United Nations

E/CN.17/IFF/1997/4


Economic and Social Council

 Distr. GENERAL
10 October 1997
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


                       REPORT OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM
                          ON FORESTS ON ITS FIRST SESSION

                           (New York, 1-3 October 1997)


                                     CONTENTS

                                                              Paragraphs  Page

  I.  MATTERS CALLING FOR ACTION BY THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
      COUNCIL OR BROUGHT TO ITS ATTENTION ...................   1 - 2       3

      A.  Draft decision ....................................     1         3

      B.  Decision brought to the attention of the Council ..     2         3

 II.  PROGRAMME OF WORK OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM ON 
      FORESTS AND DATES AND VENUE OF FUTURE SESSIONS ........   3 - 15      3

III.  ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE FORUM ON ITS FIRST 
      SESSION ...............................................  16 - 20      9

 IV.  ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS ......................  21 - 28     10

      A.  Opening and duration of the session ...............  21 - 22     10

      B.  Attendance ........................................     23       10

      C.  Election of officers ..............................     24       11

      D.  Agenda and organization of work ...................     25       11

      E.  Documentation .....................................     26       11

      F.  Participation of intergovernmental organizations 
          in the work of the Forum ..........................  27 - 28     11


                                      Annexes

  I.  Attendance ......................................................    13

 II.  List of documents before the forum at its first session .........    16

III.  List of activities organized by Governments and organizations in
      relation to the work of the forum ...............................    17


                I.  MATTERS CALLING FOR ACTION BY THE ECONOMIC AND
                    SOCIAL COUNCIL OR BROUGHT TO ITS ATTENTION


                                A.  Draft decision

1.  The Intergovernmental Forum on Forests recommends to the Economic and
Social Council the adoption of the following draft decision:


             Future sessions of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests

    The Economic and Social Council approves the recommendation of the
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests that it carry out its work in three
substantive sessions of up to two weeks each; that it establish in-session
working groups, no more than two to be scheduled to meet simultaneously; and
that the dates and venues of future sessions be as follows:

Session                 Dates                          Venue

Second session          June or August 1998            Geneva*/New York
Third session           February/March 1999            Geneva
Fourth session          February/March 2000            To be determined


----------
* Taking into account the offer of the Government of Switzerland and subject
to further technical clarification.


               B.  Decision brought to the attention of the Council

2.    The following decision adopted by the Forum is brought to the attention
of the Council:


                 Participation of intergovernmental organizations
                             in the work of the Forum

      The Intergovernmental Forum on Forests decided to invite the Centre for
International Forestry Research (CIFOR) to attend its sessions as an
intergovernmental organization with the status of observer.


     II.  PROGRAMME OF WORK OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM ON
               FORESTS AND DATES AND VENUE OF FUTURE SESSIONS

3.    At its 1st to 4th meetings, on 1 and 2 October 1997, the
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests considered items 3 and 4 of its agenda
concurrently.  It had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the
proposed programme of work and organizational modalities for the ad hoc
open-ended Intergovernmental Forum on Forests of the Commission on Sustainable
Development (E/CN.17/IFF/1997/2).

4.    Statements were made by the representatives of the United States of
America, Venezuela, Indonesia, Japan, Peru, Brazil, Australia, India, China,
Canada, Switzerland, Papua New Guinea, Guyana, Colombia, the Philippines,
Germany, Sweden, Finland and France.

5.    Statements were also made by the observers for Nigeria, Turkey, the
United Republic of Tanzania (on behalf of the States members of the United
Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China), New Zealand, Costa
Rica, Norway, Luxembourg (on behalf of the States members of the European
Union), Algeria, Malaysia, Denmark and Austria.

6.    The Forum considered suggestions regarding its future activities as
contained in the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.17/IFF/1997/2).

7.    The Forum stressed the need for a focused and balanced approach to its
work in relation to the mandate contained in the Programme for the Further
Implementation of Agenda 21, which was adopted by the General Assembly at its
nineteenth special session and reconfirmed by the Economic and Social Council
in resolution 1997/65 of 25 July 1997.  The Forum emphasized the need to build
on the positive results achieved by the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and
that the focus should be on implementation of the proposals for action and on
those issues on which international consensus had yet to be achieved.  In the
light of these considerations, the Forum decided that the work of its
forthcoming sessions should be conducted according to the following
interlinked categories, which should receive balanced intergovernmental
attention:

CATEGORY I

Promoting and facilitating the implementation of the proposals for action of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and reviewing, monitoring and
reporting on progress in the management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forest

      (a)   Promote and facilitate implementation.  For example, consider the
launching of programmes by countries, United Nations agencies, other
international organizations and major groups to implement all proposals for
action developed by IPF; consider appropriate mechanisms for the mobilization
of financial resources, institutional and human resources and
capacity-building, with particular attention to the role of women;

      (b)   Monitor progress in implementation.  Consider the mechanisms,
process and format for reviewing, monitoring and reporting on progress; and
assess progress in implementation, inter alia, by countries, United Nations
agencies, other international organizations and major groups, including the
private sector, and indigenous people, forest dwellers, forest owners and
local communities.

CATEGORY II

Considering matters left pending and other issues arising from the programme
elements of the IPF process

      (a)   Consider matters left pending on the need for financial resources.

Consider urgently the following options for action, as contained in paragraph
68 of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests on its fourth
session (E/CN.17/1997/12):

      (i)   To urge the establishment of an international fund to support
            activities for sustainable forest management;

    (ii)    To pursue action to enhance funding in other ways, inter alia, by
            inviting the United Nations Development Programme and the Bretton
            Woods institutions, together with other relevant international
            organizations, to explore innovative ways both to use existing
            financial mechanisms more effectively and to generate new and
            additional public and private financial resources at the domestic
            and international levels in order to support activities for the
            management, conservation and sustainable development of all types
            of forests;

      (b)   Consider matters left pending on trade and environment.  Analyse
the mutually supportive roles performed by international trade and sustainable
forest management and, in that context, issues related to non-discriminatory
international trade in forest products from all types of forests, including
the role that tariff and non-tariff barriers may perform in relation to
sustainable forest management, certification issues where relevant and
improved market access, taking into account the needs of developing countries,
in particular those of the least developed among them.  Consider the question
of the relationship between obligations under international agreements and
national measures, including actions imposed by subnational jurisdictions,
recognizing that those matters are also considered in forums whose primary
competence is to address trade issues; the relative competitiveness of wood
versus substitutes; valuation; and market transparency and the related issue
of illegal trade in wood and non-wood forest products;

      (c)   Consider matters left pending on the transfer of environmentally
sound technologies to support sustainable forest management.  Examine ways of
promoting, facilitating and financing access to and transfer of
environmentally sound technologies and corresponding know-how to developing
countries on favourable terms, including concessional and preferential terms,
as mutually agreed, taking into account chapter 34 of Agenda 21 1/ and
paragraph 11 of the Forest Principles, 2/ and examine appropriate mechanisms
to effect such access and transfer; consider technologies and technical
knowledge, including extension services for local sustainable forest
management, as well as enhanced technology development, transfer and
application to improve the utilization of wood and non-wood forest products
and services, with special attention to wood as an energy source and to the
role of women;

      (d)   Consider other issues arising from the programme elements of the
IPF process needing further clarification.  Consider, inter alia, analysis of
underlying causes, in particular international causes, including transboundary
economic forces of deforestation and forest degradation, taking into account
the historical perspective and the pressures exerted on forests by other
sectors, notably agriculture, in the quest for food security; traditional
forest-related knowledge (TFRK), consistent with, inter alia, the terms of the
Convention on Biological Diversity; valuation of forest goods and services;
assessment, monitoring and rehabilitation of forest cover in environmentally
critical areas; forest conservation, including conservation in protected
areas; identification and definition of global and regional research
priorities, taking into account national priorities; the use and application
of the range of economic instruments, including tax policies and land tenure
arrangements as a means of promoting sustainable forest management; and future
supply and demand of wood and non-wood forest products and services;

      (e)   Consider forest-related work of international and regional
organizations.  Further examine the forest-related work being carried out by
international and regional organizations and under existing instruments in
order to identify gaps and overlaps.


CATEGORY III

International arrangements and mechanisms to promote the management,
conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests

      Identify elements, build a global consensus and engage in further
action.  The Forum should also identify the possible elements of and work
towards a consensus on international arrangements and mechanisms, for example,
a legally binding instrument on all types of forests.  The Forum will report
on its work to the Commission on Sustainable Development in 1999.  Based on
that report and depending on the decision taken by the Commission at its
eighth session, the Forum will engage in further action on establishing an
intergovernmental negotiation process on new arrangements and mechanism or a
legally binding instrument on all types of forests.

Dates and venue of future sessions

1.    The Forum recommended to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of
a draft decision concerning the dates and venue of its future session (for the
text of the draft decision, see sect. I.A above).

Schedule of work

2.    The schedule of work set out below is recommended on the understanding
that all categories are open for discussion until the Forum's fourth session.


Category/          Second         Third                 Fourth
prorgramme         session        session               session
element


                                  Preparation of IFF    Preparation of IFF
                                  progress report to    report to CSD
                                  CSD (seventh session) (eighth session)

CATEGORY I
I.a. Promote and   Substantive    Information/          Consideration for
     facilitate    discussion     update                report to CSD
     implementat-                                       (eighth session)
      ation
                   Preparation
                   of draft
                   conclusions 
                   and proposals 
                   for action


I.b. Monitor       Background     Substantive           Consideration for
     progress      discussion     discussion            report to CSD
     in implement-                                      (eighth session)
     ation                        Preparation of 
                                  draft conclusions 
                                  and proposals 
                                  for action


CATEGORY II
Consider matters relating to:

II.a. The need     Background     Substantive           Consideration for
      for          discussion     discussion            report to CSD
      financial                                         (eighth session
      resources

                                  Preparation of 
                                  draft conclusions 
                                  and proposals 
                                  for action

II.b. Trade and    Substantive    Information/          Consideration for
      environment  discussion     update                report to CSD
                                                        (eighth session)

                   Preparation of 
                   draft conclusions 
                   and proposals 
                   for action

II.c. Transfer of  Substantive    Information/          Consideration for
      technology   discussion     update                report to CSD
                                                        (eighth session)

II.d. Issues       Background     Substantive           Consideration for
      needing      discussion     discussion            report to CSD
      further                                           (eighth session)
      clarific
      ation


                                  Preparation of 
                                  draft conclusions 
                                  and proposals 
                                  for action

II.e. Forest-      Substantive    Information/          Consideration for
      related      discussion     update                report to CSD
      work of                                           (eighth session)
      organiz
      ations
                   Preparation of
                   draft conclusions
                   and proposals
                   for action

CATEGORY III

Identify           Background     Substantive           Consideration for
elements, build    discussion     discussion            report to CSD
build a global                                          (eighth session)
consensus and 
engage in 
further action
                                  Preparation of 
                                  draft conclusions 
                                  and proposals 
                                  for action


      CSD:  Commission on Sustainable Development
      IFF:  Intergovernmental Forum on Forests


Modalities of work

10.  Following the guidance as regards modalities of work provided by the
Commission on Sustainable Development in its decision establishing the
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, which was approved by the Economic and
Social Council in its decision 1995/226, intergovernmental organizations and
the full range of non-governmental organizations and other groups may
participate as observers in the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on an
open-ended and fully participatory basis, in accordance with the rules of
procedure and practice of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

11.  The Intergovernmental Forum on Forests will draw, inter alia, on the
resources and technical expertise of the informal, high-level Inter-Agency
Task Force on Forests and other appropriate organizations within and outside
the United Nations system, as well as secretariats of relevant conventions,
with appropriate contributions from non-governmental organizations.  The Forum
encouraged inputs from major groups in all the activities in its programme of
work.

12.  Considering the complexities of the topics included in its mandate and in
view of the fruitful contributions made by a large number of government-
sponsored initiatives in support of the IPF process, the Forum welcomed any
proposals made by Governments to organize expert meetings or to conduct
studies in support of the Forum's work and welcomed in particular regional
approaches.  The Forum suggested that all countries and organizations planning
or proposing to organize meetings or expert consultations relevant to the work
of the Forum should be guided by the following principles:

     (a)  Such meetings or expert consultations should be informal in nature;

     (b)  They should strive to be in full conformity with the tasks assigned
to the Forum;

     (c)  They should be of an open-ended, transparent and participatory
nature;

     (d)  They should strive for balanced representation from countries,
reflecting a range of interests and views of all interested parties;
particular attention should be paid to the participation of women experts;

     (e)  They should ensure that the timing and topic under consideration
harmonize as far as possible with the schedule of work of the Forum;

     (f)  The organizers, in the course of their preparations, should consult
with the Co-Chairpersons, the Bureau and the secretariat of the Forum, as
appropriate;

     (g)  Such meetings or expert consultations should be invited to prepare a
report to be presented to the Forum. 

13.  The Forum welcomed the offers made by the governments of Austria and
Indonesia jointly, Costa Rica and Germany to host intersessional meetings in
support of its deliberations.

14.  The results of such activities would provide valuable expert input to the
work of the Forum.  However, any decisions on policy recommendations to be
presented to the Commission on Sustainable Development at its eighth session
would rest with the Forum itself. 

Secretariat and financial support for the Forum

15.  Bearing in mind the fact that the Forum's secretariat is supported by
voluntary extrabudgetary contributions, the Forum appealed to Governments and
international organizations to consider supporting its work through voluntary
contributions.  The Forum welcomed the pledges made and intentions expressed
by some Governments during its first session to provide financial support for
the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests process.


          III.  ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE FORUM ON ITS FIRST SESSION

16.  At the 5th and 6th meetings, on 3 October 1997, the Forum had before it
the draft report on its first session (E/CN.17/IFF/1997/L.1) and an informal
paper containing chapters on the programme of work and organizational
modalities for the Forum and the dates and venue of future sessions.

17.  At the 5th meeting, statements were made by the representatives of Japan,
Australia, the United States of America, the Philippines, Brazil, Colombia,
Canada, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Papua New Guinea, Venezuela, India,
Indonesia, the Russian Federation, Switzerland and Peru.

18.  At the same meeting, statements were made by the observers for Luxembourg
(on behalf of the States members of the European Union), the United Republic
of Tanzania (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are
members of the Group of 77 and China), Malaysia, Ecuador and Austria.  The
representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
also made a statement.

19.  At the 6th meeting, statements were made by the representatives of
Indonesia, Switzerland, Venezuela, Australia, the United States of America,
Canada, the Philippines, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, India, Japan and China and
the observers for the United Republic of Tanzania (on behalf of the States
Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China),
Luxembourg (on behalf of the States members of the European Union), New
Zealand, Costa Rica, Nigeria and Malaysia.

20.  The Forum then adopted the report on its first session as contained in
document E/CN.17/IFF/L.1 and the informal paper.


                       IV.  ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS

                      A.  Opening and duration of the session

21.  The Intergovernmental Forum on Forests of the Commission on Sustainable
Development held its first session from 1 to 3 October 1997, in accordance
with Economic and Social Council resolution 1997/65.  The Forum held 6
meetings (1st to 6th meetings).

22.  The session was opened by the temporary Chairperson, Ms. Monika
Linn-Locher (Switzerland).


                                  B.  Attendance

23.  The session was attended by representatives of 30 States members of the
Commission on Sustainable Development.  Observers for other States Members of
the United Nations, representatives of organizations of the United Nations
system and observers for intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations
also attended.  A list of participants is contained in annex I to the present
report.


                             C.  Election of officers

24.  At its 1st meeting, on 1 October, the Forum elected, by acclamation,
Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran) and Ilkka Ristima"ki (Finland)
Co-Chairpersons.  It also elected, by acclamation, Yevgeny Kuzmichev (Russian
Federation) and Charles Essonghe (Gabon) Vice-Chairpersons.

25.  At its fifth meeting, on 3 October 1997, the Forum elected, by
acclamation, Ms. Amalia Toress (Peru) Vice-Chairperson.


                        D.  Agenda and organization of work

26.  At its 1st meeting, on 1 October, the Forum adopted its provisional
agenda contained in document E/CN.17/IFF/1997/1 and approved its organization
of work.  The agenda was as follows:

1.Election of officers.

2.Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

3.Programme of work of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests.

4.Dates and venues of future sessions.

5.Other matters.

6.Adoption of the report of the Forum on its first session.


                                 E.  Documentation

27.  The documents before the Forum are listed in annex II to the present
report.


                   F.  Participation of intergovernmental organizations
                       in the work of the Forum

28.  At its 1st meeting, on 1 October, the forum considered the question of
the participation of intergovernmental organizations in its work.  It had
before it a note by the Secretariat entitled "Participation of
intergovernmental organizations in the work of the open-ended ad hoc
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests" (E/CN.17/IFF/1997/3), in which the
Secretariat recommended to the Forum that the Centre for International
Forestry Research (CIFOR) be invited to attend the sessions of the Forum as an
intergovernmental organization with the status of observer.

29.  At the same meeting, the Forum approved the recommendation (see sect. I.B
above).


                                       Notes

  1/ Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,
Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions Adopted by the Conference
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution
1, annex II.

  2/ Ibid., annex III.


                                      Annex I

                                    ATTENDANCE


Australia                             John Crighton, Gary Dolman, 
                                      Rod Holesgrove, Geoffrey Tooth, 
                                      Tony Bartlett, Amanda Hawkins

Bolivia                               Mari'a Estela Mendoza

Brazil                                Enio Cordeiro, 
                                      Antonio Fernando Cruz de Mello, 
                                      Eduardo Carvalho

Canada                                David Drake, Denis Chouinard, 
                                      Rosalie McConnell, Denyse Rousseau, 
                                      Fred Johnson, Richard Baerg, 
                                      Ken Macartney

China

Colombia                              Julio London~o, Bibiana Vargas,
                                      Marta Ine's Galindo

Egypt                                 Enayat Mohamed Abdelaziz

Finland                               Ilkka Ristimaki, Birgitta Stenius-
                                      Mladenov, Taisto Huimasalo, Markku Aho,
                                      Leena Karjalainen-Balk, Erja Fagerlund,
                                      Heikki Granholm, Soili Kangaskorpi

France                                Janie Letrot-Hadj Hamou, 
                                      Bernard Chevalier, Philippe Delacroix

Gabon                                 Charles Essonghe

Germany                               Ulrich Hoenisch, Hagen Frost, 
                                      Rainald Roesch, Christian Mersmann
                                      Wilfried Koschorreck

Guyana

India

Indonesia                             Makarim Wibisono, Arizal Effendi, 
                                      Moch. Slamet Hidayat, Bagas Hapsoro

Iran (Islamic Republic of)            Bagher Asadi

Japan                                 Hideki Ito, Takeshi Goto, Mayu Hagiwara,
                                      Yutaka Yoshino

Mexico                                Gerardo Lozano, Ulises Canchola

Netherlands                           J. Hoogeveen, A.P.M. van der Zon, 
                                      P. Schu"tz, A.M.C. Wester

Papua New Guinea

Peru                                  Amelia Torres, Italo Acha Puertas

Philippines

Russian Federation                    Yevgeny Kuzmichev

Slovakia                              Miloslav Hettes

Sweden

Switzerland

Thailand                              Apiwat Sretarugsa

United Kingdom of Great Britain       Sir John Weston, Peter Gooderham,
and Northern Ireland                  Ian Symons, David Dunn, Andrew Bennett,
                                      John Hudson, Sheila McCabe, 
                                      Scott Ghagan, Mike Dudley

United States of America              Stephanie Caswell, Mary Coulombe, 
                                      Fernando R. Echavarria, Joseph Ferrante,
                                      Miles Henderson, Michael Hicks, 
                                      Jan McAlpine, Lynette Poulton, 
                                      Suzanne M. Willis, Tom Isle, Julie Jack,
                                      Scott Paul, Eli Austin Short

Venezuela                             Isabel Carlota Bacalao-Romer, 
                                      Luis Fernando Perez-Segnini,
                                      Judith Musso-Quintero

Zimbabwe                              Machivenyika Tobias Mapuranga, 
                                      Alfred Mutiwazuka, 
                                      Musafare C. Nyamudahondo


           States Members of the United Nations represented by observers

     Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Ecuador, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand,
Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Syrian Arab Republic,
Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania.


                               Specialized agencies

     Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


                          Intergovernmental organizations

     Agence intergouvernementale de la francophonie

                          Non-governmental organizations

     Roster                         International Union of Forestry Research 
                                    Organizations (IUFRO)


                                     Annex II

              LIST OF DOCUMENTS BEFORE THE FORUM AT ITS FIRST SESSION


  Document symbol            Agenda item                    Title

E/CN.17/IFF/1997/1                 2            Provisional agenda

E/CN.17/IFF/1997/2                 3            Report of the
Secretary-General
                                                on the proposed programme of
                                                work and organizational
                                                modalities for the open-ended
                                                ad hoc Intergovernmental Forum
                                                on Forests of the Commission
                                                on Sustainable Development

E/CN.17/IFF/1997/3                 2            Note by the Secretariat on the
                                                participation of
                                                intergovernmental
                                                organizations in the work of
                                                the Intergovernmental Forum on
                                                Forests

E/CN.17/IFF/1997/L.1               6            Draft report of the
                                                Intergovernmental Forum on
                                                Forests on its first session


                                     Annex III

           LIST OF ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED BY GOVERNMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS
                       IN RELATION TO THE WORK OF THE FORUM


                                                                Tentative date
         Title                          Sponsors                   and venue

International Workshop on    Austria and Indonesia, in           Austria, 1998
Research and Information     collaboration with the Centre for
Needs in International       International Forestry Research
Forest Processes             (CIFOR), the International Union
                             of Forestry Research Organizations
                             (IUFRO) and the Food and Agriculture
                             Organization of the United Nations
                             (FAO)

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Date last posted: 5 December 1999 15:45:34
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