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A Brief to Global Forest Policy

Global forest policy has been developed in a variety of fora. The following introduction reviews the deliberations on forests and outcomes from discussions at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF), the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the Committee on Forestry (COFO) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (UNCED): Forests were among the most controversial issues considered during preparations for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. Some delegates from developed countries desired a forest treaty, but the North-South polarization on the issue only permitted agreement on the “Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests,” also known as the “Forest Principles,” and Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 on “Combating Deforestation.”

INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON FORESTS (IPF): By 1995, emerging North-South partnerships on the issue enabled the Commission on Sustainable Development at its third session (CSD-3) to establish the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) to continue the intergovernmental forest policy dialogue. During its two year mandate, the IPF developed over 100 negotiated proposals for action on a number of issues related to sustainable forest management (SFM) including national forest programmes, forest assessment, criteria and indicators, traditional forest related knowledge, and underlying causes of deforestation. Matters requiring further consideration – either because consensus could not be reached or because further analysis was required – included issues related to financial assistance and technology transfer, trade and environment, and institutions and legal instruments for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests – namely whether to begin negotiations on a global forest convention.

CSD-5, in April 1997, and the 19th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS), in June 1997, endorsed the IPF’s outcome and recommended a continuation of the intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests. Subsequently, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) established the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) to continue this work under the auspices of the CSD.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM ON FORESTS (IFF): The IFF met four times between October 1997 and January 2000 to “identify the possible elements of and work towards consensus on international arrangements and mechanisms, for example, a legally-binding instrument.” In addition to this issue, the IFF produced conclusions and approximately 120 proposals for action on topics including: promoting implementation and monitoring progress of the IPF’s proposals for action; financial resources and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies; trade and environment; underlying causes of deforestation; traditional forest-related knowledge; forest conservation and protected areas; forest research; valuation of forest goods and services; future supply of and demand for wood and non-wood forest products; and assessment, monitoring and rehabilitation of forest cover in environmentally critical areas.

On the question of developing a legal framework, the IFF suggested that ECOSOC and the General Assembly would, within five years, “consider with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests.” The IFF also proposed the creation of a United Nations Forum on Forests and invited relevant international organizations, institutions, and instruments and UN organizations to participate in a Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

Delegates at CSD-8 endorsed the IFF’s conclusions and proposals for action and invited the President of ECOSOC to initiate informal consultations on options for placing the United Nations Forum on Forests within the intergovernmental machinery of the UN system.

UNITED NATIONS FORUM ON FORESTS (UNFF): On 18 October 2000, ECOSOC adopted Resolution E/2000/35, outlining an international arrangement on forests and establishing the UNFF as a subsidiary body of ECOSOC. The Resolution states that the main objective of the international arrangement on forests is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end. Its purpose is to: promote the implementation of internationally-agreed actions on forests at the national, regional and global levels; provide a coherent, transparent and participatory global framework for policy implementation, coordination and development; and carry out principal functions, based on the Rio Declaration, the Forest Principles, Chapter 11 of Agenda 21, and the outcomes of the IPF and the IFF, in a manner consistent with and complementary to existing international legally-binding instruments relevant to forests.

The Resolution sets out six principal functions for the international arrangement on forests to meet its objective:

facilitate and promote the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action as well as other actions that may be agreed upon; catalyze, mobilize and generate financial resources; and mobilize and channel technical and scientific resources;
provide a forum for continued policy development and dialogue to foster a common understanding of SFM and to address forest issues and emerging areas of priority concern in a holistic, comprehensive and integrated manner;
enhance cooperation as well as policy and programme coordination on forest-related issues among relevant international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments;
foster international cooperation, including North-South and public-private partnerships, as well as cross-sectoral cooperation at the national, regional and global levels;
monitor and assess progress at the national, regional and global levels through reporting by governments, and regional and international organizations, institutions and instruments, and on this basis consider future actions needed; and
strengthen political commitment to the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests through: ministerial engagement; liaising with the governing bodies of international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments; and promoting action-oriented dialogue and policy formulation related to forests.

To carry out these functions, the Resolution establishes the UNFF as a subsidiary body of ECOSOC and also establishes the CPF to support its work and enhance cooperation and coordination. Other provisions include that the UNFF will: consider, within five years, the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests, with a view to making a recommendation to ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly; and take steps to devise approaches toward appropriate financial and technology transfer support to enable implementation of SFM, as recommended by the IPF and IFF.

The UNFF organizational session and the informal consultations on the MYPOW took place from 12-16 February 2001, in New York. At the organizational session, delegates agreed that the UNFF Secretariat would be located in New York. Delegates addressed progress toward the establishment of the CPF and agreed to the duration of the Bureau members’ terms.

UNFF-1: UNFF-1 took place from 11-23 June 2001 at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates discussed and adopted decisions on the UNFF’s MYPOW, a Plan of Action for the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action, and the initiation of the UNFF’s work with the CPF. They also recommended the establishment of three ad hoc expert groups to carry out intersessional work to inform and provide technical advice to the UNFF on: approaches and mechanisms for monitoring, assessment and reporting; finance and transfer of ESTs; and consideration with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests. UNFF-1 further adopted a statement on the programme budget implications of the MYPOW.

UNFF-2: UNFF-2 took place from 4-15 March 2002 at UN headquarters in New York. The outcomes of the meeting included a Ministerial Declaration and Message to the WSSD, and eight decisions on: combating deforestation and forest degradation; forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems; rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover; rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and the promotion of natural and planted forests; concepts, terminology and definitions; specific criteria for the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests; proposed revisions to the medium-term plan for 2002-2005; and other matters.

UNFF-2 was also mandated to establish terms of reference (ToR) for three ad hoc expert groups on: approaches and mechanisms for monitoring, assessment and reporting, finance and transfer of environmentally sound technologies, and consideration with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests. However, delegates were not able to reach agreement and instead took a procedural decision to forward to UNFF-3 an entirely bracketed paper containing the draft ToR, which was appended to the report of UNFF-2.

UNFF-3: UNFF-3 convened from 26 May - 6 June 2003, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. UNFF-3 adopted six resolutions on: enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination; forest health and productivity; economic aspects of forests; maintaining forest cover to meet present and future needs; the UNFF Trust Fund; and strengthening the Secretariat. UNFF-3 also approved two decisions: on the voluntary reporting format; and on the terms of reference for the three ad hoc expert groups, a task that had been carried forward from UNFF-2.

UNFF-4: UNFF-4 was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 3–14 May 2004. Particular emphasis was given to negotiating a resolution on the process for facilitating the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests at UNFF-5. UNFF-4 adopted five resolutions on: social and cultural aspects of forests; forest-related scientific knowledge; monitoring, assessment and reporting and criteria and indicators; finance and transfer of environmentally sound technologies; and the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests. Delegates failed to adopt resolutions on traditional forest-related knowledge and enhanced cooperation.

UNFF-5: UNFF-5 convened at UN Headquarters in New York, from 16-27 May 2005. UNFF-5 was unable to reach agreement on strengthening the IAF and could not produce either a ministerial statement or a negotiated outcome. Delegates agreed ad referendum to four global goals on: significantly increasing the area of protected forests and sustainably managed forests worldwide; reversing the decline in official development assistance for SFM; reversing the loss of forest cover; and enhancing forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits. They also agreed in principle to negotiate, at some future date, the terms of reference for a voluntary code or international understanding, as well as means of implementation. Delegates decided to forward the draft negotiating text, which was to be attached as an annex to a resolution for consideration by ECOSOC, to UNFF-6.

UNFF-6: UNFF-6 convened at UN Headquarters in New York, from 13-24 February 2006. Delegates addressed unfinished business from UNFF-5 regarding the development of the international arrangement on forests. Delegates achieved consensus on all aspects of the negotiating text forwarded from UNFF-5, including four “global objectives” on forests: reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing efforts to prevent forest degradation, enhancing forest benefits and their contribution to international development goals, increasing the area of protected forests and areas of sustainably managed forests, and reversing the decline in official development assistance for sustainable forest management. Delegates decided to conclude negotiation of, and adopt, a non-legally binding instrument at UNFF-7. They further agreed to review the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests in 2015, and consider the option for a legally-binding instrument, along with a list of other options, at that time.

UNFF-7: UNFF-7 convened at UN Headquarters in New York, from 16-27 April 2007. After two weeks of heavy negotiations, delegates adopted both a Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (NLBI) and a Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) for the period 2007-2015. The NLBI provides a framework for national action and international cooperation to: strengthen political commitment and action to effectively implement SFM and achieve the previously agreed Global Objectives; and enhance the contribution of forests to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, particularly with respect to poverty eradication and environmental sustainability. Delegates left a decision on financing for SFM to UNFF-8. The MYPOW outlined the themes of biennial sessions until 2015, and stressed that these sessions would focus on information sharing, stakeholder participation, and exchange of best practices and lessons learned.

UNFF-8: UNFF-8 convened at UN Headquarters in New York, from 20 April-1 May 2009. Delegates adopted a resolution on forests in a changing environment, enhanced cooperation and cross-sectoral policy and programme coordination, and regional and subregional inputs. Delegates did not agree on a decision on financing for SFM, and forwarded bracketed negotiating text to the Forum’s next session. Informal consultations were held later in 2009 to advance the negotiation of this text.

UNFF-9 SS: UNFF member States adopted a decision on means of implementation on 30 October 2009, during a special session of UNFF-9 (UNFF-9 SS), held at UN Headquarters in New York. UNFF-9 SS was convened for the purpose of adopting this decision, after informal consultations had resulted in agreed text on means of implementation, an issue that had remained unresolved at UNFF-8.

COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY (COFO) OF THE UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO): The biennial sessions of COFO, held at FAO headquarters, bring together heads of forestry services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, seek solutions and advise FAO and others on appropriate action. This is achieved through: periodic reviews of international forestry problems and appraisal of these problems; review of the FAO forestry work programmes and their implementation; advice to the Director-General on the future work programmes of FAO in the field of forestry and on their implementation; reviews of and recommendations on specific matters relating to forestry referred to it by the FAO Council, Director-General or member States; and reports to the FAO Council. Membership in COFO is open to all FAO member States wishing to participate in its work. (See also FAO’s Forestry website).

COFO-12: COFO’s twelfth session convened in 1995 to discuss the role of the FAO in forestry, particularly with regard to sustainable forest management (SFM). It considered the development of criteria and indicators (C&I) for SFM, trade and environment, and a possible FAO role in the IPF. Delegates negotiated the Rome Statement on Forestry, later adopted by a ministerial meeting, and discussed FAO’s medium-term perspectives (1996-2001) and long-term priorities (1996-2010).

COFO-13: At its thirteenth session in 1997, COFO continued discussion of progress towards SFM and recommended the implementation of the IPF proposals for action. It tackled the issue of COFO’s role and that of Regional Forestry Commissions. In addition, it considered implications of the Plan of Action of the WFS for forestry, addressed conservation and sustainable utilization of forest genetic resources, and called for additional financial resources for the 1998-2003 Medium-Term Plan.

COFO-14: Discussions at COFO’s fourteenth session in 1999 addressed the work of the IFF; global forest sector outlook; and national and international challenges to forest policies for sustainability. COFO14 also reviewed FAO’s programmes in the forestry sector, and its Strategic Framework (2000-2015) and implications for the medium-term for forestry programmes.

COFO-15: In 2001, COFO’s fifteenth session focused on forest information and knowledge management, C&I for sustainable development of all types of forests, and implications of certification and trade for SFM. It reviewed FAO’s forestry programmes, including results of the Forest Resources Assessment 2000, the 2002-07 Medium-Term Plan, proposals for global forest resources assessment, and key forest-related issues of climate change and the Kyoto Protocol.

COFO-16: The sixteenth session in 2003 addressed the role of the Regional Forestry Commissions in implementing the IPF and IFF proposals for action, forests and freshwater, national forest programmes as a mechanism to implement the key outcomes of the World Food Summit (WFS) and World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), FAO programmes in forestry, including the future of forests and implications of the Forestry Outlook Study for Africa, and the FAO medium-term planning process, particularly regarding forests, poverty and food security, forests and water, forests and climate change, forest governance and forest biological diversity.

COFO-17: COFO’s seventeenth session convened in Rome, Italy, from 15-19 March 2005. Delegates discussed the 2005 State of the World’s Forests report, Regional Forestry Commissions, international cooperation in forest fire preparedness, the role of forests in contributing to the Millennium Development Goals, and the World Forestry Congress. A Ministerial Meeting on Forests also convened on 14 March 2005, in advance of COFO-17, at which ministers considered international cooperation on forest fire management and maintaining a commitment to sustainable forest management, and adopted a Ministerial Statement.

COFO-18: COFO’s eighteenth session convened in Rome from 12-16 March 2007. Delegates addressed issues relating to the 2007 State of the World’s Forests, decisions and recommendations of FAO bodies, and the XIII World Forestry Congress. COFO-18 adopted a final report, in which COFO requested and recommended FAO to undertake numerous activities related to issues debated during the meeting, including forests and energy, forest protection, putting forests to work at the local level, progressing towards SFM and shaping an action programme for FAO in forestry.

COFO-19: COFO’s nineteenth session convened in Rome from16-20 March 2009. Participants discussed: the FAO Strategy for Forests and Forestry; SFM and climate change; forest genetic resources; reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; access to financing; the impacts of recent economic turbulence on the forest sector; and preparations for the XIII World Forestry Congress (WFC XIII). COFO19 adopted a final report that, inter alia: urges members to deliberate on national and international responses of the forestry sector to climate change; recommends that FAO and other organizations strengthen members’ capacities to implement SFM; and recommends that FAO prepare a report on the State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources by 2013.

INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL TIMBER ORGANIZATION (ITTO): The International Tropical Timber Agreement was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The ITTA negotiations aimed to: provide an effective framework for cooperation and consultation between countries producing and consuming tropical timber; promote the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber and the improvement of structural conditions in the tropical timber market; promote and support research and development to improve forest management and wood utilization; and encourage the development of national policies for the sustainable utilization and conservation of tropical forests and their genetic resources, and maintain the ecological balance in the regions concerned.

The ITTA was adopted on 18 November 1983, in Geneva, and entered into force on 1 April 1985. It remained in force for an initial period of five years and was extended twice for two-year periods. The Agreement was renegotiated in 1993-1994. The Successor Agreement to the ITTA (ITTA, 1994) was adopted on 26 January 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1997. The ITTA, 1994 contains broader provisions for information sharing, including non-tropical timber trade data; allows for consideration of non-tropical timber issues as they relate to tropical timber; and includes the Year 2000 Objective (Objective 2000) to enhance members’ capacity to implement a strategy for achieving exports of tropical timber and timber products from sustainably managed sources by the year 2000. The new agreement also established the Bali Partnership Fund meant to assist producing members in achieving Objective 2000. At its twenty-eighth session, in 2000, the ITTC extended the ITTA, 1994 for a three-year period ending on 31 December 2003.

The ITTA, 1985 established the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, which provides a forum for tropical timber producer and consumer countries to discuss, exchange information and develop policies on issues relating to international trade in, and utilization of, tropical timber and the sustainable management of its resource base. The ITTO has 57 members divided into two caucuses: producer countries (31 members) and consumer countries (25 members, including European Community States). The ITTO membership represents 95% of world trade in tropical timber and covers 75% of the world’s tropical forests.

The governing body of the ITTO is the International Tropical Timber Council, which includes all members. Four committees advise and assist the Council on issues for consideration and decision: the Committees on Economic Information and Market Intelligence (CEM), Reforestation and Forest Management (CRF), and Forest Industry (CFI) deal with the ITTO’s major areas of work, and the ITTC’s Committee on Finance and Administration (CFA) considers financial and administrative matters concerning the ITTO’s management. The CEM, CFM and CFI are supported by an Expert Panel for the Technical Appraisal of Projects, which reviews project proposals. Since 1998, the Council has also been advised by an Informal Advisory Group (IAG).

ITTC-31: The thirty-first session of the ITTC met in Yokohama, Japan, from 29 October-3 November 2001. At the session, the Council took decisions on: strengthening forest law enforcement in member countries requesting assistance; convening a workshop to further develop a draft workplan on mangrove forest ecosystems; establishing a database of statistics on the trade of bamboo and rattan; and assisting countries to develop auditing systems for the implementation of ITTO’s criteria and indicators for SFM.

ITTC-32: The ITTC held its thirty-second session in Bali, Indonesia, from 13-18 May 2002. At this session, the Council: acknowledged the creation of a civil society advisory group (CSAG) and provided it with the means to participate in ITTC-33; and adopted decisions on, inter alia: ITTO’s contribution to the WSSD; sustainable management and conservation of mangrove forest ecosystems, including a revised Mangrove Workplan; guidelines for the restoration, management and rehabilitation of degraded and secondary tropical forests; forest law enforcement in Africa; SFM in the Congo Basin; and certification. The Council also approved 19 projects and 10 pre-projects.

ITTC-33: The thirty-third session of the ITTC met from 4-9 November 2002, in Yokohama, Japan. The Council adopted nine decisions on: projects, pre-projects and activities; management of the administrative budget for 2002; the International Tropical Timber Organization’s (ITTO) 2003 work programme; public relations, education and outreach; partnerships for sustainable forest management (SFM); prevention and management of forest fires; measures to reduce costs and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization; preparations for negotiating a successor agreement to the 1994 International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA, 1994); and extension of the ITTA, 1994.

ITTC-34: The thirty-fourth session of the ITTC met from 12-17 May 2003, in Panama City, Panama. The Council adopted 11 decisions on: projects, pre-projects and activities; the management of the administrative budget; the Asia Forest Partnership; criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable forest management (SFM); matters related to Article 16 of the 1994 International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA, 1994) related to the Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and staff; negotiations for a successor agreement to the ITTA, 1994; cooperation between ITTO and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) on broad-leaf mahogany; the management of project implementation; the biennial work programme and administrative budget; phased approaches to certification; and the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber. At the session, delegates approved nine projects and eight pre-projects.

ITTC-35: The thirty-fifth session of the ITTC took place from 3-8 November 2003, in Yokohama, Japan.  The Council adopted decisions on: projects, pre-projects and activities; management of the administrative account for 2003; an Executing Agencies Account; and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) Biennial Work Programme for 2004-2005. The Council also approved 16 projects and 4 pre-projects. The Committees on Economic Information and Market Intelligence (CEM), Reforestation and Forest Management (CRF), and Forest Industry (CFI) convened their thirty-third sessions to review: completed projects, pre-projects and activities in progress; ex-post evaluations; projects and pre-projects proposals; policy work; completed projects and pre-projects; and the Biennial Work Programme for 2004-2005. The Committee on Finance and Administration (CFA) convened its fourteenth session to discuss matters relating the management of the Administrative Account for the year 2003, the Draft Biennial Budget for 2004-2005 and the creation of an Executing Agencies Account.

ITTC-36: The thirty-sixth session of the ITTC met from 20-23 July 2004, in Interlaken, Switzerland. Delegates to ITTC-36 discussed a range of issues, including: preparations for negotiating a successor agreement to the 1994 International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA, 1994); progress reports on the study of forest law enforcement and governance (FLEG) in Malaysia and Honduras; phased approaches to certification; developments in UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)/Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) discussions regarding forests; and the promotion of sustainable forest management (SFM) in the Congo Basin. Delegates also considered the recommendations of a joint workshop involving the Trade Advisory Group and Civil Society Advisory Group on the issue of illegal logging and illegal trade. In the end, delegates approved 11 projects and seven pre-projects and pledged US$5.7 million in new project funding.

ITTC-37: The thirty-seventh session of the ITTC met from 13-18 December 2004, in Yokohama, Japan. Delegates examined a range of issues, including: phased approaches to certification; measures to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the ITTO project cycle; enhancement of cooperation between ITTO and CITES for ramin and mahogany; strengthening the Asia Forest Partnership; forest law enforcement in the context of sustainable timber production and trade; and criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. Delegates to ITTC-37 approved 25 projects and five pre-projects and pledged US$8 million for project financing.

ITTC-38: ITTC-38 met from 18-22 June 2005, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The Council discussed forest law enforcement, forest restoration and the achievement of sustainable forest management. The Council adopted 8 decisions on: projects, pre-projects and activities; an appeal to Members to make voluntary contributions to the Bali Partnership Fund; and a request to the Executive Director to continue consultations with potential donors and the Common Fund for Commodities in order to secure further financing.

ITTC-39: ITTC-39 convened from 7-12 November 2005, in Yokohama, Japan. Participants discussed, inter alia: the ITTO Biennial Work Programme for 2006-2007; negotiation of a successor agreement; ITTO Objective 2000; and phased approaches to certification. Delegates approved 11 projects, one pre-project, and committed US$13.3 million in project funds. Delegates also convened in an informal joint producer/consumer group meeting on the renegotiation of ITTA, 1994 to discuss, inter alia: the placement of references to NTFP’s and ecosystem services; the proposed funding schemes for the Administrative and Work Programme Sub-accounts; and the number of key policy work activities funded through assessed contributions.

ITTC-40: ITTC-40 convened from 29 May-2 June 2006, in Mérida, Mexico. The Council allocated a total of US$3.9 million to a number of new projects, including initiatives on shoot-borers in timber plantations, management of mangrove and flood forests, and funding for an African regional parliamentary conference on the sustainable management of Central African forest ecosystems. ITTO’s Annual Market Discussion addressed tropical timber procurement policies in consumer countries, and a number of side-events were convened on challenges facing community forestry enterprises.

ITTC-41: ITTC-41 took place from 6-11 November 2006, in Yokohama, Japan. Delegates discussed issues concerning operational, project and policy work for 2006-2007, including: the ITTO Biennial Work Programme for 2006-2007; measures to improve and strengthen the ITTO project cycle; and ITTO Objective 2000. Delegates approved 11 projects and seven pre-projects, and pledged US$5.4 million in project financing. Underlying ITTC-41 discussions was implicit recognition of the need to address the ITTO’s financial situation and reverse the decline in funding.

ITTC-42: ITTC-42 took place from 7-12 May 2007, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Delegates discussed issues concerning operational, project and policy work, including: forest law enforcement and governance (FLEG) in the context of sustainable timber production and trade; CITES listing proposals; ITTO Objective 2000; ITTO guidelines for the restoration, management and rehabilitation of degraded and secondary tropical forests; civil society-private sector partnerships for sustainable forest management (SFM); and developments in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regarding forests. This session was dominated by debate over the selection of the new Executive Director of the ITTO, which divided Consumer and Producer groups. At the end, Emmanuel Ze Meka (Cameroon) was selected as the new Executive Director.

ITTC-43: ITTC-43 was held from 5-10 November 2007, in Yokohama, Japan. Delegates discussed issues concerning operational, project and policy work for 2008-2009, including: CITES listing proposals by members; annual review and assessment of the international timber situation; and preparations for entry into force of the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA), 2006. The Council approved 15 projects and three pre-projects, and pledged US$5.6 million in project financing. The Council adopted the ITTO Biennial Work Programme for 2008-2009, with a total budget of US$9.2 million.

ITTC-44: ITTC-44 convened in Yokohama, Japan, from 3-8 November 2008, and concluded its session by pledging US$8.6 million in funds for new projects and thematic programmes. The Council adopted the ITTO Action Plan for 2008-2011. It also decided to establish several new thematic programmes, on a pilot basis, on: Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade; Community Forest Management and Enterprises; Trade and Market Transparency; Industry Development and Efficiency; and Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Environmental Services in Tropical Forests. Along with financing 11 projects and 2 pre-projects, ITTC approved additional funding for studying developments and progress in timber procurement policies. The Council also approved funds to update and field-test ITTO’s Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests, and for additional national training workshops on the application of criteria and indicators for sustainable tropical forest management. In addition, funds were pledged to enhance the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises to produce and trade legal and sustainable timber and to assist members in formulating and implementing an integrated forest-sector response to climate change.

ITTC-45: ITTC-45 convened in Yokohama, Japan, from 9-14 November 2009, during which the Council considered: implementation of the Biennial Work Programme 2008-2009, and activities to be included under the Biennial Work Programme for 2010-2011; and the current status of implementation of the ITTO Thematic Programmes, including on Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Environmental Services in Tropical Forests (REDDES) and Tropical Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (TFLET). The Council also reviewed the status of the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession to ITTA, 2006, and discussed the frequency and location of future Council sessions.
Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the ITTA, 94

PREPCOMS: The first session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom I) for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1994 (ITTA, 1994) took place from 20-21 May 2003, in Panama City, Panama. Delegates engaged in preliminary discussions on the scope of and issues pertaining to a new agreement. The proposals made during the session will be consolidated and presented to the second session of the PrepCom in November 2003. There was general consensus that: the Successor Agreement should remain a commodity agreement; ITTA, 1994 should be the basis for the negotiations; and relevant new and emerging issues need to be included in the new agreement.

PrepCom II met from 10-12 November 2003, in Yokohama, Japan. Over the course of three days delegates reviewed the draft working document of the successor agreement with a view to clarifying the elements therein, posing questions and presenting their views on the text. In the end, delegates produced a final draft text that will serve as the basis for discussion at the United Nations Conference for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the ITTA, 1994 in July 2004, in Geneva.

NEGOTIATION OF A SUCCESSOR AGREEMENT: The UN Conference on the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1994 met at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 26-30 July 2004. The conference was held under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and included over 160 delegates from ITTO member countries, one potential member, one intergovernmental organization (IGO), one UN body, as well as members of the Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) and the Trade Advisory Group (TAG) and several non-governmental organizations. Delegates met in two working groups and negotiations proceeded amicably, although it became clear by Friday morning that more time would be needed to finalize the terms of the new agreement. The main issues that needed further discussion concerned the objectives of the successor agreement and the financial arrangement. During the closing plenary, delegates decided that the Conference would reconvene from 14-18 February 2005, in Geneva.

The second session of the Conference convened in Geneva, from 14-18 February 2005, and continued discussions on disputed text carried forward from the first session. Numerous proposals on unresolved cross-cutting issues were tabled during the week and delegates were unable to reach final agreement.

The third session of the Conference convened at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27 June to 1 July 2005. Over 180 governments, international organizations and an intergovernmental body negotiated outstanding text from the final working document from the second part of the UN Conference. In spite of approving informally over 20 articles of the Agreement, some participants expressed concern about the small amount of flexibility shown by participants. To address major contentious issues, including finance, operational activities, statistics and information, and entry into force of the new Agreement, delegates agreed to convene a fourth part of the UN Conference in Geneva, in January 2006.

The fourth session of the Conference convened at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 16-27 January 2006, and focused on resolving issues left outstanding at the end of the third session, including financial arrangements, scope of the agreement, and voting structure. Through intensive negotiations in two working groups and informal contact groups, delegates managed to produce consensus, and a successor agreement was adopted. The ITTA, 2006 was opened for signature on 3 April 2006.

At its forty-fourth meeting in November 2008, the ITTC reviewed the status of the ITTA, 2006, which had only been ratified by 10 producer countries and seven consumer countries. 10 consumer and 12 producer countries need to ratify it before it enters into force.
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