Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 24 No. 28
Thursday, 6 November 2003
WEDNESDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 2003
On Wednesday, delegates convened in both council and
committee sessions. In the morning, Council discussed forest law
enforcement and governance, ITTO Objective 2000 and possible
decisions. In the afternoon, the Committee on Reforestation and
Forest Management (CRF) discussed ex-post evaluations,
projects and pre-projects in progress, and proposed projects and
pre-projects and policy work. The Committees on Economic Information
and Market Intelligence (CEM) and Forest Industry (CFI) also met in
the afternoon to review projects, pre-projects and activities in
progress, and consider project and pre-project proposals and policy
work. The Committee on Finance and Administration (CFA) considered,
inter alia, the Draft Biennial Work Programme for 2004-2005
and examined draft decisions on the proposed Executing Agencies
Account and the management of the Administrative Account.
FOREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AND GOVERNANCE: The
Secretariat presented a progress report on case studies on export
and import data on tropical timber products in the context of
international trade (ITTC (XXXV)/12). He noted that there would
likely be twelve case studies in total, and expressed hope that the
reports of the case studies could be synthesized into one report.
JAPAN highlighted its cooperation with Indonesia to
improve statistical data, identify the origins of timber and
strengthen training to improve the quality of statistical data.
BRAZIL and NEW ZEALAND called for a synthesis report on the country
studies. The Secretariat said that a synthesis report would require
additional funds. The TRADE ADVISORY GROUP noted that: the forest
sector has suffered high job loss in recent years; discussions on
illegal logging have become politicized; project funding for
plantation developments should be increased; and industry needs to
be involved in future discussions on mahagony during sessions of the
Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
He said that the successor agreement should be strengthened to
enable more substantive debate on the illegal trade in timber and
timber products. The EU outlined the themes of its governance action
plan. The US cautioned against setting policies that restrict trade.
The REPUBLIC OF KOREA and INDONESIA noted their respective
agreements with other countries on combating the illegal timber
trade. CHINA noted that its actions to address illegal timber trade
include penalties, product certification and customs improvements.
GHANA made suggestions on issues in the expert study pertaining to
secondary products, customs unions and trade statistics. ECUADOR
emphasized the importance of standardizing the systems used to
monitor the illegal timber trade. SWITZERLAND highlighted the need
for capacity building, monitoring and follow-up activities. NORWAY
described a technology that converts softwood into a hardwood-like
material, and its resulting negative impact on producer country
economies. TRAFFIC INTERNATIONAL stressed the importance of
harmonizing domestic statistical systems with a view to addressing
the illegal timber trade.
ITTO OBJECTIVE 2000: Tapani Oksanen, ITTO
Consultant, presented the findings of a diagnostic mission to Peru
that identified obstacles to implementing ITTO Objective 2000. He
said obstacles include: illegal and informal forestry operations;
policy decentralization; weak regional government capacity; and weak
political support for sector reform. He recommended, inter alia,
continued involvement of civil society, strengthening implementation
monitoring and improving cross-sectoral coordination.
PERU noted current efforts to address illegal
logging and optimize forest yields, and emphasized the political and
financial costs of sector reform.
DECISIONS: ITTO Executive Director Manoel Sobral
Filho proposed that ITTC-35 consider decisions on: projects,
pre-projects and activities; the ITTO Draft Biennial Work Programme
for 2004-2005; the Executing Agencies Account; and the management of
the administrative budget for 2003.
COMMITTEE ON REFORESTATION AND FOREST MANAGEMENT
EX-POST EVALUATIONS: Jerilyn Levi (US)
presented the findings of an ad hoc working group on
ex-post evaluation, highlighting the importance of effective
project design and planning, and training and extension activities.
The CRF agreed to carry out ex-post evaluations on three
plantation projects and two genetic resource conservation projects.
PROJECTS AND PRE-PROJECTS IN PROGRESS: The
Secretariat reported the suspension of three projects in Cameroon
due to, inter alia, lack of financial control by the
implementing agency. The CRF approved the extension, without
additional funding, of two projects on the intensification of
silviculture and one on forest fire management in Cote d’Ivoire, and
a reforestation project and a participatory forest development
project in Ghana. The Secretariat noted delays in the implementation
of a community forest project in Colombia.
The CRF accepted budget modifications for projects
on: management plan implementation in Bolivia; reforestation and SFM
in Brazil; bi-national conservation in Ecuador and Peru; natural
protected areas in Bolivia; and dissemination of research results in
Panama. The Secretariat reported on a mid-term evaluation of a
sustainable management pilot plan in Ecuador, noting implementation
difficulties due to formalized illegal trade and ongoing social
The CRF discussed, without reaching conclusions,
several projects and pre-project, including the consolidation of a
biological corridor in Panama, remote sensing technology in the
Republic of Congo, damaged area rehabilitation in Brazil and model
forests in Papua New Guinea. The Secretariat said a global
pre-project on demonstration areas in the sustainable management of
production awaits funding.
PROJECT AND PRE-PROJECT PROPOSALS: The
CRF approved pre-projects on SFM plan development in Colombia and
community-based plantations in Indonesia, and projects on, inter
alia: biodiversity conservation in Malaysia, monitoring systems
in the Philippines and Thailand, alternative SFM financing in
Colombia and mixed plantation systems in Ghana. The CRF rejected a
project proposal on sustainable utilization of mangrove forests in
The CRF approved a project on training and the
application of ITTO criteria and indicators (C&I) for SFM in
Ecuador. It also approved two pre-projects on the management and
conservation of forest seeds in Cote d’Ivoire, and on genetic
resources in the natural tropical forests of Ecuador. Peru’s project
on the establishment and management of a transboundary project was
deferred until the CRF session in July 2004. Togo gave an overview
of its training workshop on the application of ITTO C&I. Ichiro
Nagame, Japanese Forestry Agency, outlined the definitions and
modalities for afforestation/reforestation in the Clean Development
Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, and said that these will be
negotiated at the Ninth Conference of the Parties of the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2003.
POLICY WORK: The CRF discussed the Draft
Biennial Work Programme for 2004-2005 (ITTC XXXV/14), which
includes: promoting the sustainable management of mangroves;
monitoring the application of C&I; promoting the implementation of
the ITTO guidelines for tropical forest management; supporting
national and international fire management; and updating the ITTO
guidelines for biodiversity conservation.
Duncan Sutherland, New South Wales Rural Fire
Service, reviewed the results of the Third International Wildfire
Conference. Dennis Dykstra, ITTO Consultant, gave a presentation on
reduced impact logging software.
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC INFORMATION AND MARKET
INTELLIGENCE AND COMMITTEE ON FOREST INDUSTRY
REVIEW OF PROJECTS, PRE-PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES IN
PROGRESS: Maharaj Krishen Muthoo, ITTO Consultant, described a
project proposal to review the Indian timber market, and recommended
raising awareness about market opportunities and challenges, market
promotion and diversification, and the strengthening of the forest
sector statistical system.
Lachlan Hunter, ITTO Consultant, outlined a project
proposal on the assessment of the multiple benefits of downstream
processing of tropical timber in producer countries, noting the
project’s objectives, the proposed case studies and the proposed
model to be used in the assessment. Hunter reviewed the potential
economic costs and benefits from downstream processing, but stressed
that a spectrum of products is needed to ensure a robust economy.
CONSIDERATION OF PROJECT AND PRE-PROJECT PROPOSALS:
The CEM/CFI considered project and pre-project proposals. It
also discussed and approved an amended proposal for a consumer
awareness programme to address market failure for tropical
The Secretariat presented the recommendations of the
Expert Panel on the Technical Appraisal of Project Proposals for the
draft terms of reference (ToR) for the working group established to
formulate a preliminary working plan. He said the working group
would consist of three Producer Group and three Consumer Group
representatives. The CEM/CFI approved the ToR.
POLICY WORK: The Secretariat reviewed CEM/CFI
and CRF strategic policy activities contained in the Draft Biennial
Work Programme for 2004-2005 (ITTC(XXXV)/14).
The US expressed concern over work programme
activities referring to plantation timber and subsidies, and said
that too much emphasis had been placed on plywood. CHINA stated that
there could be financial constraints given the high number of
activities that would be carried out by the Secretariat. SWITZERLAND
suggested several ways of improving the format of the Draft Biennial
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
DRAFT BIENNIAL ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGET: Chair Chris Ellis (US)
outlined an amendment to the Draft Biennial Administrative Budget
for the Years 2004-2005, which removes funding for regional
consultants. BRAZIL and GABON underlined the importance of funding
for regional consultants and the need to locate funding for these
consultancies elsewhere. The CFA agreed to recommend the draft
budget to Council.
The CFA discussed a draft decision on management of
the administrative budget for 2003, which, inter alia,
authorizes the transfer of up to US$600,000 from the Working Capital
Account into the Administrative Account to meet the 2003 shortfall,
and another draft decision on the creation of an Executing Agencies
Account. JAPAN noted the Executing Agencies Account would be created
in response to the different payment procedures of donor countries.
Chair Ellis noted that a substantial part of the Draft Biennial Work
Programme for 2004-2005 referred to regular ITTO work and amounts to
less than US$2,000,000. INDONESIA requested that the Secretariat
disaggregate the activities contained in the Draft Biennial Work
Programme and prepare a comprehensive budget that associates these
activities with the costs contained in the proposed Administrative
Account for 2004-05.
ITTO FELLOWSHIP: ITTC Vice-Chair Jan McAlpine
(US) led a discussion on improving the selection criteria for ITTO
Fellowship applications. The committee noted the increasing number
of fellowship applications for postgraduate degrees.
IN THE CORRIDORS
According to some insiders, ITTC-35 is shaping up to
be a fairly routine meeting with one notable exception, the Draft
Biennial Work Programme for 2004-2005. Some are concerned with the
proposed activities having to do with subsidies, and the way in
which non-earmarked funds may be allocated to projects in the Draft
Work Programme. Others remarked that the ITTOï¿½s current budgeting
and financial procedures provided a sound basis on which to carry
out ITTO activities in the next biennium.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
OPEN-ENDED DRAFTING GROUP: The Chairpersonï¿½s
Open-Ended Drafting Group is scheduled to meet from 10:00 am-12:00
pm and from 4:00-6:30 pm in the Informal Meeting Room.
SIDE EVENT: The Civil Society Advisory Group
will host a side event today from 12:00-1:30 pm on the theme
"Communities, Forests and Trade: New Opportunities for Poverty
Reduction and Conservation."
COUNCIL SESSION: The Council will meet from
2:30-4:30 pm to discuss, inter alia: CITES listing proposals;
negotiating a successor agreement to the ITTA, 1994; and SFM in the