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Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
Photos and RealAudio of 8 February
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8 February:

On the seventh day of IFF-4, delegates met in Working Group 1 to further discuss bracketed text on underlying causes of deforestation, TFRK and monitoring progress in implementation. The contact group on international arrangements and mechanisms (Category III) met in morning and evening sessions. Contact groups on financial resources and trade and environment met in the afternoon and the contact group on EST transfer also met in an evening session.

The day's negotiations: Here an informal, there an informal...

Delegates reading each others' drafts outside the Trusteeship Council chambers, minutes before the morning session of Working Group One.

Members of the Amazon Treaty Group convened in the Vienna Cafe

In the hallways. In the cafeterias. Before and after meetings. Chair Asadi even had to call a short recess in the midst of Working Group One's morning session (below, left) - all in the name of letting delegations consult informally in order to achieve consensus on text. Proposing a draft version and soliciting reaction from other delegations is commonly referred to as "shopping text", in UN parlance. With only 3 more working days until the end of IFF-4, no one wants to play the part of the last-minute shopper scrambling for a deal... Some are already predicting extended shopping hours.

Not your usual coffee break...

Informal consultations on trade and environment

Side event: International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO): "Forest Science-Policy Interface: the impact of research on Sustainable Forest Management policies"

Vic Adamowicz, Professor at the University of Alberta, Department of Rural Economy, (e-mail: vic.adamowicz@ualberta.ca, web site: http://www.ualberta.ca/sfm/) briefed participants on SFM networks in Canada. He cited three research case studies on: boreal mixed-wood forest management; co-management of forest lands with First Nation communities; and the impacts of forest harvesting on mercury bioaccumulation in fish.
RealAudio excerpts of Mr. Adamowicz's presentation (case studies)

William T. Sommers, Research Director, US Forest Service (e-mail: wsommers/wo@fs.fed.us), informed participants about the work of the US Roundtable on Sustainable Forests. He explained the intent of the Roundtable to provide an interface between policy and science. He highlighted work toward using the criteria and indicator developed by the Montreal Process, and noted challenges associated with implementing indicators. He said the goals of the Roundtable include developing a research framework to look at relationship between environment and society and promoting the use of tools linking knowledge and action.
RealAudio excerpts of Mr. Sommers' presentation

Mafa Chipeta, Deputy Director-General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), (e-mail: m.chipeta@cgiar.org), provided an overview of CIFOR's research. He described CIROR's research focus as very broad and remarked on the need to interact with many stakeholders and institutions that do not address only forestry matters such as Ministries of Economics. He said the CIROR research agenda includes forestry and global policies, underlying causes of deforestation, biological diversity, plantations and adaptive comanagement.
RealAudio excerpts of Mr. Chipeta's presentation


Pam Chasek, ENB Editor, catches Brazil's Everton Vargas between two informal consultations.

In the corridors: 
Deliberations over a legally binding instrument on forests are becoming more fractious with opposing camps taking a winner-take-all attitude. In retaliation for a call to bracket all references to a LBI, proponents of a LBI have called for the deletion of reference to an ongoing UN forum on forests. Most delegates suggest that this reflects a state of positioning rather than a final position.


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