Jean Clement, FAO, introduced the Secretary General's Report (E/CN.17/IPF/1996/10). The report provides an overview of C&I and suggests issues for consideration.
The EU highlighted international criteria for C&I at IPF-3, suggesting a regional approach linking national with subnational and forest-management levels. He highlighted the Helsinki Process, a regional effort in Europe. The G77/CHINA underlined C&I as a "main axis" of forest management, emphasizing international cooperation. C&I should incorporate national, social and cultural circumstances, be region-specific, and be developed in a transparent and participatory way. DENMARK called for examining definitions at IPF-3, and for translating C&I to the field level.
SWEDEN suggested that IPF-3 develop a menu of indicators for nations. TURKEY stressed developing global definitions on SFM. PORTUGAL described the Helsinki Process, and emphasized implementation.
GERMANY said the next step is to develop a C&I framework as consistent as necessary and as flexible as possible to guarantee comparability while respecting differences. GHANA said SFM should encompass interests of forest dwellers. Compatible, comparable global criteria might be possible. Requiring the same in indicators is unworkable. The UK said there is much convergence on criteria, but IPF should not seek a single set of indicators.
WWF said clear definitions of forests and SFM should distinguish between forest types by function. Economic and social indicators are insufficiently developed. CANADA said it is time to achieve a common meaning of SFM. IPF should examine C&I comparability and compatibility, but should not dilute concepts to achieve consensus. He supported efforts for regions not already covered by C&I processes and links between C&I for similar forests in different areas. The NETHERLANDS said formulation of C&I is a national responsibility based on internationally agreed C&I.
The US said IPF should not seek agreement on global C&I. The goal is national implementation. Universal criteria would result in a lowest common denominator and an inadequate picture of SFM components. It is more useful to promote comparability between sets of C&I. MALAYSIA called for international consensus on elements of SFM. The Secretariat should examine the proliferation of SFM initiatives and the comparability and convergence of initiatives. AUSTRALIA suggested identifying unifying goals and a framework for C&I that could be applied regionally by ecological zones and by countries with common interests. He supported field testing and standardizing indicators. NORWAY said variations between ecological zones and regions require national adjustments. C&I must not seek compatibility between countries.
INDIA said it seems possible to produce globally compatible national criteria, but with independent national or subnational indicators. Universally acceptable certification is a logical outcome of C&I. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said C&I should be simple, based on best available information, and reflect specific conditions. INDONESIA said global C&I are essential if certification is to be based on comparable standards. He suggested that regionalization may lead to the development of global C&I from which national C&I may be derived.
PERU stressed the need for consensus in establishing C&I. The needs of local communities beyond those necessary for survival must be reflected and the use of local knowledge should be encouraged. SWITZERLAND stated that the compatibility and comparability of various regional C&I initiatives should be further explored and that links between C&I and certification should be clarified.
COLOMBIA stated that C&I should: be simple and based on national needs; address socioeconomic factors; and facilitate national decision making. The proliferation of indicators should be discouraged until a feasibility assessment is concluded. POLAND encouraged the establishment of C&I at several levels and noted the importance of collecting and exchanging scientific data. IPF must determine whether to protect timber or forests prior to implementing certification schemes. BRAZIL stated that the development of global C&I should be gradual and acknowledge each country's unique qualities as well as the differences between natural forests and plantations. C&I should be flexible to meet changing circumstances and needs. Monitoring the field application of national C&I exceeds the scope of IPF.
MEXICO discouraged the proliferation of indicators and the imposition of global indicators at the national level. C&I should be flexible and address social, economic and biological factors. FINLAND stressed the need to recognize the links between the establishment of C&I to other IPF tasks such as reviewing forest assessments, national forest and land-use plans and international cooperation in trade. NEW ZEALAND underscored the gradual nature of C&I development and noted that meaningful results may not be immediately apparent. Comparisons and compatibilities among national C&I should be examined.
FRANCE called for a simple set of global C&I with universal applicability. IRAN stated that C&I should be developed regionally and that economic, social, legal, administrative and biological factors should be considered. JAPAN encouraged the development of a simple set of global C&I that could be used in global resource assessment.
The GLOBAL FOREST POLICY PROJECT stated that C&I should be developed at the national level first and address the needs of all stakeholders. SFM should be defined in an objective and scientific context, not a political one.
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