32nd Meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council
Bali, Indonesia - 13-18 May 2002
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Tuesday, 14 May

Delegates began day two of ITTC-32 in sessions of the Committees on Reforestation and Forest Management (CRF) and on Finance and Administration (CFA). Participants then met in the Annual Market Discussion to hear a variety of presentations on country situations and on creating greater opportunities for tropical timber, and a keynote address on how forestry can contribute to sustainable development. Over the lunch hour, the ITTO Secretariat presented a side-event on the organization's role in forest fire management. Delegates began the afternoon in a Council session, then broke for concurrent sessions of the CRF and the Committee on Economic Information and Market Intelligence (CEM). Left: the CRF in session.

Annual Market Discussion
Keynote speaker Dr. Patrick Moore, Greenspirit Inc. (http://www.greenspirit.com, photo above right), said that trees hold the answer to humanity's transition to sustainability. After an overview of his personal history of activism, he stated that "to the best of our knowledge, forestry had never been the primary cause of the extinction of any species," and noted that the only source for the oft-quoted number of 50,000 lost species per year due to deforestation only exists as a computer model of a Harvard professor. He stated that species extinction is in fact due to hunting, land conversion for agriculture, and introduction of exotic predators. He noted that volcanoes and wildfires can be more destructive than a clear-cut, yet forests always recover. He demonstrated how human intervention can speed the recovery process. Lamenting the emphasis placed on aesthetic appeal over scientific understanding, he said "the way a landscape looks to our eyes, whether it is pretty or ugly, should not be used to judge the health of the environment." He noted that despite their ugliness, clear-cuts are higher in biodiversity than meadows. He stated that the present call by the environmental movement to boycott wood products is misguided and counter-productive, since it sends the message that trees are unwanted and should not be planted. He said that growing trees and using more wood is an effective way of combating climate change.
 
Jim Bourke spoke on various ways of creating greater opportunities for tropical timber trade through the ITTO's work.
Listen to excerpts from Moore's "Trees are the answer" presentation: Part one  Part two.

Ensuing discussion centered on some misquoted data attributed to CIFOR and the need to invite opposing or alternate views.

 
Dr. Moore is seen here speaking with David Kaimowitz, Director-General of CIFOR (in blue shirt).

Side-event: The ITTO's Role in Forest Fire Management
Presented by the ITTO Secretariat
James Dunlop, Former Head of the Forest Protection Branch, British Columbia, addressed fire fighting capacity in Brazil and Ghana, and highlighted, inter alia, that fire is an important tool used in the agricultural economy; a highly sophisticated and accurate monitoring system and elite group of firefighters in Brazil; and lack of sophisticated communication and weather and fire danger monitoring in Ghana. He recommended a national fire coordination center; fire reporting systems; and improving communications..
 
James Sorensen, Consultant, Former USDA Firefighting Service, addressed the ITTO's role in dealing with fire in the tropics. He said tropical forests were once considered fireproof, which has left many unprepared to deal with fires, and that existing fire management programmes have been used as models for those without such programmes. He said the ITTO provides a wealth of opportunities and that the ITTO Guidelines on Fire Management in Tropical Forests can also be applied and tailored to specific country conditions. He said components of a fire management programme include: prevention (education, engineering, enforcement); detection (patrol, towers, aircraft, notification by the public); suppression (operations, logistics, planning, finance); and fire use. .
 
Dicky Simorangkir, WWF/IUCN Firefight Project, South-East Asia, highlighted an imbalance in policies and regulations on fire management in South-East Asia and unclear roles and responsibilities. He emphasized the importance of local knowledge and involvement of stakeholders and recommended integrated fire management plans.
 
 
Joao Antonio Raposo Pereira, Fire Monitoring Coordinator, PROARCO, MMA/IBAMA, Brazil, outlined a programme to prevent and combat large forest fires in the Amazon. He discussed, inter alia, monitoring with satellite location systems, difference between burnings and wildfires, and solidarity burning. He said future steps will include preparing magnetic cards for prescribed burnings, and developing sensors for fire mapping and the Brazilian Equatorial Orbit Satellite to cover Africa and Southeast Asia. .
 
Ross Smith, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, proposed establishing a forest management agency in West Kalimantan, and emphasizing involvement of local people, called for simple solutions rather than technological ones.
 
Daddy Ruhiyat, University of Mulawarman, East Kalimantan, presented a project on field testing of forest fire prevention based on indigenous knowledge. Participants discussed the expected role of the ITTO's role in forest fires, with some noting that burning for land clearing is beyond the ITTO's scope, although ITTO could address exchange of information and experiences between countries. .

Bureau Meeting
View of the Chairperson's Bureau Meeting, where the organizational aspects of the meeting are worked out.

 

 


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