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IN THE CORRIDORS

A progress report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) was presented during day one of CSD-4. Privately, delegates and observers noted that much was left unsaid about the IPF process, with many expressing disappointment at progress made during the recent IPF-2 meeting in Geneva. While some preferred that IPF-3 address its terms of reference in the broadest manner to include such issues as forest management and underlying causes of deforestation, others noted that doing so would ensure that the Panel’s work would not be completed by its fourth session. Additionally, some delegates admitted frustration with a perceived unwillingness to subject temperate and boreal forests to the same level of scrutiny as tropical forests. While CSD-4 will not be considering forests, these delegates felt that the IPF is the beginning of a long process of negotiation in which CSD-5, during its review of the Forest Principles under Agenda 21, will play a key role in assigning responsibility for further discussion of this issue.