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Summary report, 3–14 May 1999

3rd Session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF-3)

The third session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF-3) took place from 3-14 May 1999 in Geneva, Switzerland. Over the course of the two-week meeting, delegates conducted substantive discussion on monitoring progress in implementation of the IPF’s proposals for action, financial resources and issues needing further clarification. These issues were: underlying causes of deforestation; traditional forest-related knowledge (TFRK); forest conservation and protected areas; forest research; valuation of forest goods and products; economic instruments, tax policies and land tenure; future supply of and demand for wood and non-wood forest products and services; and assessment, monitoring and rehabilitation of forest cover in environmentally critical areas. IFF-3 also held substantive discussion on international arrangements and mechanisms to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. Update discussions were held on trade and environment and transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs). Delegates also had before them documents on promoting and facilitating implementation and on forest-related work of international and regional organizations and under existing instruments, but did not discuss them.

IFF-3 adopted Co-Chairs reports and compilation texts, which contain draft conclusions and proposals for action, to be forwarded to IFF-4 for further consideration. Reports and summaries on all programme elements remain open for discussion at IFF-4, which is tentatively scheduled for 31 January –11 February 2000 in New York.


INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON FORESTS: The UN Commission on Sustainable Development's (CSD) open-ended ad hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) was established in 1995 to pursue consensus and coordinated proposals for action to support the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The IPF focused on 12 programme elements under five chapter headings: implementation of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) forest-related decisions; international cooperation in financial assistance and technology transfer; research, assessment and development of criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable forest management (SFM); trade and environment; and international organizations and multilateral institutions and instruments. Its objective was to submit final conclusions and policy recommendations to the CSD at its fifth session in April 1997.

The Panel met four times between 1995-1997 and adopted a final report at its fourth session in February 1997, which it submitted to CSD-5. The report contains approximately 140 proposals for action under its 12 programme elements, including a call for continued intergovernmental forest policy dialogue. However, IPF delegates could not agree on a few major issues such as financial assistance and trade-related matters, or whether to begin negotiations on a global forest convention. On these and other elements, the IPF forwarded a range of options to the CSD in its report. CSD-5 adopted the IPF's report and forwarded a set of recommendations to the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) to conduct an overall review and appraisal of progress in implementing the UNCED agreements.

UNGASS: The UN General Assembly, at its nineteenth special session in June 1997, decided to continue the intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests through the establishment of an ad hoc open-ended Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) under the aegis of the CSD. In addition, the General Assembly decided that "the Forum should also identify the possible elements of and work towards consensus on international arrangements and mechanisms, for example, a legally-binding instrument." The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), through resolution 1997/65, established the IFF, which will report to the CSD at its eighth session in 2000.

IFF-1: The IFF held its organizational session (IFF-1) from 1-3 October 1997 in New York. Delegates agreed on the IFF's programme of work, the schedule and allocation of programme elements for discussion at future sessions, the number, date and venue of future sessions, participation, and the organization of intersessional meetings or consultations. The Forum stressed the need for a focused and balanced approach to its work and emphasized the need to build on the positive results achieved in the IPF. It stressed that the focus should be on implementation of the proposals for action and those issues on which international consensus is yet to be achieved.

IFF-2: The objective of IFF-2, held from 24 August-4 September 1998 in Geneva, was to prepare draft conclusions and proposals for action. Delegates conducted substantive discussions on promoting and facilitating implementation of the IPF's proposals for action, forest-related work of international and regional organizations and existing instruments, trade and environment, and transfer of ESTs. Text on trade and environment and transfer of ESTs remained heavily bracketed. IFF-2 also conducted background discussions on monitoring progress in implementation of the IPF's proposals for action, the need for financial resources, issues needing further clarification, and international arrangements and mechanisms.

INTERSESSIONAL PERIOD: During the intersessional period, a number of meetings addressing areas of the IFF programme of work were held. These meetings included:

  • The International Consultation on Research and Information Systems in Forestry (ICRIS) was held in Gmunden, Austria, from 7-10 September 1998. ICRIS examined ways and means to implement research support, with particular emphasis on the interface between research and the user community and the role of research in policy formulation.


  • The Australian Government consultation on International Forest Conservation: Protected Areas and Beyond, held 9-11 September 1998 in Canberra, and the Brazil- and US-sponsored International Experts Meeting on Protected Areas, held 15-19 March 1999 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, explored options for improving the conservation and protection of representative and unique forest types as an integral part of sustainable forest management.


  • The Global Workshop on Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation, hosted by Costa Rica and facilitated by an organizing committee comprised of UNEP, governments and NGOs, convened in San Jos, Costa Rica, from 18- 22 January 1999. The Workshop was the culmination of a 16-month long process of regional consultations and case studies designed to support and build on the implementation of the IPF proposals for action on the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation and on the ongoing work of the IFF.


  • The International Experts Meeting on the Role of Planted Forests, sponsored by the Governments of Chile, Denmark, India, New Zealand and Portugal, was held in Santiago, Chile, from 22-26 February 1999. The meeting addressed the role of plantation forests in meeting the world's growing requirements for wood and non-wood based forest products.


  • The Experts Meeting of the Costa Rica-Canada Initiative on International Arrangements and Mechanisms, met in San Jos, Costa Rica, from 22-26 February 1999. The Experts Meeting was the first of three stages of the Initiative, which aims to identify possible elements and work towards a consensus on the usefulness of having international arrangements and mechanisms, for example, a legally-binding instrument on all types of forests.


    IFF Co-Chair Ilkka Ristimki (Finland) opened IFF-3 on Monday, 3 May 1999, and noted its heavy agenda, particularly in light of the public holiday on Thursday, 13 May. He recalled recent initiatives taken by governments, IGOs and NGOs and work undertaken by the Interagency Task Force on Forests (ITFF) and other experts. He urged governments to inject political will into the IFF process and to look ahead to IFF-4, CSD-8 and beyond.

    Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Nitin Desai, via video conference from New York, identified the period since Rio as one of confidence and consensus building. He said the IFF must develop a clear understanding of its work areas and indicate linkages with other fora such as the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). He said the IFF is entering a round of critical and politically sensitive deliberations and noted the need to foster political commitment, build consensus on priority areas and determine what form continuing deliberations should take.

    Following Desai’s remarks, NEW ZEALAND asked how momentum would be maintained after the IFF process, and GERMANY, on behalf of the EU, asked what role the CSD could play. Desai responded that UN standing bodies such as the CSD would continue the process, but that this would depend on IFF outcomes and said the IFF must first build consensus on the meaning of SFM. He said an inter-agency collaborative mechanism should be developed. The INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL expressed concern that indigenous peoples and cultures would be overlooked in any ongoing process. Desai responded that the relationship between people and resources is critical for sustainable development and emphasized participatory forest management.

    JoAnne DiSano, Director of the UN Division for Sustainable Development, noted that implementation of the IPF proposals for action was very uneven and encouraged IFF-3 participants to produce a precise document.

    The Plenary then adopted the provisional agenda (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/1) and approved the programme of work, and opened the floor for general statements.


    GERMANY, on behalf of the EU and Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, encouraged a substantive discussion on future arrangements and mechanisms at IFF-3, which would include functions, scope and format of future arrangements or mechanisms. GUYANA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, lamented attempts by the North to put conditions on forest trade and questioned what compensatory economic mechanisms were available to implement and maintain national protected forest areas.

    The US suggested a fresh approach to deal with unresolved issues and supported further elaboration and clarification of the IPF proposals. She said the IFF should narrowly focus its work, and expressed concern with duplication of the IPF's work and the lack of progress made on technology transfer. JAPAN stressed the importance of and urged consensus on some form of international arrangement or mechanism. CUBA stressed development aid for developing countries, transfer of ESTs and the specific conditions of small island developing States (SIDS). CHINA called for an international instrument to comprehensively deal with forests, but said any international instrument must reflect the sovereignty of States with respect to their forests. BRAZIL supported a seminar on trade-related aspects of SFM and hoped IFF-3 discussions would consist of concrete proposals rather than generic speeches.

    The RUSSIAN FEDERATION underscored the need for further clarification on issues, particularly on trade and environment, and for national forestry certification in achieving SFM. He urged consensus for a preparatory process for a global forest convention. INDONESIA emphasized economic, social and ecological concerns within SFM. He called for the establishment of an international forest fund, supported efforts by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reduce and remove trade barriers to forest products, and encouraged international harmonization and recognition of certification standards. CHILE reported and highlighted the recommendations of the International Experts Meeting on the Role of Planted Forests held in Santiago, Chile. NEW ZEALAND emphasized trade in sustainable forest products, resource and technology transfer, and the promotion and creation of private sector investment. BENIN said questions of a political nature must take priority over technical issues. SENEGAL said the IFF should focus on a framework to guide all parties and to ensure sustainability of forests.

    The WORLD COMMISSION ON FORESTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT presented the Commission’s final report. It identified three areas of failure: economic failure (i.e., under-priced forest products); governance failure (i.e., lack of local and indigenous rights, benefit sharing and gender equity); and ethical failures (i.e., corruption and lack of transparency). The report concluded that a binding agreement might be useful and proposed new fora for international discussion on forests through the establishment of a forest security council and forest trust. The CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY noted its commitment to the IPF proposals and highlighted the programme on forest biodiversity adopted at COP-4.

    SOBREVIVENCIA highlighted the Global Meeting on Underlying Causes and said the success of IFF-3 would be judged by: agreement to protect frontier forests; a fund for forest protection; and a declaration acknowledging a forest crisis. Another representative of SOBREVIVENCIA noted concern over indigenous peoples’ involvement and called for unfiltered access to the process. ASOCIACION NAPGUANA said national legal systems must take conservation of biodiversity and indigenous land rights into consideration and emphasized this within the context of protected areas.

    On Tuesday, 11 May, delegates in Plenary were addressed by World Bank Vice-President Ian Johnson and FAO Deputy Director David Harcharik. Johnson emphasized the Bank’s commitment to improving SFM policy through an integrated strategy approach and strengthened partnerships with stakeholders such as the IFF and the ITFF. Harcharik highlighted the ITFF’s commitment to implementing the IPF and IFF proposals for action and to the sustainable management of the world’s forests.


    Co-Chair Bagher Asadi announced the Bureau members: Co- Chairs Asadi (Iran) and Ristimki (Finland), Vice-Chairs Yevgeny Kuzmichev (Russian Federation) and Amelia Torres (Peru). Vice- Chair Torres was elected as Rapporteur.

    Following the opening Plenary session, delegates reconvened the two working groups established at IFF-2. Working Group 1, chaired by Co-Chair Asadi, and Working Group 2, chaired by Co- Chair Ristimki, met throughout the course of the meeting. Working Group 2 established contact groups on trade and environment and transfer of ESTs, which began their work on the second day of the meeting. An additional contact group to negotiate text for the programme elements under Working Group 2 was established early in the second week of the meeting. On Wednesday, 12 May, a contact group was established to further discuss international arrangements and mechanisms met in two sessions. Working Group 1 discussed monitoring progress in implementation, underlying causes, TFRK, forest conservation, forest research, promoting and facilitating implementation of the IPF proposals for action, and international and regional organizations and under existing agreements. Working Group 2 addressed trade and environment, transfer of ESTs, future supply and demand, valuation, economic instruments and financial resources. Delegates convened in five Plenary sessions to hold substantive discussions on international arrangements and mechanisms.


    PROMOTING AND FACILITATING IMPLEMENTATION: On Wednesday, 5 May, Co-Chair Asadi introduced the Secretariat’s note on promoting and facilitating implementation (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/2). This provided an update for further consideration at IFF-4. The G-77/CHINA emphasized that human resources are needed for implementation. The EU noted that the IPF proposals should help decrease fragmentation of the international forest regime within the context of sustainable development. No further discussion was held on the Secretariat's note.

    MONITORING PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTATION: Working Group 1 began substantive discussions on monitoring progress in the implementation of the IPF’s action proposals E/CN.17/IFF/1999/3) on Monday, 3 May. A draft Co-Chairs’ report was produced and discussed on Wednesday, 5 May. Revised versions of the report were considered on Monday, 10 May, and Wednesday, 12 May. The final Co-Chairs’ report contains six conclusions and four action proposals. Text in two paragraphs of the proposals for action remains in brackets.

    On assessing progress in implementation, BRAZIL stressed the importance of monitoring and reporting at the national level and making available financial resources in order to support national efforts, especially in developing countries. The final Co-Chairs’ report recognizes the primary value and benefits of reviewing, monitoring and reporting at the national level.

    CANADA, along with many delegates, supported harmonization of existing monitoring and reporting systems on data collection and dissemination. CANADA, the EU and SOBREVIVENCIA noted the important role of the public sector, indigenous peoples, local communities and other groups in the development of procedures for monitoring, reviewing and reporting. The final text emphasizes that efforts should be made to make national data transparent and accessible to all interested parties.

    The EU, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA and the US stressed the importance of C&I. The US added the inclusion of SFM in relation to C&I. The G-77/CHINA requested reference to new and additional financial and technical resources based on national level C&I. The US opposed reference to new and additional financial resources, but stressed greater priority on capacity building assistance programmes, especially in developing countries. The final text notes that incorporating C&I in reporting would provide a useful basis to assess progress towards management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

    Other conclusions include:


  • harmonizing existing monitoring and reporting systems to avoid duplication;
  • strengthening institutional capacity at the national level to enable periodic monitoring;


  • building partnership among countries and between countries and international organizations;
  • integrating monitoring, assessment and reporting activities into national forest programmes (NFPs); and


  • developing a better common understanding of concepts, definitions and terminology at the national and international level.

    Regarding proposals for action, there was general consensus on an EU proposal to add reference to the need for improved information for monitoring the supply of and demand for wood and non-wood forest products and services. The G-77/CHINA and BRAZIL proposed adding the importance of technological cooperation and new and additional financial resources to help developing countries strengthen their capacity building efforts. Text reflecting these suggestions remains bracketed. An EU proposal on effective feedback mechanisms was accepted.

    Other proposals for action include:


  • making forest-related information available to policymakers and interested groups;


  • encouraging countries to further develop and implement C&I for SFM;


  • developing harmonized, cost-effective reporting formats based on national forest information; and


  • encouraging the donor community to assist developing countries to prepare national information and reports on forests.


    NEED FOR FINANCIAL RESOURCES: Working Group 2 conducted its first round of substantive discussion on the need for financial resources (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/4) on Tuesday, 4 May. Delegates responded to the Secretary-General’s report with general statements on preliminary conclusions and proposals for action. A draft Co-Chairs' report, which reflected this discussion, was considered on Tuesday, 11 May, and delegates proposed amendments to the text. Text was not negotiated on this issue and all of the suggested amendments made to the conclusions and proposals for action in the draft text were put in brackets and will be considered at IFF-4. The draft text addresses, inter alia: new and additional financing; better utilization of existing financial arrangements and funds; an international forest fund; public and private sector funding; and official development assistance (ODA).

    In the initial discussion, CHINA said developed countries should provide new and additional resources. JAPAN, SWITZERLAND and others supported more effective utilization of existing financial resources. The US said SFM requires not increased funding, but political will, open and transparent decision making, and improved absorptive capacity of recipient countries. To a conclusion on increasing funding to support SFM in developing countries, the US proposed deleting the reference to new and additional financing. The conclusion also, inter alia: considers the importance of increasing efficiency and effectiveness of available resources and mechanisms; and notes the importance of ODA for capacity building in developing countries and to finance environmentally sound development projects and programmes according to national priorities.

    Another conclusion discusses strategies for mobilizing resources through increasing public financing and creating enabling investment environments. Regarding the goals of increasing revenues from forest products and services, there was a suggestion to delete ensuring necessary reinvestment for SFM. To products and services, the G-77/CHINA proposed adding reference to biological resources of forests.

    In initial discussions, CANADA said the private sector should play a more important role in funding SFM. NORWAY, SWITZERLAND and others emphasized enabling national policy frameworks as prerequisites for long-term investment. To a related conclusion, the G-77/CHINA suggested text reflecting the complementarity of private and public financing. The EU suggested that public financing is critical to promoting and ensuring policy reform processes, as well as appropriate legal frameworks needed for further progress in SFM. The conclusion also addresses the importance of international and domestic public financing in removing barriers to investment.

    Regarding a conclusion on the prioritization of financial resource allocation for SFM at the national level, the US proposed that SFM should also be a priority in allocating available ODA. On a conclusion on the effective use of financial resources, the G-77/CHINA proposed replacing text on the need for a well-trained and remunerated civil service, a stable security environment and intolerance of corruption with "management capacity."

    In initial discussion on the creation of an international forest fund, CHINA, INDONESIA and BRAZIL supported, and the US, NEW ZEALAND and COSTA RICA opposed, such a fund. CANADA said an LBI would be necessary to provide the incentive and means for such a fund, while BRAZIL said the two should not be linked. The EU said a forest fund would counteract mainstreaming of existing funding mechanisms. The US called to delete text in a conclusion on the limitations existing international financial arrangements and funds have in supporting SFM. CANADA proposed text to reflect that the limitations exist in the absence of a unified government structure. The conclusion states that the establishment of an international forest fund needs to be considered, but notes reservations.

    On the concept of an investment promotion entity, BRAZIL and INDONESIA welcomed the idea, while the EU and the US said it needed further consideration. CHINA emphasized that private sector investment should not be considered a substitute for ODA. The conclusion in the draft text incorporates these views. It also states that any such mechanism could be integrated within existing mechanisms.

    The US proposed an additional conclusion recognizing that the ability of developing countries to benefit from international financial flows depends on their absorptive capacity. The G-77/CHINA proposed a conclusion calling on developed countries to fulfill their commitments to reach the UN target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA.

    Other conclusions included in the draft text address: the funding of forest-related activities within integrated programmes and timely and relevant information on financial flows and mechanisms; and barriers that restrain private investment in SFM, including policy failures.

    On proposals for action, AUSTRALIA suggested recalling relevant IPF proposals. A proposal regarding an international forest fund remains bracketed in its entirety and CANADA's suggestion to consider a forest fund in the context of new international arrangements is bracketed within the paragraph. The G-77/CHINA added a proposal considering the creation of an international forest fund as a financial mechanism to promote SFM. The EU suggested a proposal on using NFPs to identify appropriate financial strategies and funding requirements for SFM and promoting effective utilization of available financial resources. The G-77/CHINA suggested a proposal that considers the need for preparing a study integrating issues such as valuation of forest goods and services, including biological resources, and international trade, taking into account the effects of trade restrictions, such as tariff escalations.

    It was suggested that proposals on increasing financial assistance to SFM in developing countries, the potential of innovative mechanisms, encouraging private investment and an international forest fund duplicate IPF proposals for action and should be deleted. In addition to containing internal brackets, these proposals are bracketed in their entirety.

    Other proposals for action address: collecting information on financial flows; a preparatory study of the feasibility of an investment promotion entity; and special consideration to least developed countries and low forest cover countries (LFCCs).

    TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT: Working Group 2 had on its agenda an update discussion on trade and environment. However, in addition to over 100 internal brackets, the text forwarded from IFF-2 was bracketed in its entirety. Negotiations on the text took place in a contact group, chaired by Don Wijewardana (New Zealand). The group held seven sessions from Tuesday, 4 May, through Wednesday, 12 May. Before sending text to Plenary, the contact group removed most of the brackets and consolidated the text into 13 conclusions and 10 proposals for action. Two sections of bracketed text refer to sustainably managed forests and forest biological resources. Proposals on trade liberalization and certification and labelling (C&L) schemes remain in brackets.

    Delegates discussed a conclusion concerning mutually supportive trade and environment policies. To text on avoiding policies that have adverse impacts on SFM, one developing country added that policies with adverse impacts on trade should also be avoided.

    Delegates debated a conclusion on the impact of SFM on international trade in forest products and whether to include reference to trade liberalization. The conclusion notes the value added to the resource by trade liberalization. It also states that trade liberalization must not be a vehicle for undermining domestic environment and health standards, as long as these standards are consistent with international trade rules. Developing countries supported text regarding efforts to reduce and eliminate tariffs that constrain market access to forest products, and requested specific reference to subsidies, non-tariff barriers and tariff escalation. Some developed countries argued that dealing with tariffs was beyond the competence of the IFF and could prejudge the outcome of the WTO's millenium round discussions. The final text notes that the Uruguay Round yielded significant reductions to tariffs and states that special attention should be given to remaining and emerging trade restrictions.

    Delegates had lengthy discussions on a conclusion regarding voluntary C&L schemes. Developing countries supported text referring to WTO agreements, particularly the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and its Code of Good Practice, and their usefulness in ensuring that C&L schemes do not become disguised trade barriers. Some developed countries opposed this reference and questioned the relevance of WTO agreements to voluntary schemes. The final text takes note of the WTO's work on voluntary eco-labelling schemes. It also states that, inter alia, C&L schemes could lead to obstacles to market access, and calls for comparability and consideration of equivalency.

    On a conclusion recognizing the need for increased market transparency to improve market access for forest products and services, delegates disagreed over whether to single out products and services from sustainably managed forests. Developing countries felt this reference would restrict market access for other forest goods and the reference remains bracketed. The conclusion also recognizes that a better understanding by both producers and consumers of the relationship between trade in forest products and SFM could help promote responsible choices.

    The conclusion on illegal trade recognizes negative impacts of illegal trade in forest products, including lost revenue by local and/or indigenous communities and market distortions. Left in brackets was a reference to illegal trade in forest biological resources as one developed country opposed its inclusion. Other conclusions included in the final report address:


  • full-cost internalization of forest products and services and their substitutes;


  • full life-cycle environmental impacts of forest products and their substitutes;


  • the need for long-term SFM strategies to minimize negative effects of short-term market changes such as the recent financial crises; and


  • the special problems facing developing LFCCs and SIDS.

    On Monday, 10 May, Contact Group Chair Wijewardana presented the Chair's revised proposals for action based on the agreed upon conclusions. The chapeau stresses the importance of implementing relevant IPF proposals for action. A proposal on supporting continued efforts by countries and the WTO towards trade liberalization, giving special attention to removing remaining and emerging trade restrictions, remains in brackets. Some developed countries could not accept reference to trade liberalization or the WTO.

    Regarding a proposal addressing C&L, delegates disagreed over whether to include reference to the WTO. One developed country suggested an additional proposal articulating that when C&L schemes are developed and applied, they should avoid unjustified obstacles to market access. Both C&L proposals are bracketed in their entirety, with reference to the WTO in internal brackets.

    On illegal trade, a group of developing countries opposed a proposal calling on countries to implement national policies to reduce illegal trade in wood and non-wood forest products. Compromise text calls on countries to consider appropriate national actions.

    Other proposals for action address:


  • achieving trade in forest products and services from sustainably managed forests and avoiding policies and actions that have adverse effects either on trade or on SFM;


  • analyzing implications of full-cost internalization and implementing strategies;


  • further work on full life-cycle analysis of the environmental impacts of forest products and their substitutes;


  • improved market transparency to help promote responsible producer and consumer choices;


  • minimizing negative effects of the recent financial crisis; and


  • imports of forest products to LFCCs, countries with fragile ecosystems, and SIDS.

    TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGIES: A contact group on the transfer of ESTs was formed to hold follow-up discussions on matters left pending from IFF-2 on the transfer of ESTs to support SFM. The group, chaired by Ralph Roberts (Candada), met from Tuesday, 4 May, through Wednesday, 12 May. Delegates did not address the bracketed text in the proposals for action forwarded from IFF-2. However, one proposal for action was added and remains in brackets.

    The major issues left pending were terminology, in particular, the reference to EST transfer for the sustainable use of forest biological resources, funding and mechanisms, and country commitments in the transfer and development of technologies.

    In the conclusions, brackets were lifted from text on the transfer and development of ESTs for the sustainable use of biological resources of forests. A group of developing countries underscored the importance of including the concept of biological resources, while many developed countries questioned its definition and need for inclusion, and were wary of implications of its use and linkages to the CBD and other international arrangements. After extensive debate, the term “biological resources of forests" replaced “forest biological resources” and reference was made in a footnote to its definition under the CBD.

    Brackets remain in the conclusion addressing funding and mechanisms for EST transfer and development. Developing countries called for more direct government involvement and underscored the need for increased flows and new mechanisms. Many developed countries rejected these requests, opposed language that could commit countries to establish new funding mechanisms and stressed better use of existing funds and mechanisms. A group of developing countries complained that the language was not action-oriented and suggested text stating the use of preferential terms in EST transfers from developed to developing countries in accordance with the Forest Principles. Most developed countries did not favor such explicit language and stressed South-South cooperation as complementary to North- South transfers.

    Other amendments to the conclusions highlight the needs of LFCCs and countries with fragile ecosystems, as well as the importance of facilitating EST transfer and application for the use of wood and non-wood waste and byproducts giving special attention to wood waste materials as an energy source.

    Developing countries added a proposal for action urging all countries, particularly developed countries, to implement the recommendations of Agenda 21, the CSD and the IPF proposals. This proposal remains in brackets.


    Underlying Causes of Deforestation: Working Group 1 held a preliminary round of substantive discussion on the Secretary- General's report (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/7) on underlying causes of deforestation on Tuesday, 4 May. Based on the discussion, the Co-Chairs produced a draft report on Thursday, 6 May. The Working Group negotiated two revised drafts of the Co-Chairs’ report on Friday, 7 May, and Monday and Tuesday, 10-11 May. The final outcome is a Co-Chairs’ report containing one bracketed and five unbracketed conclusions and four bracketed and nine unbracketed proposals for action.

    The G-77/CHINA noted that the report focused on deforestation only in developing countries and overlooked the high consumption rate and protectionist policies in developed countries. The EU recognized underlying causes including macroeconomic policies, poverty, lack of institutional capacity, law enforcement failure, illegal logging, land tenure and unsustainable consumption patterns. The FAO highlighted forest fires as a concern. CHINA urged the IFF not to seek unified international causes or solutions. NORWAY and CANADA urged the IFF to further analyze trade and environment issues and their relationship to the WTO. CANADA identified inappropriate government policies, land hunger, market forces and undervaluation as underlying causes. IRAN emphasized the need to distinguish between underlying causes in LFCCs and other countries. JAPAN emphasized that international timber trade should not cause deforestation or forest degradation. SOBREVIVENCIA suggested, inter alia, training programmes on law enforcement, consumption and production and transparency within SAPs and, with the INDIGENOUS FOCAL POINT ON UNDERLYING CAUSES, a review to monitor indigenous peoples' rights. Delegates requested further consideration of, inter alia, global food security, LFCCs, fuelwood, hunting, pests and diseases and the role of poverty.

    In discussion of the Co-Chairs’ report on this item, BRAZIL, supported by INDONESIA and MALAYSIA, remarked that some proposals overlooked, inter alia, competitiveness of SFM relative to other land uses, credit availability, access to markets, and tariff and trade barriers. ECUADOR emphasized a partnership with NGOs, indigenous peoples and other groups, and suggested an additional proposal on national policies to change production and consumption patterns. In reference to the impacts of international financial institutions, AUSTRALIA suggested reference to more transparent decision making.

    In a conclusion, NEW ZEALAND proposed, and the US, AUSTRALIA and the G-77/CHINA opposed, reference to recommendations of the International Experts Meeting on the Role of Planted Forests. The G-77/CHINA proposed text supporting land tenure law that takes into account sovereign rights.

    On policies and prices, CANADA's proposed text stating that policies that distort the efficient operation of markets may contribute to the unsustainable management of forests was accepted. The EU, with ECUADOR's support, proposed language indicating such pricing policies influence consumption patterns. CHILE expressed concern that many policies on indigenous peoples and biodiversity could distort market efficiency.

    Regarding the final text on developing and implementing policies designed to promote sustainable production of non-wood forest products and services, the US preferred that countries develop a better understanding of sustainable production and underlined the need for text recognizing the relationship between prices and waste, overuse and inefficient manufacturing of wood products and their substitutes. AUSTRALIA preferred, and CANADA opposed, calling for consideration of environmental acceptability of wood products compared with alternatives.

    On overcoming obstacles when addressing underlying causes, the US proposed replacement text on the issue of forest land conversion with reference to national policies that distort markets and encourage forest conversion to other uses. This text was accepted. MALAYSIA and INDONESIA proposed, and the EU, BRAZIL and the US opposed, deleting bracketed text referring to corruption and illegal trade. The conclusion on corruption remains in brackets.

    Regarding the conclusion relating to the role of the private sector, ECUADOR proposed the addition of women after reference to local communities. This text was approved along with other minor changes. On a conclusion on the valuation of all goods and services, the US proposed and G-77/CHINA opposed, bracketing the text. Subsequently the text remains in brackets.

    Conclusions in the final report address:


  • noting the Global Workshop held in Costa Rica;


  • policy consistency inside and outside the forest sector;


  • analyzing the sequence of causes contributing to changes in forests;


  • the role of many actors to combat deforestation; and


  • the financial and technical needs of developing countries.

    COSTA RICA requested adding reference to the outcomes of the Global Workshop on Underlying Causes of Deforestation in the proposals. CHILE suggested a proposal encouraging countries to promote new forest resources through activities such as planting trees in farm areas. On a proposal to identify chains of causality, BRAZIL proposed reference to taking practical measures to address these chains. This addition was adopted. On a proposal on land access for forest owners, at the request of the US, text referring to forest owners was deleted. A proposal on land tenure studies and the effects of heritage was deleted due to concerns expressed by the US and NEW ZEALAND. Text on the provision of technical guidance to promote community involvement was not discussed and remains in brackets.

    On a proposal to enhance forest resources, ECUADOR suggested taking into account the social, cultural and environmental effects of planted forests. The proposal was accepted with an addition from NEW ZEALAND concerning the economic costs and benefits of planted forests. NEW ZEALAND, supported by AUSTRALIA and CHILE, and opposed by the US, G-77/CHINA and the EU, called to add a proposal on policies to reduce unsustainable consumption of forest products.

    A proposal on measures to internalize externalities remains in brackets. Regarding a proposal on capacity building for local community programmes, the US proposed deleting reference to international financial cooperation and the EU preferred “marketing” to “facilitating market access.” Based on opposition to the EU proposal by NEW ZEALAND, BRAZIL and BENIN, “facilitating market access” remained and the proposal was accepted with brackets around reference to external markets. A proposal to analyze the impacts of foreign debt remains in brackets, as does another regarding transparent decision making in international financial institutions. Regarding a proposal to involve indigenous and local communities in the protection of their rights, AUSTRALIA proposed adding “in relation to forest land, TFRK and forest resources.” INDIA suggested “privileges” after “rights.” The text was accepted with these changes, with brackets around Brazilian text referring to biological resources. A new proposal by the EU on encouraging the ITFF to support a study on land tenure issues was accepted. In relation to structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), AUSTRALIA put forth an additional proposal regarding transparent decision making.

    Additional proposals for action include:


  • addressing the chains of causality;


  • promoting effective participation;


  • supporting appropriate land tenure law arrangements;


  • improving land access and use of forest resources;


  • capacity building for communities;


  • enhancing forest resources;


  • facilitating access to markets;


  • involving indigenous and local communities to protect their rights and privileges; and


  • encouraging the ITFF to study land tenure issues.

    Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge: Working Group 1 conducted a preliminary round of substantive discussion on the Secretary-General's report (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/8) on this item on Tuesday, 4 May. Based on the discussion, the Co-Chairs produced a draft report. Working Group 1 began negotiating this text on Thursday, 6 May. The Working Group continued negotiations on two revised drafts of the Co-Chairs’ report on Friday, 7 May, and Monday and Tuesday, 10-11 May. The final outcome is a Co-Chairs’ report containing five conclusions, one unbracketed proposal for action and four bracketed proposals.

    Henrietta Marrie, CBD Secretariat, opened discussion by introducing the Secretary-General's report and reviewing the CBD's treatment of TFRK within the Ad Hoc Working Group on Article 8(j) (rights of indigenous and local communities) and the programme on forest-related biodiversity. She suggested establishing a body to coordinate activities within the IFF, FAO, WTO, CBD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The EU, G-77/CHINA, NORWAY and others cautioned against duplicating the CBD's efforts and agreed that the IFF should receive reports from bodies working on TFRK. AUSTRALIA, CANADA and NEW ZEALAND opposed forming a task force or expert panel on TRFK. NORWAY underscored the importance of land tenure for local communities. MALAYSIA said that WIPO should address payment to indigenous peoples for TFRK. The US noted that benefits accrued from TFRK uses are incidentally related to forests and should not be addressed with the IFF. The INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN TROPICAL REGIONS expressed concern about the expropriation of TFRK.

    In discussion of the Co-Chairs’ report, NORWAY regretted the report's brevity and lack of reference to the CBD, the International Labour Organization Convention 169 or the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He proposed reference to the recognition of indigenous peoples' rights to natural resources in their traditional areas. NORWAY and CANADA sought the addition of intellectual property rights (IPR) systems and reference to the expected conclusions of COP-5 of the CBD.

    Regarding the reference to Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) and the CBD, the EU, with CANADA, suggested adding the WIPO. The EU, supported by JAPAN, proposed asking the CBD Secretariat, the Centre for International Forest Research (CIFOR), International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the FAO to collaborate in recording TFRK. JAPAN, the US, AUSTRALIA and ECUADOR suggested deleting reference to TRIPs.

    NORWAY noted a need to be more specific and proposed language on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of such knowledge, innovations and practices, in accordance with Article 8(j) and other related CBD provisions.

    On TRFK conclusions relating to the involvement of indigenous people, the US suggested qualifying the language on rights to refer to customary and traditional rights and deleted language on rights to natural resources in their traditional areas. NIGERIA suggested that interested parties rather than forest owners would be helped by TFRK. MALAYSIA proposed adding a reference to "within national laws and jurisdiction." Based on this qualification, the US withdrew its proposals and the text, with NIGERIA's proposal, was accepted. The proposal on recognizing modalities for promoting protection of TFRK was accepted with minor text changes proposed by CANADA. On processes relevant to the application of TFRK, MALAYSIA proposed adding reference to patents after IPRs. JAPAN suggested bracketing language on IPRs since it was contingent on other discussions. CANADA proposed reference to international organizations as a means to promote effective protection of TFRK. The US added that the work of these international organizations, in particular the CBD, should inform the IFF. These changes were accepted and the reference relating to IPRs remains bracketed. On the rights of indigenous and local communities to participate in the conservation and management of all types of forests and forest biological resources, CANADA proposed and the G-77/CHINA and BRAZIL opposed deleting reference to forest biological resources. The final text retains the reference to biological resources. Regarding a conclusion welcoming the establishment of an Ad Hoc Open-ended Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions of the CBD, the US suggested deleting a reference to an unfiltered voice for indigenous people. This change was accepted.

    Conclusions in the final report address:


  • recognizing the rights of indigenous people and local communities to the natural resources in their traditional areas;


  • exploring modalities for promoting greater recognition of TFRK;


  • supporting close coordination between the CBD and the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action;


  • recognizing the right of indigenous and local communities to participate in the conservation and management of forests; and


  • welcoming the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j).

    On the proposal on implementing measures for greater recognition, respect and protection of TFRK systems, the G- 77/CHINA suggested, and the US opposed, adding reference to legal recognition. The US suggested, and BRAZIL and the G- 77/CHINA opposed, deleting reference to options for collecting TFRK and prior informed consent of access to such knowledge. Both suggestions are bracketed. Support for a proposal on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits, with additional language by the G-77/CHINA on payments where necessary, could not be reached. AUSTRALIA, with CANADA and the EU, suggested that this concept was included in existing IPF proposals. The final text retains the reference to prior informed consent. The US, CANADA and the EU suggested, and BRAZIL, the G-77/CHINA, ECUADOR, NAMIBIA, SOUTH AFRICA and INDONESIA opposed, deleting a proposal encouraging consistency with TRIPs. The G-77/CHINA suggested bracketing a proposal on approaches to identifying and recording TFRK, as it was contingent on support of the previous proposal. JAPAN suggested bracketing a further proposal relating to developing legislation to achieve the CBD objectives. All of these proposals are bracketed.

    The final report contains one unbracketed proposal on implementing greater recognition of TFRK. The report has four bracketed proposals on: sharing benefits equitably; encouraging consistency with TRIPs; collecting and recording TFRK; and developing national legislation on the relevant CBD articles.

    Forest Conservation and Protected Areas: Working Group 1 conducted substantive discussion on forest conservation and protected areas (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/10) on Tuesday, 4 May. Delegates discussed draft Co-Chairs’ reports on Thursday, 6 May, and Friday, 7 May. The final Co-Chairs’ report contains seven conclusions and 15 proposals for action.

    In initial discussion, BRAZIL, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, called to, inter alia, enhance public awareness, strengthen financial support, adopt an ecosystem approach, acknowledge the stewardship of indigenous and local communities, and develop innovative financial mechanisms. CANADA emphasized linking in situ with ex situ conservation and the integration of traditional values. NORWAY emphasized holistic and sustainable use of protected areas. CHINA emphasized that conservation and use must be combined. ASOCIACION NAPGUANA sought a distinction between protected areas and indigenous territories.

    On the establishment and management of protected forest areas, MALAYSIA said the establishment of extensive protected areas in developing countries is not economically and socially viable. The EU encouraged the establishment of protected areas when social, economic and ecological benefits of forests are threatened. The final text emphasizes that protected areas within an ecosystem approach can contribute significantly to local economies and non-market benefits to society in the form of flood control, soil and watershed protection, and other ecological services essential to human well-being.

    Regarding categories of protected areas, several delegations, including the EU, NORWAY, ECUADOR and the US, supported, and the FAO opposed, the IUCN’s work on a classification system for protected areas. The EU recognized it as one of several existing definitions and said categories being developed need to be flexible and encompass the range of forest protection regimes worldwide. The final text notes the work of IUCN and calls for more flexibility within categories, notes the need to consider protected areas value as representative of unique forest types and addresses impact on indigenous and local communities.

    The Co-Chairs’ report also notes:


  • the outcomes of the two workshops on protected areas;


  • fragmentation of forest land as a possible constraint on the effective protection of biodiversity;


  • enhancement of forest conservation efforts from effective cross-sectoral linkages and coordination; and


  • the value of greater awareness of the social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits of forest conservation and protected areas.

    The proposals for action recall the IPF proposals and, in response to a US suggestion to broaden the context of the proposals, invites countries to implement proposals through partnership mechanisms with NGOs, community-based organizations and indigenous and local communities. AUSTRALIA proposed calling on countries to establish adequate and comprehensive reserve systems and to develop and implement mechanisms to formally recognize and support forest protected areas under the stewardship of private forest owners or indigenous and/or local communities. He also proposed urging countries, international financial institutions and donors to improve cross-coordination and coordination with policies and programmes that affect forest conservation, and to address cross-sectoral policies, structural adjustment packages and perverse incentives to ensure they are consistent with forest conservation objectives.

    In a proposal on developing criteria to identify new protected areas, the EU, supported by EGYPT, called for criteria based on adequacy, consistency and effectiveness. The US suggested that countries be encouraged to identify conservation as necessary and consistent with national priorities. CANADA called for commitment to protection in addition to the conservation and representativeness of all types of forests. These proposals are reflected in the final text. In relation to a proposal on innovative mechanisms for financing forest conservation, the EU and CANADA called to delete reference to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation activities of the Kyoto Protocol. AUSTRALIA suggested text considering use of the CDM. The proposal contains a bracketed reference to possible returns from carbon sequestration.

    The EU called for, and BRAZIL opposed, bracketing a paragraph referring to the provision of adequate staffing, funding and training to build capacity and bracketing text in a further reference to include financial support mechanisms. The EU called for deletion of text on financing forest conservation. Regarding a proposal on improved coordination of policies and programmes that affect forest conservation, a reference to access to and transfer of technology remains bracketed.

    Additional proposals call on countries to, inter alia:


  • develop financial support mechanisms to engage interested parties in planning and management of protected forest areas, and to recognize forest protected areas under the stewardship of private forest owners or indigenous and/or local communities;


  • contribute to a global and regional assessment of the current status of protected forest areas;


  • establish joint protected areas, including ecological corridors of regional and/or global significance; and


  • encourage the donor community to provide adequate resources to support forest conservation in developing countries.

    Forest Research: On Tuesday, 4 May, Reidar Persson (CIFOR) introduced the Secretary-General’s report on this item (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/11) in Working Group 1. On Wednesday, 5 May, Jeff Sayer (CIFOR) provided a further overview of the report and underscored the importance of developing a network of research information systems. A draft Co-Chairs’ report was produced and discussed on Friday, 7 May, and a revised report was considered on Wednesday, 12 May.

    The final Co-Chairs’ report contains four conclusions and four action proposals. Building on the recommendations of ICRIS, delegates agreed on the importance of strengthening forest research as a means to inform policy, solve national problems and meet national priorities. The final text emphasizes the value of inter-country research collaboration at the eco- regional level.

    The G-77/CHINA and other developing countries expressed a need to develop forest research capacity at the national level. BRAZIL called on international organizations and financial institutions to contribute to funding forest research in developing countries. The final Co-Chairs’ report recognizes that all countries should give priority to financial and technical assistance programmes and technological cooperation to strengthen the capacity of developing countries.

    The US said the forest-related research agenda should not be limited to forest sector issues. The final report states the need to encourage inputs from both the public and private sectors. Other conclusions include:


  • recognizing the value of research and information systems for forest management to achieve improved forest outcomes;


  • improving research mechanisms to support SFM and maintenance of forests;


  • emphasizing the role of networks in providing valuable opportunities for collaboration of research institutions;


  • using existing mechanisms, institutions and networks to enhance access to forest-related information; and


  • encouraging countries to give priority to the forest sector through allocation of resources to national research capacity building.

    On proposals for action, AUSTRALIA and CANADA endorsed, and BRAZIL opposed, a global forest information service. The EU supported this proposal in principle, but suggested first considering existing mechanisms. AUSTRALIA and the US agreed to forward text on allocating resources to support dissemination of information to the conclusion on proposals for the development of a global forest information service. INDONESIA suggested combining text in the proposals for action in order consider examination of new ways for mobilizing funding for forest research fall under the same category as building capacity at national, regional and international levels through development assistance funds. AUSTRALIA, with support from other delegations, proposed improving linkages between forest science and forest policy processes by creating opportunities for policymakers, scientists and other stakeholders to provide guidance to research. The EU supported this proposal, but suggested giving particular attention to research on underlying causes of deforestation and degradation.

    Other proposals for action call for:


  • formulating policies, programmes and strategies within the context of NFPs to identify research needs and priorities;


  • considering new ways of mobilizing funding for forest research;


  • enhancing access to forest-related information for all interested parties; and


  • fostering joint ventures in forest research between the public and private sectors.

    Valuation of Forest Goods and Products: Delegates considered the Secretary-General’s report on valuation of forest goods and services (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/12) in Working Group 2 on Tuesday, 4 May. On Tuesday, 11 May, Co-Chair Ristimki invited delegates to submit proposals for amendment, which were addressed in a contact group on Wednesday, 12 May and Friday, 14 May.

    In initial discussions, the G-77/CHINA called on international organizations to assist developing countries in capacity building. CANADA said forest valuation should reflect a cultural context and that quantitative data collection should include substitutes for non-wood materials. NEW ZEALAND supported developing an approach to identify SFM’s costs and benefits.

    Contact group discussions produced several amendments in the conclusions. Text was added to recognize forests as a basis for subsistence livelihood, particularly in developing countries, and to consider values that are important to local and/or indigenous communities and private forest owners. Added text also recognizes the need to consider gender aspects, as well as distributional impacts. Amended text also stressed the importance of quantitative data and the need for rapid and effective valuation methodologies, and that forest valuation should reflect cultural context.

    Another conclusion addresses the benefits of carbon sequestration, biological diversity conservation and combating desertification at the global level.

    On forest valuation as a tool for promoting SFM, delegates modified text to state that it is necessary but, by itself, does not guarantee appropriate policy decisions. On the scope of forest valuation, delegates replaced “forest valuation” with “valuation of forest goods and services,” agreed that it needs to expand beyond the forest sector and concurred that the need to develop an approach to identify both costs and benefits of SFM and ways to encourage countries to internalize externalities. Delegates agreed on the need for enhanced cooperation with other institutions, including the FCCC, CBD, CCD and WTO.

    A proposal for action addressing quantitative data collection and rapid and low-cost valuation methods retains bracketed text in reference to incremental costs and benefits.

    Economic Instruments, Tax Policies and Land Tenure: Delegates considered the Secretary-General’s report on economic instruments, tax policies and land tenure (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/13) in Working Group 2 on Tuesday, 4 May. On Tuesday, 11 May, Co- Chair Ristimki invited delegates to propose amendments to the Co-Chairs’ report. Contact group discussions led to the removal of all bracketed text from the report and the addition of three conclusions.

    Under the conclusions, delegates adopted a US proposal to add text recognizing the extensive effects of macroeconomic policies and of developments and inconsistent policies in other sectors on the forest sector and how these undermine the use of forest policy tools. Delegates added text indicating that the ability to offer a wide variety of forest goods and services for sale in local, national and international markets can be an effective incentive for SFM. Text on “land tenure” was expanded to “land tenure and user rights” in reference to the effective use of economic instruments as tools to support SFM. On the use of revenues from economic instruments in the forest sector, text was modified and expanded from a reference to reinvestment to state that they can be a source of financial support for improved management.

    On proposals for action, many developed countries supported a proposal to develop transparent goals and conditions in SAPs. A group of developing countries opposed this and stressed instead the need for international lending and financial organizations to consider mitigating the impacts of SAPs on forests consistent with SFM. The final text invites relevant international organizations to provide advice to countries on the design and administration of economic instruments and tax policies.

    Future Supply of and Demand for Wood and Non-Wood Forest Products and Services: Working Group 2 began substantive discussion on the future supply of and demand for wood and non- wood forest products (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/14) on Monday, 3 May. On Monday, 10 May, delegates examined a draft Co-Chairs’ report and made comments and proposals for amendment, which were later addressed by a contact group on Wednesday, 12 May and Friday, 14 May.

    Comments and proposals by the G-77/CHINA, the US and the EU led to a conclusion stating that supply will satisfy demand without likely price increases at the global level, but that some countries may experience shortages and possibly price increases at the national level. On policies and prices, delegates accepted a Canadian conclusion that market distorting policies may contribute to unsustainable management of forests. The EU suggested, and the G-77/CHINA opposed, adding language that pricing policies influence consumption patterns. CANADA opposed reference to natural forests with respect to wood harvesting in intensively managed forests, but delegates agreed in the contact group meeting to add both “natural forests” and “planted forests.”

    Delegates deleted text on segregating data on products derived from plantations from those products derived from natural forests and agreed to adopt an internationally agreed definition of “planted forests.”

    Under the proposals for action, the G-77/CHINA and NEW ZEALAND differed on how to involve the private sector. Compromise text states that the private sector may need to be supported within a framework of policies, incentives and regulations. CANADA’s proposal to add text stating the equitable distribution of benefits was accepted and to this, a group of developing countries proposed adding language specifying the people who protect and provide these forest goods and services. On links between prices and use of forest products and their substitutes, text was added to recognize that appropriate prices can encourage and support SFM and discourage overuse, waste, excess and inefficient manufacturing. Delegates also accepted a Canadian proposal to undertake studies on the cost and benefits of using renewable and non-renewable wood products, as opposed to non-renewable substitutes.

    Assessment, Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Forest Cover in Environmentally Critical Areas: Working Group 2 conducted substantive discussion on this topic (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/9) on Wednesday, 5 May. A draft Co-Chair's report, which reflected this discussion, was considered on Tuesday, 11 May, and delegates proposed amendments to the text. Negotiations of this text took place in the contact group on Working Group 2 programme elements on Tuesday, 11 May, and briefly on Friday, 14 May. The text agreed to in the contact group contains five conclusions and seven proposals for action. The text contains no brackets, but an option to move one proposal on environmentally sound rehabilitation technologies to the EST transfer programme element remains for consideration at IFF-4.

    On a conclusion reiterating the IPF proposals for action on fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought, the EU added text calling attention to the importance of the CCD's decisions. The conclusion also notes expanding attention to sub- humid, arid and semi-arid areas in tropical and temperate regions, mountain ecosystems, wetlands and coastal systems, as well as trees outside forests.

    In initial discussion, BRAZIL proposed addressing financial aspects of rehabilitation. On a conclusion stressing the importance of action-oriented proposals, which includes Brazil's proposed addition, the G-77/CHINA requested language on the provision of financial resources and the transfer of ESTs as set out in Agenda 21. This proposal was accepted with the Chinese reference to financial aspects. The conclusion also stresses the needs of least developed countries and LFCCs.

    NEW ZEALAND highlighted the important role planted forests play in rehabilitation, and TURKEY called attention to planted forests of native species and a conclusion was added to reflect these proposals. To a conclusion on mountain ecosystems, NORWAY called to address the concerns of mountain populations living in cold areas and ECUADOR called attention to particular issues associated with cloud forests. Both additions are reflected. Another conclusion stresses the importance of more effective policies, coordination and partnerships in addressing the ecological, social, cultural and economic problems.

    In initial discussion on proposals for action, CHINA called for technical and financial assistance for rehabilitation. The G-77/CHINA added environmentally sound rehabilitation technologies to a proposal that encourages countries, in cooperation with international organizations, to promote appropriate transfer of rehabilitation technologies. The proposal was bracketed. CANADA added agroforestry, silvipastoral and analog forestry systems as options. On a proposal urging international organizations and donor countries to strengthen support for international programmes and conventions, the G- 77/CHINA added that support should include the provision of financial resources and the transfer of ESTs. CANADA added natural forests to a proposal on raising awareness of the ecological, social, cultural and economic roles of planted forests in rehabilitation and SFM in environmentally critical areas.

    Other proposals for action address:


  • more systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of information, including social and economic data;


  • placing rehabilitation and sustainable management of forests and trees in environmentally critical areas as a higher priority on national development agendas; and


  • using planted forests for rehabilitating degraded lands.

    FOREST-RELATED WORK OF INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND UNDER EXISTING INSTRUMENTS: On Wednesday, 5 May, Jaime Hurtubia introduced the Secretariat note containing the results of a survey requested at IFF-2 on experiences with implementation, compliance and achievements of forest-related work under existing instruments and by international organizations, as well as additional conclusions and proposals for action for consideration (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/15). NORWAY, noting that no single institution has the mandate to deal with all priority issues related to forests in a balanced, holistic and mutually-reinforcing manner, questioned the note’s reference to a forum to continue dialogue beyond the IFF. IFF-3 took note of the Secretariat’s note, but no discussion was held.


    Delegates held substantive discussion on international arrangements and mechanisms to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/16) in five Plenary sessions. Initial discussions were held on Thursday, 6 May. Delegates considered a Co-Chairs’ report on Friday, 7 May, and a revised Co-Chairs’ report on Tuesday and Wednesday, 11-12 May. A contact group was established and met twice on Wednesday and Thursday, 12-13 May. Discussion in the contact group centered on guidance to the Secretariat for IFF-4 preparations. On Friday, 14 May, a compilation text incorporating positions stated throughout these discussions as well as a separate agreed text from the contact group was produced and will be forwarded to IFF-4 in the report of IFF-3.

    During the initial discussion, some delegations, including CHINA and COSTA RICA, emphasized that existing instruments on forests are inadequate and do not address forests in a holistic manner. The EU, with ESTONIA, LATVIA and POLAND, underscored the need to ensure that efforts towards consensus do not prevent continued action to implement the IPF proposals for action and stressed the need to identify necessary functions for the process beyond the year 2000. The G-77/CHINA, supported by BRAZIL, REPUBLIC OF KOREA, COLOMBIA, NAMIBIA, NIGERIA, PERU, BENIN, GABON and others, deemed consideration of an LBI premature due to a lack of consensus on many elements. COSTA RICA highlighted the Costa Rica-Canada Initiative’s aim to build consensus and provide basic elements. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, with SWITZERLAND, TURKEY, SENEGAL, SOUTH AFRICA and CANADA, emphasized the need for an LBI, and requested that the option of negotiating an LBI by 2002 be included in the report. MALAYSIA called for an LBI with an emphasis on trade and financial resources. CHINA said a sound financial mechanism should be the basis for an LBI.

    AUSTRALIA questioned the need for an LBI and the US doubted international institutions with forests in their mandate would relinquish jurisdiction to a new institution. VENEZUELA, while supporting an LBI, indicated it must be predicated on technology transfer and expressed preference for regional arrangements. SOBREVIVENCIA suggested any future mechanism must, inter alia, be innovative, have effective monitoring, address underlying causes and create synergy with existing institutions. AUSTRALIA, supported by the REPUBLIC OF KOREA and the EU, requested the Secretariat to prepare a separate list of objectives and actions with an analysis of possible options, including: existing mechanisms, an ongoing intergovernmental forum, the International Tropical Timber Agreement, a new LBI or a combination of these options.

    On “consensus achieved” on forest-related issues through existing instruments, the EU preferred “progress achieved.” The US proposed deleting general consensus in reference to the need for a holistic, integrated and comprehensive international agenda for action on forests, and, with NEW ZEALAND, the EU, BRAZIL and others, opposed reference to an international “agenda” for action. NEW ZEALAND, with the US, changed “agenda” to “dialogue.”

    On elements constituting the international agenda on forests, AUSTRALIA, supported by INDONESIA, preferred the term “issues” to “elements” and, supported by BRAZIL, suggested overarching categories for the issues. The US, noting the need for a framework for discussing issues, proposed elements with open-ended lists of issues. CANADA said it would not be productive to categorize elements. JAPAN, supported by UNIDO, said the list should be focused, action-oriented and limited. BRAZIL suggested replacing “biodiversity” with “biological resources” of forests. NORWAY proposed classifying issues as technical or political. IRAN, supported by the G-77/CHINA, emphasized the needs of LFCCs. The US requested reference to participation of major groups and to environmental services provided by forests. JAPAN sought reference to C&I and recycled wood products. The EU reformulated an element to refer to a forum for the promotion of trade in sustainably produced forest goods. On international cooperation, BRAZIL added reference to technology transfer and new and additional financial resources.

    On the need for consensus on international arrangements and mechanisms and possible functions of such agreements and mechanisms, AUSTRALIA supported an action-oriented approach and reference to monitoring progress in implementing the IPF and IFF proposals. CANADA, supported by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and GABON, suggested ensuring the strongest level of commitment to SFM as an additional function. He also proposed an additional element relating to effective governance of a forest agenda and proposed voluntary mechanisms, existing LBIs and a new LBI as options for future arrangements.

    On guidance to the Secretariat in preparation for IFF-4, the EU proposed adding text to elaborate on basic functions of the global forest policy dialogue beyond 2000. The US, supported by BRAZIL, suggested including reference to cost implications. CUBA proposed elaboration of a matrix combining elements of existing instruments and mechanisms. AUSTRALIA called for an analysis of options, inter alia, improved coordination of existing arrangements, a new permanent forum for intergovernmental dialogue, designation of an existing organization as the lead body, and a new global legal instrument.

    In the contact group, delegates agreed that the Secretariat’s report should elaborate possible functions of international arrangements and mechanisms, possible elements for future work in this area, and an analysis of various options. Delegates did not agree on whether specific reference should be made to country-led initiatives. On analysis of options, delegates agreed that such arrangements and mechanisms would further develop the international forest policy dialogue for action. On designation of a lead body as an option for analysis, one regional group proposed, and others opposed, singling out the FAO as an example. As a result, delegates agreed to delete all examples of institutions and instruments in the options. A new proposal for analysis, relating to a framework convention allowing for regional mechanisms, was included. On Friday, 14 May, CANADA, supported by IRAN and the EU, requested lifting the brackets from reference to country-led initiatives. The US rescinded her earlier preference for brackets.

    The compilation text contains possible “elements” or “issues” or “actions” to be taken at the international, regional and national levels and three options for grouping them. They include: maintaining forest health and productivity; forest conservation; combating deforestation and forest degradation; rehabilitation and restoration of degraded forest lands and the role of planted forests; LFCCs; NFPs; monitoring assessment and reporting; C&I of SFM; economic, social and cultural aspects of forests; international cooperation in capacity building; access to and transfer of ESTs; financial resources; international trade and SFM; TFRK; promotion of public participation; global carbon cycles; and maintenance of forest security. It also contains options for international policy dialogue to be “encouraged,” “continued” or “institutionalized” and sets out possible functions for such dialogue to: ensure the strongest possible level of commitment to the implementation of SFM, including the IPF and IFF proposals for action; elaborate objectives for the provision of the global policy framework on economic, social, cultural and environmental functions of forests and their sustainable development; secure political commitment to SFM; promote policy formulation and action; identify priority areas; coordinate forest-related action in other international instruments; develop a forum to exchange experiences and address concerns; and promote a better common understanding of SFM.

    The section on guidance to the Secretariat for IFF-4 preparations calls for:


  • elaboration of possible functions of international arrangements and mechanisms beyond the year 2000;


  • elaboration of possible elements which could be used as a basis for future work of international arrangements and mechanisms taking into account the IPF proposals for action and discussions at IFF, including country-led initiatives;


  • analysis of various options; and


  • a matrix of elements and existing arrangements and mechanisms.

    The options proposed for analysis are: a mechanism for improved coordination of existing arrangements; an ongoing ad- hoc intergovernmental dialogue; a new permanent forum for intergovernmental dialogue; improvement of non-LBIs; a lead body role for an existing organization; use of an existing LBI; regional mechanisms; a framework convention allowing for regional mechanisms; and a new global legal instrument.


    In the closing plenary, delegates adopted texts on the programme elements for inclusion in the report of IFF-3. Regarding the draft text on financial resources, the G-77/CHINA suggested intersessional work on the issue to facilitate work at IFF-4. Co-Chair Ristimki supported the idea and said the Secretariat and the Bureau would consider the suggestion. Delegates agreed to recommend to ECOSOC that IFF-4 be held in New York from 31 January to 11 February 2000. Delegates also agreed to the provisional agenda for IFF-4 and the proposed structure of the IFF-3 report. Vice-Chair and Rapporteur Amelia Torres introduced the report of IFF-3 (E/CN.17/IFF/1999/L.1), which the Forum adopted.

    In closing remarks, the G-77/CHINA said the unwillingness of some countries to commit on issues such as TFRK, EST transfer, and trade and market access demonstrated a desire to maintain the status quo. He noted disappointment with progress made at IFF-3 and called on developed countries to demonstrate that they have the necessary political will. NIGERIA called on IFF-4 to address technology transfer and other issues important to developing countries for achieving SFM.

    The EU said that the future framework for deliberations must address trade, finance and technology transfer and stressed the importance of implementing the IPF proposals for action. He emphasized IFF benefits from intersessional activities, highlighting the Costa Rica-Canada Initiative and Iran’s initiative on LFCCs. The GLOBAL FOREST POLICY PROJECT reiterated activities to be undertaken by NGOs to monitor the IFF process.

    Jag Maini of the IFF Secretariat reported on the status of the IFF trust fund and travel support for developing country delegations. Co-Chair Ristimki recalled the speech by Under- Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Nitin Desai at the opening plenary, noting obstacles and the complexity of issues. Ristimki said IFF-3 achieved progress on most programme elements and that they could possibly come to closure at IFF-4, but lamented the lack of progress made on international arrangements and mechanisms. He then gaveled the meeting to a close at 5:40 pm.



    It was evident from the level of debate that a sense of lethargy was pervasive at IFF-3. Many delegates were frequently seen exiting the plenary and working group discussions shaking their heads in despair. The heavily bracketed text in a large number of documents symbolizes the lack of progress at this meeting. It seems the good ship IFF was stuck in the doldrums. Instead of providing a process for focusing issues to be discussed at IFF-4, well-known IPF debates were rehashed over and over. This does not auger well for IFF-4. Important discussions and decision making will be compressed. Some delegations valiantly tried to remind the others that many decisions had already been made in the IPF process and that the IFF should be restricted to addressing completely new ideas and assessing how well IPF proposals had been implemented. But short-term memory affected many delegations and the ship continued to circle around well-sailed waters.


    IFF-3 clearly indicated that efforts to start negotiations on a legally binding instrument (LBI) had run aground, with many of the early supporters of an LBI on forests beginning to abandon the leaking ship. The lengthy and generally unproductive debate on how the Secretariat should proceed in defining or even listing possible functions and elements for future arrangements or a mechanism did not bode well for the diminishing number of forest convention supporters. Nevertheless, the discussion around the issue of an LBI allowed some interesting scenarios to bob to the surface. One regional group was keen to give prominence to the FAO as the overarching organization on forests. Another country, which hosts another international organization, was not so keen. Some countries wanted an ongoing dialogue process, while others wanted something else, but were unsure what this something else should be. Despite the desperate efforts of some delegations to stoke the boilers and refloat debate on a forest convention, most delegations were feeling that support for a convention could not be salvaged. Even some of the countries involved in the Costa Rica-Canada Initiative are now trying to find ways to broaden the mandate of this initiative to consider options other than an LBI.

    Recurring reference to the Convention on Biological Diversity certainly troubled some delegations, and even, according to some sources, the IFF Secretariat. Mention of the CBD in discussions on TFRK, technology transfer, research, protected areas and the work of existing instruments was seen by some delegations as diminishing the argument for a new LBI. At least one LBI-supporting country attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the numerous references to the CBD deleted.


    Some of the most intense debates of IFF-3 were on trade and environment. The lethargy of the first week was quickly brushed aside as crewmembers on the good ship IFF began to mutiny. Contact group discussions became quite fractious as delegates emphasized their particular stances on trade issues. At times, tensions were directed at the contact group Chair for not perceiving the sensitivity of the issues. The IFF discussions provided a mini-forum for much broader trade debates being held under the context of the World Trade Organization and the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation. The positions of countries varied according to their own particular circumstances. Generally, four positions could be discerned. First, there were the developed country forest product exporters who were keen to see reference to tariff reductions. Then there were the developing country forest product exporters who wanted their value-added forest products freed from tariff escalation policies in importing countries. Another group wanted to protect its own industry and hence was not so keen to eliminate tariffs. Finally, there were the forest product importing countries that believed that forest products should come from sustainably managed forests. They supported trade-based measures to promote this aim. With these differing perspectives, it was evident that a consensus on trade and environment would not be reached. Nevertheless, as one delegate confided, the current economic rationalist viewpoint that free trade is good for the environment does not stand up to close scrutiny. As one NGO pointed out in Plenary, current discussions held by WTO economists on forest products could well benefit from a short course on sustainable forest management.


    Another issue of considerable contention revolved around the reference to the transfer of environmentally sound technologies. Long-held divisions between developed and developing countries on the provision of new technology occupied the minds and time of many delegates. Some delegates attempted to salvage long lost debates held during IPF sessions and under the CSD. A number of developed countries tried to offload their perceived responsibilities onto the private sector, thereby allowing market-based mechanisms to determine whether new technologies would be transferred or not. Embroiled within this debate was reference to forest biological resources. The G-77/China was keen to see the insertion of this language so that it could create a link to the provisions of the CBD relating to equitable benefit sharing. In other words, if developing countries held the raw biological resources in their forests, they wanted firm commitments regarding technology transfer before these resources could be expropriated for the pharmaceutical and other industries. Needless to say, some developed countries with substantial biotechnology industries were not willing to make this connection.


    The discussions on traditional forest related knowledge (TFRK) provided some interesting perspectives. Like the discussions on technology transfer, the G-77/CHINA saw TFRK, and a link to the CBD, as a means of guaranteeing revenue from the use of the biological resources component of TFRK. As one developing country representative admitted to a developed country delegate in the corridors, this is our last chance of getting new financial resources out of the forests. Needless to say, this expropriation of TFRK is unlikely to engender warm feelings within indigenous peoples' communities.


    Most of the text relating to the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation was tossed overboard. All the work of the Costa Rica/NGO Initiative and regional processes associated with underlying causes sunk to the bottom of the sea with little trace. Most of the text that remains is a rehash of the IPF proposals. Many of the delegations and NGOs who were closely involved in the intersessional work were somewhat mystified by the brutality of its treatment and left the meeting feeling quite glum. Surprisingly, some governments who had contributed substantially to the funding of the intersessional meetings were the first to demolish it. It was evident to some delegations that the recommendations resulting from the Costa Rica/NGO Initiative lacked a certain level of sophistication. Unfortunately, there was insufficient time to polish these proposals into shape. Other underlying causes straying into the realms of macroeconomic policies and infringing on the territories of institutions such as the WTO and the IMF were quickly jettisoned. Some delegates quietly confessed that these issues were not within their realms of competency. As one delegate said, "We are just foresters." Other sensitive issues like land tenure and indigenous peoples' rights were set adrift with little chance of remaining afloat.


    Overall, a ship chugging along in thick fog could typify the IFF-3 meeting. Many delegates found it very difficult to focus on the issues at hand, and any sense of urgency or concern about the fate of the world's diminishing forests was left far behind. As the good ship IFF comes to its final port in February next year, the enormous cargo of bracketed text is going to make hard work for the cargo handlers. Whether the cargo will be offloaded or transferred onto another ship remains to be seen. Most delegates fully realize that after six years of dialogue something significant has to be done. With a forest convention looking less likely, governments will need to put on their thinking caps to come up with a new and innovative institution that engenders real public and political support.


    26TH SESSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL TIMBER COUNCIL: The ITTC's next meeting will be held from 28 May-3 June 1999 in Chang-Mai, Thailand. For more information contact: the International Tropical Timber Organization, International Organizations Center, 5th Floor, Pacifico-Yokohama, 1-1-1, Minato-Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, 220 Japan; tel: +81-45-223- 1111; fax: +81-45-223-1110; e-mail: [email protected] ; Internet:

    FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The Subsidiary Bodies of the FCCC will meet from 31 May-11 June 1999 in Bonn, Germany. Prior to COP-5, workshops on Article 4.8 (adaptation measures) and 4.9 (adverse impacts) and technology transfer will be held. COP-5 will be held in Bonn from 25 October – 5 November 1999. For information contact: the FCCC Secretariat; tel: +49- 228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    COSTA RICA-CANADIAN INITIATIVE: Regional consultations for the CRCI are tentatively scheduled for: June in Malaysia; July in Zimbabwe; September in Ecuador, Cameroon and Spain; and October in Argentina and Turkey. No date has yet been set for a regional meeting in Mexico. The final meeting of the Initiative will be held 6-10 December 1999 in Ottawa, Canada. For information contact: Guido Chaves, MINAE-SINAC, Apdo. 10104- 1000, San Jos, Costa Rica; tel: +506-283-7654; fax: +506-283- 7118; e-mail: [email protected]; or Michael Fullerton, Policy, Planning and International Affairs Branch, Canadian Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources, 580 Booth Street, 8th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0E4; tel: +1-613- 943-5258; fax: +1-613-947-9033; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY SBSTTA: The fourth meeting of the SBSTTA is scheduled from 21-25 June 1999 in Montreal, Canada. An Intersessional Meeting on the Operations of the Convention will be held from 28-30 June. The fifth meeting of the SBSTTA will be held in Montreal from 31 January-4 February 2000. For information contact: CBD Secretariat; World Trade Center, 393 St. Jacques Street, Suite 300, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1N9 Canada; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288- 6588; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL: The Second General Assembly of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will be held 23-28 June 1999 in Oaxaca, Mexico. For more information contact: Timothy Synnott, Executive Director, Forest Stewardship Council, Avenida Hidalgo 502, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico; tel:+52-951-46905; fax: +52- 951-4690563244; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    AD HOC PANEL ON TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: The CCD Ad hoc Panel on Traditional Knowledge will meet in Matera, Italy, from 15-18 July 1999. For more information contact: CCD Secretariat, POB 260129, D-53135, Bonn, Germany; tel: +49-228-815-2800; fax: +49- 228-815-2899; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    THE 42ND MEETING OF THE CITES STANDING COMMITTEE: The 42nd Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee will take place in South Africa in September 1999. For more information contact the CITES Secretariat; tel: +(41 22) 917 8139; fax: +(41 22) 797 3417; e- mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    THE 11TH SESSION OF THE FAO PANEL OF EXPERTS ON FOREST GENE RESOURCES: The 11th Session of the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources will be held in Rome, Italy, from 29 September-1 October 1999. For information contact: Christel Palmberg-Lerche; e-mail: [email protected].

    EXPERT PANEL ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: An Expert Panel on Access and Benefit-Sharing will be held from 4-8 October 1999 at a location to be determined. For information contact: CBD Secretariat; World Trade Center, 393 St. Jacques Street, Suite 300, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 1N9; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS’ MEETING ON LOW FOREST COVER COUNTRIES: An Open-ended International Experts Meeting on "Special Needs and Requirements of Developing Countries with Low Forest Cover and Unique Types of Forests" is tentatively scheduled for 4-8 October 1999 in Tehran, Iran. The meeting is being organized by the Government of Iran, in cooperation with other interested countries and international organizations. For more information contact: Mohsen Esperi, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN, 622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA; tel: +1-212-687-2020; fax +1- 212-867-7086; e-mail: [email protected]; or Shamse-din Shariat Nejad, Head of Iranian High Council on Forests, Ministry of Jihad Sazandegi (Rural Development), Tehran, Iran; tel: +98-21- 244-6505/244-6537; fax: +98-21-244-6551; e-mail: [email protected].

    IUFRO BIODIVERSITY CONFERENCE: IMPACT OF LOGGING ON BIODIVERSITY: This meeting will be held from 18-22 October 1999 in Hanoi, Vietnam. For more information contact: Rita Mustikasari, IUFRO Liaison Officer, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), P.O. Box 6596 JKPWB, Jakarta, Indonesia; tel: +62-251-622-622 ext.209; fax: +62-251-622-100; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON MODEL FORESTS FOR FIELD-LEVEL APPLICATION OF SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT: This workshop will be held from 19-23 October 1999 in Gumma Prefecture, Japan. The workshop will be the third in a series focusing on the role of model forests in achieving SFM, practical options for effectively promoting model forest projects, enhancement of international cooperation and mechanisms for feeding back the results of model forest projects to land use planning. The workshop based on case studies and a two-day field trip will produce recommendations on approaches towards model forest establishment. For information contact: Hiroshi Nakata, International Forestry Cooperation Office, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; tel: +81-3-3591-8449; fax: +81-3-3593-9565; e-mail: [email protected].

    THIRD SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION: COP-3 is scheduled to be held in Recife, Brazil, from 15-26 November 1999. Preparatory meetings for COP-3 include: Bureau meetings, the intersessional meeting of the Bureau of the Committee on Science and Technology, and the meeting of the Ad Hoc Panel on Traditional Knowledge. For information contact: CCD Secretariat, P.O. Box 260129, D-53153 Bonn, Germany; tel: +49-228-815-2800; fax: +49-228-815-2899; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    EXPERT CONSULTATION ON TROPICAL FORESTRY RESEARCH: The Expert Consultation on Tropical Forestry Research is scheduled to be held in Curitiba, Brazil, on 30 November 1999. For information contact: Oudara Souvannavong; e-mail: [email protected].

    AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(J): The Ad Hoc Working Group on Article 8(j) will be held in Montreal, Canada from 24- 28 January 2000. For information contact: CBD Secretariat; World Trade Center, 393 Jacques St., Suite 300, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 1N9; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e- mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM ON FORESTS: IFF-4 is scheduled to be held 31 January –11 February 2000 in New York. For more information, contact the IFF Secretariat, Two United Nations Plaza, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA; tel: +1-212-963- 6208; fax: +1-212-963-3463; Internet:

    EIGHTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: CSD-8 is expected to meet in Spring 2000 to consider integrated planning and management of land resources, agriculture, and financial resources/trade and investment/economic growth. Intersessionals are expected prior to the session to consider the same topics. For information, contact: Andrey Vasilyev, Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet: For major group information, contact Zehra Aydin-Sipos, Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail: [email protected].

    FIFTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: COP-5 will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 15-26 May 2000. For information contact: CBD Secretariat; World Trade Center, 393 St. Jacques Street, Suite 300, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 1N9; tel: +1-514-288- 2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    XXI IUFRO WORLD CONGRESS: The IUFRO World Congress will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 7-12 August 2000. For more information contact: Chairman, The XXI IUFRO Congress Organizing Committee, Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, Kepang, 52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; fax: +603-636-7753; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

    SEMINAR ON PRACTICAL TRADE-RELATED ASPECTS OF SFM: This seminar, sponsored by Brazil, in cooperation with UNCTAD and ITTO, will take place in Geneva at a date to be determined. For more information contact: David Elliot, UNCTAD; e-mail: [email protected]; or Maria Nazareth Farani Azevedo, Brazilian Mission to the United Nations, Geneva; tel: +41-22- 929-0913; fax: +41-22-78-2506; e-mail: [email protected].


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