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39th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council 
and Associated Sessions of the Committees


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Highlights for Thursday, 10 November 2005

On the fourth day of the ITTC-39, delegates convened in a Council Session, Committees, an informal working group session on the draft biennial work programme and an informal joint Producer/Consumer Group meeting on the renegotiation of ITTA, 1994. In the morning Council Session and an afternoon informal working group session, delegates considered a revised draft biennial work programme for 2006-2007. Delegates addressed outstanding agenda items in the Committees on Economic Information and Market Intelligence and Forest Industry and in the Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management. Delegates also discussed issues of scope in the informal joint Producer/Consumer Group meeting on the renegotiation of the ITTA, 1994.

Above photo: Plenary view of the
Informal Joint Producer/Consumer meeting on the Renegotiation of ITTA,1994 in session.

Council Session: 

In the morning, delegates discussed items in the revised draft biennial work programme for 2006-2007. Delegates required clarification on, inter alia: utilization of results from criteria and indicators national training workshops; activities associated with ITTO participation in the Collaborative Partnership on Forests; ITTO’s work on illegal logging; evaluation of the Yokohama Action Plan for 2002-2006; and formulation of a new ITTO Action Plan.

Above photo L-R: Dais during the morning Council Session with Alaistar Sarre (ITTO), Paul Vantomme (ITTO), Emmanuel Ze Meka (ITTO), ITTO Executive Director Manoel Sobral Filho, ITTC Chair Alhassan Attah (Ghana), ITTC Vice-Chair Koichi Ito (Japan), Amha Bin Buang (ITTO) and Edmond Collins Ahadome (ITTO)

Chair Attah opened discussion of the draft biennial work programme for 2006-7 and asked delegates to adopt the activities in the list one by one.

The US suggested adding language to the activity on enhancing members’ capacity to implement CITES appendices, to extend work on mahogany and ramin and to cooperate with the private sector and civil society. 

Above photo: David Brooks (US)

In discussion of the activity on enhancing public relations, education and outreach activities, Switzerland suggested addition of a phrase “including coordination with and support for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) or similar institutions concerning reporting from Council sessions.”

Above photo: Daniel Birchmeier (Switzerland)

ITTO Executive Director Manoel Sobral Filho, pointed out that ITTO receives progress reports on its cooperation with the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) periodically, and has received a letter commending ITTO for its work with UNFF.

Malaysia asked why there is concern about cooperation with UNFF, when it is recognized as an important forum.

Above photo: Y. Bhg. Dato’ Dr. Freezailah bin Che Yeom (Malaysia)

With respect to the suggestion by the Secretariat that ITTO might make and maintain a website in Japanese, Japan responded that accurate calculation of costs for such a site is important for securing funding.

Above photo: Hideo Fukishima (Japan)

The Republic of Korea indicated its support for the Secretariat’s collaboration with UNFF.

Above photo: Kwang Su Ryu (Republic of Korea)

The CRF reported, and the Council adopted, activities on: human relations development through fellowship and on effective enforcement of forest laws and regulations.

Above photo: CRF Chair Jennifer Conje (US)

The CFI reported, and the Council adopted, activities on: community-based forest industries, competitiveness, bioenergy, investment and non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

Above photo: CFI Chair Celestine Ntsame-Okwo  

Committees on Economic Information and Market Intelligence and the Committee on Forest Industry (CEM/CFI): 

In the afternoon, the Committees on Economic Information and Market Intelligence and Forest Industry met to elect new officers for 2006, review terms of reference for regional collaboration activities in the Amazonian region, and consider elements of the Committees’ draft report.

CEM/CFI discussed two activities  on a study of subsidies and enhancement of statistical work, and approved two terms of reference (TORs) on certification and a Amazon basin sub-regional program. The following officers were elected for 2006: Jung-Hwan Park (Republic of Korea), CFI Chair, Dani Pitoio (Indonesia): CFI Vice-Chair, James Gasana (Switzerland), CEM Chair, Chantal Adingra (Côte d’Ivoire), CEM Vice-Chair.

Above photo L-R: The CEM/CFI, chaired by Celestine Ntsame-Okwo (CFI, Gabon) and James Gasana (CEM, Switzerland);
Amha Bin Buang (ITTO)

The Netherlands questioned use of the term "equivalence" in the title of the activity on certification.

Above photo: Marcel Vernooij (The Netherlands)

Norway suggested including cooperation with FAO and IUCN in the activity on certification.

Above photo L-R: Jan Abrahamsen and Merethe Luís (Norway)

Jung-Hwan Park (Republic of Korea), incoming CFI Chair.

Chantal Adingra (Côte d’Ivoire) incoming CEM Vice-Chair.

Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management (CRF):

The Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management considered project proposals, elected new officers for 2006 and provided input for the Committee’s draft report.  

Above photo L-R: CRF Chair Jennifer Conje (US) and Petrus Gunarso (Indonesia)

Germany suggested early implementation of project proposal guidelines.


Above photo: Peter Schröder (Germany)

Ecuador presented on a project regarding transboundary condor conservation in conjunction with Peru.

Above photo: Alfredo Carrasco (Ecuador)

Thailand reported on progress regarding the development of a project designed to encourage reforestation of tsunami-affected regions. 

Above photo: Suchat Kalyawongsa (Thailand)

Informal Joint Producer/Consumer meeting on the Renegotiation of ITTA,1994

During an informal joint Producer/Consumer meeting on the renegotiation of the ITTA, 1994, Chair Attah discussed outstanding issues related to the scope of the successor agreement. He noted that, in addition to the frequency of Council Sessions, the name of the Organization and the voting structure, there remained other areas of difficulties including, inter alia: the placement of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and environmental services (ES); the use of the phrase indigenous peoples and local communities; and references to international labor conventions. He indicated that poor time management had caused previous problems in delaying negotiations, and that newcomers to the negotiations need to be briefed well in advance of ITTA-4 to avoid stalling progress made to date. Carlos Antonio da Rocha Paranhos, President of the UN Conference, noted that substance, rather than administrative issues of the successor agreement should be the focus of ITTA-4. He indicated that negotiations would proceed in two working groups during the first two days of ITTA-4, and if no progress was made during the first two days, negotiations would take place in a formal plenary session.

Above photos L-R: Carlos Antonio da Rocha Paranhos (Brazil) and ITTC Chair Alhassan Attah (Ghana); Chair Attah (Ghana) giving an update on the status of the negotiations in Working Group I. 

Brazil, on behalf of the Producer Group, called attention to producer countries’ position to hold two rather than one Council sessions a year. He suggested that the test before delegates on issues of scope would be less challenging than those on finance.

Above photo: Luiz Gasser (Brazil)

Finland, on behalf of the Consumer Group, noted that preparations made during ITTC-39 were a useful start to making progress at ITTA-4 and that some contentious issues involved in the successor agreement might be decided by Council instead of at ITTA-4.

Above photo: Aulikki Kauppila (Finland)

Switzerland said that NTFPs and ES might be best reflected in the preamble of the new Agreement, since the new Agreement would not expand but rather confirm ITTO’s current work.

Above photo: Daniel Birchmeier (Switzerland)

Indicating that countries have different views of what constitutes SFM, Cameroon said the commonalities of countries’ work to promote SFM rather than the differences must be used to make progress, especially with regard to issues of finance.

Above photo: Denis Koulagna Koutou



This service was prepared in cooperation with the ITTO Secretariat



ITTO Secretariat
Session documents
UNFF Secretariat
UNFCCC Secretariat
CBD Secretariat
ENB coverage of ITTC-37
ENB coverage of the UN Conference for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the ITTA, 1994 Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3 
YMB summary from the Europe and North Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Conference: (HTML, PDF, TEXT).
ENB archives of forestry meetings


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