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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
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Asia-Pacific Day at UNFF 5

On Wednesday, delegates convened in a morning Plenary to engage in a moderated panel discussion on sustainable forest management (SFM) policy needs, achievements and challenges in the Asia-Paciifc region. Speakers from several Asian countries spoke on aspects of SFM and their own countries' experiences with SFM.

In the afternoon, delegates met in group consultations and coordination sessions to consider the first Chair's draft text and draft elements of a ministerial declaration.

Wednesday, 18 May
Asia-Pacific Day

The morning's panel on SFM in the Asia-Pacific Region was moderated by Naria Andin of the Phillipines.

Keynote speaker David Kaimowitz, Director General of the Centre for International Forest Research, discussed challenges facing SFM in Asia, and identified emerging and ongoing issues that need to be addressed.

Freeezailah Che' Yeom of the Malaysian Timber Certification Council spoke on SFM and certification efforts in Asia, and called for implementation of all criteria and indicators for SFM as well as credible certification schemes.

Kanchan Lama of Nepal presented on initiatives to empower women through community-based forest management in Nepal, and outlined efforts to promote gender equality and empower women.

Hiro Miyazono of Japan spoke on Japan's contributions in support of SFM, and its experiences in establishing coastal forests, and emphasized emerging cooperation with non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Gopa Pandey of India shared recent developments concerning SFM in India, and described the various social, economic and environmental concerns that must be balanced in the implementation of SFM strategies.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs noted a migration of logging activities from Southeast Asia to Pacific, African and Latin American regions.

Lu De of China emphsized that China's per capita consumption of timber is below the world average and one-sixteenth of consumption in developed countries, and said equal access to development is a human right.

Charlotte Cudby of New Zealand noted the development of a regional code of practice in Asia, and underscored the potential for valuation of and payment for environmental services.

G.K. Prasad of India commented on advances in his country's national forest programme implementation, emphasizing a commitment to meaningful partnerships and an institutional framework to ensure participation of all stakeholders.

Sye Mahmood Nasir of Pakistan commented on the overlap between UNFF and the CBD forest program, noting the need for UNFF to rethink its strategy to focus on non-biodiversity-related aspects of forests.

Jan McAlpine of the United States stated that the panel presentations demonstrate the positive potential of regional approaches, and highlighted the importance of cooperation on forest fire management.

Ananta Raj Pandey of Nepal called for a UNFF outcome that would strengthen social and gender equality initiatives already underway in his country.
Around UNFF 5

Although several members of the Youth and Children major group came from countries whose flags are on the south side of the corridor, they agreed (after a short debate) to pose with their fellows on the north side, thus demonstrating north-south cooperation and making this photo possible.

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