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Fourth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests 
Geneva, Switzerland, 3- 14 May 2004

 Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB
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Monday, 3 May 2004

The fourth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF-4) opened today in Geneva, Switzerland. During the morning plenary session, delegates heard opening statements, country statements, and a report on the status of the UNFF Secretariat. In the afternoon, delegates heard panel presentations, and engaged in substantive discussion, on forests and their role in achieving broader development goals, and continued hearing country statements.

Main entrance to the Palais des Nations, location of UNFF-4.
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Above photo, left to right: opening plenary panel members Pekka Patosaari; José Antonio Ocampo; Yuriy Isakov; and Moncef Khane.

Philippe Roch said UNFF should address forests in a comprehensive manner and be the "director of the international forest orchestra."

Hosny El-Lakany stressed the CPF's success the distribution and use of its Sourcebook on Funding for SFM.

Faisal Abdullah Al-Athba (Qatar) on behalf of the G77/China said a lack of funds is stalling the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action


Election of Officers:

José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary General for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), opened UNFF-4. Delegates then elected to the Bureau Yuriy Isakov (Russian Federation) as Chair, George Talbot (Guyana) as Vice-Chair, Xolisa Mabhongo (South Africa) as Rapporteur, Stephanie Caswell (United States) and I Gede Ngurah Swajaya (Indonesia).

General Statements:

Listen to presentations made by:


José Antonio Ocampo encouraged delegates to approve the Secretariat's proposal for a process on facilitating the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests (ROE) at UNFF-5.

Valery Roshupkin, Russian Federation, described its work on SFM and stressed the need for financial assistance and transfer of EST.

Pekka Patosaari, Coordinator of the UNFF Secretariat called for donor support to ensure the wide participation of developing countries at UNFF-5.

Denis Byrne (Ireland), on behalf of the Eurpean Union, Bulgaria and Romania, underscored social and cultural aspects in the implementation of SFM and IPF/IFF proposals for action.


Hiroshi Kudo, Japan, called for UNFF-4 to clarify concrete actions in order to avoid repetition of the IPF/IFF proposals for action.

Francis Butagira, Ambassador, Uganda, underscored the importance of decentralization in forest management and the need for effective coordination between conventions.

China stressed that the AHEG PARAM should ensure transparency and reflect the views of all its members.


Mike Macnamara, Australia, said UNFF needs to demonstrate substantive progress through practical work on the ground.

Wahjudi Wardojo, Indonesia, stressed that international cooperation and collaboration are needed to overcome remaining obstacles to implementing SFM.

Linda Mossop-Rousseau, South Africa, reviewed its progress in national implementation, including its new forest-related legislation.


Luis Ernesto Barrera Garavito, Guatemala, called for ensuring that concrete and regional actions are carried out for addressing illicit trafficking of timber.

Gregoire Nkeoua, Congo, drew attention to a recent country-led initiative conference in Brazzaville on environmentally sound technologies (EST).

Delegates met in Room XVIII of the Palais des Nations during this morning's plenary.

Inviolata Chingayanrara called on the International Labour Organization to adopt a convention protecting the interests of forest workers.

Fredy Arnoldo Molina described the benefits of community-based concessions in Central America.



Panel Discussion:
"Forests and its role in acheiving broader development goals"

Listen to:

Country Statements:

Heads of Delegations continued to give their opening statements until the closing of the afternoon plenary.

Ole Henrik Magga said indigenous peoples measure poverty in terms of loss of control over their territories and called for the adoption of development programmes to allow full participation of indigenous peoples.

Tony Simmons addressed the role that forests and trees can play in enhancing the livelihoods of the poor, including the contribution of agriforestry systems to poverty alleviation and meeting the MDGs.

Delegates participating in the panel discussion during this afternoon's plenary session.

Ivica Grbac, Croatia, welcomed the inclusion of all interested parties in UNFF discussions and stressed the need for scientific cooperation.

Modesto Fernández Diaz-Silveira, Cuba, reiterated the need for means of implementation.

India described its efforts to implement SFM, including intersectoral cooperation and community forest management.


Gardens and Flags of the Palais des Nations.

One of the many peacocks that wander freely around the Palais grounds.

Two "life-sized" angels carved in stone guard one of the buildings of the Palais des Nations.

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