Working Group I negotiated all conclusions and proposals for action on implementation of forest-related decisions of UNCED at the national and international levels, including examination of sectoral and cross-sectoral linkages during the first week of IPF-4 and concluded a few remaining issues in the final Plenary on Friday, 21 February. Topics considered under this programme element include: progress through national forest and land-use programmes; underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation; traditional forest-related knowledge; fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought and the impact of air-borne pollution on forests; and the needs and requirements of developing and other countries with low forest cover. Key issues of debate included: wording related to national forest programmes, sustainable forest management and interested parties to involve; the role of plantations and national goals or requirements for forest cover; and whether to be consistent with the CBD in language on benefit sharing or include new language specifying payments to holders of traditional forest-related knowledge.
PROGRESS THROUGH NATIONAL FOREST AND LAND-USE PROGRAMMES: Delegates and two contact groups conducted negotiations on action proposals on national forest programmes (NFPs) on Thursday, 13 February, and related conclusions on Friday, 14 February. The Panel recognized NFPs as important policy frameworks for the achievement of SFM and emphasized the need for appropriate participatory mechanisms to involve all interested parties and for decentralization and, where applicable, the empowerment of regional and local government structures. The Panel also recognized the need for NFPs to be based on sound economic valuation of forest resources, be iterative, respectful of national sovereignty and allow for consistency between national policies and international commitments.
All action proposals on ODA and donor assistance were referred to Working Group II discussions on financial assistance. Delegates adopted language proposed by a contact group chaired by Canada on the key elements and the definition of NFPs by incorporating, inter alia: US language on the wide range of approaches to SFM; consistency with sub-national policies; partnership mechanisms; secure land tenure arrangements for indigenous people and local communities; valuation; and ecosystem approaches that include biodiversity. JAPAN stressed the importance of including evaluation in all text referring to the implementation and monitoring of NFPs.
Another contact group chaired by Australia considered: inconsistencies and differences in describing groups to be included in language on participation; the use of countries instead of governments; and US proposals to replace NFPs with national forest programmes, to delete all references to other appropriate or relevant policy frameworks, and to employ sustainable forest management (SFM) instead of the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. PERU, VENEZUELA and CANADA stated that the meaning of SFM is not yet clear. The ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, with the support of the EU, NORWAY and COLOMBIA, suggested replacing indigenous people, communities, or populations with indigenous peoples and proposed adding other forest-dependent peoples. BRAZIL and the G-77/CHINA replaced indigenous peoples with indigenous people. The EU suggested adding references to small forest owners and forest workers while the US advocated the use of forest dwellers and forest-related indigenous people and the deletion of forest workers.
Working Group I adopted contact group decisions to use: countries instead of governments; sustainable forest management and national forest programmes rather than their acronyms; indigenous people and forest-dependent communities, adding forest owners and forest dwellers where appropriate; sustainable forest management or the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, depending on the context, the former referring to national-level action and the latter to international action.
Proposals for action in this section: encourage countries to implement, monitor and evaluate NFPs; call for improved cooperation in support of SFM around the world using NFPs as a basis for international cooperation; encourage countries to integrate suitable criteria and indicators (C&I) for SFM into NFPs; stress the need for adequate provision of ODA and, as possible, new and additional funding from the GEF and other appropriate innovative sources; urge countries to develop, test and implement participatory mechanisms and multidisciplinary research at all stages of the NFP planning cycle; encourage countries to elaborate planning systems including private and community forest management; encourage countries to establish national coordination mechanisms among all interested parties based on consensus-building principles; urged countries to include capacity-building as an objective of NFPs; and encourage countries to develop the concept and practice of partnership including forest partnership agreements (FPAs) in the implementation of NFPs.
UNDERLYING CAUSES OF DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION: Delegates negotiated action proposals on underlying causes of deforestation on Thursday, 13 February, and conclusions on Friday, 14 February, Thursday, 19 February, and in the closing Plenary. Delegates debated the action proposal on the need for case studies. Some objected to the US and EU proposal to delete the action proposal and agreed to AUSTRALIAs amendments for countries to prepare, as appropriate, in-depth studies and to use a diagnostic framework.
After debate on the role of forest plantations in SFM, delegates adopted NEW ZEALANDs language on plantations as an element of SFM and as a complement to natural forests, replacing text presenting plantations as a tool for taking pressure off natural forests. The US questioned why national strategies to address underlying causes should include defining policy goals for national forest cover, but the action proposal urging countries to do so was retained. Language supporting the CBDs work on underlying causes of biodiversity loss was added by SWEDEN, CANADA and NORWAY, following a suggestion by GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL. In the conclusion that lists causes of deforestation, IRAN, supported by COLOMBIA, proposed deleting oil exploitation while GABON retained this reference with the Co-Chairs formulation: oil exploitation in forested countries, not conducted in accordance with appropriate national legislation.
The final document contains action proposals on: in-depth studies of the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation at the national and international levels and a global workshop on international causes; comprehensive analysis of the historical perspective of the cases of deforestation in the world; use of a diagnostic framework in order to identify underlying causes of deforestation, to develop and test the usefulness of the framework as an analytical tool in assessing options for forest utilization and to apply, refine and disseminate results; information collection on transboundary pollution; assessment and sustainability of wood supply and demand; the role of forest plantations; national strategies to address underlying causes of deforestation and, if appropriate, to define policy goals for national forest cover; mechanisms to improve policy formulation and coordination; policies for securing land tenure and participation; the need for timely and accurate information; integrated policy approaches; UNDP and donor assistance; and support for the CBD work programme for forest biological diversity.
TRADITIONAL FOREST-RELATED KNOWLEDGE: Working Group I conducted initial negotiations on traditional forest-related knowledge (TFRK) on Friday, 14 February. There was considerable debate on how to refer to the holders of TFRK and whom to specify in participation mechanisms and benefit- sharing in the use of TFRK. The US recommended replacing indigenous people, forest dwellers, forest owners and local communities with indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles in actions on: identification of TFRK; participation; enhancement of capacity; and digital and social mapping. The EU urged retaining the reference to forest owners. A nomenclature contact subgroup initially proposed forest-related indigenous people and other forest-dependent people embodying traditional lifestyles. The ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES disagreed with classifying and categorizing Indigenous Peoples. After continued informal discussions, delegates agreed to say indigenous people and other forest-dependent people who possess traditional forest-related knowledge.
On ways to inventory TFRK, COLOMBIA, GABON and DENMARK proposed language formulated by the ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES on free and prior informed consent of TFRK holders, that TFRK holders participate in identification of TFRK benefit-sharing, but UGANDA, the US and VENEZUELA objected. A contact group was formed to resolve this issue and language from VENEZUELA, the US and the G-77/CHINA qualifies final action proposals on the participation of TFRK holders and benefit-sharing with references to the context of each countrys national legal system. On action proposals to rehabilitate TFRK, delegates incorporated language proposed by the ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES on the cultural survival of indigenous people. The G-77/CHINA added language calling on countries to promote practical approaches to credit, recognize and reward TFRK holders in an action proposal for technical guidelines on TFRK application.
CANADA added an action proposal to consider decisions made in the third COP of the CBD, particularly on Article 8(j). A contact group added reference to the importance of collaboration between relevant international bodies, especially the CBD, and TFRK holders in an action proposal on forest biodiversity.
At BRAZILs suggestion, delegates requested a compilation of legislation on TFRK and benefit-sharing from the UN Secretary-General, in collaboration with the CBD Secretariat. CANADA added an action proposal inviting the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), together with UNCTAD, to advance international understanding of the relationship between IPR and TFRK. CANADA and the G-77/CHINA added language on means of combating illegal international trafficking in forest biological resources.
On policy and legal frameworks, the US added and/or other protection regimes after IPR while the EU changed international and national to appropriate levels. SWITZERLAND added an action proposal encouraging studies of national IPR and TFRK regimes.
On the conclusion on locating valuable new products, COLOMBIA inserted prior before informed consent. The EU, US and NORWAY objected to G-77/CHINA language on payment of royalty on IPR and NORWAY, supported by AUSTRALIA and CANADA, noted that IPR is not a defined concept and the Panel should instead be consistent with CBD language on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of TFRK. The G-77/CHINAs alternative proposal to substitute and appropriate payment to indigenous people and relevant local communities based on their IPR was also rejected. Delegates adopted the Co-Chairs formulation that reflects divergent views and uses CBD language on benefit-sharing, which many countries consider should incorporate appropriate payment.
Delegates had a similar debate on a new proposal for action to develop mechanisms for benefit-sharing that was referred from Working Group II based on the understanding that it would be better incorporated in Working Group Is work on IPR and TFRK. The debate again focused on remaining consistent with the CBD and whether to specify economic compensation or payment in benefit-sharing with TFRK holders. CANADA, supported by NORWAY, the US, NEW ZEALAND and the EU, rejected the G-77/CHINAs proposal to add language to ensure mechanisms to provide payments and economic benefits because this language is not consistent nor as broad as CBD language on securing benefit-sharing. The US insertion of benefit-sharing including payments where appropriate was adopted.
The final document contains action proposals on: incorporation of CBD COP decisions; international understanding, identification and maintenance of TFRK; frameworks to support IPR application; measures to rehabilitate and protect TFRK; participation and enhancement of the capacity of TFRK holders to participate; the bringing together of practical experience with benefit-sharing; recognition of traditional resource use systems; linkages between traditional and national SFM systems; ways to inventory, retrieve and protect TFRK; TFRK research; incorporation of TFRK in forest management training; networks for promoting TFRK sharing on mutually agreed terms; digital and social mapping; a WIPO study and country pilot studies on the relationship between IPR and TFRK; a compilation of international instruments and national legislation on TFRK; and mechanisms to ensure fair and equitable benefit-sharing.
FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS AFFECTED BY DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT: Delegates negotiated conclusions and action proposals on fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought on Friday, 14 February. On national and international action, the US added reference to dryland programmes and JAPAN added reference to an integrated SFM approach. ECUADOR extended action urging the establishment of protected areas to all areas affected by drought. TURKEY added reference to extension systems to text urging support for education, training and research. In a paragraph on strengthening partnerships, SWITZERLAND substituted sustainable management and regeneration of natural vegetation for action on desertification and drought. To an action proposal inviting the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) to research dryland trees, the G-77/CHINA added water management and delegates substituted plants for trees.
The final document calls for: national and international action to address complex dryland forest issues; analysis of past experiences; monitoring of trends in forests affected by desertification and drought; establishment of protected areas; support for education, training and participatory research; and invitation of the CCD to support research on arid plants, non-timber forest products and rehabilitation.
IMPACT OF AIR-BORNE POLLUTION ON FORESTS: Working Group I agreed to proposals for action and conclusions on the impact of air pollution on forests on Friday, 14 February. On adopting a preventative approach, the G-77/CHINA added language on strengthening international cooperation. Binding agreements was deleted and as appropriate added in an action proposal urging countries to consider entering into international agreements. The final document calls for: adoption of a preventative approach; cooperation for building scientific knowledge; regional programmes to monitor air pollution impacts; C&I for air-borne pollutants; and consideration of entry into international agreements.
NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS OF DEVELOPING AND OTHER COUNTRIES WITH LOW FOREST COVER: Delegates agreed to action proposals and conclusions on the needs and requirements of countries with low forest cover on Friday, 14 February. On an action proposal calling on FAO to develop precise definitions of low forest cover, the US added language to also ensure the development of workable definitions of low forest cover. On an action proposal for developing countries and countries with economies in transition to embark in national capacity-building, delegates broadened language to include capacity-building at subnational and local levels. Delegates rejected a US move to delete a reference to requirements for national forest estates in an action proposal calling for low forest cover countries to seek long-term security of forest goods and services. On forest plantations, the EU added text on native species and avoiding the replacement of natural ecosystems. The G-77/CHINA added an action proposal calling on developing countries to lead reforestation and conservation efforts by involving interested parties. After delegates debated action on greening the world, they adopted US language on expanding forest cover.
The final document calls for: the FAO to develop a workable and precise definition of low forest cover; NFPs and requirements for a permanent forest estate; forest plantations; regeneration of degraded forests; consideration of social, economic, environmental and cost and benefit issues; protected area networks; capacity-building at multiple levels; and development of research and information systems.
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