Vol. 134 No. 4
SUMMARY OF THE
COUNTRY-LED INITIATIVE ON THE
MYPOW OF THE UNFF: CHARTING THE WAY
FORWARD TO 2015:
The Country-Led Initiative in Support of the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF): Charting the Way Forward to 2015, met from 13 to 16 February 2007 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. Over 150 experts from governments, international and regional organizations, and Major Groups gathered to explore, elaborate and develop a broader understanding of the possible concepts and elements to be included in the new MYPOW of the UNFF. The meeting was also intended to provide the seventh session of the UNFF (UNFF-7) with guidance regarding: the structure and substance of the MYPOW; inter-linkages between the MYPOW and the non-legally binding instrument (NLBI) on forests; strengthening the regional dimension in the work of the international arrangement on forests through the MYPOW; and possible approaches to accomplishing the global objectives on forests and the new principal functions of the UNFF.
Throughout the week, participants met in plenary sessions as well as three parallel working groups that addressed: themes of UNFF biennial sessions; modalities; and regional and sub-regional dimensions. Participants took part in several excursions that showcased Bali’s natural and cultural diversity. A Co-chairs’ Summary Report was produced, which aims to provide a starting point for UNFF-7 deliberations on this topic.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNFF
The UNFF followed a five-year period (1995-2000) of forest policy dialogue facilitated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF). In October 2000, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), in Resolution E/2000/35, established the UNFF as a subsidiary body, with the main objective of promoting the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
To achieve its main objective, principal functions were identified for the UNFF, namely to: facilitate implementation of forest-related agreements and foster a common understanding on sustainable forest management (SFM); provide for continued policy development and dialogue among governments, international organizations, and Major Groups, as identified in Agenda 21, as well as address forest issues and emerging areas of concern in a holistic, comprehensive and integrated manner; enhance cooperation as well as 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 earlier IPF/IFF processes had produced more than 270 proposals for action towards SFM; these form the basis for the UNFF MYPOW and Plan of Action, which have been discussed at annual sessions. Country- and organization-led initiatives have also contributed to 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 discussed progress towards the establishment of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a partnership of 14 major forest-related international organizations, institutions and convention secretariats.
UNFF-1: The first session of the UNFF took place from 11-23 June 2001, at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates discussed and adopted decisions on UNFF’s 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.
UNFF-2: The second session of the 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. Delegates also adopted decisions on, inter alia, proposed revisions to the medium-term plan for 2002-2005 and the format for voluntary reporting, and resolutions 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; and specific criteria for the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests (IAF).
UNFF-3: UNFF-3 met in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 May-6 June 2003. UNFF-3 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: monitoring and reporting; 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.”
UNFF-4: UNFF-4 convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 3-14 May 2004. UNFF-4 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. UNFF-4 attempted to but could not reach agreement on resolutions on traditional forest-related knowledge and enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination.
UNFF-5: UNFF-5 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. Delegates decided to forward the draft negotiating text to UNFF-6.
UNFF-6: UNFF-6 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 UNFF-7 (16-27 April 2007) adopt an NLBI on all types of forests. UNFF-6 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.
NLBI AHEG: The UNFF ad hoc expert group on the consideration of the content of the NLBI on all types of forests took place from 11-15 December 2006 at UN headquarters in New York. Experts completed a first reading of a composite draft text of the NLBI, focusing on, inter alia, monitoring, assessment and reporting, means of implementation, adoption/subscription, and national measures contributing to the Global Objectives on forests. The composite draft text will be forwarded to UNFF-7 for consideration.
REPORT OF THE COUNTRY-LED INITIATIVE
Boen Purnama, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia, welcomed participants, and encouraged them to work together for the benefit of forests and people globally. He expressed gratitude to Germany as co-host of the Country-Led Initiative (CLI), and other donors. He stated that the outcomes of this meeting would be presented as an official document at the seventh session of the UNFF (UNFF-7).
Co-chair Matthias Schwoerer, Germany, recalled his country’s support for the international forestry process and the UNFF, including several CLIs, which brought together partners to combat deforestation at all levels. He said that the UNFF needed to be strengthened to regain lost credibility.
Pekka Patosaari, Director of the UNFF Secretariat, thanked the Government of Indonesia for hosting the CLI and noted Indonesia’s commitment to the UNFF process, adding that CLIs are a crucial part of UNFF’s work. He expressed hope that the meeting would clarify technical issues and be dynamic, action-oriented and comprehensive.
UNFF-7 Chair Hans Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, expressed his condolences to victims of the recent Jakartan floods and encouraged countries to lend their support. He noted that the floods and other natural hazards demonstrate our ecological vulnerability and economic interdependence. He said that the UNFF stands at a critical juncture and highlighted progress made in setting the four Global Objectives on forests and linking forests to the broader development agenda, and progress towards the adoption of a non-legally binding instrument (NLBI) on all types of forests.
M.S. Kaban, Minister of Forestry, Indonesia, said that achieving sustainability remains a challenge for many countries, and that developing countries in particular face difficulties in balancing economic, environmental and social objectives. He noted that forests were central to Indonesia’s development and stressed that the UNFF should not lose sight of its crucial role in bridging forest policy with development and poverty reduction. He described Indonesia’s new initiatives to address deforestation through: combating illegal logging and illegal trade; restructuring the forestry sector; promoting forest rehabilitation and conservation; empowering communities; and promoting sustainable forest management (SFM). Kaban officially opened the CLI meeting with the sounding of a Balinese gong.
PRESENTATION OF DISCUSSION PAPERS: Patosaari presented the UNFF Secretariat’s paper on the UNFF Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) (2007-2015) and emphasized that it should be: focused on implementation and clear on expected outputs; practical in aims and objectives; and flexible. He explained that UNFF will now meet every two years, noted the importance of each session’s thematic focus, and suggested considering Global Objective 4 (Means of implementation) at all sessions. He noted the key was to establish a way to use the intersessional period effectively and that the Secretariat’s paper refers to an “intergovernmental expert meeting” as a way of preparing and concluding activities. Patosaari also outlined the need for: enhanced cooperation and coordination; consideration of cross-cutting and enabling issues; and improvement of stakeholder engagement.
Doris Capistrano, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), presented a paper titled “Revitalizing the UNFF: Critical Issues and Ways Forward.” She said that the three major topics for discussion in the paper were: critical and emerging issues that would significantly impact forests; coordinating with other processes that are relevant to the UNFF; and criteria for prioritizing issues for inclusion in the MYPOW. She said that the critical and emerging issues included: climate change; trade and investment; governance; and ecosystem services.
Tapani Oksanen, World Bank Program on Forests (PROFOR), introduced a World Bank-commissioned paper on assessing SFM financing and means of implementation. He welcomed feedback from participants prior to its finalization for UNFF-7. Hosny El-Lakany, PROFOR, presented the paper and described the changing landscape of actions and finance for forests, focusing on practical issues and both existing traditional sources of funds and potential innovative approaches and mechanisms. He said options for financing had been selected to facilitate discussion at UNFF-7, including new concepts, such as payment for ecosystem services. In order to advance portfolio and partnership approaches, he highlighted the need to enhance public sector funding, catalyze payments for ecosystem services and mobilize communities and civic resources.
PRESENTATIONS BY MAJOR GROUPS: Children and Youth emphasized the importance of building capacity to educate young people in order to empower their participation in SFM decision-making processes. Non-Governmental Organizations expressed concern over the lack of action by UNFF members, and urged them to address underlying causes of deforestation and recognize indigenous rights. Small Forest Landholders emphasized the link between forests and poverty reduction and the role of forest-dependent communities in implementing forest policy. Scientific and Technological Communities encouraged enhancing the interface of science and policy and the integration of traditional forest-related knowledge (TFRK). Indigenous People expressed concern regarding the lack of implementation of existing agreements such as Agenda 21, and that the draft NLBI text is weak regarding indigenous peoples’ rights. Business and Industry noted the important role that multi-stakeholder processes play within forest policy.
DISCUSSION: Cuba urged in-depth consideration of the means of implementation for developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In response to India’s comment on the need to address forestry-related issues under discussion in other fora, Capistrano recalled the importance of placing the discussion in a broader context. Pakistan stressed the importance of “on-the-ground” implementation of SFM. El-Lakany said implementation should take into account forest practitioners’ knowledge. Costa Rica said that in many countries, lack of planning capacity at the operational level limits the impact of forest policies. Brazil expressed support for the background papers, and sought clarification regarding the regional component and the potentially high costs of implementing the Global Objectives. Australia urged the development of a different conceptual framework, and stressed the need for communication between global and regional processes. Malaysia and others emphasized the importance of new and additional funding for SFM. The US supported the bold approach taken by the background papers, but noted that official development assistance (ODA) alone will be insufficient to implement the Global Objectives and highlighted the importance of engaging the private sector. New Zealand cautioned against opening previously negotiated issues, and noted that regional inputs should play a vital role. The Russian Federation emphasized the need to link forests and climate change in the MYPOW. Indonesia, on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), recalled the importance of forests in development, the key role of regional inputs to UNFF, and the need to enhance market access for certified products. Kenya requested that UNFF’s contributions to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and Commission on Sustainable Development be examined.
Following the opening plenary and throughout the week, participants met in three parallel working groups to discuss themes of the UNFF biennial sessions, modalities, and the regional and sub-regional dimensions. On Wednesday, participants convened in a joint working group session to assess progress made and discuss issues cutting across the working groups. On Friday, participants agreed on the Co-chairs’ Summary Report of the meeting. The following summarizes these proceedings and the Summary Report.
WORKING GROUP 1 – THEMES OF UNFF BIENNIAL SESSIONS: Working Group 1 (WG1) on themes of UNFF biennial meetings was co-chaired by Paul Lolo, Nigeria, and Tony Bartlett, Australia. The goal of this working group was to formulate a range of options for themes, to be presented for consideration at UNFF-7. At the beginning of the meeting, participants contributed their views on what themes should be included within the MYPOW, and through the course of the week attempts were made to consolidate these into thematic “clusters,” to be addressed at specific UNFF sessions.
Participants agreed that the background papers presented by the UNFF Secretariat and CIFOR provided a strong basis for discussions. Brazil, supported by the UK, Ghana, and New Zealand, said that it was important to look at the structure of the meetings under which the themes are being addressed. The US, supported by others, said that WG1 should aim to compile a list of major themes to be discussed at UNFF-7, given the differing priorities of members. Brazil said that by achieving the four Global Objectives, other goals could be met and UNFF would gain credibility. The UK and Switzerland said that focusing on the four Global Objectives would not attract enough interest.
Frameworks For Themes: WG1 discussed identifying a suitable framework for consideration of thematic clusters in the MYPOW. Discussion commenced around four possible options:
Many participants were in favor of combining Options 2, 3 and 4, with some modifications and elaboration. They also said that although separation of Global Objectives proposed in Option 1 may lead to progress on specific objectives, the Global Objectives should be addressed concurrently.
During the meeting, three other options for thematic frameworks were proposed and considered by WG1. These included:
Participants exchanged views on how best to structure UNFF sessions in order to attract a wider audience and remain politically relevant, including the possibility of drawing upon the seven thematic elements of SFM. For the framework, the co-chairs and participants agreed that themes would be discussed in biennial cycles with some themes being discussed at each session and others being discussed at one of the three sessions.
Selection of Themes: WG1 Co-chair Bartlett reported to the joint working group session the preliminary selection of the following themes for consideration: means of implementation; climate change; MDGs; trade and investment; forests and livelihoods; forests and development; and ecosystem services. The US stated that the number of themes and issues that could be selected would be dependent on what the expected outcomes from those themes would be if included. The UK pointed out that the themes selected should not only appeal to those within the UNFF but also to those outside of it.
WG1 later reviewed the list of proposed themes and issues and highlighted the importance of the following themes: forests and climate change; forests and trade; forests and biodiversity; forests and energy; forests and equity; and, forests and land tenure and property rights. Children and Youth requested that forests and education be added to the list of themes. Iran proposed adding structure by clustering themes into categories and suggested using “forest economics,” “forests and the environment,” and “forests and management” as titles.
WG1 discussed four options for thematic clusters for future UNFF sessions:
WG1 Co-chair Bartlett pointed out that the clusters in Option A were repeated in Option B. Several participants favored defining means of implementation as a separate theme or an overarching theme for all sessions. India supported a modified Option D and emphasized the importance of linking forests with the MDGs and creating mechanisms to share the benefits from TFRK. Switzerland urged the use of terminology that will be easily understandable outside the forest community, and allocating more time for linking with other global processes. Costa Rica said that themes would be discussed as part of a larger agenda so they should not be too numerous. Finland, Argentina and Fiji supported Option D, but favored reducing the number of themes to provide adequate discussion time and stressed that climate change should be discussed in the 2009 session. Johan Goldammer, Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), urged participants to keep in mind climate change, desertification, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction and poverty reduction and how UNFF and the NLBI can contribute. Another option was proposed that would primarily focus on means of implementation. Brazil proposed separating thematic clusters into those that should be discussed at all sessions, and those that should be discussed at one of the three sessions.
WORKING GROUP 2 – MODALITIES: Working Group 2 (WG2) on modalities was co-chaired by Ingwald Gschwandtl, Austria, and Dato’ Mokhtar Isa, Malaysia. WG2 Co-chair Gschwandtl introduced the discussion on modalities and explained the purpose was to discuss the ways to organize the various components of the UNFF process, including the intersessional periods, the 2011 International Year of Forests, potential high-level segments, stakeholder engagement, the regional dimension and linkages to other processes. He urged participants to focus on lessons learned from the previous period and the five key discussion points compiled by the Secretariat: improving the effectiveness of working modalities for future UNFF sessions; improving the effectiveness of stakeholder contributions; using the MYPOW to facilitate the implementation of the NLBI; addressing the reporting requirements of the UNFF Secretariat and member states; and monitoring and review of MYPOW implementation.
Effective working modalities for future UNFF sessions: On the issue of high-level segments, South Africa commented that negotiations do not take place in the presence of ministers. Argentina agreed and suggested a ministerial dialogue could be held in the first week of negotiations, during the proposed reporting and review segment. Brazil suggested that holding a high-level segment prior to the negotiating session may provide guidance to negotiators. Some participants noted that it would be difficult to have ministers attend high-level segments if these did not include negotiating or policy making. Others requested that the numerous models for ministerial participation be considered. The Secretariat cautioned that the way in which ministers participate depends on the readiness of the members to make progress.
On the topic of intersessional meetings, numerous participants cautioned against the intersessional meetings becoming UNFF sessions and highlighted the need to focus on the regional element. New Zealand introduced a paper proposing a vision for reforming the UNFF process to secure working modalities that operate on a biennial cycle. The paper outlined that during intersessional periods the focus would be on SFM implementation through existing regional fora, which would act as preparatory meetings for UNFF. New Zealand proposed these intergovernmental preparatory meetings (IPMs) as a modality for linking regional and international processes. On reference to IPMs, CLI and ad hoc expert meetings, participants favored clearly distinguishing the IPM as a process, with some suggesting that CLIs and ad hoc expert meetings should be issue-specific and that IPMs should distill all the issues and set the agenda for UNFF sessions.
The Secretariat cautioned that intergovernmental processes are not self-guiding and stressed the need to identify a mechanism to assist regions in making an early start. New Zealand agreed that regional processes require guidance. In the ensuing discussion, participants debated the illustrative timeline included in New Zealand’s proposal, with many pointing to the clash of the proposed preparatory meeting with the General Assembly. Numerous participants noted an intersessional meeting should be held in the months prior to the UNFF as opposed to twelve months prior, in order for it to act as a preparatory meeting. On the issue of timing of a preparatory meeting, UNFF-7 Chair Hoogeveen, urged participants to consider the UNFF in the context of the larger UN framework, and stressed the importance of linking it with other processes. He said that international policy will guide action on the ground, but noted that this should be informed by existing national and regional processes, and that the interface between these two realms needs improvement. He emphasized the need for preparatory meetings no later than four months prior to regular sessions, and the need to secure adequate resources to fund translation costs and the participation of developing countries.
On modalities relating to the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), Finland proposed that the UNFF invite scientific input from the CPF to guide discussions on thematic topics. The US encouraged increasing the role of the CPF, and inviting individual members to contribute to implementation of the MYPOW on the basis of the theme being discussed and the mandate of each particular institution.
The link between the MYPOW and the NLBI: Germany said that implementation of the NLBI should be at the core of the MYPOW and that there was a need to elaborate on the instruments to support the capacity of countries to report voluntarily. Finland stressed the importance of the relationship of the MYPOW to the NLBI and proposed that reference to this be included as a chapeau in the beginning of the WG2 report.
Stakeholder Involvement: Participants stressed the need to reconsider and strengthen methods of stakeholder participation in the UNFF. Australia suggested specifying how obstacles to stakeholder participation can be overcome. The Philippines recalled that there are already rules of procedure that guide stakeholder involvement in the UNFF.
The Major Group representative for Women urged the Forum to give greater recognition to the discussion papers that Major Groups prepare in consultation with their larger constituency for consideration at each UNFF session, and encouraged governments to play a role in bringing emerging issues to the Forum. She noted the need for increased funding and for ensuring that the MYPOW is action-oriented.
Reporting: New Zealand stressed that no new reporting mechanisms should be introduced. Brazil pointed out that either the seven thematic elements of SFM or the Global Objectives could be used to frame reporting requirements. Delegates discussed the issue of capacity building for reporting and the process of harmonization that led to the seven thematic elements of SFM. South Africa cautioned against the conditionality that sometimes comes with funding for capacity building.
Monitoring, assessment and review: On modalities for monitoring, assessment and review, Finland, supported by the Russian Federation, Iran, Canada and the Netherlands, called for increased information exchange and suggested dedicating time in the first week of UNFF sessions to the presentation of country experiences. South Africa agreed and suggested the first week of UNFF sessions could also be used for reporting and reviewing progress. Finland suggested using innovative ways of increasing outreach about the UNFF process, specifically suggesting using IISD Reporting Services to cover presentations of national experiences. The Philippines outlined the importance of South-South cooperation and the need to share experiences on this.
WORKING GROUP 3 – REGIONAL AND SUB-REGIONAL DIMENSIONS: Working Group 3 (WG3) was co-chaired by Jose Antonio Doig, Peru, and Peter Mayer, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). WG3 based its discussions on three issues: existing regional mechanisms and how they could cooperate in providing input to UNFF’s work; input from the regions to UNFF; and, objectives of, and topics for, regional meetings.
There was general agreement amongst participants that UNFF should work towards strengthening its support of existing forest-related regional and sub-regional mechanisms in order to enable them to better address the topics of the new MYPOW. There was significant discussion of the importance of developing a two-way relationship between the UNFF and the regional and sub-regional bodies, including on channeling global topics to national implementation and vice versa. Several delegations referred to the importance of enhancing inter-regional cooperation in this regard to enable information sharing within regions and enhancing capacity to coordinate input to the UNFF.
Several delegates highlighted the need to enhance political will in support of forestry issues, particularly at the regional level. To this end, South Africa proposed holding regional high-level segments prior to the proposed UNFF high-level segment.
Existing regional mechanisms and input to UNFF work: Several participants informed the working group of their regional experiences. Many emphasized the importance of working with existing forest-related regional and sub-regional bodies, and using a flexible approach to regional coordination of input to UNFF.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Costa Rica said his region had been cooperating on issues related to forestry and protected areas for over a decade, noting work accomplished on National Forest Programmes (NFPs) in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and GTZ. He emphasized that national budget allocation was a constraint to the implementation of forest strategies. The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) presented information on cooperation under this agreement, which was agreed in 1978 between eight South American countries, noting that it is a good example of how a regional body could provide input to UNFF. She said that in 2005 ACTO had established a strong link with UNFF to share forestry experiences within the region and was working with ASEAN and the Central African Forestry Commission (COMIFAC) to expand the network on forestry experiences and biodiversity. Costa Rica and ACTO suggested consolidating regional initiatives and positions to build a common regional agenda in support of the UNFF.
Asia-Pacific: Papua New Guinea said that smaller countries could benefit from capacity building to better understand the regional processes sufficiently. He noted that GTZ had organized a meeting in Fiji to explore SFM in the Pacific region. Emphasizing the need to link existing regional and sub-regional bodies with the UNFF, Australia referred to the FAO Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission. Japan shared information on existing forestry mechanisms in Asia. Nepal noted the importance of regional coordination on trade-related forestry issues and the need for enhanced capacity building in the region to share information and transfer relevant technologies.
Europe: France explained the structure of various bodies in Europe, including: the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe; the FAO European Forestry Commission, and the UN Economic Commission for Europe Timber Committee (including the US and Canada). Norway noted the relevance of European regional work to respond to challenges at the global level, and the top-down approach whereby NFPs had been discussed in the European context based on recommendations made at the global level. He said that UNFF discussions on regional bodies presented an opportunity to establish a bottom-up approach to regional forestry management.
Near East: Egypt and Iran referred to work in Low Forest Cover Countries.
Africa: South Africa suggested that the FAO African Forestry and Wildlife Commission could establish links with the UNFF. Kenya made reference to regional coordination under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Gabon provided information on COMIFAC.
North America: The US noted the importance of addressing SFM at the grassroots level. As to how the UNFF could benefit from the experience of local initiatives at the regional level, she said that there was a wealth of knowledge and experience upon which to base greater interaction.
The FAO highlighted the regional forestry commissions (RFCs) operating under the auspices of FAO in these regions. She noted that RFCs serve as policy and technical fora, and that, particularly in developing regions, operated on a top-down basis and could coordinate discussions on UNFF. While noting the importance of coordinating at the regional level, the FAO cautioned against imposing a standardized format on regional inputs to the UNFF.
Coordinating a Regional Approach: Participants generally agreed that each regional body should have the flexibility to determine its own interaction and method of coordination with the UNFF. Kenya said there was a need to facilitate and increase sub-regional forestry coordination, and highlighted that if agreement could be articulated at the regional and sub-regional levels, this could facilitate the UNFF process. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that there was a need for awareness raising and outreach and suggested using the programmes implemented by the UNDP and the Global Environment Facility to increase awareness. As an example of the diversity of existing regional mechanisms, Johann Goldammer, GFMC, provided information on the UN Global Wildland Fire Network for disaster reduction and fire prevention.
Inputs from the regions to UNFF: Several participants said that when considering the approach by UNFF to invite regional and sub-regional input, it would be useful to take into account how to define a region and assess the extent of existing regional coordination. Several participants noted the need to devote two days of plenary at each UNFF session to address regional dimensions, including discussion of emerging regional issues and reviews of best practices and experiences.
Brazil, Benin and several others said that there was no need for special regional meetings in the UNFF process, with Benin stressing the cost implications of additional meetings. China noted the importance of strengthening South-South regional cooperation. ACTO recalled the importance of building a common agenda at the regional level to feed into UNFF.
Regarding how to provide regional input to UNFF, Costa Rica recommended summary reports from each region to UNFF sessions based on individual contributions within regions and sub-regions. The US suggested showcasing lessons learned from regional experiences on mainstreaming regional dialogue into UNFF work and better integrating stakeholders. Several participants said it would be key to address how the UN-defined regional groupings applied to forests and the relevance of using the UN regional geographic groupings to organize regional forest-related input to the UNFF.
Objectives and topics for regional meetings: Participants agreed that regional processes should take up MYPOW topics, as well as any emerging issues not addressed in the MYPOW, keeping in mind the four Global Objectives. Norway suggested that regions should identify emerging issues and present these at UNFF sessions. The Russian Federation noted that not all topics will be applicable to all regions. FAO cautioned against having UNFF set the agenda for regional meetings, preferring a bottom-up approach. WG3 Co-chair Doig noted that some regions requested guidance from UNFF to support their regional agendas and activities.
Noting the many existing regional processes, several participants said that these mechanisms should be used to address the UNFF mandate and cautioned against increasing the reporting burden on regional bodies.
During the joint working group session, WG3 Co-chair Mayer reported that the WG3 had agreed that: regional input is desirable, but should not require submitting official regional reports to UNFF; stakeholder participation is crucial; and that regional bodies should determine how to coordinate input, including the possibility of using the UN Economic Commissions. Several participants suggested reference to sub-regional as well as regional mechanisms and processes.
On Friday morning, Co-chairs Schwoerer and Salman Al-Farisi, Indonesia, presented the Co-chairs’ Summary Report. They explained that it represented a compilation of the range of views expressed during the meeting, and was not a consensus-based report.
On themes of the UNFF biennial meetings, Finland wished to see the role of CPF and its members also reflected within the WG1 report. The US suggested improving the process of taking into account the contribution of Major Groups. The Philippines noted that the World Summit on Sustainable Development outcome document contains important commitments and should be considered in the chapeau of the Report. Switzerland emphasized that titles of sessions should be simple and understandable.
On modalities, New Zealand questioned the need for regular high-level segments, and re-emphasized that no new reporting mechanisms are needed. The US cautioned against suggesting that the MYPOW could provide “guidance” to governments, regional processes, and CPF members. The US, Brazil and others suggested using less directive language in several circumstances. Co-chair Schwoerer reminded participants that more forceful language should be used in order for the Report to be given proper consideration at UNFF-7.
On regional and sub-regional dimensions, South Africa requested that the Report reflect the possibility of linking regional high-level segments with the one proposed for the global level.
UNFF-7 Chair Hoogeveen gave a presentation on the preparations for UNFF-7, including the release of the revised composite draft text for developing an NLBI (E/CN.18/2007/3). He commended participants on the work accomplished during the CLI, and expressed optimism that the spirit of Bali would be carried forward to New York in April. Patosaari commented on the composite draft NLBI text, and described the challenge of reflecting all views while remaining concise. He thanked Indonesia and the Governor of Bali for providing a warm welcome and a productive working environment.
Co-chair Schwoerer thanked the Indonesian National Organizing Committee, the working group co-chairs and rapporteurs for preparing the outcome documents, and the participants.
H.E. Adyatwidi Adiwoso Asmady, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the UN, gave a closing address. She congratulated participants on a productive meeting, praised the co-chairs for their leadership and patience, and thanked the national organizing committee for their hard work. She expressed sincere appreciation to the donors for funding participation of the Major Groups and developing countries. Amb. Adyatwidi Adiwoso Asmady closed the meeting at 11:54 a.m.
CO-CHAIRS’ SUMMARY REPORT
The Co-chairs’ Summary Report is a compilation of views expressed in the working groups during the CLI. The Report highlighted the following from WG1 discussions on themes and frameworks of the UNFF biennial meetings:
The Report highlighted the following from WG3 discussions on the regional and sub-regional dimension:
There is no need for additional mechanisms or meetings in the regions or for new and additional forest-related regional expert meetings.
FINANCING OF FOREST CONSERVATION: PAYMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES IN THE TROPICS: This conference will be held from 2-3 March 2007, at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, US. The conference will serve as a forum to discuss the various types of payments for environmental services (PES) and the successes and failures to date. The discussion will be driven by questions such as: Can PES mechanisms lead to conservation? Can such mechanisms be as economically viable as other uses? How can these methods be integrated into conservation and management plans? What are the potential negative consequences from the standpoints of conservation, local livelihoods and economic optimization? How can active trading markets for ecosystem services be developed? And, are payments for avoided deforestation and reduced carbon emissions feasible? For more information contact: the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.yale.edu/istf/
SECOND INTERNATIONAL AGARWOOD CONFERENCE: This conference will be held from 4 -11 March 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. This conference, hosted by the Rainforest Project Foundation, will follow up on the experience and feedback of the First International Agarwood Conference held in Vietnam in November 2003. For more information contact: Rainforest Project Foundation; tel: +31-20-624-8508; fax: +31-20-624-0588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.therainforestproject.net/conf2.htm
EIGHTEENTH SESSION OF THE FAO COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY: The 18th biennial session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) will convene at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 12-16 March 2007. COFO-18 will bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues and advise FAO and others on appropriate action. For more information, contact: Douglas Kneeland, FAO Forestry Department; tel: +39-06-5705-3925; fax: +39-06-5705-5137; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/forestry
FIFTH SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE REVIEW OF THE UN CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION (CRIC-5): CRIC-5 will be held from 12 - 21 March 2007 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. CRIC-5 will consider the following agenda items: review of the implementation of the Convention and its institutional arrangements; consideration of necessary adjustments to the elaboration process and implementation of action programmes; review of available information regarding mobilization and use of financial resources; and consideration of ways and means to promote know-how and technology transfer; and improvement of procedures for communication of information. For more information contact: UNCCD Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2800; fax: +49-228-815-2898; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.unccd.int
SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS FORUM ON FORESTS: UNFF-7 will be held from 16-27 April 2007, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3160; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests