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A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations
 
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Volume 13 Number 174 - Monday, 4 May 2009
20 APRIL – 1 MAY 2009
The eighth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF8) was held from 20 April - 1 May 2009, at UN headquarters in New York. Over 600 participants attended the two-week session, to address: forests in a changing environment, including forests and climate change, reversing the loss of forest cover and degradation, and forests and biodiversity conservation; and means of implementation for sustainable forest management (SFM).

After an all-night session on the last night, delegates adopted a resolution on forests in a changing environment, enhanced cooperation and cross-sectoral policy and programme coordination, and regional and subregional inputs. Delegates did not agree on a decision on financing for SFM, and decided to forward bracketed negotiating text to the Forum’s next session, scheduled to be held in January 2011.

During the meeting, delegates also participated in two Multi-stakeholder Dialogues, and panel discussions on forests and biodiversity, climate change and desertification, the financial crisis and SFM and regional perspectives on forests in a changing environment. While the discussions on financing did not lead to an agreed outcome, the extended discussions on forests in a changing environment, the panel presentations and the Multi-stakeholder Dialogues allowed a glimpse of the Forum’s potential future role as body for interaction, dialogue and cooperation in support of SFM implementation.

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, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), in 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 were identified to: facilitate implementation of forest-related agreements and foster a common understanding on 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 to the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

The IPF/IFF processes produced more than 270 proposals for action towards SFM, which form the basis for the UNFF Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) and Plan of Action, which have been discussed at annual sessions. 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: The first session of UNFF took place from 11-23 June 2001, at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates discussed and adopted decisions on the UNFF 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: The second session of UNFF 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 eight decisions 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, and 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 three ad hoc expert groups designed to consider: MAR; finance and transfer of technologies; and consideration with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests.

UNFF4: UNFF4 convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 3-14 May 2004, and 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 attempted to, but could 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 did not produce either a ministerial statement or 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 generated a negotiating text containing new language on the function of the IAF, a commitment to convene UNFF biennially after 2007, and a request that UNFF7 adopt a non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests. UNFF6 also set four global objectives for the IAF: reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide through SFM, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation; enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits and the contribution of forests to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals; increase significantly the area of protected forests worldwide and other areas of sustainably managed forests; and reverse the decline in ODA for SFM and mobilize significantly increased new and additional financial resources from all sources for the implementation of SFM.

UNFF7: UNFF7 was held from 16-27 April 2007, at UN headquarters in New York. After two weeks of negotiations culminating in an all-night session, delegates adopted the Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (the forest instrument) and a MYPOW for the period 2007-2015. Delegates also participated in two Multi-stakeholder Dialogues, a panel discussion with member organizations of the CPF, and the launching of preparations for the International Year of Forests 2011. Delegates agreed that a “voluntary global financial mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financing framework for all types of forests” would be developed and considered, with a view to its adoption at UNFF8.

UNFF8 REPORT

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, opened the meeting on Monday, 20 April. He described sustainable forest management (SFM) as a dynamic and evolving concept, and said that the adoption of the forest instrument signaled a new era and offered a chance to turn political commitment into action.

Delegates recalled the election of Boen Purnama (Indonesia) as UNFF8 Chair, and Arvids Ozols (Latvia), Modesto Fernández Diaz-Silveira (Cuba) and Glen Kile (Australia) as Co-Chairs, and further elected Modest Mero (Tanzania) as Co-Chair. Delegates agreed that Working Group I (Forests in a Changing Environment) would be co-chaired by Ozols and Mero, and that Working Group II (Means of Implementation) would be co-chaired by Fernández and Kile. Delegates then adopted the meeting’s agenda (E/CN.18/2009/1) and organization of work.

Chair Purnama encouraged the adoption of realistic objectives for this session and described UNFF8 as the “last mile of a marathon.”

Jan Heino, Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), said that combating climate change, desertification and land degradation will not be possible without SFM, and that SFM will not be achieved without means of implementation.

Throughout the week, delegates participated in Multi-stakeholder Dialogues and heard panel presentations on various themes. Delegates also convened in the two working groups. This summary is organized according to the meeting’s agenda.

OPENING STATEMENTS: Delegates heard opening statements on Monday, 20 April, and Wednesday, 22 April. Sudan, for the G-77/China, supported by Malaysia, for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia, India, Chile, Brazil and others, called for the establishment of a global forest fund to provide new and additional funding resources for developing countries.

Indonesia expressed regret that the lack of agreement on means of implementation at UNFF7 has meant lost opportunities for national implementation of the forest instrument. The Czech Republic, for the European Union (EU), stressed that UNFF8 should give policy guidance by clarifying and communicating SFM’s contributions to internationally agreed development goals, and highlighted the importance of good governance, forest law enforcement and securing land tenure rights for the effective use of financial resources.

Papua New Guinea, for the Pacific Community, called for the consideration of the islands of the Pacific as a separate regional group. Croatia brought attention to the International Year of Forests 2011 as a means to increase global action and raise awareness on the value of forests. Angola noted the current financial crisis poses a challenge to meeting SFM and development goals.

Suriname said that countries with high forest cover and low rates of deforestation (HFLDs) deserve support and compensation for their role in climate stabilization. Nepal emphasized that global warming poses a threat to water resources and biodiversity.

Colombia and Cuba urged delegates to complete discussions on means of implementation, in particular on funding, technology transfer and capacity building. China and the US stressed that political will is necessary to realize the four Global Objectives on Forests and implementing the forest instrument.

India called for strengthening existing international arrangements and identifying priority areas for action. Chad stressed the link between deforestation, poverty and social upheaval. Pakistan noted the vulnerability of low forest cover countries (LFCCs) in the face of climate change.

Iran called for the development of attainable short, medium and long-term goals. Argentina called for greater international assistance in SFM implementation.

Japan called for the inclusion of SFM within reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and, with New Zealand, the need to improve the use of existing financial resources. New Zealand noted that SFM had yet to be clearly defined at the global level.

South Africa said that SFM can contribute to addressing desertification and poverty. The Dominican Republic emphasized that SFM requires good governance. Indigenous Peoples expressed concern about solutions to climate change that infringe on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Indonesia advocated for adequate financial resources to compensate developing countries for REDD and the full range of forest values. Iran, on behalf of LFCCs, underlined the vulnerability of LFCCs to the impacts of climate change and land degradation. Saint Lucia and Palau emphasized the plight of small island states in the face of climate change, with Palau calling for capacity building to establish baseline information needed for adaptive management.

Kyrgyzstan stressed that forest management depends on a sound forest resources inventory. Guyana highlighted the need to correct perverse incentives under the Kyoto Protocol that make it more lucrative to cut down trees than to keep them standing. Venezuela emphasized that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the appropriate forum to address climate change.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUES

Multi-stakeholder Dialogues, chaired by IUFRO Executive Director Peter Mayer, were held on Wednesday, 22 April and Tuesday, 28 April. A panel on women and fuelwood was held in conjunction with the first Dialogue.

During the first Dialogue, Major Groups made presentations on: the participation of women and youth in decision-making; enhancing the science-policy interface, and mobilizing long-term funding for research, education and extension; potential perverse effects of REDD-related financial flows; and securing land and property rights, giving direct responsibility to foresters.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates called for: further participation by Major Groups: educating youth and involving them as a full partner in implementing SFM; cooperation among stakeholders; and strengthening community organizations.

During the panel on women and fuelwood, panelists noted that: women in developing countries suffer the most from the effects of forest degradation; 80% of the 40 million refugees worldwide are women; women are disproportionately affected when people are forced to flee forests; and women lack access to adequate household energy alternatives, requiring them to collect firewood under dangerous conditions.

On Thursday, April 30, delegates heard a presentation on women in areas of armed conflicts and impacts on forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Summaries of these discussions are available at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol13/enb13167e.html and http://www.iisd.ca/vol13/enb13173e.html

During the second Dialogue, UNFF Director McAlpine invited Major Group representatives to rethink the manner of their participation in the Forum to improve engagement with member states. The Major Groups: highlighted the need to fully account for tenure rights and the rights of indigenous people and women when developing and implementing policy; supported establishing a global forest fund, and emphasized that funds be made available at the grassroots level; called for investment in research and development to further SFM implementation in developing countries; called for a message to be sent to the UNFCCC; and urged delegates to revisit recommendations regarding stakeholder participation, the role of governmental and non-governmental actors, capacity building and enabling frameworks.

Delegates discussed: the need to carefully consider indigenous peoples’ concerns, and the lack of coordination among some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in carrying out forest-related projects, as well as their low capacity for implementation in some cases.

A summary of the discussion is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol13/enb13171e.html

PANEL ON THE FINANCIAL CRISIS AND SFM

On Monday, 20 April, delegates discussed the impacts on the financial crisis on SFM. Panelists highlighted: the negative consequences of the crisis on the world’s forests as countries pursue short-term investments, and illegal logging and subsistence use increase; a predicted fall in financial flows from ODA, timber exports and carbon markets; the usefulness of trust funds and payment for environmental services for financing SFM; the need for UNFF to convey to the UNFCCC that a future climate agreement needs to address forests, including HFLDs; and that the potential funding to come through a climate deal will substantially exceed any amount raised from other sources. Delegates inquired about: public financing of payments for environmental services; the need for continuous flows of funding; and strategies for approaching the private sector for funding.

A summary of the discussion is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol13/enb13165e.html

PANEL ON FORESTS AND BIODIVERSITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND DESERTIFICATION

This panel was held on Tuesday, 21 April. The panel included presentations on, among other issues: cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and an outline of these conventions’ relevant work on forests as well as forests and climate change; the CPF Strategic Framework for Forests and Climate Change; an update on REDD negotiations under the UNFCCC; and a report on forest funding by the Global Environment Facility.

A summary of the discussion can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol13/enb13166e.html

PANEL ON REGIONAL AND SUBREGIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON FORESTS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

On Tuesday, 21 April, a panel discussion was held on regional and subregional perspectives on forests in a changing environment. Delegates heard presentations on: the outcomes of the Australian-Swiss Region-Led Initiative on Regional Inputs, and the South African-Swiss Country-Led Initiative (CLI) on Forest Governance and Decentralization in Africa; ASEAN regional activities on forest governance; how the forest instrument has contributed to the Central African Forest Commission regional convergence plan and stakeholder dialogue on SFM; market-based instruments for SFM; and the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe activities aiding forest instrument implementation.

Following the presentations, delegates discussed: the Montreal Process’s work on implementing SFM indicators; inter-regional exchange of experiences; the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation’s work on forest policy, management and research issues in Asia; how funding mechanisms should also consider regional entities; and how UNFF must acknowledge regional diversity and not look for a single format for regional participation.

A summary of the discussion is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol13/enb13166e.html

FORESTS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT, ENHANCED COOPERATION, AND REGIONAL AND SUBREGIONAL INPUTS

These agenda items were each introduced in plenary and then further considered in WGI from Tuesday, 21 April, through Friday, 1 May, based on a report summarizing key challenges comprising suggested recommendations on the agenda items (E/CN.18/2009/8). On Friday, 24 April, Co-Chair Ozols introduced a draft resolution, which served as basis for discussion during the second week.

The final resolution was adopted during the night session on Friday, 1 May. The following sections summarize the introduction of each item, followed by a summary of the discussion on the key challenges report and the draft resolution, according to the resolution’s final structure.

FORESTS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT: UNFF Director McAlpine introduced this item (E/CN.18/2/2009/4-8) in plenary on Tuesday, 21 April. She said cross-sectoral coordination in member states is crucial to addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, forest degradation and desertification, and commended current international collaboration within the UN and through the CPF.

Risto Seppälä, Chair, Global Forest Expert Panel on Adaptation of Forests to Climate Change (GFEP), presented the Global Assessment on Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change, and suggested that UNFF consider using GFEP as an advisory body. Many delegates called for exploiting synergies between UNFF and other bodies, in particular the Rio Conventions, while others stressed that UNFCCC is the most appropriate forum to address issues relating to climate change.

ENHANCED COOPERATION: On Monday, 20 April, Jan Heino, Chair, CPF, presented on the CPF Framework 2008 and 2009 (E/CN.18/2009/12). He noted ongoing collaboration on, inter alia: the CPF Sourcebook on Funding for SFM; capacity building for SFM monitoring, assessment and reporting; and streamlining of forest-related reporting. Further documentation was introduced by the Secretariat on Tuesday, 21 April, in WGI (E/CN.18/2009/10).

REGIONAL AND SUBREGIONAL INPUTS: McAlpine introduced this agenda item in plenary on Tuesday, 21 April (E/CN.18/2009/3), noting that mandates and concerns vary among regional groups, and said regional groups could be instrumental in national cross-sectoral coordination and in the preparations for the International Year of Forests 2011.

KEY CHALLENGES REPORT: Delegates considered the key challenges report from Wednesday to Friday, 22-24 April. The report summarized the main issues in addressing the impacts of climate change, desertification and biodiversity loss on forests and forests’ role in addressing these problems, including coordination and cooperation in relation to these issues.

Discussions focused on forest inventories and the need for additional indicators, coordination between international forest-related conventions, gaps in the international framework on forests, and the role of forest law enforcement and governance (FLEG) in addressing climate change. Delegates also proposed additional issues that should be considered by UNFF9, including energy, fuelwood and impacts of the food, fuel and financial crises at future sessions and the role of SFM in addressing these issues.

Substantial time was devoted to forests and climate change, in particular the relationship between measures for REDD and SFM. Many stressed the need to adequately consider SFM in REDD policies and to ensure that policies for climate change mitigation and forest financing consider the multiple values of forests and the whole range of forest products. Developing countries inquired how they could benefit from the integration of REDD in climate change mitigation and how SFM could be linked to carbon trade. Developed countries stressed the importance of science, research and the development of indicators and cross-boundary linkages with other sectors, in particular agriculture.

Delegates also discussed at length whether or not UNFF should send a message to the UNFCCC, the other Rio Conventions or other international environmental agreements in general. This discussion circled around concerns about interfering with the UNFCCC’s mandate or duplicating its work and the usefulness of a message directed specifically to the UNFCCC. On recommendations for CPF member organizations to review their funding procedures and countries to produce national financing strategies for SFM, delegates agreed to await the outcome of discussions on financing.

DRAFT RESOLUTION: During the second week, delegates completed four readings of a draft resolution introduced by the WGI Co-Chairs. Late on Friday, 1 May, outstanding issues related to the clarification of concepts and ideas contained in the forest instrument, as well as several language amendments from delegates, were resolved and all text was agreed to ad referendum, pending the outcomes of WGII.

Discussions often became entangled over references relating to concepts contained in the forest instrument as delegates felt that proposed paragraphs would reinterpret the NLBI or go beyond the UNFF’s mandate. In other cases much time was spent in clarifying ideas and concepts embodied in specific proposals as delegates amended existing paragraphs rather than introducing new text, which often led to confusion over intentions and objectives of the language proposed.

During the first reading, Brazil, the African Group and the EU asked to reference the forest instrument as the Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (NLBI), rather than the forest instrument, throughout the document. Delegates later agreed to use NLBI when referring to United Nations General Assembly resolution 62/98 (NLBI) and to use “forest instrument” otherwise.

Preamble: Discussions focused on: keeping reference to the Rio Principles; the specific mention of the needs of vulnerable countries such as SIDS and LFCCs, on which delegates agreed to use language contained in the forest instrument; the role of forests and SFM in addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and desertification; and whether to describe SFM as a “dynamic and evolving concept.”

Recommendations to member states: Debate circled on addressing climate change, desertification and land degradation, and conservation and use of biodiversity in national forest programmes or other strategies for SFM. Contentious issues included: references to tenure rights in reference to policy and legal frameworks; legally harvested timber in relation to FLEG and, to a lesser extent, on forest certification; additional indicators for national forest inventories; forest-based climate change mitigation; and adaptation options and public procurement policies.

The EU insisted on encouraging states to work towards common elements of defining legally harvested timber, which was opposed by Indonesia, Brazil, the US, and Australia. Similar discussions ensued around the EU’s proposals to include procurement policies. On Friday, 1 May, the discussion on these issues resulted in compromise language inviting member states to use market-based approaches for production and consumption from sustainably managed forests harvested according to domestic legislation.

On FLEG, the EU, Switzerland, Norway and others supported reference to land tenure rights in a recommendation inviting member states to develop policies to support SFM, which was opposed by the African Group, Indonesia, Brazil, China, Venezuela, Cambodia and Uruguay. On Friday, 1 May, after several rounds of negotiations, the EU proposed, and delegates agreed, to invite members to report on land tenure issues at UNFF9.

On the need for new indicators, which was proposed by the EU several times but opposed by both developing and developed countries, delegates eventually agreed to invite states to undertake national forest inventories “taking into consideration the need to further develop methodologies and the availability of resources.”

On Friday, 1 May, delegates further discussed a paragraph inviting members to operationalize the proposals of the CPF Strategic Framework for Forests and Climate Change, which was initially opposed by the African Group and others. After discussion, they agreed on inviting members to “consider” the framework’s proposals.

Recommendations to other bodies: The main contentions under this section revolved around an invitation for collaboration with the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) and the UNFF message to the UNFCCC or other bodies. China, Brazil and Venezuela raised concerns regarding a request to the UNFF Secretariat to involve UNFF in UN-REDD, arguing that this would make the resolution too focused on climate change.

On Friday, delegates agreed to encourage UN-REDD member organizations to collaborate with the UNFF Secretariat and other CPF members in promoting SFM.

On the UNFF message, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and the African Group cautioned against interfering with the UNFCCC’s mandate when addressing the message to the UNFCCC; the EU suggested that the resolution itself serve as message to the UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD, and New Zealand, the US and Australia suggested addressing the message to domestic entities rather than the UNFCCC to help raise awareness of the role of forests in climate change mitigation.

On Friday afternoon, 1 May, the Co-Chairs circulated draft text, based on submissions by the EU and the African Group, for three additional paragraphs to be added to the resolution. Brazil and India requested deleting a paragraph reiterating the need to reach agreed outcomes at upcoming conferences of the parties of the UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD on addressing challenges to sustainable development posed by climate change, loss of biodiversity and desertification and the role of SFM; delegates agreed to its deletion.

On a second paragraph inviting CPF members, in particular the UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD, to integrate SFM into their strategies by considering the NLBI and building on existing forest-related tools, delegates discussed numerous amendments regarding a list of tools. The EU insisted on keeping reference to FLEG and proposed adding reference to interrelated illicit trafficking in forest products. Brazil proposed deleting reference to FLEG, noting it is forest-centered and does not address related issues such as biopiracy. Venezuela and India proposed adding reference to consistency with national legislation, with India adding also “as appropriate,” triggering a lengthy debate about these qualifiers, during which the US suggested deleting the entire list of tools. Delegates eventually agreed to retain the list as a representative sample of tools.

Recommendations to the CPF: Contentious issues on recommendations to the CPF included: whether to discuss a recommendation to CPF members to review their funding procedures in view of facilitating access to funds by developing countries or leave it to WGII; how to consider the CPF strategic framework on forests and climate change; and the use of Global Forest Expert Panels to provide science-based information on issues relevant to the Forum.

Recommendations to the UNFF Secretariat: Contentious issues on recommendations to the UNFF Secretariat were: the development of new criteria and indicators for reporting on progress towards SFM; the use of a panel of experts on the fuelwood crisis; the inclusion of payment for ecosystem services in valuation studies; and the development of a South-South cooperation strategy.

Delegates discussed a request to the UNFF Secretariat to collaborate with FAO and others on criteria and indicators to report on progress towards SFM. They debated at length whether to specify that indicators should be based on the seven thematic elements of SFM, and eventually agreed to emulate NLBI language, by taking them into account as a reference framework. Many opposed an EU proposal to explore the need for new indicators, which the EU later withdrew.

The US and Indonesia asked to reflect the focus of the MYPOW with regard to the Secretariat’s activities for facilitating regional cooperation. Switzerland suggested mentioning country- and region-led initiatives.

On arranging a panel of experts on the impacts of the food, fuelwood and financial crises on SFM, the African Group requested reference to “energy” instead of “fuelwood.” Delegates discussed a proposal made by Venezuela to add, under the paragraph on the food and energy crisis, the proposal made on Friday, 1 May, by the Holy See, regarding “protection strategies for women and youth involved in fuelwood collection.”

The African Group opposed including payments for ecosystem services in the request that the UNFF Secretariat report on valuation of forest goods and services at UNFF10, while many delegations favored including them. Delegates eventually agreed on NLBI language referring to “the recognition of the range of forest values as well as ways to reflect such values in the marketplace.”

On requesting the Secretariat to develop a strategy for South-South cooperation for UNFF10 consideration, the African Group, Brazil and Indonesia asked for a separate reference calling for international support for South-South cooperation. Brazil, with China, the African Group and others, called for the strategy to be presented at UNFF9. On mobilizing funds for South-South cooperation, the EU and the US expressed concern on the language as they felt this was beyond the mandate of the UNFF.

Final Resolution: The resolution on forests in a changing environment, enhanced cooperation and cross-sectoral policy and programme coordination, and regional and subregional inputs states that the UNFF, inter alia:
  • recalls the NLBI and emphasizes that it offers an integrated framework to implement SFM and in turn contributes to addressing the interrelated challenges of climate change, forest loss and degradation, desertification, and contributes to conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity;
  • reaffirms commitment to the Rio Declaration, including the principles on sovereign rights of countries and common but differentiated responsibilities;
  • is concerned about the impacts on forests of climate change, loss of forest cover, forest degradation, desertification and biodiversity loss, while recognizing the contribution of forests in addressing climate change, biodiversity conservation and combating desertification; and
  • takes note of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and of recent joint initiatives of the CPF on forests and climate change and the report prepared by the Global Forest Expert Panel on Adaptation of Forests to Climate Change.
The UNFF encourages member states to:
  • strengthen the implementation of SFM in addressing the challenges of “Forests in a changing environment”;
  • use national forest programmes or other strategies for SFM, in order to integrate measures to address climate change, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, desertification, deforestation, and degradation of forest ecosystems, and seek coherence with national development and poverty eradication strategies;
  • strengthen coordination among their focal points for the UNFF, CBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC as well as other CPF members to facilitate the implementation of SFM at national and other levels;
  • share their experiences at UNFF9 in the context of the theme;
  • enhance cooperation on UNFF’s cross-cutting issues and share relevant information;
  • promote, in the framework of SFM, the conservation and sustainable use of all types of forests;
  • undertake national forest inventories to enhance the coherence and timeliness of information on forest resources;
  • consider proposals contained in the CPF Strategic Framework for Forests and Climate Change; and
  • use market-based approaches to develop and promote production and consumption of forest products from sustainably managed forests.
  • The UNFF agrees to:
  • encourage the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Development Programme and the UN Environment Programme, as members of UN-REDD, to collaborate with UNFF and other CPF members to promote SFM;
  • underscore the urgency to address the threats and sustainable development challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification;
  • invite the governing bodies of member organizations of the CPF to continue to integrate the sustainable management of forests into their strategies;
  • invite CPF members to support South-South cooperation initiatives concerning SFM;
  • invite regional and subregional organizations and processes, Major Groups and other stakeholders to provide inputs to UNFF9; and
  • encourage member states and request the Secretariat to explore ways to increase stakeholder and civil society participation.
The UNFF invites the CPF to:
  • provide information on recent developments in SFM, climate change, deforestation, land degradation, desertification, and biodiversity; and
  • continue to provide science-based information relevant to the themes of the Forum, including through the global forest expert panels.
The UNFF requests the UNFF Secretariat to:
  • explore with the Secretariats of the Rio Conventions and with the Secretariats of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species and the Ramsar Convention opportunities for collaboration and develop targeted joint activities related to SFM, the four global objectives, and the NLBI, and seek participation in the Joint Liaison Group for the Rio Conventions when forest-related matters are discussed;
  • collaborate with CPF members and criteria and indicators processes and to develop a format to assist countries to report on progress towards SFM and implementation of the NLBI;
  • further promote regional cooperation and subregional dialogue;
  • arrange for an interactive panel on the food, energy and economic challenges and opportunities for SFM and NLBI implementation at UNFF9;
  • seek ways to raise awareness on the linkages between SFM and the situation of women and youth who depend on forests;
  • synthesize, in collaboration with the CPF, current information on the recognition of the range of values derived from forests, as well as ways to reflect such values in the market place; and
  • develop a strategy in consultation with member states to promote North-South and South-South cooperation as well as triangular cooperation on forests for consideration at UNFF9.
ACHIEVING the GLOBAL OBJECTIVES AND IMPLEMENTING NLBI

This agenda item was addressed in plenary on Monday, 20 April, and in WGII on Friday, 24 April.

UNFF Director McAlpine reported on progress towards achieving the four Global Objectives on Forests and implementing the forest instrument (E/CN.18/2009/2), and lamented the low number of national reports on implementation received. For future UNFF sessions, she emphasized the need for enhanced indicators related to the Global Objectives, streamlined reporting and synergies with other assessments.

The US supported text on decreasing the Secretariat’s reporting burden and on acknowledging the contribution of regional and subregional processes. Senegal highlighted difficulties faced by developing countries in collecting and collating the required information and, with Gabon, supported using regional groups for reporting on implementation, noting that they can provide useful information and support for reporting. New Zealand noted the usefulness of regional criteria and indicator processes in providing information for global processes. Japan called for a better exchange of information on initiatives supporting SFM.

The EU and Norway called for inviting CPF members to develop methods for monitoring progress in achieving the Global Objectives. Australia and Norway supported a mid-2010 reporting timeline.

In clarifying how CPF members could provide inputs to reporting, CPF Chair Jan Heino gave an overview of the reporting process for FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010.

FOREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AND GOVERNANCE

FLEG was introduced as a cross-cutting issue across agenda items, and was discussed in WGII on Monday and Tuesday, 27 and 28 April. Several countries reported on recent domestic activities related to FLEG, including: illegal logging definitions; land tenure and land use policies; chain of custody agreements; and legislation. Australia lauded many countries’ achievements in their work on FLEG. Brazil said that FLEG should be addressed at the national level consistent with sovereign interests. Fiji noted differences in illegal logging definitions, stressed strengthening land tenure and land use policies, and called for means of implementation, including technology to combat illegal logging.

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION

On Monday, 20 April, UNFF Director McAlpine introduced the report of the Secretary-General on finance and other means of implementation for SFM (E/CN.18/2009/9) in plenary. Participants then convened in WGII from Tuesday, 21 April, until Friday, 1 May, to address financial and non-financial means of implementing SFM. During the first week, delegates made general statements and discussed elements of a financing mechanism for SFM, in plenary and in WGII. A Co-Chairs’ draft text was introduced on Thursday, 23 April, incorporating elements of the discussion from previous days, which served as the basis for negotiations over the ensuing days. In the second week, WGII met in a contact group, chaired by Tri Tharyat (Indonesia), which often broke into a Friends of the Chair group to advance negotiations on the draft text.

The negotiations on financing for SFM went into the night and the next morning of the final day of the meeting, and did not result in any agreement. The principle contention from the outset and throughout the two weeks were the two polarized views of developing countries and donor countries: the G-77/China favored the establishment of a global forest fund; and donor countries preferred to establish a facilitative process to, inter alia, enable easier access to current funding and create enabling conditions for private sector and other investment.

The G-77/China called for a dedicated global fund to promote capacity building, allow for technology transfer to developing countries, and aim to provide new and additional funding, including voluntary contributions. In addition, members of the Group stressed that: funding should be equally accessible to developing countries; regional and country groups should be eligible for funding; criteria for funding should aligned with each country’s national plans; and that the managing board should be established with a balanced representation, appointed by UNFF, and with minimal transaction costs. Argentina suggested a framework incorporating a facilitative process and a global fund based on voluntary contributions. On the other hand, the EU, with the US and others, outlined that a facilitative process could: increase capacity building; strengthen and support the development of national forest programmes; increase knowledge of available funds; maintain flexibility; create an enabling environment for private sector investment; and increase coherence and knowledge of existing sources of funding.

The G-77/China referred to several expert reports that have indicated the need for significantly greater funding, and noted that an empty fund will expose the lack of political will. Developed countries expressed their concerns with the creation of the proposed global forest fund, including: that the proposed fund is too vague to be fundable; and that creating a fund that remains unfunded carries reputational risks for UNFF. It was also noted that a fund will take a long time to create. In the middle of the second week, many developed countries stated that they did not have a negotiating mandate to create a global forest fund.

Discussions on the last two days got bogged down over whether or not to establish a global forest fund and, if so, when. With no agreement on this, delegates made little advances in negotiating other parts of the Co-Chairs’ draft text. Delegates then tried working with proposals to establish a process on the way forward. Both sides – donors and recipients – agreed to establish an ad hoc expert group (AHEG) to consider the need for a fund, but could not agree on its mandate or the timeline of its work: the G-77/China pushed for a decision on a fund’s establishment by UNFF9, following a review of the facilitative process by the AHEG; the donor countries preferred to consider the establishment of a fund, following the AHEG review, by UNFF10.

On Friday, 1 May, the Friends of the Chair group met all day and into the night in a closed room to find compromise text. Following several proposals by Chair Tharyat and the Bureau, regional groups moved somewhat from their original positions by early Saturday morning, 2 May. The US, supported by the EU, proposed text outlining the terms of reference of the AHEG before UNFF9 and UNFF10, including: an analysis of new and existing funding resources from the private sector and others; identifying gaps and obstacles for funding; and additional steps that can be taken by stakeholders in the facilitative process. The G-77/China could not accept this text, noting that none of their proposals, including deciding to establish a fund by UNFF9, were considered. In a last effort, almost all delegates agreed to a Bureau proposal to establish an AHEG with a view to making recommendations on the establishment of a voluntary global forest fund, including its terms of reference as well as other relevant dedicated financing arrangements to mobilize resources from all sources, and that the group would meet before UNFF9 and UNFF10, submitting a preliminary report to UNFF9, and final recommendations to UNFF10. However, the US delegation, after conferring with their capital, could not accept language on the AHEG making recommendations on establishing a fund, nor on the AHEG making recommendations on the terms of reference of the fund.

After not having reached agreement on a fund, delegates decided not to negotiate the rest of the Co-Chairs’ draft text on financing, and did not revisit language on the facilitative process. In plenary on Saturday morning, delegates decided to adopt a decision to revisit the agenda item on means of implementation at UNFF9, and thus will forward the bracketed text produced by the contact group to the next session.

UNFF TRUST FUND

UNFF Director McAlpine presented the report on the UNFF Trust Fund in plenary on Friday, 1 May (E/CN.18/2009/15). She noted the extra-Trust Fund contributions made by donors in support of the CLIs and other activities, highlighting the contribution of the US, amounting to 73 percent of the total. Switzerland noted that additional contributions should appear in official documents.

CLOSING PLENARY

The closing plenary was held in the early morning hours of Saturday, 2 May, following the conclusion of negotiations on the financing arrangement. The G-77/China, supported by Brazil, African Group, Pakistan and ASEAN, stressed the role of means of implementation for SFM and expressed disappointment that one delegation has slowed this process. The EU expressed disappointment that the facilitative process did not receive adequate attention. The US also expressed disappointment that the Forum did not reach an agreement on means of implementation, but welcomed the outcome of WGI.

Switzerland announced an initiative on “Forests and Water” and, together with Mexico, a CLI on forest governance and REDD in Latin America to be held in 2010 in Mexico.

Delegates also adopted the provisional agenda for UNFF9, with minor amendment, and the report of UNFF8 (E/CN.18/2009/L.1) without amendment. UNFF8 Chair Purnama closed the meeting at 5:53 am on Saturday, 2 May.

REPORT OF UNFF9

Chair Purnama opened UNFF9 to elect its officers during the day on Friday, 1 May. Delegates nominated Zainol Rahim Zainuddin (Malaysia), Raymond Harold Landveld (Suriname), Ingwald Gschwantdtl (Austria), and Ndiawar Dieng (Senegal) to the UNFF bureau. The session was then suspended.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF UNFF8

Two years after the adoption of the Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (now referred to by many as the “forest instrument”) and the Global Objectives on Forests, the eighth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF8) concluded without coming to an agreement on how to finance their implementation. This leaves the Forum somewhat in limbo, at the very moment that it is beginning to emerge as a body for interactive dialogue – the only such forum supported by universal membership, and capable of delivering a “360-degree perspective on forests,” as depicted by UNFF’s new Director Jan McAlpine. While the discussions on financing did not lead to an agreed outcome, the extended discussions on forests in a changing environment, the panel presentations and the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue allowed a glimpse of the Forum’s potential future role.

This brief analysis will reflect on expectations and outcomes surrounding forest financing at UNFF8, and discuss the potential for these new elements to contribute to the Forum’s evolution.

TRYING TO ESCAPE THE PAST

Although UNFF7 succeeded in establishing the NLBI, it fell short of agreeing upon how to finance its implementation, making this the main task of UNFF8. This discussion took place at UNFF8 against a different backdrop, with increasing attention being paid to the role that forests play within climate change. The UK-commissioned “Eliasch Review” identified that close to US$30 billion per year would be required to halve the rate of forest loss and its associated impacts on climate change, far beyond the level of financing produced by the international community to date. The Review also estimated the global costs of climate change caused by deforestation at an even more astounding US$1 trillion a year. Documents prepared for UNFF8 echoed these findings, including a report prepared for the Advisory Group on Finance of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests that concluded there is a need for substantial new and additional funding from all sources to support sustainable forest management (SFM) and enable effective implementation of the forest instrument.

These reports may have increased developing countries’ expectations that donors would be more amenable to creating a global forest fund. However, as it became clear by the middle of the second week, none of the donors had a mandate to negotiate such a fund, and thus negotiations began with polarized positions miles apart. The first Co-Chairs’ draft failed to capture the true magnitude of the chasm between these positions, downplaying the G-77/China’s proposal for a global forest fund, resulting in a time-consuming false start. The remainder of the session’s negotiations were dominated by an entrenched debate over “fund or no fund” and never progressed past this to discussing more nuanced details, such as how such a fund would be governed. In the end, even a decision to establish an ad hoc expert group to consider the need for a fund was quashed by lack of agreement over the group’s mandate or a timeline for its work, with developing countries pushing for a decision on a fund’s establishment sooner rather than later, and donor countries aligning to consider the establishment of a fund only at UNFF10.

One of the main arguments made by donors against the creation of a global forest fund was that the Forum would run a great reputational risk in creating a fund that might never receive any voluntary contributions. This led them to take the strong position that a facilitative process was preferable, calling for developing countries to make better use of existing funds. The G-77/China turned this argument around, saying that the reputational risk lay in failing to create the fund, and consequently failing to produce the needed resources to implement the forest instrument.

However, it did not appear that donors were convinced by this argument, and some delegates went so far as to say that UNFF is not the venue in which donors were expected to produce big results for forest funding. Many are reserving such expectations for the Copenhagen climate talks in December and the anticipated financing mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), which some see as the only major hope for generating anywhere near the amount indicated by Eliasch and others. It could be that the lack of agreement at UNFF8 could result in forest financing being skewed towards the climate regime, despite the widely held view within the forest community that this risks ignoring the role that SFM can play in both adaptation and mitigation, and marginalizing the many other values delivered by forests.

FACING THE FUTURE

UNFF8’s broad theme “Forests in a Changing Environment” provided an opportunity to initiate the Forum’s transformation from a negotiating body towards a space for interaction, dialogue and cooperation in support of SFM implementation, as stated in UNFF’s 2007-2015 Multi-Year Programme of Work. The discussions on this agenda item provided interesting insights on the status of this transition – both exposing some drawbacks of the current format, while also revealing opportunities to add value to the international forest dialogue and assuming its coordinating function.

Deliberations on forests in a changing environment clearly showed that the standard UNFF negotiating format is maladapted to stimulating interactive dialogue. Rather than discussing concerns about addressing the impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation through SFM, delegates spent most of their time debating references to contentious concepts such as land tenure rights, illegal logging or forest certification – the same pitfalls that have haunted the international forest debate for years. This was in sharp contrast to many delegations’ opening statements, which placed an emphasis on using UNFF8 as an opportunity to provide a holistic perspective on forests and climate change to the outside world. In fact, while many opening statements addressed the role of SFM in REDD, including calls to deliver a strong message to the UNFCCC in this regard, negotiators did not follow through.

Some delegations appeared to view the discussion as a direct continuation of the negotiation of the forest instrument, as they attempted to introduce issues for which there had been no consensus at UNFF7, such as illegal logging and land tenure rights, without providing convincing rationales why these issues should be part of an outcome on “Forests in a Changing Environment.” On the other hand, these discussions also showed the difficulties of working around the many “forbidden” words in international forest policy, the very mention of which triggers contentious debates and suspicions regarding other delegations’ intentions, when the objective may have been to merely enable a broader discussion. The debate on land tenure illustrates this problem. Introduced in relation to forest law enforcement and governance (FLEG), it prompted objections by those countries not in a position to take meaningful action domestically in this regard. Some of these countries, however, expressed an interest in further discussing the issue and learning from others’ experiences, leading eventually to a recommendation to member states to report on their experiences at UNFF9.

Similarly, the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue appears in need of augmentation. The restriction of stakeholder involvement to the presentation of general statements that are delivered from the physically removed “balcony seats” of the UN conference room created an awkward dynamic leaving many delegates less than fully engaged, if present at all. Despite a sincere effort on the part of the Chair, the Major Groups and the Secretariat, who put a great deal of work into the Dialogue, the level of engagement of most delegates was minimal at best. There are signs of hope though that this outdated format will be ousted, as the adopted resolution on forests in a changing environment gives the Secretariat a clear mandate to explore ways to increase stakeholder participation, which could include their participation at eye-level with country delegates. Together with a planned Major Groups initiative seeking to provide enhanced inputs to future UNFF sessions, this improved Dialogue may become one of the tiers of UNFF’s new, interactive format.

Another emerging pillar of a new format is the greater role given to panel discussions. Many delegates commended the panels’ quality and informative nature, recognizing their value for future sessions. The decision to further discuss the food, energy and economic challenges and to raise awareness on the situation of women and youth depending on the use of forest for their daily needs reflects this recognition of the panels’ contribution towards a more educational format for UNFF.

Beyond stakeholder involvement and panel discussions, the recommendations and requests to the Secretariat provide it with significant leeway to continue defining the Forum’s future role. Together with a number of intersessional activities, such as country- and region-led initiatives and other mechanisms to strengthen regional inputs, there is an opportunity for UNFF to evolve. However, the generally low level of engagement raises doubts whether member states are willing to run the extra mile to realize this potential.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

Without the necessary financing for their implementation, the forest instrument and the Global Objectives on Forests will likely remain as they have been for the past two years: high-level statements that are difficult to object to, but are not concrete enough to attract funding in practice. This also increases the risk that the UNFF may fade away as donors, policy makers and Major Groups turn their attention toward other fora. However, as a few delegates pointed out after the closing plenary in the early hours of Saturday morning, the lack of agreement on financing should not diminish the Forum’s potential as an arena for discussion, debate, and the development of common understanding. Member states now have two years to decide whether to support the UNFF’s transition and the implementation of the forest instrument, or to pursue their forest policy objectives in other instruments and processes.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

WORKSHOP ON FORESTS AND WATER: This workshop will take place from 12-14 May 2009 in Antalya, Turkey. It will be jointly organized by Switzerland, Turkey, the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, UNECE Water Convention and FAO. For more information, contact: Ms. Kjersti B. Fjellstad; tel: +47-64-94-8935; fax: +47-64-94-8939 e-mail: kjersti.fjellstad@mcpfe.org; internet: http://www.mcpfe.org/forests_and_water

LIGNA+ 2009: This World Fair for the Forestry and Wood Industries will be held from 18-22 May 2009, in Hannover, Germany. It is an international meeting for woodworking and wood processing industries involving an array of presentations, seminars, symposia and conferences to foster integral networking and knowledge transfer. For more information, contact: Figen Günay; tel: +49-511-89-32126; fax: +49-511-89-31263; e-mail: figen.guenay@messe.de; internet: http://www.ligna.de

FOREST TENURE, GOVERNANCE & ENTERPRISE: NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR LIVELIHOODS AND WEALTH IN CENTRAL AND WEST AFRICA: This conference will take place from 25-29 May 2009 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Organized by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), FAO and the Cameroon Ministry of Forests and Wildlife, this conference will seek to catalyze new and broader actions on securing tenure rights in Central and West Africa. For more information, contact: Eduardo Mansur ITTO; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: Mansur@itto.or.jp; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp/live/PageDisplayHandler?pageId=223&id=4427

EIGHTH MEETING OF THE ASIA FOREST PARTNERSHIP – REDD AND COMBATING ILLEGAL LOGGING: The Asia Forest Partnership (AFP) Dialogue 2009 will take place from 27-28 May 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. This two-day event will provide an opportunity for stakeholders in tropical forests to share information, establish partnerships and propose recommendations to policymakers. For more information, contact AFP: tel: +62-251-622-622; fax: +62-251-622-100; e-mail: afp@cgiar.org; internet: http://www2.asiaforests.org/

SOUTH-SOUTH EXCHANGE CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT: This conference will be held from 6-8 July 2009 in Montreal, Canada. It is organized by COMIFAC, ASEAN, with participation from Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/           

SECOND WORLD CONGRESS ON AGROFORESTRY: This meeting will be held from 23-28 August 2009, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Congress theme is “Agroforestry – The Future of Global Land Use.” Plenary, symposia, and concurrent and poster sessions are planned around major topics, including: markets as opportunities and drivers of agroforestry land use; tree-based rehabilitation of degraded lands and watersheds; climate change adaptation and mitigation; and policy options and institutional innovations for agroforestry land use. For more information, contact: Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre; tel: +254-20-722-4000; fax: +254-20-722-4001; e-mail: wca2009@cgiar.org; internet: http://www.worldagroforestry.org/wca2009/

WORKSHOP ON FOREST BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: This workshop will be held from 2-5 September 2009 in Singapore City, Singapore. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/

13TH WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS: FORESTS IN DEVELOPMENT – A VITAL BALANCE: The XIII WFC will take place from 18-23 October 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Organized by the FAO and institutions from various sectors of Argentina, this Congress will address themes including: forests and biodiversity; development opportunities; forests and climate change; organizing forest development; and people and forests in harmony. For more information, contact the General Secretariat: tel: +54-11-4349-2104/2204/2195; e-mail: info@cfm2009.org; internet: http://www.wfc2009.org

DECENTRALIZATION, POWER AND TENURE RIGHTS OF FOREST-DEPENDENT PEOPLE: This symposium will be held from 27-28 October 2009, in Dahod, Gujarat, India. The event aims to share recent research experiences of participants and to review state-of-the-art approaches for forest-dependent indigenous peoples, tribes, and pastoralists regarding: decentralization policies and local forest institutions; power and political position of forest-dependent peoples; and legislative recognition of forest tenure rights. For more information, contact: Purabi Bose; e-mail: purabi.bose@wur.nl; internet: http://www.forestrynepal.org/event/4149

ITTC-45: The forty-fifth session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-45) and associated sessions of the four committees will be held from 9-14 November 2009 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

COUNTRY-LED INITIATIVE ON FOREST GOVERNANCE AND REDD: This meeting, co-hosted by Switzerland and Mexico, will be held in Mexico in April or May 2010. For more information, contact: Christoph Dűrr, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Forest Division; tel: +41-31-324-7689; fax: +41-31-324-7866; e-mail: christoph.duerr@bafu.admin.ch

UNFF MAJOR GROUPS INITIATIVE: This intersessional meeting will be organized in May 2010 (dates to be decided) and will focus on the implementation of the forest instrument at national and local levels. It will be a capacity-building exercise aimed at sharing the best practices for active representation of Indigenous People, local communities, trade unions, small forest owners, women, scientific organizations and NGOs for better engagement with UNFF. For more information, contact: UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3401; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: unff@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/participation.html

18TH COMMONWEALTH FORESTRY CONFERENCE: This conference will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK from 28 June - 2 July 2010. The theme is “Restoring the Commonwealth’s Forests: Tackling Climate Change”. For more information, contact the Secretariat: tel: +44 (0)131 339 9235; fax: +44 (0)131 339 9798; e-mail: cfcc@in-conference.org.uk; internet: http://www.cfc2010.org/index.html

XXIII IUFRO WORLD CONGRESS: The 23rd World Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) will be held from 23-28 August 2010 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The theme is “Forests for the Future: Sustaining Society and the Environment.” For more information, contact: Korea Forest Research Institute; tel: +82-2-961-2591; fax: +82-2-961-2599; e-mail: iufrococ@forest.go.kr; internet: http://www.iufro2010.com

TWENTIETH SESSION OF THE FAO COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY (COFO): The 20th session of the FAO Committee on Forestry will convene in October 2010 at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. For more information, contact: FAO Forestry Department; tel: +39-06-5705-3925; fax: +39-06-5705-3152; e-mail: COFO2010@fao.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/forestry

ITTC-46: The forty-sixth meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-46) and associated sessions of the four committees are expected to convene during the second half of 2010 in Guatemala. For more information, contact: ITTO; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: itto@itto.or.jp; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS 2011: UN General Assembly resolution 61/193, adopted in December 2006, declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests. The UN Forum on Forests will serve as the focal point for the implementation of the International Year of Forests, in collaboration with governments, the CPF and international, regional and subregional organizations and processes as well as relevant major groups. For more information, contact: UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3401; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: unff@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/2011/2011.html

CROATIA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT: This international conference dedicated to sustainable forest management and biodiversity will be organized by Croatia in 2011 as its contribution to the activities being prepared for the International Year of Forests 2011. The exact dates have yet to be determined. For more information, contact Mladen Pavić, Croatian Ministry of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management; tel: +385-1-6400-604; fax: +385-1-6400-643; e-mail: mladen.pavic@mrrsvg.hr; internet: http://www.mrrsvg.hr

UNFF9: The ninth session of the UNFF will be held at UN headquarters in New York, from 24 January - 4 February 2011. For more information, contact: UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3401; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: unff@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests
GLOSSARY
AHEG
ASEAN
CBD
CLI
CPF
FAO
FLEG
GFEP
HFLD
IAF
IFF
IPF
LFCC
MAR
MYPOW
NLBI
REDD
SFM
UNCCD
UNFCCC
UNFF
UN-REDD

Ad hoc expert group
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity
Country-led initiative
Collaborative Partnership on Forests
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
Forest law enforcement and governance
Global Forest Expert Panel
High forest cover & low rates of deforestation
International arrangement on forests
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests
Low forest cover countries
Monitoring, assessment and reporting
Multi-year programme of work
Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests
Reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
Sustainable forest management
UN Convention to Combat Desertification
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
United Nations Forum on Forests
United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries


This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Reem Hajjar, Stefan Jungcurt, Ph.D., Kate Louw, Laura Russo, and Peter Wood, Ph.D. The Digital Editor is Dan Birchall. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. 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 German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2009 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), the Government of Iceland, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for the translation of the Bulletin into Spanish at this meeting has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the 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 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, USA.
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