When the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) came to a close in June 1992, most participants agreed that the Agenda 21 chapter on forests and the Statement of Forest Principles had little to show for the amount of time and energy devoted to forests during the UNCED preparatory process. However, despite the lack of progress on forests during UNCED, there has been an increase in momentum and political will to address international forest policy over the past year. Some meetings have focused on a specific type of forests, such as temperate and boreal forests. Other meetings have developed criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management and use. The FAO, national governments and non-governmental organizations have all hosted meetings. Many of these meetings will present reports to the April 1995 session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which, as part of its multi-year thematic programme of work, will review implementation of Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the Statement of Forest Principles.
This special three-part series of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin will provide a concise source of information on recent meetings on international forest policy. This first issue will summarize the current state of play on international forest issues on the eve of the CSD's ad hoc open-ended working group on sectoral issues. The second issue will summarize the FAO's Committee on Forestry meeting in March 1995. The third issue will summarize the CSD's treatment of forests during its April 1995 meeting. Funding for this special series has been provided by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme.