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Volume 13 Number 176 - Monday, 7 February 2011
SUMMARY OF THE NINTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS FORUM ON FORESTS
24 JANUARY 4 FEBRUARY 2011

The ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF9) was held from 24 January – 4 February 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York. Over 700 participants attended the two-week session to address: the International Year of Forests (Forests 2011); forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication; and means of implementation for sustainable forest management (SFM). Delegates also attended a two-day High-Level Segment, which took place from 2-3 February.

 The High-Level Segment included the official launch of Forests 2011, and four High-Level Roundtables on: forests and people; forests and finance; “forests-plus”; and forests and Rio+20. The Ministerial Declaration was adopted by acclamation on Thursday, 3 February during the closing plenary session for the High-Level Segment.

Delegates also participated in a Multi-stakeholder Dialogue and a panel discussion on food, energy and economic challenges with a special focus on women and children. Participants spent a great deal of time highlighting the pertinence of UNFF9’s theme and, within that, the necessity of women, indigenous, youth and local communities in achieving SFM, implementing the Forest Instrument and the four Global Objectives on Forests.

Although last minute disagreements regarding references to the outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 16) threatened to derail the negotiations, the spirit of cooperation and understanding over the intervening two weeks prevailed, and the Resolution on Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication was adopted by acclamation on Friday, 4 February. Delegates lauded the Forum’s theme and stressed that Forests 2011 must be used as a platform within which to raise awareness and educate on the multiple values of forests and the need to preserve them.

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 are 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 and 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 made 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, without success, to reach agreement on resolutions on forest-related traditional 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.

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 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: UNFF8 was held from 20 April - 1 May 2009, at UN Headquarters in New York. Over two weeks, delegates discussed: 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 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.

SPECIAL SESSION OF UNFF9: The special session of UNFF9 was held on 30 October 2009, at UN Headquarters in New York. The Forum decided to establish an open-ended intergovernmental ad hoc expert group (AHEG) to formulate proposals on strategies to mobilize resources to support the implementation of SFM, the achievement of the four Global Objectives on Forests and the implementation of the forest instrument. The Forum also established a facilitative process to, inter alia: assist in mobilizing and supporting new and additional financial resources from all sources for SFM; identify, facilitate and simplify access to all sources of finance; identify obstacles to, gaps in and opportunities for financing SFM; and facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building to developing countries.

UNFF9 REPORT

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, opened the ninth session of the UN Forum on Forests on Monday, 24 January 2011. He urged promoting a better understanding of the comprehensive benefits of forests, which range from environmental services to poverty eradication to employment within a green economy, and endorsed a “people-centered” approach. He called for maximizing promotional activities in the International Year of Forests 2011 to raise awareness about the importance of forests across society and promote additional government commitments to SFM and the implementation of the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (the Forest Instrument).

Noting that UNFF decisions have significantly raised the profile of forests on the international agenda and their role in improving people’s livelihoods, UNFF9 Chair Arvids Ozols, following his election, said the High-Level Segment and the launching of Forests 2011 offered a unique opportunity for UNFF9 to adopt a strong Ministerial Declaration that would further elevate the status of forests and provide concrete inputs for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (the Rio+20 Conference).

Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Chair, Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), highlighted that the UNFF9 theme on “Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication” reflects the socio-economic dimension of forests and the need for a holistic approach to SFM, recalling that forests are “not just carbon.” He underscored significant international decisions and processes regarding forests, such as the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries and the Role of Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forests, and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks in Developing Countries (REDD+) decision taken at the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 16) held in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2010, which offers new opportunities and challenges for cooperation. Underscoring forests’ critical role in sustaining livelihoods and providing ecosystem services, he said the Rio+20 Conference should contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of forests.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Delegates recalled the election of Raymond Landveld (Suriname), Zainol Rahim Zainuddin (Malaysia), Ndiawar Dieng (Senegal) and Ingwald Gschwandtl (Austria) as Vice-Chairs, and elected Arvids Ozols (Latvia) as Chair and Dieng as Rapporteur. Delegates agreed that Working Group I would be co-chaired by Gschwandtl and Zainuddin, while Dieng and Landveld would co-chair Working Group II. Delegates then adopted the meeting’s agenda (E/CN.18/2011/1) and the organization of work.

Delegates met throughout the two weeks to participate in the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue, a Panel on Food, Energy and Economic Challenges and Opportunities, as well as the High-Level Segment and two Working Groups. Working Group I met to discuss forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication during the first week and the Ministerial Declaration during the second week. Working Group II met to discuss means of implementation during the first week and the Omnibus Resolution during the second week. This summary is organized according to the agenda.

OPENING STATEMENTS: Argentina, for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), noted the unique opportunity Forests 2011 presents to increase public awareness of forests’ contribution to the livelihoods of millions of people, and stressed that the ongoing financial and economic crisis has exacerbated the challenges and impediments to achieving internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He called for the establishment of a global forest fund, which would take advantage of all sources of financial support for SFM, noting that the fund would complement existing financial mechanisms.

The European Union (EU) noted that it is crucial for UNFF9 to deal with the integration of the social and cultural values of forests and livelihoods, as well as the importance of poverty eradication. He underlined the importance of good governance, combating illegal logging, promoting participatory approaches, and opportunities for decentralized forest management. He reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to SFM and recognized the contribution that SFM can make to a green economy.

Morocco, for the African Group, said that over 70% of Africa’s population depends on forests for their livelihoods, noting that forests generate 6% of sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). He noted the importance of considering the necessary means of implementation to support efforts undertaken by developing countries in achieving the four Global Objectives on Forests (GOFs), as well as improving access to existing and new sources of financing for implementing SFM in Africa.

The Philippines, for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said ASEAN subscribes fully to community-based forest management (CBFM), and shared some of its efforts to promote SFM, including steps to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, improve information exchange and capacity building, and increase the area of protected forests. Noting that most initiatives were carried out with the support of donors and international agencies, he said SFM could only be achieved through international cooperation and increased technical and financial support.

Peru described national efforts on SFM, including a new bill passed through a participatory process with indigenous communities and forest dwellers. India highlighted key challenges concerning forest dwellers, including the recognition of land rights and poverty alleviation. China called for Forests 2011 to raise the international profile of forests, outlining national efforts to improve the Forest Instrument’s implementation.

Indonesia urged UNFF9 to link its outcomes with the MDGs, stressing that developing countries could not pursue SFM without tackling poverty. Croatia said that the benefits of forests come with responsibilities, noting that all of Croatia’s public forests have been certified to the SFM standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Bolivia, stressing that not all ecological services can be quantified, said that financing for SFM should not rely on market-based mechanisms, but on approaches that consider the inherent value and rights of forests. Gabon stressed the importance of forests to its people, and shared its experience with forest management.

Launch of the State of the World’s Forests (SOFO) by the FAO:  Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department, presented FAO’s “State of the World’s Forests 2011” report on Monday, 24 January, noting that it will be launched on 2 February 2011. He said the report assesses the state of global forests from a regional perspective, and addresses topics that relate to the theme of UNFF9 and the four GOFs. He highlighted key findings, inter alia, that: global deforestation is still high but appears to be slowing down, especially in Asia; Africa accounts for a third of woodfuel consumption, but only 5% of industrial consumption, which means that finding alternative sources of cooking would substantially diminish African deforestation; and the highest levels of deforestation are in Latin America.

Panel on food, energy and economic challenges and opportunities with a special focus on women and youth: Chair Ozols introduced the Panel Session on Food, Energy and Economic Challenges and Opportunities with a Special Focus on Women and Youth on Monday, 24 January. He noted that forests provide a number of opportunities for food and energy, with women and youth benefiting the most from these.

Tolulope Daramola, Nigeria, Youth and Children, highlighted the importance of ensuring that forest-related policies and decisions address contemporary issues and the grassroots level.

Cléto Ndikumagenge, Congo Basin Forest Partnership, said that while the Congo Basin region is often described as rich, it varies greatly in terms of forest cover, population density and energy demands. He noted that fuelwood represents 80% of deforestation in Central Africa and said the production of bamboo and other products has increased agricultural revenues that will enable reforestation and creation and maintenance of natural parks, but the lack of transportation infrastructure, widespread poverty, war and political instability present considerable challenges.

Jeannette Gurung, Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture & Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), discussed the challenges women face when trying to exploit food and energy sources from forests, including: heavy workloads to collect wood, food and fodder; limited time and ability to participate in forest-related decision-making processes due to, inter alia, illiteracy and institutional biases; lack of secure rights and tenure; lack of forest use access; and risk of rape, mutilation and death. She highlighted opportunities to face those challenges, including: the use of fuel-efficient cook stoves; collective enterprises of forest products; and participation of women in carbon credit markets.

Recalling that women have valuable daily knowledge on forest management and forest ecosystem services, Finland called attention to the great risk that gender-biased land and inheritance rights may pose. Jeannette Gurung noted that gender analysis provides a set of useful tools for understanding the rights and control over resources, providing background to design better policies. She urged countries to consider specifically the involvement of women when addressing REDD+ to avoid possible negative consequences. Gill Shephard, IUCN, noted it is key for REDD+ to consider the division of labor and different uses of forests with a gender-sensitive perspective. She also called for strengthening women’s participation at the local level.

Switzerland said many international agreements address women’s rights but the challenge remains in integrating them into national policies. Ndikumagenge mentioned positive developments in terms of women’s land tenure in central Africa and said democratization processes are having positive impacts on the involvement of women in forest management.

ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS MADE ON IMPLEMENTING THE NON-LEGALLY BINDING INSTRUMENT ON ALL TYPES OF FORESTS AND ACHIEVING THE GLOBAL OBJECTIVES

On Monday, 24 January, UNFF Director Jan McAlpine introduced the assessment of progress made on the implementation of the Forest Instrument and towards the achievement of the four GOFs (E/CN.18/2011/2). She said the document drew upon reports presented by 16 countries and regional and subregional entities based on agreed guidelines, but noted a huge variation in progress on country reporting. She underscored the interconnectedness between the GOFs and the Forest Instrument, and encouraged countries to submit their reports in future years to provide information for identifying gaps in reporting guidelines, and for the assessment and review of the Forest Instrument to be undertaken in 2015. Among key challenges identified in the document, she highlighted: strengthening institutional capacity in the forest sector; involving other sectors and ministries; and improving coordination at the national level.

On Wednesday, 26 January, Co-Chair Landveld reintroduced this item for discussion in Working Group II (WGII). Japan stressed that, according to the Secretariat, few reports were submitted by countries, which could hinder the assessment of progress in the Forest Instrument’s implementation, as well as the debate on means of implementation and on a possible arrangement on forests beyond 2015. Hungary, for the EU, recalled that reporting on implementation is a key tool. Supported by the US and Switzerland, he highlighted that UNFF should continue improving reporting formats, with Switzerland suggesting the inclusion of forest governance aspects. The US underscored that the Secretariat and the CPF should work together to streamline the reporting format.

Switzerland, supported by New Zealand, suggested the Secretariat prepare a table including deadlines for the submission of the country reports due for UNFF11, so that countries can prepare sufficiently.

Malaysia, supported by Brazil, said the reporting format should be more balanced and the GOFs treated equally, stressing that the GOF on finance was not emphasized as much as the other GOFs, namely reversing the loss of forest cover, enhancing forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits and increasing the area of sustainably managed forests. Kenya underscored ongoing efforts by African countries to improve reporting, but noted that challenges and constraints remain and further support is required for national focal points.  

The EU suggested UNFF should provide a report on progress towards SFM and the implementation of the Forest Instrument and the GOFs at UNFF10, saying that the Forum Trust Fund is not an appropriate instrument to finance voluntary reporting.

Outcome: On Friday, 4 February, delegates adopted the Omnibus Resolution (summarized below), including a decision on the assessment of progress for achieving the GOFs and implementing the Forest Instrument. The decision calls for, inter alia, voluntary national reporting for UNFF10 and member states and CPF members to support and initiate additional pilot projects.

REGIONAL AND SUBREGIONAL INPUTS

Director McAlpine introduced the report on regional and subregional inputs (E/CN.18/2011/3) on Tuesday, 25 January. She noted submissions were received from 17 regional and subregional partners and explained that these inputs provide a clear idea of the different realities throughout the regions and communicated ongoing efforts to keep improving relations with regional organizations, noting many have a notable experience in SFM.

Jean-Jacques Zam, Steering Group of Parliamentarians for the Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (REPAR), provided an overview of the forests in the Congo Basin, noting that forests are an important source of income for many communities in the region. He lamented that a number of communities experience problems securing their land tenure rights. He also noted that income from forest concessions is not distributed equitably, and suggested that this could be enhanced through the principles of SFM.

Peter Besseau, International Model Forest Network, shared lessons learned from a number of “model forests,” which he said are voluntary, participatory, ecosystem-based, accountable and transparent partnerships that seek sustainable management of defined forest areas. He highlighted, inter alia, the importance of: sharing deliverables with local people; including government agencies as partners; meaningful stakeholder engagement; adopting a “learn-by-doing” approach and taking risks; and moving from a “project-based” to a “process-based” approach to assess and implement long-term SFM.

Doris Capistrano, consultant, introduced a report on forest governance and decentralization based on a series of workshops co-organized by Switzerland, Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico (E/CN.18/2011/16). She explained that the workshops were organized to share experiences on key aspects of decentralization and governance on forests, including cross-cutting issues such as livelihoods. Among key lessons learned, she highlighted: that capacity building at different levels is essential for decentralization; there is a tendency to undervalue and undercompensate communities’ contributions to SFM; although relevant, rights to forest resources may be insufficient for improving livelihoods due to, among other things, lack of capacity, funds, technology and market access; and existing class, caste, ethnic and gender hierarchies favor the elite capturing benefits and decision-making power, which can be prevented through genuine participatory approaches.

Indonesia underscored ASEAN’s social forestry network, which seeks to strengthen social forestry through information and knowledge exchange. Turkey outlined its work on sharing experiences on desertification and soil erosion with other countries. The Asian Forest Partnership Network highlighted its work in promoting SFM in the Asia-Pacific and its mission to increase regional forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020. Noting Central Africa is a subregion of paradoxes in which people in forest-rich countries are extremely poor, the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) underscored governments’ commitment to SFM, including through revisions to forestry codes, to underline the contributions of forests to people’s well-being. Forests Europe drew attention to the upcoming Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, which would meet in June 2011 to discuss, inter alia, ways to strengthen SFM in Europe, including through developing a legally-binding instrument for European forests. The Montreal Process outlined key indicators that related to the themes of UNFF9, including on resilience of forest-dependent communities, clarity of tenure and property rights, and public participation in forest-related decision-making. The Secretariat of the Tehran Process for Low Forest Cover Countries (LFCCs) underscored the challenges of LFCCs and outlined some of its contributions to SFM in LFCCs, including production of guidelines for good forestry in arid and semi-arid regions in the Near East. Referring to the Tehran process, Iran expressed willingness to cooperate with the UNFF Secretariat to organize an LFCC workshop.

Mexico mentioned ongoing successful regional SFM initiatives, such as the Mesoamerican biological corridor, and national efforts to develop a vision and strategy on REDD+ and forest conservation. The EU suggested:  increased integration of the work of the Forum with regional processes; and recognizing that CPF member organizations play a catalytic role in supporting synergies.

Outcome: On Friday afternoon, 4 February, in plenary, delegates adopted the Omnibus Resolution (which is summarized below), including a section on regional cooperation, calling for regional and subregional organizations, among others, to: strengthen contributions to the implementation of the Forest Instrument; provide input to UNFF10; and strengthen South-South and North-South cooperation.

FORESTS FOR PEOPLE, LIVELIHOODS AND POVERTY ERADICATION

UNFF9 Chair Ozols introduced this agenda item on Tuesday, 25 January, noting it had three sub-themes: CBFM; social development and indigenous and other local and forest-dependent communities, including forest land tenure; and social and cultural aspects of forests.

Director McAlpine presented an overview of the Secretary-General’s report on the sub-themes of UNFF9 (E/CN.18/2011/4 and E/CN.18/2011/5). She noted that UNFF’s definition of SFM is based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, environmental and social values. She highlighted the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s report, including focusing on forest governance, tenure security and capacity building, and noted opportunities in relation to climate change and forest landscape restoration.

Hungary, for the EU, highlighted the need for: participation of all relevant stakeholders in SFM; recognition of the spiritual and other non-tangible values of forests; and consideration of urban forest management issues. China outlined forest-related aspects of its national plan, including: greater community participation in forest management; benefit sharing; improved public financing for forestry; emphasis on the cultural values of forests; forest ownership rights; and private sector involvement in forest management. India highlighted its efforts to increase forest cover and promote SFM, while protecting the livelihoods of forest-dependent people, including through gender equity in high-level decision-making, in recognizing traditional and community rights, and benefit sharing of traditional knowledge (TK).

Norway supported the involvement of local communities in decision-making for SFM, and securing tenure rights for local communities and indigenous peoples under mechanisms such as REDD+. Underscoring the relevance of adequate and inclusive policies for CBFM, the US said that forest ecosystem services need to be valued and forest communities rewarded through, inter alia, payments for ecosystem services (PES) and REDD+ mechanisms. Noting lessons learned through national experiences, Kenya highlighted the need to provide adequate incentives to farmers planting trees.

Brazil, Peru and Japan presented successful national experiences in SFM with people’s involvement. Japan highlighted that planted forests could also contribute to socio-economic development and environmental sustainability, particularly in developing countries.

The Republic of Korea, supported by Switzerland and Jamaica, underscored the value of sharing good practices and lessons learned on SFM. Canada acknowledged the critical role of the CPF in promoting SFM. Grenada said the capacity to implement SFM differs among states, requesting the Secretariat to consider that the Alliance of Small Island States members have serious constraints to submit reports timeously. Malaysia called for improving access to funding for SFM and simplifying reporting requirements. Jordan said attention should be paid to countries in dry regions or regions undergoing desertification.

On Wednesday, 26 January, delegates met in WGI to address this item. They heard presentations on the country- and Major Group-led initiatives held in China, Mexico and Ghana, and shared their experiences on forests for people. They also discussed the proposed Forum’s recommendations to member states, CPF members and the UNFF Secretariat to address key challenges for forests contributing to poverty alleviation and human well-being.

China presented a country-led expert meeting held in Guilin, China, in November 2009, which discussed experiences and lessons learned from using national forest programmes to implement the Forest Instrument as a means to improve people’s well-being. Ghana presented the results of a Major Groups-led workshop held in Accra, Ghana, in January 2010, noting participants discussed tenure rights, access and benefit sharing, community-based enterprises and marginalized groups, and explored how Major Groups’ participation in UNFF’s work could be enhanced. Mexico presented on a REDD+ workshop held in Oaxaca, Mexico, in September 2010, which she said discussed, inter alia, linkages between adaptation and mitigation initiatives under REDD+, and SFM financing under REDD+ schemes.

In the ensuing discussion, India wondered how SFM could promote synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation. Mexico explained that the Oaxaca workshop had attempted to link adaptation with mitigation to reflect the fact that forests contribute to both, and to challenge the prevalent view that only mitigation activities are profitable or desirable investments. Papua New Guinea said some REDD+ activities could mean that no forestry should occur within a country, and urged a better understanding of how men see the role of women, youth and others in managing forests. Brazil recalled REDD+ is not a solution for forest financing, and stressed its dependence on a post-Kyoto agreement under the UNFCCC. Sweden and Finland shared their national experiences with forest tenure, noting that a large part of their forests are owned by families and the private sector. Sweden added that many forest-owner organizations in Sweden have a cooperative structure, which allows economies of scale, noting Sweden is a major forest products exporter.

Indonesia, supported by India, expressed concern about the document’s  recommendation that states reform national legislation to enable the transfer of forest tenure to local and indigenous communities, with Indonesia saying it was not applicable in all contexts, as small-scale forestry was not economically viable in some countries.

Delegates continued deliberations on the item in WGII, as part of a proposed draft of the Omnibus Resolution, prepared by the Bureau on the basis of comments received.

Outcome: On Friday afternoon, 4 February, in plenary, delegates adopted the Omnibus Resolution (which is summarized below), including a section on Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication, calling for, among others: action to foster the role of forests in contributing to poverty eradication based on SFM; strengthening access to forest use; and strengthening the development of participatory mechanisms of forest decision-making processes.

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS 2011

On Monday, 24 January, Director McAlpine introduced the launch of Forests 2011 (E/CN.18/2011/7), underscoring the unique opportunity it provides for promoting awareness of the challenges and success stories in forest management. She said the logo represents the multiple values of forests and a “360-degree approach,” highlighting that forests provide,inter alia, water, medicine and shelter for people, as well as global climate regulation.

On Friday, 28 January, Working Group I (WGI) discussed the recommendations proposed by the Secretary-General on Forests 2011. Many delegates expressed their support for the recommended activities. Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Chile, Malaysia, the US, Jamaica, Grenada, China, Jordan, Indonesia, Guatemala, Senegal, Kenya and India described a range of events and planned activities to commemorate Forests 2011 at the national level, focusing on raising awareness on the importance of forests to the environment and to human well-being, and the challenges facing all types of forests and the people that depend on them. The EU said it has encouraged member states to raise awareness on forests and share their experiences and challenges in implementing SFM and the Forest Instrument at national, regional and subregional levels. Youth and Children said it has created a Forests 2011 team for devising programmes to celebrate the year, including sensitizing youth councils and raising awareness on forests within and outside the Children and Youth network.

Outcome: On Friday afternoon, 4 February, in plenary, delegates adopted the UNFF9 Resolution on Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication (Omnibus Resolution, which is summarized below) including a decision on Forests 2011, calling for, inter alia, taking advantage of and promoting awareness for Forests 2011 and the establishment of an International Day of the Forest.

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

On Wednesday, 2 February, delegates met in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Hall for the launch of Forests 2011.

Joseph Deiss, President of the sixty-fifth session of the UNGA, said that the UNGA had declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness for conserving and protecting all types of forests, stressing that “we should eradicate poverty, but not our forests.” He drew attention to a high-level event being held by the UNGA on 19 September, addressing, inter alia, desertification and land degradation, saying that these challenges are influenced by climate change and forests.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a video message to delegates, noted that Forests 2011 is an important platform for educating people worldwide on the value of forests in a global context, and the consequences of losing them. He highlighted that 80% of land-based biodiversity is contained in forests, and said the decision on REDD+ at UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico, is an important step that needs to be built on.

Božidar Pankretić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Forests and Water Management, Croatia, highlighted the centuries’ old connection that Croatians have with their forests, noting forests’ role as a place of sanctuary and source of food and income. He said that Croatian law forbids clear-cutting of forests and called for increased funding for SFM, expressing the hope that the Forest Instrument will be the basis for political will and action at all levels.

Stanislas Kamanzi, Minister of Environment and Lands, Rwanda, said that Forests 2011 is an opportune time to look at the failings of policy and define short-, medium-, and long-term objectives to ensure that environmental protection and development occur synergistically. He announced the launch of an inter-agency partnership with the Rwandan Government to restore the country’s forest landscape by 2035, with an action plan for the initiative being developed by 2014.

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the theme of Forests 2011 will raise awareness of the links between forests and those who depend on them. He urged delegates to use Forests 2011 to turn “promises into action,” capture the attention of the public, and galvanize political support for the Rio+20 process.

Noting that the Cancun agreements will have a significant impact on forests, Juan Manuel Gómez-Robledo Verduzco, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, said that effective measures to reduce land-based emissions are imperative. He also highlighted the importance of forests for climate change mitigation, populations residing in forests, and protection of species and biodiversity.

Tom Rosser, Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Forest Service, International Model Forest Network, said that Canada is engaging with Rwanda in establishing the country’s model forest, which can build on the successes of other model forests.

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, Kenya, said governments cannot improve people’s livelihoods and guarantee peace without ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and equitable sharing of benefits with local communities. She called for political will to address the problem of “dehumanization of poverty” in natural resource-rich regions by providing adequate resources for sustainable management, stressing that transparency and accountability are key to attracting funding. Stating it is virtually impossible to achieve the MDGs if environmental sustainability is not achieved, she called environmental MDGs the “mother of all MDGs.” She therefore urged intensification of global partnerships to tackle global environmental threats at all levels.

UNFF Director Jan McAlpine highlighted the need to ascertain the true value of forests in order to preserve them. She outlined the benefits derived from forests, stressing their cross-sectoral nature.

Noting that the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10)  took a number of decisions towards ensuring biodiversity protection, Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF), said the GEF will work closely with UNFF to ensure the same success for forests’ protection. She expressed hope for increasing cooperative work between the forest-concerned agendas.

Stewart Maginnis, IUCN, noting that IUCN has been collaborating with the GEF and UNFF, said that expert advice is needed to turn political commitments into action.

In the youth segment, Felix Finkbeiner, presenting “Felix & Friends,” a Plant-for-the-Planet Children’s Initiative, highlighted that forests are the future for children today. He noted two crises exist, poverty and environment, lamenting that too little action on either of these is being taken. Stressing that action will become a matter of survival, he urged fellow children to start planting trees and protecting forests, noting that “one mosquito can do nothing to a rhino, but 1000 mosquitoes can change the rhino’s direction.”

forests for people: On Wednesday, 2 February, the High-Level Roundtable on Forests for People convened. The discussion aimed to share: lessons learned; best practices on SFM; ways to enhance the benefits of forests and SFM for people’s lives; and policies and legislation at various levels to promote the implementation of the Forest Instrument.

Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow, UN Foundation and former CEO of the GEF, served as moderator. Many delegates outlined the multiple values and contribution of forests to human well-being and environmental stability, including their contributions to economic development, poverty eradication, food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, natural disaster risks reduction, soil and water quality, and recreation and spiritual well-being, among many other goods. Angola highlighted the role of forests in improving human health and reducing child mortality. 

Noting growing demand for food is a major cause of deforestation, Norway urged regarding agriculture and forests as interconnected issues. Poland urged considering the impact of climate change on forests, noting it could have far-reaching consequences for people, in particular vulnerable forest-dependent communities.

Turkey, Thailand, China, India and others highlighted their success in increasing their national forest cover areas. Turkey called for a mechanism to support the use of drylands for agroforestry. Cameroon outlined its efforts to ensure SFM, including the certification of one million hectares and efforts supported by the EU to track forest products. Ukraine outlined its efforts to improve forest cover and certify its forests to the FSC standard.

Romania, Thailand, India and others said they had long embraced a “people-centered” approach to forests. India said its forestry is founded on working with communities to maintain the long-term benefits of forests for people. He said that thanks to communities’ integration into forest administration, India has been able to maintain and even modestly increase its forests, despite population growth.

Austria recalled how massive deforestation prompted the adoption of strong legislation on tenure rights and SFM in the mid-1800s, with very successful results, including a current forest area covering nearly 50% of its territory, and a competitive forest industry. Hungary shared a successful experience with an innovative tax incentive regulation that raised US$2 billion for SFM in only two years. Providing a national example, Croatia said forests around cities can provide many services to people if they are managed sustainably. The Czech Republic shared two strategies that had served to promote forests for people in the country, namely the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the development of national forest programmes and model forests. The Russian Federation noted it has considerable experience in fire prevention and fighting, and offered to continue to share it with interested parties. Outlining its successful planting and reforestation efforts, Israel offered to share its expertise with tree planting in dry areas, stressing it was already sharing its experience with Rwanda. Costa Rica outlined national efforts that have reversed deforestation, including creation of protected areas, PES schemes, and sustainable energy projects through public-private partnerships.

Thailand highlighted its experiences with CBFM, including a pilot project involving different local stakeholders and the government. Mongolia said that despite successful examples of CBFM, it faces considerable threats of deforestation and forest degradation, as well as desertification in some areas as a result of climate change. Mauritania said it faces enormous challenges from deforestation and desertification, and called for international assistance to support its efforts to address both problems.

Noting it had inherited a seriously degraded environment from its colonial past, Eritrea highlighted massive forest restoration efforts over the last 20 years that will soon be evaluated. Afghanistan said economically-significant pistachio forests have been nearly destroyed, and highlighted security issues, lack of expertise, smuggling of timber to neighboring countries and lack of support for SFM projects as major challenges to SFM in his country.

Zambia, Central African Republic and others stressed the significance of the forest sector to their national economies and GDPs. Zambia, with Peru, Ghana, Angola, Lesotho, Botswana and Costa Rica, endorsed a global voluntary forest fund to support national efforts to implement the Forest Instrument and achieve the GOFs in developing countries. Lesotho outlined its efforts to reduce poverty through afforestation, soil conservation and SFM programmes, but noted building capacity of local communities remains the biggest challenge to those efforts. Angola called for resources to build capacities to benefit from REDD+ initiatives, and Morocco said that REDD+ projects should benefit all countries, including LFCCs, as forests are key to combat desertification and cope with the effects of climate change in LFCCs. Gabon urged reducing the technological gap between developed and developing countries, and between the rich and poor in all countries. China said that resolving the issue of forest financing is essential not only to implement the Forest Instrument, but also to help the international community determine whether to negotiate a legally-binding agreement on forests before 2015.

Peru said it plans to protect 54 million hectares of primary tropical forests and support SFM of dry forests, and called for synergies with UNFCCC and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Senegal called for greater cooperation between the UNCCD and UNFF to, among other things, develop common tools for assessment. Ghana highlighted a tree planting initiative to halt the advance of the Sahara desert and improve water quality and people’s livelihoods in the region, as part of Forests 2011.

China emphasized its collective forest tenure reform, which he claimed has given management rights on 180 million hectares to 300 million farmers and ensures farmers benefit from forest resources. Noting that two-thirds of its forests are privately owned, Jamaica outlined its efforts to promote SFM by providing planting material and technical assistance to land owners free of charge.

The US highlighted the need to: protect remaining forest areas; restore degraded forests; and ensure managed forests provide social, environmental and economic benefits.

Indonesia identified short-term economic interests as the main obstacle to ensure that the multiple values of forests are preserved for the benefit of people, and urged adoption of a new paradigm focused on long-term social and environmental outcomes.

Italy expressed its support for forest law enforcement, governance and trade in its trade relations with some of the biggest timber producers, including commitments to halt trade in illegal timber through a certification system, and noted national efforts to develop ways to participate in REDD+ implementation and become a donor to the CPF.

Nepal highlighted national experiences and programmes in promoting a people-centered approach, including a new forest strategy aimed at improved management that includes, inter alia, tree plantation activities and an enabling environment for small forest enterprises in rural areas. 

Finance for forest-dependent communities: On Wednesday, 2 February, delegates met in a High-Level Roundtable on Finance for Forest-Dependent Communities to: exchange information on financing for forest-dependent communities; discuss the main sources of financing and the nature of contributions and allocations; and share knowledge and lessons learned on the challenges of allocation of financial resources.

Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes (Brazil) moderated the Roundtable, introducing some key questions that included: consideration of what the most adequate sources of funding for communities are, including public and private funds and innovative mechanisms; the implications of REDD+ for local communities; and how to secure long-term financial disbursement.

Malaysia called for greater involvement of the private sector and multinational corporations, through their corporate social responsibility programmes, to support SFM activities with local communities. 

Sudan, with Botswana, Paraguay and Bolivia, highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to provide funding through a global voluntary forest fund. 

Central African Republic noted that illegal logging occurs in 8% of its territory and highlighted a national initiative that includes the creation of inter-ministerial committees and a dedicated development forest trust fund to promote SFM. Colombia highlighted national programmes in sustainable use of forest products, but noted that efforts and resources are being prioritized to address the loss and damage of natural disasters caused by La Niña. She said the role of forests to prevent extreme climate events is fundamental. 

Botswana underscored national initiatives such as a poverty eradication fund to promote communities while supporting SFM. Paraguay underscored a pilot programme at the national level on reforestation and SFM for commercial purposes. Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes highlighted that while planted forests can reduce pressure on natural forests, natural forests provide a wider range of ecosystem services, which can be maintained through SFM. 

Guatemala said that 30% of its forests are managed by local communities and underscored a national incentives programme that has provided positive results in terms of forest protection. 

IUCN said two key questions are: who benefits from forests, and how much are forests really worth? She then identified barriers to SFM, including: the disregard of non-cash values of forests’ contributions to livelihoods, lack of clarity in forest tenure and user rights, underestimation of the capacity of communities to responsibly manage forests, and lack of community participation in forest decision-making.

In the ensuing discussions, Paraguay highlighted the need to address forests in an intersectoral manner, involving non-forestry ministries and institutions to ensure synergies and complementarities among policies. The US said that budget allocations at the national level should acknowledge the role of forests. IUCN said that a clear and consistent message on the key role that forests play should be provided to reach other international communities and sectors. Bolivia said financial resources should be provided on the basis of needs, and not on the basis of ecosystem services, and that forests could be subject to market speculation.

Forests-plus: A cross-sectoral and cross-institutional approach: On Thursday, 3 February, the High-Level Roundtable on Forests-Plus convened to: address the cross-sectoral dimensions of forests; share knowledge and lessons learned on the challenges to SFM and forest policy in the context of cross-sectoral and cross-institutional complexity; and identify areas for possible inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration.

  Zainol Zainuddin (Malaysia) chaired the Roundtable, and highlighted that forests are at the intersection of human, social and economic development and play a key role in poverty eradication, noting that over 1.6 billion people depend on forests worldwide.

Namibia, highlighting the remaining challenges of illegal harvesting, said that CBFM helps reduce cases of illegal harvesting of forest resources and was supported by the close work done by both the CBFM programme and the Wildlife Community-Based Management Programme. France, calling attention to the challenges to overcome fragmented approaches to forests at the policy and institutional level, said that the Rio+20 Conference should be an opportunity to bring a forests-plus approach onto the agenda.

Mexico highlighted national initiatives to enhance SFM and overcome inter-sectoral challenges, including: the “Pro-arbol Programme,” which encompasses sustainable forestry, reforestation activities, a forestry fund; distribution of incentives at the community level; capacity building; and legal reforms to recognize the land ownership of the communities. 

Australia underscored new legislation to restrict importation of illegally logged timber as a key tool to support SFM, and highlighted capacity-building programmes to promote SFM.

The Netherlands said that the links between forests and numerous issues constitute both forests’ strengths and weaknesses, as it is necessary to look beyond forests to achieve SFM. He welcomed the concept of “forests-plus” as an approach embracing forests’ inter-sectoral and inter-institutional complexity.

Chad described the varied types of forests in his country, highlighting the relevant role that wood has for the national economy and for people’s livelihoods.

Papua New Guinea, on behalf of Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands, highlighted the challenges of achieving SFM in the context of REDD+. He underscored these countries’ concerns for sea level rise, high incidences of malaria, and other climate-change related consequences. Additionally, he noted initiatives as the Climate Compatible Development Strategy (CCDS) in Papua New Guinea, the strict forest policies and legislative frameworks in their countries, as well as ongoing efforts in Papua New Guinea and Fiji to implement Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) initiatives.

International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) highlighted the need to move from a focus on forests towards the concept of “forests-plus.” He said governance arrangements tend to simplify the complexity of forest problems, lack coordination and fail to bridge the gap between high-level negotiation and project-level activities and said that “forests-plus” will be built on a better understanding of actors’ interests, and pledges of political commitment with a new emphasis on coordination through policy-learning.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) underscored that the forest policy formation is a complex process involving many actors, noting that a lack of synergies results in higher transaction costs. He highlighted that European countries are involved in discussions on possibility of negotiating a convention on protection of forests for Europe.

Forests & Rio+20: Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary, US State Department, moderated the Roundtable on Forests and Rio+20. Noting that the purpose of the Roundtable was to discuss the role of forests in the broader sustainable development agenda, he invited participants to focus on: notable successes achieved in forest conservation and enhancing forests’ contribution to sustainable development since the 1992 Rio Summit; critical challenges and obstacles to SFM identified since then; and measures required to ensure that forests remain healthy and contribute to human well-being and poverty eradication.

Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference, invited delegates to consider, inter alia: gaps in SFM implementation, and new and emerging challenges; how to use Rio+20 to highlight the connection between a people-centered approach to SFM and a green economy; and the existing international framework on forests.

On progress achieved in SFM since 1992, many countries outlined national efforts to promote SFM, including through massive reforestation and land restoration efforts, PES schemes, and inclusion of local and marginalized communities in forest management, planning, and/or benefit sharing.

Regarding challenges to SFM, Iran emphasized the need for better policy coordination and cross-sectoral collaboration between relevant agencies. Germany said short-term economic interests are a major cause of forest degradation, conversion and poverty, urging long-term forest economic planning. Egypt said limited financing is a major impediment for sustainable development, including SFM. With Iran, Congo, Nicaragua, Kenya, Senegal and many others, he stressed the need for transfer of environmentally-sound technologies and new funds to developing countries to promote SFM. Congo and Costa Rica welcomed REDD+ as bringing new opportunities to harness financial resources for SFM, but Congo warned REDD+ financing must not be used as a right to pollute. Nicaragua stressed the need for mechanisms that support small and medium enterprises, indigenous people and local communities in Least Developed Countries.

On a green economy, Malaysia emphasized the concept should not replace, but be placed within, the framework of sustainable development. With Chile, he urged against using a green economy to impose new trade barriers. Chile said a green economy should promote new investments that benefit the environment, create employment and promote green technologies. The UK said forests are “the” economy, green or not, for 1.6 billion people. Finland said it understands green economy as development that offers an alternative to carbon-based economies, stressing it can make strong contributions to poverty eradication and gender equality through improving livelihoods and providing working opportunities, especially in rural areas.

Congo, Togo, Kazakhstan, Kenya and others outlined national efforts to green their national economies. The Republic of Korea said its adoption of a low-carbon, green growth paradigm has created new jobs and promoted forest and biodiversity conservation. He offered to continue to support forest rehabilitation and green growth efforts in developing countries, including through the Global Green Growth Institute. Japan highlighted the role of planted forests in expanding jobs and promoting a low-carbon, green economy.

Malaysia said market premiums for green timber products are a key incentive to promote SFM, and called for government procurement policies that give priority to products from sustainably managed forests. Slovakia said public procurement policies in some regions, such as Europe, could help in the transition to a green economy. Canada emphasized science, innovation and partnerships for achieving SFM in a green economy. Sweden said for SFM to be a key driver of a green economy, it will require: secure tenure rights, good governance, transparency, public participation and awareness.

Gabon highlighted challenges for a green economy, inter alia: developing indicators to measure progress; ensuring it contributes to poverty eradication in developing countries; and ensuring developing countries have comparative advantages within a green economy.

Germany endorsed mechanisms to enable consumer recognition of green products, including certification systems for green forest products, biomass and legally-harvested wood.

On the institutional framework on forests, many countries emphasized their efforts to implement the Forest Instrument and the GOFs. Noting it fully supported UNFF’s work, Switzerland urged consideration of whether UNFF: possesses the strength and credibility to provide the comprehensive policy needed; is in a position to provide guidance to other processes and conventions; and empowers ministers and agencies to better coordinate forest issues across relevant sectors. Liechtenstein said UNFF is in a unique position to advance the role of forests in sustainable development and a green economy in the Rio+20 Conference, and suggested a Ministerial Declaration, the Forest Instrument and the GOFs could be key inputs to the conference. China said Rio+20 should send a clear message that a legally-binding forest instrument is needed. Algeria supported a legally-binding agreement, noting its success will require adequate financial and technical resources.

On the desired outcomes of Rio+20, Kazakhstan suggested calling on youth to maintain or improve forest ecosystems, and calls to increase forest coverage in all countries, while Poland expressed hope Rio+20 will make more references to forests than the 1992 Summit. Algeria said the Rio+20 Conference should create a new framework for cooperation that recognizes national and regional realities, noting many LFCCs are in Africa and must cope with desertification.

CPF PANEL: A High-Level dialogue with the heads of CPF member organizations took place on Thursday afternoon, 3 February. Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang moderated the session, highlighting the three topics to be addressed: how to best promote Forests 2011; how to further action for forest financing and implementing the Forest Instrument and the GOFs; and how to ensure that forests have a prominent role at the Rio+20 conference.

CPF Chair Eduardo Rojas-Briales stressed that Forests 2011 has created new momentum and intensified the focus on continued advocacy and awareness generation for the plight of forests, stressing the need to move beyond CPF members’ traditional constituencies in this regard.

Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), noted that sustaining the world’s forests goes hand in hand with UNDP’s mission to advance sustainable development. She highlighted UNDP’s work on forests, including collaboration with UN-REDD to improve country capacity and with the GEF to support project implementation. Julia Martin-Lefevre, Director General, IUCN, said that IUCN plans to have a dedicated web portal for Forests 2011, use social networking platforms to advance the Forests 2011 message, and host High-Level forest-related events.

Frances Seymour, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), noted the launch of a new collaborative research programme on forest, trees and agroforestry to align the organization’s work with the needs of other organizations. She highlighted that CIFOR will also host a number of events over the course of the year, including on forest governance and dryland forests. Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), said that Forests 2011 is an opportunity to highlight the importance of agroforestry and sustainable landscape management, and use these tools for decreasing poverty and combating climate change.

Niels Koch, IUFRO, noted the adoption of a new strategy with six themes linked to Forests 2011, including forests for people, climate change, bioenergy, and resources for the future. He noted that by providing policy makers with reliable data, improved policies and evaluations can be implemented.

UNFF Director Jan McAlpine highlighted the collaboration of CPF members to address the wide range of issues facing forests. She stressed that members should advance the “360-degree” view of forests, highlighting the launch of a landscape restoration project in Rwanda as an example.

Gustavo Fonseca, GEF, said that the CPF has been innovative in the realm of technical advice and forest-related decisions. He highlighted the creation of a programme to fund SFM and REDD+ projects, and would continue actively engaging in UNFF’s facilitative process and in the AHEG.

Gerhard Dieterle, World Bank, noted their continued support for implementing the Forest Instrument. He said that the international forest financing architecture is quite complex, and lamented that developing countries do not necessarily have the capacities to deal with this.

Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, highlighted the importance of dryland forests, lamenting that their significance is still not acknowledged. He called for increased investment to prevent and reverse land degradation, policies and PES schemes, and moving towards target setting for Rio+20.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary, CBD, highlighted the importance of the outcomes of CBD COP 9, saying that this was relevant to forests since 80% of land-based biodiversity is contained in forests.

Eduardo Rojas-Briales, FAO, called for creating a political movement to ensure the implementation of the Forest Instrument, noting the main challenge is to reverse the loss of forest cover. Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director, International Tropical Timber Organization, noted tangible progress had been made in preserving forests, despite the lack of a legally binding instrument on forests. He outlined the ITTO thematic programmes for ensuring forest conservation.

Ibrahim Thiaw, United Nations Environment Programme, said that forests are the basis of a green economy and called for particular attention to be paid to the land rights of rural communities and farmers. He called on CPF members to provide technical assistance to ensure a central role of forests at Rio+20.

In a video message, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, noted the CPF’s importance in information sharing and dissemination, saying this will ensure forests’ prominence on the development agenda.

Sandra Bessudo Lion, High Advisor for Environmental Policy, Biodiversity, Water and Climate Change, Colombia, said that her country had assigned special importance to natural resources in the development agenda, emphasizing that the CPF is important for forwarding novel approaches for innovative financing and modalities on forests.

ministerial declaration: On Thursday, 3 February, delegates adopted the Ministerial Declaration of the High-Level Segment of UNFF9 on the Occasion of the Launch of the Forests 2011. Following adoption of the Declaration, Mexico said it will help reinforce the international community’s commitment to forests, in particular their contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation. Stressing it supported the adoption of the Declaration in the spirit of compromise, Bolivia lamented that the text does not reflect many of Bolivia’s priorities, including a strong commitment to a voluntary global forest fund, or references to key international instruments on indigenous peoples. The EU said the Declaration is a good basis for collective work, and pledged to translate its commitments into action by, inter alia, increasing international cooperation to tackle illegal logging and related trade, and enhancing the role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation and combating desertification.

Colombia underscored the UNFCCC decision on REDD+ in Cancun as an historic achievement for forest conservation and financing. Peru highlighted the importance of linkages to climate change and biodiversity, while the Republic of Korea emphasized links to desertification and the upcoming UNCCD COP in Korea. Japan, the US and others thanked the Bureau and the Secretariat for their hard work.

Outcome:In the Ministerial Declaration of the High-Level Segment of UNFF9 on the Occasion of the Launch of the Forests 2011, the ministers gathered at UNFF9:

  • underscore that forests are an integral part of the global environment and human well-being;
  • welcome Forests 2011 as a landmark opportunity to raise awareness about forests and strengthen political commitment and action to achieve SFM worldwide;
  • stress the vital role that all types of forests and trees play in addressing global challenges related to, inter alia, poverty eradication, food security, water, climate change, desertification, biodiversity and natural disasters;
  • recognize the crucial role of local people in achieving SFM;
  • express deep concern that 13 million hectares of forest continue to be lost per year and the need to reverse this trend;
  • reaffirm the importance of the Forest Instrument; and
  • recognize the vital role UNFF plays in addressing forest-related issues to achieve SFM.

Bearing this in mind, the Ministers commit to, inter alia:

  • improve the livelihoods of people and communities, in particular developing countries and countries with economies in transition (CEITs), by creating the conditions needed for SFM, including by strengthening cooperation in finance, transfer of environmentally-sound technologies, capacity building and governance, promoting secure land tenure, participatory decision-making and benefit sharing, in accordance with national laws and priorities;
  • develop policies that integrate SFM into development plans;
  • accelerate implementation of the Forest Instrument and efforts to achieve the GOFs at all levels;
  • take a meaningful decision on financing at UNFF10 in 2013;
  • undertake immediate steps towards implementing the forest-related outcomes of the 2010 UNGA High-Level plenary meeting on the MDGs;
  • work with the three governing bodies of the Rio Conventions and other relevant organizations to integrate SFM into their strategies and programmes;
  • contribute to the Rio+20 Conference by highlighting the economic, social and environmental benefits of forests and the contributions of SFM to the themes and goals of the Conference; 
  • invite Rio+20 to consider the Ministerial Declaration; and
  • agree to meet at UNFF11 in 2015 to review progress in meeting these commitments and the effectiveness of the Forest Instrument.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE

On Wednesday, 26 January, Director McAlpine introduced the Secretariat’s note on Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues (E/CN.18/2011/9) and three discussion papers prepared by Major Groups on the three sub-themes of UNFF9 (E/CN.18/2011/9/Add.1, /Add.2 and /Add.3). She commended Major Groups for preparing joint discussion papers on each theme, which she said was unprecedented.

Women said social development is a prerequisite for SFM, and highlighted the need for: secure tenure rights to ensure communities’ long-term commitment to SFM; continued capacity building of marginalized communities; greater attention to women in decision-making; and building relationships between marginalized groups to present common positions to governments.

The Scientific and Technological Community presented on forests and cultures, highlighting that tropical forests continue to disappear despite numerous efforts and success stories on SFM because the socio-cultural dimension of sustainable development has been largely neglected. He recommended, inter alia, that: national governments document TK in partnership with TK holders using ethically appropriate practices; the scientific community bridge gaps between traditional and modern science and develop TK-related indicators for SFM; and the international community develop a legal system to protect forest-related TK and curb biopiracy.

Farmers and Small Forest Landowners presented on a community forestry programme in Nepal, noting CBFM contributes to restoring degraded land and conserving biodiversity. He highlighted key issues in implementing CBFM, including freedom of association and empowerment of local communities, as well as providing them with advocacy tools to negotiate with governments. Noting a high percentage of the world’s forests are managed by communities and indigenous peoples, he urged governments to “put the last in first place” by, among other: securing tenure rights and providing capacity building, technology transfer and access to market services to communities.

Nepal highlighted, inter alia: that recognizing customary rights have played a key role for successful national experiences on CBFM; an ongoing initiative to promote non-timber forest products, such as traditional medicine and aromatic plants, by using community partnerships; and the need to keep building capacities in local communities. Suriname said that Major Groups’ coordination should be enhanced at the regional and global levels. Austria noted that the involvement of Major Groups in forest management provides positive results in the long-term and said that the issue of “forests and people” is an evolving concept that needs to be recurrently addressed in appropriate fora. Based on national ongoing initiatives, Turkey highlighted that relevant tools used to enhance communities’ involvement in forest management include promoting: participation, cooperatives, adequate national regulations, funds, and credit and job opportunities, including in harvesting.

Albania noted that 45% of its formerly state-owned forests have been transferred to local communities. He said the process entailed the legalization and involvement of forest-users’ associations and, while benefits accrued to local communities, responsibilities were shared with the state due to the limited capacities of local communities. He noted that the forestry department is now undertaking capacity-building exercises to assist in ensuring SFM.

Argentina highlighted the importance of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, noting that it sets out methods for the appropriate sharing of benefits with the prior consent of local communities.

Guatemala outlined national initiatives to include vulnerable groups in forest-related processes, while Samoa noted most of its forests are community-owned. Brazil questioned how governments could promote community enterprises. Nepal responded that focus should be put on micro-enterprises, which were more likely to benefit the poor, while NGOs urged consideration of mechanisms to ensure local communities benefit from forest resources that have monetary value. Morocco urged support for developing countries so they can assess the potential monetary value of traditional forest resources. Colombia emphasized capacity building and recognition of customary tenure rights.

The Scientific and Technological Community noted that case studies on solutions to equitable access and benefit sharing have been carried out, but cautioned that there is no one solution as each country has different complexities. Women lamented that due to the lack of equitable power sharing and capacity, not all stakeholders were fully involved in the processes setting out the methodology for equitable access and benefit sharing of resources.

ENHANCED COOPERATION AND POLICY AND PROGRAMME COORDINATION

On Tuesday, 25 January,Director McAlpine introduced the report on Enhanced Cooperation and Policy and Programme Coordination (E/CN.18/2011/10). Noting that the issue of cooperation is addressed in many of UNFF9’s substantive documents, she said that a stand-alone report on the issue is largely redundant. She highlighted new areas of work, including: new linkages with the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; integration of forest issues into post-conflict and post-disaster strategies; and support for Major Groups to consult and coordinate their positions prior to UNFF9 and the first meeting of the AHEG.

McAlpine, on behalf of Eduardo Rojas-Briales, presented an information document on activities undertaken by the CPF in 2009 and 2010 (E/CN.18/2011/11). She highlighted a recommendation that UNFF convene an expert group to exchange information on the range of goods and services that forests and trees outside of forests provide, for consideration at UNFF10.

Many countries highlighted the positive results of regional initiatives: Brazil drew attention to its Amazon Protected Areas Programme; Turkey noted a regional project to develop a climate change adaptation policy in the forests sector; and Senegal underscored a transnational project supported by the GEF, FAO and the EU. Noting challenges that climate change may pose for countries in terms of forest cover conservation, Jordan suggested the establishment of a data network to exchange information between countries with similar climatic challenges.

On the draft guidelines for country-led, organization-led, region-led and Major Group-led initiatives in support of the UNFF annexed to the report on Enhanced Cooperation and Policy and Programme Coordination, the EU, supported by Canada and Japan, said the guidelines should allow for flexibility. Canada added that the guidelines should not be prescriptive, and suggested language on the voluntary nature of reporting such initiatives’ expenditures.

The EU underscored, inter alia, the need for: strengthening collaboration among CPF members; identifying key qualitative indicators on SFM; and further stakeholder involvement and collaboration to implement the UNFF Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) and the Forest Instrument.

Switzerland, supported by the US and Canada, suggested the Secretariat prepare a projection and business plan for the allocation of money for country-led initiatives to have a comprehensive understanding of the work plan and UNFF budget, with the US noting this information could be useful to attract funding.

McAlpine noted the Trust Fund is voluntary in nature and is a vehicle to recognize countries’ support for UNFF activities. She also explained the manner in which these activities are defined, as well as the overall management of other funds for UNFF’s operation.

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION

Director McAlpine introduced this item in plenary on Monday, 24 January (E/CN.18/2011/12). McAlpine recalled the resolution adopted by the Forum at the special session of UNFF9, which established a staged process to resolve the issue of financing for SFM at UNFF10, including a facilitative process and an AHEG that met prior to UNFF9 and would meet again prior to UNFF10. She urged member states to: provide further guidance to the AHEG to achieve a better understanding of the cross-sectoral and cross-institutional opportunities and obstacles for forest financing; provide additional financial and in-kind support for activities under the item; and take a solid decision on intersessional activities on forest financing.

The report of AHEG-1 (E/CN.18/2011/13) was introduced by AHEG-1 Co-Chairs Jan Heino (Finland) and Macharia Kamau (Kenya). Co-Chair Heino said the intersessional work triggered by the UNFF9 special session provides a policy space to pave the way for an agreement on forest financing at UNFF10. Co-Chair Kamau said that challenges in the architecture of forest financing remain complex, and that efforts should be strengthened to improve financial mechanisms, coordination of efforts and access to existing resources. He underscored the need for a solid intersessional process with full involvement of governments and CPF members aimed at, inter alia: filling the information gap on forest finance; assessing options for the forest finance architecture for consideration by AHEG-2; and working on the implications of REDD+, the Green Fund established in the Cancun Agreement and other existing sources in a broader forest financing context.

Argentina, for the G-77/China, observed that implementation is critical for developing countries, but stressed the importance of striking a balance between commitments made internationally and the resources made available to fulfill them.

China noted that the global forest sector has new financial resources available, such as REDD+ in the climate change area, but cautioned that these new developments are not enough to support SFM. She said that UNFF should be the coordinating body for forest financing. The US called for the engagement of the CPF and its Advisory Group on Finance in these discussions. Switzerland urged adopting a 360-degree view of forests and further considering sub-humid and dry lands within this process.

The EU called for a UNFF9 procedural resolution on work to be undertaken in 2011 and 2012 based on assessment of programme and budget implications, including: invitations to CPF members and its Advisory Group on Finance to support AHEG-2 preparations; and determine synergies with parallel CPF member processes.

Director McAlpine said CPF members’ participation in these discussions is voluntary and will require additional resources.

Outcome: On Friday afternoon, 4 February, in plenary, delegates adopted the Omnibus Resolution (which is summarized below), including a section on means of implementation, calling for, among others: to submit substantive submissions by 1  March 2012; invite CPF members to host a Organization-Led Initiative in support of the Forum’s work on forest financing; and members to collaborate in preparation for AHEG-2.

FORUM TRUST FUND

On Monday, 24 January, Director McAlpine introduced an overview of the Forum Trust Fund (E/CN.18/2011/14), pointing out that, despite the increase in the budget and pledges for 2011-2012, budget constraints remain.

Outcome: On Friday, 4 February, delegates adopted the Omnibus Resolution (summarized below), encouraging donors to increase designated travel support, particularly at UNFF10 and  AHEG-2.

OMNIBUS RESOLUTION

On Monday morning, 31 January, in plenary, delegates were presented with copies of a Draft Omnibus Resolution prepared by the Bureau on Friday, 28 January, on the basis of interventions made by delegates during the first week of UNFF9. On Monday afternoon and Tuesday, 31 January and 1 February, the Bureau’s Draft Omnibus Resolution was taken up in WGII, with countries proposing amendments to the text. During the first reading, Colombia, with Venezuela, asked to replace references to “the Forest Instrument” with the “Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests,” throughout the document.

On Wednesday evening, 2 February, delegates finished the first review of the draft resolution and went through the entire text for a second reading. Countries agreed to request the Bureau, with support from the Secretariat, to consider all the proposals already included and streamline the text. On Thursday, 3 February, WGII delegates welcomed the streamlined text. For the sake of efficiency, Co-Chair Dieng proposed, and delegates agreed, to divide the WG into two small groups; one would tackle the item on means of implementation, and the other would deal with the other items in the text. The two sub-groups started their deliberations but upon a G-77/China request, decided to reconvene as a single group shortly thereafter to finalize the text of the Omnibus Resolution.

Preambular text: Debates focused on whether to include references to forest-relevant instruments. The EU, calling for streamlining the preambular text with the operative text, proposed the deletion of several preamble paragraphs, while the African Group supported including references to, inter alia, the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. Cuba suggested, with the African Group and other developing countries, including text referring the UNFF9 special session decision on the development of a global forest fund to be considered by UNFF10 for adoption. Canada suggested using language that was already agreed. On Thursday, 3 February, Bolivia said she could not go along with the reference to UNFCCC COP 16, while Mexico and other countries supported retaining it. Bolivia suggested including a footnote in the Resolution’s text to express Bolivia’s concerns, if the reference was to be retained. Many countries opposed, with some noting that Bolivia’s concerns could be appropriately noted in the final report of UNFF9. As disagreement persisted, the session was suspended and the issue remained outstanding. After day-long deliberations on Friday, delegates reached agreement to keep references to UNFCCC COP 16.

Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication: Controversial issues discussed included: references to indigenous and other forest-dependent communities, whether to provide or mobilize funds, and how to address land tenure and rights.

Bolivia suggested including a reference to indigenous peoples as particular forest-dependent communities to be considered for long-term finance and tenure rights, while the African Group included references to women and youth. Delegates addressed text requesting the AHEG intersessional process and the CPF to simplify procedures to, inter alia, access resources and mobilize new and additional financial resources to enhance capacities and transfer environmentally-sound technologies to developing countries to support their efforts in improving CBFM. Bolivia, with Venezuela, suggested that resources should be provided, rather than mobilized. Canada proposed the AHEG and the CPF suggest ways to simplify procedures for accessing resources. Brazil supported reference to resources from all sources and, with Cuba, suggested reference to national SFM efforts, which should be supported. The EU, US and Japan supported deletion of the entire paragraph. Eventually, this text was merged with other paragraphs recognizing, inter alia: inviting member states, CPF members and other stakeholders to explore an enabling policy environment to attract long-term investment and finance for SFM.

Regarding the CPF analyzing information on the contribution of forests to sustainable livelihoods, Bolivia suggested gathering information on forests’ multiple values in the well-functioning and integrity of our Mother Earth, instead of information on forests and economic development. Noting that the UNFF10’s theme on “Forests and economic development” had previously been agreed by the Forum, New Zealand, Venezuela and the US supported retaining the reference to the UNFF10 theme. The African Group supported including information on trees outside of forests and on the protection of vulnerable and fragile ecosystems. Finally, delegates agreed to consider activities to share information and experiences on forest valuation methodologies to better reflect the full value of forest ecosystems and trees outside of forests to enrich the discussion at UNFF10.

On text encouraging states to establish safeguards and guidelines to promote the multiple values of forests and the fair distribution of benefits from forests, including in the context of emerging initiatives such as REDD+, Bolivia, with the African Group, suggested the reference to “initiatives, such as REDD+” be deleted. Malaysia said that the distribution of benefits from forests should be done in accordance with national legislation and international agreements, while the EU supported referring to REDD+ activities, noting the guidance and safeguards contained in the Cancun agreements. Eventually, this test was deleted. References to the intersessional process were also moved to sections dealing with the Means of Implementation and Forests 2011 items.

Assessment of progress: Controversial issues included the modalities of preparing a report on SFM by member states for UNFF10.

On text dealing with the voluntary national reporting for UNFF10 focused on the theme of forests and economic development, US suggested referring to “a simple” voluntary national report and emphasized the relevance of a streamlined format. Bolivia suggested focusing the reporting on the achievement of the GOFs, taking a more holistic approach. On a paragraph encouraging donor countries and other countries to make voluntary financial contributions to the Forum Trust Fund to enable the Secretariat and the National Forest Programme (NFP) Facility to assist with training programmes in preparing voluntary reports, Japan, supported by Canada, suggested deleting reference to the NFP Facility. The EU said that the activities to be undertaken under the Forum Trust Fund need to be prioritized.

On a paragraph requesting the Secretariat to prepare, in consultation with the CPF a balanced assessment on all four GOFs for UNFF10, the African Group supported including that this should be done in consultation with member states. The US, supported by the EU, noted this issue was already addressed. Eventually, delegates agreed that simple voluntary national reports for UNFF10 will focus on the implementation of the Forest Instrument and a balanced reporting on the GOFs and request the Secretariat to develop a streamlined reporting format, in consultation with other CPF members.

Regional Cooperation: The EU suggested, and delegates agreed, to incorporate a consideration of the subregional processes, as well as recognizing the value of the regional and subregional dialogue and cooperation on forests. Delegates eventually agreed to: invite regional and subregional organizations, with the assistance of the CPF members, Major Groups and other forest stakeholders to provide information to UNFF10.

International Year of Forests: Main issues discussed under this agenda item included activities during Forests 2011.

Bolivia, with Venezuela, the African Group and others, supported including a paragraph on “strongly urging” member states and organizations to take advantage of Forests 2011 as an extraordinary occasion to gather political will to fill in the gaps in implementing the Forest Instrument and the achievement of the GOFs through the urgent provision of financial resources, sound technology transfer and capacity building. Noting these issues had already been covered in others sections of the text, the US opposed. Eventually, delegates agreed to strongly urge member states to strengthen the political will to address the gaps in the implementation of the Forest Instrument and the achievement of the GOFs, including through promoting international cooperation on means of implementation, inter alia, financing and resource mobilization strategies, and on technology transfer to developing countries.

Enhanced cooperation: The issue was not controversial, except for references concerning cooperation with specific UN secretariats.

The EU suggested including a paragraph requesting the UNFF Secretariat to further cooperate with the UNFCCC Secretariat and work in relation to forest-related decisions taken by the UNFCCC to promote synergies with SFM. This text was included in the second draft of the Resolution. Bolivia objected to specifically refer to the UNFCCC Secretariat, and called for balanced references among conventions, suggesting referring, instead, to the Rio Conventions. Mexico and other countries supported reference to the UNFCCC Secretariat. After informal negotiations, delegates agreed to refer only to the Rio Conventions’ Secretariats.

Means of Implementation: This issue was addressed from 1-3 February in WGII and in informal consultations facilitated by AHEG-1 Co-Chairs Jan Heino (Finland) and Macharia Kamau (Kenya). The most controversial issues addressed included the structure of the intersessional period and the activities that would take place during the Facilitative Process, as well as differences among terms and concepts related to the UNFF9 special session decision (E/CN.18/SS/2009/2).

Algeria, for the G-77/China, suggested including reference to the mandate of the UNFF9 special session decision. Delegates eventually agreed to call for implementation of all provisions of the resolution.   

On text emphasizing the need for intersessional activities to contribute to AHEG-2, the G-77/China proposed to: emphasize intersessional activities in preparation for AHEG-2 and its successful outcome, and ensure the financial support to enable the full participation of developing countries in these meetings. Japan, with the EU, expressed concern about financial implications and suggested deleting “to ensure.” The G-77/China said he understood many countries expressed willingness to hold a sound intersessional period, and preparatory activities and financial resources would be necessary to cover those activities. The US noted that activities considered in the intersessional period would not necessarily involve physical meetings but mostly briefings, bilateral consultations and other activities requiring modest resources. The EU proposed referring to “those activities,” instead of “these meetings.” Highlighting that many developing countries delegates had not been able to attend UNFF9 for lack of financial support, the G-77/China said that he would accept the change if the reference to “ensure resources” was kept, which delegations eventually agreed to.

On text inviting substantive submissions to be received by March 2012 from governments, CPF members, regional organizations and processes and major groups on forest financing options, including a global forest fund and strengthening of existing and emerging mechanisms, the EU and Canada supported excluding the CPF members from providing submissions, with the EU stressing submissions should address strategies to mobilize resources from all sources, inter alia, strengthening and improving access to funds. The G-77/China suggested including the voluntary nature of the fund and the performance of the facilitative process among issues to report on. Switzerland pointed out that this inclusion left the text unclear and suggested retaining the language in the Bureau’s second draft. The G-77/China agreed to withdraw the proposal.

Forum Trust Fund: On the Forum Trust Fund, Cuba proposed including text: recalling UNGA Decision 58/554 providing to support the participants from developing countries and countries with economies in transition to have travel expenses covered by the Trust Fund and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA); expressing concern that limited contributions to the Trust Fund has limited participation of developing country delegates in UNFF9; and urges donors and the international community to reinforce developing countries’ participation in UNFF sessions. Delegates eventually agreed to call on international and bilateral donors to implement the UNGA decision and increase contributions to provide DSA, and invite voluntary contributions for participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in AHEG-2 and UNFF10.

Outcome: On Friday afternoon, 4 February, delegates convened for the closing plenary where the UNFF9 Resolution on Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication was adopted by acclamation. Bolivia said that, while it accepted adoption of the Resolution in the spirit of compromise, it objected to a paragraph recalling the outcomes of UNFCCC COP 16, arguing that that meeting had transgressed UN consensus standards. The EU, the G-77/China, the US, Japan, Denmark and others welcomed adoption of the Resolution, with the US underscoring its non-legally binding nature.

Switzerland welcomed the Resolution, but urged clarification regarding: country reports to be submitted for UNFF10, which she said should focus on the theme of UNFF10 rather than the implementation of the Forest Instrument and achievement of the GOFs; and the Secretariat’s biennial programme, asking that the programme be sent to focal points for information. Indonesia accepted the Resolution, but said the commitment to strengthen the security of tenure rights in the Resolution should be “in accordance with national legislation, policies and priorities,” noting that this wording was already in the Ministerial Declaration adopted at UNFF9.

Venezuela lamented the Resolution included no specific references to, inter alia, the impact of decreased ODA for forest-related programmes and the role of indigenous people’s TK in forest policy-making. Brazil emphasized the contributions of Major Group representatives to UNFF9, and announced it will host a Major Groups’ workshop in Rio de Janeiro, back-to-back with the Rio+20 Conference in 2012.

The Omnibus Resolution on Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication states that UNFF, inter alia:

  • recalls the adoption of the resolution on means of implementation by UNFF9’s special session;
  • recalls UNFF’s 2007-2015 MYPOW, including provisions for the assessment of progress in the implementation of the Forest Instrument and the GOFs;
  • emphasizes that sustainable management of all types of forests is essential to achieving sustainable development, and that forests are critical means to eradicate poverty, reduce deforestation, halt forest biodiversity loss and land degradation, improve food security and access to drinking water and affordable energy;
  • recognizes the special needs of, inter alia, least developed countries (LDCs), LFCCs and small island developing states; and
  • recognizes the need for new and emerging forest funding mechanism initiatives to address the needs of all types of forests. 

Regarding forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication, the UNFF invites member states, CPF members and other relevant actors to, inter alia:

  • develop and improve an enabling policy environment to strengthen forest law enforcement and governance, attract long-term investment in SFM, clarify and strengthen the security of tenure rights and enhance the fair and equitable sharing of benefits with indigenous people and forest-dependent local communities;
  • clarify and strengthen, if necessary, access to forest use by indigenous people and local and forest-dependent communities;
  • facilitate capacity building in developing countries among, inter alia, indigenous people and local communities to practice SFM;
  • further develop and implement forest landscape restoration;
  • promote efforts to sustain the supply and quality of water from forests;
  • incorporate forest education in curricula of primary and secondary schools;
  • create enabling environments to promote, inter alia, community-company partnerships and small- and medium-sized forest-based enterprises in SFM and occupational health and safety issues; and
  • consider mechanisms to share information on forest valuation methodologies to better reflect the full values of forests.

The UNFF invites CPF members to, inter alia:

  • assist national governments, local governments and community groups, as appropriate, in improving communication and management skills to strengthen inter-sectoral collaboration; and
  • analyze information on the economic, social and environmental benefits of forests and trees outside forests.

Regarding assessment of progress, the UNFF, inter alia:

  • decides that simple voluntary reporting for UNFF10 will focus on the implementation of the Forest Instrument and the GOFs and requests the Secretariat to develop a streamlined reporting format;
  • invites member states and CPF members to initiate and support additional pilot projects and continue supporting existing projects;
  • encourages donor countries, CPF members and others to contribute to the Forum’s Trust Fund to enable the Secretariat to assist in preparing voluntary national reports; and
  • invites FAO to consider how it can further incorporate elements of the Forest Instrument and GOFs into its world’s forest assessment reports and programme.

On regional cooperation, UNFF:

  • invites regional and subregional organizations to strengthen contributions to the implementation of the Forest Instrument and its GOFs;
  • invites regional and subregional organizations, Major Groups  and other stakeholders to share their regional perspectives with implementing the Forest Instrument and GOFs at UNFF10; and
  • invites the Secretariat, CPF members and others, in conjunction with regional and subregional processes, to further develop strategies to promote North-South and South-South cooperation.

Regarding Forests 2011, the UNFF, inter alia:

  • strongly urges member states and regional and international organizations to take advantage of Forests 2011 to raise awareness on the values of forests and the challenges facing forests and forest-dependent people, and strengthen political will to address gaps in implementing the Forest Instrument and the GOFs;
  • encourages all relevant UN organs to fully support and contribute to Forest 2011 activities;
  • recommends ECOSOC, through the UNGA, to consider the establishment of an International Day of the Forest; and
  • invites the CPF to promote a sound understanding by individuals, communities and international organizations of the multiple values of forests.

On enhanced cooperation, the UNFF, inter alia:

  • invites member states to support Major Group initiatives;
  • requests the Secretary-General to continue to address the relationship between forests and trees outside forests and the internationally-agreed development goals;
  • invites the CPF to continue to provide scientific information relevant to UNFF sessions’ themes;
  • requests the UNFF Secretariat to cooperate with the UNFCCC Secretariat on the UNFCCC’s forest-related decisions; and
  • invites ICRAF to develop analyses of agroforestry opportunities for economic development of forest communities.

On means of implementation, UNFF, inter alia:

  • emphasizes the need for intersessional activities that contribute to the success of AHEG-2;
  • invites substantive submissions, by 1 March 2012, from governments, relevant organizations and Major Groups on strategies to mobilize resources from all sources to support SFM;
  • recognizes the voluntary nature of the CPF;
  • invites CPF members to report to UNFF10 on their ongoing and future actions on forest financing;
  • reiterates its invitation to CPF members to consider holding an Organization-Led Initiative to support UNFF’s work on forest financing by 1 June 2012;
  • invites CPF members to expand and update the 2008 finance paper for AHEG-2, and to provide proposals to the Organization-Led Initiative on: ways to strengthen existing financing mechanisms; and other options for financing, including a voluntary global forest fund;
  • requests the UNFF Secretariat to compile all submissions for AHEG-2;
  • agrees there is an urgent need in the Facilitative Process to: work to identify barriers to financing and suggest ways to simplify relevant procedures, build capacities and examine the effects of cross-sectoral and cross-institutional activities on forest financing, and integrate lessons learned for consideration at AHEG-2; and encourage relevant financial institutions to further develop ways to mobilize resources and mainstream the GOFs in their programmes;
  • requests the UNFF Secretariat to examine the implications of new and emerging forest financing initiatives relating to the Rio Conventions;
  • calls upon member states, prior to AHEG-2, to further collaborate with the private sector and invites CPF members to strengthen this area of cooperation;
  • urges member states, inter alia, to develop and implement policies and laws bearing in mind the financing roles of all relevant ministries, and the importance of integrating forests into poverty-reduction strategies, and report on progress to AHEG-2; and
  • requests the AHEG-1 Co-Chairs to hold an open-ended consultation between UNFF9 and AHEG-2, and invites voluntary contributions to allow effective participation of developing countries and CEITs in AHEG-2 and UNFF10.

On the Forest Trust Fund, the UNFF appeals to donors to increase designated travel support contributions to the UNFF Trust Fund to provide travel and DSA to representatives of developing countries, with priority to LDCs and CEITs.

In the annex, the Resolution includes “Guidelines for country-led, region-led and Major Group-led initiatives in support of the UNFF.” The Guidelines recognize these initiatives as innovative and unique mechanisms that have deepened the knowledge on important SFM-related issues, and provide parameters countries can follow when planning the initiatives. 

CLOSING PLENARY 

On Friday afternoon, 4 February, delegates convened for the closing plenary of UNFF9. Turkey recalled his country’s offer to host UNFF10 in Istanbul, and stated that Turkey will cover any additional expenses associated with the organization of the meeting. Zambia endorsed Turkey’s offer, noting that having the meeting in Turkey would enable developing countries to appreciate the successful experience of a CEIT achieving SFM. The decision was forwarded to the UN Economic and Social Council for consideration.

Director McAlpine, in closing, thanked donor countries for their contributions to the UNFF. Chair Ozols, highlighting the successful outcomes of UNFF9, noted that not even the snow storms could dampen the spirit of cooperation and understanding over the last two weeks.

Delegates also adopted the provisional agenda for UNFF10 and the report of the UNFF9 (E/CN.18/2011/L.3) without amendment. UNFF9 Chair Ozols gaveled the meeting to a close at 6:28 pm.

REPORT OF UNFF10

Following the closure of UNFF9, Chair Ozols opened the tenth session of the UNFF, on Friday, 4 February, for the election of its officers. Delegates nominated to the UNFF10 Bureau: Anna Masinja (Zambia) for the African Group; Saiful Azam Martinus Abdullah (Malaysia) for the Asian Group; Srećko Juričić (Croatia) for the Eastern European Group; Mario Ruales (Ecuador) for the Latin American and Caribbean Group; and Shulamit Davidovich (Israel) for the Western European and Others Group. The session was then suspended.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF UNFF9

In the midst of the cold and snowy New York winter, which took away an entire day of deliberations when a snowstorm closed the UN, delegates at UNFF9 managed to weather the storms and make progress on the three main tasks of this year’s meeting: launching the International Year of Forests (Forests 2011), moving towards ensuring that forests receive adequate resources and financing; and reaffirming that forests and sustainable forest management (SFM) must contribute to human well-being, income and livelihoods in addition to environmental sustainability. Much like shoveling snow from the sidewalks, discussions on finance took a great deal of time and energy, but were relatively smooth, thanks to the facilitative process already in progress and the Open-ended Intergovernmental Ad Hoc Expert Group on Forest Financing (AHEG). Delegates spent much of their time discussing aspects and sharing national experiences and lessons learned on the theme “Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication,” identifying concrete means through which SFM can contribute to poverty eradication and human well-being. They also worked to draft a clear message for the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, on the critical contributions of all types of forests to sustainable development.

This brief analysis will consider the implications of some of UNFF9’s decisions and deliberations for forest governance and the UNFF’s work, focusing on: the adoption of a “360-degree” approach to forests; SFM within a green, low-carbon economy; and forest financing. 

A 360-DEGREE FOREST PERSPECTIVE

By embracing a truly holistic view of forests, UNFF9 sends a powerful message that forests are not only providers of essential ecological services and values, but also critical contributors to people’s livelihoods and poverty eradication. While the shift from a purely environmental perspective to a more “people-centered” approach in forest governance is not new, UNFF9 made significant strides in consolidating the notion that if forests are to contribute to poverty eradication, they will have to be managed for the long-term, and that if long-term SFM is to be achieved, it will require the involvement, at all levels, of those communities that live in, or directly depend on, forests. This shifted the focus of UNFF9 as delegates focused more on presenting national experiences and sharing lessons learned with local communities rather than on the political debates on international forest governance that have pervaded previous sessions. Thus, at UNFF9, delegates emphasized SFM challenges, including the importance of reforming legislation and policies to grant secure land tenure rights, share benefits, and provide opportunities for meaningful participation in decision-making to marginalized forest-dependent communities, including women, indigenous people, the youth and the poor. This was generally perceived as the most crucial element for ensuring the successful preservation of forests to confer benefits for generations to come.

However, what could be agreed when speaking in generalities became like the treacherous black ice outside when discussions turned to national and local complexities. While conferring increased rights to local communities is widely accepted in principle, and some countries have adopted legal reforms to this effect, the potential clash between small-scale, community-oriented forest management on the one hand, and commercial, export-oriented forestry models on the other, raises the question of whether countries will be able to implement a “forests for people” centered-approach at the necessary scale. This clash is apparent in differing perspectives on community-based forest management (CBFM). Some delegates, for instance, stressed that community-based forestry with land tenure is not economically viable in countries where large-scale forestry models prevail and local communities have very limited infrastructure, capacity and ability to practice commercial forestry.

The issue of effective participation of marginalized people also presents enormous challenges to many countries, in particular those affected by war and widespread poverty. Some said the insights and experiences shared by Major Groups during UNFF9’s Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue could prove invaluable to tackle the obstacles that prevent effective participation of marginalized groups in forest decision-making. Taking action, however, will require the political will of national governments to identify and redress any institutional bias that may exist. It will also require, as some delegates opined, the support of international agencies and government partners to strengthen national institutions and capacities to adopt and enforce policies and regulations that empower and promote meaningful participation of marginalized groups in forest decision-making processes.

A few participants highlighted that the key issue is whether local communities effectively receive a fair share of the economic benefits forests provide, regardless of whether full property rights are transferred to local people. These participants said the real test for national forest governance will be the implementation of innovative schemes whereby benefits from forests, including reduced emissions from avoided deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) initiatives under the climate change regime, are to be shared among forest-dependent communities, governments, the private sector and other relevant actors.

As participants to the Workshop on Forest Governance, Decentralization and REDD+ held in Oaxaca, Mexico revealed, discussions showed that making benefit-sharing work for local communities remains one of the primary challenges. UNFF’s role in providing support to tackle the community-related challenges of SFM will be crucial, and it will require the collaboration of other actors, in particular the other members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and Major Groups.

SFM WITHIN A GREEN ECONOMY

Delegates did not hesitate or slip when repeating that the timing of the International Year of Forests 2011 offers a unique opportunity for UNFF to send a strong message to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) about the major contribution forests can make to achieving the social, environmental and economic goals of sustainable development. However, while developing countries accept that the Rio+20 Conference will consider forests within the “green economy” theme, they still feel uneasy about the concept. As a result, many delegates, in particular developing countries, insisted that UNFF use the Rio+20 preparatory process wording, which puts a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, highlighting that green economy should not replace the broader concept of sustainable development.

Developing countries fear the emphasis on a green economy may give way to new trade barriers on the basis of environmental practices, including a greater emphasis on particular forest certification schemes. In turn, they fear that this may divert attention from pressing poverty and development problems. Some countries said their forest products already face trade barriers, largely based on forest certification requirements, and lamented that even when their products are certified to SFM standards, they rarely receive the market premiums needed to cover the additional costs of certification. A few expressed the view that the key issue should be whether timber has been legally harvested, and that alone should suffice in allowing free-flowing trade. Others replied that legal harvesting does not necessarily constitute SFM, and emphasized the importance of implementing sound environmental and social schemes to ensure forest ecosystems are maintained for current and future generations.

While some developed countries said they understand these concerns, they noted that the definition of a “trade barrier” is a value judgment that depends on whether a justifiable reason exists to restrict trade. One developed country participant pointed out, for instance, that bans on trade in conflict minerals or products manufactured with slave labor are widely accepted as justifiable trade barriers. He suggested that trade in illegally harvested forest products may better fit the category of an unfair trade barrier, since illegal logging does not incorporate the full costs of production and therefore undermines legal forestry and SFM efforts.

For some, the heart of the matter is that most developing countries, in particular least developed countries, are not on a level playing field with developed or some other developing countries, with regard to SFM. Therefore solidarity, rather than stubbornness, was behind their relenting calls for capacity building and transfer of adequate and stable funds and environmentally-sound technologies to the most vulnerable countries. Others added that achieving universal SFM simply requires a global effort, which involves greater contributions of those who have more resources.

ALONG THE FINANCING ROAD

The controversial issue of Means of Implementation for SFM was the missing piece in the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on all Types of Forests (Forest Instrument) when it was adopted at UNFF7 in April 2007. After UNFF8 could not agree on finance issues, a special session of UNFF9 convened in 2009 and decided to establish two major initiatives to catalyze funding for SFM: a facilitative process, and the AHEG. The AHEG has been mandated to meet twice to consider and propose strategies for mobilizing resources from all possible sources, including, inter alia, by strengthening and improving access to funds and the possible establishment of a voluntary global forest fund. The AHEG is to submit its recommendations for consideration at UNFF10 in 2013.

After the AHEG’s first meeting (AHEG-1) in October 2010, highlighted by many as a constructive dialogue that paved the way for a decision to be made in 2013, UNFF9 was just another stop along the icy financing road, with the primary task of addressing and deciding on the intersessional activities that will provide country and expert inputs to AHEG-2.

Many countries, especially those hoping for a concrete outcome on a global forest fund at UNFF10, were concerned with defining activities that would ensure a more focused discussion on the current financing options and barriers at AHEG-2. Both developed and developing countries expressed willingness to have a substantive intersessional period, but views differed on key issues, including what activities would be held before AHEG-2 and who would be in charge of implementing them, given the financial implications. Some developed countries were concerned about the cost of intersessional work, and called for increased involvement of the private sector and CPF members in the process to enhance efficient use of resources, reduce costs and promote coordination of efforts. Meanwhile, raising concerns about the lack of funding for some developing country representatives to attend UNFF9, the G-77/China strongly emphasized that if there are intersessional activities, financial resources for developing countries’ participation has to be ensured to provide legitimacy and transparency to the process.

Developing countries repeatedly emphasized that the outcome of UNFF10 should include a global forest fund to implement SFM in developing countries. They presented clear proposals on the fund’s key features and took every opportunity to call for a global forest fund, including during the High-Level Segment, while developed countries insistently urged not to prejudge the results of the facilitative process, and retaining the focus on providing substantive inputs to feed AHEG-2’s discussions on how to enhance the efficient use of the existing and possible new additional funds. The polarity between these two positions exposes the great challenges that the facilitative process and AHEG-2 will have to confront.

The issue of financing could be influenced, to a large extent, by other UN processes, in particular the CBD, which adopted a road map for addressing targets for resource mobilization at COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan, and the UNFCCC, which adopted a Green Fund and a decision on REDD+ at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico. Throughout the UNFF9 discussions on financing, many highlighted the need to coordinate the UNFF’s efforts on financing and resource mobilization strategies with other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), in particular the CBD and UNFCCC, and to follow their example by establishing indicators and targets to attract and ensure adequate financing.

With the launch of Forests 2011, momentum for the plight of forests could increase significantly and UNFF could succeed in its financing efforts, however it behooves UNFF to be careful of the icy patches that may exist along the way. Among other difficulties, donor countries mentioned competing demands from other MEAs and international environmental processes for funds to address diverse—yet interrelated—environmental challenges. As one developed country delegate expressed, “the UNFF needs to present clear facts and figures to make the case for forest funding.” Most developing countries disagree with this view, with one delegate replying that, “when we adopted the four GOFs and the Forest Instrument, some countries committed to providing additional financial resources to address SFM challenges.” Realizing that the lack of binding obligations does not help to make the case for new and additional funds, a few developing countries that previously showed reticence to adopting a legally-binding instrument on forests now seem prepared to start exploring the adoption of a global agreement on forests, provided that obligations of developing countries to implement SFM will entail corresponding obligations of developed countries to transfer funds and environmentally-sound technologies to their less developed partners.

Regardless of whether a forest fund becomes a reality, the climate change regime promises to have a significant impact on forests, via REDD+ projects. REDD+ has attracted an impressive amount of resources that, as UNFF Director Jan McAlpine stated, “forests had never seen before.” However, many wonder to what extent REDD+ could be a useful tool for achieving SFM. This question arises most notably when contrasting the environmental, social and economic pillars of SFM with the arguably narrower REDD+ approach and the uncertainty regarding the international rules that will apply.

A major concern for many countries is that REDD+ does not necessarily recognize all forest values, and the assumption that REDD+ and SFM can be put in the same basket could lead to a reductionist approach that views forests merely as carbon sinks. In one delegate’s words: “forest specialists are not properly engaged in REDD+ negotiations, so SFM has not necessarily been fully reflected in REDD+ development.” On the other hand, some developed countries, particularly those that financially support REDD+ initiatives, have highlighted that the successful implementation of REDD+ initiatives requires the consideration of environmental, social and economic safeguards, which will contribute equally to SFM implementation.

Another major concern regarding REDD+ is that it is predominantly focused on rainforests and large areas of forests that provide significant carbon absorption, so its benefits are not likely to reach many types of forests and countries that are facing enormous challenges with regard to SFM, such as LFCCs that are also LDCs. Thus, the African Group, LFCCs and other countries urged extending forest funding to dryland forests and trees outside forests, which they say constitute a little under half of the global forest area.

Additionally, some point out that REDD+ could reverse countries’ efforts to decentralize forest governance and management, as governments try to reap the economic benefits of REDD+ projects. This could have negative implications for the CBFM approach, which is premised on the involvement of all stakeholders in forest management, decision-making, and benefit sharing. In order to avoid reductionist approaches, some experts started to call for shifting from a REDD+ approach, towards a “forests-plus” approach that embraces the inter-sectoral and inter-institutional complexities of forests.

It is a long road ahead, and many challenges remain to be addressed by UNFF to make a decision on finance at UNFF10. In the meantime, country experts and organizations keep working on possible means and strategies to increase funding for all types of forests.

A STOP ALONG THE WAY

The launching of Forests 2011 at UNFF9 and the upcoming Rio+20 Conference have given UNFF a unique opportunity to put the plight of forests squarely on the sustainable development global agenda, as the view that forests are absolutely vital for poverty eradication and human well-being becomes more widespread.

UNFF9 was just another stop in the financing road that will lead to a decision at UNFF10, but it was a significant one, since Forests 2011 and Rio+20 promise to give momentum to forests and SFM, paving the way for a forest financing outcome in 2013 that secures adequate resources for SFM. UNFF9 not only provided concrete guidance to ensure the discussions on finance are substantive, but also specific measures to translate the “people-centered” approach to SFM into action. Implementing these measures in all countries, however, will continue to present considerable challenges.

UPCOMING MEETINGS 

UNCCD CRIC 9 and CST SS-2: The ninth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 9) and the second special session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S2) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are both scheduled for February 2011. CST S2 will convene from 16-18 February and will be followed by CRIC 9 from 21-25 February. In addition, the COP 9 Bureau will meet from 14-15 February, and regional consultations will convene back-to-back with the CRIC session.  dates: 16-25 February 2011  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: UNCCD Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-2800  fax: +49-228-815-2898  email:secretariat@unccd.int www: http://www.unccd.int/cop/cric9/menu.php

Sixth Policy Board Meeting of UN-REDD: The sixth Policy Board Meeting of UN-REDD will be held in Viet Nam in March 2011.  dates: 21-23 March 2011  location: Da Lat, Viet Nam  contact: UN-REDD Secretariat  email:un-redd@un-redd.org www: http://www.un-redd.org/PolicyBoard/6thPolicyBoard/tabid/6893/Default.aspx

International Symposium on Ecosystem and Landscape-level Approaches to Sustainability: This event, organized by the Regional Government of Castilla y León, Spain, the International Model Forest Network Secretariat, FAO and CBD Secretariat, aims at advancing the understanding and application of ecosystem and landscape-level approaches to sustainable land use and management.  dates: 22-26 March 2011  location: Burgos, Spain  phone: +34-983-304-181  fax: +34-983-308-671  email:info@globalforum2011.net www: http://www.globalforum2011.net/

Second Mediterranean Forest Week: The Mediterranean Forest Week will bring together relevant stakeholders working on/for Mediterranean forests and forestry to network and debate around strategic policy-relevant questions.  dates: 5-8 April 2011 location: Avignon, France  contact: EFIMED  phone: +34-93-515-32-11  email:mercedes.rois@efi.int www: http://www.efimed.efi.int/portal/events/mfw2011/

Summit of the Tropical Forest Basins of the World: The overall objective of the Summit is to ensure sustainable management of forest ecosystems and to contribute to climate regulation by: establishing baseline data on the forest resources of the Basins (Amazon, Congo, and Borneo-Mekong); establishing a formal platform for mutual consultation and exchange on forest and environmental issues by signing a framework agreement between the Basins; and developing a shared position on REDD+ and the climate agreement before COP 17 in Johannesburg.  dates: late May 2011  location: Brazzaville, Congo  contact: Donatien N’Zala  phone: +242-05-51-83-73  email: nzaladon@yahoo.fr

Sixth FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference: This conference is organized in the framework of the pan-European policy process for the sustainable management of the continent’s forests.  dates: 14-16 June 2011  location: Oslo, Norway  phone: +47-64-94-89-30  fax: +47-64-94-89-39  email:liaison.unit.oslo@foresteurope.org www: http://www.foresteurope.org/eng/Events /  

Counting on the Environment: The Contribution of Forests to Rural Livelihoods: This policy research conference aims to increase awareness about the links between the natural environment and poverty by presenting new research findings and bringing together researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners.  date: 15 June 2011  location: The Royal Society, London, UK  email:cifor-pen@cgiar.org www: http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/pen/_ref/london-conference

UNCCD COP 10: The tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will take place in October.  dates: 10-21 October 2011  location: Changwon City, Republic of Korea  phone: +49-228-815-2800  fax: +49-228-815-2898  email:secretariat@unccd.int www: http://www.unccd.int/

Second Asia Pacific Forestry Week: This event will take place in conjunction with the 24th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission.  dates: 7-11 November 2011  location: Beijing, China  contact: FAO  phone: +66-2-697-4000  fax: +66-2-697-4445  email:FAO-RAP@fao.org www: http://www.fao.org/world/regional/rap

ITTC-47: The 47th meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-47) and associated sessions of the four committees is scheduled for November 2011.  dates: 14-19 November 2011   location: Antigua, Guatemala   contact: ITTO Secretariat phone: +81-45-223-1110  fax: +81-45-223-1111  email:itto@itto.or.jp www: http://www.itto.int

UNFCCC COP 17 & COP/MOP 7: The 17th meeting of the COP and the 7th meeting of the COP/MOP will take place in Durban, South Africa.  dates: 28 November - 9 December 2011  location: Durban, South Africa  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://unfccc.int/

Eighteenth Session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission: Created in 1959, the African Forestry Wildlife Commission (AFWC) is one of six Regional Forestry Commissions established by FAO to provide a policy and technical forum for countries to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis.  dates: 31 January – 4 February 2012  location: Cotonou, Benin  contact: Foday, Bojang, FAO  email:foday.bojang@fao.org www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/afwc/en/

Twenty-first session of the FAO Committee on Forestry: The 21st session of the FAO Committee on Forestry will convene at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy in October 2012.  dates: 1-5 October 2012  location: Rome, Italy  contact: Peter Czoka FAO, Forestry Department  phone: +39-06-5705-3925  fax: +39-06-5705-31 52  email: peter.csoka@fao.org  www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/cofo/en/

Second Meeting of the UNFF Ad Hoc Expert Group on Forest Financing: This meeting is supposed to result in proposals on strategies to mobilize resources from all sources to support the implementation of sustainable forest management, the achievement of the global objectives on forests and the implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests. dates: late 2012  location: to be decided  contact: UNFF Secretariat  phone: +1-212-963-3401   fax: +1-917-367-3186  www: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/

UNFF10: The tenth session of UNFF will take place in 2013.  dates: to be decided  location: to be decided  contact: UNFF Secretariat  phone: +1-212-963-3401   fax: +1-917-367-3186  www: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/

GLOSSARY

AHEG
ASEAN
CBD
CBFM
CEITs
COP
CPF  
FAO  
FSC
GEF  
GOFs
LDC 
LFCC
MDGs
MYPOW
NFPs
PES   
REDD+

SFM
TK    
UNCCD
UNFCCC
UNFF
UNGA

Open-ended intergovernmental Ad Hoc Expert Group on Forest Financing
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity
Community-based forest management
Countries with economies in transition
Conference of the Parties
Collaborative Partnership on Forests
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Forest Stewardship Council
Global Environment Facility
Global Objectives on Forests
Least developed country
Low forest cover countries
Millennium Development Goals
Multi-year programme of work
National Forest Programmes
Payment for ecosystem services
Reduced emissions from avoided deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries
Sustainable forest management
Traditional knowledge
UN Convention to Combat Desertification
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
United Nations Forum on Forests
United Nations General Assembly

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Paula Barrios, Ph.D., Kate Louw and Eugenia Recio. The Editor is Pamela 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 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 European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2011 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, 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) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. 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., 11D, New York, NY 10022, United States of America.

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