms”
 

The EU and the US discuss with the Chair of WG1. Left to right: Flip van Helden (The Netherlands), John Bazill, European Commission, WGI Chair Alhassan Attah, Ghana, and Stephanie Caswell, US
Iwan Krolis, Suriname, favored one clear objective for ITTO in the chapeau as opposed to two
 
 
John Bazill, European Commission, favored deleting “taking into account the contribution of non-timber forest products and ecological services”
James K. Gasana, Switzerland proposed discussing the issue of recognizing the need for adequate and predictable financial resources together with Articles 20 (Special Account) and 21 (The Bali Partnership Fund)
 
Inga Magistad, Norway, proposed bracketing “environmental services” regarding both timber and non-timber forest products
Left to right: Bambang Tri Hartono, Wahjudi Wardojo, and Tri Tharyat, Indonesia
 
Left to right: Sheam Satkuru-Granzella, Malaysia, Erika del Rocio López Rojas, Mexico, and Luiz Cesar Gasser, Brazil
 
The session was adjourned for an hour while small groups sought to reach compromise on specific contentious issues. Japan led a group on sessions of the Council, and the US led one on special votes.
 
Switzerland led a contact group on the inclusion of environmental services in the chapeau and Objectives.
 

Working Group II

Chair Jürgen Blaser opened the meeting with proposed text on Policy Work, Project Activities and Committees, and then proceeded to proposals on Statistics, Studies and Information. In the afternoon, delegates discussed the financial accounts of the Organization and negotiated a Chair's revised text on the Administrative Account, the Special Account and the Bali Partnership Fund.

 
 
Chair Jürgen Blaser presents proposed text on policy work of the Organization
Chair Jürgen Blaser
 
Daniel Birchmeier, Switzerland, supported Norway's proposal to keep a list of activities for policy work
Juan Carlos González, Venezuela, said that accurate statistics are necessary but measures short of suspension of voting rights might be preferable
Tony Bartlett, Australia, suggested using “broadly” to qualify the contributions of policy work to achieving objectives of ITTO
 
Mbella Mbella, Cameroon pointed out that the article on statistics has three levels of action: first a member must give an account of their inability to provide statistics, then explain reasons for this inaction, and then get restorative support. He claims that this may allow too much latitude to non-compliant countries
Freezailah Che Yeom, Malaysia said that all members are aware of the difficulties and complexities of collecting forest statistics, and that there are problems at the outset, including classification of types of timber
 
Bjorg Merethe Luis, Norway, said that the chair's new text on Policy Work of the Organization adds clarity and makes the article more balanced
Charlotte Cudby, New Zealand, said that a term such as “restorative” might be better than “corrective” for actions appropriate for eliciting provision of statistics and information from members
 
M.L. Vernooij, Netherlands said that policy work should meet ITTO objectives for all members 
Left to right: Rubén Dario Guerrero Useda and Ricardo Velez-Benedetti, Colombia
 
Breakout groups considered one of the paragraphs in the article on statistics, studies and information, regarding the appropriate actions of the Council for members unable or unwilling to provide statistics and information
 

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Links

UNCTAD’s website for the ITTA, 1994 renegotiation, 4th part. Includes the provisional agenda and supporting documents
ITTO Secretariat
UNFF Website
FAO
UNFF Secretariat
UNFCCC Secretariat
CBD Secretariat
ENB coverage of ITTC-39
ENB coverage of the UN Conference for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the ITTA, 1994 - Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3
YMB summary of the Country-Led Initiative “Scoping for a Future Agreement on Forests”, 16-18 November 2005, Berlin, Germany (HTML, PDF, TEXT)
ENB summary from UNFF-5: (English: HTML, PDF, TEXT) (Spanish: HTML, PDF, TEXT) (French: HTML, PDF, TEXT)
YMB summary from the Europe and North Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Conference, 6-8 June, 2005 Moscow, Russia: (HTML, PDF, TEXT)
YMB coverage the Europe and North Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Conference, 22-25 November 2005, St. Petersburg, Russia
ENB archives of forestry meetings 

 
 
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