27 April 2007
Economic and Social Council

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Forum on Forests

Seventh Session

7th Meeting (PM & Night)





(Issued on 30 April 2007.)

The United Nations Forum on Forests adopted a new multi-year programme of work and launched a non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests as it concluded its two-week seventh session at Headquarters on Saturday morning.

That instrument would provide the international community, national Governments and other actors with a “conceptual framework” for achieving sustainable forest management, which, in turn, would impact the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.  The Forum was also expected to develop and consider a voluntary global financial mechanism to support the implementation of the instrument, with members agreeing to conclude that negotiation by 2009.

According to its newly adopted multi-year programme of work, negotiations on the financial mechanism would begin at the Forum’s next session, where it would also discuss ways to implement the instrument while achieving four global objectives regarding forests: moving towards sustainable forest management; dealing with climate change and its effect on forests; deforestation; and biodiversity conservation.  Those objectives had been adopted at the Forum’s 2006 session.

As further described in the programme of work, topics to be covered in subsequent years are the role of forests in people’s livelihoods and in eradicating poverty (ninth session) and forests and economic development (tenth session).  At its eleventh session, the Forum was expected to review the achievement of Member States in implementing the sustainable forest management framework.

In other action, the Forum also set the dates and venue for the eighth session, to be held at Headquarters in New York from 20 April to 1 May 2008.  The Forum then adopted the draft provisional agenda for its eighth session and the report on its just concluded seventh session (document E/CN.18/2007/L.1).

Forum Chairman Hans Hoogeveen ( Netherlands) said the draft report contained information on the organizational part of the meeting, which would be updated and completed to reflect the action taken today.  The final report would incorporate the proceedings under each substantive item.  Annexed to it would be summaries prepared by the Chairman for the launch of the international Year of Forests, 2011; the Panel of Chairs of the governing board of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests; and the multi-stakeholder dialogue.

In other business, the Forum elected, by acclamation, Ramón Diáz ( Chile) on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean States, to replace Cristian Maquieira, who could no longer serve as Vice-Chairman of the seventh session.

Following the conclusion of the seventh session, the Chairman immediately opened the eighth session for the purpose of electing officers of the Bureau for that session.  By acclamation, the Forum elected Abdellah Menmellouk ( Morocco), on behalf of the African States Group, and Arvids Ozols ( Latvia), on behalf of the Eastern European States Group.

The Chairman urged the remaining regional groups to put forward their candidates as soon as possible so they could work with the Bureau on an ad hoc basis during the intervening period, pending their formal election at the resumption of the eighth session.

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For information media • not an official record