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Forty-second Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-42) and Associated Sessions of the Committees
7-12 May 2007, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Summary Report


May 2007

ITTC-42 Highlights: Wednesday, 9 May 2007

On Wednesday, May 9, 2007, the Forty-Second Session of the International Tropical Timber Council entered its third day of discussions in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. In the morning, Producers and Consumers met in their respective caucuses, and then together in a joint informal meeting, as heated debate over the selection of the new Executive Director continued. Afterwards, the morning plenary focused on the Annual Market Discussion, and at lunch, the Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) gave a presentation on sustainable forestry in Papua New Guinea.

In the afternoon, the Joint Technical Committee heard reports on ex-post evaluations of two non-timber forest products projects in Thailand. This was followed by concurrent sessions of the committees on Economic Information and Market Intelligence, Forest Industry, and Reforestation and Forest Management. Later in the afternoon, the Council was presented with findings of a study on barriers to sustainable forestry in Papua New Guinea.

At the end of the day, a proposal by Australia for an informal poll to assess ED candidate preference amongst delegates was opposed by several producers.

Morning Plenary: The Council listened to presentations on "Trade in Secondary Processed Wood Products: Tends and Perspectives".

Bruce Telfer, SGS, gave on overview of SGS’s work in log monitoring for the PNG Forest Authority. He explained that although the real value of log exports had decreased, verification of exports had increased revenues to government and landowners.

Jairo Castaño, ITTO Secretariat, presented an overview of the trade in secondary wood processed products (SPWP).

Shi Kunshan, Chinese Academy of Forestry, presented on China’s trade in SPWP and the role of US hardwoods.

Huynh Van Hanh, Handicraft and Wood Industry Association, Vietnam, spoke on Vietnam’s growth into a major furniture exporter with 1600 factories and exports to 120 markets.

Alhassan Attah, Ghana Forestry Commission, spoke on perspectives and trends for SPWP in Africa, which are influenced by policy measures such as log export bans, resource allocations to further domestic processing, and export taxes.

Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) Side Event

Che Hin Keong, TRAFFIC International, gave a presentation on the potential for the tree species Merbau to spur growth in Indonesia, PNG, Malaysia and China, and highlighted the need for more research.

Lynette Baratai-Pokas, Center for Environmental Law and Community (CELCOR), described threats to sustainability posed by industrial logging and exploitation of other natural resources in PNG, and called for ITTO to support awareness raising within communities of their customary landownership rights.

Stephen Kelleher, IUCN, moderated a Civil Society Advisory Group side event on improving the sustainability of PNG forestry.

Committees on Economic Information and Market Intelligence, Forest Industry.

Bazakie Baput, Foundation for People and Community Development (FPCD), described the approach of a community forestry programme that builds landowner skills and technological capacity to implement SFM, emphasizing a transition to self-reliance and improving quality of life.

Afternoon Plenary

Hosny El Lakany, independent consultant to ITTO, presented findings from an ITTO-commissioned study that identified barriers to sustainable forestry in Papua New Guinea. He emphasized that all the necessary supporting components for a functioning and sustainable forest sector are present, and that what is needed is a commitment to improve implementation of policies and enforcement of laws.

In the afternoon, Producers and Consumers debated how to proceed with the selection of the next Executive Director (ED). Australia proposed taking an informal poll on the six ED candidates, while Producers opposed such a move. As a way forward, a number of delegates met in a small group to draft the proposal for a small group discussion on the proposal for an informal poll.

Around ITTC-42

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