Daily report for 22 September 2003

XII World Forestry Congress (WFC)

During the Programme Opening, perspectives were heard from representatives of the forest community, forest workers, indigenous peoples, the forest industry, private forest owners, environmental NGOs, forestry research organizations and youth, among others. In the afternoon, Theme Sessions A (Forests for People) and B (Forests for the Planet) convened, addressing such issues as forests and human needs, valuation of forest resources and products, the state of forests and assessment techniques, and maintenance of biodiversity. Side events also took place in the afternoon and the evening.



Jean-Louis Krouac, XII WFC Secretary General, welcomed participants to the Congress, and opened the General Session.

Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada and President of the XII WFC, invited participants to challenge one another in developing a final Congress statement.

Sam Hamad, Minister of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Parks for Quebec and Co-president of the XII WFC, welcomed participants to Quebec and underscored that forests are a means of livelihood.

Jagmohan Maini, former head of the UNFF Secretariat, stated that: forests are not wood factories; forest-rich and forest-poor regions face different realities; causes of deforestation lie outside the forest sector; solutions to deforestation and forest degradation are cross-sectoral; and forest benefits extend beyond forests.

Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Women Acting Together for Change, reviewed the history of forest resource management in Nepal, stressing that community forestry is Nepal's most successful form of resource management. He said community forest managers should be provided with necessary technical skills and should utilize integrated management, and community managed forests should exist autonomously.

William Street, International Federation of Building and Wood Workers, noted the importance of addressing social justice issues, including formalizing forest jobs, developing national forest plans through transparent processes, and respecting forest workers.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation, explained that 250 out of 500 million indigenous peoples live in and maintain forests. She called for recognition of the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination, permanent sovereignty over land and natural resources, and the inclusion of human rights and indigenous participation in the implementation of international commitments, especially in monitoring processes.

Jean-Jacques Landrat, Intra-African Forest Industry Association, used the tortoise and hare metaphor to describe how inequality and population growth are rapidly out-pacing the reduction of poverty and the implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM). He urged the international community to support the tortoise in order to achieve the objectives of SFM.

Natalie Hufnagl, Confederation of European Forest Owners, stressed that forests are multifunctional and contribute to the livelihoods of family forest-owners. She underscored that forests are the objects, not the subjects, of rights, and that all valuations of forests are human-centered valuations.

Yolande Kakabadse, World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Foundation for the Future of Latin America, encouraged participants to consider the WFC in the context of other international processes, such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the World Parks Congress. She stressed that the views of indigenous peoples' and youth must be better incorporated into decision making, and that forests are a form of insurance, the benefits of which must be paid for.

Risto Seppala, International Union of Forest Research Organizations, highlighted the creation of the Task Force on Science Policy, which will act as a necessary interface between forest research and non-research communities. He said resources for forest research must be allocated for socioeconomic and policy research.

Noting youths' concerns regarding poverty and social inequity, lack of transparency in policy-making processes and unsustainable consumption, Catalina Santamaria, United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), said the voice of youth is increasingly important in consultation processes, policy making, and the community. She highlighted that a Youth Network had been created for the WFC to plan, monitor and follow up on WFC activities.

Marc Ledoux, Assistant Deputy Minister of Forestry for Quebec, explained that Quebec holds 2% of the world's forests, which produce 10% of Qubec's GDP. He listed key challenges including economic, environmental and social demands, co-existence with Aboriginal peoples, public participation and transparency.

Yvan Hardy, Assistant Deputy Minister Natural Resources Canada, questioned the present paradigm of compartmentalized forest management and its connection to pests and recent wildfires in British Columbia, and drew attention to fire suppression regimes. He asked participants to look beyond their own interests, replace reflexes with good science, and work together across disciplines to ensure holistic forest management.

Hosny El-Lakany, Head of FAOs Forestry Department, emphasized the need for increased cooperation and coordination among international processes and agencies, and said that giving forests a higher profile on the international agenda will require sustained commitment at the highest political level.

Concluding the session, Jagmohan Maini noted that the international community is becoming increasingly sensitive to the intimate relationship between people and forests.

Jean Prosper Koyo, Associate Secretary-General of FAO, stressed the need to build on the XI WFC to further the vision for sustainable development. Reaffirming the role of the XII WFC in focusing on main issues affecting forests throughout the world, he outlined the process that will lead to the development of a collaborative final statement for the XII WFC.

Pter Cska, State Forest Service of Hungary, stressed that the objective of SFM is not simply the well being of forest dependent communities, but of all humanity.



Marc Dourojeanni, Foundation pro Naturaleza, discussed the instability of the agro-forestry frontier in developing countries, and innovative forest protection measures such as payments for environmental services, certification and the demarcation of indigenous territories.

Christian Barthoud, Deputy Director of Natural Areas in France, addressed the important role of research in improving adaptation to natural disturbances. He also noted that catastrophic events often trigger new ways of conducting research, and said a reconsideration of time and space was warranted.



FORESTS AND HUMAN NEEDS: Olivier Dubois, FAO, discussed the potential of forestry-based poverty reduction strategies, but warned against overstating their potential and recommended linking the sustainable livelihoods approach to SFM.

Participants then heard presentations by: Amadou Kassambara, FAO, on Mali's strategy to prevent forest degradation; Maxhun Dida, Albanian Directorate General of Forests and Pastures, on forests as safety nets for the poor; Jean-Marc Roda, Center for International Cooperation and Agronomic Research for Development, on new perspectives on tropical forests; and Lim Hin Fui, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, on poverty eradication within the Malaysian aboriginal community. David Bengston, US Department of Agriculture, presented views of American indigenous peoples on natural resource management, stressing the need for a broader epistemological perspective on forest issues.

Participants discussed, inter alia: cross-sectoral approaches to forest issues; the need to compensate poor countries for their forest conservation efforts; the potential of ecotourism as a way to link forests and human needs; the importance of using eco-friendly traditional practices; and the recognition of the fundamental rights of aboriginal peoples.

VALUATION OF FOREST RESOURCES AND PRODUCTS: Joseph Kingue Sobgoum, Forestry and Industrial Company of Doum, described community forest projects in Cameroon. Hamed Daly Hassen, National Research Institute in Rural, Water and Forestry Engineering, spoke on forest products in Tunisia, in particular, essential oils. Mustafa Fehmi Trker, Karadeniz Technical University, called for an integrated approach to forest management in Turkey. John Parkins, Canadian Forest Service, outlined the variables affecting the well-being of forest communities in Canada. Anuja Rajsharma and Keshav Kanel, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation of Nepal, jointly presented on the challenge of achieving an equitable distribution of forest products within the forestry community. Dinesh Misra, University of Toronto, discussed joint forest management initiatives in India.


MAINTENANCE OF BIODIVERSITY: Jol Hodgson, Global Forest Nursery Development Incorporated, described a successful reforestation project in Belize, and argued that similar projects could attract funding for their carbon sequestration potential. Michel Maldague, University of Laval, on behalf of Sam Mankoto, UNESCO, said the Luki Biosphere Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo exemplifies the advantages of the systemic approach for biodiversity conservation. Alaric Sample,

University of Yale, stressed that conserving forest biodiversity requires a comprehensive strategy involving forest plantations and protected areas.

Armand Natta, University of Wageningen, offered an example of a riparian forest conservation project in Benin. Don MacIver, Meteorological Service of Canada, stressed that climate change requires the development of adaptive, scientific, decision-making and management strategies for forest biodiversity conservation. Participants discussed the role of training for research and monitoring, and indicators for biodiversity valuation.

STATE OF THE FOREST AND ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES: Anatoly Shvidenko, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, noted that the value of forest resources should include ecological, social and cultural variables. Peter Holmgren, FAO, indicated that the formulation of the 2005 Forest Resources Assessment would focus on forest trends, criteria and indicators, and thematic, country-specific reporting. Wulf Killmann, FAO, mentioned the importance of harmonizing forest-related definitions to strengthen collaboration with countries and partners while easing the reporting burden on countries.

John Stanturf, US Forest Service, described the management intensity levels by different types of ownership in US forest areas. Thomas Haussmann, International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests, emphasized the need for high quality monitoring as an essential part of good research. Catherine Peri, Ministry of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Parks for Quebec, presented research on the surveillance of forest ecosystems in Quebec and discussed how monitoring is important in decision making. Sylvain Bigot, University of Science and Technology of Lille, presented his research on Cte d'Ivoire and explained how declassification of forest areas has encouraged illegal clearing of land.


The National Forest Programme Facility: A partnership to implement NFPs

Presented by the National Forest Programme Facility

Franois Wenclius, FAO's National Forest Programme Facility, explained that the Facility is a partnership of developing countries, funding partners, and FAO, and was created to help developing countries implement their National Forest Programmes (NFP) and provide information services. He stated that the Facility aims to: secure the informed participation of stakeholders; help implement SFM for poverty reduction; and integrate international commitments into NFPs. Concerning country support, he said the Facility focuses on information, knowledge sharing and capacity building. He explained that the Facility first selects interested countries, then establishes partnership agreements and provides grants. Concerning information sharing, he listed new instruments that have been developed by the Facility, including a website and CD-ROMs, and said there is still strong demand for conventional dissemination of knowledge. He added that the Facility aims to help the flow of information between countries and funding partners.

Link to more information:

Franois Wenclius: francois.wencelius@fao.org

Primary forests and carbon sequestration

Presented by the Sierra Club of Canada

Martin von Mirbach, Sierra Club of Canada, underlined that evaluating the impacts of forest management on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is important in the light of the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Neil Bird, Woodrising Consulting, presented a study comparing the impact of proposed management strategies on the carbon balance. The study demonstrated that ecosystem management of forests results in lower carbon dioxide emissions than conventional forest management. He stressed that the model represents a preliminary assessment and that some factors, such as carbon storage in wood products, had not been included.

In the ensuing discussion, one participant pointed out that the effects of substituting wood products for energy-intensive materials, must be included in the assessment, noting that this is only one example of the difficulties faced when assessing the carbon budget of various types of forest management. Participants also addressed the impact of the Kyoto Protocol on forest conservation. Some argued that the mechanisms of the Protocol might have adverse impacts on forest conservation because they favor fast-growing plantations.

Von Mirbach noted that the impact of forestry on climate change is at an early stage of assessment and stressed that it is necessary to converge the objectives of climate protection and forest conservation.

Links to more information:

Martin von Mirbach: martinvm@sierraclub.ca 
Neil Bird: nbird@woodrising.com 

The large intact areas: Mapping a future for the world's ancient forests

Presented by Greenpeace and the World Resource Institute (WRI)

Christoph Thies, Greenpeace International, explained the need for neutral and reliable geographical information concerning ancient forests and said this information serves as the basis for conservation programmes. He said Greenpeace is lobbying for a regional moratorium on development of intact forests to allow time for multi-stakeholder discussions on the future of these forests.

Lars Laestadius, WRI, explained that Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an independent data and mapping network that combines on-the-ground knowledge with digital technology to monitor forest condition and map intact forests. He presented the results of condition mapping and stressed the need for more detailed data to help identify intact forests, including high-cost satellite images.

Alexey Yaroshenko, Greenpeace Russia, described the process of mapping intact forests and introduced the upcoming report entitled Remaining Wildlands in the Northern Forests.

In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted, inter alia: the importance of mapping indigenous peoples' territories; linkages between GFW and the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment; data gaps in mapping tropical intact forests; and the use of data collected by governments and agencies.

Links to more information:

Christoph Thies cthies@greenpeace.de
Lars Laestadius larsl@wri.org  

Tropical secondary forests in Latin America, Asia and Africa: Status, experiences and challenges

Presented by FAO, World Agroforestry Centre, GTZ, CIFOR and EC-LNV 

Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre, provided an overview of recent initiatives that have elevated the role of tropical secondary forests. Herman Savenije, National Reference Centre for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (EC-LNV), noted that tropical secondary forests have been given little attention in policy, research and forest statistics. Cesar Sabogal, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), discussed outcomes of tropical secondary forest workshops in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Eva Mller, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), gave an update on ITTO guidelines that can be used to improve management strategies for degraded and tropical secondary forests. Fred Kwesiga, World Agroforestry Centre, indicated that secondary forests can provide an important source of income for southern African countries. Froyln Castaeda, FAO, expressed hope that a comparative assessment of secondary forests would be produced by 2005.

Participants discussed whether using the term degraded forest in definitions of secondary forests would create a barrier between managers and local communities, and some recommended a more precise definition of secondary forest.

Links to more information:

Herman Savenije: h.j.f.savenije@minlnv.nl
Cesar Sabogal: c.sabogal@cgiar.org
Eva Mller: rfm@itto.or.jp
Freddy Kwesiga: f.kwesiga@cgiar.org
Froyln Castaeda: froylan.castaneda@fao.org 

SFM in the tropics: What will it take?

Presented by the ITTO  

In his documentation of ITTO's history, Changing Landscapes, author and keynote speaker Duncan Poore reported that it is uncertain to what extent tropical forests are being sustainably managed. Looking to the future, he foresaw an increase in the number of tropical tree plantations and conservation, but an uncertain future for timber production unless its value is increased. The ITTO Secretariat then presented three case studies, each of which illustrated a positive contribution to SFM in the tropics: a resource valuation project in Honduras on the utilization of lesser known forest species; the Yoande Process and the Congo Basin Partnership Initiative as examples for political commitments to SFM; and a Brazilian capacity-building project in the area of on-site training for reduced impact logging.  

Link to more information:

Manoel Sobral Filho: itto@itto.or.jp 
Duncan Poore: dpoore8516@aol.com


PLENARY SESSION: The Plenary Session will take place at 9:00 am in room 200 and will focus on improving people's living conditions.

THEME SESSIONS: The Theme Sessions will convene at 11:00 am in various rooms to address the theme areas Forests for People and Forests for the Planet.

Further information


National governments
Non-state coalitions