XII WFC HIGHLIGHTS:
The morning Special Session heard the results of the Youth and Indigenous Peoples' Forest Forums, and the Plenary Session focused on the rehabilitation of the world's forests. In the morning and afternoon, Ecoregional roundtables discussed characteristics, and visions and strategies for the future of boreal, temperate, dry tropical, dry subtropical, and subtropical and tropical humid forests. In the afternoon, open fora addressed participatory management, SFM, climate change and plantations. Side events also convened in the morning, afternoon and evening.
PRESENTATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE SIDE EVENTS
In a Special Session, chaired by Jill Bowling, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), representatives of indigenous peoples and youth presented their recommendations.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ FOREST FORUM: The Co-Chairs of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forest Forum, Harry Bombay, National Aboriginal Forestry Association, Antonio Jacanamijoy, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and Lucien Wabanonik, Assembly of First Nations of Labrador and Quebec, presented the Wendake Action Plan, which requests nation states, international organizations and multilateral agencies to recognize and guarantee indigenous peoples' right to self-determination. They called for action in the following fields: recognition of indigenous rights in forest policy; rights to resources and their equitable distribution; free prior informed consent; capacity and meaningful participation; traditional forest-related knowledge and cultural rights; economic instruments and trade agreements; and capital investment and technology.
YOUTH FORUM: David Beauchamp presented on behalf of the Youth Forum, stressing that youth have energy, but need support from others to: tackle social and economic inequities between decision makers and forest users; overcome ignorance about the state of forests; and address unsustainable consumption of forest products. Representatives of the Youth Forum then presented the Forum's proposed actions, including to provide education and educational materials on SFM, and include a youth component throughout XIII WFC and a youth representative on future WFC drafting committees.
REHABILITATION OF THE WORLD'S FORESTS
Dale Bosworth, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, described changing perspectives in forest management, from resource extraction to long-term ecosystem health. He reinforced his country's commitment to the Montreal Process, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). Bosworth acknowledged problems with declining forest health, loss of undeveloped landscapes, unsustainable consumption and forest policy making.
Setting the scene for the Ecoregional Sessions, Gérard Szaraz, XII WFC Secretariat, asked participants to reflect on their vision of forests in the future. He called for the elaboration of specific suggestions, including indicators for SFM, in the ecoregional roundtable discussions.
TEMPERATE FORESTS: Peter Csóka, State Forest Service of Hungary, said temperate forests are the only forests expanding in area, but noted that forest degradation, fragmentation, and changes in land use and ownership in countries with economies in transition constitute barriers to SFM.
SUBTROPICAL AND TROPICAL HUMID FORESTS: Boen Purnama, Ministry of Forestry in Indonesia, identified facts and problems contributing to deforestation within subtropical and tropical humid ecoregions. He noted the direct causes of deforestation, including agricultural expansion, overgrazing and fuelwood gathering, and its underlying causes, including market and policy failure and population growth. He stressed the need for species maintenance by creating conservation areas. In closing, he identified the need for foresters to improve communications skills and strategies and enhance awareness among other sectors through multisectoral dialogue.
DRY TROPICAL FORESTS: Ahmed Ridha Fekih Salem, Ministry of Agriculture in Tunisia, stressed the importance of biodiversity in dry tropical forests, stating that the main threat to such forests is deforestation due to agriculture and fires. He emphasized the need for conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources in dry tropical forests, while underlining their importance for local populations. He called for the adoption of an integrated approach to SFM.
BOREAL FORESTS: Robert Hendricks, USDA Forest Service, invited participants to create a collective vision for the boreal and develop a strategy to translate that vision into reality. Victor Telplyakov, World Conservation Union (IUCN) Russia, presented some of the main challenges facing boreal forests, including illegal logging, climate change and low international profile. He then invited participants to consider using the concept “people for forests” to guide their roundtable discussion.
DRY-SUBTROPICAL FORESTS (INCLUDING MEDITERRANEAN FORESTS): Jorge Malleux, WWF Peru, discussed the present condition of dry-subtropical forests and recommended, inter alia: developing more accurate definitions and cartography of subtropical and tropical ecoregions; establishing a more direct link between cartography and human development; incorporating climate change and extreme weather factors in sustainable development plans; and using holistic participative approaches to the management of vulnerable dry-subtropical ecosystems.
OPEN FORA ON EMERGING ISSUES
PARTICIPATORY MANAGEMENT: HOW FAR SHOULD DECENTRALIZATION GO? Gopa Pandey, Madhya Pradesh Forestry Department, discussed how governance involves accountability and balancing stakeholder interests. She indicated that secure resources, appropriate leadership and institutions, legal guidelines and sound government frameworks can assist with participatory management. Mariteuw Chimere Diaw, Center for International Forestry Research, explained ways to achieve participatory management, such as: decentralizing in order to democratize; recognizing the legitimacy and plurality of local institutions; negotiating objectives and definitions; and establishing frameworks for joint visioning, planning, acting and monitoring. Robert Hendricks, USDA Forest Service, summarized participants’ statements on participatory management, noting the need to change organizational culture, combat corruption to reduce deforestation and poverty, and balance participation of local communities and centralized institutions. He emphasized participants' observations that democratization is a slow process.
SFM: COST OR BENEFIT AND FOR WHOM? Jean-Jacques Laundrot, International Technical Tropical Timber Associations, noted a growing attention to biodiversity-related issues in forest management in the 1990’s. Luc Bouthillier, University of Laval, Québec, discussed forests’ structural and social elements from an ethical position, and stated that companies consider mainly the cost of lumber rather than other ecosystem benefits. He advocated a more regulated approach to forest management that ensures social and environmental viability by delegating the decision making to local levels and building partnerships with people living in the forest. Participants discussed how to incorporate the cultural value of the forests, environmental services and social benefits into SFM.
CLIMATE CHANGE: OPPORTUNITIES OR THREATS TO FOREST MANAGEMENT? Martin von Mirbach, Sierra Club of Canada, described how climate change can be a threat or an opportunity for SFM, stressing that the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change may encourage forest projects that lead to short term carbon sequestration, while undermining the long-term objectives of climate protection and SFM. Arguing that forests store carbon temporarily, Ivar Korsbakken, Norwegian Forest Owners' Federation, underscored that policies should favor carbon recycling through forest management and punish measures leading to fossil carbon releases.
Participants exchanged views on the suitability of the Kyoto Protocol to support reforestation and SFM and the impact of forest management practices on climate change. One participant noted that the Protocol allows for the release of fossil carbon in exchange for temporary storage in forest sinks. Mostafa Jafari, Low Forest Cover Countries Secretariat, concluded that more information is needed to assess the impacts of the production and consumption of wood products on climate change.
PLANTATIONS: THREAT TO BIODIVERSITY OR OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONSERVATION? John Parrotta, USDA Forest Service, described the status, geographical distribution and growth trends of plantations worldwide, and said their benefits include the production of fuel, creation of carbon sinks, control of desertification, rehabilitation of degraded land, source of employment and economic diversification. Recognizing that plantations can have negative effects, he said that these could be reduced if the social, economic and geographic context is assessed beforehand. To maximize the benefits of plantations, he called for the informed selection of their sites, species and management systems.
Miguel Lovera, Global Forest Coalition, warned against the disastrous consequences of large-scale monocultures that are driven by financial speculation. He listed the negative impacts of plantations, including disregard of customary ownership, loss of medicinal plants and livelihood, conflicts in ownership of land, and degradation of soil. He recommended eliminating plantation subsidies, and advocated public investment in forest rehabilitation.
The Montreal Process and its
Jacques Carette, Canadian Forest Service, introduced the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests (the Montreal Process). Juan Porcile, Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries of Uraguay, described the First Forest Overview Report 2003 of the Montreal Process, which outlines national forestry trends and progress in implementing Montreal Process criteria and indicators. David Rhodes and Robert Hendricks, Montreal Process Technical Advisory Group (TAC), described TAC's work on a framework of criteria and indicators that provide a common definition of sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests.
Representatives of member countries of the Montreal Process, including Uruguay, the US, the Russian Federation and Australia, presented national reports, stressing the difficulties in collecting relevant information. All presenters commended the Montreal Process' criteria and indicators as a meaningful tool that provides a consistent information basis for SFM, including certification, and conservation efforts. A participant underscored the challenges of integrating criteria and indicators into forest management culture and ensuring a wider public understanding and acceptance.
SFM with a gender perspective:
Making it possible
Hesti Wijaya, Consortium of Indonesian Forestry with a Gender Equity Perspective, noted a global interest in gender equity within forest management, highlighting the need for implementation of relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity on in situ conservation. Ulfa Hidayati, Indonesian Institute for Forest and Environment, presented the situation in Halimun, Java, as an example of how land ownership conflicts lead to lack of water, flooding, and insecure livelihoods for the forest people, notably women. She stressed the need to secure women's land rights in order to ensure sustainable community-based forest resource management.
Abidah Setyowati, Development in Managing Natural Resources, highlighted women’s role in forest management, noting that it remains unrecognized by local and central governments. She called for gender equity in local and international policy.
Drawing attention to corruption and lack of enforcement as root causes for forest destruction in Indonesia, Togu Manurung, Forest Watch Indonesia, underscored that women should play an increased role in forest management and policy making.
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Wood energy in developing
countries for poverty alleviation
Wulf Killman, FAO, discussed the importance of fuel wood in developing countries. He noted that two billion people depend on fuel wood, which constitutes 50% of global timber extraction. Sibi Bonfils, Institute for Energy and Environment of Francophone Countries (IEPF), explained how fuel wood management can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in particular, those on poverty alleviation, food security and health. Boufeldja Benabdallah, IEFP, summarized the recommendations of three regional workshops, concluding that a lack of technical and financial assistance inhibits the potential contribution of fuel wood to the economies of African countries. Miguel Trossero, FAO, said constraints to the development of fuel wood forestry management include a lack of awareness, coherent legislation and political will.
André Faaij, University of Utrecht, underscored the potential of biomass energy, stressing the need to develop markets, certification schemes and information exchange systems. Peter Hall, Canadian Forest Services, said government agencies should be more flexible, suggesting that the educational system could provide necessary inputs to change regulation strategies.
Participants discussed incentives for fuel wood forestry, difficulties with policy harmonization at the international level, and financing problems.
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Forests as resources for the
Jeffrey Sayer, WWF International, presented the objectives of forest management in large tropical areas, which include learning how to adapt, empower, and build capacity of communities using the best science available. He said this process would be based on adaptive embedded research, which would enable scientists to learn directly from local communities while affecting change and require long-term commitments to areas under management. He noted this approach would recognize local knowledge and the innovative capacity of local people, but also require negotiations to balance tradeoffs and incentives. Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre, presented an example of this approach, the Rainforest Challenge Partnership, a collaborative effort between experienced partners in strategic sites across humid tropics. He said the management of selected sites will: ensure transparency, equity and accountability; set priorities and budgets by consensus; and use a framework for adaptive management and learning. He stated that this should help to improve management systems and create mechanisms that enable the poor to receive compensation for the services they provide.
Forests and people in SIDS
Mette Loyche Wilkie, FAO Forestry Department, said the main threats to forests in small island developing states (SIDS) are deforestation and degradation, noting that these forests are crucial for wood products, food security, water, soil conservation and improvement, coastal protection, biodiversity and eco-tourism. She listed constraints to SFM in SIDS, including: limited land area; vulnerability to environmental disasters; a lack of resources; the extinction of endemic species; limited options for diversifying economic forest activities; and a lack of integrated management. Loyche Wilkie noted some opportunities for SFM in SIDS, such as intensified wood production in natural forests, plantations, product diversification and genetic resources. She called for better information on forest resources, harvesting codes, rehabilitation of degraded watersheds, enhanced coastal protection, effective conservation of biodiversity and better marketing of wood.
Angela Cropper, Cropper Foundation, stressed the interconnection between forests and people, and examined how SIDS had implemented the Barbados Program of Action. To support the Program, she suggested: using SIDS to test SFM initiatives; fostering coherence among the SIDS; promoting capacity building; assessing interactions between people and ecosystems in SIDS; and adopting an integrated approach.
The role and impacts of
marketplace mobilization in defining forest policy
Tamara Stark, Greenpeace Canada, said that the world's forests are under threat from development and that the marketplace can help mitigate these threats. She explained that businesses have responded to these threats by either altering their procurement policies or production processes, and have done so either voluntarily or in response to consumer advocacy campaigns. Stark noted, that despite success in mobilizing markets to mitigate threats, governments still have a responsibility to regulate industry. Nicole Rycroft, Markets Initiative, explained how her organization helps companies adapt to new markets that demand paper products derived from non-controversial sources and actively encourages companies to reduce their overall paper consumption and use Forest Stewardship Council certified and ancient forest-free (AFF) paper products. She highlighted her organization's involvement in helping Canadian publishers develop AFF procurement policies. Rycroft also noted that the cost and availability of AFF paper pose less of an obstacle to company procurement policy as its price declines and supplies increase. Vicki Black, McClelland & Stewart Ltd., related her company's experience in implementing an AFF procurement policy. Participants discussed: how AFF products are monitored along the chain-of-custody; the definition of ancient forests; and the role of Greenpeace as a partner of McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SIDE EVENTS: A variety of side events will convene throughout the day, including events on: knowledge management; community-based forest management; forests in sustainable mountain development; assessing the science of, and defining priorities for Canada's boreal forest; participation of forest peoples and civil society in national and international forest policy making; Pacific timber trade versus SFM; the construction of social capital for sustainable development in forest areas; and the Lafarge partnership of forest landscape restoration.
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