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Volume 10 Number 17 - Friday, 23 October 2009
XIII WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS HIGHLIGHTS
Thursday, 22 October 2009

Thursday at XIII WFC was marked by bustling participants darting to the 23 parallel sessions, two plenaries, and an all-day forum on investment and finance.  In addition, Jorge Rodríguez, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications of Costa Rica, was recognized by FAO for his efforts to combat deforestation and increase forest cover through the PES programme.

OPENING PLENARY ON FORESTS IN THE SERVICE OF PEOPLE

Balgis Osman Elasha, Sudan, detailed developing countries’ concerns regarding forests and climate change, inter alia:that there is too much focus on mitigation; and that the bioenergy agenda is driven by energy security concerns of developed countries rather than the rural development, food security and livelihood improvement of developing nations.

Esteban Jobbágy, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, discussed water-related issues in forestry plantations. He asserted that plantations with high-biomass productivity represented an opportunity for South America but that water cycles require consideration, since plants transpire water to capture carbon. He also stressed that plantations can improve water quality in semi-arid or degraded areas.

Discussion touched on functions of agroforestry for carbon sequestration and water storage. Osman Elasha suggested that silviculture can contribute to environmental values through bioenergy production, soil retention and carbon sequestration. Jobbágy remarked that plantations can reduce biodiversity and water retention even as they store carbon.

SELECTED MORNING PARALLEL SESSIONS

1.5 MANAGEMENT FOR THE CONSERVATION OF FORESTS

John Spence, University of Alberta, Canada, presented a study on forest management to meet conservation objectives. He said Canada’s new natural disturbance paradigm approach focuses on preserving biodiversity in timber-harvesting areas by protecting representative ecosystems, continuous tracks of forest, and smaller landscapes to preserve species susceptible to forest fragmentation and dependent on old-growth habitats and natural disturbances.

Charlotte Lietaer, FAO, spoke of the potential contribution of beekeeping to forest conservation and poverty reduction. She said beekeeping can be practiced with locally available materials along sustainable agriculture and provide income for poor communities. She stressed beekeepers can help promote SFM, fight illegal logging, and drive community reforestation programs.

Archi Rastogi, McGill University, Canada, presented a study on the role of stakeholders in a national park in India, which looks at, inter alia, stakeholders’ perceptions on the park and their ability to affect park management. He argued stakeholder analyses can help improve relations with stakeholders to support conservation efforts in protected areas.

Daniel Barthélémy, INRA, France, presented the Pl@ntNet project, which seeks to develop a collaborative network among different actors interested in botany and to create an internet platform to aggregate botany-related models and knowledge. He said the project was needed to improve communication between experts and non-experts on botany-related data and models.

Christian Barthod, Ministry of Ecology, France, outlined key challenges compromising the ability of protected areas to preserve biodiversity, including: inadequate size; dispersion; poor management; deficient consideration of socioeconomic aspects; and insufficient finances. He urged, inter alia, integration of local communities’ knowledge and concerns in protected areas establishment and management.

6.3 INSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS, LAW COMPLIANCE AND GOOD GOVERNANCE

David Brown, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK, described the role of institutions in building national capacities for forest governance reform, and discussed industry efforts to improve governance, stating that: large enterprises consolidate operations and raise standards, while small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have lower standards and levels of compliance due to their fragmented operations.

Agustinus Taufik, Transparency International, Indonesia, described a five-year project with the objectives of reducing, inter alia: corruption, bribery, and timber laundering.

Rubén Darío Moreno, Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Colombia Project, said his organization aims to reduce corruption in regulatory implementation, especially for SMEs.

Rajan Kotru, Senior Advisor, Nepal, outlined community forestry governance and conflict in Nepal. He described what he called the “enigma of FLEGT:” there is illegal cutting, illegal trade, encroachment on forests, spread of criminal networks, and weak governance due to high agential turnover as governments struggle to improve their practices.

Armand Natta, Benin, discussed participation of community-based organizations in Benin. He said good governance has evolved since the colonial period towards more participation, and government programs are now more participatory and elected representatives are engaged at the regional biosphere level.

Abdallah Ramadhani, Tanzania, described how the Tanzanian Project on Forestry promotes good governance in forest management through decentralization and devolution of power to communities. He said forest fires, poaching and encroachment are countered with community contracts that engage communities in their own development.

Discussion continued the analysis of the community participation theme of the session with questions and answers on: SFM incentives, PES, power relations in society, lack of skills of village residents, ownership of good practices, and corruption.

6.5 INTERESECTORAL POLICIES AND INFLUENCES

Richard Guldin, US Forest Service, on behalf of Margaret Shannon, European Forest Institute, presented a constructivist approach to defining policy sectors, by which sectoral boundaries are defined through actor interaction.

Christian Barthod, Ministry of Ecology, France, noted that forest laws are no longer the predominant instruments regulating forests, as legislation in other sectors is now interfering with forest laws. He lamented the dominance of Western perceptions of forest value and called for the integration of utilitarian, ethical and aesthetic values.

Kathleen McGinley, US Forest Service, presented key results of a study on regulation and certification of SFM in the tropics, noting that “smart regulation,” e.g., integrating policy instruments such as forest incentives, technical assistance and actors such as independent forest monitors, could significantly improve the effectiveness of traditional command-and-control government regulation.

Luviam Zelaya Antúnes, National Forest Institute, María Elena Diaz Vásquez, indigenous representative, Nicaragua, and Leonardo Chávez and Francesca Felicani, FAO, presented the experiences of the FAO/Multi-donor Partnership Programme (FMPP) supported forest governance in Nicaragua. They highlighted the consultative nature of the process, which has brought together many different stakeholders, including indigenous people, to develop a regulatory framework and forest policy in particular, to coordinate government action at local and national levels.

Benno Pokorny, University of Freiburg, Germany, presented a review of forest projects targeting smallholders in the Amazon. He said project adoption and replication rates are very low, as few families can manage the packages proposed, and initiatives actually marginalize local smallholders. He stressed the need to reflect on prevailing approaches and adapt development agendas to local realities.

Lorenza Colletti, State Forest Service, Italy, introduced Italy’s framework programme for its forest sector. She said the 25-year programme implements EU guidelines and will help fulfill Italy’s international commitments; coordinate national and local legislation; mainstream forestry funding; better communicate forest issues to the public; and answer forestry challenges with the assistance of civil society.

PLENARY ON CARING FOR OUR FORESTS

Jacques Régnière, Canadian Forest Service, discussed the ravages of anthropogenic biological invasions such as Dutch elm disease and the mountain pine beetle, and listed research needs to curtail their effects. These included: identification of keystone species; taxonomical expansion; international cooperation; risk analysis; and methods for monitoring, sanitation and eradication.

SELECTED AFTERNOON PARALLEL SESSIONS

1.7 GENETIC DIVERSITY

Antoine Kremer, INRA, France, presented EVOLTREE, a European network for forest ecosystem genomics aimed at implementing pan-European research, and disseminating high-level products to researchers, end users and the public at large on ecology, genetics, evolution and genomics to address global issues such as biodiversity, climate change and ecosystems processes.

Eduardo Cappa, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, presented a methodology to carry out multi-environmental spatial analyses using a Bayesian approach.

Mario Pastorino, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Argentina, presented work to identify provenance regions for species native to Patagonia with potential for domestication, and suggested provenance studies be used to regularize commercial exchanges of forest tree seeds.

Víctor Hugo Cambrón, Insituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Mexico, presented research on genotype competition in commercial tree species and said results could be used by industry and companies to improve plantation success and reduce costs.

4.1 FORESTS AND FIRE               

Peter Moore, fire management consultant, Australia, described firefighting as “slaying dragons,” and noted that most forest managers cope well, with 85% of fires quickly controlled. He called for integration of the “five R’s” of fire control: research, risk reduction, readiness, response and recovery.

María Luisa Chas Amil, economist, Spain, presented a cluster analysis of causes of intentionally set fires in Galicia. She overlaid maps with causes of fires and said most intentional fires are related to agriculture and arson, with lesser numbers caused by cattle ranches, revenge and hunting.

Luthfi Fatah, natural resource economist, Indonesia, delineated institutional, technical, community participation and non-forest areas options for fire prevention. He said constraints on effective fire-fighting include limited skills, incorrect methods, lack of compliance, and mismatches between power and authority of officials.

Giselda Durigan, biologist, Brazil, spoke about the science of forest fires and conservation of protected areas. She said fire should not be a management tool, although some areas, e.g., sugar plantations, may use it for control of stocks. She described a case study in which an accidental fire in a semi-deciduous forest had a severe impact, with only 5% of vegetation remaining. Her case study analyzed species richness, remaining basal area (stumps), tree density, and the tree canopy. She said recovery of the basal areas requires only five to 11 years, while full biodiversity levels take up to 34 years to recover.

In the discussion, Moore insisted that controlled burning is not a good SFM technique. Durigan commented that although her research focused on trees, other species were studied and reported upon separately. Fatah said that land use policies are outside the scope of his research.

6.2 INSTRUMENTS FOR FOREST PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Jhony Zapata, FAO, stressed the use of NFPs to support NLBI implementation. He said the NFP facility hosted by FAO supports 75 countries, and NFPs have been successful in promoting stakeholder participation and country leadership but not in integrating forestry with other sectors.

Gustavo Braier, consultant, Argentina, presented a case study tool to analyze state incentives for forest plantations through subsidies. He said analytical tools are needed to study policies and their effect and that there is a need to fill the gap between political and technical decisions.

Jorge Menéndez, Ministry of Environment, Argentina, presented the regional forest plan for Patagonia, a pilot phase for the preparation of a NFP based on participatory processes. The plan’s objectives are to increase planted area and reduce deforestation and degradation by grazing and fire, and to increase competitiveness of the forest industry.

Yves Poss, AgroParisTech, France, presented France’s NFP and an outlook study on French forests in 2050-2100. Results of the study showed, inter alia: changes in the forest landscape; strong competition with agricultural areas; and the importance of research, especially for genetic improvement of forest plantations.

Victor Vidal, Mesa Forestal Nacional, Paraguay, recalled Paraguay’s consultative process to formulate its first national forest policy, and the creation of the Mesa Forestal Nacional, a discussion forum open to all stakeholders. He said the policy: recognizes the multidimensional nature of forestry and wide range of forest values for society; gives priority to social functions; and entrusts forest management to state forest organizations.

Discussion touched upon, inter alia, ways to operationalize participatory processes in forest planning, the importance of accountability, and the need for non-state actors to organize themselves.

6.3 INSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS, LAW COMPLIANCE AND GOOD GOVERNANCE

Francesca Felicani, FAO, spoke on regional integration processes in Central America and national forestry legislation, observing the importance of designing laws with realistic and socially-acceptable objectives and expectations, and that respond to countries’ enforcement capacities. She also detailed the key importance of protecting stakeholder rights, public participation and accountability.

Juan Gowda, Universidad Nacional de Comahue, Argentina, emphasized laws are not implemented in a vacuum, and that new legislation determines the present and future value of forests to forest owners, a key consideration for them to decide how they use their land.

Marcia Muchagata, Brazilian Forests Service, described new forest and community-forest management legislation in Brazil, which involved broad stakeholder participation, with more than 1200 institutions participating from the drafting stage to the final congressional debate.

José Miguel Orozco Muñoz, Universidad Distrital de Bogotá, Colombia, described the process of adoption and judicial challenge of a new forests law in Colombia, illuminating how a lack of clear procedures for public participation, in particular for consultation with indigenous communities, led to the overturning of legislation that had significant SFM potential.

7.3 PARTICIPATORY MANAGEMENT AND PROCESSES

Thomas Enters, Center for People and Forests, Thailand, asked whether participatory management is a silver bullet or a fundamental ingredient in SFM. He showed a case study in Nepal to demonstrate how an area can be reforested by user groups, stressing that 30% of forests in Nepal are community forests.

NC Jain, India, presented a behavioral approach to shaping strategies for fostering participatory SFM. He described a case study of six villages in India, noting that two had improved in SFM and the other four had declined because of lack of development investment by government.

Amsatou Niang, forestry engineer, Senegal, promoted an approach fostering real participation of all stakeholders in managing national forestry programmes. He said these plans integrate SFM with fighting poverty, and transfer national commitments on both objectives into local plans.

Max Alejandro Triana, Universidad Distrital de Bogotá, Colombia, discussed the role of forests in building peace in conflict areas. He said oil extraction and drug cultivation are major facilitators of illegal armed groups that thwart SFM. He advocated reconciliation between aggressors' and victims' groups as a priority to end the conflict.

Nicole Leotaud, Caribbean Institute of Natural Resources, Trinidad and Tobago, described cases of community participation in the Caribbean. She mentioned two successful projects, in Trinidad and Dominica, where communities are involved in planning and PES programmes.

Discussion focused on military influences on conflict in Colombia, and Triana responded that military dynamics only build violence, but communities search for ways to solve conflicts peacefully. Jain noted that outside influences can significantly affect communities and that they seek to establish their rights in the context of national factors.

7.5 GENDER AND FORESTRY

Alhassan Nantogmah Attah, UNFF, delivered a keynote message from Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women. He said women are often excluded from forest management and decision-making, yet they depend on healthy forests for their livelihoods and are custodians of forest knowledge and collectors of forest products. He urged data-gathering on women’s participation in forestry and effective female participation in forest, climate and biodiversity discussions.

Emily Obonyo, Forestry Research Institute, Kenya, discussed women’s role in forest management in Kenya. She said Kenya’s government is decentralizing forest management to address forest degradation, but that the process marginalizes women due to their limited formal education and other factors. She urged training and education of women, and better definition of property rights.

Noemi Porro, Federal University of Pará, Brazil, presented a study on gender relations in two initiatives, one on agroforestry and another on forest management, in the Brazilian Amazon. She said both have provided stability to families and could contribute to gender equality, and urged increased integration and communication between forestry and agro-forestry discussions and policies.


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The World Forestry Congress Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Soledad Aguilar, Paula Barrios, Ph.D., Aaron Leopold, William McPherson, Ph.D., and Laura Russo. The Digital Editor is Angeles Estrada. The Editor is Leonie Gordon <leonie@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by FAO and GTZ. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, United States of America. The IISD team at WFC 2009 can be contacted by e-mail at <aaron@iisd.org>.

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