Report of main proceedings for 10 April 2013
10th Session of the UNFF
UNFF10 continued on Wednesday, 10 April, in plenary. In the morning delegates addressed agenda items on: regional and subregional inputs; enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination, including the provision of further guidance to the CPF; and forests and economic development. In the afternoon a Multi-stakeholder Dialogue was convened. In the evening delegates attended the UN Forests for People Awards.
REGIONAL AND SUBREGIONAL INPUTS: UNFF Director Jan McAlpine presented the Report of the Secretary-General on Regional and Subregional Inputs (E/CN.18/2013/3), underscoring that this provides valuable feedback. With regard to the theme of UNFF10, she called attention to the work of capturing data on forests and urged effectively contributing this data to national accounting. She highlighted actions, inter alia: influencing political commitments; strengthening and harmonizing governance; and sharing best practices.
ENHANCED COOPERATION: UNFF Director McAlpine presented the Report of the Secretary-General on Enhanced Cooperation and Policy and Programme Coordination, Including the Provision of Further Guidance to the CPF (E/CN.18/2013/8), outlining UNFF cooperation with, inter alia: the CPF in follow-up to Rio+20; indigenous peoples and forests in the post-2015 development agenda; and other MEAs and UN organizations, including on capacity building for the implementation of the Forest Instrument.
UNFF Director McAlpine presented the Note by the Secretariat on the International Year of Forests, 2011 Activities (E/CN.18/2013/9), noting that the theme “Forests for People” underscored the cross-sectoral linkages of forests.
Eduardo Rojas-Briales, FAO, and CPF Chair, presented the information note titled CPF Framework 2011 and 2012 (E/CN.18/2013/10), outlining CPF achievements, including a single coordinated input on forests to Rio+20. He highlighted an updated study on forest financing, the establishment of the Wangari Maathai Award, hosting of Forest Days Five and Six, and publication of SFM factsheets.
FORESTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Representatives from Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Ukraine presented on country-led initiatives (CLIs) reported to the UNFF Secretariat in letters (E/CN.18/2013/14, 15, 16 and 17).
Gen Totani, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan, reported on the “International Seminar on Challenges of SFM,” co-hosted with Indonesia in Tokyo, Japan, in 2011, sharing recommendations to, inter alia: streamline reporting; facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogues; and mainstream forests in the sustainable development agenda.
Matthias Schwoerer, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Germany, discussed the conference on “Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy,” held in Bonn, Germany, in October 2011, which addressed how the forest sector could improve resource use efficiency.
Rob Busink, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the Netherlands, reported on the meeting, “A Pathway to a Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development,” which took place in Hanoi, Viet Nam, in January 2012. He highlighted the: role of the private sector in driving green growth; linkages between forestry, agriculture and food security; and need to mainstream SFM.
Lyubov Polyakova, State Forest Resource Agency, Ukraine, reported on discussion from the “Forests in a Green Economy for Countries in Eastern Europe, Northern and Central Asia: Lviv Forum,” held in Lviv, Ukraine, in September 2012, including on: green economy; understanding key forest trends; and income generation from forest-based activities.
COUNTRY STATEMENTS: On enhancing cooperation and coordination, BOLIVIA lamented that the UNFF is not playing its role of forest policy coordination in the international sphere. The US urged the UNFF to maintain a facilitative role within the CPF, rather than assume the function of system-wide coordination within the UN.
BRAZIL highlighted the UNFF Major Groups Initiative meeting held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 18-22 March 2013, which acknowledged the importance of the participation of civil society in the UNFF. ETHIOPIA reported the activities of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, and its request to join the CPF.
New Zealand, for the MONTREAL PROCESS, discussed its increased collaboration with ITTO, FOREST EUROPE and FAO, and efforts to develop a forest indicators partnership. Ireland, for the EU and CROATIA, reported on EU cooperation through Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade to exclude illegal timber from the EU market.
MALAYSIA cautioned against fragmentation and dilution of resources and capacity within the CPF. Outlining the Tehran Process, IRAN noted that the process provides a framework to facilitate the support of the CPF for low forest cover countries.
INDIA urged for greater cooperation at regional, subregional and national levels to facilitate, inter alia, technology transfer and capacity building. The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO outlined national activities undertaken in partnership with donors to support SFM implementation.
On forests and economic development, CHINA proposed that the CPF: formulate an implementation plan to support the UNFF’s work and strengthen collaboration; organize evaluations and review collaborative efforts; and support the relevant consultations and post-2015 decision-making. ARGENTINA called for more information on the role of forests in the green economy, in the context of SFM.
Rojas-Briales, responding to interventions, noted that CPF priorities are determined and mandated by the UNFF and Member States, cautioning that a balance of CPF activities needs to be achieved in order to adequately address all three pillars of sustainable development.
MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE: UNFF Director Jan McAlpine introduced the Note by the Secretariat on Multi-stakeholder Dialogue (E/CN.18/2013/7), thanking the Major Groups for submitting the Forests and Economic Development Discussion Paper (E/CN.18/2013/7/Add.1) that delivers conclusions and recommendations for discussion at UNFF10.
Moderator Shashi Kant, University of Toronto, Canada, framed the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue, encouraging members to “fall in love with sustainability.”
Peter deMarsh, Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners, for FARMERS AND SMALL FOREST LANDOWNERS, noted that to ensure livelihoods, increase forest cover and protect forests, a set of conditions should be in place, including: indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights; scientific and traditional knowledge, education and capacity building; and access and benefit sharing.
Hubertus Samangun, Regional Coordinator for the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, for Indigenous PeopleS, called for simplified access to available funds, such as through the GEF Small Grants Programme. Paul Opanga, Building and Wood Workers’ International, for Forest Workers and Trade Unions, urged Member States to ensure living wages for workers, rather than “poverty wages,” pointing out that a “forest that pays is a forest that stays” and that a forest job must be both green and decent.
Sim Heok-Choh, Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions, for Scientific and Technological Communities, urged strengthening forestry research, education and training, and enabling environments for private sector investment in science and technology.
Lambert Okrah, Major Groups Partnership on Forests, for NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs), noted that discussions among participants at Major Groups-led initiatives that took place in early 2013 included debate on governance systems and community-based enterprises. Ghanshyam Pandey, Chair, Federation of Community Forests Users, Nepal, and Global Alliance of Community Forestry, for FARMERS AND SMALL FOREST LANDOWNERS, urged ensuring secure land tenure rights for indigenous peoples, farmers and small forest landowners.
Jukka Halonen, Finnish Forests Industries Federation, for INDUSTRY, urged the full participation of all major groups in international fora. Cécile Ndjebet, African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests, for WOMEN, called for: including women in forest-based economic development; reforming land tenure systems to ensure women’s land rights; funding women-based forest enterprises; and capacity building to ensure adequate representation of women in decision-making instruments.
Tolulope Daramola, International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), for CHILDREN AND YOUTH, outlined recommendations of the May 2012 IFSA Conference on “forests in a green economy: contribution and the youth position,” including creating a youth programme, employing a youth officer in the UNFF Secretariat and organizing annual national, regional and international youth forest activities.
Andrei Laletin, Friends of the Siberian Forests, for NGOs, remarking on the growing trend of mono-species large-scale plantation afforestation programmes, emphasized that these forests cannot provide ecosystem services lost by destruction of natural forests, and underlined the need to promote benefit sharing from genetic resources with forest people.
During statements from the floor, TURKEY highlighted the importance of empowering local and indigenous peoples to improve livelihoods. NEPAL shared experiences of a multi-stakeholder process that proved effective in improving governance. UGANDA acknowledged the balance provided by Major Groups that “act from their hearts” and their key role in mobilizing programmes. GUINEA shared success in entrusting the development of community groups to women. LIBERIA underlined the need to build stakeholders’ capacity in decision-making to avoid having others speak for them.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA emphasized that SFM cannot be achieved without strong, continued and improved stakeholder dialogue, citing the involvement of key stakeholders in forestry decision-making in Papua New Guinea. SENEGAL noted that policies that do not take account of the beneficiaries’ concerns will not succeed, and underlined the need to consider specificities of groups, particularly women, youth and indigenous peoples.
MEXICO underscored the importance of civil society in implementing SFM. INDONESIA shared national mechanisms for multi-stakeholder involvement in SFM including a council to facilitate consultations between government, business and local communities. NIGERIA remarked on an initiative to engage women in SFM practices through training and sustainable livelihood components.
LESOTHO outlined national efforts to engage stakeholders that have led to an increase in forest cover and reduction of illegal logging. TOGO described national conditions and outlined efforts to integrate awareness of forest values and disaster risk reduction into curricula.
SWEDEN highlighted that the forestry industry and small forest owners play a crucial role in job and income creation, calling for long-term investments in forestry education and research. GERMANY said the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue has raised the profile of Major Groups in cross-sectoral approaches to SFM.
FINLAND called for secure land and tenure rights to ensure SFM. ARGENTINA highlighted promoting the fair trade of, and adding value to, non-wood products from indigenous and local communities in order to ensure benefits to them.
FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL said SFM can be achieved through, among others, sustainable consumption and production patterns, efficient use and reuse, and sustainable procurement, and urged the UNFF to challenge Member States to integrate the forest agenda into their sustainable development policies.
GHANA noted that recommendations from the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue would be used to improve existing national consultation platforms. MALAYSIA cautioned against generalizing and simplifying recommendations from the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue, as they may be difficult to apply in a national context. The US said the paper by Major Groups would enrich discussion on a variety of topics to be considered under the forests and economic development agenda item in Working Group 1.
In closing, Moderator Kant stressed that the UNFF process cannot be dynamic and vibrant without the involvement of Major Groups, and further asserted that there is no reason for any country to disagree with anything said by the Major Groups.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The third day of UNFF10 imbued delegates with a sense of cooperation, mutual aid and teamwork as they heard UNFF reports on enhanced cooperation and participated in the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue. Delegates seemed satisfied with the discussion with Major Groups, especially with the inclusion of industry. Heard in the hallways were comments by participants who were pleased that Major Groups focal points had brought forward substantive issues. This was even with some calling on donors to “make good on their commitments,” a statement that according to some could be potentially echoed by developing countries in the upcoming working groups.
The UN Forests for People Awards took place at the end of the day, and presented a great opportunity to recognize the efforts of people from around the world whose hard work to protect forests has not gone unnoticed.