The third day of the virtual Fifty-sixth Session of International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-56) and the Associated Sessions of its four Committees focused primarily on the development of the initial phase of the International Tropical Timber Organization’s (ITTO) New Financing Architecture (NFA) aimed at improving ITTO’s financing infrastructure and fundraising strategies. The joint Committee on Economics, Statistics and Markets and Committee on the Forest Industry (CEM-CFI) also initiated its discussion of projects and policy work.
The Council’s NFA discussion, which began on Tuesday, concluded with a presentation by the Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group (AHWG) on Financing outlining the recommended objectives for the NFA’s four programmatic lines:
- legal and sustainable supply chains;
- conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services;
- forest landscape restoration and resilient livelihoods; and
- emerging issues and innovation.
The Co-Chairs also walked delegates through the different funding scenarios under the streamlined project cycle, and how the “Virtual Informed Feedback Loop” (VIFL) created by ITTC-55 should function. The VIFL will enable ITTO member governments to provide quick feedback on any funding agreements ITTO might propose with potential donors.
Member States praised the work of the AHWG and expressed support for further development of the NFA. Some delegates sought clarifications about the role of national focal points under the new system, how climate change, gender, and livelihoods would be reflected in the objectives under programmatic lines, and what might happen to projects already approved by Council that will soon sunset. On this last point, AHWG Co-Chair Jennifer Conje (US) explained that existing projects will go into a project database, but still be subject to existing ITTO sunset rules. She said the AHWG has recommended resurrecting sunsetted projects as funding concept notes under the new system.
CEM-CFI approved 4 projects and pre-projects for funding and discussed related policy work and whether to authorize ex-post evaluations on any projects. Due to time constraints, presentations on policy work on market access and certification issues and on independent market monitoring of forest law enforcement, governance and trade work were postponed until Thursday.