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SUMMARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT: THE WAY FORWARD:

3-7 FEBRUARY 2003

The International Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: the Way Forward (CICI-2003) was held from 3-7 February 2003, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Over 100 participants attended the conference, representing 52 countries, 11 international organizations and three non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

CICI-2003 was hosted by the National Forest Service of Guatemala (INAB), in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the United States (US) Department of Agriculture Forest Service Program and Department of State. The conference was organized in follow up to recommendations made by the Expert Consultation on Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for sustainable forest management (SFM) in Rome, Italy, in November 2000.

Discussions at CICI-2003 were structured around four thematic areas: strengthening the elaboration and application of C&I for SFM; promoting political commitment for the use of C&I as tools for SFM; strengthening institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships for implementing C&I and facilitating the exchange of information among all stakeholders; and contributing to the work of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and to the international initiatives on C&I related to sustainable development. Consideration of each thematic area was supported by a combination of background discussion papers, case studies and working group sessions.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF C&I FOR SFM

In 1992, the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED) adopted the "Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests" (Forest Principles) and Agenda 21. Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 called for the formulation of scientifically-sound criteria and guidelines for the management and sustainable development of all types of forests; and the Forest Principles recommend that SFM be carried out on the basis of environmentally-sound national guidelines, which take into account relevant internationally-agreed methodologies and criteria.

ITTO: The ITTO had a pioneering role in developing and implementing C&I, and first adopted C&I for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests in 1992, and later revised these in 1998. The ITTO has 31 producing member countries and covers tropical natural forests around the world.

MCPFE/HELSINKI PROCESS: The second Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), held in Helsinki in 1992, initiated the MCPFE Process – also known as the Helsinki or Pan European Process - which led to the development and adoption of a core set of C&I in 1994. The C&I were endorsed by the MCPFE in 1998 as a basis for international reporting and the development of national indicators. The MCPFE Process involves 41 countries and covers European boreal and temperate forests.

MONTREAL PROCESS: In 1994, several countries formed a working group known as the Montreal Process to advance the development of internationally agreed C&I for the conservation and management of temperate and boreal forests outside Europe. In 1995, the Montreal Process countries issued a declaration containing a set of C&I for SFM. The Montreal Process involves 12 countries and covers temperate forests in America, Asia and the Pacific.

TARAPOTO PROPOSAL: The Tarapoto Proposal for the sustainability of the Amazonian Forests was agreed at a Regional Workshop on the Definition of C&I for the Sustainability of Amazonian Forests in Tarapoto, Peru in 1995. The Tarapoto Proposal involves eight countries in the Amazon Basin.

DRY ZONE AFRICA PROCESS: In 1995, a meeting on C&I for SFM in Dry Zone Africa convened in Nairobi, Kenya, initiated this process. Practical guidelines for the assessment and measurement of C&I for SFM in Dry Zone Africa were published in 2000. The African Dry Zone Process involves 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

AFRICAN TIMBER ORGANIZATION (ATO) PROCESS: In 1993, the ATO initiated The development of Principles, Criteria and Indicators (PC&I) for the management of African natural tropical forests, which began in 1993 and were adopted by the ATO Ministerial Conference in 1996. In 2001, the ATO harmonized its PC&I with the ITTO’s C&I. The ATO Process involves 14 countries and covers African tropical forests.

NEAR EAST PROCESS: In 1996, a regional Expert Meeting on C&I for SFM in the Near East was held in Cairo, Egypt. In 2000, guidelines for assessment and measurement were published. The Near East Process involves 30 countries in the region.

LEPATERIQUE PROCESS: In 1997, an Expert Meeting on C&I for SFM in Central America was held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and resulted in the Lepaterique Process. The Lepaterique Process involves seven countries.

ASIA DRY FOREST PROCESS: In 1999, a Workshop on National-Level C&I for the Sustainable Management of Dry Forests in Asia/South Asia developed a regionally-applicable national-level set of C&I for SFM. Guidelines for assessment and measurement were published in 2001. The Dry Forest Asia Initiative involves nine countries.

Approximately 150 countries are members of one or more processes. Many members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), including the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), FAO, ITTO, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) have provided support for these processes and assisted with the development of national C&I.

Generally, these nine processes work independently from one another. However, the potential benefits that could be gained through improved coordination and communication and a degree of harmonization between the processes have long been recognized. In 1995, FAO and ITTO held an Expert Consultation on the Harmonization of C&I for SFM in Rome in 1995. Following this, an Intergovernmental Seminar on C&I for SFM was convened in 1996 in Helsinki, Finland, in support of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF).

In 1997, the IPF endorsed the concept of C&I for SFM and produced a series of Proposals for Action on the development and use of C&I. The various C&I processes have been instrumental in implementation of these C&I-related Proposals for Action. In 1998, CIFOR, FAO and the International Union of Forestry Research Organization (IUFRO) held an International Conference on Indicators for SFM to foster stakeholder input to advance the development of field-level implementation of scientifically-based indicators.

In 2000, FAO, in collaboration with CIFOR, ITTO, IUFRO and UNEP, held an Expert Consultation on C&I for SFM in Rome. One of the primary recommendations of the Expert Consultation was to organize an International Conference on C&I for SFM, which lead to the convening of CICI-2003.

REPORT OF CICI-2003

OPENING PLENARY

On Monday, 3 February, Luis Ernesto Barrera Garavito, INAB Executive Director, opened CICI-2003, outlining the following objectives: to strengthen the elaboration of C&I for SFM; to promote political commitment for the use of C&I as tools for SFM; to strengthen institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships for implementing C&I and facilitate the exchange of information; and to contribute to the work of the UNFF and the international initiatives on C&I, related to sustainable development. He thanked the FAO, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, INAB, ITTO, the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service Program, and the US Department of State, for sponsoring CICI-2003, and also thanked the Governments of Japan, Switzerland and the US for their financial contributions.

Edín Barrientos, Guatemalan Minister of Agriculture, underscored the usefulness of C&I for SFM and expressed support for binding criteria.

Jagmohan Maini, CIFOR Chair of the Board of Trustees, highlighted the substantial progress already achieved in the area of C&I for SFM, and outlined remaining challenges. He stressed the need to mainstream C&I into national forest programmes (NFPs) and engage decision makers. He called for capacity and institutional building, cooperation with relevant international processes, and the development of a common set of global criteria. He noted the need to: identify critical, scientifically-based and easily understandable integrated indicators; develop a common understanding of concepts, definitions and terms; and integrate C&I into monitoring, assessment and reporting.

Froylán Castañeda, FAO, outlined the organization of the conference for the week, noting that background papers and case studies would be presented to guide working group discussions on the conference’s thematic areas.

Markku Simula, Indufor Oy, presented an overview of the nine regional and international C&I processes, comparing the levels of application, hierarchical structure, contents of national-level criteria, development processes and definitions of existing C&I processes. He noted the seven globally-applicable criteria for SFM identified by the intergovernmental C&I processes: the extent of forest resources; forest health and vitality; productive functions of forests; biological diversity; protective functions of forests; socioeconomic benefits and needs; and policy and institutional frameworks.

On C&I’s relationship to certification, Simula clarified that despite similarities between the broad objectives and methods of C&I and certification systems, certification is a tool used mainly for the purposes of private entities, while C&I are often government-led. He underscored the challenges of implementing C&I, including: lack of political will; differences in information collection and processing methodologies; inconsistencies in data from different sources; technical and institutional constraints; insufficient knowledge of existing monitoring and evaluation tools; poor and irregular data collection procedures; lack of capacity; high costs; and lack of understanding of value added by C&I.

Simula outlined key issues to be addressed in C&I regional and international processes, including: the recognition of the merits of increased compatibility and consistency; the possible need for a global set of C&I; harmonization of existing concepts, definitions and methodologies; potential coordination and cooperation mechanisms between regional processes; the role of C&I in national forest monitoring, assessment and reporting; and the practical application of national, sub-national and forest management unit (FMU) C&I, including the relationship with the certification standards.

In closing, Simula recommended that action be taken to rationalize reporting requirements, promote political will, improve cross-sectoral and inter-institutional coordination, strengthen stakeholder participation, improve synchronization between FMU-level C&I and certification standards, and build capacity.

Organization of Work: Following the opening Plenary, participants met in two parallel working group sessions Monday afternoon and throughout the day on Tuesday to formulate conclusions and recommendations on the thematic areas: strengthening the elaboration and application of criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable forest management (SFM) (chaired by Christina Amoako-Nuama, Ghana); and promoting political commitment for the use of C&I as tools for SFM (chaired by Ingwald Gschwandtl, Austria).

On Wednesday, participants continued to meet in two parallel working groups to formulate conclusions and recommendations on the two remaining thematic areas: strengthening institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships for implementing C&I and facilitating the exchange of information among all stakeholders (chaired by Christina Amoako-Nuama, Ghana); and contributing to the work of the UNFF and to the international initiatives on C&I related to sustainable development (chaired by Ingwald Gschwandtl, Austria).

The working groups formulated draft conclusions and recommendations that were presented and discussed in Plenary and subsequently incorporated into the final report of CICI-2003. Delegates participated in field excursions to observe local forestry practices throughout the day on Thursday. On Friday, delegates convened in Plenary to finalize the recommendations and conclusions included in the final report. The following summarizes discussions according to thematic area.

STRENGTHENING THE ELABORATION AND APPLICATION OF C&I

BACKGROUND PAPER PRESENTATION: Robert Hendricks, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service Program, presented a background paper on strengthening the elaboration and application of C&I for SFM. He noted a growing number of actions on the ground, including the coordination of national forest data collection, standardization of country reporting, development of frameworks for national assessment, translation of SFM goals into broader sustainable management practices, and encouragement of participants to provide concrete cases studies on implementing C&I. He noted persisting confusion regarding the use of C&I and the lack of understanding of the relationship between national and sub-national C&I and certification. He stressed that C&I and certification are complimentary, not competitive, systems.

Hendricks identified challenges in C&I work, including the need to improve the understanding of the benefits of C&I, harmonize C&I terminology and use C&I properly. Regarding the elements of successful C&I processes, he highlighted: partnership-based development and implementation of C&I; permanent institutional mechanisms to maintain political support; networking and bilateral work; cross-sectoral efforts to implement SFM; and the inclusion of SFM principles in university curricula. He also recommended encouraging C&I champions, creating an international technical advisory committee, and developing a common set of C&I to be refined by regional processes.

In the ensuing discussion, a participant from the US suggested that an international policy advisory committee also be established.

CASE STUDY PRESENTATIONS: James Brown, Oregon Department of Forestry, US, presented a case study on the implementation of the Montreal Process in Oregon. He explained that the Montreal Process provided a framework for the analysis and evaluation of Oregon’s forests that had proven useful and credible for collecting and evaluating data about forest conditions and developing forest policies that contribute to social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Thang Hooi Chiew, Malaysian Forestry Department Headquarters, highlighted Malaysia’s experience with developing a set of C&I for SFM at the national and FMU levels, based on the ITTO’s criteria for the measurement of sustainable tropical forest management. He remarked that: C&I have assisted in the identification of elements needed for SFM in Malaysia, and for monitoring and evaluating progress; the application of C&I has created greater awareness of SFM among forest managers and workers; market prices of forest products should reflect the full costs of work on C&I for SFM; and the proliferation of forest management certification schemes using different sets of C&I has exacerbated the need for a set of internationally-agreed C&I for assessing SFM.

Miguel Ramirez, Administration for the Protection of Rural Areas, Honduras, discussed the practical use of C&I to evaluate SFM in the pine forests of Honduras at the FMU level. He stressed that: some C&I are not applicable for all locations; C&I need to be adapted for different cultures; and economic factors must be considered when selecting C&I. He noted the need to develop a strategy for centralized data collection and for monitoring and evaluation at national and FMU levels, and said that more research is necessary to determine which C&I are most appropriate for forest certification.

In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed the financial cost of implementing C&I. A participant from Malaysia noted the cost of C&I as a major constraint, and a participant from the US suggested that costs could be kept down by avoiding excessively detailed C&I.

Participants discussed the need for long-term monitoring systems and national forest inventories (NFI) and for social, economic and environmental indicators. A participant from the US highlighted the usefulness of legislation or positive incentives to encourage the private sector to measure C&I.

GENERAL DISCUSSION: Discussion centered on the following themes: national-level work and applications; the relationship between national and sub-national level C&I; linkages with certification; linkages with monitoring, assessment and reporting; the review and refinement of indicators; and the importance of NFIs.

On national-level work and applications, a participant from Costa Rica recommended that through international cooperation, all countries should be encouraged to elaborate national C&I. He also recommended that the process of developing indicators be directed by the ministries.

Regarding the relationship between national and sub-national level C&I, a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) representative noted that in many developing countries it may be more appropriate to develop C&I at the local level, and in many developed countries, at the national level. A participant from India noted that state governments are having difficulty with data collection and monitoring and with the investment required for C&I implementation.

Regarding linkages with certification, a participant from Ecuador said the majority of forest owners in Ecuador have limited capacities, and are unable to meet the high standards necessary for certification. He noted that a simple set of C&I is more appropriate for such forest owners. A participant from Trinidad and Tobago remarked that certification provides a financial incentive for countries to implement C&I.

The Pan-European Forest Certification (PEFC) said that certification in Europe has helped to increase stakeholder awareness of C&I. On linkages with monitoring, assessment and reporting, a German participant noted that C&I are useful tools for raising public awareness on the goods and services provided by forests.

On the review and refinement of indicators, a participant from Vanuatu noted the need to refine regional indicators to suit national circumstances. A participant from Canada noted that Canada is currently trying to reduce its number of national-level indicators, and said it is necessary to adapt indicators to changing circumstances. Several participants noted that it is not necessarily relevant to report on all indicators.

On the importance of NFIs, a South African participant stressed the importance of information exchange. A participant from Trinidad and Tobago recommended the standardization of NFIs. Ghana stressed the need to mainstream C&I into NFIs and NFPs.

PROMOTING POLITICAL COMMITMENT FOR THE USE OF C&I

BACKGROUND PAPER PRESENTATION: José Antonio Prado, Instituto Forestal, Chile, presented a background paper on the need for promoting political commitment for the use of C&I as tools for SFM. He said the main challenges in implementing C&I include: the diversity of political interests related to forests; lack of comprehension of the SFM concept and C&I; the lack of financial resources and technical capacity in many developing countries; and low political commitment at various levels.

Prado recommended that political commitment at the international level be fostered through: partnerships between developed and developing countries; coordination between different C&I processes, especially in regard to criteria; adequate cooperation; and a legally-binding instrument. He said that at the national level, specific actions to foster commitment might include: increasing awareness of C&I for SFM; creating a multistakeholder dialogue; implementing NFPs to promote SFM; strengthening local capacities through international cooperation; and demonstrating the benefits of implementing SFM and C&I on the ground. He also recommended a review of existing C&I at national and international levels.

CASE STUDY PRESENTATIONS: Ewald Rametsteiner, MCPFE, described the process of developing pan-European C&I under the MCPFE Process. He stressed that the non-binding nature of C&I for SFM and a participatory approach were useful for gaining and strengthening political commitment. He said the benefits of C&I in Europe are clearly visible to all stakeholders, which helps to sustain political will to implement the C&I. In the ensuing discussion, participants stressed the importance of promoting political commitment through: evaluation of the direct and indirect economic benefits of SFM; and providing technical and financial resources for developing countries.

Emmanuel Siisi-Wilson, ATO, highlighted ATO’s experiences in the implementation of C&I, based on collaboration with development partners and CIFOR. He highlighted the creation of a harmonized ATO-ITTO set of PC&I. He stressed that, despite the expressed political commitment in the region, implementation of C&I is hampered by the lack of financial resources in the region.

Sergio Sánchez Ballivián, Amazonian Cooperation Treaty, explained how political commitment was fostered within the Tarapoto Process, and highlighted a financial initiative to support the validation of C&I in the region.

In the ensuing discussion, participants agreed that major challenges in C&I work include sustaining and increasing political commitment and translating political will into action. A participant from Uruguay commented that political will is insufficient to ensure implementation. Several delegates noted that the importance of forests is underestimated and stressed the need to ensure that forest issues become a political priority, especially at the national level.

Regarding, the relationship between national commitments and regional and international frameworks, participants from Iran and Pakistan discussed the need for national dialogue prior to engaging in regional and international agreements. A participant from the UK said reaching political commitment at the regional level helps to influence actors at the national level. A delegate from Australia pointed out the need for C&I that are relevant to national goals and policies.

GENERAL DISCUSSION: Discussions focused on the following issues: the meaning of political commitment; ways to promote commitment at national, sub-national, regional and international levels; and ways to enhance cooperation between C&I processes and involve countries not yet participating in C&I initiatives.

On the nature of political commitment, a participant from the US stressed that meaningful political pressure should come from local communities, and highlighted that public interest and political commitment depend on many dynamic factors and that C&I should reflect changing circumstances. Several participants stressed that real political commitment is demonstrated through the provision of funds and capacity building.

On linkages between C&I and NFPs, participants agreed that C&I and NFPs are mutually supportive. A participant from Chile stressed the need for cross-sectoral cooperation at all levels. Participants agreed that national coordination is important in the process toward SFM.

Regarding the need for a legally-binding instrument, some participants said creating a legally-binding instrument would distract from fostering real political commitment.

A participant from Finland noted that existing political commitment could provide a basis for working toward an agreement on a common set of criteria and a common understanding of indicators. He recommended creating synergies among existing processes at all levels, including through a common information platform for the regional processes and the integration of expert networks. He stressed the importance of integrating C&I and sustainable development-related processes.

On ways to promote political commitment at the national level, a participant from the US recommended ensuring the participation of all stakeholders, engaging other sectors and using regional commitments to enhance efforts of governments at the national level. A participant from the UK stressed the responsibility of forestry ministries to sell the concept of C&I to other ministries. He said the regional processes provide an opportunity to convince national officials of C&I benefits.

A participant from Iran said CICI-2003 demonstrates the existence of political commitment, but noted that in order to strengthen political will and turn commitment into action, greater regional and international cooperation is required to assist developing countries in C&I development and implementation. A participant from Côte d’Ivoire lamented the absence of donors at CICI-2003. An ATO representative stressed the need for greater bilateral cooperation to support national processes.

Many delegates emphasized the need to mobilize the internal resources of developing countries. A participant from the US suggested refining and strengthening C&I and recommended creating an enabling environment for domestic and foreign investment in the forest sector. A participant from Mexico stressed the need to create national alliances and ensure more efficient use of existing bilateral mechanisms. A participant from Uruguay stressed the need for South-South technology transfer, and highlighted Uruguay’s cooperation with Argentina, Chile and Cuba in this regard.

A participant from Colombia recommended incorporating C&I as tools for assessment and evaluation in technical assistance programmes. A participant from Paraguay called for utilizing existing information structures and cooperation between technical experts, highlighting a relevant FAO information project in the Caribbean and Latin American region. A participant from South Africa highlighted the role of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in promoting SFM and emphasized linkages between SFM and sustainable development.

On global commitment to C&I, a participant from the US highlighted the need to bring C&I to the forefront of the forest discussions at the global level, and emphasized the role of FAO, ITTO, UNFF and other international organizations in promoting high-level commitment and facilitating cooperation among regional C&I processes. She stressed that the donor community is guided by priorities set by national governments and recommended that developing countries: place forest issues high on the national agenda to facilitate donor assistance and international cooperation; take advantage of funding available through the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF), the ITTO, the NFP Facility (hosted by the FAO), and other international organizations.

A representative from the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in Sahel (CILSS) recommended linking work on C&I to poverty alleviation and food security programmes and considering C&I for monitoring political commitments.

STRENGTHENING CAPACITY AND PARTNERSHIPS TO IMPLEMENT C&I

BACKGROUND PAPER PRESENTATION: Ravindra Prabhu, CIFOR, presented a background paper on strengthening institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships for implementing C&I and facilitating the exchange of information between all stakeholders. He highlighted the importance of continuing international dialogue and multilateral consultations for promoting the C&I processes, and stressed the need to engage stakeholders at all levels, taking into account their specific needs.

He recommended strengthening stakeholders’ capacities to implement C&I through the following: formulating dynamic and participative forest policy and legislation that promotes C&I; ensuring the availability of technical and financial resources; strengthening capacity for conducting research and transferring knowledge, skills and technology; providing the means to strengthen the involvement of local governments and stakeholders; providing access to information; and organizing cost-efficient networking and information exchange at all levels, including the regional processes. He also stressed the importance of linking work on C&I to processes related to sustainable development.

CASE STUDY PRESENTATIONS: Marvin Brown, American Forest and Paper Association, described the "Roundtable for SFM," an ongoing stakeholder process to develop C&I in the US, highlighting independent professional facilitation and participants representing diverse interests as important features of the Roundtable.

Brown explained that the benefits for industry from engaging in the process included improved information about forestry resources and policies, and dialogue between different interest groups. He stressed the challenges of: achieving trust between all interest groups; developing a common understanding of the benefits of C&I; strengthening linkages with other processes; improving data collection; and, at the global level, building capacity and harmonizing C&I processes.

Ram Prasad, India, presented the outcomes of an ITTO project aimed at increasing local communities’ capacity to assess the benefits of SFM. He explained that the methodological framework for developing local-level C&I involved: the orientation of stakeholders toward the need for C&I; the participatory development of site-specific indicators based on a set of national C&I; and field validation and refinement of indicators. He noted that the C&I development process was followed up by initiatives to strengthen capacities for implementing C&I, further methodological development and information exchange. He said that the project would likely continue because local communities recognize that C&I implementation gives them credibility as successful forest managers.

Jari Parviainen, Finland, presented a case study on strengthening institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships for implementing and refining C&I in Finland. He highlighted the following features of C&I work in Finland: political commitment and sufficient budget; democratic and dynamic processes; reliable data; the involvement of the private sector and NGOs; strong research input; cooperation with NFPs; and close cooperation with the MCPFE process. He noted that C&I help to communicate the SFM concept to forest managers.

GENERAL DISCUSSION: Discussion focused on recommendations for: capacity building and institutional strengthening; stakeholder participation; public outreach and education; exchange of experiences and information; and research.

A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative stressed that forest issues can be brought to the forefront of the international agenda only through linkages with poverty alleviation, water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity issues.

On capacity building and institutional strengthening, several participants said that local communities represent untapped resources for implementing C&I and stressed the need for simple, relevant and effective C&I that they could utilize. A participant from India said that capacity building and institutional strengthening should be addressed at the highest level, including at ministerial conferences.

A number of participants supported building innovative administrative control and supervision systems to ensure that forest administration work is conducted in a transparent manner and involves all stakeholders. The US highlighted the potential role of international cooperation in creating such administrative systems. A participant from Ecuador stressed that stakeholder participation is crucial during the phase of C&I negotiation.

On public outreach and education, a participant from Canada stressed the need to take into account the divergence of stakeholders’ views. A participant from Guatemala shared his country’s successful experiences in creating "dialogue tables" among stakeholders and noted the need for international cooperation to reinforce the creation and functioning of similar mechanisms at national and regional levels.

A participant from Trinidad and Tobago said that stakeholder partnerships are a unique means for promoting C&I at all levels and underscored the untapped potential of education and outreach for promoting C&I. He called for the recognition of insufficient capacities within developing countries for C&I development and implementation, and recommended that funding for public outreach and education be increased.

A participant from the US pointed out that university curricula are outdated and do not cover subjects crucial for successful SFM, such as communication, collaboration and conflict management. Another participant from the US suggested that regional processes’ member countries submit national C&I-based reports to the UNFF to assist the UNFF in making informed decisions.

On the exchange of experiences and information, a CIFOR representative reiterated the need for capacity building across the sectors and for improved institutional mechanisms for cross-sectoral cooperation. A participant from Canada called for better utilization of forest-related data collected by different bodies. A UNDP representative suggested that the forest sector make an effort to cooperate with other sectors, for example, by engaging in the World Water Forum.

An ITTO representative highlighted the ongoing work on linking forest and water issues, including an FAO/ITTO expert meeting held in 2002 and the ITTO’s participation in the World Water Forum.

On research, a participant from the US stressed the need for further research to identify C&I that are useful for all stakeholders, including C&I for the non-market benefits of forests. He recommended that relevant international bodies and organizations, such as the FAO, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), facilitate research on C&I related to the forests’ protective functions, biodiversity, and role in carbon cycles.

CONTRIBUTION OF C&I TO THE WORK OF THE UNFF AND INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES

BACKGROUND PAPER PRESENTATION: Ewald Rametsteiner, MCPFE, presented a background paper on key issues for the future development of international initiatives on forest-related C&I for sustainable development. He highlighted that increased coordination and collaboration reduces costs, increases benefits, and supports and assists the regional processes. Regarding monitoring, assessment and reporting to the UNFF and international fora, he emphasized that while C&I are useful tools for SFM reporting, there is a need to streamline and synchronize requirements. On global approaches to forest-related C&I, he recommended taking a stepwise approach and stressed that any globally-agreed C&I should be complementary to national and regional C&I.

GENERAL DISCUSSION: Discussion focused on the following key themes: increased coordination and collaboration; monitoring, assessment and reporting to the UNFF and other international fora; and global approaches to forest-related C&I.

A representative from FAO described the FAO-led Global Forest Resources Assessment (GFRA) and its possible links to C&I processes. Noting that CICI-2003 has identified the need for global harmonization of C&I processes, he explained that the GFRA process is an important reporting framework for C&I-related information. He outlined a list of global criteria, including forest health, biodiversity and socioeconomic functions of forest resources, which he said capture the common elements of the regional and international C&I processes and have been proposed to constitute the structure of GFRA reporting.

Several participants highlighted the importance of collaboration and coordination at national and regional levels. A Malaysian participant recommended that future forest resource assessments take into account both regional and national C&I processes, as well as information on, inter alia, biological diversity, forest health and carbon services. A participant from Chile proposed the establishment of a collaborative network to facilitate cooperation between the relevant processes. A participant from Paraguay noted that many developing countries have insufficient capacities and resources to gather necessary information and participate effectively in the C&I processes.

A number of participants drew attention to the need to reduce reporting burdens. A participant from the UNFF highlighted the recently established CPF task force on streamlining forest-related reporting.

Regarding how to operationalize coordination and collaboration among C&I processes, a Finnish participant proposed assigning a small group of experts to address this task. A participant from the UK recommended building on existing processes. A participant from the US, supported by many, proposed that the FAO and ITTO convene an international expert consultation to consider the possibility of establishing a communication network among C&I processes and member countries. She proposed that the expert consultation would consider and make recommendations on: improving the common understanding of concepts, terms and definitions related to C&I; identifying common approaches, methods and protocols for collecting data; strengthening existing C&I processes; and the merits of forming an international technical advisory committee. A participant from Guatemala expressed concern regarding the extent to which the US-proposed international expert consultation would engage regional processes and other fora.

Regarding whether to adopt a common set of global criteria, participants considered, but were unable to agree on, seven possible common criteria: extended forest resources and global carbon cycle; biodiversity; forest health and vitality; productive functions of forests; protective functions of forests; socioeconomic functions; and legal policy and institutional frameworks. In particular, participants from Brazil and Malaysia objected to the reference to the global carbon cycle, whereas Canada and the US supported the reference.

Several participants including Malaysia, Finland and the US expressed support for either a common set of criteria, or at least recognition of common elements and thematic areas addressed by the regional and international C&I processes. A Brazilian participant questioned the purpose of developing a common set of criteria, and supported taking a more cautious approach involving strengthening coordination, collaboration and communication.

In Plenary discussion on the working groups preliminary conclusions and recommendations, Brazil objected to language referring to the potential benefits of "a common set of criteria" and instead preferred "thematic areas of existing criteria elaborated by regional processes." Canada opposed Brazil’s suggestion.

CLOSING PLENARY

On Friday morning, CICI-2003 Vice President Luis Alberto Castañeda Amaya (Guatemala) introduced the draft final report of CICI-2003, containing the 29 conclusions and 24 recommendations that were formulated by the four working groups. Participants then suggested amendments to the report.

On the many applications of C&I, delegates agreed to include reference to certification. Regarding political commitment at the regional level, participants agreed to specify that political commitment at the regional level can also provide a framework for coordinating requests for external assistance.

Regarding the need to develop innovative ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of forestry institutions, participants discussed, inter alia, the need for a reference to outsourcing forestry institutions’ monitoring and enforcement functions. A participant from India suggested deleting the reference. Participants agreed to retain the text and specify that the innovative ways may include the redefinition of roles and mandates of public, private and civil society.

Considering a conclusion on development assistance to the forest sector, a participant from Trinidad and Tobago added language on the need to raise the forest sector’s profile both in national and international policy agendas.

A participant from Iran proposed adding a new paragraph to highlight the importance of small- and low-forest cover countries’ (LFCCs) forests for the global and national significance to biodiversity and the need to consider their needs and requirements in international and regional fora.

Regarding the potential benefits of a common set of criteria, participants discussed the need to specify that these benefits may include promoting credibility and progress at the international level. A participant from Brazil suggested deleting the text. A participant from Australia recommended substituting this text with language stressing the benefits of C&I for demonstrating progress toward SFM at the international level and, after a short discussion, participants agreed.

Regarding C&I as a framework for certification schemes and the role of certification in developing C&I, a participant from Finland suggested text stating that "certification can also serve in some cases as a tool supporting development of C&I." The US suggested restricting the conclusion to the sub-national level.

On recommending countries to identify indicators, comparable to economic and social indices, a participant from Brazil opposed a reference to economic and social indices, and it was deleted.

On recommending the FAO and ITTO convene an international expert consultation before UNFF-4, participants agreed that the consultation should be held as soon as possible to provide inputs to the work of the UNFF between its third and fourth sessions.

In closing, Luis Ernesto Barrera Garavito, INAB Executive Director, commended participants for their positive spirit and their commitment, and on behalf of the Government of Guatemala, thanked the institutions and agencies that provided support for the CICI-2003. He urged all countries to implement the conclusions and recommendations of the conference and officially closed CICI-2003 at 6:00 pm.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
OF CICI-2003

The following is a summary of the Final Report of CICI-2003, which includes 30 conclusions and 23 recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS: CICI-2003 concluded, inter alia:

  • C&I have many applications and serve as a framework for setting goals, monitoring SFM and NFPs, certification, assisting strategic planning and communicating on progress made to policy makers and the public, as well as helping to build bridges between stakeholders;
     

  • mainstreaming and integrating C&I into NFPs or other policy processes can facilitate progress toward SFM and serve as a useful tool for monitoring the efficiency and effectiveness of these programmes and related projects;
     

  • the contribution of SFM to poverty alleviation, water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity is insufficiently recognized; C&I for SFM should be used in public outreach and education as powerful tools to improve this recognition and coordination among sectors;
     

  • the involvement of foresters and forest-related institutions and organizations in processes oriented towards SFM, such as C&I, is insufficient; and national coordination is needed to help ensure that SFM contributes to, and benefits from, developments in other sectors and from overall sustainable development;
     

  • broadly-based participation of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the work on C&I advances: the understanding of the benefits of C&I, generating political commitment, and refining, strengthening and making C&I more meaningful;
     

  • effective stakeholder participation in developing and implementing C&I can be enhanced if stakeholders’ needs and interests are taken into account;
     

  • community-based management can be enhanced through monitoring of C&I implementation;
     

  • there are a number of innovative mechanisms for promoting stakeholder participation and dialogue in the development and implementation of C&I;
     

  • political commitment at all levels, especially at the national level, is essential to developing and implementing C&I, and needs to be further enhanced;
     

  • political commitment at regional and international levels, especially on the ministerial level, can provide a powerful framework for national efforts, coordinate requests for external assistance, facilitate shared views and make best use of technical capabilities;
     

  • there is a need to strengthen collaboration and coordination between C&I processes, and between the forest and other sectors and international initiatives dealing with indicators;
     

  • there is a need for innovative ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of forestry institutions, which may include redefinition of the roles and mandates of the public and private sectors and civil society, and the outsourcing of some functions, such as monitoring and enforcement;
     

  • the full realization of the potential of C&I as tools for SFM is often constrained by insufficient capacity, especially in developing countries and at the local level;
     

  • development assistance to the forest sector has declined; the donor community is guided by priorities set by national governments; and there is a need to raise the profile of the forest sector and the role of SFM and C&I in national and international policy agendas;
     

  • forests in LFCCs are of global and national significance to biodiversity. In this regard, their special needs and requirements in developing and implementing C&I for SFM should be considered appropriately in relevant regional and international forest fora;
     

  • there is a need to attract and mobilize domestic and external financing, and to help ensure more efficient use of existing funding and institutional mechanisms to support C&I development and implementation;
     

  • national level indicators developed in regional and international processes may require adaptation by countries to reflect specific country conditions;
     

  • not all national-level indicators are relevant at sub-national levels of application, and priorities attached to them and approaches to monitoring, assessing and reporting them may vary between levels;
     

  • management objectives can determine the relevance of indicators at the FMU level, and national-level progress toward SFM may be determined through an aggregation of lower-level indicators, if the sub-national or FMUs are representative of country conditions;
     

  • adoption of C&I at the national, sub-national and FMU levels can be facilitated by legislation and incentives;
     

  • C&I provide a framework for many current certification schemes; certification can serve in some cases as a tool to support development and implementation of C&I;
     

  • there is a need for harmonization of concepts and terms related to C&I to improve common understanding of SFM and C&I;
     

  • the coverage and quality of available data is a major constraint for the effective implementation of C&I and SFM;
     

  • while national forest assessments and inventories are an important source of data for compiling national-level information, other sources should be taken into account;
     

  • national forest assessments and inventories can enhance action at the national level and promote regional compatibility and comparability; there is a need to ensure that data collected is relevant to political and institutional needs and environmental conditions; and there is a potential to further develop national forest assessments and inventories;
     

  • C&I are recognized as a useful contribution to the overall framework for the GFRA; information collected by the GFRA will facilitate the use of C&I in national and international fora;
     

  • coordination and information exchange among international and national organizations that collect forest-related data should be improved;
     

  • participants welcomed the establishment of the Task Force of the CPF on Streamlining Forest-related Reporting and its work toward harmonizing and reducing national reporting burdens;
     

  • participants discussed the potential benefits of a common set of criteria based on existing sets of criteria elaborated by regional and international processes for facilitating information sharing, and acknowledged the following thematic areas of SFM common to all regional and international C&I processes: extent of forest resources (with a footnote specifying that some processes include reference to the global carbon cycle); biodiversity; forest health and vitality; productive functions of forest resources; protective functions of forest resources; socioeconomic functions; and legal, policy and institutional frameworks;
     

  • there is a need to effectively use the UNFF as a global policy forum, which can enhance high-level commitment and action in support of SFM at the national and international levels; full support should be given to the coordination and harmonization effort of the CPF, with a view to facilitate and rationalize reporting.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The final report of CICI-2003 recommends that, inter alia:

  • countries develop and integrate C&I into NFPs;
     

  • countries and international organizations, as well as the UNFF, proactively engage related sectors, such as water, energy, health, agriculture and biological diversity, in their outreach activities to increase awareness of the forest sector’s work on C&I and maintain forests on international and national policy agendas;
     

  • countries use nationally or regionally-accepted indicators as a means to inform decision makers and the public on the status of forests and their impacts on other related and non-related sectors;
     

  • countries promote broad stakeholder participation for the development, implementation and monitoring of C&I in order to strengthen political commitment;
     

  • countries use existing national and local-level fora as communication channels for C&I;
     

  • countries identify or establish national and sub-national bodies as needed to promote and monitor implementation of C&I;
     

  • countries with limited capacity consider starting with an easily-measured core set of indicators and expand gradually; and FMU-level indicators address the specific needs of communities, small landowners and forest managers;
     

  • universities and other educational institutions incorporate the latest information on SFM in their curricula;
     

  • developing countries create an enabling environment to attract domestic and foreign investment in the forest sector, including for implementation of C&I, and mobilize other domestic and external resources for this purpose, including through bilateral and international partnerships;
     

  • countries and C&I processes seek support for their work on C&I through the FAO,GEF, ITTO and other relevant organizations;
     

  • C&I processes strengthen cooperation by sharing experiences;
     

  • countries not members of any regional or international C&I process consider joining one;
     

  • voluntary approaches, such as certification schemes, be encouraged to use C&I;
     

  • countries and processes use existing mechanisms and fora, such as Regional Forestry Commissions and the CPF Task Force, to enhance collaboration and coordination among the C&I processes;
     

  • C&I processes make use of existing forest expert groups and networks to support further elaboration and implementation of C&I;
     

  • national and international institutions carry out research on C&I that are difficult to assess, including biodiversity, non-market values, carbon sequestration and social and cultural aspects and values; and
     

  • FAO use the thematic areas based on existing sets of criteria that are common to regional and international C&I processes in the overall framework for the GFRA and help ensure that specific national or regional aspects are incorporated in the assessment process.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR

TRANSBOUNDARY CONSERVATION WORKSHOP: A joint ITTO/IUCN workshop on increasing the effectiveness of Transboundary Conservation Areas (TCAs) in tropical forests will be held from 17-21 February 2003, in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. The workshop aims to raise the profile of TSA and provide input to the World Parks Congress. For more information, contact: Eva Mueller or Alastair Sarre, ITTO Secretariat; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: rfm@itto.or.jp or editor@itto.or.jp; or Stewart Maginnis, IUCN; tel: +44-22-999-0001; e-mail: stewart.maginnis@iucn.org; Internet: http://www.iucn.org/themes/fcp/activities/transboundary1.htm

FOREST PRODUCTS RESEARCH: PROVIDING FOR SUSTAINABLE CHOICES AND THE FOURTH WORLD SYMPOSIUM ON LOGISTICS IN THE FOREST SECTOR: This All Division 5 IUFRO meeting will be held from 11-15 March 2003, in Rotorua, New Zealand. The meeting will serve as a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in forest products research at national and international levels and consider scientific progress toward meeting the rapidly increasing demands for forest products, while maintaining the forest as the source of such products and a resource for social, economic and environmental benefits. The Fourth World Symposium on Logistics in the Forest Sector will convene in conjunction with this meeting from 11-15 March 2003. For more information contact: Brigitte Cabantous, IUFRO Conference Organizing Committee; tel: +64-7-343-5846; fax: +64-7-343-5507; e-mail: alldiv5iufronz@forestresearch.co.nz; Internet: http://www.forestresearch.co.nz

COFO-16: The 16th biennial session of the FAO Committee On Forestry (COFO) will convene from 10-14 March 2003, in Rome. The session will bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues and advise FAO and others on appropriate action. For more information contact: Michael Martin, FAO; tel: +39-06-5705-3302; fax: +39-06-5705-5137; e-mail: michael.martin@fao.org; Internet: http://www.fao.org/forestry/foris/webview/forestry2

THIRD WORLD WATER FORUM: The Forum will be held from 16-23 March 2003, in Kyoto, Japan. A Ministerial Conference will be held during the Forum, where Ministers will work toward framing and adopting a political declaration concerning global water problems. For more information contact: the Forum Secretariat; tel: +81-3-5212-1645; fax: +81-3-5212-1649; e-mail: office@water-forum3.com; Internet: http://www.worldwaterforum.org

ECPF-2: The Second International Expert Consultation on the role of Planted Forests (ECPF-2) will be held from 24-30 March 2003, in Wellington, New Zealand. The meeting aims to, inter alia, promote the role of planted forests and identify ways to maximize their contribution to global SFM. For more information, contact: the ECPF Secretariat; tel: +64-4-498-9847; fax: +64-4-498-9891; e-mail: plantedforestrymeeting@maf.govt.nz; Internet: http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/unff-planted-forestry-meeting

MCPFE-4: The Fourth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE-4) will be held from 28-30 April 2003, in Vienna, Austria. The European ministers responsible for forests will take further decisions to promote progress toward the protection and sustainable management of forests in Europe. The Conference will be held under the joint chairmanship of Austria and Poland and is open to participants and observers of the MCPFE. For more information contact: Peter Mayer, Liaison Unit Vienna; tel: +43-1-710-7702; fax: +43-1-710-77-0213; e-mail: liaison.unit@lu-vienna.at; Internet: http://www.mcpfe.org

ITTC-34: The thirty-fourth session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-34) will convene from 12-17 May 2003, in Panama City, Panama. The First Preparatory Committee for the negotiations of the Successor Agreement to ITTA 1994 will be held immediately following the session. For more information contact: Alastair Sarre, ITTO Secretariat; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: editor@itto.or.jp; Internet: http://www.itto.or.jp

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RURAL LIVELIHOODS, FORESTS AND BIODIVERSITY: This conference will be convene from 19-23 May 2003, in Bonn, Germany and consider the role of forests in supporting rural livelihoods in developing countries and in maintaining biodiversity. Key objectives are to survey current knowledge, and identify policy lessons and a future research strategy. For more information contact: William Sunderlin, CIFOR; tel: +251-622-622; fax: +251-622-100; e-mail: w.sunderlin@cgiar.org; Internet: http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/shared/template/livelihoodconference.asp

CENTRAL AMERICAN CONGRESS ON FORESTRY: The Fifth Central American Congress on Forestry will be held from 21-23 May 2003, in Panama City, Panama. The meeting seeks to join researchers, experts, technicians, indigenous peoples, entrepreneurs, teachers and professionals from science and technology institutions to discuss their findings, field experiences and main results from their most recent research. For more information, contact: Irving R. D�az, ACAPROF; email: irving_diaz@hotmail.com; Internet: http://www.catie.ac.cr/news/notas/nota24.htm

UNFF-3: The Third Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNNF-3) will be held from 26 May to 6 June 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland. Delegates will discuss progress in implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action and the UNFF plan of action. For more information, contact: Mia Soderlund, UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3262; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: unff@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/forests.htm

WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS: The 12th World Forestry Congress, will be held from 21-28 September 2003, in Quebec City, Canada, to forge a vision of the future based on a balanced approach to sustainable forest management. For more information contact: World Forestry Congress 2003 Secretariat; tel: +1-418-694-2424; fax: +1-418-694-9922; e-mail: sec-gen@wfc2003.org; Internet: http://www.wfc2003.org

INTERNATIONAL WILDLAND FIRE CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION: The Third International Wildland Fire Conference will be held from 3-6 October 2003, in Sydney, Australia. For more information, contact: Conference and Exhibition Managers; tel: +61-2-9248-0800; fax: +61-2-9248-0894; e-mail: wildlandfire03@tourhosts.com.au; Internet: http://www.wildlandfire03.com/home.asp


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