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United Nations Forum on Forests
First Substantive Meeting
UN Headquarters, New York, USA 11-22 June 2001
 

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Update for Wednesday, 13 June 


On the third day of UNFF-1, delegates met in Plenary to discuss the multi-year programme of work (MYPOW), the plan of action (PoA), and the initiation of work with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

Left photo: The dias during the morning session

PLENARY

MYPOW:


ECUADOR reported progress in its national forest policy, including a legal framework for SFM based on accepted criteria and indicators (C&I). He expressed hope for achieving greater coordination among countries and organizations, and stressed the importance of parallel actions at the national, regional and international levels.








ARGENTINA proposed making the issue of trade a thematic focus, and holding an expert group meeting on finance and technology transfer. He said that a ministerial segment should approve the PoA during UNFF-2, and expressed satisfaction with forest-related work within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).




COSTA RICA stressed the importance of reaching agreement on the MYPOW and the PoA at UNFF-1. He emphasized the need to establish criteria to measure progress, and supported using existing experience and monitoring systems to develop them. He supported holding a ministerial segment at UNFF-2.



GHANA said the MYPOW should focus on implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action, particularly removal of impediments to national forest programme (NFP) implementation. He stressed that the PoA should have clear objectives and strategies for intergovernmental work, mechanisms to facilitate national implementation, strategic targets, and financial provisions, particularly at the national level.




The INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS AND TRIBAL PEOPLES OF TROPICAL FORESTS called for full and effective participation of indigenous peoples, NGOs and civil society in forest discussions at the international level. He lamented the inflexibility of ECOSOC rules, and called for participation of indigenous peoples in the CPF.


INITIATION OF WORK WITH THE CPF: 

to follow 


The CBD reported that its upcoming COP will address forest biodiversity and noted the establishment of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Forest Biodiversity, in which the CPF participated. He said the CPF would be asked to contribute to the upcoming CBD's pilot assessment on the interlinkages between climate change and biodiversity.

 


The CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL FOREST RESEARCH (CIFOR) noted its membership in the CPF and highlighted its role in providing objective scientific input to governments. He emphasized CIFOR�s involvement in researching, inter alia: C&I, the economics and silviculture of SFM, cross-sectoral impacts and forest fires. He said participation in the CPF provides an opportunity to receive guidance from the UNFF on research priorities.

to follow

The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) drew attention to its role in data collection, analysis and dissemination, and highlighted the new National Forest Programme Facility, which is designed to supply catalytic inputs to support developing countries' efforts in implementing NFPs. He said the FAO intends to second a staff member to support the UNFF Secretariat.

The GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY (GEF) accepted the invitation to participate in the UNFF�s work through membership in the CPF. She said that of its total funding for biodiversity, the forest operational programme has the largest number of projects and GEF allocation: 81 projects with a GEF allocation of US$505.92 million, with co-financing of over US$1.03 billion.

The INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL TIMBER ORGANISATION (ITTO) noted a recent decision by its governing body in support of the ITTO's involvement in the UNFF and CPF that authorizes the ITTO's co-sponsorship of UNFF country-led initiatives and the secondment of a professional to the UNFF Secretariat. He noted that the ITTO served as the lead agency for the IFF programme element on trade and environment.
PLAN OF ACTION:
The EU reiterated that the PoA should work through existing instruments, as the UNFF does not have an operational mandate. He emphasized that countries must set priorities through systematic assessments, pledged continued financial support to developing countries within existing development programmes, and emphasized individual financing strategies that facilitate private sector involvement.

Left photo: Sweden speaking on behalf of the EU


UGANDA described five years as a "painfully short lifespan" for implementation of the PoA, and suggested that evaluation be based on assessment of forest conditions rather than the level of policy activity.

JAPAN suggested that the PoA not attempt to cover all the IPF/IFF proposals for action but focus on a more limited number of essential subjects. He recommended categorizing the 16 elements discussed at IFF-4, and said the PoA should not include issues on which the IFF reached no consensus. He proposed that monitoring, assessment and reporting consist of the elements of the PoA and include both implementation of agreed proposals and progress toward SFM.
SIDE EVENT:
Meeting of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and representatives of NGOs/IPOs
The CPF sponsored an afternoon side event with representatives from NGOs/Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs) that discussed clarifications about the CPF (membership, mandate and policy), the CPFs communication and coordination with major groups, "Concrete Actions for Promoting the Implementation of the IPF Proposals for Action, national forest programs and "Participatory Monitoring and National Reporting of Implementation to the UNFF" The meeting was facilated by CPF chair Hosny El-Lakany and moderated by Miguel Lovera of Sobrevivencia.

Forest related links:

UN Economic and Social Affairs UNFF 2001 Page
UN Economic and Social Affairs Forests Page
Official Report on the Fourth Session of the IFF
Linkages Forests Page
ENB Report on the Workshop on Financing Sustainable Forest Management
ENB Report on the Fourth Session of the IFF
Center for International Forestry Research

 

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