Fifth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests
United Nations Headquarters, New York | 16-27 May 2005 
     
Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB
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UNFF negotiations continue during high-level segment.


In the morning, delegates convened in a high-level segment and multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD) and in a contact group on finance.

In the afternoon, the high-level segment continued in two roundtables on forest restoration and forest law enforcement and governance. An informal working group on the draft decision also convened in the afternoon and evening.

Above, delegates from countries including Brazil and the United States negotiated informally in the corridor.


Wednesday, 25 May
High-Level Segment

Ministers and delegates crowded into the Trusteeship Council conference room for the morning high-level segment. (huge version)

UNFF-5 Chair Manuel Rodríguez Becerra noted that despite progress, there still exists a gap between commitments made on forests and their implementation.

Yomo Kwama Sundaram, Asssitant Secretary-General of DESA for economic affairs, encouraged delegates to send a message to the 60th General Assembly that sustainable forest management (SFM) can contribute to defeating poverty.

The segment's moderator, from South Africa, was very patient with the many delegates who exceeded their time limit, and praised the few who did not.

Cuba objected to the integration of stakeholder interventions, stating the lack of a precedent within ECOSOC for their inclusion in a high-level segment.

María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia proposed to maintain the multi-stakeholder dialogue, but as a separate process following ministerial statements.

Everton Vieira Vargas of Brazil opposed having to vote on Cuba's proposal, stating that since no precedent existed, there should be no need to vote.

Beat Nobs of Switzerland said that the message to the General Assembly should link a strengthened International Agreement on Forests (IAF) to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Speaking for the EU, Octavie Modert of Luxembourg said that the IAF risks marginalization unless it demonstrates action.

Josef Proell Austria suggested that the Ministerial Conference for the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) be used as a template for regional initiatives.

Malam Sambat Kaban of Indonesia highlighted progress and difficulties in implementing the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action (PfAs).

Dario Daniel Katata of Angola called for strengthing the UNFF and CPF, improving market access, and establishing a global forest fund (GFF).

Abdeladim Lhafi of Morocco stressed the relationship between SFM and economic and social issues.

Manuel Reed of Mexico reiterated the need for a legally-binding instrument (LBI) and supported quantifiable goals.

Lee Soo-Hwa of the Republic of Korea said that UNFF must make better use of existing resources.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez of Costa Rica called for the forest sector to re-value forests through, for example, payment for ecosystem services.

France said the poor are the first to suffer from environmental degradation and emphasized the importance of quantified targets linked to MDGs.

Risto Seppälä of IUFRO highlighted that actions designed to address poverty reduction and environmental sustainability must be mutually supportive.

Achim Steiner of IUCN said the future IAF should not block local action supporting MDGs.

Ken Newcombe of the World Bank highlighted the importance of forest services and good governance.

Hosny El-Lakany of FAO stressed avoidance of duplication or fragmentation of IAF efforts.

Olav Kjorven of UNDP highlighted benefits SFM generates beyond attaining MDGs and sequestering carbon.

Gonzalo Castro of GEF highlighted its role in forest activities and called for robust GEF replenishment.

Avrim Lazar noted the commitment of business and industry to halting deforestation and ending illegal logging, reducing poverty and ensuring that local communities benefit from forest management.

Speaking for the scientific and technological communities, Don Melnick of CERC stressed the need for a global timber trade agreement and a carbon trading system that includes all nations.

Edison Bernardes, speaking for workers and trade unions, said that poverty reduction and the environment are linked and that social issues are the underlying causes of deforestation.

Speaking for youth and children, Anniina Kostilainen noted education is catalytic and crucial to development, and said countries should establish partnerships with youth organizations.

Indigenous peoples stressed the need for strengthening indigenous peoples' involvement in UNFF.

Speaking for Farmers and small forest owners, Peter DeMarsh called for secure forest tenure and development of family forest associations.

Lambert Okrah of the Institute of Cultural Affairs spoke on behalf of non-governmental organizations.

Dennis Garrity of the World Agroforestry Center emphasized the contribution of agroforestry to poverty alleviation.
Contact Group

Contact group participants discussed finance issues, including means of implementation, official development assistance (ODA), and global funds.
Roundtable I: Restoring the World's Forests

Roundtable I panelists included Zhu Lieke of China, Octavie Modert of Luxembourg, CArlos Manuel Rodriguez of Costa Rica, and Henson Moore of the American Forest and Paper Association.

Congo called for UNFF to play an important role in implementing restoration activities.

Zhu Lieke of China's State Forestry Administration highlighted accomplishments in the Chinese forest industry.

Abdul Alim of Bangladesh called for financial assistance to the least developed countries (LDCs) to support forest restoration.

Henson Moore of the American Forest and Paper Association called for voluntary market-based programs to restore forests, breaking the poverty cycle, and promotion of the private sector to give economic incentives for restoration.

Antonio Serrano Rodriguez of Spain called for capacity building and technology transfer.

Mostafa Jafari of the Tehran Process Secretariat for Low Forest Cover Countries stressed the importance of community participation.
Roundtable II: Forest Law Enforcement and Governance for Sustainability

Roundtable II panelists included Everton Vargas of Brazil, Rosalia Ortega of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, Malam Sambat Kaban of Indonesia, Alexandre Chambrier Barro of Gabon and Valery Roshchupkin of the Russian Federation.

Juha Korkeaoja of Finland noted that illegal forest activity risks the reputations of legal operators, and stated plans to begin negotiating bilateral agreements on forest governance.

Côte D'Ivoire described how increased enforcement has been undermined by conflict.

John Turner of the United States stressed enforcement and outlined its national plan to combat illegal logging.

Hosny El-Lakany of FAO emphasized collaboration between governments, civil society and industry in improving forest law enforcement and governance.

Francisco Garcia Garcia of Mexico stated his government considers forests a matter of national security.

Vasile Lupu of Romania highlighted its 2000-2010 SFM plan.

Relevant weblinks

United Nations Forum on Forests
UNFF 5 Provisional Agenda
UNFF 5 Organization of Work (PDF)
UNFF 5 Background Documents
UNFF 5 Official Documents

ENB's coverage of recent Forestry sessions

FAO Committee on Forestry: 14-19 March 2005
ITTC-37: 13-18 December 2004
UNFF Experts Group: 7-10 September 2004
ITTC-36: 20-23 July 2004
UNFF4: 3-14 May 2004


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