Daily report for 9 April 2013

10th Session of the UNFF

UNFF10 continued on Tuesday, 9 April. In the morning, participants convened in two roundtables on forests and economic development, and on the Rio+20 outcomes, the post-2015 development agenda and the IAF. Delegates then convened in plenary for a high-level interactive dialogue with the heads of the member organizations of the CPF, followed by the continuation of the Ministerial Segment, throughout the afternoon.


FORESTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: This roundtable was co-chaired by Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana, and Arvids Ozols, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Latvia.

Uma Lele, former World Bank Senior Advisor, reported that some middle-income countries have recovered forest cover through use of national funds and initiatives including payment for ecosystem services (PES). She emphasized the role of good governance.

ARGENTINA and INDIA said the lack of appreciation of the non-cash value of forests undermines the recognition of their contribution to natural capital. FINLAND noted that the contribution of the forest sector to Finland’s economy is the highest in the UN Economic Commission for Europe region. CANADA described national forest policies developed to maximize the value of forest resources by, inter alia, broadening the basket of end-products. MALAYSIA, ISRAEL and LESOTHO reported on national tree planting campaigns.

IRAN called for bridging financing gaps through dedicated resources, with particular attention to LDCs. GRENADA explained that, although they are committed to forest initiatives, as a SIDS, they face increased challenges due to climate change.

SUDAN said they are reviewing policies to increase the coverage of forest reserves and called for international and regional cooperation. BELARUS urged cooperation in developing non-binding means to ensure SFM. ISRAEL proposed a Mediterranean cross-regional cooperation programme and volunteered to provide initial funding.

Ireland, for the EU, called for clear policy guidance, increased investment from the private sector, integrating forests into urban planning, good governance and cross-sectoral cooperation.

In the afternoon report back to plenary, Co-Chair Fuesini noted the need to manage data on cash and non-cash benefits to better facilitate cross-sectoral cooperation.

RIO+20 OUTCOME, POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AND IAF: This roundtable was co-chaired by Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador for the Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France, and Luis Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Under-Secretary-General for Environment, Science and Technology, Ministry of External Relations, Brazil. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, urged policymakers to provide guidance on integrating SFM into broader socioeconomic policies and the post-2015 development agenda discussions.

TURKEY, ARGENTINA and GABON underlined the need to ensure that forests are adequately addressed in the post-2015 development agenda, with TURKEY also calling for setting priority forest actions in the framework of a green economy. BOLIVIA reminded that green economy is a tool for achieving sustainable development.

THAILAND called for valuing forests and ecosystems and considering their benefits, and suggested using this as a basis for PES. REPUBLIC OF CONGO and TOGO underlined that international discussions on forests must consider crosscutting issues and the socioeconomic benefits of forests.

INDONESIA proposed creating an “umbrella” goal on natural resources. The EU noted that Rio+20 reaffirmed all of the Rio principles. GERMANY called for improved international cooperation and standards setting for SFM, including through a global legally binding instrument.

INDIA argued against creating a legally binding agreement as an outcome of the 2015 review. MALAYSIA said current structures and processes should be reviewed with a greater focus on crosscutting issues.

In the afternoon report back to plenary, Co-Chairs Machado and Thébault outlined key suggestions to support forest contributions to sustainable development, highlighting a range of options, inter alia, developing an SDG on forests.


HIGH-LEVEL INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE HEADS OF THE MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS OF THE CPF: UNFF Director Jan McAlpine facilitated the high-level panel. Tony Simons, Director-General, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), reported on the ICRAF/FAO publication “Advancing Agroforestry on the Policy Agenda” aimed at guiding optimization of agroforestry’s contribution to national development.

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chair, GEF, noted that the central role of forests in sustainable development presents an opportunity for increased forest financing, and underscored that GEF-6 aims, inter alia, to address the drivers of deforestation.

Niels Elers Koch, President, International Union of Forest Research Organizations, and CPF Vice-Chair, noted the organization’s work to bring together natural and social sciences to provide policy-relevant information.

Stewart Maginnis, IUCN, encouraged cross-sectoral cooperation to demonstrate forests’ capacity to contribute to challenges such as climate change, food security and local economic growth.

Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director, International Tropical Timber Organization, suggested efforts to increase tropical forests’ contribution to sustainable development, including through valuation of ecosystem services and scaling up of successful implementation.

Tim Christophersen, United Nations Environment Programme, supported the comments by Uganda in Roundtable 1, on developing a strong business case on the value of forests to encourage investment by other sectors, and called for a platform for sharing best practices.

Peter Dewees, World Bank, called for mobilizing investment across sectors, highlighting that private investment in forests is currently about nine times the amount of public sector funding. Mohamadou-Mansour N’Diaye, UNCCD, outlined the goals to prevent land degradation and restore degraded land, underlining the importance of involving community-based organizations.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD, underscored the importance of an integrated approach to development, urging the integration of ecosystem and forest considerations with other sectoral considerations to help deliver on goals related to water, health and energy.

Peter Holmgren, Deputy-General, Centre for International Forestry Research, noted that “landscape days” rather than “forest days” can break down institutional silos to address challenges multi-sectorally. Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General for Forestry, FAO, highlighted that SDGs provide an opportunity for addressing all pillars of sustainable development but cautioned against insufficient focus on forests.

MINISTERIAL SEGMENT: Shortly before lunch and throughout the afternoon, ministers and heads of delegation presented statements. Fouad Mohadji, Vice-President, Comoros, and Moshe Kamhi, Consul General in Istanbul, Israel, highlighted the importance of cooperation. Yaroslav Makarchuk, First Deputy Head, State Forest Resources Agency, Ukraine, highlighted Ukraine’s awareness building through a World Forest Day annual campaign “Future Forest in Your Hands.”

Farid Ahmed Mogawar, Minister of Agriculture, Yemen, called for stakeholders to work together to address forest challenges and the needs of those that rely on forests for their livelihoods in an integrated manner. Diego Pacheco Balanza, Bolivia, called for a holistic and integrated view of forests across different levels, and greater involvement of community-based organizations and indigenous peoples.

Henri Djombo, Minister of Sustainable Development, Forests Economy and Environment, Republic of Congo, Kevin Smyth, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Ireland, and Don Koo Lee, former Minister of Forest Service, Republic of Korea, noted synergies between the UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCD, and called for increased cooperation between the UNFF and these conventions. Gianpaolo Scarante, Ambassador to Turkey, Italy, reiterated that REDD+ under the UNFCCC is an important means of enhancing SFM.

Rolf Manser, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland, called for a credible review process that recognizes the responsibility of the UNFF to coordinate forest matters within the UN. Russell Phillips, Minister Counselor of Agriculture, Australia, noted national capacity building initiatives to reduce forest degradation and increase participation in REDD+.

Alhaji Inusah Fuesini, Minister of Land and Natural Resources, Ghana, called for enhanced partnerships, intersessional work and an evaluation framework for the Forest Instrument. Daniel André, Director of Water and Forest, Senegal, called for discussions to establish a legally-binding forest agreement.

Fabiana Loguzzo, Director of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture, Argentina, called for political momentum to boost implementation, and enhance cooperation and capacity building, particularly for developing countries. Gerhard Mannsberger, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria, called for a decision setting out a roadmap for the period up to 2015 to make clear decisions on the future of the UNFF and all types of forests.

Domingos Nazaré da Cruz Veloso, National Director of Forests, Ministry of Agriculture, Angola, Mohammad Hamad, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Marine Resources, Libya, Joseph Iita, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Namibia, Jenipher Chilunga, Minister, Environment and Climate Change Management, Malawi, Ernesto Adobo Jr., Under-Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, Oyun Sanjaasuren, Minister, Environment and Green Development, Mongolia, Tufuga Gafoa Faitua, Associate Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources, Samoa, Keiji Fukuda, Consul General in Istanbul, Japan, Wijarn Simachaya, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, Angelo Sartori, National Forest Corporation, Chile, Masran Salleh, Deputy Director-General, Forest Department, Malaysia, V. Rajagopalan, Ministry of Environment and Forests, India, Noval Mohammed Sepin, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Algeria, and Edward Kamara, Forest Development Authority, Liberia, discussed, inter alia, national initiatives to: implement SFM policies; increase forest cover; promote community forest management; and adapt to climate change.

On SFM, Tom Rosser, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Natural Resources, Canada, Matthias Schwoerer, Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Germany, Tajul Islam, Minister of Liberation War Affairs, Bangladesh, and Javier Días-Carmona, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Costa Rica, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS (CfRN), outlined elements for implementing SFM, including: integrated approaches; community involvement; good governance; and increased funding for climate change mitigation.

Gelu Puiu, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Romania, urged managing forests to meet the needs of present and future generations. Astride Nazaire, Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission to the UN, Haiti, expressed hope that ecological vulnerabilities can be transformed into a “sustainable renaissance.”

Anders Lönnblad, Deputy Director-General, Ministry for Rural Affairs, Sweden, called for the integration of the forest community and cross-sectoral coordination. Alexander Panfilov, Deputy Head, Federal Forestry Agency, Russian Federation, noted shared responsibility for forest management by public and private sectors.

Nguyen Ba Ngai, Deputy Director-General, Directorate of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam, called on timber-consuming countries to develop appropriate trade policies to minimize negative impacts on forest-dependent communities in timber-producing countries.

On finance, Jorge Abarca del Carpio, Ambassador to Turkey, Peru, Nthabiseng Motete, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa, and the CfRN, supported establishing a global forest fund.

In closing, Under-Secretary-General Wu lauded the rigorous debate on critical issues noting that they provided guidance on: forest conservation; addressing obstacles; and taking advantage of the opportunities presented by SFM.

Néstor Osorio, President of ECOSOC, lauded the high level of commitment, noting that the outcomes augur well for the future of forests. Veysel Eroğlu, Ministerial Segment Co-Chair and Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, urged increased cooperation and continued knowledge sharing to aid in combating forest degradation.


Participants at UNFF10 had an early start to the day, taking part in two roundtables on the main themes of the meeting. Rushing back to plenary to participate in the interactive dialogue with the heads of CPF member organizations, several were heard commenting that they were happy to have a break in the litany of ministerial statements.

However, despite this “taste” of substantive issues, as one delegate put it, most were in a “holding pattern” itching to get the political statements out of the way and move on to the working group discussions. The holding pattern was evident by the fact that some regional coordination meetings were only starting to get underway, while others were yet to meet. However, by the Ministerial Segment’s close, delegates could be heard expressing their satisfaction with the meeting organization, with one delegate saying that they could now spend the rest of the meeting discussing substantive issues “without interruption.”

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