Daily report for 23 September 2003

XII World Forestry Congress (WFC)

In the morning, the Plenary Session focused on improving people's living conditions. Morning and afternoon Theme Sessions addressed a variety of issues related to "Forests for People" and "Forests for the Planet," including: the acquisition and sharing of knowledge; efficient use and processing of resources; underlying causes of forest degradation and deforestation; climate change; management of forest resources and ecosystems; and urban forestry. Side events also convened in the morning, afternoon and evening.



David Kaimowitz, Center for International Forest Research, observed that forests are not prioritized on the global political agenda, due to, inter alia, declining media attention, a sense of failure concerning conservation efforts, and a lack of understanding of how forests help to address other priority issues, such as poverty eradication, health and war. Stressing the importance of forests for the poor, he called for incorporating forest issues in national poverty reduction strategies, and for markets that work better for forest-dependent communities. Kaimowitz noted progress in community-based management and recommended adopting realistic cross-sectoral approaches to conservation, underscoring that people should be compensated for their conservation efforts. He recommended adapting the landscape approach to conservation, and expressed determination to lobby to put forests back on the international agenda.


Liz Alden Wily, independent land tenure and natural resources management specialist, discussed community forestry as an
instrument of good governance. She identified the importance of achieving harmony between forest conservation and people's needs. She recommended moving from a paternalistic to an empowering approach. Wily explained that, as a result of legal reforms, more local communities manage a wider class of forests on longer-term contracts. She underlined the importance of legal recognition of community forest ownership. Wily noted that in many states, customary land rights are now recognized and legally enforceable. She called for a focus on immense unreserved estates, a rigorous evaluation of approaches, and the consideration of communities as shareholders and not stakeholders.

Henson Moore, International Council of Forest and Paper Associations, stressed the industry's commitment to sustainable forest management (SFM). Acknowledging the growing role of public-private partnerships, he highlighted the role of governments in creating framework conditions for sustainable forestry. Underscoring that economic concerns should not overshadow concerns about forests, Moore recommended that sustainable forest-related commercial activities become an important part of the solution to forest problems, and urged the global community to create transparent communication on progress toward SFM. He called for promoting the mutual recognition of certification schemes, improving technical measures, ensuring accountability of forestry companies, and removing trade barriers.



ACQUISITION AND SHARING OF KNOWLEDGE: Noting that many stakeholders - not just foresters - could benefit from a greater understanding of forest issues, J.K. Rawat, Indian Forest Service, stressed the importance of knowledge distribution. Emile Mokoko Wongolo, Secretary General of the African Timber Organization, indicated that research, information dissemination and financing are key to improving future forestry work. Alice Kaudia, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, outlined critical trends and needs for forest research in development, including the need for skilled, robust human resource capital and poverty reduction. Kaudia also noted the adverse effects of HIV/AIDS and acute poverty levels on human and financial resources. To improve knowledge sharing in Africa, Kaudia made a number of suggestions, including: generating statistics on the number of scientists, their fields of expertise, and relevance of the expertise to current and future needs; attracting funding for research from diverse sources; improving skills for transnational knowledge sharing and collaborative learning; determining the impact and sustainability of training programmes; and encouraging market-driven production. Henri Boukoulou, Manieu Ngonabi University, noted that previously excluded groups are now recognized as stakeholders and said participatory management in rural areas can promote accountability and improve SFM in the future. Ernst Zrcher, Swiss School of Engineering for the Wood Industry, discussed a recent project in Madagascar, which produced a bridge for a local rural community. Zrcher noted that the project had low costs and used an exchange of knowledge and know-how between a local community and a foreign organization. Jorge Antonio Tllez, Desarrollo Forestal Communitario, described how electronic training was used to improve knowledge of community forest management in rural areas in Bolivia. Marilyn Hoskins, Indiana University, indicated that institutional analyses can help to identify incentives for planning, managing and implementing community forestry programmes. She noted that withholding information and using incompatible goals to develop community forest programmes could hamper their success.

EFFICIENT USE AND PROCESSING OF RESOURCES: Emile Mokoko Wongolo, African Timber Organization, noted that sustainable forest products have become more competitive in the world market. Ian de la Roche, Forintek Canada Corporation, emphasized the need for sustainable consumption of wood products and said wood is the only renewable mainstream building material. He indicated that the public's perception is build with wood or save the forest, but noted that the two goals could be compatible. De la Roche noted that wood-based construction systems are changing to meet the demands of consumers. Paul Vantomme, FAO, emphasized the need for improved reporting on non-wood forest products (NWFP) at a global and national level in order to include NWFP in policy planning. He noted that the primary users of NWFP, developing countries such as India, China and Indonesia, have definitions, product classifications and statistics for NWFP, but the majority of countries do not. Vantomme also recommended that countries work with customs officials to incorporate NWFP into national product classification schemes and, at the international level, cooperate with the World Customs Organization on NWFP. Luc Duchesne, Natural Resources Canada, explained that non-timber forest products (NTFP) can be used to reduce poverty, and for ecosystem, species and cultural conservation because they require low start-up costs and create employment for both genders, thus reducing gender inequities. He recommended that the timber industry in developed countries take into account social concerns. He also emphasized that energy consumption is the most critical issue facing the forest industry. Asghedom Ghebremichael, Natural Resources Canada, said that enhanced productivity in the timber-harvest industry can help ensure sustainable forest supply and SFM. Reynolds Okai, Forestry Research Institute, noted that the demand for timber is increasing, and discussed the challenge of promoting the value of using logging residues to increase forest production.


CLIMATE CHANGE: Christian Barthod, Ministry for Ecology and Sustainable Development in France, opened the session on the role of forests with respect to climate change. Michael Apps, Natural Resources Canada, explained that forest management could be part of the problem or part of the solution, noting that forest management can increase the forests capacity to balance human perturbations in the global carbon cycle. He described some possible actions, such as reducing pressures for deforestation, increasing the use of wood products and wood as biofuel, and promoting agroforestry. Anne Prieur, University of Bordeaux, presented a lifecycle approach to account for the energetic aspects and the carbon stock function of wood products, emphasizing that the effect on climate change will depend on the maximum storage and the optimal transformation, transportation and use of wood products.

Haripriya Gundimeda, London School of Economics and Political Science, addressed the implications land-use change and forestry projects (LUCF) under the clean development mechanism (CDM) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) could have on sustainable livelihood strategies in India. She encouraged further research on on the long term effects of LUCF projects on sustainable livelihood strategies on climate change. Werner Kurz, Natural Resources Canada, outlined Canadas national forest sector carbon accounting system, a tool that supports scientific analysis, monitoring and policymaking in forest management for climate change. Bruno Locatelli, Center for Agricultural Research in Developing Countries, addressed controversies over forest plantations in tropical countries under the CDM. He said social impacts need to be included in the evaluation of CDM projects and called for a new approach that balances negative and positive impacts.

Participants discussed the need to develop better tools to account for carbon storage in wood products. They also discussed the use of wood instead of fossil fuels, stressing the need to address this issue at future negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol. Kurz explained that this is unlikely to occur during the first commitment period as there is considerable controversy, and a differentiated perspective on energy and forestry issues must be developed first. Barthod stated that forestry can be one of the solutions to the climate change problem, but much remains to be done on accounting and assessment. He encouraged all participants to prepare for the next round of negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol in order to include storage and energy aspects of wood production.

URBAN FORESTRY, TREES OUTSIDE FORESTS: Robert Lindeckert, Pro Silva Mditerrane, presented the history of Park Fontainbleau, a forest reserve near Paris, outlining its historical importance as a hunting area, artistic reserve, landscape conservation site and UNESCO biosphere reserve. He said a worldwide network of such parks would re-enchant the world and serve as an opportunity for people to experience and share knowledge about forests and nature. Cecil Konijnendijk, Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute, offered perspectives on the role of foresters in urban areas, arguing that fast population growth in developing country cities makes it necessary to develop knowledge, strategies and recommendations for good urban forestry practices. He called upon foresters to cooperate in the development and implementation of the FAO strategy on urban and peri-urban forestry.

Omar Mhirit, National School of Forestry Morocco, described the management of trees outside forests in North Africa, underlining problems in developing a management strategy, including: inventory assessment problems; multiple stakeholders; complexity of legal statutes and institutions; and the sensitivity of ecosystems to exploitation and population pressures. Bruno Locatelli, Center for Agricultural Research in Developing Countries, presented a case for broadening the FAO concept of trees outside of forests (TOF) to increase the attention given to urban and peri-urban areas in development planning. He underscored the multiple benefits that local communities derive from non-forest wood and suggested a new concept of ligneous urban agrosilvopastrurals, which encompasses all types of non-forest woodlands.

Syaka Sadio, FAO, outlined how TOF can contribute to sustainable development, noting that trees are planted for multiple reasons such as: food and fodder production; firewood; soil protection and improvement; shelter; and rehabilitation. He encouraged foresters and other researchers to contribute to a change of attitudes toward TOF by addressing the problems of incentives, policy making and regulation in order to realize the potential of TOF for sustainable development.

Participants discussed how TOF programmes and urban forests can be established. Panelists said that integration into urban planning, the involvement of local communities, and the adaptation to local conditions are important factors for TOF management. They also suggested that aligning TOF with local livelihood strategies can help to solve funding problems.

One participant outlined examples for the strategic integration of trees in European cities for shading buildings and improving air quality.

UNDERLYING CAUSES OF DEFORESTATION: Jose Carlos Carvalho, Ministry of Environment of Brazil, introduced the session with a brief history of deforestation, noting that deforestation is often the result of policies put in place at a time when governments actively encouraged settlement. He said new demands being placed on forests sometimes have led to social conflict.

Jean-Paul Lanly, French Academy of Agriculture, argued that to comprehend the underlying causes of deforestation, the factors contributing to it must first be understood. He then differentiated factors and causes, saying that factors were observable phenomena, such as ranching or urbanization, whereas underlying causes were more systemic. He differentiated between deforestation and forest degradation, defining deforestation as the disappearance of forests, and degradation as a negative change in a forests condition. He concluded that attempts to address the underlying causes of deforestation require international cooperation.

Simon Lovera, Friends of the Earth, argued that tree plantations were one of the underlying causes of deforestation, noting that plantations displace workers who, in turn, convert forests in order to obtain livelihoods from subsistence agriculture. She argued that heavily subsidized export agriculture also contributes to deforestation. Matti Palo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, presented a paper on the relationship between population and economic growth and deforestation. He concluded, inter alia, that more reliable monitoring systems and statistics are needed in order to increase awareness of deforestation at the political level.

Jonas Veiga, Brazilian International Research Centre, presented his findings on the relationship between cattle ranching and deforestation in the Amazon, arguing that Amazonian ranching rose considerably in the 1960s and continues to be driven largely by road construction and public financing. He concluded that the Amazon region is important for cattle ranching, the ecological impacts of ranching are evident, and systems to mitigate these effects are needed.

Leyla Montenegro, Universidad Distrital Francisco Jos de Caladas, summarized the results of her research on forest fragmentation in Chile. She concluded that it is necessary to protect forest fragments with a view to reconnecting them in the future.

Jean-Marc Roda, French Agriculture Research Centre for International Development, spoke about the underlying causes of illegal harvesting in tropical forests, noting, inter alia, that an increase in protected areas can often result in illegal logging. Part of the problem, he argued, was the existence of large consumer markets that do not discriminate between legally and illegally-sourced forest products. He said that independent verification was one method for addressing illegality.

MANAGEMENT OF FOREST RESOURCES AND ECOSYSTEMS: Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre, raised the question of whether ecosystem management can help to meet social needs. Hamish Kimmins, University of British Columbia, distinguished between ecosystem-based management and ecosystem management and said that single-value forest management overlooks the complexity of ecosystems.

Catherina Morosi, Italian Academy of Forest Science, provided a comprehensive overview of the incorporation of systemic forest management into Italian forestry and conservation practices.

Larry Innes, consultant to the Innu Nation of Labrador, Canada, described a forestry development agreement involving the Innu Nation and the Government of Qubec, which incorporates not only ecological and economic considerations, but also Innu land ethics.

Mette Wilkie, FAO, summarized the results of an FAO study that evaluated the extent to which countries are using forest management plans, noting the absence of reliable statistical data. She concluded that over the last 20 years there had been an improvement in the amount of forest area under formal and informal management plans, but said that more accurate results could be obtained with better information.

Rodney Keenan, Department of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry of Australia, described the Australian Government's effort to incorporate SFM and the ecosystem approach into its forestry programme.

Johnny Mndez Gamboa, San Carlos Forestry Development Association, Costa Rica, stated that with support from the international community, Costa Rica was able to implement a forest management regime for the first time. He concluded that the regime is generating good results that helped shift Costa Rican forestry from an industrial focus toward a conservation-based approach.

Garrity concluded the session highlighting that, while ecosystem management techniques are improving, the question remains whether or not ecosystem management can effectively reduce poverty.


IV International Conference on Private Forests

Presented by the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners

Peter de Marsh, Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners, outlined the history of the International Conference on Private Forests.

Peter Sanders, Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners, presented a report on urban-rural land-use conflicts and stressed the importance of conflict analysis and resolution. He highlighted key issues affecting woodlot owners, including: disparate political considerations favoring urban concerns over rural ones; a misunderstanding of private land management; and restricted management choices due to increased regulation. Sanders noted that urban "conservation" is driven by fundraising opportunities and urbanization, and proposed a pro-active role for woodlot owners in lobbying. In closing, he emphasized the need to educate both urban and rural populations.

Victor Brunette, forestry consultant, stressed the necessity for effective lobbying by woodlot owners, noting the environmental services they provide. After underscoring the relevance of programme analyses, he highlighted three surveys demonstrating that urban and rural populations often have different values than woodlot owners. He stated that incentive programmes can align these disparate values.

He said farmers require incentives for conservation and that participation should be voluntary. He said New York State, Costa Rica, Austria, Quebec and France offer good examples of diverse land management systems where accountability, compensation, safe investment and profit exist. In closing, he stressed the need for standardization of incentive programs.

Link to more information:

Peter de Marsh: nbfwo@nbnet.nb.ca
Peter Sanders: Peter_Sanders@telus.net
Victor Brunette: vbrunette@sympatico.ca

Forest landscape restoration: Building livelihoods and assets for people and nature

Presented by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)

David Bills, UK Forestry Commission, explained that the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) will, inter alia, provide a framework for sharing experiences, complement the UK's actions on illegal logging, and contribute to the work of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Stewart Maginnis, IUCN, introduced FLR as a process that aims to: regain ecological integrity; enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded forest landscapes; restore forest functions; balance land-use trade-offs at a landscape level; and leave options for future landscape use.

Anne-Claire Goarant, New Caledonian Directorate for Natural Resources, presented a case study on the conservation and SFM of dry forests in New Caledonia, which offers an example of successful on-the-ground FLR implementation. Carole Saint-Laurent, Global Partnership on FLR, stressed that relevant international commitments exist, and that FLR can help create synergies among different forest-related processes. She explained that the partnership is an open and informal network that aims to increase the profile of, and support for, FLR and reinforce the positive effects of existing activities of its partners. She welcomed prospective partners, noting that their support can include, inter alia, hosting workshops, providing technical and policy advise, preparing case studies, and undertaking field projects.

Libby Jones, UK Forestry Commission, said that in the future the partnership will broaden its range of partners; conduct workshops with the aim of developing recommendations for international forest processes; present best practice case studies; and stimulate investment in FLR.

Various organizations involved in the partnership then outlined their support for FLR. Eva Mller, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), presented ITTOs work on the Guidelines for Restoration, Management, and Rehabilitation of Degraded and Secondary Forests, which incorporate a landscape approach. Jim Carie, FAO, commended the partnerships interdisciplinary approach to FLR and noted an upcoming publication of relevant case studies. Pekka Pattosaari, UNFF, expressed his support for FLR as a critical component of SFM. He said that UNFF-5 will consider the report of the global workshop on FLR, and that the Collaborative Partnership on Forests will regard the partnership highly. Participants also heard the announcements of the new partners joining the partnership.

Links to more information:

David Bills: david.bills@forestry.gsi.gov.uk
Stewart Maginnis: stewart.maginnis@iucn.org
Anne-Claire Goarant: env@province-sud.nc
Carole Saint-Laurent: carsaintl@bellnet.ca
Libby Jones: libby.jones@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Forests and fires in harmony

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service 

Joel Holtrop, USDA, opened the session on community-based ecological approaches to forest management and fire prevention and introduced the speakers. Iigo Ascasbar Zubizarreta, Ministry of the Environment of Spain, discussed the engagement of local people in fire prevention. He described the geographical distribution of fires in Spain, noted their causes, and called for a preventive approach to forest fire management. He explained that to achieve this aim, his Ministry uses a combination of policy instruments, including education and legislation. He outlined his Ministrys rural campaign, which conveys to farmers that fires are a threat to their own interests. Peter Moore, Metis Associates, described a community-based fire management project in Indonesia, explaining that the community needs ash to reduce soil acidity, but still balances the ecological impact of fires with their needs. Moore said that fire is disastrous for ecosystems that are not adaptable, and that fire affects local airports and community health. He described the project's activities, including recording the communitys use of fire, educating the community about fire, issuing regulations, and resorting to alternative crops adapted to acidic soils.

Jeff Hardesty, Nature Conservancy Fire Initiative, explained that the initiative aims to restore ecosystems and protect communities. He explained that fire regimes are ecosystem-specific and that the majority of US ecosystems are fire adaptable. He stressed, however, that altered fire regimes are a serious threat to biodiversity conservation and affect hundreds of communities. Hardesty then listed the negative consequences of fire, including health effects, smoke, and invasive non-native fire-adapted species that alter the fire regime. He said the barriers to threat reduction include disagreement within communities over the goal of fire management, complex landscapes, and lack of funding coordination.

Link to more information:

Joel Holtrop: jholtrop@fs.fed.us
Peter Moore: metis@metis-associates.com
Iigo Ascasbar Zubizarreta: iascasibar@mma.es
Jeff Hardestry: jhardesty@tnc.org

Growing a community forest movement

Presented by IFNC and the Global Caucus for Community-Based Forest Management  

Jessica Dempsey, Global Caucus for Community-Based Forest Management, and Lisa Ambus, International Network of Forest and Communities (IFNC), introduced an informal discussion on building a community forest movement. Participants engaged in small group discussions on regional approaches to community-based forest management. Some participants from developed countries described their work on landscape-scale biodiversity conservation by providing SFM plans to small woodlot owners and ensuring economic incentives. Some developing country participants talked about their countries dependencies on biomass energy and resulting pressures on forests for both firewood and agricultural use. They discussed ways to sensitize communities to the value of conservation, and advocated community titles for open access forests. Participants then addressed the challenges in building a global community forestry movement.

Marilyn Hoskins, IFNC, reported on the groups conference on community forestry in 1988 and the resulting Saanich Declaration. Tom Griffiths, Forest Peoples Programme, presented a recent report by Centre for International Forestry Research on bridging community forests and international networks, which found that international forest-related networks are diverse in their objectives and size, and that while some are run by volunteers, others are more formal. He found that: networks had moved from a technical debate to a focus on rights; regional networks had emerged; indigenous peoples have started using flexible ad hoc steering committees; and some developing country groups are concerned that networks could be used to legitimize the status quo. Participants then discussed options for a future network, including to garner support from the global community for local communities in need, rights-based advocacy, communications and funding.  

Links to more information:

Jessica Dempsey: jdempsey@interchange.ubc.ca
Lisa Ambus: lisa.ambus@shaw.ca
Marilyn Hoskins: marilynndc@indiana.edu 
Tom Griffiths: tom@fppwrm.gn.apc.org 


SPECIAL SESSION: A Special Session will take place at 8:00 am in room 200 to hear the results of the Youth and Indigenous Peoples Forums.

PLENARY SESSION: Plenary will convene at 9:00 in room 200 and will focus on rehabilitation of the worlds forests.

ECOREGIONAL SESSIONS: Roundtable discussions will address: boreal forests (room 200 AB); temperate forests (Room 200 C); dry sub-tropical forests (2000 D); dry tropical forests (room 2000 C); and sub-tropical and tropical humid forests (room 2000 B).

OPEN FORA ON EMERGING ISSUES: Open fora will address participatory management, SFM, climate change and plantations.

Further information


National governments
Negotiating blocs
African Union
Non-state coalitions