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Fifth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests
United Nations Headquarters, New York | 16-27 May 2005 

Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB
Daily Web
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16 May
17 May
18 May
19 May
20 May
23 May
24 May
25 May
26 May
27 May &


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UNFF 5 Opens in New York

On Monday, the fifth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 5) convened at UN Headquarters in New York.

In the morning, delegates heard opening statements, addressed organizational matters and enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination.

In the afternoon, delegates considered: future actions, review of the effectiveness of the International Agreement on Forests (IAF), and consideration with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework for all types of forests (parameters).

Delegates elected to the Bureau Manuel Rodriguez Becerra of Colombia as Chair, Vasile Lupu of Romania, Francis K. Butagira of Uganda, and Denys Gauer of France as Vice-Chairs and Rezlan Ishar Jenie of Indonesia as Vice-Chair-cum-Rapporteur.

Monday, 16 May
Morning Plenary

Hosny El-Lakany of FAO, UNFF Secretariat Coordinator and Head Pekka Patosaari, and Bureau Chair Manuel Rodriguez Becerra of Colombia

Speaking for the G77 and China, Marilyn Headley of Jamaica, urged developed countries to assist in capacity building in support of utilizing traditional forest knowledge and best practices.

Speaking for the European Union, Frank Wolter of Luxembourg called for a reversal of current trends in deforestation and forest degradation.

Nikolay Chulkov of the Russian Federation said that the UNFF 5 session should focus on implementation of effective forest policy at the global level.

Carlos González-Vincente of Mexico called for avoiding duplication of efforts and strengthening regional processes.

Charlotte Cudby of New Zealand supported widening the range of member organizations in the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

Franz Perrez of Switzerland expressed disappointment with UNFF's achievements to date, and underscored the need for a strong international regime on forests.

John Talbot of Australia highlighted the need for work on the ground, and drew attention to a user-friendly manual on implementation of IPF/IFF Proposals for Action.

Javad Amin-Mansour of Islamic Republic of Iran called for attention to sustainable forest management for all types of forests, particularly in low-forest-cover countries.

Manuel Guariguata of the Convention on Biological Diversity reported on activities under the CBD's Forest Biodiversity Programme of Work.
Report of the Ad Hoc Experts Group

Andrea Albán Durán of Colombia, Co-Chair of AHEG-PARAM
AHEG-PARAM co-chairs Andrea Albán Durán and Tim Rollinson, presented the report of the outcomes of the Ad Hoc Experts Group to Consider with a View to Recommnending the Parameters of a Mandate for Developing a Legal Framework on All Types of Forests, including an analysis of existing institutions and the identification of options for the future International Agreement on Forests. They noted that many "building blocks" would be applicable to either a legally binding or non legally binding initiative.
Tim Rollinson of the United Kingdom, Co-Chair of AHEG-PARAM
Afternoon Plenary

Bill Singleton of Canada called for a performance-based arrangement centered on a legally binding instrument and incorporating a strengthened UNFF and CPF.

Arne Ivar Sletnes of Norway noted lack of progress in sustainable forest management, and called for formulating a limited number of objectives and focusing on regional processes.

Modesto Fernandez stated Cuba's willingness to consider all options, including a legally binding agreement.

David Rhodes of New Zealand expressed frustration with limited progress and noted the unwieldiness of implementing the IPF/IPF Proposals for Action.

Tony Bartlett of Australia emphassized the importance of regional subsidiary bodies.

Byeong Am Choi of the Republic of Korea supported the idea of a legally binding instrument as the best way to move forward.

Speaking for Indigenous Peoples, Hubertus Samangun called for consideration of indigenous and tribal rights to land and resources tenure.

Oleg Shamanov of the Russian Federation highlighted the achievements of the UNFF and encouraged strenghtening the IAF.

Kathryn Buchanan of the Montréal Process stated that a revised framework of criteria and indicators is to be announced in Japan next year.
Around UNFF

A friendly greeting in the morning.

Jan McAlpine of the United States confers with Brazil.

A question from Youth and Children.

Delegates from the breakaway Republic of Laptopia and their fearless
leader, Andrew (who refuses to ratify the Laptop Non-Proliferation Treaty).

Relevant weblinks

United Nations Forum on Forests
UNFF 5 Provisional Agenda
UNFF 5 Organization of Work (PDF)
UNFF 5 Background Documents
UNFF 5 Official Documents

ENB's coverage of recent Forestry sessions

FAO Committee on Forestry: 14-19 March 2005
ITTC-37: 13-18 December 2004
UNFF Experts Group: 7-10 September 2004
ITTC-36: 20-23 July 2004
UNFF4: 3-14 May 2004