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WORKING GROUP I

Co-Chair Holdgate reminded delegates that a quarter of IPF-4 had passed, and no agreements had been reached. Thus the moment of truth had arrived.

NATIONAL FOREST AND LAND-USE PLANS: Discussion began with proposals for action on national forest and land-use programmes. A US proposal to replace “NFPs” with “national forest programmes” was adopted, as was the deletion of all references to other appropriate or relevant policy frameworks. The US advocated employing “sustainable forest management” (SFM) instead of “the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.” PERU, VENEZUELA and CANADA noted that the meaning of SFM is not yet clear. The Co-Chair proposed a contact group including both Working Groups.

For the subparagraph on national forest programmes, the G-77/CHINA proposed adding a reference to specific national conditions and legislation. JAPAN recommended adding a reference to evaluation. Both amendments were adopted. The US, supported by the G- 77/CHINA and CANADA, suggested inserting references to the wide range of approaches for SFM in NFPs. An informal contact group chaired by CANADA amended this subparagraph by inserting, inter alia: consistency with sub-national policies; partnership mechanisms; secure land tenure arrangements for indigenous and local communities; valuation; and ecosystem approaches which include biodiversity.

The subparagraph on cooperation in SFM was amended by the G-77/CHINA by adding “as appropriate” to encouraging all countries to use NFPs while the subparagraph on criteria and indicators (C&I) was amended when JAPAN added “evaluation” and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA added “on a step-by-step basis.”

The subparagraph on planning systems was amended by a reference to the evaluation of NFPs. The ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS-TRIBAL PEOPLES OF THE TROPICAL FORESTS, with the support of the EU and COLOMBIA, suggested replacing “indigenous people, communities, or populations” with “indigenous peoples” and “representation” with “participation.” BRAZIL and the G-77/CHINA amended “indigenous peoples” to “indigenous people.” The EU added references to forest owners and private management systems.

A subparagraph on encouraging capacities in all sectors was deleted. Text encouraging governments to establish national coordination mechanisms and strategies to promote NFP implementation was agreed. After suggestions by the G-77/CHINA, the EU, the US and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, a subparagraph on developing partnerships, which could include partnership agreements, was accepted.

COLOMBIA, DENMARK and several other delegations proposed paragraphs formulated by the ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS-TRIBAL PEOPLES OF THE TROPICAL FORESTS encouraging prior informed consent and benefits-sharing in territories of indigenous and other forest peoples. UGANDA, the US and VENEZUELA objected. The paragraphs were referred to a contact group. JAPAN, supported by the US, the G- 77/CHINA and CANADA, added a paragraph urging participatory mechanisms to integrate research into planning cycles.

Regarding conclusions, the G-77/CHINA added national constitutional and legal frameworks into text recognizing special groups’ traditional rights. The US deleted a reference to forest workers in the same section, which was then agreed.

A contact group was formed to negotiate amendments on the first paragraph under conclusions that defines national forest programmes. Delegates deferred discussion of action proposals and conclusions on financial resources and capacity-building pending consultations with Working Group II.

UNDERLYING CAUSES OF DEFORESTATION: After the US, the EU and others suggested deleting a paragraph on studies of underlying causes of deforestation, delegates agreed to an AUSTRALIAN amendment proposing that, as appropriate, countries prepare in-depth studies, analyze historical causes, and provide information on transboundary pollution. The US added a reference to “long-term trends” regarding sustainability of wood supply and demand. NEW ZEALAND added language on the role of plantation forests. The paragraph was agreed.

The subparagraph on analyzing policies with a positive effect was adopted. The US amended the subparagraph on national strategies by adding “as appropriate” to the reference to goals for national forest cover. The subparagraph on mechanisms to improve policy was retained with the US amendment of “such as” rather than “including” environmental impact assessment. The subparagraph on securing land tenure was amended with equitable “and appropriate” sharing of benefits.

Text recommending timely provision of information on underlying causes was accepted with minor amendments. The US deleted references to research and technology transfer in the proposal on financial assistance to developing counties. The G-77/CHINA urged retention of case studies and capacity building, and the paragraph was agreed.

With amendments from the US, NEW ZEALAND and the EU, delegates agreed to a paragraph urging developed countries, the UNDP and other organizations to assist countries in identifying underlying causes, applying and refining a “diagnostic framework.” Language supporting the Biodiversity Convention’s work programme on underlying causes of biodiversity loss was added by SWEDEN, CANADA and NORWAY following a suggestion by GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL.

Conclusions on the need to understand underlying causes and effects of production and consumption were agreed. A reference to poverty was added to the conclusion on sustainable development and removed from one on socioeconomic factors, and demographic pressure, mining and petroleum exploration were added.

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