Delegates discussed Programme Element II on 13-14 March. Ralph Schmidt (UNDP) introduced the SG's report on financial assistance and technology transfer (E/CN.17/IPF/1995/5), which highlights economics and sustainable development.
The G-77/CHINA recalled the Forest Principles' references to: full incremental costs; new and additional financial resources; and technology transfer on favorable terms. He linked SFM to funding, stating that: donor coordination may decrease ODA; private resources may not favor sustainable development; and multilateral institutions often impose conditionalities. ECUADOR, supported by KENYA, BRAZIL, CHINA and CANADA, stated that each country must establish priorities. UGANDA highlighted the responsibility of recipients when asking for assistance. NORWAY noted that the GEF mandate adequately covers forests, and stressed that all countries should facilitate investments for SFM.
The EU, supported by the US, said the report inaccurately notes a decline in ODA for forestry. Supported by BULGARIA, he highlighted effective use of assistance, and increasing finance through non-ODA sectors including forest revenues. DENMARK, supported by the UK, the NETHERLANDS, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA and NORWAY, said financial instruments should complement each other, with public funds enabling private resources for sustainable development. The US highlighted joint ventures and noted that private investment can have detrimental impacts if not regulated. Regarding mobilization of domestic funds, the US highlighted the issue, the PHILIPPINES focused on international cooperation, and GABON noted difficulties in mobilization of funds. Regarding technology transfer, BRAZIL pointed out the private sector role and JAPAN stressed predictable and investor-friendly markets. Regarding the private sector, the PHILIPPINES said it might not be motivated by sustainable development; INDIA said it creates jobs but defeats forest policy; and COLOMBIA called for a strict code of conduct.
The IUCN and CANADA highlighted national trust funds and foundations. NORWAY praised carbon offsets and tradable emissions permits, but noted the latter would take time to develop. ECUADOR said tradable development rights could impinge on sovereignty and indigenous rights. ZIMBABWE, COLOMBIA and BRAZIL supported debt-for-nature swaps, but rejected debt-for-policy reform swaps and national forestry funds.
ARGENTINA, the PHILIPPINES and BRAZIL called the FCCC the proper framework for the discussion of carbon offsets and tradable emissions permits. FRANCE and AUSTRALIA welcomed language on tradable resources. FRIENDS OF THE EARTH questioned tradable development rights. MEXICO highlighted innovative mechanisms for development. NEW ZEALAND called national forestry funds national decisions. UKRAINE called for support for economies in transition. PERU highlighted South-South development cooperation. CHILE underlined "triangular" cooperation, in which one developing country provides technical assistance to another, funded by an international agency. CANADA emphasized Agenda 21's language on technology transfer. The ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS - TRIBAL PEOPLES OF THE TROPICAL FORESTS said protection of indigenous knowledge and practices will only be realized if indigenous peoples and local communities are considered as subjects and not only as objects of any plan.
Delegates discussed the draft Co-Chairs' report on 21 March, which was revised on 22 March. The revised draft report highlights: Chapter 11 (Combating deforestation) of Agenda 21; international cooperation for SFM; ODA, domestic and private resources, and innovative financial mechanisms; forest plantations; data on valuation and investment; and technology transfer and capacity building.
FUNDACION NATURA noted: NTFPs and services; a code of conduct for donors including transparency and participation; replacement of natural forests by plantations; involving civil society in decisions on the private sector; and controlling illegal logging.
The EU, supported by the US, JAPAN, CANADA and NORWAY, noted that CSD intersessional meetings focus on finance and technology transfer and cautioned against duplication. Supported by UGANDA, ZIMBABWE and SWITZERLAND, he highlighted the role of ODA along with domestic resources such as forest revenue and private sector investment. Better valuation of products and services is essential. He questioned whether ODA for SFM is declining.
JAPAN asked for clarification of "commitments" accepted at UNCED. The US, supported by the PHILIPPINES, differentiated among different innovative mechanisms, recognizing the potential of joint ventures and debt-for-nature swaps. The US called for further analysis of carbon offsets, tradable permits and debt-for-policy-reform swaps.
UKRAINE supported finance and technology transfer for countries with transitional economies. MEXICO stated that recipient countries should have more weight in utilizing ODA, and that private sector funding should not replace ODA commitments.
UGANDA highlighted domestic resources, stating that ODA should be mutually beneficial. Supported by ZIMBABWE, he added language on conducive environments for profitable forestry businesses to complement ODA and enhance financial sustainability for SFM.
The FAO pointed out that it has no mandate to coordinate collection of data on forestry investment, as requested in the text. ZIMBABWE highlighted coordination to improve efficiency, and removing ODA conditionalities, which override priorities of recipients. Supported by several delegations, he noted that the report should avoid using conclusive wording.
The G-77/CHINA focused on: provision of new and additional resources; concessional and preferential technology transfer; and avoiding a prescription for national policies. In reference to finances, he: emphasized meeting UNCED commitments; expressed concern that "imposed conditionalities have not been compatible with SFM;" called GEF "totally inadequate" and available only to support legally-binding conventions; and called finance a prerequisite for technology transfer. He highlighted a code of conduct for private sector funding.
GABON suggested C&I for resource mobilization for sustainable development. CANADA highlighted: national codes of conduct for the private sector; transferring public sector technology; and domestic resources and innovative mechanisms for capacity building. BRAZIL suggested that alternative uses of forests could be construed as investments. Regarding technology transfer, he referred to triangular cooperation and public domain and private sector technology. He listed biotechnology, logging technologies and equipment, and environmentally sound technologies as priorities.
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