RELATIVE COMPETITIVENESS OF FOREST PRODUCTS: On economic studies of potential competition, JAPAN deleted references to competition between different forest products and products from different regions of origin. On increasing productivity in downstream processing activities, the US replaced promote with support, where appropriate, community-based processing and marketing of forest products.
LESSER USED SPECIES: On promoting lesser used species (LUS), CANADA, with the US, replaced products with species and specified where increased use is consistent with SFM. The G-77/CHINA called for international agencies and research institutions to promote LUS. The US added countries and specified domestic and international markets.
On policies for SFM, the G-77/CHINA replaced exploitation with utilization. The US added of economically-viable LUS. On technologies to increase utilization, the G- 77/CHINA added that institutions should transfer technology and support efforts to develop and adapt technologies. The US inserted sustainable utilization.
CERTIFICATION AND LABELLING: On the relationship between SFM, trade and certification and labelling (C&L), the G-77/CHINA suggested further examination of the role of voluntary C&L of forest products with regard to SFM and proposed new language on governments role in ensuring that schemes: are transparent, voluntary and nondiscriminatory; have open access and full participation; observe national sovereignty; and do not conflict with relevant domestic regulations. SWITZERLAND, supported by CANADA but opposed by the G-77/CHINA, noted that the role of governments in C&L schemes is not yet clear, so countries should support rather than ensure that schemes are not used as a form of disguised protectionism. SWITZERLAND proposed that since many C&L schemes are private and thus not covered under WTO rules, the reference to the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement be replaced with general international obligations and the WTO not be specified to undertake the proposed actions.
On applying principles to certification, the G-77/CHINA and the US replaced the reference to WTO members with all countries, changed principles to concepts and deleted practicability and direct relationship to SFM. A clause on equivalent standards and mutual recognition was deferred to the contact group. AUSTRALIA added the concept of transparency. The US gave credibility its own clause.
On further studies on certification, the US proposed language recognizing the market orientation of certification schemes and specified that relevant organizations with a mandate should study certification schemes. Based on a US proposal, the need to take account of was replaced with the relationship between various C&I frameworks and certification. The US, supported by AUSTRALIA and JAPAN but opposed by the EU and SWITZERLAND, recommended replacing the potential role of governments in relation to with issues relevant to the development, implementation, promotion and mutual recognition of C&I schemes. This section was referred to the contact group.
To a clause on the special needs of small forest owners, the G-77/CHINA added local communities, and the US added other forest-dependent populations. CANADA opposed a US proposal to delete further study on accreditation. The accreditation issue was submitted to the contact group. The G-77/CHINA proposed new clauses on the impact on relative competitiveness and the need for equitable equivalent labelling arrangements for substitutes and on needs of countries with low forest cover.
The EU, with the US and the G-77/CHINA, replaced text on CIFOR with language inviting countries to consider the relevance to certification schemes of the CIFOR project on C&I for SFM. On international harmonization and mutual recognition, CANADA proposed deleting a list of organizations and a clause on facilitating and promoting trade in forest products and recommended promoting equivalency and mutual recognition. After considerable debate this was supported by the EU, SWITZERLAND, and the G-77/CHINA. The US recommended deleting the subparagraph. It was deferred to the contact group.
On information exchange, the EU, with the G-77/CHINA, called upon countries and agencies to support continuous exchange. The US changed continuous to on an ongoing basis.
FULL-COST INTERNALIZATION: The G-77/CHINA proposed exploring ways and means rather than examining mechanisms for full-cost internalization, and CANADA added for wood products and non-wood substitutes. NORWAY added costs to examination of potential benefits of improved efficiency and sustainability.
MARKET TRANSPARENCY: The G-77 added forest products and services in a subparagraph on expanding the work of relevant institutions. On illegal trade in forest products, the US recommended that an assessment be undertaken by an independent group of experts convened by an appropriate UN agency rather than by an independent body and added incorporating information from all relevant sources and major groups. The EU added that the group should formulate recommendations on how to counter illegal trade. The G-77/CHINA proposed that countries provide an assessment and other relevant information. The subparagraph was deferred pending consultations by the G-77/CHINA.
Working Group IIs contact group met in the evening to discuss pending issues on finance and trade and environment.
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