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UNFF Eighth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests
United Nations Headquarters, New York | 20 April - 1 May 2009
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Fri 01 May &
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UNFF8 Negotiations Last All Night
Forests in Changing Environment Resolution Adopted
Decision on Financing Forwarded to UNFF9

On Friday, 1 May, delegates to the eighth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF8) convened throughout the day in Working Group I (WGI) and a contact group. WGI continued discussions on the draft resolution on forests in a changing environment. The contact group continued deliberations on the Co-Chairs' draft text on financing for SFM.

At 6:15pm, UNFF8 Chairman Boen M. Purnama convened a brief Plenary. After brief remarks by Chair Purnama and UNFF Director Jan McAlpine, UNFF8 was declared suspended, and the first meeting of the ninth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF9) was convened. Delegates elected four members of the Bureau by acclamation: Zainol Rahim Zainuddin, Malaysia, Raymond Harold Landveld, Suriname, Ingwald Gschwandtl, Austria, and Ndiawar Dieng, Senegal.

Chair Purnama then declared UNFF9 suspended at 6:35pm, and WGI resumed negotiations, while participants in the contact group held informals and met in a "friends of the Chair" group searching for compromise text on considering the establishment of a global forest fund.

WGI agreed ad ref to the draft resolution on Forests in a Changing Environment, pending the outcome of WGII, and concluded its deliberations at 12:28am, Saturday 2 May. Despite numerous informal consultations, regional group huddles, "friends of the chair" sessions and even a late-night meeting with the full Bureau, WGII's contact group did not reach agreement on language to consider the establishment of a global forest fund.

Chair Purnama resumed UNFF8 in plenary at 5:15am. A 3:30am Co-Chair's draft text of the draft resolution on Forests in a Changing Environment was agreed to by parties, while the Co-Chairs' draft text on financing, with bracketed language, was forwarded for consideration at UNFF9, which will be held in New York from January 24-February 4, 2011. Chair Purnama declared UNFF8 closed at 5:53am, Saturday 2 May 2009.

Above: UNFF8 Chair Boen M. Purnama gaveled UNFF8 to a close.


Friday, 1 May
Working Group I: Forests in a Changing Environment


Malaysia.

Dan Firth, Australia.

Pedro Andrade, Brazil.

Baya Bensmail, Algeria, and Suhayfa Zia, South Africa, laughed.

Frank Cantelmo, Holy See.
Contact Group: Financing for SFM


Contact group Chair Tharyat worked on compromise text.

Participants in the "Friends of the Chair" meeting.
Evening Plenary

UNFF8 Chair Purnama.

UNFF Director McAlpine.

Director McAlpine presented Chair Purnama with a plaque of appreciation.
Working Group I: Into the Night

The Co-Chairs' 10pm draft was distributed.

Delegates began to look tired.

So did the Secretariat.
Contact Group: On Until Morning

G-77/China delegations coordinating during a break.

Donor countries huddling.

Contact group Chair Tharyat stretched.
Closing Plenary


Nadia Osman, Sudan, for the G-77/China.

Fernando Coimbra, Brazil.

John Talbot, Australia.

Tomás Krejzar, Czech Republic for the EU.

Sibylle Vermont, Switzerland.

Alan Reid, New Zealand.
Around UNFF8

Mahendra Joshi, Peter Csoka and Director McAlpine, UNFF Secretariat.

Jaroslav Kubista, Czech Republic, had an "innovative" way to intervene.

Mita Sen, UNFF Secretariat.

One delegate found a comfortable seat.

Delegates from multiple regional groups conferred.

Sleep came easily for some participants.

Peruvian delegates were still wide awake at 2am.

Baya Bensmail, Algeria, and Nadia Osman, Sudan, tired but still standing.

Related Links

United Nations Forum on Forests
UNFF8
UNFF8 Provisional Agenda
Collaborative Partnership on Forests

Related IISD Coverage of Forest Meetings

19th Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry, 16-20 March 2009, Rome
44th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council, 3-8 November 2008, Yokohama
UNFF CLI on Financing for Sustainable Forest Management, 8-12 September 2008, Paramaribo
Seventh Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-7), 16-27 April 2007, New York
Sixth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-6), 13-24 February 2006, New York
Fifth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-5), 16-27 May 2005, New York
Fourth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-4), 3-14 May 2004, Geneva

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