Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

 

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

 

Vol. 13 No. 162
Monday, 30 April 2007

SUMMARY OF THE SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS FORUM ON FORESTS:

16-27 April 2007

The seventh session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF7) was held from 16-27 April 2007, at UN headquarters in New York. Nearly 600 participants attended the two-week session, which was viewed by most as a gargantuan task of negotiating both a non-legally binding instrument (NLBI) for sustainable forest management (SFM) for all types of forests and a Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) for the period 2007-2015. Negotiations centered on the Chair’s composite NLBI draft text, forwarded from the ad hoc expert group meeting in December 2006, and a suggested draft text on the MYPOW. After two weeks of difficult negotiations, culminating in an all-night session, both documents were adopted by 6:00 am on Saturday, 28 April. Delegates also adopted the draft resolution to which the NLBI will be annexed, and along with the MYPOW, will be forwarded to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for consideration.

During the meeting, delegates also participated in two Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues, a panel discussion with member organizations of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and the launching of preparations for the International Year of Forests 2011.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNFF

The UNFF was established in 2000, following a five-year period of forest policy dialogue facilitated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF). In October 2000, ECOSOC resolution E/2000/35 established the UNFF as a subsidiary body, with the main objective being to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

To achieve its main objective, the UNFF’s principal functions are to: facilitate implementation of forest-related agreements and foster a common understanding on sustainable forest management (SFM); provide for continued policy development and dialogue among governments, international organizations, and Major Groups, as identified in Agenda 21, as well as to address forest issues and emerging areas of concern in a holistic, comprehensive and integrated manner; enhance cooperation as well as policy and programme coordination on forest-related issues; foster international cooperation and monitor, assess and report on progress; and strengthen political commitment for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

The IPF/IFF processes produced more than 270 proposals for action towards SFM, and form the basis for the UNFF MYPOW and Plan of Action, which have formed the basis of the sessional work of the UNFF. Country- and organization-led initiatives have also contributed to the UNFF’s work.

ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION: The UNFF organizational session and informal consultations on the MYPOW took place from 12-16 February 2001, at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates agreed that the UNFF Secretariat would be located in New York, and addressed progress towards the establishment of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a partnership of 14 major forest-related international organizations, institutions and convention secretariats.

UNFF1: UNFF1 took place from 11-23 June 2001, at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates discussed and adopted decisions on UNFF’s MYPOW, a Plan of Action for the implementation of the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action, and UNFF’s work with the CPF. Delegates also recommended establishing three ad hoc expert groups to provide technical advice to UNFF on: approaches and mechanisms for monitoring, assessment and reporting (MAR); finance and transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs); and consideration with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests.

UNFF2: UNFF2 took place from 4-15 March 2002, at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates adopted a Ministerial Declaration and Message to the World Summit on Sustainable Development and two decisions and eight resolutions on: combating deforestation and forest degradation; forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems; rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover; the promotion of natural and planted forests; specific criteria for the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests (IAF); and proposed revisions to the medium-term plan for 2002-2005.

UNFF3: UNFF3 met in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 May-6 June 2003. UNFF3 adopted six resolutions on: enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination; forest health and productivity; economic aspects of forests; maintaining forest cover to meet present and future needs; the UNFF Trust Fund; and strengthening the Secretariat. Terms of reference were adopted for the voluntary reporting format, and the three ad hoc expert groups.

UNFF4: UNFF4 convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 3-14 May 2004. UNFF4 adopted five resolutions on: forest-related scientific knowledge; social and cultural aspects of forests; MAR and criteria and indicators; review of the effectiveness of the IAF; and finance and transfer of ESTs. UNFF4 did not reach agreement on resolutions on traditional forest-related knowledge and enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination.

UNFF5: UNFF5 took place from 16-27 May 2005, at UN headquarters in New York, with the goal of reviewing the effectiveness of the IAF. However, participants were unable to reach agreement on strengthening the IAF and produced neither a ministerial statement nor a negotiated outcome. They did agree, ad referendum, to four global goals on:

  • significantly increasing the area of protected forests and sustainably managed forests worldwide;

  • reversing the decline in official development assistance (ODA) for SFM;

  • reversing the loss of forest cover; and

  • enhancing forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits.

They also agreed in principle to negotiate, at some future date, the terms of reference for a voluntary code or international understanding on forests, as well as means of implementation. Delegates decided to forward the draft negotiating text to UNFF6.

UNFF6: UNFF6 took place from 13-24 February 2006, at UN headquarters in New York. Negotiators reached agreement on how to proceed with reconstituting the IAF. Delegates agreed on a text, later adopted by ECOSOC, containing new language on the function of the IAF, a commitment to convene UNFF biennially after 2007, and a request that UNFF7 adopt an NLBI on all types of forests. UNFF6 also agreed to the four global objectives for the IAF, which had been agreed ad referendum at UNFF5.

UNFF7 REPORT

Pekka Patosaari, Director, UNFF Secretariat, opened the meeting on Monday, 16 April, and said the Forum has increasingly become an integral part of the broader development agenda. He said the NLBI will signal a new era in international forest policy by stimulating and invigorating dialogue to address emerging issues, and enhancing international cooperation for a new people-centered forest policy agenda.

Delegates elected Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) as Chair, and Hamidon Ali (Malaysia), André-Jules Madingou (Gabon) and Arvids Ozols (Latvia) as Co-Chairs. Ali and Hoogeveen served as the Co-Chairs of Working Group I, and Madingou and Ozols served as Co-Chairs of Working Group II. Chair Hoogeveen urged delegates to conclude a first reading of the non-legally binding instrument (NLBI) and the multi-year programme of work (MYPOW) draft texts during the first week. He said an effective instrument must reconcile divergent views, particularly regarding means of implementation for sustainable forest management, and that the NLBI must include a financial mechanism. Delegates adopted the organization of work and the meeting’s agenda (E/CN.18/2007/1).

Germany, on behalf of the European Union (EU), called for shortening the NLBI text and enhancing its political appeal and authority. Stressing the financial needs of low forest cover countries (LFCCs), Pakistan emphasized the NLBI’s role in supporting local initiatives and integrating SFM and poverty reduction strategies.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo supported establishing a global forest fund. The Russian Federation said the MYPOW should include intergovernmental meetings organized by regional UN commissions to improve UNFF’s effectiveness and strengthen interaction with regional and subregional components. Australia said the NLBI should provide clarity on key elements of implementation, and account for the role of forest certification schemes in combating illegal logging and promoting SFM.

Colombia, on behalf of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), opposed establishing quantifiable goals. With India, ACTO stressed that reporting on implementation must be voluntary and subject to financial resources for its development, and called for creating a forest fund or financial mechanism. Japan prioritized periodic monitoring and reporting in each country and region. Guatemala underlined the need for transparent and fair markets.

Cuba stressed the importance of means of implementation for developing countries, and new and additional financing. Norway and others said the MYPOW should have a thematic focus for each UNFF session. He added that UNFF sessions should focus on in-session workshops and seminars, rather than negotiations. Switzerland said more active participation from members of the CPF and Major Groups should be secured. Mexico said the NLBI should include benchmarks or indicators to measure implementation, while respecting national sovereignty. The US highlighted good governance as a cross-cutting issue.

CPF Chair Jan Heino highlighted the joint commitment and implementation power of CPF member organizations. Major Groups stated that three key areas for the NLBI are governance, benefit-sharing, and policy and programme implementation.

Fiji emphasized international support for SFM implementation in small island developing states, particularly ODA and capacity building. The Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) called for integration with other sectors such as energy, agriculture and biodiversity. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) described its activities to support SFM, including publishing the State of the World’s Forests reports, supporting national policy development, and working jointly with the CPF.

Sudan, on behalf of the African Group, called for: an NLBI that includes a global forest fund and a mechanism for the transfer of ESTs; and a MYPOW that emphasizes regional collaboration, financial investments, ESTs and capacity building. Costa Rica said the NLBI must strengthen financial resources and the MYPOW must enable regional dialogue to feed into future UNFF sessions. New Zealand called for the MYPOW to give prominence to regional processes. Papua New Guinea, for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, emphasized the role of regional collaboration in SFM implementation, information exchange and coordination among member countries.

Presentation on means of implementation

On Tuesday, 17 April, Gerhard Dieterle, World Bank Programme on Forests (PROFOR), introduced a background paper on means of implementation, stating that it analyzes trends in ODA, and identifies potential new donors and mechanisms for financing and facilitating SFM investments. Hosny El-Lakany, independent consultant, reported the paper’s major findings, including: the need to mainstream SFM into national development strategies; a shift towards using ODA as seed money for private sector engagement; and the need for a portfolio approach to financing. Michael Jenkins, independent consultant, outlined the suggested structure of the portfolio approach, consisting of: a mechanism to mobilize forest investment from the private sector, ODA and philanthropy; implementing and catalyzing functions of the NLBI; and a portfolio of activities including donor collaboration, improved governance, carbon markets and national forest monitoring analysis.

The Secretariat presented a paper, prepared by the Bureau, which proposes the establishment of a global forest partnership trust as the funding mechanism to implement the Global Objectives. He outlined principles that would govern the proposed fund, including a portfolio of multiple funding sources, results-driven disbursement and minimization of new structures and transaction costs. He also highlighted funding sources, including public funding to be used as seed money, international trade and forest-based companies. He said UNFF would act as the governing body of the trust. The EU and the US said it was premature to begin discussing mechanisms, before undertaking a full exchange of views. Cuba and Venezuela expressed support for the Bureau’s paper.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUES

MSD1: In the first multi-stakeholder dialogue, held on Wednesday, 18 April, Children and Youth highlighted the relationship between SFM and intergenerational equity, and called for criteria and indicators on education and capacity building. Women underscored concerns about women’s insecure land tenure and lack of capacity within forestry institutions to design and monitor gender-responsive strategies. Farmers and Small Forest Landowners called for clear and secure tenure and land use rights and a mechanism to support public-private partnerships. NGOs and Indigenous Peoples, in a joint statement, cautioned against relying on market solutions to combat forest destruction and called for: recognizing indigenous and local communities’ rights; and community and small landholder access to the financial mechanism. Scientific and Technological Communities supported a trust fund for forests and NLBI text on increasing scientific and technological capacity and cooperation. Noting the role of fair wages and labor group empowerment for SFM, Workers and Labor Unions called for references in the NLBI to relevant conventions of the International Labor Organization.

Many delegates welcomed the participation of Major Groups and their proposals. Delegates called for: addressing workers’ rights in the NLBI; expanding social financing for stakeholder involvement, rather than relying solely on donor support; encouraging participation of the Business and Industry Major Group, certification organizations, and local communities. Supported by many, Australia encouraged textual proposals from Major Groups, with Switzerland suggesting allowance for Major Groups’ participation in Working Groups.

MSD2: Lorraine Rekmans, National Aboriginal Forestry Association, Canada, facilitated the second multi-stakeholder dialogue, held on Monday, 22 April. This focused on three themes: indigenous and local communities’ participation; private sector investment in SFM; and Major Groups’ participation in the MYPOW. For Indigenous Peoples, Rekmans called for recognition of the sovereign autonomy of indigenous peoples in the NLBI.

Business and Industry called for policy settings that provide a stable enabling environment. Pakistan questioned poor countries’ capacity to mobilize private sector funding. NGOs stressed political commitment to implementation and that certification schemes must involve communities and Major Groups. Farmers and Small Forest Land Owners said: SFM should not be based only on subsidies; certification should remain a market initiative; and the NLBI should include benefit-sharing. Australia called for focused consideration of certification schemes and private sector engagement.

Scientific and Technological Communities advocated critical analysis of the portfolio approach for financing, suggested by PROFOR, and called for funding for education and extension programmes. Children and Youth lamented the low demand for certified timber and the absence of education from the portfolio approach, and called for civil society involvement in NLBI implementation. Workers and Trade Unions called for greater recognition of the multi-functionality of forests and involvement of Major Groups and other stakeholders in decision-making.

Women stressed partnerships among all stakeholders. Indigenous Peoples appealed for recognition of their efforts and better relations between indigenous peoples, governments and major stakeholders. CPF Chair Jan Heino confirmed their willingness to maintain dialogue with relevant groups.

CPF PANEL DISCUSSION

On Wednesday, 18 April, Chair Hoogeveen invited representatives of CPF member organizations to report on their organizations’ priorities regarding SFM and the Global Objectives on Forests. CPF Chair Jan Heino said clear UNFF guidance to CPF members and consistent messages by member states to CPF member governing bodies are essential for enhancing inter-agency cooperation.

Luis Macchiavello, International Tropical Timber Organization, called for inter-agency cooperation to address complex SFM issues in tropical forests including illegal logging, certification and indigenous rights. Jorge Rodriguez, UN Development Programme, urged mobilization of resources through multilateral environmental organizations to implement the Global Objectives and IPF/IFF Proposals for Action.

Andrew Bennett, Center for International Forestry Research, called for clear guidance from partners about their priorities, underlining the importance of national systems for delivery of implementation support. Warren Evans, World Bank, outlined the Bank’s proposed Global Forest Alliance that will engage partners toward achieving targets related to climate change, poverty reduction, protected areas and sustainability of production forestry, and which could provide a means of implementation to support the Global Objectives and NLBI.

Risto Seppälä, International Union of Forest Research Organizations, highlighted a new joint CPF science and technology initiative supporting UNFF and other forest-related processes by providing state-of-the-art scientific knowledge. Mark Zimsky, Global Environment Facility (GEF), highlighted a framework strategy for SFM to be presented to the GEF Council in June, outlining opportunities for countries to implement SFM through GEF projects, and a process to shorten and simplify the GEF project cycle.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates advocated: fair and transparent GEF financing procedures and hiring of local experts to review projects; allocation of more time for dialogue with CPF members in the future; and effective use of resources focused on national priorities.

IYF 2011 CELEBRATIONS

On Tuesday, 17 April, delegates heard ministerial statements and a performance by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City in celebration of the launching of the preparations for the 2011 International Year of Forests (IYF). UNFF Executive Director Patosaari said the IYF will stimulate action on forests, and urged participation of all stakeholders, in particular children and youth, stressing education as the main awareness-raising tool.

Ivica Grbac, Assistant Minister, Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Croatia, highlighted the potential role of forests in mitigating climate change, and proposed an annual International Day of Forests. Emile Doumba, Minister for Forests, Fisheries and National Parks, Gabon, said the Central African Forests Commission demonstrates political commitment in the region. M.S. Kaban, Minister of Forestry, Indonesia, highlighted national pledges in support of the IYF, including enacting a law on combating illegal logging in 2008.

Pembe Didace Bokiaga, Minister of Environment, Democratic Republic of the Congo, outlined national actions undertaken to ensure SFM, and appealed to partners to provide financing for these activities. Jorge Rodriguez, Vice Minister of Environment, Costa Rica, noted his country’s achievement in doubling its forest cover and its aim to become the first developing country to reduce its carbon emissions. Agnieszka Bolesta, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Environment, Poland, highlighted Poland’s active contribution to developing regional policy on forests through the MCPFE. José Cibrián Tovar, Director General, National Forest Commission, Mexico, highlighted the importance of pursuing international cooperation and coordination, and innovative aspects of Mexico’s forestry programme. Shamsul Momen Palash, Organization of Art for Children, Bangladesh, announced the launch of the Child Forest Campaign to plant one million trees and develop leadership for SFM in Bangladesh.

non-legally binding instrument

On Monday, 16 April, the Secretariat introduced a revised composite draft text for developing an NLBI (E.CN/18/2007/3), stating that it had been compiled based on country proposals submitted after UNFF6 and revised after the first reading of the draft during the ad hoc expert group meeting in December 2006. He noted that 50% of the text was taken from previously agreed language.

Working Group I (WGI) convened daily from Tuesday, 17 April, to Friday, 27 April, to discuss the NLBI composite draft text. The Group completed a first reading by the end of the first week and considered several revised Chair’s texts during the second. A contact group, co-chaired by Irena Zubĉeviĉ (Croatia) and Tri Tharyat (Indonesia), also met throughout the second week to discuss the following contentious issues: financing, the facilitative mechanism, quantitative timebound targets, and SFM definitions and framework. On Friday, the contact group met throughout the day and into the night to finalize the revised Chair’s text. Early on Saturday morning, the contact group agreed to language on developing a financing mechanism, and forwarded the agreed text for adoption by the plenary. The final text will be available on the UNFF website: http://www.un.org/esa/forests.

The following summary of the NLBI negotiations is organized according to the structure of the original Chair’s draft composite text. During discussions, delegates agreed to delete subsection headings.

PREAMBLE: The preamble was discussed throughout the two weeks in working group and contact group sessions. Delegates agreed to shorten and streamline the preamble. Contentious issues included references to: climate change, LFCCs, Major Group participation and financial resources.

On climate change, delegates debated an EU proposal to include reference to forest-related action on climate change. Some developing counties expressed concern about interferences with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and delegates agreed to a separate paragraph on climate change.

The African Group and Pakistan repeatedly made requests for reference to needs of LFCCs. Several developed countries initially opposed, but eventually agreed, to insert a reference in the preamble stating that member states reaffirm the needs and requirements of countries with fragile forest ecosystems, including those of LFCCs.

When discussing language on recognizing the dependence of SFM on additional financial resources, several developed countries suggested specifying that it also depends on good governance. Developing countries preferred, and delegates agreed, to address good governance in a separate paragraph.

Delegates also agreed to delete references to: forest law enforcement; illegal logging; the role of the private sector; international trade in forest products; the CPF as key mechanism for SFM implementation; and Major Group participation.

Final Text: The agreed text states that member states:

  • recognize the benefits of forests and trees outside of forests and emphasize that SFM contributes significantly to sustainable development and poverty eradication;

  • recall, inter alia, the 2005 World Summit Outcome, the Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests; Chapter 11 of Agenda 21; the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action, resolutions and decisions of UNFF, and internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

  • welcome the accomplishments of the IAF and recall ECOSOC decision 2006/49 to strengthen the IAF;

  • reaffirm their commitment to the Rio Declaration, including, inter alia, that states have the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other states or areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction;

  • recognize that SFM, as a dynamic and evolving concept, aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations;

  • express concern about continued deforestation, forest degradation, the slow rate of afforestation and forest cover recovery and reforestation, and adverse impacts on economies, the environment, and livelihoods, and emphasize the need for more effective implementation of SFM at all levels;

  • recognize the impact of climate change on forests and SFM, as well as the contribution of forests to addressing climate change;

  • reaffirm the special needs and requirements of countries with fragile forest ecosystems, including those of LFCCs;

  • stress the need to strengthen political commitment and collective efforts at all levels, to include forests in national and international development agendas, to enhance national policy coordination and international cooperation and to promote intersectoral coordination at all levels for the effective implementation of SFM of all types of forests;

  • emphasize that SFM implementation is critically dependent upon adequate resources, including financing, capacity development and transfer of ESTs, and recognize in particular the need to mobilize increased financial resources, including from innovative sources, for developing countries, including least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states, as well as countries with economies in transition;

  • emphasize that implementation of SFM also critically depends upon good forest-related governance at all levels; and

  • note that the provisions of the instrument do not prejudice the rights and obligations of member states under international law.

PURPOSE: Delegates debated the NLBI’s purpose throughout the two weeks in working group and contact group sessions. The most contentious debates revolved around whether the NLBI should serve as a framework for “policy making” or for “action” at international and national levels; and whether the purpose should be to implement SFM, and/or the Global Objectives.

The EU and Mexico supported references stating that the NLBI provides guidance for implementation and national action. Developing countries preferred stating that it serves as a framework for international cooperation and national action, opposing references to policy guidance and to strengthening political commitment for national action. After lengthy discussions, delegates agreed that the NLBI provides “a framework for national action and international cooperation.”

Delegates also debated whether the purpose of the NLBI should be to achieve the Global Objectives, SFM or sustainable management of all types of forests. The EU and Mexico favored SFM, while Brazil, Malaysia and Senegal favored sustainable management of all types of forests. Delegates agreed on compromise language encompassing all three references. Delegates encountered similar debates throughout the text. The EU and Mexico proposed, but developing countries opposed, referring consistently to implementation “of SFM” or “this instrument.”

 Colombia, Brazil, Malaysia and Venezuela, opposed by the US, the EU and Mexico, suggested deleting reference specifying that the NLBI provides a framework for collaboration and coordination among CPF members. The reference was deleted. Delegates also debated whether language on states’ responsibilities should include reference to enforcement of forest-related laws and decided to insert a corresponding reference in the section on principles and scope. Language on savings clauses, stating that nothing in the instrument prejudices states’ international obligations, and Major Group participation were moved to the section on principles and scope.

Final Text: The text states that the purpose of the instrument is to:

  • strengthen political commitment and action at all levels to implement effectively SFM of all types of forests and to achieve the Global Objectives;

  • enhance the contribution of forests to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, in particular with respect to poverty eradication and environmental sustainability; and

  • provide a framework for national action and international cooperation.

PRINCIPLES AND SCOPE: Delegates debated the NLBI’s purpose throughout the two weeks in working group and contact group sessions. Contentious issues included references to states’ sovereign rights and obligations under international law.

The US, Brazil and Mexico, opposed by the EU and the African Group, insisted on inserting a savings clause stating that nothing in the instrument prejudices states’ international obligations. After informal consultations, the EU proposed to move the reference to the preamble, which was agreed to during the closing plenary.

Brazil and Colombia, opposed by the EU, also supported referencing states’ sovereign rights to exploit their own resources. Brazil and Colombia eventually agreed to delete the reference, since it duplicated a preambular paragraph.

On achieving SFM, developing countries requested language stating that SFM depends on mobilizing new and additional financial resources at the international level, while developed countries favored stating that it also requires domestic resource mobilization and good governance. Developing countries: opposed reference to good governance; called for specifying that financial resources must be adequate and predictable; and suggested separating references on international and domestic resource mobilization. After extensive debate on whether to merge both references into a single paragraph, delegates agreed on stating that SFM depends, inter alia, on mobilizing additional resources and good governance at all levels; and on including a new paragraph on the role of international cooperation, financial resources, education and other measures for the achievement of SFM in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

Delegates agreed to delete a subsection on definitions and use of terms and on membership of regional economic integration organizations and Major Groups. On Major Group participation in forest decision making, delegates discussed, and eventually agreed, that they should be involved in a transparent and participatory manner.

Delegates also discussed how to express the commitment made by NLBI member states. The US proposed that states “resolve to” or “agree to” implement the actions laid out in the instrument. The EU preferred stating that states “should” implement, while Brazil, opposed by many, suggested stating that member states “consider measures that may include” the actions listed. After lengthy debate and consultation with a UN legal counsel, delegates agreed to use language stating that member states “should” implement the actions listed throughout the document.

Final Text: The agreed text states that member states should respect the following principles:

  • the instrument is voluntary and non-legally binding;

  • each state is responsible for the sustainable management of its forests and for the enforcement of is forest-related laws;

  • Major Groups, local communities, forest owners and other relevant stakeholders contribute to achieving SFM and should be involved in a transparent and participatory way in forest-decision making processes that affect them, as well as in SFM implementation, in accordance with national legislation;

  • achieving SFM, in particular in developing countries as well as countries with economies in transition, depends on significantly increased new and additional financial resources from all sources;

  • achieving SFM also depends on good governance at all levels; and

  • international cooperation plays a crucial catalytic role in supporting the efforts of all countries to achieve SFM.

GLOBAL OBJECTIVES: This section was adopted without any changes.

Final Text: The agreed text states that members reaffirm the following shared global objectives on forests and their commitment to work globally, regionally and nationally to achieve progress towards their achievement by 2015:

  • Global Objective 1: Reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide through SFM, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation, and increase efforts to prevent forest degradation;

  • Global Objective 2: Enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits, including by improving the livelihoods of forest dependent people;

  • Global Objective 3: Increase significantly the area of protected forests worldwide and other areas of sustainably managed forests, as well as the proportion of forest products from sustainably managed forests; and

  • Global Objective 4: Reverse the decline in ODA for SFM and mobilize significantly increased new and additional financial resources from all sources for the implementation of SFM.

SFM: Delegates addressed this section containing a definition of SFM and the seven thematic elements for SFM in working group and contact group sessions as well as informal consultations throughout the two weeks. Agreement was reached only after lengthy debate during the final night of UNFF7.

Brazil, Venezuela, the African Group, Malaysia, the US and others proposed deleting the definition, with Brazil and Venezuela noting that they were not prepared to accept any language that could be interpreted as a definition of SFM. They also opposed additional language stating that the seven elements constitute an indicative set of criteria for SFM. The US supported retaining the thematic elements without a definition.

The EU, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and Japan insisted on language defining SFM and linking it to the seven thematic elements for SFM in a separate section, while stressing the importance of retaining SFM as the conceptual framework for the NLBI. The African Group suggested integrating the thematic elements in the sections on national policies and measures or monitoring, assessment and reporting.

In the course of the discussions, the EU and Australia put forward numerous proposals, including: describing SFM as a dynamic and evolving concept rather than defining it; inserting preambular language describing SFM; and including a description and the thematic elements in the section on principles and scope to serve as a “conceptual framework for SFM.” After numerous contact group sessions and informal consultations delegates reached agreement to: insert a description of SFM as a dynamic and evolving concept in the preamble; insert the identical description in a new section on the NLBI’s scope; insert language on the thematic elements in the section on national measures, with reference to the description in the section on scope; and delete the original section on SFM.

Final Text: The agreed text contains a new section entitled “Scope” stating that the instrument applies to all types of forests, and that SFM, as a dynamic and evolving concept, aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations.

NATIONAL POLICIES AND MEASURES: Delegates addressed national policies and measures throughout the two weeks in working group and contact group sessions. During discussions, delegates agreed to delete most of the text in the chapeau and all subsection headings. This summary is structured according to the original subsection headings.

Policies and instruments including national forest programmes: This section originally included language on development of national forest programmes (NFPs), commercialization of forest goods and services, and management tools. Contentious issues included: development of quantifiable, timebound targets for NFPs, references to voluntary certification schemes for forest products, and references to legal harvesting of forest products for trade.

On NFPs, the EU and Switzerland promoted inclusion of quantifiable timebound targets to support SFM, which was strongly opposed by the US, India, Brazil, Venezuela and other developing countries. Several developing countries suggested developing C&I based on the seven elements for SFM instead, which was not accepted by developed countries. Delegates eventually agreed to language stating that countries should develop NFPs that contain measures, policies or specific goals for achieving SFM, and that countries should use the seven thematic elements for consideration as C&I for SFM.

Regarding measures for promoting sustainable forest goods production, the discussion focused on voluntary measures for certification, distribution of benefits, mechanisms for valuing forest goods and services, and environmental impact assessments. The most contentious issue was a reference to encouraging voluntary measures, “such as forest certification schemes,” which was supported by the EU, Mexico, Australia and the Dominican Republic, but opposed by Brazil, Colombia, India and China. The US opposed references to voluntary measures “in accordance with national legislation,” while Mexico suggested clarifying that all voluntary measures are included. Delegates eventually agreed to retain the reference stating that voluntary measures, such as certification schemes and other appropriate mechanisms, should be developed in a transparent and participatory manner.

On distribution of benefits, delegates agreed to reference policies that contribute to poverty reduction and the development of rural communities.        

Enabling environment for SFM: In the discussion on measures for creating an enabling environment for investment in SFM, developing countries demanded stronger language on local community involvement, while opposing references to secure land tenure arrangements, in text on private sector involvement. In contact group deliberations, delegates agreed to delete reference to land tenure arrangements and decided that the enabling environment for both private sector and local community involvement should be addressed by a framework of policies, incentives and regulations. Delegates also discussed and agreed on language regarding the development of mechanisms for valuing forest goods and services.

Forest law enforcement and governance: On this issue, developing countries urged reference to governance in the forest sector only, and opposed references to combating corruption. Venezuela proposed deleting the section, retaining only a paragraph on capacity building. Delegates agreed on reference to strengthening forest law enforcement, promoting good governance and combating and eradicating illegal practices

Forest health and vitality and protected areas: Delegates discussed and agreed to language on policies to prevent deforestation, and threats to forest health from alien invasive species, natural disasters and human activities.

Research: On protecting and using traditional forest-related knowledge (TFRK) for research, the African Group proposed references to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Intellectual Property Organization, whereas other developing countries preferred reference to relevant international processes. The EU, opposed by the US and many developing countries, proposed deleting references to benefit-sharing. At a later stage the EU requested reference to access in relation to benefit-sharing and developing countries demanded reference to the approval of knowledge holders. In the contact group, delegates agreed on language including reference to using TFRK with approval and involvement of its holders and promoting the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of its utilization. Delegates also decided to delete a reference to CPF joint research initiatives to avoid duplication with the section on international cooperation.

Public awareness and education: Delegates discussed and agreed to include references to: fragile ecosystems, in language on promoting education to reduce pressure on forests; and education for all relevant stakeholders, including forest owners. Delegates agreed to delete references to universal education and participatory research, as well as communities embodying traditional lifestyles, in language on indigenous and local community involvement in training and education systems.

Participation of Major Groups: Delegates from all countries stressed the importance of Major Group participation on several occasions. China and Pakistan, opposed by the EU and others, suggested specifying that Major Group participation be “subject to national legislation.” Delegates agreed to omit the proposal.

Final Text: The agreed text states that to achieve the purpose of the instrument and taking into account national policies, priorities, conditions and available resources, member states should:

  • develop and implement NFPs or other strategies for SFM that which identify actions needed and contain policies, measures or specific goals, taking into account the relevant IPF/IFF Proposals for Action and UNFF resolutions;

  • consider the seven thematic elements of SFM, which are drawn from the criteria identified by existing C&I processes, as a reference framework for SFM and, consider them as C&I for SFM;

  • promote the use of management tools to assess impacts on the environment of projects that may significantly affect forests and promote good environmental practice for such projects;

  • develop and implement policies that encourage SFM to provide a wide range of goods and services, and that also contribute to poverty reduction and the development of rural communities;

  • promote efficient production and processing of forest products, with a view to reducing waste and enhancing recycling;

  • support the protection and use of TFRK and practices in SFM with the approval and the involvement of the knowledge holders, and promote fair and equitable sharing of benefits out of its utilization, according to national legislation and relevant international agreements;

  • further develop and implement C&I for SFM, consistent with national priorities and conditions;

  • create enabling environments for private sector investment in SFM, as well as for investment by and involvement of local and indigenous communities, other forest users and owners and other relevant stakeholders in SFM, through a framework of policies, incentives and regulations;

  • develop financial strategies that outline the short-, medium- and long-term financial planning for achieving SFM taking into account domestic, private sector and foreign funding sources;

  • encourage the recognition of the range of values derived from goods and services provided by all types of forests and trees outside of forests, as well as ways to reflect such values in the marketplace, consistent with relevant national legislation and policies;

  • identify and implement measures to enhance cooperation and cross-sectoral policy and programme coordination  among sectors affecting and affected by forest policies and management, with a view to integrating the forest sector into national decision-making processes, and promoting SFM, including, inter alia, addressing the underlying causes of deforestation, forest degradation and promoting forest conservation;

  • integrate NFPs or other strategies for SFM into national strategies for sustainable development, relevant national action plans and poverty reduction strategies; 

  • establish or strengthen partnerships, including public-private partnerships, and joint programmes with stakeholders to advance implementation of SFM;

  • review, and as needed, improve forest legislation, strengthen forest law enforcement, and promote good governance at all levels in order to support SFM, create an enabling environment for forest investment and to combat and eradicate illegal practices in the forest and other related sectors;

  • analyze the causes of, and address threats to, forest health and vitality from natural disasters and human activities;

  • create, develop or expand, and maintain networks of protected forest areas (PFAs), taking into account the importance of conserving representative forests, through a range of conservation mechanisms, applied within and outside PFAs;

  • assess the conditions and management effectiveness of existing PFAs with a view to identifying improvements needed;

  • strengthen the contribution of science and research in advancing SFM by incorporating scientific expertise into forest policies and programmes;

  • promote the development and application of scientific and technological innovations, including those that can be used by forest owners and indigenous and local communities to advance SFM;

  • promote and strengthen public understanding of the importance of, and the benefits provided by, forests and SFM, including through public awareness programmes and education;

  • promote and encourage access to formal and informal education, extension and training programmes on the implementation of SFM;

  • support education, training and extension programmes involving indigenous and local communities and forest owners, in order to develop resource management approaches that will reduce the pressure on forests, particularly fragile ecosystems;

  • promote active and effective participation by major groups, local communities, forest owners and other relevant stakeholders in the development, implementation and assessment of forest-related national policies, measures and programmes;

  • encourage the private sector, civil society organizations and forest owners, to develop, promote and implement in a transparent manner voluntary instruments, such as voluntary certification schemes or other appropriate mechanisms, to develop and promote forest products from sustainably managed forests harvested according to domestic legislation;

  • improve market transparency; and

  • enhance access by households, small scale forest owners, forest-dependent local and indigenous communities, living in and outside forest areas, to forest resources and relevant markets in order to support livelihoods and income diversification from forest management.

The section also contains a reference inserted during the discussion on the SFM conceptual framework stating that member states consider the seven thematic elements of SFM, which are drawn from the criteria identified by existing C&I processes, as a reference framework for SFM and, in this context, identify, as appropriate, specific environmental and other forest-related aspects within those elements for consideration as C&I for SFM.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: This section was discussed by WGI from Thursday, 19 April, to the early morning hours of Saturday 28 April. Contentious issues included means of implementation, including the financing mechanism, international trade in forest products, and relationship to other instruments. During negotiations, delegates decided that a detailed financing mechanism could not be agreed on at UNFF7; instead they decided to include text on considering the mechanism, with a view for adoption, at UNFF8, in a draft resolution to which the NLBI would be annexed, for consideration by ECOSOC.

Means of implementation: On financing mechanisms, the African Group, the Dominican Republic, Senegal, Brazil, India, Colombia, Argentina and Indonesia, opposed by Australia and Switzerland, supported options on a global forest fund and on assessing current funding mechanisms. The EU, opposed by the African Group and Argentina, proposed alternative text on exploring a voluntary portfolio approach.

Delegates then discussed four options on the financing mechanism:

  • establish a global financing mechanism/forest fund to provide dedicated and sufficient funding for achieving SFM and the Global Objectives;

  • assess and review current funding mechanisms as well as the possibility of having a voluntary global funding mechanism;

  • develop and make operational a forest fund for SFM; and

  • explore a voluntary portfolio approach.

After some preliminary debate on language in the original composite draft text, the issue of a financing mechanism was taken up in informal consultations as part of a package deal with language on a facilitative mechanism (proposed by the EU), voluntary and timebound targets (supported by many countries), and defining SFM. After reaching agreement on language on both targets and SFM definitions, Chair Hoogeveen consulted informally throughout the last two days to finalize text on finance, and the EU withdrew its proposal for a facilitative process at a late hour.

Late on the last evening, a two-paragraph compromise text was presented to the contact group on developing and considering for adoption, if appropriate, at UNFF8 a voluntary global financial mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financing framework, and convening an ad hoc expert group to develop proposals for developing a mechanism. The African Group, Cuba and Argentina proposed, inter alia, deleting “if appropriate,” insisting on adopting the mechanism at UNFF8. The EU, the US, Australia and Switzerland said it would be impossible to decide to adopt a financial mechanism at UNFF8 at this meeting. The African Group and the EU proposed compromise text stating, “decide to develop and consider with a view for adoption at UNFF8,” and delegates agreed.

On convening an ad hoc expert group, Cuba proposed that the group develop proposals for the “development of a voluntary global financial mechanism, addressing also a portfolio approach and forest financing framework”; most delegates objected. After much debate, delegates agreed to develop proposals for the “development of a global financial mechanism, a portfolio approach and a forest financing framework.” These two paragraphs on the financing mechanism were placed in the draft resolution for adoption by ECOSOC.

On other paragraphs on means of implementation, Brazil, with many developing countries, requested reference to significant new and predictable financial resources. On mobilizing resources for national action, the EU suggested referencing national programmes rather than, inter alia, SFM and poverty reduction strategies. On incentives to reduce forest loss, the African Group proposed including debt reduction mechanisms. On developing and establishing positive incentives, the African Group, opposed by the EU, preferred “financial and other” incentives. On Friday, delegates agreed to delete reference to financial incentives. Delegates also agreed to delete a reference specifying that incentives be provided for developing countries and countries with economies in transition only, and a reference to incentives for planted forests.

International trade: From the outset, delegates debated whether to retain this subsection, given competency in other fora. Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, opposed by Indonesia, proposed deleting text on promoting cooperation in forest law enforcement and governance (FLEG) to combat illegal harvesting and associated trade.

Venezuela, India, Brazil, China and others, opposed by Mexico, Australia and the Dominican Republic, recommended deleting a paragraph on ensuring that voluntary certification and labeling schemes operate in accordance with relevant international obligations. The paragraph was deleted.

The US, Argentina and others, opposed by the EU, Japan, Costa Rica and Switzerland, suggested deleting reference to public procurement supporting international policies for legally sourced timber. The paragraph was eventually deleted. 

On promoting trade in forest products, the US, with Australia and New Zealand, suggested referring to trade in products from sustainably managed “and legally harvested” forests. The African Group, Japan, Argentina and Switzerland supported the amended US proposal. Venezuela and Brazil opposed all references to promoting international trade and combating illegal harvesting, noting that the NLBI should only address capacity building for implementing existing agreements on trade in forest products. Colombia and India said “sustainably harvested” implies legally harvested forest products. Delegates agreed to strengthen countries’ capacity to address forest-related illegal practices and, in a separate paragraph, to enhance cooperation with a view to promoting international trade in forest products from sustainably managed forests harvested according to national legislation.

Relationship to other instruments:  Throughout discussions on this topic, Brazil, Australia, Argentina and the US questioned whether text on the relationship between the NLBI and other organizations, multilateral agreements and instruments, and on cooperating with the CPF, was appropriate for this instrument. The EU, Malaysia, Mexico and others objected, stressing: the importance of international coordination for achieving SFM and the Global Objectives; UNFF’s role as an umbrella organization for forest-related cooperation; the need to avoid duplication of work; and the role of regional processes to provide input to UNFF.

Late Friday night, Brazil and others reiterated that language on cooperation with the CPF was inappropriate for the instrument, with some suggesting the language be moved to the MYPOW. The EU emphasized the importance of cooperation with the CPF for the instrument’s implementation. Delegates eventually agreed to delete most of the text on cooperation with the CPF, and retaining text on members of the governing bodies of CPF organizations helping to ensure that the forest-related priorities and programmes of the CPF are integrated and mutually supportive.

Final Text: The final text on financing is included in the draft ECOSOC resolution (see page 17).

To achieve the purposes of the instrument, the final text of the NLBI says that member states should:

  • make concerted efforts to secure sustained high-level political commitment to strengthen the means of implementation for SFM, as well as to mobilize and provide significantly increased new and additional financial resources from private, public, domestic and international sources;

  • reverse the decline in ODA for SFM;

  • take action to raise the priority of SFM in national development plans and other plans, including poverty reduction strategies, to facilitate increased allocation of ODA for SFM;

  • develop and establish positive incentives to reduce the loss of forests, to promote reforestation, afforestation and rehabilitation of degraded forests, to implement SFM and increase the area of PFAs;

  • support the efforts of countries to develop and implement measures that act as incentives for SFM;

  • strengthen the capacity of countries to significantly increase the production of forest products from sustainably managed forests;

  • enhance bilateral, regional and international cooperation, with a view to promoting international trade in forest products from sustainably managed forests harvested according to domestic legislation;

  • strengthen through enhanced cooperation the capacity of countries to effectively combat illicit international trafficking in forest products, including timber, wildlife and other forest biological resources;

  • enhance bilateral, regional, and international cooperation to address illicit international trafficking in forest products through the promotion of forest law enforcement and good governance at all levels;

  • strengthen mechanisms that enhance sharing among countries and use of best practices in SFM, including through freeware-based information and communication technologies;

  • strengthen countries’ capacities to address forest-related illegal practices according to domestic legislation, including wildlife poaching, through, inter alia, enhanced public awareness, education and law enforcement;

  • enhance and facilitate access to, and transfer of, environmentally sound and innovative technologies relevant to SFM and to efficient value-added forest product processing, in particular to developing countries for the benefit of local and indigenous communities;

  • strengthen national and local capacity for the development and adaptation of forest-related technologies, including technologies for the use of fuelwood;

  • promote international technical and scientific cooperation, including South-South and triangular cooperation in SFM;

  • enhance the research and scientific forest-related capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, particularly the capacity of research organizations to generate and access forest-related data and information, and promote integrated and interdisciplinary research on forest-related issues;

  • strengthen forestry research and development in all regions, particularly in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, through relevant organizations, institutions and networks;

  • as members of the governing bodies of CPF organizations, help ensure that the forest-related priorities and programmes of CPF are integrated and mutually supportive, consistent with their mandates, taking into account relevant UNFF policy recommendations; and

  • support CPF efforts to develop and implement joint initiatives.

FACILITATIVE PROCESS: Delegates discussed the facilitative process in working group and contact group sessions throughout the two weeks. In contact group deliberations, the facilitative process was one of the most contentions issues discussed as part of a negotiating package with financing and targets. At the last day of negotiations delegates decided to delete all references to the facilitative process.

The EU proposed establishing a facilitative process, consisting of a committee of experts and a procedure for supporting UNFF and its member states, to facilitate dialogue and cooperation on NLBI implementation. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Cuba, opposed by the African Group and Switzerland, requested deleting the section, questioning its appropriateness, while Japan and others cautioned against establishing a new subsidiary body to undertake such tasks. Over the course of discussion, the facilitative process became part of a potential package deal with financing, targets and the definition of SFM. In contact group discussions, developed countries suggested that the mechanism be voluntary, demand-driven and based on assessments of existing processes, while others called for a clear definition of its task. Brazil and other developing countries continued to oppose references to the process in the NLBI text and also rejected an EU proposal to include the mechanism in the MYPOW for future consideration. On the last day of negotiations, the EU withdrew its proposal and accepted deletion of the section.

MONITORING, ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING: Delegates addressed this issue in working and contact group sessions throughout the two weeks. Discussions focused on indicators and reporting.

Developing countries proposed deleting references to indicators, whereas the EU suggested references to existing indicators and processes, and the US proposed indicators based on the thematic elements of SFM. On reporting and information exchange, delegates discussed the role of existing organizations and reporting obligations and agreed to report to UNFF biennially on a voluntary basis and taking into account resources and requirements for the reports for other bodies. Delegates also agreed to delete language on technical assistance through the UNFF Secretariat.

Final Text: The text states that member states should:

  • monitor and assess progress towards achieving the purpose of the instrument; and

  • submit, on a voluntary basis, taking into account availability of resources and the requirements and conditions for the preparation of reports for other bodies or instruments, national progress reports as part of their regular reporting to the UNFF.

WORKING MODALITIES: Delegates addressed this issue in working group sessions throughout the two weeks and eventually agreed to delete most of its content. The main contentions revolved around language supported by the EU providing for UNFF serving as the NLBI’s governing body. Delegates accepted a proposal by Brazil that UNFF assess progress in the instrument’s implementation in the context of the MYPOW. Delegates also discussed, and agreed to delete, language on: collaboration with other bodies; regional meetings; intersessional bodies, amendments and annexes, and a review of the international arrangement on forests in 2015 and a mid-term review in 2011.

Final Text: The agreed text states that UNFF should address, within the context of the MYPOW, the implementation of the instrument.

SUBSCRIPTION/ADOPTION: This section initially contained options providing for adoption of the NLBI or accession by subscription. Most delegates favored adoption by ECOSOC. The EU, Mexico and Chile called for adoption by the UN General Assembly. The US and Argentina favored subscription. Delegates decided to move the paragraph on adoption to an ECOSOC resolution and to delete all other paragraphs (see page 17).

multi-year programme of work

On Monday, 16 April, the Secretariat introduced the Secretary-General’s Report on the MYPOW (E/CN.18/2007/2) and the suggested draft text for the MYPOW. Working Group II (WGII), co-chaired by André-Jules Madingou (Gabon) and Arvids Ozols (Latvia), addressed the MYPOW throughout the meeting and concluded its work on Friday night. Delegates spent much time addressing the annexed matrix elaborating the 2007-2015 MYPOW structure and content. Contentious issues included text on intersessional work, means of implementation and resources. A contact group, co-chaired by Conceição Ferreira (Portugal) and Javad Amin-Mansour (Iran) further discussed the matrix and relevant resolution language. The final text will be available on the UNFF website: http://www.un.org/esa/forests.

PREAMBLE: Delegates discussed the MYPOW’s preamble throughout the meeting and proposed minor amendments to the text. The EU, supported by Argentina and Mexico, suggested incorporating reference to the NLBI and also proposed text emphasizing the importance of strengthening political commitment for implementing SFM and the Global Objectives. Several delegations requested reference to the MDGs.

The US, with Argentina, supported including a paragraph on taking into consideration lessons learned from the Forum’s MYPOW for 2001-2005. A clause on LFCCs was also included here and deleted from the section on Enhanced Cooperation, as part of a compromise made by the African Group.

Final Text: The final text of the preamble states that the UNFF, inter alia:

  • recalling its main objective as outlined in ECOSOC resolution 2000/35 and reaffirming the strengthening of the IAF as outlined in ECOSOC resolution 2006/49;

  • recalling the commitment to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs;

  • recognizing the need for reflecting the three principal functions of the IAF;

  • emphasizing the need for concerted efforts and the importance of strengthening political commitment and action to implement SFM and to achieve the four Global Objectives, the NLBI, the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action as well as previous UNFF resolutions;

  • recognizing the special needs of countries with fragile forest ecosystems, including the LFCCs;

  • noting General Assembly resolution 61/193 on the IYF 2011;

  • taking note of the Secretary-General’s report on the UNFF MYPOW for 2007-2015;

  • taking into consideration lessons learned from the UNFF MYPOW for 2001-2005, and current multi-year programmes of work of the functional commissions of ECOSOC;

  • welcoming the country-led initiative in support of the UNFF MYPOW held in Bali, Indonesia, from 13-16 February 2007, and taking note of the Co-Chairs’ Summary Report; and

  • bearing in mind the NLBI on all types of forests.     

FORUM SESSIONS: Delegates discussed this section throughout the meeting, addressing subsections on the structure of each session’s agenda and their themes, as well as common items and cross cutting issues. Delegates also discussed, inter alia, a platform for dialogue at each session, exchanging experiences and sharing best practices, high-level ministerial segments, reporting and session outputs. Some of the discussions were linked to the debate on the annexed matrix. Discussions on main tasks, themes, cross-cutting issues and common agenda items are elaborated under that section.

Regarding issues to be addressed at every UNFF session, Costa Rica said sessions should focus on implementation of the Global Objectives, IPF/IFF Proposals for Action, and national action plans. The EU suggested a separate agenda item on NLBI implementation.

In addressing progress made at each session, the US proposed, and Costa Rica opposed, deleting reference to national plans. The US, Australia, the African Group and others proposed adding language on progress towards achieving SFM.

For overall themes, Cuba urged that means of implementation for SFM be an overall theme of UNFF8. Switzerland proposed greater emphasis on climate change for UNFF8.

Under common agenda items, the EU proposed including NLBI implementation and emerging issues and opposed MAR and country reports. Norway supported land and forest tenure as a cross-cutting issue, but Peru objected.

Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico objected to a proposal by the African Group to include a paragraph focusing on the special needs of LFCCs.

On UNFF sessions being a platform for dialogue, the EU proposed listing intended dialogue partners, while Brazil, the African Group, Norway, Indonesia and Australia proposed reference to CPF members only. The EU proposed an additional paragraph on dialogue with Major Groups, and suggested inviting the Chairs of the three Rio Conventions’ governing bodies, while Iran preferred referring to relevant multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

On exchanging experiences and identifying challenges in NLBI implementation, the African Group and Brazil called for reference to the Global Objectives, and Switzerland and the US supported “advancing SFM.”

Regarding high-level segments, Australia cautioned against convening a high-level ministerial segment at UNFF11, while the African Group, the EU, Venezuela and Switzerland supported one at both UNFF9 and UNFF11.

Regarding ECOSOC-related matters, delegates agreed to text on Secretariat reporting on and to ECOSOC and its functional commissions. On Forum session outputs, the EU proposed that reports reflect non-negotiated discussions in addition to negotiations.

On Friday, WGII revisited this section in order to reach consensus on unresolved issues. Regarding overall themes, the US proposed “Forests for people, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication” (UNFF9) and, with Australia and Switzerland but opposed by the African Group, deleting reference to the IAF (UNFF11). Delegates agreed to delete a bracketed paragraph giving emphasis to LFCCs, and to include reference to LFCCs under UNFF8’s agenda as well as in the preamble. Australia reiterated its opposition to a high-level segment in 2011, while the African Group, the EU and many others supported one. Switzerland expressed concern that time would be taken away from thematic discussions. After some debate, Australia agreed to a 2011 high-level segment if time could be freed up by combining themes on social development and indigenous and other local and forest communities.

Final Text: This section focuses, inter alia, on the content, structure, and output of the Forum sessions, and states that each session will focus on progress towards: achievement of SFM and the four Global Objectives; and implementation of the NLBI, the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action and previous UNFF resolutions.

The text states that Forum sessions will consider the following themes:

  • “Forests in a Changing Environment” and “Means of Implementation for SFM” (UNFF8);

  • “Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication” (UNFF9);

  • “Forests and Economic Development” (UNFF10); and

  • “Forests: Progress, Challenges and the Way Forward for the IAF” (UNFF11).

The text states that the themes are further detailed in the annex.

It further elaborates the cross-cutting issues and common agenda items to be discussed at each session.

  • Cross-cutting issues: means of implementation (finance; transfer of ESTs; capacity building; awareness raising; education and information sharing); and FLEG will be addressed in the context of the discussions of the themes of each session;

  • Common agenda items: achieving the Global Objectives and implementing the NLBI; regional and subregional inputs; multi-stakeholder dialogues and participation; and enhanced cooperation and cross-sectoral policy and programme coordination, including activities and inputs of CPF.

Each session will also provide a platform for dialogue with, inter alia: CPF members and invited Chairs of governing bodies of relevant MEAs; Major Group representatives; and regional and subregional forest-related and other relevant processes, mechanisms, instruments and organizations.

The text also provides for:

  • exchanging and sharing national and regional experiences, activities, best practices and lessons learned, and identifying constraints and challenges;

  • high-level ministerial segments in 2011 and 2015, including dialogue with heads of CPF member organizations;

  • celebration of the IYF in 2011; and

  • reports by the Secretariat on activities and decisions of ECOSOC and its relevant commissions and preparation of a summary of Forum decisions for ECOSOC, as needed.

The section also includes provisions stating that:

  • outcomes of deliberations could be, as appropriate, Chair’s Summary(ies) as well as negotiated resolutions and decisions containing policy guidance to member states and the CPF; and

  • sessions will be held at UN headquarters in the first half of 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

INTERSESSIONAL ACTIVITIES OF THE FORUM: Delegates extensively debated the need for, and nature of, intersessional activities. WGII adopted the current title of the section, which replaced previously proposed titles including “Ad Hoc Expert Groups” and “Intersessional Work of the Forum.” Argentina, with Venezuela, proposed deleting this section, while Switzerland and the African Group suggested amendments based in part on clarifying proposed biennial and intersessional work.

Regarding Forum session preparation, the US proposed a substitute section referring to Bureau and Secretariat preparation drawing on regional and subregional processes, CPF member organizations, Major Group activities, country-led initiatives, ad hoc expert groups and other advisory bodies. Norway, the Ukraine, Indonesia, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Australia supported this as a basis for discussion. Argentina called for consistency with ECOSOC resolutions. The US proposed language to reflect that ad hoc groups’ purposes need not be predetermined.

Delegations were divided on the need for intergovernmental preparatory meetings (IPMs). The EU, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Norway, Japan, Indonesia and China questioned the need for IPMs but were opposed by the African Group, Cuba and the Russian Federation. The US, supported by Brazil, the EU and Australia, agreed that alternative forms of preparatory meetings could be considered. Late on the final evening, the EU, supported by the US, proposed replacing the term “IPM” with “ad hoc expert group,” the nature and utility of which was debated, with the Secretariat noting a potential for increased budgetary burdens. Argentina, the US and Japan proposed compromise text on short preparatory meetings either three months or immediately prior to sessions or considering using ad hoc expert meetings. The EU expressed willingness to compromise by accepting text postponing decisions on preparatory meetings to UNFF8, but Cuba objected, supporting convening IPMs. After protracted debates that ran late into the final night of negotiations, delegates agreed on broader language stating that the Forum may decide to have expert meetings and/or preparatory working meetings for the preparation of future sessions.

Final Text: The text states that: the Forum may convene ad hoc expert group meetings; and welcomes country, organization and region-led initiatives in support of the Forum and focused on MYPOW issues. The final text also affirms that the Bureau and Secretariat will prepare for Forum sessions drawing on outcomes of:

  • consultations with member states;

  • forest-related and other relevant bodies, mechanisms and processes;

  • CPF member organizations;

  • Major Group activities;

  • country, organization and region-led initiatives; and

  • ad hoc expert group meetings.

A concluding paragraph outlines that the Forum may decide to have expert meetings and/or preparatory working meetings for the preparation of future sessions.

REGIONAL AND SUBREGIONAL INPUTS AND DIALOGUE ON REGIONAL PRIORITIES: Delegates first discussed this issue on Tuesday, 17 April, revisited it during the second week of negotiations, and reached consensus on the final day. The US proposed establishing regional points of contact to facilitate communication between regional and subregional bodies and the UNFF, and suggested they submit a summary report of activities to UNFF, to reduce reporting burdens. The US, the EU and Argentina proposed deleting references to IPMs. The US, supported by Argentina, Brazil, the EU and others, proposed merging paragraphs on regional and subregional contributions and input to Forum sessions, inviting regional mechanisms, instruments, and organizations to address agenda items and provide a summary of their deliberations prior to Forum sessions.

Delegates agreed to add language on regional contributions to Forum discussions, according to their respective mandates. Regarding the proposed three-month timeframe for submissions, the Secretariat clarified that summaries should be submitted further in advance for logistical purposes. Delegates agreed to submit summaries well in advance of sessions, rather than specifying an exact deadline. On preparation of an analytical background report by the Secretary-General based on regional and subregional submissions, Argentina, the EU and others said the report should be a compilation of submissions. Delegates agreed to a summary report.

Final Text: The final text states that relevant regional and subregional forest-related mechanisms, institutions, instruments, organizations and processes are invited to provide a concise summary of their deliberations to the Secretariat well in advance of upcoming Forum sessions and are encouraged to contribute to Forum discussions, according to their respective mandates.

It also states that the Secretary-General is requested to prepare a summary report based on the above submissions.

EMERGING ISSUES: Delegates discussed this section in multiple working group sessions. They debated subparagraphs on what constitutes an emerging issue and the procedure and consultation process for identifying them. The US, Australia and the EU expressed concern about identifying emerging issues two years prior to each session. Some felt the Bureau, in consultation with member states, CPF members, the Forum Secretariat and stakeholders, should discuss how to address and identify emerging issues. Brazil stressed that sessions should provide for unforeseen issues such as disease outbreak. The African Group requested explicit language stating that the emerging issue must be forest-related. The US suggested that emerging issues should be, inter alia, urgent, global in scope and not already addressed in the agenda. Switzerland cautioned against imposing rigid criteria.

Final Text: The final text states that any UNFF session may include an emerging issue of global significance that is related to and/or impacting on forests and SFM, urgent, unexpected, and not already addressed in the agenda of the respective session. The text further states that the Bureau of the session, in consultation with member states, will decide on the inclusion of an emerging issue, taking into account contributions from CPF members, Major Groups, the regions and subregions and the Forum Secretariat.

ENHANCED COOPERATION: The Secretariat introduced a background paper on enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination (E/CN.18/2007/5), on Monday 16 April. The Secretariat presented the CPF Framework 2007 (E/CN.18/2007/6), highlighting new joint initiatives of the CPF on, inter alia, science and technology and a forest sourcebook on SFM. She highlighted expert meetings on harmonizing definitions, and ongoing activities including funding sources for SFM and the Global Forest Information Service. She also reviewed collaborative activities, including the PROFOR background paper on means of implementation, forest landscape restoration and rehabilitation of degraded lands, and improving law enforcement and governance.

Delegates addressed enhanced cooperation, cross-sectoral policy and programme coordination in WGII on Thursday, 19 April, and throughout the second week. In text on the relationship between the Forum and the CPF, Australia advocated including clear guidance to CPF partners, while the US proposed: shifting emphasis from UNFF provision of policy guidance to enhanced cooperation through information sharing; and, opposed by Cuba, deleting a paragraph on synergy-building with other relevant bodies. The EU, supported by the US, proposed language encouraging CPF members to participate in sessions in addition to providing reports.

Delegates discussed using language from other sections and previous UNFF resolutions, with the US, Argentina and Venezuela proposing to streamline the section to avoid repetition. The EU cautioned that relying on outdated text might forgo new ideas, such as on LFCCs.

Regarding partnerships involving other bodies and processes, Switzerland supported more active links between CPF members, Major Groups and member states, and the US called for provisions to enable more active stakeholder participation. Fiji and Papua New Guinea called for elaborating references to participation of Major Groups and other stakeholders. Delegates agreed on text proposed by the US encouraging these actors’ contribution to, and participation in, sessions and other relevant discussions. Instead of specifying, different forest-related processes including C&I, LFCCs and FLEG processes, the US, supported by many others, proposed simplifying this to “bodies, mechanisms and processes”; the African Group objected, in favor of retaining reference to LFCCs. The African Group said they would accept a compromise by moving the LFCC reference to the preamble. 

Final Text: The text states that:

  • the Forum will continue to provide policy guidance to the CPF;

  • CPF members are invited to continue to report to the Forum in a consolidated manner on their initiatives and activities, including progress on means of implementation, at each session, and are encouraged to participate in Forum discussions;

  • the Forum will further encourage partnerships involving stakeholders and the relevant forest-related international, regional, and subregional bodies, mechanisms and processes, as well as CPF members, to develop synergies and to explore possibilities for joint activities towards the achievement of SFM, the Global Objectives and NLBI implementation; and

  • Major Groups and other stakeholders are encouraged to contribute to and actively participate in Forum discussions and relevant regional and subregional discussions, to provide their perspectives and inputs to the Forum’s MYPOW and exchange views and experiences.

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS (IYF) 2011: The Group discussed the IYF at various times during the session. Australia, with the EU, proposed deleting this subsection to avoid repetition with text elsewhere in the MYPOW, and Pakistan called for specific focus on LFCCs. The Institute of Cultural Affairs International advocated an annual international day of forests, and proposed that the first one focus on “forests with people.” The US, supported by Argentina and the African Group but opposed by the EU, proposed alternative text highlighting information-sharing on activities among member states, Major Groups and stakeholders, to which delegates agreed.

Final Text: The final text states that member states, the CPF, regional and subregional groups, Major Groups and other stakeholders are invited to share information on their activities in support of the IYF. 

MONITORING, ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING (MAR): Delegates addressed this issue a number of times during the session and postponed finalizing language on several occasions, contingent on the outcomes of WGI’s discussions on the NLBI, and the relationship of the MAR section to that on “assessment of review and progress.” The EU, with Norway and Mexico, proposed language on assessing progress of NLBI implementation and suggested the Secretariat prepare a report for each session based on country and CPF reports. This language was later adopted under this section and the section on assessment.

Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela opposed a paragraph with reference to the seven thematic elements on SFM, while the US, Switzerland, Australia and Mexico supported its retention. 

On the preparation and content of the Secretary-General’s report on assessing progress in 2011 and 2015, delegates proposed alternative formulations. Switzerland and the African Group proposed that reports consider progress towards SFM and on the IAF, respectively. Costa Rica, Mexico and others objected, calling for focus on progress on NLBI implementation and achieving the Global Objectives. Other delegations cautioned that broadening the scope would hinder a preliminary assessment and said it would consume significant time at the 2011 session. Argentina said reference to the IAF inappropriately implies institutional assessment, and cautioned against duplication of or contradiction with preexisting ECOSOC mandates. The US recalled that session themes are critical and could be marginalized by lengthy assessment. 

Delegates spent significant time discussing the relationship of MAR to other assessments, eventually agreeing to a paragraph proposed by the EU, which included reference to the section on “Assessment and Review of Progress,” which will be serviced by the reports outlined under MAR.

Final Text: The first paragraph in this section states that member states should voluntarily submit national reports to the Forum on progress in implementing national measures, policies, actions or specific objectives towards achieving the Global Objectives, taking into consideration the seven thematic elements of SFM. 

The second paragraph invites CPF member organizations to harmonize their processes for voluntary MAR, taking into account the seven thematic elements of SFM, with a view to reducing countries’ reporting burdens. 

The third and final paragraph requests the Secretary-General, for the Forum’s ninth (2011) and eleventh (2015) sessions, to prepare analytical reports in collaboration with the FAO, based on reports, contributions from CPF members and other relevant organizations, mechanisms, institutions and processes set out under “Assessment and Review of Progress”. The 2015 report will also include an assessment of the IAF and contributions of forests to the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.

DETAILED MYPOW: Delegates first addressed this issue on Tuesday, 16 April, further discussed it during the second week, and agreed to delete this section on the last day of negotiations. The proposed paragraph stated that the MYPOW is a dynamic tool for the Forum’s functioning and will be adjusted by the Forum as needed. Some expressed concern that this language would lead to lengthy debates at future sessions. Co-Chair Ozols proposed text stating that the Forum may decide to adapt the MYPOW to evolving conditions, in order to accommodate concerns for retaining flexibility without reopening debates. After some discussion, delegates agreed to delete this section.

RESOURCES: Delegates first addressed this issue on Wednesday, 18 April, and revisited the issue throughout the second week. On requesting the Secretary-General to ensure appropriate resources for the Forum’s work, Australia, with Japan, the EU and others, opposed reference to “additional” resources, and inserted language reflecting that this be done “within existing resources.” Indonesia and the African Group called for stronger language to ensure that insufficient resources do not hamper the Secretariat’s work, with Co-Chair Madingou suggesting “adequate” resources.

The US proposed a new paragraph on reporting by the Forum Secretariat on the operation of the UNFF Trust Fund, including the amount and source of contributions and a description of how funds have been expended. The EU, with Norway, said donors should be “invited” rather than “urged” to make contributions. Cuba, with the African Group, added language on facilitating developing countries’ participation in Forum sessions. Responding to requests for clarification, Pekka Patosaari, Director, UNFF Secretariat, reiterated that previous General Assembly decisions provide for support to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, as well as countries with economies in transition. On voluntary contributions to the UNFF Trust Fund, the US, supported by Australia, proposed deleting language on supporting developing country participation, noting this language already exists in ECOSOC resolution 2006/49. Delegates agreed to restate the relevant paragraphs regarding voluntary contributions and support for developing countries.

On Friday, delegates repeatedly returned to the unresolved paragraph requesting the Secretary-General to provide resources to undertake the work of the UNFF, and to include the activities, staff requirements and resources in the UN biennial programme plans and programme budgets. Australia proposed that resources be used or undertaking the agreed work programme of the Forum, which was agreed. The African Group, Indonesia and others opposed specifying “within existing resources,” while the EU and the US supported inclusion of this language. Responding to requests for clarification on asking the Secretary-General to provide resources, the Secretariat said such language runs counter to UN provisions. Argentina, the EU and others called for deleting the whole paragraph, but the African Group, Indonesia and others opposed deletion. The US said it could accept the paragraph if “within existing resources” was retained, after which Indonesia reintroduced “additional” resources. Following consultations and various attempts to reach a compromise, delegates agreed on a compromise proposal by the African Group stressing the need to provide from within the regular budget of the UN adequate resources to undertake the agreed work programme for the Forum and its Secretariat.

Final Text: The final text stresses the need to provide adequate resources from within the regular UN budget to undertake the agreed work programme of the Forum and its Secretariat.

It also calls upon interested donor governments, financial institutions and other organizations to make voluntary financial contributions to the Forum Trust Fund, and states that the Forum should continue to support participants from developing countries, with priority to the least developed countries, as well as from countries with economies in transition, in accordance with General Assembly decision 58/554.

The text also includes paragraphs on reporting to the Forum by the Secretariat on the operation of the Trust Fund including the amount and sources of contributions and how the funds were expended in order to ensure transparency, and inviting contributions to the Trust Fund to support IYF activities.

NON-LEGALLY BINDING INSTRUMENT ON ALL TYPES OF FORESTS: Delegates discussed the section on the NLBI, with some countries proposing its deletion. They debated whether to include text stating that the UNFF should give policy guidance for, oversee implementation, or act as the governing body of the NLBI. Delegates agreed to postpone discussions, pending WGI outcomes, and later agreed on a concise formulation.

Final Text: The final text confirms that the Forum’s MYPOW will address the implementation of the NLBI.

ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS AND REVIEW: WGII addressed the issue of progress assessments, reports and reviews on Wednesday, 18 April, and throughout the second week, agreeing to rename this section, which was previously labeled “Review.” The US proposed bracketing the section, while the EU, with Mexico, proposed language on reviewing progress in NLBI implementation. Mexico, the African Group, China, Cuba and others favored a mid-term review but were opposed by Australia. To reduce reporting burdens, the EU advocated a scaled-down review for UNFF9.

Delegates debated who would assume responsibility for coordinating a mid-term review. The EU suggested the FAO, but the African Group, supported by Brazil and Mexico, preferred that the Secretary-General prepare the report in collaboration with the FAO. Australia, supported by the EU and the US but opposed by Brazil, proposed having terms of reference for the mid-term review, in addition to reviewing NLBI implementation and achievement of the Global Objectives. The Secretariat proposed a “progress report” rather than a “review” to avoid, inter alia, the formalities of terms of reference, and proposed integrating the language with text under MAR. Delegates agreed to “assess” rather than “review” progress at UNFF9.

Delegates agreed to a paragraph on devoting UNFF11 to reviewing the effectiveness of the IAF and the NLBI and considering options for the future, and agreed to delete reference to a legally-binding instrument, despite proposals from Mexico and Peru for its inclusion. The African Group, opposed by Argentina, proposed retaining reference to achieving the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action, previous UNFF resolutions and internationally agreed development goals. The last of these was included.   

Delegates agreed to a paragraph on reviewing the contribution of forests to achieving internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, and providing input to the General Assembly. In the same paragraph, they agreed to make cross-reference to the utility of reports mentioned under MAR.

Final Text: The final text on assessment of progress and review affirms that, making use of reports created under MAR:

  • the Forum will assess progress made on NLBI implementation and achievement of the Global Objectives at UNFF9;

  • the Forum will provide relevant input to the Commission on Sustainable Development;

  • the Forum will devote UNFF11 primarily to reviewing the effectiveness of the IAF, the NLBI and consideration of future options; and

  • UNFF11 will also review the contribution of forests to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, and provide input to the General Assembly review.

ANNEX: MYPOW for 2007-2015: The matrix elaborating on the MYPOW for 2007-2015 was first discussed in WGII on Thursday, 19 April, and again repeatedly throughout the session both in WGII and during contact group meetings. Delegates finalized the matrix in plenary early Saturday morning, 28 April. Throughout the session, delegates held lengthy debates on the matrix, discussing structure and content including overall themes for each session and detailed issues to be addressed under each theme, as well as, inter alia, cross-cutting issues and common agenda items for each session.

Regarding structure, Argentina, Mexico and others suggested a separate matrix section on implementation and review of the Global Objectives and the NLBI, to be addressed at each session. The EU, opposed by Cuba, proposed deleting references to IPMs.

Argentina, the EU and others suggested that the overall themes for each session should reflect the three pillars of sustainable development. Delegates generally agreed that UNFF8 will address the environmental component of sustainable development, UNFF9, the social component, and UNFF10, the economic component. Delegates also agreed that UNFF11 will address progress, challenges and the way forward. Many delegates agreed that overall themes should be politically relevant and appeal to the outside world.

Regarding UNFF8, there was much debate over whether to have two themes for this session, on environmental sustainability and on means of implementation, respectively. Cuba, supported by the African Group, Argentina, Jamaica, Afghanistan and other developing countries, called for means of implementation as a flagship theme as well as a cross-cutting issue. Objecting to its inclusion as an overall theme, Switzerland, the US, the EU and others supported means of implementation only as a cross-cutting issue. Under the overall them of means of implementation for UNFF8, the African Group, Nepal, Cuba and others called for, inter alia, a global funding mechanism.

Citing the growing importance of forests in climate change discussions, Switzerland urged that UNFF8 address forests and climate change as its overall theme.

Delegates debated possible themes for UNFF sessions: forests and environmental sustainability; forests and livelihoods; mainstreaming forests and economic development; and review and consideration of future actions; SFM and global environmental sustainability; forests for growth and sustainability; climate change; and combating deforestation and desertification. Argentina advocated that the 2015 theme reflect assessing progress towards achieving the Global Objectives and reviewing the effectiveness of the IAF.

Proposals for cross-cutting issues included: regional and subregional reports; regional and stakeholder perspectives and CPF activities; forest-based tenure; and special needs of LFCCs. Australia bracketed references to high-level segments at UNFF9 and UNFF11, and, opposed by Cuba, a mid-term review at UNFF9.

During the second week, delegates discussed a revised version of the Co-Chairs’ matrix based on delegates’ proposals from the previous week. Cuba maintained its proposal to include means of implementation as a flagship theme for UNFF8; this was later agreed. Pakistan proposed addressing LFCCs as both a key task and a cross-cutting issue. The US bracketed “emerging issue” under common agenda items, stating this might result in lack of Forum focus; it was later deleted. The US, opposed by the African Group, felt UNFF9 was too soon for a mid-term review. Delegates agreed to a high-level segment for UNFF9.

Under key tasks, the US proposed including land and resource tenure. The EU, with Norway, proposed deleting reference to nature-based tourism, and with Switzerland and Argentina, an assessment of the IYF. She proposed moving trade and investment under means of implementation.

The US reiterated two clusters of crosscutting issues: means of implementation, including finance, technology transfer and capacity building; and law and governance. Papua New Guinea supported land and forest tenure as a cross-cutting issue. Under common items, the US proposed: regional and subregional inputs; multi-stakeholder participation and dialogue; and CPF activities and inputs. The EU opposed MAR as a separate common item, noting its connections to NLBI implementation. The EU proposed implementation of the NLBI under common items.

The contact group continued discussing structure and content of the matrix and the issue was revisited by WGII on the last day. Delegates agreed to delete MAR from common agenda items and LFCCs from cross-cutting issues, and to include LFCCs under UNFF8 and in preambular text. Delegates also debated how to address land and forest tenure, with Brazil opposing and Switzerland supporting it as a cross-cutting issue. Norway suggested, and delegates agreed to include it under UNFF9.

Regarding a high level segment at UNFF9, Australia reiterated concerns over time constraints and suggested combining sections on social development and indigenous and other local and forest dependent communities, which was agreed. Brazil and others called for explicit language proposing that every session deal with NLBI implementation and achievement of the Global Objectives; delegates debated the best way to reflect this in the matrix.

Cuba, India and others called for including adoption of a global forest funding mechanism as a separate UNFF8 theme under the overall theme of Means of Implementation. After protracted debate and a review of the WGI outcomes, delegates agreed in Saturday morning’s plenary to reach a decision at UNFF8 on a voluntary forest financing mechanism, portfolio approach and forest financing framework, and to retain FLEG under cross-cutting issues.

Final Text: The annexed matrix on the MYPOW for 2007-2015 elaborates on the content of the MYPOW text on Forum Sessions regarding main tasks, overall themes, cross-cutting issues and common agenda items.

For UNFF8, UNFF9 and UNFF10, the main task is achieving the four Global Objectives and implementing the NLBI. For UNFF11, the IAF is added to this list.

  • For UNFF8, under the overall theme of Forests in a Changing Environment, the sub-themes to be addressed are:

  • forests and climate change;

  • reversing the loss of forest cover, preventing forest degradation in all types of forests and combating desertification, including in LFCCs; and

  • forests and biodiversity conservation, including protected areas.

Under the overall theme Means of Implementation, sub-themes include applying means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity building and transfer of ESTs and a decision on a voluntary global financing mechanism, a portfolio approach or forest financing framework.

For UNFF9, under the overall theme of Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication, the sub-themes to be addressed are:

  • community-based forest management;

  • social development and indigenous and other local and forest dependent communities, including forest land tenure; and

  • social and cultural aspects.

UNFF9 will also celebrate the IYF, include an assessment of progress, and convene a high-level ministerial segment.

For UNFF10, under the overall theme of Forests and Economic Development, the sub-themes to be addressed are:

  • forest products and services;

  • NFPs and other sectoral policies and strategies;

  • reducing risks and impacts of disasters; and

  • benefits of forests and trees to urban communities.

For UNFF11, under the overall theme of Forests: Progress, Challenges and the Way Forward for the IAF, the sub-themes are:

  • reviewing the effectiveness of the IAF and considering all future options;

  • reviewing progress towards the achievement of the Global Objectives and implementation of the NLBI;

  • reviewing the contribution of forests and the IAF, including the NLBI to the internationally agreed development goals.

During UNFF11, a high-level segment will also be convened.

The matrix also elaborates the cross-cutting issues and common agenda items, as detailed under “Forum Sessions.” It further indicates that emerging issues may be considered as per the section on emerging issues in the resolution.

CLOSING PLENARY

After adjourning at midnight, Working Group II awaited the outcomes of all-night negotiations in the NLBI contact group. The closing plenary convened at 4:40 am, on Saturday, 28 April 2007. Chair Hoogeven presented the informal NLBI draft text to the plenary. The EU proposed, and delegates agreed to, an additional preambular paragraph stating that nothing in the NLBI prejudices the rights and obligations of member states under international law, thus removing contentious, equivalent text in the section on Principles.

Chair Hoogeveen then introduced the draft ECOSOC resolution on the NLBI. BRAZIL proposed to refer to the NLBI as Non-legally Binding Instrument on Sustainable Forest Management of all Types of Forests (NLBI-SFMATP) throughout the text. The EU suggested referring to the Instrument for SFM for All Types of Forest only, but delegates did not agree with this proposal, preferring to retain “non-legally binding.” The resolution was adopted with this and other minor amendments.

WGII Co-Chair Ozols then informed delegates about changes in the MYPOW resulting from the NLBI’s adoption, including the deletion of references to IPMs in the MYPOW text and matrix, and the replacement of the UNFF8 themes on means of implementation by “Decision on a voluntary global financing mechanism, a portfolio approach, and forest financing framework.” On preparatory expert meetings, the EU proposed that the UNFF may decide to hold such meetings for preparation before each session. Chair Hoogeveen proposed, and delegates agreed, to adopt the MYPOW and the NLBI; the latter will be annexed to the draft resolution for adoption by ECOSOC.

Final Text: The draft ECOSOC resolution states that ECOSOC:

  • notes that UNFF7 adopted an NLBI on the SFM for all types of forests;

  • recommends to the General Assembly that it adopts the draft text contained in the annex to this resolution at its 62nd session;

  • invites the UNFF to establish and maintain cooperation with relevant multilateral environmental agreements, instruments, processes and UN bodies, relevant international and regional organizations, institutions, and Major Groups in order to facilitate enhanced cooperation to achieve the purpose of this instrument;

  • decides to develop and consider, with a view for adoption at UNFF8, a voluntary global financial mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financing framework for all types of forests, aiming at mobilizing significant increased new and additional resources from all sources, based on existing and emerging innovative approaches, also taking into account assessments and reviews of current financial mechanisms, to support the implementation of SFM, the achievement of the Global Objectives and the implementation of the NLBI on all types of forests; and

  • decides that the Forum should, within existing resources, convene before UNFF8 an open-ended ad hoc expert group to develop proposals for the development of a voluntary global financial mechanism, a portfolio approach and a forest financing framework. The CPF is invited to assist in the development of these proposals.

Chair Hoogeveen presented the draft provisional agenda for UNFF8, to be held from 20 April - 1 May, 2009, which delegates adopted with a minor amendment.

The Chair then presented the draft report of the meeting (E/CN.18.2007/L.1), which delegates adopted.

CLOSING STATEMENTS: UNFF Director Pekka Patosaari congratulated UNFF7 participants for their hard work and successful outcome in adopting the NLBI and the MYPOW.

Switzerland and South Africa announced a jointly hosted workshop on forest governance as a country-led initiative in support of UNFF in March 2008. The African Group thanked the Chair and Bureau. The EU said it was a historic event to have finally agreed on an international instrument on SFM and Brazil confirmed that important progress had been made at this meeting. Switzerland awarded a box of chocolates to the Secretariat for their hard work in shortening the NLBI text. Chair Hoogeveen closed UNFF7 at 6:25 am.

UNFF8 REPORT

Chair Hoogeveen opened the first session of UNFF8. Delegates nominated and approved Abdellah Benmellouk (Morroco), Arvid Ozols (Latvia) and Modesto Fernández (Cuba) to the Bureau. Nominations from the Western European and Others Group and the Asian Group will be forthcoming. The Chair thanked participants for making UNFF7 a success, and suspended UNFF8 at 6:30 am.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF UNFF7

UNFF7: Adding Value?

UNFF7 delegates arrived at the UN in New York on 16 April 2007 for what was viewed by most as a gargantuan task of negotiating both a non-legally binding instrument (NLBI) on all types of forests as well as a new multi-year programme of work (MYPOW) for the UNFF’s next eight years. The session was aimed at meeting a generally recognized critical need to strengthen the international arrangement on forests (IAF) after a long history of talk shops produced recommendations but little action to implement them. Strong disagreement among participants as to whether an NLBI or a MYPOW was the best way to address this need for strengthening the IAF resulted in having both documents tabled at UNFF7. This analysis will consider the achievements of UNFF7 and the key question: what was its added value to the IAF?

The NLBI: where’s the meat?

The negotiation of an NLBI grew out of events at UNFF5 in 2005. That session was supposed to negotiate a decision on future arrangements for global forest policy, based on a review of the effectiveness of the IAF as well as an ad hoc expert group on consideration with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests. In the end, UNFF5 could not reach any agreement on how to proceed. The UNFF, whose continued existence after UNFF5 was not guaranteed, was forced to convene at least a sixth session, if only to finish the work of UNFF5. This gave a sense of urgency to UNFF6, especially to those who wanted to ensure the continued existence of the UNFF. Not only would the foundering of UNFF eliminate that forum for discussion on how to address issues pertaining to the world’s forests, but the collapse of the UNFF would also reflect negatively on the global forest policy-makers who allowed it to happen.

The lack of agreement at UNFF5 put more pressure on delegates to reach a decision at UNFF6; this gave those who continued to desire a binding instrument – some of the loudest voices in the global forest debate – the bargaining power to insist on agreement to negotiate a new instrument. Rather than trying to persuade countries to reach consensus on negotiating a legally binding instrument, as some had attempted to do at various junctures since the 1990s, the winning strategy took the form of demanding a non-binding instrument: one that would look as much as possible like a binding one and therefore could be potentially transformed into a binding agreement in 2015, when the next review of the IAF is scheduled to take place.

Ultimately, delegates succeeded in producing an NLBI in the waning hours of UNFF7. That in itself was an achievement, considering up until the end many did not think agreement would be possible, especially given the debacle at UNFF5. The question on everyone’s mind, however, was whether the NLBI that UNFF7 produced actually adds anything to the IAF.  Several times during the meeting, more than one delegate voiced concern that language in the text was being weakened below that which had already been agreed in past documents, such as earlier UNFF decisions and the ECOSOC resolution calling for the NLBI.

While not many would say that the NLBI takes the level of global consensus on forests a step backwards, what has in fact been strengthened over what existed before? There were provisions that some delegations pushed quite hard for at first that disappeared from the final text altogether, such as those establishing a facilitative process, promoting use of quantitative and timebound targets for achieving SFM, combating illegal trade, promoting secure land tenure, defining the SFM concept, and establishing the UNFF as the governing body of the instrument and the UNFF Secretariat as the NLBI’s secretariat. So much was dropped, in fact, that one delegate began to complain of a “meatless” instrument. Perhaps the most contentious point that could not be dropped altogether was a provision on financing but this was left deliberately vague, to be worked out in negotiations at UNFF8.

One piece of text that was not weakened in any way from previously agreed language was the set of four Global Objectives; one delegate viewed this as the highest value added at UNFF7. Yet these Objectives were actually agreed ad referendum at UNFF5, and, as stated in the NLBI, are taken verbatim from the ECOSOC resolution negotiated at UNFF6 that represented the global community’s agreement on the way forward for the IAF one year ago.

The question of the NLBI’s contribution cannot be answered without recognition that delegates’ views on what constitutes “added value” may simply be too far apart to allow for a generalized assessment of whether UNFF7 has added value to the global forest dialogue. The reason? Countries’ positions on the benefits to be gained from trying to reach agreements on forest policy at the global level still run the full gamut. Some countries stated openly that the only potential “added value” from the instrument was the possibility of new funding. For others, including many that do not have significant forest resources in the first place but who are big timber importers, or others who want to protect their forest industries from competition from states with lower “sustainability” standards, there is a desire to strengthen global forest policy through moving toward tighter global regulation of activities and policies that affect forests.

Yet others’ biggest concern is potential loss of sovereignty, specifically loss of control over forest resources within their territory, despite the appeal of showing commitment to strengthen the global forest policy dialogue. There were attempts to combine elements desired by various groups into a “package” that could link agreement on a financing mechanism with acceptance of an entity that could provide advice on implementing SFM through what was termed a “facilitative process.” However, it soon became clear that some did not feel the package itself was valuable enough to attract a deal. Positions were thus incompatible, with little space for agreement beyond the status quo.

There is one additional wrinkle in what constitutes added value: there was speculation that failure to achieve a strong NLBI at UNFF7 could be seen as a positive thing by some countries because it might make the legally binding instrument alternative, which still lurks in the background, look more attractive to others. It appears that some countries may be willing to “put their money where their mouth is” to get international controls that would benefit their forest interests: a meeting of an exclusive group of “like-minded countries” took place behind the scenes at UNFF7 to discuss just this possibility.

The MYPOW: not just another shopping list

Parallel to the arguments and disagreements over the NLBI, another working group was proceeding with the business of operationalizing the UNFF as a functioning organization until 2015 through completion of a new MYPOW. Delegates’ main task was to identify themes and tasks for the next four biennial sessions of the UNFF in such a way that the UNFF contributes to the work of those who are most involved in combating deforestation and promoting SFM in all regions of the world. To do so they did not only have to identify the central themes for moving forward on SFM implementation but also explore novel ways to tap into resources and capitalize on the work that is already being done by other regional and international bodies.

A number of delegates saw agreement on the MYPOW as the true value-added of UNFF7, while the NLBI was a distracting side show. As one participant noted during the heated NLBI debate, “the UNFF can get along fine without an NLBI but to actually work, it needs a MYPOW. Whether enough countries would have been willing to agree on a MYPOW to enable the UNFF to carry on in the absence of an NLBI was a question that fortunately did not have to be answered in the end.

Some delegates expressed the view that the MYPOW resulting from UNFF7 is more ambitious that the one agreed to at UNFF1 in the new issues that it recognizes for discussion, such as the links between forests and climate change. In addition, the MYPOW contains at least two other potentially significant contributions. Discussions on transforming the nature of future UNFF sessions produced language on the UNFF as a “platform for dialogue” that will focus on information sharing, stakeholder participation, and exchange on best practices and lessons learned rather than on interminable negotiations over the text of reports and resolutions. Now, rather than simply consolidating country reports, the Secretariat will prepare analytical reports based in part on voluntary country reports in order to assess overall progress on implementing the NLBI and achieving the four Global Objectives. This could give a basis for more objective assessment of what is being done well – or poorly – and what more is needed. The MYPOW could be the start of a transition of UNFF’s function from being a forum burdened with an intricate negotiating task into an institution that generates useful information and facilitates cooperation among the various regional and international bodies involved in SFM implementation. It is hoped that negotiations for a decision on financing at UNFF8 will not overshadow discussion of themes painstakingly agreed after the extensive debates on the MYPOW.

THE WAY FORWARD: GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

All in all, UNFF7 succeeded in fulfilling its objectives: it adopted two agreements and has ensured the Forum’s future until at least 2015. But does this make UNFF7 a success? The most objective judgment in this regard must be based on whether it has enhanced the political will, commitment or capacity to meet the threats facing the world’s forests. If the MYPOW eventually results in inspiring, eye-opening learning experiences for UNFF participants, or can add anything to the analysis of why threats to the world’s forests continue to exist and how to combat them, it will even have added some value.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

ITTC-42: The forty-second session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Associated Sessions of the Committees will be held from 7-12 May 2007, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The agenda includes: CITES listing proposals by members; forest law enforcement in the context of sustainable timber production and trade; ITTO guidelines for the restoration, management and rehabilitation of degraded and secondary tropical forests; civil society/private sector partnerships for Sustainable Forest Management; and developments in the UNFCCC regarding forests. For more information, contact ITTO Secretariat; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: itto@itto.or.jp; internet: http://www/itto.or.jp

2007 FORESTLEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: This conference will be held from 8-10 May 2007, in Vancouver, Canada. It will address critical sustainability challenges faced by the forest and paper sector in North America, and will feature plenary sessions and workshops, as well as an exhibit area. It is aimed at forest and paper sector decision makers, professionals and stakeholders. For more information, contact: ForestLeadership, Montréal, Canada; tel: +1-514-274-4344; fax: +1-514-277-6663; e-mail: conference2007@forestleadership.com; internet: http://www.forestleadership.com

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FOREST LANDSCAPE RESTORATION: This conference will take place from 14-19 May 2007, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. It will examine the scientific basis for forest landscape restoration and its linkages to practice and policy. For more information, contact: John Stanturf, Conference Chair; tel: +82-2-726-5555/5556; fax: +82-2-778-2514; e-mail: jstanturf@fs.fed.us; internet: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/korea/

WORLD TRADE FAIR FOR FORESTRY AND WOOD INDUSTRIES: The LIGNA+ Hannover 2007: World Trade Fair for the Forestry and Wood Industries will take place from 14-18 May 2007, in Hannover, Germany. This exhibition provides a marketplace for wood and timber processing innovations, particularly for medium and small industries. For more information, contact: Anja Brokjans, tel: +49-511-89-31602; fax: +49-511-89-32631; e-mail: anja.brokjans@messe.de; internet: http://www.ligna.de

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON WOOD-BASED BIOENERGY: This conference will be held from 17-19 May 2007, in Hannover, Germany, and aims to raise decision makers’ awareness of the technical and economic potential of utilizing logging residues and wood-processing wastes for energy generation, thereby increasing energy efficiency in tropical countries. For more information, contact: ITTO Secretariat, Forest Industry Division; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: fi@itto.or.jp; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp

THE ROLE OF NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS (NTFPs) IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION: Hosted by the Viet Nam NTFP Project Phase II, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), this meeting will run from 11-15 June 2007, in Hanoi, Viet Nam. It will address the following questions: Under what conditions can NTFPs, both plants and animals, be sustainably harvested? Can on-farm production of NTFPs result in improved biodiversity conservation? Does commercialization of NTFPs result in over-harvesting? What is needed for markets to be pro-poor? Are attempts to develop NTFPs for poverty alleviation really reaching the poorest of the poor? And, to what extent are these attempts impacting biodiversity conservation? For more information, contact: Sarah Webster, IUCN; tel: +84-4-7261575/6 Ext. 133; fax: +84-4-7261561; e-mail: sarahweb@iucn.org.vn; internet: http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Events/hanoi_ntfp.htm

COMMUNITY FOREST MANAGEMENT AND ENTERPRISES: GLOBAL ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES: This meeting will be held from 16-20 July 2007, in Rio Branco, Brazil. Organized by the International Tropical Timber Organization and Rights and Resources Group, it will bring together about 250 leaders of forest communities, public forest agencies, and forest industry and conservation groups to share experiences in community forest management and enterprises from around the world. It will explore case studies from over a dozen community forests and debate the best ways of assisting the sustainable development of community-based operations. For more information, contact: Patricia Hanashiro, ITTO; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: hanashiro@itto.or.jp; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp

EIGHTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UN CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATON (COP-8): COP-8 will be held from 3-14 September 2007, in Madrid, Spain. The agenda will include: programme and budget for the biennium 2008-2009; review of the implementation of the Convention; review of the report of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST); review of activities for promotion of relationships with other relevant organizations; follow-up to the WSSD; Regional Coordination Units (RCUs); and review of the 2006 International Year of Deserts and Desertification activities. The Committee for the Review of the Convention and the CST will also convene during the COP. For more information, contact: UNCCD Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2800; fax: +49-228-815-2898; e-mail: secretariat@unccd.int; internet: http://www.unccd.int

FORESTS AND FORESTRY IN THE CONTEXT OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT: IUFRO EUROPEAN CONGRESS: This Congress will meet from 6-7 September 2007, in Warsaw, Poland. It aims to take a comprehensive and integrated view of the key issues that shape and influence the role of forests and forestry as a means of rural development. The current state of knowledge will be presented, and further research priorities will be identified. The Congress will focus on four main themes: policies supporting rural development; forests and rural development in light of global change; social aspects of forests and forestry in the rural landscape; and the economic role of forests in rural development. For more information, contact: Piotr Paschalis-Jakubowicz; tel: +48-22-59-38120; e-mail: Piotr.Paschalis@wl.sggw.pl; internet: http://conference2007.wl.sggw.pl/

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TO PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS AND SERVICES: This conference will convene in Beijing, China, from 19-21 September 2007, and will bring producers, traders and consumers together to share experiences in promoting NTFPs in domestic and international trade. For more information, contact: ITTO Secretariat; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: itto@itto.or.jp; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp

GLOBAL VISION OF FORESTRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: This Congress will meet from 30 September - 3 October 2007, in Toronto, Canada. It will be organized under the themes of global challenges, responsibilities and leadership in forestry, frontiers of science and a healthy and diverse forest environment, and cultures, markets and sustainable societies. For more information, contact: Shashi Kant, University of Toronto; tel: +1-416-978-6196; fax: +1-416-978-3834; e-mail: shashi.kant@utoronto.ca internet: http://www.forestry.utoronto.ca/centennial/int_congress.htm

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE FUTURE OF FORESTS IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: OUTLOOK FOR 2020: This regional conference will meet from 16-18 October 2007, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and will collate a wide range of information pertinent to the forestry sector, identify trends, and plot future opportunities and constraints to sustainable forest management. For more information, contact: Patrick Durst, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific; tel: +66-2-697-4139; fax: +66-2-697-4445; e-mail: Patrick.durst@fao.org; internet: http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Events/CIFOR/asia_pacific.htm

FIFTH MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE PROTECTION OF FORESTS IN EUROPE: The Fifth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe will convene in Warsaw, Poland, from 5-7 November 2007, and discuss the theme “Forests for Quality of Life.” For more information, contact: Ministerial Conference on Protection of Forests in Europe, Liaison Unit Warsaw; tel: +48-22-331-7031; fax: +48-22-331-7032; e-mail: liaison.unit@lu-warsaw.pl; internet: http://www.mcpfe.org

ITTC-43: The forty-third session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Associated Sessions of the Committees will be held from 5-10 November 2007, in Yokohama, Japan. For more information, contact: ITTO Secretariat; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: itto@itto.or.jp; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp

NINETEENTH SESSION OF THE FAO COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY: The 19th biennial session of the FAO Committee on Forestry will convene at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, in March 2009. For more information, contact: Douglas Kneeland, FAO Forestry Department; tel: +39-06-5705-3925; fax: +39-06-5705-31 52; e-mail: douglas.kneeland@fao.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/forestry

UNFF8: The eighth session of the UN Forum on Forests will be held from 20 April - 1 May 2009, at UN headquarters in New York. The session will consider with a view for adoption a voluntary global financing mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financing framework, as well as discuss the theme “Forests in a Changing Environment.” For more information, contact UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3160; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: unff@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests


GLOSSAY
 

C&I

CPF

EST

FAO

FLEG

GEF

IAF

IFF

IPF

IPM

IYF

LFCC

MAR

MCPFE

MDG

MEA

MYPOW

NFP

NLBI

ODA

PFA

PROFOR

SFM

TFRK

Criteria and indicators

Collaborative Partnership on Forests

Environmentally sound technologies

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

Forest law enforcement and governance

Global Environment Facility

International arrangement on forests

Intergovernmental Forum on Forests

Intergovernmental Panel on Forests

Intergovernmental preparatory meeting

International Year of Forests

Low forest cover countries

Monitoring, assessment and reporting

Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe

Millennium Development Goals

Multilateral environmental agreements

Multi-year programme of work

National forest programme

Non-legally binding instrument

Official Development Assistance

Protected forest area

World Bank Programme on Forests

Sustainable forest management

Traditional forest-related knowledge


This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Deborah Davenport, Ph.D., Reem Hajjar, Stefan Jungcurt, Leila Mead and Julie Taylor. The Digital Editor is Dan Birchall. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James �Kimo� Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development � DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV) and the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory General Directorate for Nature Protection. General Support for the Bulletin during 2007 is provided by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Funding for the translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA. The ENB Team at the UNFF7 can be contacted by e-mail at <reem@iisd.org>.