Delegates deliberated the Secretary-Generals report (E/CN.17/IPF/1996/19), which discusses the role of ODA and, inter alia, proposes a working group on innovative ways to generate financial resources, a code of conduct for forest-based private companies and a set of indicators for evaluating international cooperation. BRAZIL said IPF should examine ways to direct private investment toward SFM. He supported the proposed working group and recognized the need for a code of conduct. EGYPT said the problems of countries with low forest cover should be better reflected in the proposals for action. MOROCCO supported the code of conduct and the working group. MALAYSIA said the code of conduct should be private-sector driven. JAPAN questioned the need for a working group and said the code of conduct needs further consideration.
NEW ZEALAND stated that while NFPs are important, they are not a prerequisite for SFM. COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, said that private sector activities have not been conducive to SFM so they must be carefully monitored, and alternative means of financing must be explored. FINLAND recommended that more emphasis be placed on creating favorable conditions for long-term private investment in SFM, including incentives for small-scale and micro-enterprises, internalization of environmental costs and appropriate pricing of environmental goods and services. CANADA said that the proposed code of conduct needs to be further specified. It must be voluntary and not overshadow the need for regulation of foreign investment at the national level. He also noted that the role of ODA should not be overemphasized. Market- based incentives and private sector activity should not be portrayed as a substitute for ODA but as a complement to ODA and national efforts in developing countries.
IRAN said the report shifts the focus on generating new and additional finances from the international to the national level. CUBA stated that capacity strengthening should be funded in developing countries and incorporated into deliberations on international cooperation. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA recognized the need and potential to mobilize private investment in SFM in developing countries, but noted that a lack of information and insecurity of investment create obstacles to realizing this potential. GABON questioned whether the proposed code of conduct would be national or international, and suggested the former would be more appropriate given differences in countries circumstances.
On technology transfer, the report calls for, inter alia, using technology needs assessments (TNA) and requests an expert group to propose measures on technology adaptation. The US said that TNA is one approach among many, supported the expert group initiative and questioned the utility of establishing new research institutions. The US, supported by AUSTRALIA, also proposed that IPF identify research priorities. SWITZERLAND highlighted the need for mechanisms to extend research findings to the field level. CAMEROON stressed sub-regional research and ZIMBABWE recognized the need to build on indigenous technology.
The UK underscored the development of appropriate technologies within developing countries. CANADA said he does not favor the creation of new institutions, as suggested in the expert group proposal. He noted that technology can also flow from South to North, and that many Canadian forest stakeholders could benefit from improved flows. AUSTRALIA supported trilateral cooperation, where a developed country facilitates transfers between developing countries. NORWAY supported the use of TNA and communication technologies to facilitate access. PAPUA NEW GUINEA stressed the importance of TNA to developing countries and North/South flows of high-tech transfers. INDONESIA described the efforts of the Consultative Group on Indonesian Forestry (CEIF) as a forum for information-sharing on SFM. GREENPEACE emphasized bottom-up approaches and community-based technology transfers. IUCN urged countries and research organizations to document and inventory traditional SFM technologies, such as agroforestry practices and traditional soil and water conservation methods. MALAYSIA said that while South-South cooperation has much potential, it should be assisted by donor countries.
BRAZIL said the report fails to mention ideas raised at IPF-2, such as a document detailing successful examples, and called for a meeting devoted specifically to technology transfer issues. MOROCCO highlighted scientific research efforts in the Mediterranean basin and noted the importance of traditional local technologies. COLOMBIA called for more active participation by governments to ensure that clean technologies are transferred. CANADA noted that the CBD is considering a clearinghouse mechanism on technology transfer with regard to biodiversity, so the IPF should take advantage of the opportunity for synergy with this endeavor to avoid duplication. CHINA recommended the addition of text asserting the need for developed countries to transfer environmentally sound technology to developing countries. CIFOR said the section of the report on research and development should recognize the weakness of forest research in Africa and the need to fund more research initiatives in that region.
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