28 January 2011
Economic and Social Council
ENV/DEV/1183

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

United Nations Forum on Forests

Ninth Session

7th Meeting (PM)


United Nations Forum on Forests Holds Midpoint Meeting to Hear

 

Briefings on Progress Made by Its Two Working Groups

 


Midway through its two-week session, the United Nations Forum on Forests took stock this afternoon of the progress made by its two working groups, while considering plans for its work during the second week.


Briefing members on the deliberations of Working Group 1, on forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication, as well as on the International Year of Forests, 2011 and the High-Level Segment, Co-Chair Ingwald Gschwandtl ( Austria) said the Group had held a rich discussion, worked efficiently and was on track to complete its tasks.


Also briefing was Raymond Harold Landveld (Suriname), Co-Chaired of Working Group 2, which dealt with the assessment of progress made on the implementation of the non-legally-binding instrument on all types of forests and towards the realization of the four global objectives on forests; regional and subregional inputs; enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination, including the provision of further guidance to the Collaborative Partnership on Forests; and means of implementing sustainable forest management.


Mr. Landveld said the most specific recommendations had been provided on the means of implementation.  On the assessment of implementation, delegations had noted that the four global objectives on forests should be dealt with in an equitable manner.  Speakers had described the challenges they had experienced in reporting, discussing for that reason the streamlining of information through the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.


He went on to say that perhaps the most important outcome of the deliberations thus far had been that delegations felt the REDD+ programme should not be a substitute for sustainable forest management, but should instead complement it.  Additionally, delegations found that such inputs were extremely valuable, especially in regard to information sharing.  One “revolutionary” idea, presented by Brazil, was the notion of establishing a legally binding instrument or a convention on forests, he added.


Following those remarks, Forum Chair Arvids Ozols ( Latvia) and Jan McAlpine, Director of the Forum on Forests Secretariat, discussed next week’s organization of work, with Ms. McAlpine underlining Wednesday’s activities.  They would include a high-level session, to be led by the President of the General Assembly and featuring many high-profile attendees, as well as the launch of the International Year of Forests, 2011.


Argentina’s representative, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, commented on organizational matters.


Iraq’s representative expressed support for Argentina’s previous statements on behalf of the Group of 77, underlining the importance of investing in sustainable forest management for developmental and environmental purposes.  Calling for more international cooperation on financing and technology transfer, he said his country intended to plant orchards and establish wooded areas along the coast, in addition to other reforestation efforts.


The Forum will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 31 January, for the presentation of the session’s draft texts.


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For information media • not an official record