Working Group I continued its debate on programme element III.1(a), forest assessments (E/CN.17/IPF/1996/20). The ECE stressed the need to cooperate at national, regional and international levels and to search for complementarity among partners of Forest Resource Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000). MALAYSIA sought the establishment of common definitions and parameters and recommended the creation of a matrix depicting types of forest uses at all levels in order to consider a user-pays approach. CANADA, supported by PORTUGAL, called for the inclusion of cultural and social data, the development of methodologies to collect cultural data, a clear prioritization of activities and a cost assessment.
CHINA emphasized the need for transparency in financing for FRA 2000. COLOMBIA urged greater collaboration among relevant intergovernmental agencies, NGOs and governments in undertaking FRA 2000. SWITZERLAND suggested that resources could be used more efficiently if the time frame for FRA 2000 was altered from once every ten years to an on-going effort. GERMANY expressed concern regarding the FAOs ability to financially and technically complete FRA 2000 at this time. A detailed analysis of progress and resources should be prepared for IPF-4. CAMEROON and PAPUA NEW GUINEA acknowledged the importance of international support for the completion of national forest assessments, inventories and technology transfer. FINLAND supported a user-pays approach to garnering funds for FRA 2000. NORWAY, supported by VENEZUELA, sought prioritization of data collection and recognized the importance of capacity building. UNEP expressed its willingness to collaborate. FAO acknowledged the funding shortage for FRA 2000, stating the problem goes beyond the simple transfer of resources from one program to another.
David Cassells (World Bank) introduced the document on programme element III.1(b), forest resource valuation (E/CN.17/IPF/1996/25). Many countries referred to the purviews of the CBD and FCCC. BRAZIL made strong reservations on the document, objecting to, inter alia, its discussion of certification and joint implementation. Many delegations, including MEXICO, JAPAN, the PHILIPPINES, the US, SOUTH AFRICA, TURKEY and MALAYSIA, expressed concerns about the text, and the CHAIR reminded delegates that the valuation issue had already been fleshed out at IPF-2. MEXICO called for assessment of non-economic benefits of forests; these were also highlighted by JAPAN, the EU, COLOMBIA, CANADA, MALAYSIA and NGOs. The PHILIPPINES noted that cost efficiency is not the only criterion for biodiversity protection assessment. The EU, with the UK, noted that application of appropriate valuation methodologies will justify forest management economically.
The US, supported by NORWAY, differentiated between research on technical aspects of valuation and policy recommendations, noting limitations to across the board solutions. With BRAZIL, he recommended that IPF encourage other organizations research on methodologies. He highlighted improvement of valuation methodologies. KENYA emphasized assistance for development of sustainable forest policies, and, with KOREA and NEW ZEALAND, called for capacity building. An NGO representative noted that non-monetary values had been raised at IPF-2. The CHAIR recommended written submissions. SOUTH AFRICA distinguished intensively used from protected natural forests, and, with UGANDA, called for appropriate methodologies for valuing both. COLOMBIA noted a lack of specificity on countries already pursuing SFM. CHINA called for consideration of national legislation and capacities in implementation. NORWAY emphasized appropriate policy and regulation to control rent-seeking.
TURKEY noted the Forest Principles emphasis on promotion of public awareness and, with NEW ZEALAND, highlighted difficulties with recommending government efforts to control pricing. FINLAND urged further work on alternative mechanisms for analysis and incorporation of other values. CANADA noted the need for: participatory mechanisms; assessment of existing valuation efforts; and collaboration with the FCCC and CBD. POLAND called for biodiversity protection in productive forests and operational documents. SENEGAL, with GABON, sought clearer identification of elements for assessing values and practical guidelines for local communities. IUCN highlighted its policy brief on green national accounting. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA called for a practical means to incorporate natural resource accounting into SFM. NEW ZEALAND called for ways to internalize externalities related to non-timber values of forests in order to determine appropriate economic rents. UGANDA, supported by INDIA, emphasized participation of all interested parties.
AUSTRALIA supported: economic rent for wood products to cover management costs; natural resource accounting plans; and user fees as a means of supporting conservation. UNESCO sought pilot projects to test valuation methodologies and economic rent for non-timber values. INDIA supported joint forest management but noted difficulties in implementation. BRAZIL said tropical countries do not need to protect their biodiversity from pharmaceutical companies. The NETHERLANDS stressed the need to recognize soil conservation and carbon sequestration, particularly in swamp forests. The WORLD BANK noted the need to differentiate between quantifying values and setting prices.
David Harcharik (FAO) introduced the Secretary-Generals report on programme element III.2, criteria and indicators (E/CN.17/IPF/1996/21). He encouraged wider country participation in the development of C&I, a harmonization of terminology and identification of a core set of common indicators at the international level. FINLAND said C&I should be incorporated into NFPs and contribute to policy formation. An NGO representative expressed concern about the possible elimination of C&I because they appear too difficult to develop and implement. An internationally harmonized set of C&I would be premature. The EU supported C&I at the national level and encouraged information exchange between countries. AUSTRALIA, supported by NORWAY, sought harmonization of terms, definitions, methodologies and measurement standards used in developing national C&I.
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