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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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16 May
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UNFF commences deliberations on Chair's draft text

On Friday morning, delegates met in concurrent Working Groups. Working Group I discussed the Chair's draft decision on the future international arrangement on forests (IAF). Working Group II considered the ministerial declaration and the global goals and financial matters in the Chair's draft decision on the IAF. In the afternoon, Working Group II met in a contact group on means of implementation. Photo: Delegates from Cuba, Costa Rica, Syria and Morocco confer.

Friday, 20 May
Working Group I

Working Group I Co-Chair Vasile Lupu of Romania.

Working Group I Co-Chair Rezlan Ishar Jenie of Indonesia.

Speaking for the G-77/China, Marilyn Headley of Jamaica requested language on sovereign use of natural resources, common but differentiated responsibilities, and means of implementation.

Oleg Shamanov of the Russian Federation urged the promotion of forestry within the United Nations and requested language stressing the CPF's role in coordinating sustainable forest management (SFM) implementation.

Matthew Auer of the United States drew attention to a concept note on three options for sponsoring regional meetings.

Denyse Rousseau of Canada proposed drawing upon the UNFF ministerial declaration in preparing ECOSOC's input to the General Assembly.

Stefano Toscano of Switzerland proposed a 2007 deadline for development of a voluntary code on SFM.

Byeong Am Choi of Republic of Korea said that a legally binding instrument (LBI) was the best way to achieve global goals.

Ty Sokhun of Cambodia noted that some funding for SFM comes from NGOs and other third parties.

Modesto Fernandez of Cuba supported wording stating that an LBI could be considered in the future.

Ricardo Ulate Chacón of Costa Rica stated that both LBIs and non-LBIs were valid options.

Luis Ernesto Barrera Garavito of Guatemala supported reconsideration of the parameters for a legal framework on all forests in 2015.

Claudio Gutierrez of Argentina proposed wording stating that an LBI could be considered among other options.

Tony Bartlett of Australia opposed deletion of text on clustering the IPF/IFF proposals for action, and stressed harmonizing existing processes.

Charlotte Cudby of New Zealand expressed concern with complementarity and suggested alternative language on collaboration.
Working Group II

Jorge Illueca of UNFF, Working Group II Chair Denys Gauer of France, UNFF Head Pekka Patosaari and UNFF-5 Chair Manuel Rodríguez-Becerra of Colombia confer before the morning session.

Speaking for the G-77/China, Deidre Mills of Jamaica questioned the merit of discussing the ministerial declaration prior to finalizing the Chair's text.

Jan McAlpine of the United States favored identifying national policies and targets to achieve global goals.

Knut Øistad of Norway called for goals on means and monitoring, favoring doubling sustainably managed forest area by 2015.

John Talbot of Australia expressed concern about discussing global-level goals prior to the conclusion of Working Group I discussions.

Hadil Da Rocha Vianna of Brazil supported use of the term "strategic objectives" instead of quantifiable targets.

Franz Perrez of Switzerland clarified that national goals would be self-defined and non-binding, while global goals would measure the success of the IAF.

David Rhodes of New Zealand stated that he was not opposed to quantifiable targets, but noted that measuring progress is a challenge.

Speaking for the EU, Frank Wolter of Luxembourg recommended that the global goals use language from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and proposed text on voluntary national targets.

In the afternoon, Working Group II met in a contact group chaired by Xolisa Mabhongo of South Africa, which drew participants from numerous countries and regional groups.
Around UNFF 5

Delegates from Luxembourg confer in Working Group I

Boris Romaguer and Ralph Roberts of Canada prepare for Working Group II

Jan McAlpine of the United States and Hadil Da Rocha Vianna of Brazil share a laugh before Working Group II.

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