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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Conference on Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy

4-7 October 2011 | Bonn, Germany
Conference on Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy

Summary of the Meeting

Rapporteurs report to plenary the conclusions and recommendations of the Working Groups

On Friday morning Co-chairs Everton Vieira Vargas and Manfred Konukiewitz opened the final plenary by introducing the draft chairmen’s summary of the conference's conclusions and recommendations to be submitted to both the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) and the 10th Sessions of the UN Forum on Forests to be held in 2013.

Chief facilitator Alexander Buck, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), provided an overview of the structure and elements of the draft Chairmen's summary. The draft summary is a six-page document containing an introduction, a set of main conference findings, and a last section containing recommended actions. The findings are grouped into five broad categories. The action recommendations are clustered around the themes of the conference's four working groups, plus a section on cross-cutting issues.

Co-chair Vargas stressed that this was not a negotiating text, and thus not open to renegotiation. He explained that the objective of the final plenary was to gauge participants' reactions and degree of comfort with the text.

The plenary then discussed the draft summary page by page. Participants offered comments to convey the spirit of the conference, including inter alia: utilizing new language to increase urgency; expanding certain descriptions to accurately represent areas of opportunities for increasing scope of benefits; identifying missing issues, such as the need to increase the prioritization of forests across all sectors and within national plans, and the need for capacity building; clarifying the scope of bio-based products; not singling out any specific conventions; and removing direct references to specific conventions from the text.

Co-chair Vargas said the finalized summary will incorporate the views to the maximum extent possible and encouraged governments to assimilate its substance into their respective preparatory work for UNCSD. Co-chair Konukiewitz said the summary will be finalized and posted online by Friday, 14 October 2011.

Michael Martin, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), closed the conference with a statement underscoring three messages: unifying the efforts across initiatives and institutions on forests for Rio+20; integrating knowledge from both science and stakeholders at all levels in the forest community; and increasing the visibility of forest products.

The conference closed at 11:35 AM.


Daily Highlights (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)

Rapporteurs and Facilitators Working on the Final Draft Document

Friday, 7 October 2011

  * Visit the web coverage for Friday, 7 October 2011.

 

Final Plenary Meeting

Michael Martin, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Jan McAlpine, UN Forum for Forests (UNFF)
Rikiya Konishi, International Forestry Cooperation Office Forestry Agency, Japan

Peter deMarsh, International Family Forestry Alliance, Canada
Rob Busink, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, The Netherlands
Xiao Wangxin, Department of International Cooperation, China

Co-chair Manfred Konukiewitz, BMZ acknowledging the efforts of Co-chair Everton Vieria Vargas, Brazillian Ambassador and Alexander Buck, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Conference opened on Thursday morning, 6 October, with a brief plenary to outline the procedures and vision for the morning's work. The four working groups labored during the morning until a 11:30 AM plenary convened by Co-chair Manfred Konukiewitz to hear the four rapporteurs report on the final outputs of their working groups.

The Working Group on Forest Valuation and Financing presented conclusions and recommendations that primarily focused on guidance for improved implementation of existing tools and instruments to better access financing and build capacity. The Group also directed their recommendations for building awareness and communication to effectively engage other sectors as well as the entire stakeholder community.

The Working Group on Institutions, Governance and Stakeholders recommended, inter alia, approaching forest policy more holistically, improving inter-agency coordination and planning, intensifying the work of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, and creating enabling conditions and capacity to expand access to information, communications and telecommunications technology and geospatial technology services to rural and underserved areas.

The Working Group on Benefiting People stressed the need to not only focus on rural forest stakeholders in developing countries, but also those in developed countries, when discussing forests in a green economy. They also noted that while decentralization is often discussed, systems are still not fully decentralized to the point where local people and organizations are receiving benefits from resources.

The Working Group on Technology Transfer, Capacity Building, Bio-based Products and the Role of the Private Sector suggested that while there are enormous social and market opportunities that can incentivize the development of the forest sector and trigger multiple benefits, these incentives need to be “activated” by coherent policies at all levels and public-private partnerships (PPP) within the forest sector, and just as important, PPPs across forest-related sectors.

Co-chair Everton Vargas thanked the Working Groups for their hard work and noted that additional inputs could be accommodated by the drafting group for the Chair's report. Chief facilitator Alexander Buck, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), explained the drafting group composed of Conference facilitators, rapporteurs and organizers would work while the rest of the participants went on a boat trip on the Rhine. Vargas urged the drafters "not to be shy, be ambitious, but also realistic."

  * Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 6 October 2011.

 

The Conference opened on Thursday morning, 6 October, with a brief plenary to outline the procedures and vision for the morning's work. The four working groups labored during the morning until a 11:30 AM plenary convened by Co-chair Manfred Konukiewitz to hear the four rapporteurs report on the final outputs of their working groups.

The Working Group on Forest Valuation and Financing presented conclusions and recommendations that primarily focused on guidance for improved implementation of existing tools and instruments to better access financing and build capacity. The Group also directed their recommendations for building awareness and communication to effectively engage other sectors as well as the entire stakeholder community.

The Working Group on Institutions, Governance and Stakeholders recommended, inter alia, approaching forest policy more holistically, improving inter-agency coordination and planning, intensifying the work of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, and creating enabling conditions and capacity to expand access to information, communications and telecommunications technology and geospatial technology services to rural and underserved areas.

The Working Group on Benefiting People stressed the need to not only focus on rural forest stakeholders in developing countries, but also those in developed countries, when discussing forests in a green economy. They also noted that while decentralization is often discussed, systems are still not fully decentralized to the point where local people and organizations are receiving benefits from resources.

The Working Group on Technology Transfer, Capacity Building, Bio-based Products and the Role of the Private Sector suggested that while there are enormous social and market opportunities that can incentivize the development of the forest sector and trigger multiple benefits, these incentives need to be “activated” by coherent policies at all levels and public-private partnerships (PPP) within the forest sector, and just as important, PPPs across forest-related sectors.

Co-chair Everton Vargas thanked the Working Groups for their hard work and noted that additional inputs could be accommodated by the drafting group for the Chair's report. Chief facilitator Alexander Buck, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), explained the drafting group composed of Conference facilitators, rapporteurs and organizers would work while the rest of the participants went on a boat trip on the Rhine. Vargas urged the drafters "not to be shy, be ambitious, but also realistic."


Plenary Meeting: Conclusions and Recommendations from the Working Groups

Hossein Moeini-Meybodi, United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)
Jose Luis Sutera, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Argentina
Linda Mossop-Rousseau, WOCAN, South Africa

Heikki Granholm, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forestry, Finland
Co-chair Everton Vieria Vargas, Brazillian Amabassador
Alexander Buck, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Working Groups

Working Group B: Challenges and Opportunities - Institutions, Governance and Stakeholders

Working Group A: Challenges and Opportunities - Forest Valuation and Financing
Working Group D: Challenges and Opportunities - Technology Transfer, Capacity Building, Bio-Based Products and Role of the Private Sector
Bernd-Markus Liss, Facilitator, German Development Coorporation (GIZ)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

On Wednesday, 5 October, the Conference on Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy convened for a second day in Bonn, Germany. After a brief plenary in the morning outlining the procedures and vision for the day's work, participants resumed their work in four working groups: "Forest valuation and financing"; "Institutions, governance and stakeholders"; "Benefiting people"; and "Technology transfer, capacity building, bio-based products and the role of the private sector." These working groups were charged with developing conclusions and recommendations to include in the chair's report of the Conference. The first three working groups were further divided by their facilitators into subgroups to discuss specific issue clusters in greater detail.

During lunch three side events were held concurrently: one by the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) on the contribution of the Congo Basin forests to a green economy; another by China's State Forestry Administration on the contribution of forests to China's economic development and the transition of the forestry sector toward green growth; and a third by the World Bank and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degredation (UN-REDD) on trees, forests, rural landscapes and green economy, and REDD+ as a catalyst of a green economy.

Work resumed after lunch in working groups and subgroups. In mid-afternoon the subgroups reported their results to their respective working groups, which in turn began formulating with their rapporteurs the draft conclusions and recommendations. At 5 PM plenary reconvened to hear progress reports from the four rapporteurs.

In the evening, participants attended an event hosted by the World Future Council, a charitable foundation based in Hamburg, Germany, that seeks to form a voice for the rights of future generations. The event introduced the recipients recently awarded the Future Policy Award for 2011, which celebrated the "World's Best Forest Policies."

  * Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 5 October 2011.


Subgroups of Working Group A: Challenges and Opportunities - Forest Valuation and Financing

Subgroup on "Forest Valuation, Communication"
Subgroup on "Political Economy, Governance and Enabling Environment"

Subgroups of Working Group B: Challenges and Opportunities - Institutions, Governance and Stakeholders

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Conservation International, Costa Rica
Raphael Yeboah, Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD), Ghana
Clara Cerqueira, Embassy of Brazil
Jose Luis Sutera, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Argentina

Charles Barber, Department of State, US, speaking during the subgroup on "Legal Framework and Enabling Conditions"

Subgroups of Working Group C: Challenges and Opportunities - Benefiting People

Marcel van Nijnatten, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Ghan Shyam Pandey, representative for Farmers & Small Forest Landowners, Nepal
Hubertus Samangun, representative for Indigenous Peoples, Indonesia

Working Group D: Challenges and Opportunities - Technology Transfer, Capacity Building, Bio-Based Products and Role of the Private Sector

Musah Abu-Juam, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources , Ghana; Sim Heok-Choh, representative for the Scientific & Technological Community, Malaysia
Jean-Luc Guitton, France

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Conference on the Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy opened today at the Municipal Hall Bad Godesberg in Bonn, Germany. In attendance were representatives of governments, the private sectors, civil society and intergovernmental organizations.

Opening the conference, State Secretary Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany, said the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) should create a viable roadmap to a green economy that includes changes in land use and combatting deforestation. Conference Co-Chair Everton Vieira Vargas, Ambassador of Brazil to Germany, said processes and actions since the 1992 Earth Summit clarified the complexity of protecting forests. Jan McAlpine, Director, UN Forum for Forests (UNFF), described the activities of the International Year of Forests and said there has been enormous change in approach and vision to forests at the policy and operational level since the 1992 Summit. Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Conservation International, Costa Rica, delivered a keynote address that described Costa Rica's experiences with innovative policies and economic instruments affecting forests while providing ecosystem services.

After the opening ceremony, two thematic panels were held: one on "Current contributions of forests to economic development and the role of the forest sector in the transition towards a Green Economy," and the second on "Potentials of forests: meeting multiple demands." The keynote for the first was delivered by Sten Nilsson, Keynote Speaker, Forest Sector Insights AB, Sweden, former Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the keynote for the second by Sunita Narain, Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India.

In the afternoon participants divided into four thematic working groups for detailed discussions: "Forest valuation and financing"; "Institutions, governance and stakeholders"; "Benefiting people"; and "Technology transfer, capacity building, bio-based products and the role of the private sector."

In the evening a reception was hosted by the German Government at Godesburg Castle, with an address by Parliamentary State Secretary Peter Bleser, Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.

  * Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 4 October 2011.

 

Opening Plenary Meeting

L-R: Jan McAlpine, UNFF; Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, BMZ; Co-chair Manfred Konukiewitz, BMZ; Co-chair Everton Vieira Vargas, Brazillian Ambassador
Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Keynote Speaker, Conservation International, Costa Rica

Opening Plenary Statements

Sten Nilsson, Keynote Speaker, Forest Sector Insights AB, Sweden
Chris Buss, IUCN
Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
Olof Freiherr von Gagern, Danzer AG Switzerland

Afternoon Plenary Statements

Stefan Sundman, UPM-Kymmene Corporation
Paola Deda, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) / Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Sunita Narain, CSE, India
Tuuka Castren, World Bank

Around the Conference

Organizers Annette Ludwig and Michael Girnth sitting at the Wald und Holz Nordrhein-Westfalen coffee break area
Participant at the BMZ - Ready for REDD table

Participants about to enjoy a wonderful lunch
Participants at the Internet Café

Organizers have a toast for a job exceptionally well done


Related Links
IISD Meeting Coverage
*Summary and Highlights of the Meeting
*Highlights on Friday, 7 October, 2011
*Highlights on Thursday, 6 October, 2011
*Highlights on Wednesday, 5 October, 2011
*Highlights on Tuesday, 4 October, 2011

Conference resources
*Conference website
*Conference programme

General resources
*International Year of Forests
*UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20)
*UN Forum on Forests
*UN Food and Agriculture Organization Forestry Department

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS forests, desertification and land web page
*IISD RS introduction to forests processes
*Forests-L - A mailing list for news on forest policy

*UNCSD-L - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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