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at ITTC-34

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12 May 

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15 May 

16 May 

17 May 


34th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Associated Sessions of the Committees 
12 - 17 May 2003 Panama City, Panama 

Highlights for Monday, 12 May 2003

The Delegates to the 34th session of the International Tropical Timber Council and related Committee meetings (ITTC-34) convened in Council and Committee sessions. The Council heard opening statements, addressed organizational matters and considered the role of phased approaches to certification. A joint committee session was held to hear the report of the Expert Panel for Technical Appraisal of Project Proposals. The Committee on Economy and Market Intelligence (CEM) and Committee on Forest Industry (CFI) jointly, and the Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management (CRF) reviewed completed projects and pre-projects.         

Opening  Plenary:

Left photo L-R: Ricardo Aguizola (ANAM), Minister Satyadeow Sawh (Guyana), Jan McAlpine, Vice-Chairperson of the Council, Dr. Arturo Vallarino First Vice-President of Panama, BC Freezailah, Chairperson of the Council, MonoelSobral Filho, ITTO Executive Director, Governor Jorge Viana of the State of Acre (Brazil), Juan Carlos Navarro, Mayor of Panama City.

Opening Plenary: Statements

ITTC Chair B.C.Y. Freezailah (Malaysia) (left) opened ITTC-34. He noted that the first Prep Com for the negotiation of a successor agreement to ITTA, 1994 will convene next week.

(in Spanish)

Manoel Sobral Filho, ITTO Executive Director (left), outlined several ongoing ITTO projects, including regional workshops and training programs aimed to assist developing producer countries in building sustainable trade. “I believe,” he said, “that it is mainly economics, and not technology, that is holding back the adoption and implementation of sustainable forest management in the tropics.”

(in French)

Emile Doumba, Minister of Forest Economy, Water and Fisheries (Gabon) renewed Gabon’s commitment to the sustainable forest management of tropical timber and highlighted a new forestry code meant to facilitate this objective. He noted concern about illegal logging and said a study should be done to assess its impact in Gabon.

Satyadeow Sawh, Minister of Fisheries, Crops, Livestock and Forestry (Guyana) (left) said that the people of Guyana want to use their tropical timber for social and economic improvements, but underscored that best practices were needed to do so. To this end, he highlighted the newly formed Guyana Forest Commission.

Jorge Viana, Governor of the State of Acre (Brazil) (left) stressed the importance of SFM in the province of Acre and said that it was his government’s objective to use the forests of Acre to benefit the people of Brazil, while adhering to the principles of sustainable forest management.

Ricardo Anguizola, National Environmental Authority of Panama (left), noted that most forest zones suffer from environmental deterioration and called for immediate measures to ensure their sustainable development. He also highlighted the need for economic development for forest inhabitants and stressed the importance of forest protected areas.

Arturo Vallarino, First Vice President of Panama, welcomed participants to Panama and thanked the ITTO for allowing Panama to host ITTC-34. He drew attention to recent developments in Panama’s forest policy.

Right photo: ITTO Executive Director, Manoel Sobral Filho thanks Vice-President Vallarino before leaving while Panama City Mayor  Navarro looks on.  

Keynote Presentation: Phased Approaches to Certification

Markku Simula, ITTO Consultant, presented the preliminary results of workshops held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Libreville, Gabon and Panama City, Panama regarding the potential role of phased approaches to certification in tropical timber producer countries as a tool to promote SFM. He concluded that phased approaches are needed to address the practical constraints to implementing certification and that there exists considerable interest in phased approaches to certification among all stakeholders.

Committee Sessions: Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management (CRF)

The Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management (CRF) chaired by Henri-Felix Maître (France) reviewed completed projects and pre-projects.           


Pablo Mateus presented work in Ecuador on reforestation and rehabilitation of degraded forest lands.

Ricardo Umali presented work completed in the Philippines on the conservation and management of biodiversity in the tropical forest managed for timber production.

Committee on Economic Information and Market Intelligence (CEM) and Committee on Forest Industry (CFI) 

Fídel Reyes Lee (Guatemala) (right) chaired the joint session of the CEM/CFI. He outlined the session’s agenda and organization of work, and called for the presentation of reports on completed projects and pre-projects, ex-post evaluations, lessons learned from previous ex-post evaluations, and the selection of projects for ex-post evaluation.


ENB Summary of ITTC-33 in PDF (English)

ITTO website, with documents for the meeting (includes provisional agendas),
and information about the ITTO.

Linkages forests, desertification and land issues page, including a brief introduction
to global forest policy

UNFF Website

FAO Website 

Recent SD coverage on Forest:

4th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE)

UNFF Country Led Initiative

International Conference on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (CICI)

Trade and Sustainable Forest Management 


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