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Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
Photos and RealAudio of 7 February
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7 February:

On the sixth day of IFF-4, delegates met in Working Group 1 to further discuss bracketed text on TFRK and protected areas. The contact groups on trade and environment and on international arrangements and mechanisms (Category III) met during the day, and the contact group on finance met in an evening session.

Working Group 1 in session in the intimate Conference Room 6 >>

Side-event: UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Forestry Programme Information session

Hosny El-Lakany (left), Assistant Director-General of FAO Forestry Department, presented the FAO forestry goals, including: contribution of trees and forests to sustainable land use and food security; conservation, sustainable development and improved utilization of trees and forests systems and their genetic resources; increase in world-wide access to reliable and timely forestry information. He identified four priority clusters: global forestry statistics and information, provided by the Global Forest Resources Assessment mechanism and through the updated FAO Forestry website; technologies and methodologies for the conservation and sustainable use of trees, wooded lands and forests; institutional strengthening; and support to international process influencing forests.

RealAudio excerpts of Mr. El-Lakany's description of FAO's Forestry Program

James Ball, FAO Forest Programmes Coordinator, talked about the Global Forest Resources Assessment mechanism, it's FRA2000 report, and presented a global survey on the status of implementation of national forest programmes.

RealAudio excerpts of Mr. Ball's presentation on FAO's GFRA

For more information, visit FAO's Forestry web site: http://www.fao.org/forestry/

Side-event: International NGO/IPO Forest Policy Implementation Monitoring Project

Non-governmental and indigenous people's organizations (IPOs) active in the IPF and IFF announced at IFF-3 that they would initiate a monitoring and reporting project to provide initial input on countries' successes and failures in implementing the IPF Proposals for Actions. At the Monday night side event, the NGO/IPO group presented a draft of its report.

Above, from left to right: Bill Mankin, Global Forestry Policy Project; Sofia Ryder, FERN; Lambert Okrah, Institute of Cultural Affairs, Ghana; Bill Ritchie, Worldforest UK; Hans Verolme, Bionet USA; and Cesar Viteri, Latin American Forest Network.

In this special RealAudio presentation, Bill Ritchie (right), Worldforest UK, outlines the preliminary findings of the report.

During the question and answer period, some of the delegates in attendance reacted strongly to the report, stating that it contained numerous mistakes and information taken out of context. The draft of the report can be previewed soon at http://www.bionet-us.org/. The final version of the report is to be completed by and presented at CSD-8.

In the corridors: 
Deliberations in the trade and environment contact group appear to have reached a stalemate, with some delegations becoming increasingly frustrated with the stewardship of the process. Others believe that discussions revolving around reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers are "too sensitive" for this level of UN negotiation and would prefer that these matters are referred to the WTO.

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