Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 24 No. 17
Wednesday, 14 May 2003
TUESDAY, 13 MAY 2003
Delegates to ITTC-34 held the annual market
discussion and convened in Council and Committee sessions. The
Council addressed partnerships for sustainable forest management (SFM)
and matters related to Article 16 of the ITTA, 1994 regarding the
ITTO Executive Director and staff. The Committee on Reforestation
and Forest Management (CRF) continued reviewing completed projects
and pre-projects, and considered project and pre-project proposals.
The Committee on Finance and Administration (CFA) considered,
inter alia, contributions to the administrative budgets for
1986-2003, and the administrative account for 2003. The Committees
on Economic Information and Market Intelligence (CEM) and on Forest
Industry (CFI) convened jointly to consider project and pre-project
proposals, and policy work.
ANNUAL MARKET DISCUSSION
Barney Chan, Coordinator of the Trade Advisory
Group (TAG), welcomed delegates to the ITTO 2003 market discussion
on world trade and business developments.
COUNTRY PRESENTATIONS: Guillermo Villarreal,
Grupo Decolosal, outlined timber market conditions in Panama. He
recommended that Panama generate income and employment through
natural resource utilization, and focus on exports to increase the
value of timber production and on lessening environmental impacts.
Ivan Tomaselli (Brazil) presented market data on
the Brazilian timber industry, and expressed concern that as "CE
marking" becomes mandatory in the EU, Brazilian plywood exports will
lose access to that market.
Alhassan Attah (Ghana) described trends in
Ghana’s timber industry, highlighting policy reforms including
measures to combat illegal logging, and fiscal incentives to promote
domestic processing. He said challenges include slow growth of
value-added industries, certification, and conflicts between mining
and forestry. He called for enhanced cooperation between the private
sector, government and local communities.
Siti Syaliza Mustapha, Malaysian Timber Council,
outlined the establishment of the Malaysian Timber Certification
Council and stressed the need for coordination with other
certification organizations. She said timber market issues include:
unjustified association of tropical timber trade and illegal
logging; the undermining of national certification efforts by
advocates of other schemes; and non-tariff barriers.
Wendy Baer, International Wood Products
Association, presented tropical timber market conditions in the US
and described the challenges and opportunities in tropical timber
trade, raising concerns regarding the trade impact of listing
broad-leaf mahogany on CITES Appendix II.
GUEST PRESENTATIONS: Doaa Abdel Motaal, World
Trade Organization (WTO), provided an overview of the WTO Doha Round
of negotiations. Noting that the WTO and the ITTO have common goals,
she highlighted WTO rules and negotiations relevant to the ITTO.
James Griffiths, World Business Council for
Sustainable Development (WBCSD), presented opportunities and
challenges for a sustainable forest products industry, and WBCSD’s
relevant activities aimed at the mutual recognition of credible
certification systems. He said the benefits of a sustainable forest
products industry include the creation of employment and
infrastructure, whereas challenges lie in, inter alia, the
fragmentation of global forest policies and the lack of markets for
Auvo Kaivola, Pan-European Forest Certification,
presented international perspectives on certification. He
underscored the importance of transparency and peer reviews,
stressed the need to ensure compatibility and mutual recognition
between national schemes, and said challenges include raising
awareness, integrating intergovernmental schemes, ensuring
cost-effectiveness, and combating illegal logging.
DISCUSSION: Delegates discussed, inter
alia, non-wood substitution of timber products and means to
counter this phenomenon; the establishment of minimum certification
standards; and the relationship between ITTC and WTO and other
PARTNERSHIPS FOR SFM: Barney Chan, TAG,
presented the report of the Working Group on Civil Society/Private
Sector Partnerships for SFM (ITTC(XXXIV)/5), and recommended,
inter alia, the establishment of a revolving fund to support at
least 10 partnerships annually.
BRAZIL, with GHANA, GUATEMALA and PANAMA,
stressed the need to adopt one format aligning projects with
national and ITTO policies. SWITZERLAND, supported by the
PHILIPPINES, recommended further work on stakeholders’
responsibilities. GHANA called for synchronizing project submissions
and funding reviews with ITTO project cycles, and INDONESIA called
for national-level collaboration. Chan recommended that the
Secretariat have full authority to allocate funds to partnerships.
MATTERS RELATED TO ARTICLE 16: The Council
unanimously approved the extension of the Executive Director’s
tenure to 2006.
COMMITTEE ON REFORESTATION AND FOREST MANAGEMENT
Marcelo Arguelles de Souza, Acre State
Government, Brazil, presented information on forestry in Acre,
highlighting policy instruments based on the integration of forest
public policy, community-based forest management, support to
industry and local social services.
COMPLETED PROJECTS AND PRE-PROJECTS: Khanita
Meedej (Thailand) reviewed preparatory studies to install a
continuous monitoring system for the sustainable management of
Thailand’s forest resources. Neyra Herrera (Panama) reviewed
progress on institutional strengthening of the geographic
information system of the national authority for the monitoring and
evaluation of Panama’s forest resources.
Delegates also reviewed the status of completed
pre-projects concerning the improvement of living standards through
community participation in SFM in Cambodia, and the development of
an integrated forestry master plan in Togo.
EX-POST EVALUATIONS: Delegates postponed the
review of ex-post evaluations of projects until the 33rd
session of the CRF.
PROJECT AND PRE-PROJECT PROPOSALS: Delegates
requested revising several project proposals including those on:
phytogenic resources of closed forests in Cameroon; training and
application of criteria and indicators for SFM in Ecuador; the
establishment and management of the Alto Purús Reserved Zone in
Peru; and forestry treatment in Cameroon. The CRF approved proposals
for projects addressing: the conservation and reforestation of
threatened mangrove forests in Panama; the development of human
resources in SFM and reduced impact logging in the Brazilian Amazon;
technical assistance for the development of a project proposal on
institutional strengthening for forest fire prevention, mitigation
and management in Panama; genetic improvement of tropical forest
species in Guatemala; collaborative forest management in the
Philippines; and the rehabilitation and multipurpose sustainable
management of mangrove forest ecosystems in Ecuador. Delegates
postponed consideration of a project on seed management and
conservation in Côte d’Ivoire until a later session.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
Delegates adopted the provisional agenda and
organization of work (CFA(XIII)/1) without amendment, admitted
observers, and adopted the report of the Expert Panel for Technical
Appraisal of Project Proposals (CEM, CRF, CFI(XXXII)/1).
The Secretariat presented the review of
contributions to the administrative budget for 1986-2003 (CFA(XIII)/3
and rev.1). The US enquired about the arrears of the Russian
Federation, a former ITTO member. The Secretariat said the Russian
Federation must settle its arrears before participating in the
negotations of a successor agreement. CFA Chair Pravit
Chittachumnonk (Thailand) said a draft decision would be prepared.
On the current status of the administrative
account for 2003 (CFA(XIII/4) and Rev.1), the Secretariat
highlighted an expected US$150,459 deficit for 2003. He suggested
the CFA recommend that Council authorize the ITTO Executive Director
to use funds from the Capital Account for 2003. Noting that such
authorization had become routine, the US, supported by SWITZERLAND,
AUSTRALIA, the EC and JAPAN, proposed that Council allow the
Executive Director to use the Capital Account when necessary. Chair
Chittachumnonk said a draft decision would be prepared.
The Secretariat presented its report on Resources
of the Special Account and the Bali Partnership Fund (CFA(XIII)/5),
the Auditor’s report for 2002 (CFA (XIII)/2), and Proposed
Amendments to the Financial Rules Needed to Implement a Biennial
Work Programme and Indicative Administrative Budget (CFA(XIII)/6).
The Secretariat announced that the next three CFA sessions will be
held jointly with ITTC sessions. SWITZERLAND, the US and the
European Community called for further discussing methods to secure
the ITTO’s financial future.
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC INFORMATION AND MARKET
INTELLIGENCE AND COMMITTEE ON FOREST INDUSTRY
PROJECT AND PRE-PROJECT PROPOSALS: CEM/CFI
Chair Fidel Reyes Lee (Guatemala) introduced project and pre-project
proposals (CEM, CFI (XXXII)/6).
Under the CEM, the Secretariat presented China’s
proposal for an economic database on bamboo and rattan. Delegates
recommended that Council approve the proposal for ITTO sponsorship
for funding from other financial institutions. The Committee
approved proposals on: timber and timber products trade in the
Philippines; upgrading and strengthening the National Forest
Statistical Information System in Venezuela; and development of the
National Forest Information System in Guatemala.
Regarding CFI proposals, delegates recommended
reducing the cost of a project on the promotion of tropical non-wood
forest products in China. Delegates approved proposals on: updating
training in forest management and forest concession management in
Central African forestry schools; capacity building for furniture
and lumber industries in the Philippines; a study on the utilization
of plantation teak in Myanmar; promoting the utilization of
rubberwood from sustainable sources in Indonesia; and the promotion
of certified timber and timber products trade in Guatemala, with the
US recommending that attention be paid to identifying markets for
lesser-known species. The Secretariat presented a project document
on the demonstration of rubberwood processing technology and
promotion of sustainable development in China and other Asian
countries. Cï¿½TE Dï¿½IVOIRE presented project ideas on the industrial
development of offcuts and on training in log and sawn wood
recognition techniques in the timber trade.
POLICY WORK: The Secretariat introduced an
informal document on work directed at technical and environmental
standards and international standard activities. Other policy work
will be discussed on Wednesday.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Despite widespread corridor talk at ITTC-33 about
the possibility of expanding the scope of the ITTA to include all
timber, it seems that delegates in Panama are dismissing this
possibility entirely. Delegates from both producer and consumer
countries are stating their intent to ensure that the successor
agreement remains focused on tropical timber. This is consistent
with the findings of the Working Group on the preparations for
negotiating a successor agreement to the ITTA, 1994, suggesting that
the ITTO will maintain its important niche in the international
forest policy domain.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
COUNCIL SESSION: The Council will convene at
9:30 am to consider measures to improve project formulation and
appraisal, preparations for a successor agreement to ITTA, 1994,
activities related to ITTO Objective 2000, issues affecting market
access for tropical timber, SFM in the Congo Basin, forest law
enforcement, and proposed decisions.
COMMITTEE SESSIONS: The CRF will meet from
2:30-6:30 pm to address policy work and recommendations to the
Council. The CFA will convene from 2:30-4:30 pm to consider draft
decisions on, inter alia, the administrative account for
2003, contributions to the administrative budgets for 1986-2003, and
proposed amendments to the financial rules. The CEM/CFI will meet
from 4:30-6:30 pm to consider policy work.
PRODUCER AND CONSUMER GROUPS: The Producer
and Consumer Groups will meet from 8:00-9:30 am.
SIDE EVENTS: A side event organized
by the WTO on the links between trade and the environment will take
place from 12:30-1:00 pm. At 7:30 pm, Duncan Poore, Vice-President
of the Commonwealth Forestry Association, will launch his book
"Changing Landscapes: the Development of ITTO and its Influence on
Tropical Forest Management". For a report of these side events,