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INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON FORESTS: The first meeting of the CSD's Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) took place in New York from 11-15 September 1995. At this meeting, delegates elected Sir Martin Holdgate (UK) as Co-Chair from developed countries and Mr. N.R. Krishnan (India) and Dr. Manuel Rodriguez (Colombia) as Co-Chairs from the G-77, with Krishnan serving as Co-Chair for the first two sessions and Rodriguez serving as Co-Chair for the final two sessions. Delegates also adopted the IPF programme of work and attempted to set the dates and venues of future meetings. Several of the issues that have typically divided North and South again proved difficult. Members of the G-77 were resistant to any proposal that could foreseeably lead to a loss of national control over forests and forest products. There was also some concern on the subject of criteria and indicators and whether proposed intersessional workshops should constitute an official part of the Panel process. Developed countries questioned the need to extend the length of meetings of the Panel and expressed serious concerns about the work of the Panel.

For more information see Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Vol. 13 No. 3 or contact Elizabeth Barsk-Rundquist, tel: +1-212-963-3263; fax: +1-212-963-1795; e-mail: barsk-rundquist@un.org.

WORLD COMMISSION ON FORESTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The WCFSD was established by the InterAction Council of former Heads of State and Governments in 1994 and held its first meeting in June 1995. The Commissioners agreed to give high priority to identifying target areas for policy and institutional reform that are of crucial importance to sustainable management and conservation of global forests. As a starting point, the Commission established three Working Panels to cover the following topics: sustainable, equitable use and management of forests; trade and the environment; and financial mechanisms, international agreements and the role of international institutions. The Commission is in the process of establishing an independent Science Council and a Policy Advisory Group and plans to hold regional public hearings. For more information, contact Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Woods Hole Research Center; tel: +1-508-540-9900; fax: +1-508-540-9700; e-mail: krwhrc@mcimail.com.

SEVENTH MEETING OF THE MONTREAL PROCESS GROUP: The Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests (Montreal Process) held its seventh meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, from 30 October - 4 November 1995. This was the first meeting since the endorsement of the Santiago Declaration and the comprehensive list of criteria and indicators in February 1995.

Montreal Process countries underscored the importance of future cooperation among countries on national level implementation of criteria and indicators, particularly among neighboring countries or those with similar forest conditions. In this regard, it was agreed that each country would report on its approach to data requirements, including collection, and its approach to reporting on each indicator at the next meeting of the Montreal Process. Participants also exchanged views on the relationship between national level criteria and indicators and certification. Montreal Process countries reaffirmed that the criteria and indicators have been developed for the assessment of sustainable forest management at the national level. Australia will host the eighth meeting of the Working Group in June 1996.

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