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Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
Photos and RealAudio of 10 February
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10 February:
On the ninth day of IFF-4, Working Group 1 convened in the afternoon to finalize text. The contact group on finance convened briefly and the contact group on international mechanisms and arrangements (Category III) met throughout the day and late into the evening.

NGO statements to the Contact Group on Category III

One NGO called for: unfiltered input to policy dialogue from indigenous peoples; a permanent forum under ECOSOC; action and resources upfront to fully implement IPF/IFF proposals for action at the community level; and focus on implementing existing commitments. She underscored a LBI could undermine the CBD. Another NGO stressed participation of all major groups in any future arrangement and supported an arrangement under ECOSOC. She urged the proposed UNFF be exclusively mandated to promote implementation of existing agreements and commitments, and opposed a LBI.

Informally speaking...

Immediately after Chair Insanally asked delegates to return for a 9 pm evening session and closed the afternoon meeting, delegates scrambled around the room, hoping to pull off last-minute deals.


Above: Informal consultation between the Canadian delegation and the representative of the G77/China.


European delegates gathered for an E.U. briefing.


Members of the G77/China Group conferring with their representative after the talks with Canada

Side event: Sweden's "Greener Forests"

The Swedish Government hosted a presentation on Greener Forests: Extension Services and Training for Sustainable Forest Management in Sweden. Astrid Bergquist, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications (left), opened the event with an overview of the state of forests in Sweden and the Greener Forest campaign. She said the campaign is targeted at forest owners and others who participate in forestry and focuses on how to combine high economic and environmental returns to achieve sustainably managed forests.


Gunnar Nordanstig, Head of International Affairs, Swedish National Board of Forestry (center), provided details of the Greener Forest campaign. He said the forest sector is the second largest source of employment in Sweden and forest products are the most important export of Sweden. He highlighted extension and training services provided by the National Board of Forestry and stressed the value of using knowledge as well as a sense of responsibility and freedom to foster SFM. He highlighted the National Board of Forestry's tradition of "giving good advice in every situation and taking advantage of every opportunity to do so" and tradition of extension campaigns. Since 1990, the focus has been on ecology and nature conservation and will most likely be on production, multi-use and social values in the future. Noting that approximately 50% of forests in Sweden are owned privately, he said a new challenge is that many forest owners no longer live on their land and are no longer dependent on forestry and agriculture.

Nordanstig explained that the philosophy of the Greener Forest campaign is to bring the right measures to the right place for the optimal combination of economic production and nature conservation and said the campaign's objectives include practical implementation of environmental goals, forest management at the stand-estate-ecosystem levels, and training and field-demonstration. He identified the target groups for the campaign as new owners, female owners, contractors (harvesters), the international society, the forestry administration staff, and the general public. He drew attention to extension materials including a text book, maps, thematic pamphlets and the internet (http://www.gronareskog.nu)

RealAudio Excerpts of Mr. Nordanstig's presentation: Part one   Part two

Kirsten Worm, Head of National Forest and Nature Agency Forest Policy Division, Danish Ministry of the Environment and Energy, (kwo@sns.dk, on the right) briefed participants on a Joint Nordic Initiative. The goal of the Initiative was to gather information on the results of practical implementation of SFM since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, including implementation of the Forest Principles and the IPF proposals for action. She noted that despite the Nordic countries forestry differences, the participating Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, are inspired by one another's work. For more information, visit the Initiative's website: http://www.norden.org.

In the corridors: 
Tensions within the Category III discussions appear to be straining the good will and diplomacy of the meeting. A delegate expressed concern about the "vehemence" of another's intervention. Some suggest that this tension will remain, while some countries continue their winner-take-all attitude and others take a minimalist approach.

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