United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper


18 June 1998 WORKING DRAFT 


                          BACKGROUND DOCUMENT 1


               PROMOTING AND FACILITATING THE IMPLEMENTATION 

                        OF IPF'S PROPOSALS FOR ACTION.


New York June 1998


This is a non-official document, for information only, prepared by the IFF
Secretariat in collaboration with member organizations of the informal,
high level Interagency Task Force on Forests (ITFF).  It provides
additional  background information to delegations attending the second
session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (Geneva, 24 August - 4
September 1998). 

Published in English only.

TABLE OF CONTENTS



                                                                       Page  
Summary................................................................. 2

List of acronyms........................................................ 5

Introduction............................................................ 7
      
II.   General Overview on IPF Conclusions and Proposals for Action......11

III.  Action undertaken to promote and facilitate the launching of 
      programmes to implement IPF■s proposals for action................20
      -Progress through national forest and land-use programmes.........20
      -Underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation........30
      -Traditional forest-related knowledge.............................33
      -Fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought.......35
      -Impact of air-borne pollution on forests.........................37
      -Needs and requirements of developing and other countries with
      low forest cover..................................................38
      -Assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests......39
      -Forest research..................................................42
      -Methodologies for the proper valuation of the multiple
      benefits of forests...............................................42
      -Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management........44

IV.   Assessment of Recent Developments.................................50

V.    Conclusions and Proposals for Action..............................57


SUMMARY

This report describes the many ways in which countries, international
organizations, NGOs, the private sector, and major groups have become actively
engaged in the implementation of IPF■s proposals for action.  The sheer volume
of these activities is impressive and shows the degree to which the many
interested parties have been engaged in and have taken note of the outcome of the
IPF process.  This momentum has been further encouraged by a number of references
to the outcome of the IPF and by endorsement of the Panel■s proposals for action
by major international and intergovernmental fora, and by increasingly consistent
instructions on forests to intergovernmental organizations from their governing
bodies.

A large number of countries, both developing and developed, are in the process
of reviewing their forest policies and their national forest programmes in the
context of IPF■s conclusions and proposals for action.  The focus on national
forest programmes has led to a situation in which much wider participation has
been achieved concerning tropical, temperate and boreal forests, in terms of
engagement by both developed and developing countries.  At the same time,
however, many countries, particularly the least developed countries with low
cover of forest and other wooded land, have not received adequate international
support to address their forest-related concerns and activities.  The main
avenues of support to national forest programmes of the past no longer exist, and
new and innovative mechanisms will have to be created.  The establishment of
mainstream, decentralized, flexible and reliable support mechnisms represent a
major challenge for the international community.

Considerable new and comprehensive information on the underlying causes of
deforestation and forest degradation is expected to become available as a result
of a number of on-going initiatives.

The recent decisions of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to
the Convention on Biological Diversity address important issues related to
Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge (TFRK).

Significant activities related to fragile ecosystems affected by desertification
and drought reflects already ongoing in many countries before the IPF. Some
collaborative activities are under negotiation between the CCD Secretariat and
UN Agencies such as FAO and IFAD.

Concerning the impact of air-borne pollution on forests, the annual report on
Forest Condition in Europe of the ECE Executive Body for the Convention on
Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution was published in June 1998.

Work has been initiated by UNEP on available definitions of Low Forest Cover. 
This will be considered by IUFRO in collaboration with FAO will develop
definition of LFC and a revised list of CLFC based on the definition of LFC.  

Despite the increasing trend of private capital flows to developing countries,
the decline in official international capital flow is a matter of serious concern
because long-term development aid catalyzes and complements private investments. 

Implementation of sustainable forest management has been slow in many countries,
partly due to insufficient awareness and appreciation of the potential benefits
that can be derived from the use of environmentally sound and socially acceptable
technologies.

Concerning assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests, a
number of national and sub-regional capacity-building workshops and expert
consultations have been held or are scheduled to take place. These will
contribute to the quality of national level forest resource assessments and
for FRA 2000. A core set of harmonised definitions for forest and related
aspects of forests has been developed for global reporting of FRA 2000.
It remains clear that developing countries need technical and financial
assistance in many cases to enhance their capacity to conduct forest
resources assessments.

The Indonesia-Austria initiative on forest research(ICRIS) has commissioned
papers to review the state of knowledge in particular areas, and synthesised to
produce comprehensive reports which also identify gaps to be filled by further
inter-disciplinary research.

The Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (FCCC) has provided a major incentive for countries to engage in the
valuation of forests as carbon sinks.  There is also growing recognition of
the need to quantify services provided by forests in areas such as biological
diversity, water and ecotourism.

Interest in the development, testing and implementation of criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management has steadily grown, as evidenced by
the dynamic activities carried out within the framework of a number of presently
on-going regional and eco-regional initiatives.

Concerning Trade and Environment in Relation to Forest Products and Services,
recent developments, such as illegal trade, species extinction, recent market
trends and their implications for SFM, and international obligations and
agreements may pose both new opportunities for and challenges to sustainable
forest management.

Information on implementation of IPF■s proposals for action carried out by
international, regional organizations and under existing instruments is also
presented in document E/CN.17/IFF/1998/.. Concerned with IFF programme element
II.e.(i).


LIST OF ACRONYMS

ACSAD       Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands
AFWC        African Forestry and Wildlife Commission
ASEAN       Association of South East Asian Nations
APFC        Asia Pacific Forestry Commission
AOAD        Arab Organization for Agricultural Development
ATO         African Timber Organization
C&I         Criteria and Indicators
CATIE       Tropical Centre for Agricultural Research and Education
CBD         United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
CCAB-AP     Central American Council on Forests and Protected Areas
CCAD        Central American Commission on Environment and Development
CCD         United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
CEO         Chief Executive Officer
CHOGM       Commonwealth Heads of Governments■ Meeting
CIFOR       Centre for International Forestry Research
CIS         Commonwealth of Independent States
CILSS       Inter-State Committee to Combat Drought and Desertification in 
            the Sahel
CLFC        Countries with Low Forest Cover
COFO        FAO■s Committee on Forestry
COP         Conference of the Parties
CSD         United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
DAC         Development Assistance Committee
EC          European Commission
ECOSOC      United Nations Economic and Social Council
EDI         Economic Development Institute of the World Bank
EFI         European Forest Institute
EROS        Earth Resources Observation Satellite
ETFAG       European Tropical Forestry Advisers Group
EU          European Union
FAG         Forestry Advisers Group
FAO         Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FCCC        United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
FORSPA      Forestry Research Support Programme for the Asia and Pacific Region
FRA         Forest Resources Assessment
FRA2000     Global Forest Resources Assessment by the year 2000
FRIM        Forest Research Institute of Malaysia
G 7/8       Group of the Seven/Eight Major Industrialized Countries
GEF         Global Environment Facility
GIEWS Global International Early Warning System
GIS         Geographical Information Systems
GTZ         German Agency for Technical Cooperation
ICP Forests International Cooperative Programme on Forests
ICRIS       International Consultation on Research and Information Systems
            in Forestry
IFAD        International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFF         Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
IIED        International Institute for Environment and Development
IPF         Intergovernmental Panel on Forests
ITFF        informal, high level Interagency Task Force on Forests
ITTC        International Tropical Timber Council
ITTO        International Tropical Timber Organization
IUFRO       International Union of Forest Research Organizations
LFC         Low Forest Cover
LRTAP       Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution
MED-FAP     Mediterranean Forest Action Programme
NAP         National Action Plan to Combat Desertification
NEAP        National Environment Action Plan
NFAP        National Forestry Action Plan
NGO         Non-Governmental Organization
ODA         Official Development Assistance
OECD        Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
SADC        Southern African Development Coordination
SFM         Sustainable Forest Management
SIDA        Swedish International Development Authority
TBFRA2000   Temperate and Boreal Forest Resources Assessment by the year 2000
TFAP        Tropical Forest Action Programme
TFRK        Traditional forest-related knowledge
UNCED       United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNDP        United Nations Development Programme
UN/DESA     United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs
UN/ECE      United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
UNEP        United Nations Environment Programme
UNGASS      19th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly
UNIDO       United Nations Industrial Development Organization
WAICENT     World Agricultural Information Centre
WCMC        World Conservation Monitoring Centre
WTO         World Trade Organization
WWF         World Wide Fund for Nature


INTRODUCTION

Mandate

1.The Intergovernmental Forum on Forests at its First session agreed to structure
its programme of work in three categories of which Category I would deal with
-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.■

2.Category I was divided into the two following programme elements:

      (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"; and

      (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."

3.This background document provides the basis for the Secretary-General's Report
on programme element I.a (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/??) and is aimed at assisting
substantive discussions on programme element I (a) "Promote and facilitate
implementation" during the second session of the IFF.  Programme element I (b)
"Monitor progress in implementation" is the subject of a separate information
note to support a background discussion at that session.

4.The document, prepared by the IFF Secretariat, is based on inputs received from
member organizations of the informal, high level Interagency Task Force on
Forests (ITFF):  The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD);
the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR);  the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO);  the International Tropical Timber
Organization (ITTO); the United Nations Department for Economic and Social
Affairs (UN/DESA);  the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);  the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); and the World Bank.

Endorsements of IPF's proposals for action

5.The intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests and the IPF proposals for
action have stimulated a number of initiatives and activities around the world.
These have been further encouraged by a number of references to the outcome of
the IPF and endorsement of the Panel■s proposals for action by major
international and intergovernmental fora, including the fifth session of the CSD,
Earth Summit +5 (UNGASS); ECOSOC; FAO■s Committee on Forestry (COFO); the
Commonwealth Forestry Association; the 11th World Forestry Congress;  the
Edinburgh Meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM); the
Commonwealth Forestry Conference; the Versailles meeting organized by the High
Council of Forests and Forest Products of France; the International Tropical
Timber Council; the fourth COP of the Convention on Biological Diversity; and by
the third Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, held in
Lisbon.

6.The G8 Action Programme on Forests, dated 9 May 1998, states that "the G8
members at Denver reiterated their commitment to implement the proposals for
action contained in the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests" and the
Final Communique of the G8 Summit held in Birmingham, U.K., 15-17 May 1998,
states: "We strongly support the ongoing work on forests under the auspices of
the United Nations and we look forward to continuing these efforts."  

7.As a result, intergovernmental organizations have also been receiving
increasingly consistent instructions from their governing bodies.

8.Participation in the IPF/IFF process is strengthening international networks
among foresters including Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone foresters
associations.

9.The quest for valuation of environmental benefits and services of forests took
a leap forward when the Fourth COP of the FCCC, held in Kyoto, Japan in December
1997, decided to recognize the important role of forests as a carbon sink. 

Some highlights of the implementation of IPF■s proposals for action

10.A large number of countries, both developing and developed, are in the process
of reviewing their forest policies and their national forest programmes in the
context of IPF■s conclusions and proposals for action.

11.The international donor community, and in particular the Forestry Advisers
Group, have made efforts to structure international cooperation related to
forests in support of IPF's proposals for action. The Forestry Advisers Group has
agreed to place high priority on supporting national forest programmes.

12.The G8 Action Programme on Forests of 9 May 1998, contains priority activities
and support programmes in support of the IPF's proposals for action which will
be carried out jointly or individually by G8 members, including:  monitoring and
assessment; national forest programmes; protected areas; the private sector; and
illegal logging.

13.There are also several Government-Sponsored Initiatives organized in
Support of the IPF's proposals for action and the IFF including the:
      -     Six-Country Initiative on "Putting the IPF Proposals for Action
            into Practice at the National Level," in support of programme
            element I.a. of the programme of work of the IFF. Sponsored by
            the Governments of Finland, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia,
            Uganda and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
            Ireland, in cooperation with the IFF Secretariat, UNDP and FAO;
      -     International Consultation on Research and Information Systems
            in Forestry (ICRIS).  Sponsored by Indonesia and Austria in
            cooperation with IUFRO, CIFOR, FAO and the IFF Secretariat;
      -     NGOs/Government of Costa Rica Initiative on Underlying Causes
            of Deforestation and Forest Degradation to be hosted by Costa
            Rica and organized by NGOs and the Government of Costa Rica in
            cooperation with UNEP.

14.The members of the Interagency Task Force on Forests (ITFF) have prepared an
Implementation Plan entitled -Interagency Partnership on Forests: Implementation
of IPF Proposals for Action by the ITFF.■ This Implementation Plan, intended as
an initial response by the ITFF to the proposals for action adopted by the IPF,
will be reviewed and  periodically updated according to developments concerning
availability of funds and decisions taken by Governing Bodies of the ITFF member
organizations.

15.World Bank initiatives include activities under the recently created World
Bank- World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Alliance, a series of meetings convened
by the President between forest industry CEOs and environmental organizations,
participation as an active member of Forest Trends (formerly called the Forest
Market Transformation Initiative) and strengthening the World Bank■s role in the
IFF/ITFF process. 

16.UNDP has started implementation of its new programme "Global Programme
on Forests" which will concentrate on the implementation of IPF's proposals
for action.  This four-year programme has an allocation of core UNDP
funding of US$ 3.250 million and a proposed total budget of US$ 12.976
million. Several donors have contributed or pledged their support to the
Programme.  The pilot phase is being launched with the involvement of Costa
Rica, Cameron, Guyana and Vietnam.

17.The International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) has authorized the
Executive Director of ITTO to undertake the necessary studies, within the
scope of its mandate, to support the IFF process.

18.The work programme on forest biological diversity, that has been recently
adopted under the decision IV/7 of the Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on Biological Diversity (Bratislava, May 1998), takes into account,
as appropriate, the IPF proposals for action in regard to the areas of focus of
the programme on the research, cooperation and development of technologies
necessary for the conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits
arising from biological diversity of all types of forests. Element 3 of this work
programme stresses the importance to contribute to ongoing work in other
international and regional organizations and processes, in particular, to the
implementation of the proposals for action of the IPF and to provide inputs to
the IFF.

19.Several regional and ecoregional processes on criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management continue to be active and to further refine their
approaches. CIFOR, FAO and UNEP are involved in organizing regional and global
meetings concerning criteria and indicators at the national as well as research
at the forest management unit level.  In addition, methodologies necessary to
advance the elaboration and implementation of criteria and indicators for forest
biological diversity are considered under element 3 of the programme of work on
forest biological diversity of the Convention of Biological Diversity.

20.Several countries as well as the private sector and NGOs are engaged in
evaluating existing voluntary mechanisms for forest products certification.

21.UNIDO has formed a Wood Industries Advisers Group with an industrial
orientation modelled to some extent after the Forestry Advisers Group.

22.WTO is encouraging its members to further reduce tariff and non-tariff
barriers to trade in forest products.
      
23.FAO has organized three Regional Workshops on the implementation of IPF/CSD
proposals for action related in particular to national forest programmes in:
Yogyakarta, Indonesia, February 1998;  Dakar, Senegal, April 1998; Santiago,
Chile, June 1998.

The scope of this document

24.The major part of this document is, almost by definition, a "good news story". 
Related to the mandate to "consider the launching of programmes" it describes the
many ways in which countries, international organizations, NGOs, the private
sector, and major groups have become engaged in the implementation of IPF■s
proposals for action.  The sheer volume of the sum of these activities is
impressive and shows the degree to which the many interested parties have been
engaged in and have taken note of the outcome of the IPF process.  It should not,
however, be seen as part of a systematic reporting framework, which will only
emerge as progress is made under IFF programme element I.b.

25.Chapter II of this document provides a general overview of IPF's conclusions
and proposals for action.  This part is only intended to provide a brief overview
by recalling and highlighting issues and outcome of the Panel's work and does not
in any way substitute the text of the final report of the IPF.

26.Chapter III describes the action undertaken to promote and facilitate the
launching of programmes to implement IPF proposals for action. 

27.Chapter IV attempts to address the question of adequacy and effectiveness of
actions and initiatives launched. Considering the limited time since the
conclusion of the work of the IPF, this is at best very preliminary, but should
provide the IFF with an early opportunity to assess the focus, gaps and potential
synergies in the overall picture emerging from the description in Chapter III,
and constitute the basis for providing further guidance to countries,
international organizations, donors, NGOs, etc.

28.Chapter V identifies the major issues that the IFF may wish to address at its
second session, including specific policy measures and preliminary proposals for
action to be implemented by countries, international and regional organizations,
private sector, major groups and other interested parties.


II.   GENERAL OVERVIEW ON IPF■S CONCLUSIONS AND PROPOSALS FOR ACTION

29.The following general overview of the IPF■s conclusions and proposals for
action is based on the final report of the IPF, i.e. document E/CN.17/1997/12.
It is only intended to provide a brief overview of the issues and outcome of the
Panel■s work and does not in any way substitute the text of the final report.

Category I.  Implementation of Forest-related Decisions of the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development at the National and International
Levels, Including an Examination of Sectoral and Cross-sectoral Linkages

 A.  Progress through national forest and land-use programmes

30.The Panel recognized the importance of comprehensive forest policy frameworks
or "national forest programmes" for the achievement of sustainable forest
management.  It agreed that the term "national forest programme" is a generic
term for a wide range of approaches to sustainable forest management within
different countries, to be applied at national and subnational levels based on
a set of basic principles.

31.The Panel emphasized the need for appropriate participatory mechanisms to
involve all interested parties; decentralization, where applicable, and
empowerment of regional and local government structures; consistent with the
constitutional and legal frameworks of each country, recognition and respect for
customary and traditional rights of, inter alia, indigenous people, local
communities, forest dwellers and forest owners; secure land tenure arrangements;
and the establishment of effective coordination mechanisms and
conflict-resolution schemes.

32.National forest programmes, as long-term iterative processes, should recognize
the following as key elements:  national sovereignty and country leadership;
consistency with national policies and international commitments; integration
with the country's sustainable development strategies; partnership and
participation; and holistic and intersectoral approaches.

33.The Panel encouraged countries to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate
national forest programmes, which include a wide range of approaches for
sustainable forest management, and urged all countries to use national forest
programmes, as appropriate, as a basis for international cooperation in the
forest sector. It stressed the need for international cooperation in the adequate
provision of ODA, as well as possible new and additional funding from the Global
Environment Facility (GEF) and other appropriate innovative sources of finance. 
It encouraged countries to further develop the concept and practice of
partnership, which could include partnership agreements, in the implementation
of national forest programmes, as one of the potential approaches for improved
coordination and cooperation among all national and international partners.

B.  Underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation

34.The Panel noted the critical need to understand the underlying causes of
deforestation and forest degradation, which are often country-specific. It is
important to recognize local initiatives that could counter current trends in
deforestation and forest degradation, especially among indigenous and local
communities.

35.Poverty and demographic pressure were recognized as being among the root
causes of deforestation and forest degradation.  Sustainable development can
therefore play a key role in reducing pressure on forests and replacing the
processes leading to deforestation and forest degradation. It is important to
consider historical dimensions and to learn from experience. Inappropriate policy
choices and approaches in other sectors can also influence deforestation and
forest degradation.

36.Market distortions, subsidies and relative prices, including those of
agricultural commodities, as well as undervaluation of wood and non-wood
forest products, can have a direct bearing on the management, conservation
and sustainable development of all types of forests.

37.In many countries, there is a need for further analysis of the sequence
of causes contributing to changes in the quantity and quality of forests. 
Such analysis would be facilitated by the use of a comprehensive diagnostic
framework, elements of which have been elaborated in the Secretary-General's
reports to the Panel. The diagnostic framework should be employed in a
constructive, corrective and forward-looking manner. It should be developed
voluntarily and should not be used as a basis for conditionality in ODA. 

38.The Panel urged countries to prepare in-depth studies of the underlying
causes at the national and international levels of deforestation and forest
degradation, and to support the convening, as soon as possible, of a global
workshop on the international underlying causes of deforestation and forest
degradation, and their relationship to national underlying causes of
deforestation and forest degradation.

39.The Panel encouraged countries to undertake case studies using the
diagnostic framework in order to identify underlying causes of
deforestation and forest degradation, and develop and test the usefulness
of the framework as an analytical tool in assessing options for utilization
of forest and forest lands.

C.  Traditional forest-related knowledge

40.Traditional forest-related knowledge (TFRK) constitutes an important
body of knowledge and experience It should be broadly defined to include
not only knowledge of forest resources but also knowledge of other issues
that are considered relevant by countries based on their specific
circumstances.

41.TFRK can provide a strong basis for sustainable forest management, and
its potential to support actions should be reflected in national forest
programmes. 

42.The Convention on Biological Diversity contains several provisions,
including articles 8 (j) and 10 (c), that are relevant to TFRK, which is a
subset of the knowledge, innovations and practices referred to in article 8
(j) of the Convention. 

43.The Panel invited countries and relevant international organizations,
especially the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, to collaborate with
indigenous people and forest-dependent people who possess TFRK to promote an
internationally acceptable understanding of TFRK, and to identify, respect,
preserve and maintain TRFK, including innovations and practices that are relevant
for the conservation of forest biological diversity and the sustainable use of
forest biological resources.

44.The Panel requested the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the
Convention on Biological Diversity, to produce a compilation of international
instruments and national legislation, including draft legislation, pertaining to
the protection and use of TFRK and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits
arising from such knowledge, and encouraged countries to exchange information on
national experiences in that field.

D.  Fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought

45.Desertification and the effects of drought are widespread phenomena, affecting
forests and other wooded land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions.  Such
problems have global dimensions in that they affect most regions of the world and
require collective action by the international community.

46.Forest-related actions aimed at combatting desertification and mitigating the
effects of drought should address the causes of those phenomena in an integrated
manner, and should consider the role of poverty along with land use policies,
food security, the provision of fodder and fuelwood, the effects of
non-sustainable production and consumption patterns, the impact of trade and
trade relations, migration, refugees and many other economic, social and cultural
factors.  The restoration of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid zones should not
focus narrowly on afforestation but should also deal with broader aspects of
forest ecosystem management, including social and economic issues. 

47.The Panel emphasized the need for national action programmes to draw more
extensively on local and traditional knowledge and evaluate traditional
agro-sylvo-pastoral systems, in accordance with the principles outlined in IPF
programme element I.C. 

E.  Impact of airborne pollution on forests

48.Airborne pollution is affecting forest health in many other parts of the
world in addition to Europe.  A preventive approach is needed, taking
account of economic factors including production and consumption patterns. 

49.The Panel emphasized the need to continue monitoring and evaluating the impact
of airborne pollution on forest health wherever it has been demonstrated in the
world, and the need for information on how the countries concerned have addressed
such problems.  The Panel also stressed the need for continuing action to reduce
airborne pollution, including the transfer and use of the best available as well
as future environmentally sound technologies on mutually agreed terms.  The
problem has to be addressed by policy actions outside the forests.

50.The Panel encouraged countries to continue the existing regional
programmes established to monitor the impact of airborne pollution on
forest health in affected countries, and noted the need to extend similar
monitoring systems to other regions where necessary.

F.  Needs and requirements of developing and other countries with low forest
cover

51.The Panel recognized that there are both developed and developing
countries with low forest cover.  Low forest cover can arise as a result of
natural ecological conditions, as well as of human activities, and the
situation is constantly changing.  Some countries are actively expanding
their forest cover, while others are approaching qualification for entry
into the low forest cover category.

52.The Panel felt that there was a need for more precise identification of
countries categorized as countries with low forest cover.

53.The Panel noted that national forest programmes may provide a good
vehicle for addressing at least some of the needs and requirements of
countries with low forest cover, and emphasized the importance of
international cooperation to address the management, conservation and
sustainable development of forests in low-income countries with low forest
cover, particularly through financial assistance and the transfer of
environmentally sound technology, as well as through the establishment of
appropriate research and information networks.  In that connection, the
Panel noted that the increasing focus of private investments in countries
with abundant forest resources has made forest ecosystems in developing
countries with low forest cover particularly vulnerable.  In those
countries, ODA is and will continue to be the most important source of
funding. 


Category II.  International Cooperation in Financial Assistance and
Technology Transfer

A.  Financial assistance

54.The Panel emphasized that the issues of financial assistance and
transfer of technology are cross-cutting, interlinked and essential for the
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forests, particularly in developing countries and countries with economies
in transition.

55.The Panel recognized that existing resources are insufficient to achieve
the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forests.  The Panel further recognized that there is a need for greater
financial investment from all sources, as well as a need to improve the
absorptive capacity of developing countries to use financial resources. It
reiterated the need for external support through ODA and the provision of
new and additional financial resources, and emphasized the need to mobilize
new, innovative and additional forms of finance at the public and private,
as well as at international, domestic and local levels.  

56.The financing needs for sustainable forest management at the national
level should, as far as possible, be met by the revenue generated by the
forest sector itself, be it the public or private sector. 

57.The Panel invited UNDP and the Bretton Woods institutions, together with
other relevant international organizations, to explore innovative ways to
both 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.

58.The Panel also discussed the proposal that an international fund be
established to support activities for the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests, particularly in developing
countries.  The following options for action were discussed, without a
consensus being reached on these or on other possible mechanisms:  (a) To
urge the establishment of such a fund;  (b) To invite the international
community to discuss the proposal; (c) To pursue action to enhance funding
in other ways.

59.The Panel called for enhanced coordination, collaboration and
complementarity of activities between bilateral and multilateral donors and
among international instruments related to forests and encouraged countries
to explore the feasibility of innovative financial initiatives to support
the implementation of national forest programmes.

B.  Technology transfer and capacity-building and information

60.There is an unprecedented accumulation of technological capability in
the world today, including for forestry.  However, much of it remains
largely unrecognized, underutilized and inadequately shared.  Dissemination
of those technological innovations is critical. 

61.There is a need for strengthening North-South cooperation in technology
transfer under favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential
terms, for developing countries, as mutually agreed.  However, owing to
similarities of forest types, institutions and culture, there is also a
considerable potential for South-South cooperation in conjunction with and
as a complement to North-South cooperation.

62.The Panel Invited members of the informal high-level Inter-Agency Task
Force on Forests, including FAO, the International Tropical Timber
Organization (ITTO), UNDP, the World Bank, the secretariat of the
Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) and other relevant international bodies to facilitate the
provision of a better flow to both the policy and operational levels of
synthesized information on programme progress, policy development, best
management practices and financial strategies for the forest sector, for
both the public and private sectors, including through the establishment of
specialized databases.


Category III.  Scientific Research, Forest Assessment, and the Development
of Criteria and Indicators for  Sustainable Forest Management

A.  Assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests

63.The Panel emphasized that national inventories are an important basis
for effective national forest programmes.  Assessment of the actual and
potential conditions of all types of forests is central to sustainable
forest management and to a wide range of other considerations related to
forests and forest ecosystems at the local, national, regional and global
levels.  Inadequate recognition of the contribution of forests to national
economies has in many cases led to deforestation, forest degradation and
underinvestment in forest management.

64.The Panel noted that capacity-building at the national and local levels
is important in many countries, and should involve all interested parties,
including forest owners, local communities, indigenous people and other
major groups.  Forest assessments should be multidisciplinary, and should
involve data collection and analysis by local, national and possibly
regional as well as international institutions.  Enhanced national capacity
is considered essential for high-quality national inputs to the global
forest resources assessment for the year 2000 being organized by FAO.

65.The Panel requested FAO to implement the global forest resources
assessment 2000, in collaboration with international organizations,
countries and other organizations with competence in assessments, and to
share the results of the assessment effectively with the international
community. It also requested FAO, in consultation with countries and
relevant international organizations and in an open and transparent manner,
to formulate an internationally acceptable set of definitions of key terms
used in the assessment of all types of forests and their resources, and to
promote their adoption.

B.  Forest research

66.The Panel recognized the need to strengthen research, which was relevant
to all the programme elements of its programme of work. There was need for
a more comprehensive and focused approach, including support to regional
research networks.  Enhanced international efforts for more focused and
effective funding and coordination of forest-related research and
development were also required.

67.The Panel noted that institutional needs include the strengthening of
existing national research institutions; subregional and regional networks;
joint research ventures; approaches to enhancing and strengthening existing
international, regional, subregional and national forest research
institutions' participation in an international network dedicated to the
conservation and sustainable development, management and utilization of
forests and forest policy research.

68.The Panel recognized the importance of developing and identifying
research priorities at all levels:  national, with the involvement of local
communities and other interested parties; regional; and international.

69.The Panel requested the Centre for International Forestry Research
(CIFOR), in collaboration with relevant organizations and in consultation
with a group of internationally recognized experts, as well as in
conjunction with national, regional, intergovernmental and non-governmental
bodies, to develop as soon as possible mechanisms to guide the
identification and definition as well as prioritization of global and
eco-regional interdisciplinary research problems.

70.The Panel called on the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification, within their areas of
competence, to promote research and analysis undertaken by those
Conventions and to address gaps in existing knowledge where relevant to
their mandate.

C.  Methodologies for the proper valuation of the multiple benefits of
forests

71.The Panel stressed that forests provide a wide range of benefits, not
all of which are easy to quantify.  The costs associated with
deforestation, forest degradation and changes in forest quality, in terms
of losses of biological diversity, impaired biological functions and
reduced social and environmental values are not adequately measured by
present methodologies.

72.Undervaluation of forest goods and services and of other forest
attributes, including non-market benefits, impedes sustainable forest
management.  The Panel recognized the difference between value and price,
and noted that market mechanisms were not always appropriate or available
to give monetary expression to key forest values, leading to the
misconception that sustainable forest management is expensive and not
cost-effective.


D.  Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management

73.The Panel noted the widespread international interest in and support for
the development and implementation of criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management.  It drew attention to the dynamic nature of
that process, and emphasized that the current momentum of action must be
sustained.

74.The Panel recognized that criteria and indicators provide a conceptual
framework for policy formulation and evaluation, and should be considered
as useful tools for assessing trends in forest conditions, for reporting on
the state of forests and for achieving sustainable forest management.

75.While recognizing that national-level criteria and indicators may play
an important role in clarifying issues related to forest certification and
the labelling of forest products, the Panel emphasized that the development
of criteria and indicators is primarily intended for promoting and
monitoring sustainable forest management, and not for imposing
certification or labelling schemes for forest products.  Criteria and
indicators are not performance standards for certifying management at any
level, and should not be made a basis for restriction of trade.  The Panel
also emphasized that criteria and indicators for sustainable forest
management should not be used as grounds for conditionality in the
provision of ODA.

76.The Panel welcomed the efforts made to clarify the links between the
criteria and indicators appropriate at the national level and those
applicable to the subnational and forest management unit/operational
levels, and emphasized that these should be compatible.  It recognized,
however, that those links will vary from country to country, and may
require further examination.

77.The Panel encouraged countries to proceed to prepare, through a
participatory approach, national-level criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management.

78.The Panel had divergent views on the merits of a core set of criteria
and indicators for use at the global level, while recognizing that dialogue
should continue.

79.The Panel encouraged countries not yet participating in any of the
ongoing international and regional initiatives on criteria and indicators
to become involved as soon as possible, and urged countries and
international organizations, in particular FAO, UNEP and other participants
in international and regional initiatives, to undertake efforts to achieve
a common international understanding on concepts, essential terms and
definitions used in formulating and developing criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management.

Category IV.  Trade and Environment in Relation to Forest Products and Services

80.The Panel acknowledged the potentially positive relationship between trade in
forest products and services and sustainable forest management. It recognized the
wide range and complexity of the issues associated with this topic.  A continuing
process of consensus-building is needed, including the exploration of the
possible need for specific international trade agreements in forest products and
voluntary codes of conduct for sustainable forest management by the private
sector to facilitate and improve trade in forest products in specific areas.

81.The Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations made significant progress
in improving market access for forest products, especially in terms of reducing
tariffs for all types of forest products.  Yet barriers to international trade
in forest products, particularly non-tariff barriers, could still impede access
of forest products to the international market.  

82.International attention to the issues of the certification of forest
management and labelling of forest products should be put into perspective. To
date, only a small proportion of the global trade in forest products and a small
area of the world's forests are influenced by those schemes, and certification
is recognized as only one of the many instruments to promote sustainable forest
management.

83.The Panel recognized that voluntary certification and labelling schemes are
among many potentially useful tools that can be employed to promote the
sustainable management of forests.

84.The Panel discussed options for action relating to possible agreement for
forest products from all types of forests, based on non-discriminatory rules and
multilaterally agreed procedures, without reaching a consensus.

85.The Panel also considered the question of the relationship between
obligations under international agreement and national measures, including
actions imposed by subnational jurisdictions, but was not able to reach a
consensus.


III.  Action Undertaken to Promote and Facilitate the Launching of
            Programmes to Implement IPF■s Proposals for Action

Progress Through National Forest and Land-use Programmes

86."National forest programmes", are comprehensive forest policy frameworks,
considered by the IPF (E/CN.17/1997/12, para. 8) as a generic term for a wide
range of approaches to sustainable forest management within different countries,
to be applied at national and subnational levels, based on the following basic
principles: broad intersectoral approach to include policies, strategies and
plans of action, as well as their implementation, monitoring and evaluation; 
implemented in the context of each country■s socio-economic, cultural, political
and environmental situation and  integrated into wider programmes for
sustainable land use, in accordance with chapters 10 to 15 of Agenda 21,
taking into account the activities of other sectors, such as agriculture,
energy and industrial development.
   
(a) Countries to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate national forest
programmes

87.Overall, there is an important shift from donor-driven to country-driven
programmes and projects, but many countries, especially in Africa, which
prepared their national plans have not been in a position to implement
priority projects, due mainly to lack of adequate resources and support
from the donor community.  In fact, the ODA in support of national forest
programmes, which peaked in 1993, has significantly declined during the
last years.  Thus many national forest programmes have remained stagnant,
the expectations raised by UNCED not having been fulfilled. However, it is
also true that, increasingly, there are forestry components into rural
development and other intersectoral schemes, which should also be taken
into account.

88.Some 100 countries have prepared, are in the process of preparing or
continue to develop their national forest programmes under a variety of
strategic frameworks, approaches and modalities.  Some 60 countries,
particularly in Latin America and Asia continue the efforts started with
the support of the donor community within the initial strategic frameworks
launched over a decade ago: national TFAPs, NFAPs, Master Plans for
Forestry Development and Forest Sector Reviews.  In Africa, countries
embarked massively in the process of formulation of strategic frameworks
(39 countries already in 1993) but the interest has faded in view of the
difficulties encountered in formulating and implementing national forest
programmes.

89.Many countries have also developed their National Conservation
Strategies/National Sustainable Development Strategies, National Plans to
Combat Desertification and plans for land use management at village level
(-Amenagement des terroirs villageois■).  Several countries, particularly
in Africa, are implementing their National Environmental Action Plans, most
of which have a main focus on the conservation of  the forest resources.

90.FAO continues to act as a facilitator of technical and financial support
from the various sources to the formulation and implementation of national
forest programmes and has decentralised this support, the three national
forest programmes regional advisors are now part of the Regional Forestry
Department Groups in the regional offices in Bangkok, Accra and Santiago.

91.Current activities in Africa include the planning  phase of the Zambia
Forestry Action Programme; Burundi (Restoration and Management of the
Environment); Ethiopia, Guinea and Togo (updating their national forest
programmes);  Swaziland (formulation of national strategy); Tanzania and
Senegal (developing decentralisation approaches);  Guinea-Bissau, Senegal,
Cape Verde, Cameroon and Mozambique (implementation phase); Ghana (forest
sector development); Uganda (forest sector policy and institutional reform);
Malawi (national forestry action plan);  South Africa (forest sector strategic
planning);  Madagascar (integrating forestry development within the NEAP). A
sub-regional planning process is being coordinated by SADC.

92.Togo and Benin have initiated feasibility studies for the establishment of a
Forestry Development  Fund in order to channel the resources to support their
national forest programmes.

93.In the Asia and Pacific region 14 countries have completed the planning phase
for their strategic frameworks which are in various stages of execution and there
are currently some 14 projects assisting in policy and planning and 10 in land
use planning. Planning activities are under way in 7 countries while other 3
countries are revising their plans.  Sri Lanka has revised its Forestry  Master
Plan and has incorporated it into its most recent Five Year Implementation
Programme for Forestry. Bangladesh is implementing its Forestry Sector Master
Plan. In Vietnam, a decentralised planning process is being implemented through
a project on country capacity strengthening for national forestry action plan
implementation. China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Thailand and Nepal
are among the countries, which have attracted significant donor assistance to the
forestry sector.

94.China is implementing its national programme at District level, which
currently is enlarging its exercise from Simao District of Yunnan Province
to Qing Fang of Quangxi Province.  India has Federal and State level programmes. 
The implementation of Nepal■s Master Plan includes an approach to hill leasehold
forestry and forage development for the rural poor.  In the process of
implementing master plans, formulated mainly with the support of the Asian
Development Bank, Philippines and Bangladesh are introducing new institutional
and legal arrangements and Pakistan is integrating the master plan into the
Economic Development Plan and also Malaysia is integrating its exercise into its
five year development plan on forestry. The island states of the South Pacific
have made progress in the formulation of their national forest programmes.

95.Australia is revising its national forest programme in the light of the
outcome of the IPF and is participating in the Six Country Initiative. 
 
96.In the Latin America and Caribbean Region national forest programmes in
various stages of development exist in almost all countries. Two meetings
of country focal points, the first one for  17 Latin American countries in
Brasilia, and the second one for seven Caribbean English speaking countries
and Haiti, took place 1997. Central America is focusing on the modernisation of
the forestry institutions and the improvement of sustainable forest management
in the sub-region.  A preliminary forest sector study of Suriname, funded by the
EC, should strengthen the country's capacity to implement the national strategy
for the forest sector. 

97.An interesting feature of national forest programmes in some countries of the
Latin America and the Caribbean region is the development of innovative
approaches.  Costa Rica established the National Forestry Financing Fund
(FONAFIFO) which provides loans and incentives for afforestation and has
mobilised significant funds under joint implementation agreements to offset
carbon emissions.  Other countries which have developed innovative approaches for
resource mobilisation are Brazil and Chile.

98.In Europe, Denmark and the Netherlands, among others, have revised their
national forest programmes, in addition to the three European countries
sponsoring the Six Country Initiative, i.e. Finland, Germany and the U.K. 
Denmark introduced changes in its Forest Act in 1996 for publicly owned forests,
and stakeholder participation and intersectoral coordination have improved.  In
France an Interministerial Task Force was created to implant the forestry
guidelines from Rio and Helsinki.  The UK produced the Forestry Standards in 1998
as an approach to sustainable forestry, to be monitored by forestry authority
commissions.  Portugal had a draft National Forest Plan in March 1998 and there
is an interministerial Forest Commission mandated by the 1996 Forest Act.  Sweden
has a new Forest Policy with environment and timber production as equal goals
since 1994.  An evaluation is planned for  1998 by the Forestry Board and the
Environmental Protection Agency.

99.In Switzerland a new Federal Forest law was in force in 1993, to be
followed by Cantonal laws. A sector policy was issued, which needs to be
made operational at Cantonal level. The Swiss forest policy review is being
undertaken in the context of IPF■s proposals for action.

100.The Czech Republic issued a new Forest Act in 1995 which provides for
grants, subsidies and compensation. Hungary issued a new Forest Law in
1996.   In Slovenia a National Forestry Development Plan was adopted in
1996 to be specified in Forest Management Regional Plans.  

(b) Improved cooperation in support of the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests

101.The XI World Forestry Congress in Antalya, Turkey 13-22 October, under
the general theme -Forestry for sustainable development: towards the XXI
century■ offered an exceptional opportunity for consultations, exchange of
information and concertation, including an informal ministerial meeting in
which the main obstacles to the implementation of sustainable forest
management were discussed.

102.At its fourth meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention
on Biological Diversity called upon Parties and countries to integrate
forest biological diversity considerations in their participation and
collaboration with organizations, institutions and conventions affecting or
working with forest biological diversity.

103.The recently announced G8 Action Programme on Forests states that G8
members will:

-  share their experience in developing and implementing their national
   programmes to promote sustainable forest management and encourage partner
   countries to develop their own national forest programmes; 
-  focus technical and financial assistance on those partner countries which
   give priority to sustainable forest management in the programming of their
   overseas development assistance (ODA); 
-  support partner countries in the elaboration and implementation of their
   national forest programmes, including by supporting new approaches,
   initiatives and partnerships that promote sustainable forest management;
-  work to improve a global understanding and recognition of the role of
   boreal and temperate forests as important carbon sinks, biodiversity
   reservoirs and sources of other goods and services, in support of national
   forest programmes and the sustainable management of these forests; 
-  identify and support international initiatives which contribute to
   sustainable forest management, such as the pioneering work of the
   International Tropical Timber Organisation in respect of tropical forests
   to achieve the Year 2000 Objective; 
-  further co-ordinate their in-country support to partner countries, within
   the framework of respective national forest programmes in support of the
   International Forum on Forests proposals for action, and urge international
   institutions, particularly the international financial institutions, to do
   likewise. 

104.FAO organised three regional workshops on  "International cooperation
and resource mobilisation for the implementation of the IPF proposals for
action related to national forest programmes".  The first one took place in
Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 23 countries, 5 donor and 4 international organisations,
as well as one NGO were present. The workshop recommended the establishment of
a mechanism to promote regional cooperation and resource mobilisation, and to
facilitate organization of meetings and networking, including participation of
NGOs and the private sector.

105.The second regional workshop took place in Dakar, Senegal. 19 African
countries, two donor countries, representatives from a private sector association
and from an NGO exchanged experiences in particular on new modalities and
opportunities for funding and innovative approaches for implementing national
forest programmes.  The workshop recommended countries to better mobilise
domestic resources, including public and private sector contributions and
establish coordination among international partners at country level.  An
increased role of sub-regional organisations and FAO support to strengthen them
was also recommended, as well as to work closely with the Forestry Advisors Group
at regional level.

106.The third regional workshop was organised in Santiago, Chile, 3-5 June
1998 and included participants from 16 countries and from 10 donor and
international organisations.  The meeting agreed on the central role of
national forest programmes, on the need for improved coordination
mechanisms at national, sub-regional and regional level, and on the need
for concerted international support.  An increased role of the Latin
American and Caribbean Forestry Commission (COFLAC) was proposed, as well
as to explore the possibility of establishing a Latin American forestry
advisers group.  The workshop contributed to raising awareness about the
importance of new sources of income for forest land holders through payment
for environmental services provided by forests.

107.The role of the FAO Regional Forestry Commissions in coordinating
implementation of policies for the  sustainable development of all types of
forests merits to be highlighted.  For instance the Asia Pacific Forestry
Commission (APFC) considered two substantial activities, aimed as a
reference for a better formulation of strategic plans in its member
countries: an outlook study for the forestry sector in the Asia-Pacific
region towards the year 2010 and a draft Code of practice for forest
harvesting in the Region which is being developed at country level in
several member countries. The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission
(AFWC) also considered the need for improved strategic information and the
development of sector outlook studies.  The AFWC noted the difficulties
faced by member countries in becoming actively involved in the CSD, IPF and
IFF processes, recognised the need for a coordinated regional approach and
therefore recommended that FAO be mandated to facilitate the participation
of  AFWC member countries in all these and similar processes in the future.

108.The Forestry Advisers Group (FAG) continues to meet once or twice every
year to exchange information and harmonise the support of donors and
international organisations to national forest programmes. It had its 23rd
meeting in New York 7-8 February 1997 specially to review the proposed
recommendations of the IPF regarding national forest programmes.  At its
24th meeting in Antalya, Turkey, 10-11 October 1997, it considered in
particular the programme of work of the Interagency Partnership on Forests,
the proposals for a government led initiative on putting the IPF proposals
for action into practice at the national level, and the future of the
Forestry Advisers Group.  At its 25th meeting in Brussels, 26-28 April
1998, the FAG focused on the mission of the group in 1998-2000, taking into
account the recommendations of the regional workshops, and a number of
specific initiatives of the donors and organisations represented in the
FAG.  The FAG considered in its work  programme coordination of forest
sector development cooperation through consultation with the regional
forestry advisors and national forest programme coordinators and sub-
regional bodies or initiatives.  It stated that the first priority of the
FAG is to support national forest programmes in developing countries. 
Country-specific task forces are encouraged to be formed under the FAG
umbrella with the objective of coordinated support to national forest
programmes, preferably through forest sector programme assistance/forest
partnership agreement, or similar arrangements.

109.The European Tropical Forest Advisors (ETFAG), composed of forestry
advisers in the European Union and a number of experts on tropical forests,
had its seventh meeting in Florence 18-20 November 1997, reviewing
assistance to countries of the extended Congo Basin: Cameroon, Congo,
Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of
Congo. 

110.GTZ, the European Forest Institute and the University of Freiburg
organised the international seminar on formulation and implementation of
national forest programmes, in Freiburg, Germany, 18-20 May 1998, in order
to review the possibilities and limits of national policy planning as a
means of implementing international agreements on forests and forestry, in
the light of the European experience.

111.At the Spring meeting 1997 of the OECD DAC Working Party on
Environment, the EC proposed the establishment of a sub-group with a view
to preparing a set of guidelines for the forestry sector.  This sub-group
is still to start its work. 

112.A critical analysis of international cooperation to support national
forest programmes has been made recently by SIDA (-Rethinking international
cooperation in forestry development■), drawing in particular from the
Swedish experience since the creation in 1903 of the County Forestry
Boards.  Also ODI has examined the institutional constraints on forest
policy and woodland management in Mali, Nigeria and Somalia.

(c)   International cooperation in the adequate provision of ODA, as well
as new and additional funding from the GEF

113.As suggested in Agenda 21 the total annually funding to implement
action proposed under Chapter 11 was estimated at US$32 250 million, for
the period 1993-2000, including US$ 5 670 million in concessional
financing.  The actual level of ODA has reached only 27.2% of the suggested
total and the contribution from most donors has shown a decreasing trend
during the past few years. Of the current aid 80.5% is in the form of
grants and 59.3% of the total is represented by bilateral aid, of which 80%
is provided the six richest countries.

114.Although private capital flows into the forestry sector in developing
countries have increased to an estimated US$ 8 to 10 billion annually, the
role of ODA is crucial for human resources development, institutional
capacity building and technology assessment and transfer, in order to
ensure that private capital flows are invested in sustainable forestry
development.  However, the private capital flow is largely towards forest-
rich countries.

115.A study on investment opportunities for private forestry development in
Vanuatu is supported by the EC.  IIED, with support from the EC, is
developing a programme on instruments for sustainable private forestry.

116.The GEF has not made a significant direct contribution to national
forest programmes, although it has contributed indirectly through the
protection of forest biodiversity and forest land use in countries such as
Poland, Bhutan and Colombia.  A regional project which has made a direct
and very successful contribution, dealing with capacity building for the
conservation and management of natural forest biodiversity in East Africa,
was implemented by FAO in its first phase up to 1997, and is now in a
second phase to strengthen institutions and programmes in Kenya, Tanzania
and Uganda.

117.Decision IV/7 of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity, which establishes the programme of work on forest
biological diversity, requests the financial mechanism of the Convention to
consider the operational objectives of the programme of work as a guidance
for funding in the field of forest biological diversity and strongly
encourages the GEF to assist in the implementation of the programme of work
at the national, regional and subregional level.

118.A regional study on the constraints and the prospects for an improved
flow of assistance was produced by FAO in 1997: -Partners co-operation and
resource mobilisation for sustainable forest management in the Asia Pacific
region■. 

(d)   Countries to integrate suitable criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management

119.Efforts to promote the application of criteria and indicators in
practice are being made under the various eco-regional processes, reported
elsewhere in this document.  A CIFOR research programme implemented from
1994 to 1998, under funding from GTZ, supported the testing of criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management in Brazil, Cameroon, Co^te
d■Ivoire, Germany, India and Indonesia. Linked to ITTO■s Year 2000
Objective and ITTO■s guidelines on criteria and indicators there are
projects being implemented in Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia, Kalimantan
(Indonesia). Gabon, Cameroon, Congo, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Peru and
Ecuador. The African Timber Organization (ATO) is testing its criteria and
indicators guidelines in 6 of the 13 member countries, namely:  Cameroon,
Congo, Congo Democratic Republic, Gabon, Co^te d■Ivoire and Ghana.  The EC
provides support to the test in 3 countries. In Europe, 41 countries
formally endorsed the Pan-European Criteria, Indicators and Operational
Level Guidelines for Sustainable Forest Management, at the Third
Ministerial Conference on Forest Protection in Europe, held in Lisbon,
Protugal, June 1998.

120.The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological
Diversity, in its programme of work for forest biological diversity,
decided to foster activities to determine criteria and indicators for the
conservation and sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of
benefits arising out of utilization of resources of forest biological
diversity and to advance methodology for integrating these criteria  and
indicators into existing criteria and indicators processes.

121.The International Model Forest Network, formed initially by Canada,
Mexico, Russia and the USA, now also include Malaysia, Chile, Argentina and
Japan. Two meetings of experts have been held in Japan and USA.

122.Malaysia has already formulated a set of criteria and indicators, while
Indonesia is in the process of developing them.

(e) Urged countries to develop, test and implement appropriate
participatory mechanisms

123.An increasing number of countries, which have been engaged in the
development and implementation of participatory processes, now have more
effective and efficient management of natural resources. For example, the
Local Management of Natural Resources Programme in Tanzania has
demonstrated that local communities work efficiently through village forest
management committees and are able to make plans, take decisions and
implement action, with forest officers offering technical advice.  Counties
of the Western Sahel have also developed significant participatory
programmes.  In Ecuador, the extension system has the main objective of
strengthening the capacity  of the native and peasant communities so that
they are able themselves to diagnose, plan, execute and evaluate measures
for forest development and sustainable management of the natural resources
in the highlands of the Andes.  Colombia and Guatemala have also
demonstrated successful participatory approaches.

124.In Lao PDR, the village forestry system has been developed supported by
the Lao-Swedish programme. The system has been institutionalised and an
organisational structure has been set-up at the village level.

(f) Countries to elaborate systems, including private and community
forestry systems, for national forest programmes, that identify and involve
a broad participation of indigenous people, forest dwellers, forest owners
and local communities in meaningful decision-making

125.New and innovative forms of collaboration and partnership that have
been tried, are leading to potentially more sustainable forms of forest
management.  Joint forest management (JFM) in officially designated forest
lands has been a successful experiment in India, where communities are
given to manage degraded forest land, although much more work is needed
before claiming an overall success.  In Nepal, the 1993 Forest Act gave
forest user groups legal rights to all the forest products from their
forest in return for assuming responsibility for protection of the forests.

126.A variety of approaches to involve all stakeholders has developed in a
number of countries. For example, land and forest -allocation■ in China and
Vietnam, -privatisation of forest resources■ in New Zealand, -community-
based forest management■ and recognition of  -ancestral domain rights■ in
the Philippines. A collaborative Forest management project in Borana,
Ethiopia, with support from SOS Sahel and  the EC, seeks to establish
improved and sustainable livelihoods for at least 15 pastoralist
associations living in or around forests. Similarly a community-based
project in Cross River State, Nigeria, seeks to strengthen the capacity of
the NGOs and Local Government Authorities to support village organisations
implementing community forestry initiatives. Australia has gained valuable
experience in the establishment of -regional forestry agreements■ with
inputs from all stakeholders. 

(g)   Countries to include capacity building as an objective in national
forest programmes

127.Most of the activities reported in section (a) address the need to
strengthen institutions, develop human resources, reinforce resource
assessment and technology assessment capabilities, develop policy and legal
instruments and improve planning methods.

128.In Africa updating and development of appropriate legislation and
regulations in countries like Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Madagascar and
Congo with assistance from FAO. A meeting was also organised by the EC and
the EDI of the World Bank in Brussels 20-22 January 1998 with the ministers
of Forestry of the 6 countries of the Congo Basin to discuss a training
programme for the formulation of forest policy and to develop mechanisms
for exchange and collaboration in this field.  EDI held the first workshop
the training  programme in forest policy for these countries in Yaounde,
11-19 May 1998, and is organising a study tour for trainees from the Congo
Basin countries to the Amazon region.  Training and mobilisation of key
actors to enhance country capacities in Sub-saharan Africa is being
supported by the EC. 

129.In Latin America countries have improved their public forest
administration and some of them, such as Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico, have
started processes of decentralisation for the implementation of their
national forest programmes.  In Guyana, the UK has provided support to
strengthen the Guyana Forest Commission and the UK, together with the EC
and ITTO, have pledged some $ 8 million, with smaller contributions from
other Commonwealth countries, to the Iwokrama International Rain Forest
Programme undertaking research, training and the development and
dissemination of technologies for sustainable forest management in an area
of 360 000 ha.  A forest policy study to support the Caribbean countries in
updating and modifying the national forestry policies to strengthen the
implementation of national forest programmes is being conducted by FAO and
the EC.

130.In Asia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR,
Myanmar, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Vietnam are strengthening
national capacity concerning national forest policy, institutions and 
legislation.

131.Countries in their process of transition to market economy, including 
Armenia, Romania, Slovak Republic, Lithuania, Latvia , China, Vietnam,
Myanmar, Laos and Mongolia, are reviewing and adapting to the new socio-
economic conditions their forest policies, legislation, institutional
structures and planning processes, emphasising the need for the
establishment of a participatory process in which all direct and indirect
stakeholders are considered and integrated. The new Forestry Law, enacted
in Estonia in October 1993, defines and encourages the activities of
private owners.

(h) Countries to establish sound national coordination mechanisms or
strategies among all interested parties

132.Multi-stakeholder partnerships and appropriate decision making
mechanisms are being developed in several Central American countries, based
on forms of direct negotiation, on a voluntary and mutually beneficial
base, providing a higher level of transparency and decentralisation of the
process of discussion and approval of interventions.  Also noteworthy is
the experience of Ecuador, where all parties are involved in the process
which now is being decentralised.  In Chile, an appropriate mix of policy
tools, including incentives, property rights and trade regulations has
provided adequate guarantee to security of forest land and to investments
and has fostered the free trade of forest products. 

133.In Asia Pacific Region, coordination among partners (donors and other
sectors involved in the forestry development including the private sector
and NGOs) has been in place in some countries for example in Indonesia, Lao
PDR, Malaysia and  Vietnam. Regular coordination meetings have been
conducted.

134.In British Columbia, Canada, the provincial Ministry of Forests has
shifted emphasis in its role from programme implementation and management
to resource stewardship, policy formulation and performance monitoring. 
Public decision-making has been decentralised to the field level and
silviculture responsibilities and nursery operations have been privatised. 
The legal framework gives emphasis to sustainable management practices and
accountability.  

(i) Countries to further develop the concept and practice of partnerships,
including partnership agreements

135.UNDP■s Global Programme on Forests, initially in four selected
countries, namely, Vietnam, Cameroon, Guyana and Costa Rica, will be
devoting $3.5 million to promote sustainable forest management and related
public an private partnerships, in order to support sustainable
livelihoods, especially for the rural poor. 

136.A noteworthy partnership development is the Six-Country Initiative by
which three developed countries, together with three developing counties
are undertaking a joint effort to support the implementation of the IPF
proposals for action, specifically national forest programmes, in the six
countries. The Initiative includes six country case studies and the
preparation of an expert consultation to consider the outcome of the case
studies.  The case studies will comprise assessments of the IPF proposals
against the national situation and identification of country specific
approaches to implement the proposals.  A -Practitioners Guide■ has been
prepared to assist the process.  The Six-Country Initiative will make its
report available to the Second session of the IFF.

137.Regional Organisations and Economic Groupings such as ASEAN, SADC, the
Amazon Cooperation Treaty and the CCAB-AP in Central America are having an
increasingly important role in developing joint approaches and in sharing
resources and expertise.  The EC supported SADC Forest Sector Strategy
Study organised a final seminar at which 12 national and regional reports
were considered.  The SADC Forestry Sector Coordinating Unit is in the
process of developing a regional forestry protocol to the SADC Treaty. 
Regional programmes also have facilitated twinning and partnerships.  For
example FORSPA has facilitated a twinning agreement between FRIM in
Malaysia and the Forest Research Institute in Papua New Guinea.

138.The Fourth Meeting of the COP of the CBD, in its decision IV/7 on
forest biological diversity, recognized as a major objective -to enhance
Parties■ capabilities to realize the objectives of the Convention through
improved implementation, by encouraging and assisting Parties to develop
measures to enhance the integration of conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity into their national forest and land use programmes and
forest management systems.■


Underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation

139.The IPF■s proposals for action urged all countries, with the support of
international organizations and the participation of major groups, to take,
inter alia, the following significant steps:

-   To undertake case studies using the "diagnostic framework" to identify the
    most important underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation;

-   To prepare in-depth studies of the underlying causes at the national and
    international levels of deforestation and forest degradation and to analyse
    comprehensively the historical perspective of the causes of deforestation
    and forest degradation in the world, and other international underlying
    causes of deforestation and forest degradation, including transboundary
    economic forces;

-   To support the convening, as soon as possible, of a global workshop on the
    international underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation and
    their relationship to national underlying causes;

-   To formulate policies aiming at securing land tenure for local communities
    and indigenous people, including policies, as appropriate, aimed at the
    fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of forests;

-   To formulate and implement national strategies, through an open and
    participatory process, for addressing these underlying causes.


Actions taken by UNEP

140.In line with the ITFF's arrangements for the Implementation of IPF's
Proposal for Action, UNEP assumed the lead agency role for implementing
IPF/IFF programme elements related to the underlying causes of
deforestation and forest degradation in close partnership with FAO and
CIFOR.

141.The nineteenth session of UNEP Governing Council, 27 January - 7
February 1997, by Decision GC.19/22 the Environment Fund budgets: approved
the revised proposals for 1996 -1997 and proposals for 1998 - 1999 which
includes activities for follow-up to the work of the IPF.  IFF Programme
Element II.d Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest  Degradation is
reflected in sub-programme 1.2 Caring for Biological Resources as one of 
the priority activities.

142.In this regard UNEP will prepare a report entitled: In-depth Analysis
of Underlying Causes and their Regional Variances of Deforestation and Forest
Degradation; Strategic and Policy Options to address the Underlying Causes of
Deforestation and Forest Degradation.  The report will be based on:

(a)   Reliable and accurate information on the underlying causes of
      deforestation and forest degradation;

(b)   In-depth studies of the underlying causes at the national and
      international level of deforestation and forest degradation;

(c)   Comprehensive analysis of the historical perspective of the causes of
      deforestation and forest degradation in the world and other
      international underlying causes of deforestation and forest
      degradation, including transboundary economic forces.

143.UNEP has prepared a questionnaire on Underlying Causes of Deforestation
and Forest Degradation, which has been circulated to governments, ITFF
members, NGOs and other relevant institutions.

144.Based on the response from the questionnaire and other information,
UNEP will prepare a draft paper on Underlying Causes of Deforestation and
Forest Degradation which will be circulated to governments, ITFF members
and NGOs for comments;

145.UNEP will also support the NGO global workshop on Underlying Causes of
Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

Joint Actions by NGOs, Governments and Agencies

146.The Forum, at its first session, welcomed the interest of NGOs in
contributing to IFF■s deliberations on underlying causes of deforestation
and forest degradation.  A group of nearly 20 NGOs presented a joint
statement expressing their willingness to contribute to a joint initiative
on national and international Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest
Degradation including the following activities:

(i)   organize, in partnership with governments, a global workshop on
      national and international underlying causes referenced above.

(ii)  prepare a synthesis report of the results, focused on solution-
      oriented approaches, and make this available to the IFF as one of the
      documents on the progress being made in implementing IPF■s Proposals
      for Action on underlying causes of deforestation and forest
      degradation.

147.The NGO process is coordinated by an Organizing Committee of which UNEP
is a member.  The coordination of this process will be carried out through
the work of two committees, an Organizing Committee and a Steering
Committee each composed of representatives of the Government of Costa Rica,
UNEP, NGO representatives from seven geographic regions and a representative of
an international indigenous people's organization.

148.Some of the issues that have been raised during the several roundtables
organized as part of the NGOs, Government of Costa Rica and UNEP Initiative, 
include:

-   The mutually beneficial relationship between a solution-oriented approach
    to poverty eradication (providing people, and women in particular, with the
    means to be productive, including monetary and/or non-monetary employment
    and income, education, and health care) and forest conservation;
-   The need for land use planning and management policies which are directly
    targeted towards reaching social development goals instead of mere economic
    goals;
-   The role and needs of women in sustainable forest management and land use
    management in general;
-   Equitable sharing of the social and economic benefits of forests between
    generations, between communities, between families and within families;
-   The relationship between strategies focussing on full cost accounting,
    active government policies to promote equitable sharing, and regulations to
    control the actions of powerful actors in society, such as large
    corporations;
-   Policies and instruments to foster and promote corporate accountability at
    the national and international level, such as public social and
    environmental audits and anti-trust legistation;
-   Multi-stakeholder processes which include proper representation of the
    interests of local communities, as a tool to develop sound environmental
    standards;
-   Policies and instruments to change consumption and production patterns,
    including fiscal reform, education and awareness building, positive and
    negative labelling, efficiency measures, sufficiency strategies and
    strategies focussing on reduction, reuse and recycling of forest products;
-   Incentives and obstacles to mainstreaming forest conservation concerns into
    the policies of governments, regional organizations, and international
    organizations, including in particular the Bretton Woods Institutions;
-   The relationship between forest conservation, land rights, land management
    and structural adjustment policies.

149.These ideas and many others will be discussed at the 8 preparatory
workshops and at the global workshop itself. The conclusions of the global
workshop will be reflected in the Secretary-General's report for IFF III by
UNEP.

Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge

150.In reporting on the action undertaken to promote and facilitate the
launching of the IPF■s proposal for action regarding traditional forest
related knowledge (TFRK), reference is made, in particular, to the
interconnected work under the Convention on Biological Diversity on Article
8(j) and forest biological diversity.

151.The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological
Diversity, in its decision III/14, requested Parties to develop national
legislation and corresponding strategies for the implementation of Article
8(j), in consultation particularly with representatives of their indigenous
and local communities. It also urged Parties to supply information about
the implementation of Article 8(j) and related articles, for example,
national legislation and administrative and incentive measures.

152.A synthesis outlining elements from the case studies received by the
CBD Secretariat was produced for the fourth Conference of the Parties
(document UNEP/CBD/COP/4/10), which provided information, inter alia, on
the application of TFRK regarding forest and land use management, incentive
measures, national legislation, benefit sharing, intellectual property
rights, involvement in in situ conservation, and identification and
monitoring.

153.Pursuant to COP decision III/12, on Forest Biological Diversity, a
liaison group meeting on forest biological diversity was held in Helsinki,
Finland, in May 1997, to assist the CBD Secretariat in developing a draft
work programme on forest biological diversity: Traditional systems of
forest biological diversity conservation were addressed and are contained
in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/Inf.5.

154.Pursuant to COP decision III/14, on the Implementation of Article 8(j),
a workshop on Traditional Knowledge and Biological Diversity was held in
Madrid, Spain, in November 1997. The report of the workshop, containing
options for recommendations, was made available to the fourth meeting of
the COP, as document UNEP/CBD/COP/4/10/Add.1.

155.In its decision IV/9, the COP considered the outcome of the Madrid
workshop and established an ad hoc open-ended intersessional working group
to address the implementation of Article 8(j) and related provisions of the
CBD. The mandate of this working group shall be :

a) To provide advice as a priority on the application and development of
legal and other appropriate forms of protection for the knowledge,
innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying
traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity;
b) To provide the COP with advice relating to the implementation of Article
8(j) and related provisions, in particular on the development and
implementation of a programme of work at national and international levels;
c) To develop  a programme of work, based on the structure of the elements
contained in  the Madrid report;
d) To identify those objectives and activities falling within the scope of
the Convention; to recommend priorities taking into account the medium term
programme of work of the COP, such as the equitable sharing of benefits; to
identify for which work-plan objectives and activities advice should be
directed to the COP and which should be directed to the Subsidiary  Body on
Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice; to recommend which of the
work-plan objectives and activities should be referred to other
international bodies or processes; to identify opportunities for
collaboration and coordination with other international bodies or processes
with the aim of fostering synergy and avoiding duplication of work;
e) To provide advice to the COP on measures to strengthen cooperation at
the international level among indigenous and local communities embodying
traditional lifestyles relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity and make proposals for the strengthening of mechanisms
that support such cooperation.

156.In addition, decision IV/7 of the COP established a work programme for
forest biological diversity which considers TFRK. One of the objectives of
the work plan is to identify traditional forest systems of conservation and
sustainable use of forest biological diversity and to promote the wider
application, use and role of TFRK in sustainable forest management and the
equitable sharing of benefits, in accordance with Article 8(j) and other
related provisions of the CBD.

Fragile Ecosystems Affected by Desertification and Drought

157.The IPF addressed the topic -...the experience with afforestation,
reforestation and the restoration of forest systems, where appropriate,
particularly in countries with fragile ecosystems and those affected by
desertification and/or drought, particularly in Africa, including links to
the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification, particularly in Africa■, within programme element I.D of
its programme of work.  This document reviews progress since the final
session of the IPF.

158.While the review apparently shows only limited progress, it should be
noted that significant activities were already ongoing in many countries
and are included in the programmes of several international organizations. 
FAO is implementing numerous field projects related to desertification
control and fragile ecosystem management.  It is difficult to establish
which of these activities are in response to the IPF recommendations and
which of them are simply the continuation of long-term programmes. 
However, in several cases there is a real strengthening of activities and
programmes both at national and international levels. For instance, FAO is
strengthening its interdepartmental Working Group on Desertification and
some collaborative activities are under negotiation between the CCD
Secretariat and UN Agencies such as FAO and IFAD.

(a)   urged countries and international organizations to undertake national
and international action to address the complex issues related to dryland
forest ecosystems in countries affected by desertification and drought

159.Parallel processes have centered on i) developments related to
sustainable forest management; ii) the implementation of the UN Convention
to Combat Desertification; iii) national environmental planing; iv) various
regional/national planing frameworks supporting development, village land
resources management and natural resources development.

160.International organizations, supporting these processes at
international level, have organised several regional meetings and
workshops, some of them mainly aiming at the implementation of the
Convention to Combat Desertification (e.g.: The 2nd Expert Consultation on
the Role of Forestry in Combating Desertification, Antalya, Turkey 10-13
October 1997; The International Forum for the Preparation of a Sub-Regional
Action Programme to Combat Desertification in West Africa, Niamey 21-23
July 1997).  Several International Workshops are planned in the near
future:  1) Soil conservation and agroforestry in Africa, in the Context of
the CCD; 2) Integrated Management of International River Basins in Africa,
in the Context of the CCD; 3) Remote Sensing and Early Warning Activities
in Africa, in the Context of the CCD; and 4) Pasture Land Management in
Africa, in the Context of the CCD. 

(b)   called on countries to continue to analyse past experiences and to
monitor trends in forests and related ecosystems affected by
desertification and drought, including biophysical, ecological, economic,
social, land tenure and institutional factors

161.The analysis of past experience has been undertaken in every country
involved in agriculture, forestry and environment sector reviews.  In this
framework FAO has published the FAO Environment and Energy paper n° 15: -
Drylands Development and Combating Desertification: Bibliographic study of
experiences in China;■  this document is a follow-up of a more general
study that produced a similar document regarding CIS Countries (FAO
Environment and Energy paper n° 14).

162.FAO is strengthening the development of information systems and
decision support tools for the management of resources in dry areas, in
particular through Africover, FRA 2000, GIEWS Programmes and information
web site through the WAICENT Programme.

(c)   urged countries to establish protected areas to safeguard forest and
related ecosystems, their water supplies, and historical, traditional uses
in appropriate localities in areas affected by drought, particularly in
arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions

163.Very few changes in protected area establishment and/or management have
occurred since IFF IV in February 1997. However, a notable initiative in
this context is the WB-WWF Alliance, announced by the President of the
World Bank at UNGASS in June 1997. Within the Alliance■s framework, the
World Bank and WWF will work with governments, the private sector and civil
society.

(d)   called on countries, donors and international organizations to
support education, training, extension systems and participatory research
involving indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles

164.At country level many initiatives have been taken regarding education,
training, extension, participatory research, local knowledge, participatory
management in the framework of the revision of their policies. (E.g.: -
Changing forest management strategies in Sudan, a challenge for forestry
education systems■ by Mahir Salih Suleiman, 1996)

165.The international community■s concern for this new area was reflected
in the Eighteenth Session of the FAO Advisory Committee on Forestry
Education (Santiago, Chile, 11-14 November 1996) where many countries
presented proposals for the revision of their forestry education curricula
to better address this topic.
     
(e)   urged countries and international organizations to strengthen and
further develop partnerships and collaboration between local communities,
Governments, non-governmental organizations and other major groups

166.The strengthening of partnerships between local communities, the
Government, NGOs and other groups is one of the key components of the
implementation of the CCD and is underway in each of the countries engaged
in the NAP exercise, which is very often supported by international
organizations.
     
(f)   urged donors, international agencies and recipient Governments to
develop efficient and coordinated programmes of international cooperation
and action on forests and related ecosystems affected by desertification
and drought, within the context of the Convention to Combat Desertification
and the broader mandate of the Panel, the Forest Principles and Agenda 21;

167.Several international coordinated programmes of cooperation are dealing
with this topic and are supporting the implementation of CCD, forestry
principles and Agenda 21.  Particularly notable among them are the support
to national forest programmes, the Mediterranean Forest Action Programme
(MED-FAP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), etc....

(g)   invited the Committee on Science and Technology of the Conference of
the Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification to support research
on appropriate plant species

168.An update on information on the research done on multiple use arid zone
tree species by the Committee on Science and Technology of the COP of the
CCD is presently unavailable. However, such research is ongoing in many
research institutions in countries facing desertification.  Cooperative
research networks have been established on a regional or sub-regional
basis, e.g., the research network on multiple use tree species for arid and
semi-arid zones, of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions,
Silva Mediterranea, established in 1988, has been reactivated in November
1996 during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, within the framework of the
implementation of the CCD in that region.

Impact of Air-borne Pollution on Forests

169.The assessment and reduction of the impact of air-borne pollution on
forests was considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests within
Category I, programme element 4, Fragile ecosystems affected by
desertification; and the impact of air-borne pollution on forests. The
following reviews progress since the last session of the IPF.

170. The following review of action since the final meeting of the Panel is
related to para. 50 of the IPF Report (original text shown in italics). 

171.The 14th Meeting of the Task Force of the UN/ECE International
Cooperative Programme on the Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution
Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) was held in May 1998, and the annual
report on Forest Condition in Europe of the ECE Executive Body for the
Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution is expected to be
published in June 1998.

(a)   Encouraged countries to adopt a preventative approach to the
reduction of damaging air pollution, which may include long-range
transboundary air pollution, in national strategies for sustainable
development

172.No new national strategies have been developed for the prevention of
air-borne pollution or for the reduction of trans-boundary pollution that
causes damages to trees. There are, however, new draft EU regulations on
sulphur emissions.

(b)   Encouraged countries to strengthen international cooperation for
building scientific knowledge

173.The annual report on Forest Condition in Europe based on work carried
out since 1988 in 11 countries of western Europe and since 1992 in all
climatic regions of Europe, reported on crown condition in 1996.  While the
two time series of the crown condition survey do not aim to link directly
cause and effect, they do give an indication of trends and, with external
data, help draw conclusions on the dependence of crown condition on
external factors.

(c)   Recommended that existing regional programmes monitoring the impact
of airborne pollution on forest health in affected countries should
continue and be extended to other regions where necessary

174.The work of the ICP Forests has continued, involving European and North
American countries.  The 14th Meeting of the Task Force, referred to above,
will consider strategies both for the further implementation of the ICP
Forests programme and for the scientific evaluation of the Level II data.

(d)   Encouraged the development of methods for the assessment and
monitoring of national-level criteria and indicators for airborne
pollutants in the context of sustainable forest management

175.Good progress has been made in the translation of theory into practice
in terms of the critical loads approach.  Thirty two countries
participating in the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution
(LRTAP) presented reports and revised critical loads maps for various
ecosystems in January 1998 to the Coordination Centre for Effects, which
may be used as a guide to a NOx protocol of the Convention. 

(e)   Recommended countries to consider entering into international
agreements, as appropriate, on the reduction of long-range transboundary
air pollution.

176.No information on progress is available so far.

Needs and Requirements of Developing and Other Countries with Low Forest
Cover (CLFC)

Need for more precise identification of countries categorized as countries
with low forest cover 

177.The nineteenth session of UNEP Governing Council, 27 January - 7
February 1997, by Decision GC.19/22 the Environment Fund budgets, approved
the revised proposals for 1996 -1997 and proposals for 1998 - 1999 which
includes activities for follow-up to the work of the IPF.  IFF Programme
Element II.d Needs and Requirements of Countries with Low Forest Cover is
reflected in UNEP■s sub-programme 1.2 on Caring for Biological Resources as
one of the priority activities.

178. UNEP has prepared a questionnaire and collated all available
definitions of Low Forest Cover (LFC) as background material.  The
questionnaire and the background material have been circulated for comments
to governments, NGOs, research institutes and other relevant institutions. 
IUFRO in collaboration with FAO will develop definition of LFC and a
revised list of CLFC based on the definition of LFC.  UNEP will facilitate
an inter-agency consultation to discuss the definition of LFC and the
revised list. The outcome of all these activities will be included in
UNEP's input to  the Secretary-General's report for substantive discussions
at IFF III.

Financial assistance

179.Financial resources needed for sustainable forest management of all
types of forests is substantial.  However, new and additional resources are
not seen forthcoming as expected, despite the commitments made at Rio. The
situation in the least developed countries with low forest cover is
particularly serious.  For further details, please refer to document
E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..related to IFF programme element II.a, as well as to the
section related to ODA under national forest programmes.

Technology transfer and capacity-building and information

180.The common feature in many countries is that available environmentally
sound technologies are not being sufficiently pursued and implemented.
However, while better implementation of improved technologies shows a great
potential for enhancing sustainable forest management, technology is often
not the critical limiting factor and not every constraint to SFM can be
alleviated by the transfer of technology.  For further details, please
refer to document E/CN.17/IFF/1998/.. related to IFF programme element II.c

Assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests 

181.At its fourth session, the IPF made a number of  proposals for action
on items related to the assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of
forests.  A list of activities and intiatives, denoting the advances made
against these proposed actions, is given below:

(a)   need for countries to integrate national level criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management in national forest assessments including
qualitative indicators where appropriate

182.Please refer to the overview provided in the section on Criteria and
Indicators for sustainable forest management.
 
(b)   need to improve national forest resources assessment, forest
statistics and the capacity to analyse and make proper use of forest
resources information

183.A number of national and sub-regional capacity-building workshops and
expert consultations have been held or are scheduled to take place
including:
-   FAO country capacity building workshop for FRAs in India;
-   FAO country capacity building workshop for FRAs in Viet Nam (including
    Cambodia and Laos); 
-   SIDA country capacity building workshop in Sweden for Lesotho, S. Africa,
    Uganda, Laos, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Tanzania with expert
    presentations by FAO;
-   expert consultation in Africa for assessing country capacity needs in 5
    countries for FRAs;
-   expert consultation in Latin America for assessing country capacity needs
    for FRAs in 5 countries;
-   draft mission statement initiated for country capacity building in FRAs;
-   regional lead center for country capacity building in FRAs established in
    India by FAO;
-   UN ECE workshops for country correspondents from industrialized countries
    in the development of statistical information sets for these countries in
    support of FRA 2000;

(c)  need to strengthen research on forest inventory and monitoring
techniques  with a view to expanding the scope and improving the quality of
forest assessments

184.Action taken includes:

-   proposal has been made to SIDA/Sweden for a joint SIDA-FAO revision of the
    FAO Forest Inventory Manual;
-   for FRA 2000, technique is under development for assessing forests
    available for wood supply and deforestation processes in developing
    countries, through advances in GIS and remote sensing technology

(d) need to include a broad range of forest values, including non-timber
values, consistent with the recommendations of the Kotka III meeting and
with due regard to the requirements arising from internationally or
regionally agreed criteria and relevant indicators for sustainable forest
management

185.Action taken includes:

-   progress has been made in collection of a core set of information on this
    parameter for all developing and industrialized countries

(e) need for FAO to collaborate with international organizations, countries
and other organizations with competence in assessments, and to share the
results of  the assessment effectively with the international community

186.Action taken includes:

-  FAO has contacted all developing countries and requested them to share
   information on their forest resources and to participate in FRA 2000
-  UN ECE has contacted all industrialized countries and requested them to
   share information on their forest resources and to participate in FRA 2000
-  FAO and UN ECE continue their cooperation on FRA 2000
-  Memorandum of Understanding has been established between UNEP and FAO for
   FRA 2000 implementation in Africa
-  Collaboration between FAO and ECE to produce a global set of information
   for industrialized and developing countries is continuing
-  Memorandum of Understanding has been formalized between WCMC and FAO for
   execution of FRA 2000
-  Memorandum of Understanding formalized between EROS Data Center and FAO for
   global mapping work of FRA 2000
-  Negotiations for cooperation in FRA 2000 are underway with other partners
   including the US Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical
   Agriculture, CATIE
-  Project Document for FRA 2000 is being funded by Sida/Sweden
   Project Document for FRA 2000 is being funded by The Swiss Government
-  A prototype system is being developed for electronic information dissemination
-  A global strategic plan for Global Forest Resources Assessments has been    
   developed
-  Two separate workshops for North American and European Partners were held
   jointly by FAO, the US Forest Service and National Forest Inventory of France

(f)  need to formulate an internationally acceptable set of definitions of
key terms used in the assessment of all types of forests and their
resources, and to promote their adoption

187.Action taken includes:

-  Core set of harmonised definitions for forest and related aspects of
   forests have been developed for global reporting of FRA 2000
-  Ongoing work to harmonize definitions for forestry is continuing within FAO 
   and with external cooperators such as WCMC, the European Union and The 
   World Bank

(g) address the need for better coordination and  avoidance of overlap between
forest and other related information systems and for clearer prioritization in
data collection

188.Action taken includes:

-  FAO will participate in a forum to address the issue of information
   systems, sponsored by IUFRO
-  Coordination of data collection for forestry, to support FRA and other
   programmes, is continuing through the European Union Project managed by FAO
   Forestry Department

(h) encourage countries to begin a consultation process with all interested
parties at national, sub-national and local levels, to identify the full range
of benefits a given society derives from forests, taking the ecosystem approach
fully into consideration

189.Action taken includes:

-  An "Area Production Model" to model different forest use scenarios given a
   variety of different conditions and parameters at the local forest
   management level was developed, and training in modeling was conducted in
   FAO Country Capacity Building workshops in India
-  progress has been made toward developing a global ecological map for FRA
   2000 for identifying trends, processes and problems within a broad class of
   ecological regions

190.The Fourth COP of the CBD (Bratislava, May 1998) in its decision IV/7
on forest biological diversity invites FAO to further integrate forest
biological diversity considerations into its ongoing work with FRA 2000.

Forest Research

191.In response to IPF■s proposals for action and in support of the IFF
process, the governments of Indonesia and Austria, assisted by IUFRO (the
world's oldest NGO concerned with forests), CIFOR, FAO and the IFF
Secreatriat, have organised an international expert consultation on "Research and
Information Systems in Forestry" (ICRIS) to be held in Austria
from September 4-11. Participants in this consultation will include policy-
makers and senior scientists,  representatives from countries of both North
and South, international and regional organisations, major groups and  the
private sector. 

192.In addition, the Forestry Research Support Program for Asia and the
Pacific (FORSPA) organised an International Seminar on "Emerging
Institutional Arrangements for Forestry Research", assisted by FAO, IUFRO
and CIFOR in December 1997 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Methodologies for the Proper Valuation of the Multiple Benefits of Forests

193.The quest for valuation of forest services took a leap forward when the
Fourth COP of the FCCC, held in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, decided to
recognize the role of forests as a carbon sink. Some countries, including
for example Costa Rica,  have already taken steps towards compensating
forest owners for environmental services.  These may include services such
as scenic beauty for tourism, protection of watersheds, conservation of
biological diversity, and carbon sequestration and storage.  The World Bank
will prepare inputs related to this topic under IFF programme element II.d
for the substantive discussion in at IFF III in May 1999. In the meantime
the World Bank is engaged in the initiatives described below.

194.At the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in June
1997, the President of the World Bank announced the organization■s renewed
focus on the issues of forest loss and degradation. He noted that the Bank
could not be effective acting alone and would have to build partnerships
with others to help serve its country clients. As part of this renewed
focus on partnerships to address forest loss and degradation, the World
Bank is engaging in a series of initiatives. These initiatives include
activities under the recently created World Bank - World Wide Fund for
Nature (WWF) Alliance, a series of meetings convened by the President
between forest industry CEOs and environmental organizations, participation
as an active member of Forest Trends (formerly called the Forest Market
Transformation Initiative) and the World Bank■s role in the IFF/ITFF
process. 

195.The agreed targets commit the World Bank to work with others to support
countries to achieve (i) an additional 50 million hectares of new effective
forest protected areas plus a comparable area of existing reserves under
effective protection, and (ii) bring 200 million hectares of the world's
production forests under independently certified sustainable management, by
the year 2005.

World Bank-WWF Alliance

196.The WB-WWF Alliance was announced by the President of the World Bank at
UNGASS in June 1997 and a Memorandum of Understanding between the two
organizations was signed on April 28, 1998. The Alliance is an alliance of
global and local stakeholders whose efforts will be supported through the
WWF-Bank partnership. Within the Alliance■s framework, the World Bank and
WWF will work with governments, the private sector and civil society to
significantly reduce the loss and degradation of all forest types worldwide. More
specifically, the Alliance will promote forest conservation and adoption of
internationally recognized best-practices in forest management.

197.The Alliance is expected to support countries to achieve the targets
announced at UNGASS.  The Alliance will make every effort to achieve these
targets in a broad ecological range of forest types.  The Alliance also
embraces WWF's "forests for life" program which seeks commitments from key
forest countries to set aside by the year 2000 10% of their forest
ecosystems for conservation.

Forest Trends

198.The concept behind Forest Trends is the belief that market forces play
an increasing role in making forest product use ecologically, economically
and socially sustainable, and that a cohesive voice is needed that provides
both information and advocacy to being the message of market-based sustainability
to forest product producers, users and stakeholders. While there is a movement
towards improved forest management spurred by market trends, Forest Trends will
be an non-profit organization that aims to speed and smooth the transition by
coordinating and providing information and relationship brokering.

CEOs' ad hoc Forum

199.The President of the World Bank has been convening a series of meetings
with some of the CEOs of major international forest industries and
environmental NGOs to discuss strategies for the removal of barriers to
improved forest protection and management. Informally known as the CEOs ad
hoc forum, the participants at the first meeting, held on January 9 1998,
agreed to continue meeting as long as the process continued to "contribute
to an understanding of the issues and practical initiatives to assist in
the preservation and better use of the world's forests." At this meeting,
the participants agreed that they would form working groups to study
agreed-upon key elements of this global forest problem. 

Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management

200.In follow-up to commitments made at UNCED, a large number of countries
have participated in international processes aimed at the definition of
criteria for sustainable forest management. Corresponding indicators are
also under development to help quantitatively and qualitatively define
these criteria and to allow countries to analyze and monitor the effects of
forest management interventions over time, with a view to their gradual
improvement to meet defined country level goals and  international
commitments.

(a) countries and international agencies concerned to strengthen on-going
activities aimed at sustainable forest management within the framework of
national forest programmes

201.Interest in the development, testing and implementation of criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management has steadily grown, as evidenced by
the dynamic activities carried out within the framework of a number of presently
on-going regional and eco-regional initiatives, which include: the Pan-European
(Helsinki) Process, the Montreal Process, the Tarapoto Proposal, the Dry-Zone
Africa Process, the  Near East Process, the Central American Process of
Lepaterique, and the use and further development of the criteria for the
measurement of sustainable tropical forest management elaborated within the
framework of the ITTO. A summary of the main on-going international initiatives
is given in Table 1.

Table 1

Summary of Main On-going International Initiatives on Criteria and
Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management

Process      Number of  Number of  Number of   Forest Area     Forest 
             Countries  Criteria   Indicators  (thousands of   Type/Zone
                                                 hectares)*

Pan-            37         6/6**       27          904 577     Temperate
European
and Boreal

Montreal        12          7          67        1 500 000   Boreal and temperate

Tarapoto         8          7/4       47/22        540 000     Humid tropical 
                                                               (Amazon Basin)

Dry-Zone        27          7          47          278 021    Sub-Saharan 
Africa                                                           dry-zone

Near East       30          7          65           69 895      Dry-zone

Central          7          7         40/42         19 631       All types
America

ITTO            25         5/6        27/23       1 305 046   Humid tropical


ITTO is presently reviewing and revising the originally specified "ITTO
Criteria for Sustainable Tropical Forest Management", with due attention to
recent trends and international developments in the field. A document on
"Criteria and Indicators for the Measurement of Sustainable Management of
Natural Tropical Forests" is under prepararion.
-----------------------------
*  The "Forest Area" shown in this column should be interpreted only as a general
indication of the order of magnitude of the area which could, potentially, be
included in sustainable forest management activities by countries concerned,
using the criteria and indicators which have been agreed upon within the
international processes in which they participate.  More accurately, the area
figurs might be considered as a demonstration of the challenge countries face to
sustainably manage their forests in accordance with present-day concepts.

** The first of the fitures separated by a slash (/) refers to national level
criteria and indicators; the second figure refers to forest management unit
level.
--------------------------------

At the Third Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe
held in Lisbon, Portugal 2-4 June 1998, Ministers responsible for forestry
adopted the six Pan-European criteria for sustainable forest management
developed by the thirty-seven collaborating countries and the European
Union. While it was noted that the corresponding indicators for sustainable
forest management were in need of continuing improvement, the Ministers
endorsed these and their implementation; they, furthermore, endorsed the
voluntary "Pan-European Operational Level Guidelines for Sustainable Forest
Management". The Ministers declared their interest to reinforce
collaboration with the Environment Ministerial Process, "Environment for
Europe", and endorsed the "Work Programme on the Conservation and Enhancement of
Biological and Landscape Diversity in Forest Ecosystems 1997-2000" elaborated
within its framework, undertaking to promote its implementation and future
revision. The Ministers Responsible for Forests declared their intention to take
national as well as cooperative action towards the implementation of the
proposals agreed upon at the final session of the IPF, including the actions
related to the implementation of sustainable forest management.

202.The Scientific Advisory Group, established within the framework of the
Pan-European Process, continued to provide advice and guidance to national
and forest management unit level efforts in the examination and implementation
of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, and provided
in-depth expert knowledge on issues referred to it.

203.Within the framework of the Montreal Process for criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management, which includes twelve developed and developing
countries in the northern and southern temperate and boreal zone outside of
Europe, efforts to examine and implement national level criteria and indicators
continue to be discussed in a series of meetings aimed at refining and expanding
information contained in the "First Approximation Report on Implementation",
published in August 1997 by its Technical Advisory Committee.

204.In 1997, all countries participating in the Montreal Process, met in
Seoul, Republic of Korea, and a regional meeting was also held in Argentina
with focus on implementation of criteria and indicators for sustainable
forest management in the participating Southern Cone Countries (Argentina,
Chile, Uruguay).

205.With a view to further develop the Tarapoto Proposal at global, regional,
national and forest management unit level, participating countries have over the
past years organized a series of "National Consultations for Validation", in
which the relevance of the criteria and the applicability of the indicators
developed within the framework of the process were analyzed and systematically
evaluated in the light of economic, ecological, social, political and
institutional conditions and needs in the eight countries concerned. This process
is expected to lead to a regional consensus for the implementation of criteria
and indicators for sustainable forest management in the Amazon Cooperation Treaty
countries.

206.Following recommendations of the FAO/UNEP Expert Meeting on Criteria and
Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management for the Near East, held in Cairo,
Egypt in October 1996 and endorsed in principle by the 12th Session of the Near
East Forestry Commission later the same month, FAO assisted the thirty countries
in the region to organize a follow-up workshop held at the FAO Regional Office
for the Near East in Cairo in June/July 1997. Regional organizations, including
the Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) and the Arab
Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD), participated in the meetings
and provided policy level support to activities in the region.

207.Following recommendations of the UNEP/FAO Expert Meeting on Criteria and
Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management for Dry-Zone Africa held in Nairobi,
Kenya in November 1996 and endorsed in principle by the 10th Session of the
African Forestry and Wildlife Commission later the same month, UNEP and FAO
assisted the twenty-seven African countries with forest areas falling within this
ecological zone in the organization of a follow-up workshop held at UNEP
Headquarters, Nairobi in November 1997. 

208.Within the framework of the Central American Process of Lepaterique
coordinated by the Central American Commission on Environment and
Development (CCAD) through its Technical Secretariat, the Central American
Council on Forests and Protected Areas (CCAB-AP), countries in the region
have both individually and collectively continued to review and test the
regional, national and forest management unit level criteria and indicators
proposed.

(b) countries to clarify links and promote compatibility of criteria and
indicators employed at the national and the sub-national or forest management
unit/operational levels

209.As noted by the IPF, the overall aim of the development of both
national and forest management unit level criteria and indicators is to
achieve better forest management over time. Forest management unit level
criteria and indicators should therefore be linked to the national level,
and the two levels must be mutually compatible. However, criteria and
indicators developed at these levels differ in concept and substance. The
national level indicators will contribute towards the development and
regular updating of policy instruments (laws, policies, regulations), while
trends in the indicators at the forest management unit level will help
adjust forest management prescriptions over time to meet established
national goals.

210.Forest management unit or operational level criteria and indicators
have been developed to complement national ones within the framework of a
number of the international initiativess mentioned above, including ITTO,
the Pan-European Process, the Tarapoto Proposal, the Central American
Process of Lepaterique and, to a lesser extent, the Near East and the Dry
Zone Africa Processes.

211.Furthermore, a number of agencies are involved in work dealing
exclusively with the forest management unit level. These include notably
the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which executes a
multi-year project focused on the identification and testing of  forest
management unit level criteria and indicators for sustainable forest
management.

212.The African Timber Organization (ATO) has over the past years been
active in identifying relevant criteria and indicators for sustainable
forest management through field testing at the forest management unit
level, with the main aim of developing  appropriate tools for classifying,
qualifying and certifying  forest management in its member nations.

213.In follow-up to the workshop, "Integrated Application of Sustainable
Forest Management Practices", sponsored by the Governments of Japan,
Canada, Mexico, Malaysia and held in partnership with FAO and ITTO in
Kochi, Japan in 1997 in support of the work programme of the IPF, a meeting
was organized in February 1998 by the Governments of Japan and Canada, with
the participation of FAO and ITTO entitled, "Model Forests for Field Level
Application of Sustainable Forest Management".  Subsequent meetings are
planned to be held in April 1998 in the USA and in October 1998 in Canada,
with the possibility of a further meeting in early 1999 in Japan. 

214.In collaboration with FAO and CIFOR, the International Union of
Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO), through its Inter-Divisional Task
Force on Sustainable Forest Management, is organizing an International
Conference on Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management in Melbourne,
Australia in August 1998 entitled, "Fostering Stakeholder Input to Advance
Development of Scientifically-Based Indicators".

(c) countries to become involved and, in so doing, to benefit from the
experience of already on-going processes. The donor community and international
and bilateral organizations to support such efforts, with special reference to
developing countries and countries with economies in transition

215.FAO continues to closely follow on-going work on criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management in close collaboration with national and
international partners, and to support efforts by countries and regions in
response to requests received, as well as to help disseminate information among
the various initiatives. In this regard, the XI World Forestry Congress, held 
in Antalya in October 1997, organized by the Government of Turkey in
collaboration with FAO, placed major emphasis on present-day concepts of
sustainable forest management, including presentations by representatives of all
major on-going processes.

216.One of the four main elements of the programme of work on forest biological
diversity recently adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity, in its decision IV/7, aims to develop methodologies to
advance the elaboration and implementation of criteria and indicator frameworks,
to improve capacities of countries to implement these frameworks and to
contribute to national and regional initiatives in the development of indicators
under the criteria for forest biological diversity. In this regard, coordination
with the IFF, and drawing upon existing and ongoing work at the national,
regional and international levels, was recognized as an important approach. Also
contained in the Programme of work is a review of specific indicators of forest
biological diversity that have been derived by the major ongoing international
processes related to sustainable forest management. The prioritization of related
activities should consider the development of indicators that are capable of
providing the most useful information on national or regional status and trends
of forest biological diversity.

Trade and Environment in Relation to Forest Products and Services

217.Trade is still a relatively small proportion of global timber
production. Nevertheless, there is a potential positive relationship
between trade in forest products and services and sustainable forest
management, and therefore a need to promote SFM through mutually supportive
trade and environmental policies.  For further details, please refer to
document E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..concerned with IFF programme element II.b.

IV. Assessment of Recent Developments 

Progress Through National Forest and Land-use Programmes

218.The focus on national forest programmes as a generic expression of a
wide variety of country led and country driven initiatives by all countries
and for all types of forests has led to a situation in which much wider
participation has been achieved concerning tropical, temperate and boreal
forests, in terms of engagement by both developed and developing countries,
as for example in the -Six-country initiative,■ and as reflected by the
significant number of industrialized countries presently engaged in putting
IPF■s proposals for action into practice at the national level.

219.At the same time, however, many countries, particularly the least
developed countries with low cover of forest and other wooded land, have
been left with little or no international support to their forest-related
activities.  The post-UNCED period saw ODA in support to national forest
programmes reaching a peak in 1993 with significant reductions ever since,
even taking into account forestry components in rural development
programmes. Financial and technical support for developing countries with
low forest cover is less likely to be satisfactory.

220.The three regional workshops organized by FAO in Asia and the Pacific,
Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean as well as recent meetings of
the Forestry Advisers Group have shown that some of the main avenues of support
- such as the TFAP - to national forest programmes of the past no longer exist,
and that new and innovative mechanisms will have to be created.  The
establishment of mainstream, decentralized, flexible and reliable support
mechnisms represent a major challenge for the international community.

221.Several initiatives with a specific focus on national forest
programmes, launched in the wake of the outcome of the IPF, are seeking to
create partnership arrangements between groups of donors and donor
countries on one hand, and sub-regional groups of developing countries on
the other.  This may lead to more long term and reliable supporting
arrangements as well as to increased South-South cooperation between
countries within a sub-region (Central America, the Amazon Cooperation
Treaty, the Congo Basin, CILSS, SADC, ASEAN, the Mekong Basin, etc.).

Underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation

222.Considerable new and comprehensive information on the underlying causes
of deforestation and forest degradation is expected to become available as
a result of a number of on-going initiatives:  the work and final report of
the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development; the planned
UNEP report entitled: In-depth Analysis of Underlying Causes and their
Regional Variances of Deforestation and Forest Degradation; Strategic and
Policy Options to address the Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest
Degradation; and the NGOs/Government of Costa Rica Initiative on Underlying
Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation to be hosted by Costa Rica
and organized by NGOs and the Government of Costa Rica in cooperation with
UNEP.

223.The conclusions of the global workshop will be reflected in UNEP■s
inputs to the Secretary-General's report for IFF III.

Traditional forest-related knowledge

224.The recent decisions of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity address important issues
related to TFRK, namely:

-  Decision IV/7, which adopted a programme of work on forest biological
diversity, aiming, inter alia, to identify traditional forest systems of
conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity and to
promote the wider use and role of TRFK in sustainable forest management and
the equitable sharing of benefits, in accordance with the provisions of the
Convention;

-  Decision IV/9, which established an ad hoc open-ended intersessional
working group on the implementation of Article 8(j) and related provisions
to, inter alia, provide advice as a priority on the application and
development of legal and other appropriate forms of protection for the
knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities
embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity;

-  Decision IV/8, on matters related to benefit sharing, which established a
panel of experts appointed by Governments, composed of representatives from
the private and the public sectors as well as representatives of indigenous
and local communities. The mandate of this panel would be to draw upon all
relevant sources, including legislative, policy and administrative
measures, best practices and case studies on access to genetic resources
and benefit sharing arising from the use of those genetic resources.
Decision IV/8 also requests the financial mechanism of the Convention to
give special emphasis to the programme priorities to fund initiatives by
eligible Parties, such as, inter alia, within biodiversity projects, other
specific benefit sharing initiatives, such as support for entrepreneurial
developments by local and indigenous communities, facilitation of financial
sustainability of projects promoting the sustainable use of genetic
resources, and appropriate targeted research components;

-  Decision IV/15, on the Relationship of the Convention with the Commission
on Sustainable Development and biodiversity-related conventions, other
international agreements, institutions and processes of relevance, which
emphasized that further work is required to help develop a common
appreciation of the relationship between intellectual property rights
relevant provisions of the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights and the CBD, in particular on issues relating
to technology transfer and conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the
use of genetic resources, including the protection of knowledge,
innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying
traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity. Furthermore, decision IV/9 invited the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)  to take into account the
lifestyles and the traditional systems of access and use of the knowledge,
technologies and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying
traditional lifestyles relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity in its work and the relevant recommendations of the
COP. It further requested the CBD Executive Secretary to seek ways,
including the possibility of negotiating a memorandum of understanding with
WIPO, to enhance cooperation between CBD and WIPO on issue s arising from
Article 8(j) and related provisions. 

225.Expected outcomes include, inter alia: 

- The analysis of human impacts on forest ecosystems, as well as an enhanced
ability to prioritise research needs and apply results and an enhanced
understanding of the role of traditional knowledge in ecosystem management
to minimize or mitigate negative influences, and to promote the positive
effects;
-  The expansion of research capacity to develop and assess options
incorporating the applications of traditional knowledge to minimize or
mitigate negative influences, and to promote the positive effects;
-  A better understanding of the ecosystem approach as it relates to forest
biological diversity, and an elaboration of the linkages to other work
under the CBD, including the incorporation of Article 8(j).

Fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought

226.The overall situation reflects only a limited number of new
initiatives. It should be noted however that significant activities were
already ongoing in many countries and are included in the programmes of
several international organizations. Some collaborative activities are
under negotiation between the CCD Secretariat and UN Agencies such as FAO
and IFAD.

227.National action to address issues related to dryland forest ecosystems
in countries affected by desertification and drought, have been reinforced
by parallel processes centered on i) developments related to sustainable
forest management; ii) the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat
Desertification; iii) national environmental planing; iv) various
regional/national planning frameworks supporting development, village land
resources management and natural resources development.  International
organizations have supported these processes and several regional meetings
and workshops have been organised.

228.Many initiatives have been taken at country level regarding analysis of
past experience, education, training, extension, participatory research,
local knowledge, participatory management in the framework of the revision
of their policies. Many countries are engaged in the revision of their
forestry education curricula to better address the topic of the role of
forestry in combatting desertification.
     
229.The strengthening of partnerships between local communities, the
Government, NGOs and other groups is one of the key components of the
implementation of the CCD and is already underway in each country engaged
in the NAP exercise, very often supported by international organizations.
     
230.Research related to multiple use tree species in arid zones is ongoing
in many research institutions in countries facing desertification and
cooperative research networks have been established on a regional or sub-
regional basis.

Impact of Air-borne Pollution on Forests

231.The 14th Meeting of the Task Force of the UN/ECE International
Cooperative Programme on the Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution
Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) was held in May 1998, and the annual
report on Forest Condition in Europe of the ECE Executive Body for the
Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution was published in June
1998.  Results and conclusions, however, were not available at the time of
preparation of the present report.

232.No new national strategies for the prevention of air-borne pollution
causing damage to trees have been developed, nor for the reduction of
damaging trans-boundary pollution.  There is, however, new draft EU
regulation on sulphur emissions.

233.The work of the ICP Forests has continued, involving European and North
American countries.  The 14th Meeting of the Task Force considered strategies
both for the further implementation of the ICP Forests programme and for the
scientific evaluation of the Level II data.

234.Good progress has been made in Europe concerning the translation of
theory into practice in terms of the critical loads approach. However,
information is unavailable on similar processes being initiated in other
regions.

Needs and requirements of developing and other countries with low forest cover

235.Work has been initiated by UNEP on available definitions of Low Forest
Cover.  This will be considered by IUFRO in collaboration with FAO will
develop definition of LFC and a revised list of CLFC based on the definition of
LFC.  UNEP will facilitate an inter-agency consultation to discuss the definition
of LFC and the revised list. The outcome of all these activities will be included
in UNEP's input to  the Secretary-General's report for substantive discussions
at IFF III.

Financial assistance

236.Despite the increasing trend of private capital flows to developing
countries, the decline in official international capital is a matter of
serious concern because long-term development aid catalyzes and complements
private investments.  For further details, please refer to document
E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..concerned with IFF programme element II.a.

Technology transfer and capacity-building and information

237.Implementation of sustainable forest management has been slow in many
countries, partly due to insufficient awareness and appreciation of the
potential benefits that can be derived from the use of environmentally
sound and socially acceptable technologies.  There has been insufficient
efforts in comprehensive assessment of technology generation and needs. For
further details, please refer to document E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..concerned with
IFF programme element II.c.

Assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests 

238.A number of national and sub-regional capacity-building workshops and
expert consultations have been held or are scheduled to take place. These
will contribute to the quality of national level forest resource
assessments and for FRA 2000.

239.Under FRA 2000, a revision is planned of the FAO Forest Inventory
Manual, and techniques are being developed for assessing forests available
for wood supply and deforestation processes in developing countries through
advances in GIS and remote sensing technology.

240.Progress is being made in the collection of core set of information on
a broad range of forest values, including non-timber values for all
developing and industrialized countries.

241.Memoranda of Understanding have been developed between FAO and a number
of key international organizations, countries and other organizations with
competence in assessments to contribute to FRA 2000 and to share the
results of the assessment effectively with the international community.  A
global strategic plan for Global Forest Resources Assessments has been
developed.

242.A core set of harmonised definitions for forest and related aspects of
forests has been developed for global reporting of FRA 2000, and progress
has been made on the harmonization of definitions for forestry within FAO
and external cooperators such as WCMC, the European Union and The World
Bank.  A forum is being proposed to address the issue of information
systems sponsored by IUFRO.

243.It remains clear that developing countries need technical and financial
assistance in many cases to enhance their capacity to conduct forest
resources assessments and to use the information for planning sustainable
forest management.

244.While total funding has not been achieved for FRA 2000, core
information on forest area, volume and biomass are well supported, as are
the global maps and information on protected areas and some other special
studies.  Current regular programme resources amount to about US $950,000
annually and total extrabudgetary resources are at about US $4.5 million,
with an annual spending of about US $1.3 million. Cost sharing initiatives
are also being implemented with various organizations, including the US
Government and the European Union.  However, several components of FRA 2000
are still unfunded, in particular the remote sensing programme for which no
extra-budgetary resources have been received.

Forest research

245.Renewal and redefinition is needed in forest science. A work plan for a
new international network on forest research should be modelled on the
research agenda presented and discussed during the IPF. The Indonesia-
Austria initiative (ICRIS) has commissioned papers to review the state of
knowledge in particular areas, and synthesised to produce comprehensive
reports which also identify gaps to be filled by further inter-disciplinary
research.

246.It is imperative that the eventual clients of forest research have
involvement not only in the identification of research topics but also in
the conduct of the research activities.  The new broad international
concern of societies about forest issues requires a re-examination of
forest research institutions. Is the culture of forest research changing
already or are new initiatives  needed to create a new "culture".  What
types of new approaches and new alliances are needed now and for the
future? Equal emphasis should be placed on how research gets done and on
what is done. 

247. The ICRIS meeting is not intended to produce a -shopping list of worthy
research topics■ according to today■s perception of what is needed and what
is possible.  It is planned to be more like a brain-storming and consensus
building meeting, than a planning session. A mechanism to disburse
international funds to support the high-priority, collaborative research
activities will be required, and this is also a major focus of the agenda
at the ICRIS meeting. It is envisaged that, although new and additional
research funds could be very productively employed, significant
improvements in the quality and relevance of research can be achieved even
within existing funding levels.

248.The desired overall outcome of the ICRIS meeting is to prepare options
which will be presented to IFF3 for a new, effective mechanism for better
priority setting, conduct, application and funding of international forest
research, recognising the need for more, better and different forest
research to solve the "forest problems and dilemmas" recognised by IPF. The
meeting aims to design a mechanism which can consistently present the
donors with "investment opportunities in focussed research which will have
high impacts in forest development programmess."

Methodologies for the proper valuation of the multiple benefits of forests

249.The Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (FCCC) has provided a major incentive for countries to
engage in the valuation of forests as carbon sinks.  There is also growing
recognition of the need to quantify services provided by forests in areas
such as biological diversity, water and ecotourism.  The World Bank will
prepare inputs related to this topic under IFF programme element II.d for
the substantive discussion in at IFF III in May 1999.

Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management

250. Since Rio, a large number of countries have participated in
international processes aimed at the definition of criteria for sustainable
forest management. Such criteria have proven to be useful tools in country-
driven efforts to incorporate a wide array of forest-derived values within
a common conceptual framework. Corresponding indicators are also under
development to help quantitatively and qualitatively define these criteria
and to allow countries to analyze and monitor the effects of forest
management interventions over time, with a view to their gradual
improvement to meet defined country level goals and  international
commitments.

251.Interest in the development, testing and implementation of criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management has steadily grown, as
evidenced by the dynamic activities carried out within the framework of a
number of presently on-going regional and eco-regional initiatives, which
include: the Pan-European (Helsinki) Process, the Montreal Process, the
Tarapoto Proposal, the Dry-Zone Africa Process, the  Near East Process, the
Central American Process of Lepaterique, and the use and further
development of the criteria for the measurement of sustainable tropical
forest management elaborated within the framework of the ITTO.

252.Forest management unit or operational level criteria and indicators
have been developed to complement national ones within the framework of a
number of the international initiativess mentioned above, including ITTO,
the Pan-European Process, the Tarapoto Proposal, the Central American
Process of Lepaterique and, to a lesser extent, the Near East and the Dry
Zone Africa Processes.

253.Efforts should be continued to help countries presently not actively
collaborating in the international criteria and indicators initiatives to
join these activities. 

254.While work on conceptualization and the elaboration of criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management has progressed rapidly, and
while a number of countries have reviewed and initiated a process to test
and adapt these to national conditions within corresponding regional or
eco-regional frameworks, increased efforts are urgently needed in country-
level implementation of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest
management.  Countries which have advanced in respect to implementation
should be encouraged to share their experiences and to assist others.

255.There is a need to ensure continued dialogue among on-going and new and
emerging initiatives over the coming years, and to ensure that criteria and
indicators developed and implemented by countries within the framework of
these processes are mutually compatible and that they contribute towards a
common understanding of issues at stake.

256.Strengthened efforts are needed by countries concerned to ensure
compatibility of criteria and indicators implemented at national level and
those being developed at the forest management unit level.

Trade and Environment in Relation to Forest Products and Services

257.Recent developments may pose both new opportunities for and challenges
to sustainable forest management.  These include illegal trade, species
extinction, recent market trends and their implications for SFM, and
international obligations and agreements.  For further details, please
refer to document E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..concerned with IFF programme element
II.b.


V. Conclusions and Preliminary Proposals for Action

258.It should be noted that, in several cases, the following conclusions
and proposals for action are not new, but only reflect a need to focus on
particular aspects of the proposals for action of the IPF in the light of
the experiences gained since February 1997.

Progress Through National Forest and Land-use Programmes

Conclusions

259.There is now an intergovernmental consensus on the need for
comprehensive forest policy frameworks or national forest programmes
including the tropical, temperate and boreal forest regions, and engagement
by all countries.  In addition to many developing countries, a significant
number of industrialized countries are presently engaged in putting IPF■s
proposals for action into practice at the national level through a revision
of their national forest programme.

260.Some of the main avenues of the past international support to the
formulation and implementation of national forest programmes in developing
countries no longer exist, and new and innovative mechanisms will have to
be created.  The establishment of mainstream, decentralized, flexible and
reliable support mechnisms, in particular for the least developed countries
with low forest cover, represent a major challenge for the international
community.

Preliminary Proposals for Action

261.The Forum may wish to consider:

a.    Encourage all countries to continue the implementation of the IPF■s
      proposals for action in the context of their revised national forest
      programmes;
b.    Urge the international donor community and international
      organizations to further develop mainstream financial and technical
      assistance mechanisms for support to national forest programmes in
      developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, in
      particular in countries with low forest cover and with fragile forest
      ecosystems;
c.    Encourage countries and international organizations to analyse
      potential synergies at national level between national forest
      programmes and requirements under the CBD, the CCD, the FCCC, and
      other instruments;
d.    Urge countries and international organizations to create and/or
      strengthen partnership agreements to encourage: long term political
      commitment; relevant, effective, sustained and reliable donor
      support; to facilitate participation by the private sector and major
      groups; and to recognize the special role of ODA to meet the needs of
      countries with low forest cover where the private sector is less
      likely to invest.

Underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation

262.The conclusions of the experts meeting, co-sponsored by the NGOs, the
Government of Costa Rica and UNEP on underlying causes of deforestation and
forest degradation, will be reflected in UNEP■s inputs to the Secretary-
General's report on this topic for substantive discussion at IFF III.

Traditional forest-related knowledge

263.In accordance with decision IV/7 of the Conference of the Parties to
the Convention on Biological Diversity, the CBD Executive Secretary, in
implementing the work programme on forest biological diversity, will
actively continue collaboration and cooperation with the IFF secretariat
and relevant institutions. In this regard, the CBD Executive Secretary is
requested to transmit COP decision IV/7 to the IFF at its second meeting.

Fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought

Conclusions

264.While only a limited number of new initiatives have been launched since
IPF, a significant number of activities were already ongoing in many
countries.  These are included in the programmes of several international
organizations in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention to
Combat Desertification (CCD).

Preliminary Proposals for Action

265.The Forum may wish to consider:

a.    Encourage the close coordination of activities related to national
      forest programmes with the implementation of the United Nations
      conventions on climate change, biological diversity and, in
      particular, combatting desertification;
b.    Consider the special needs for forest-related ODA of countries
      affected by desertification and drought.

Impact of Air-borne Pollution on Forests

Conclusions

266.There are lessons to be learnt from the experience of forest decline
worldwide and from the on-going monitoring of the effects on forests of 
air-borne pollution in general and of certain types of emissions, such as
sulphur, in particular. The need and possibilities for extension of monitoring
to areas not presently covered should be considered. There is also a need to
encourage specific national commitments to the further reduction of emissions of
damaging air-borne pollution, especially by countries not presently within the
LRTAP Convention. The need for further research to strengthen analysis of the
available data, and promote cooperation between research and monitoring of
pollutant depositions needs consideration. There is a need for further
dissemination of information to the public and for access to data for potential
users, such as forest managers and policy-makers.

Preliminary Proposals for Action

267.The Forum may wish to consider:

a.    Review lessons learnt from the experience of forest decline worldwide
      and from the on-going monitoring of the effects on forests of  air-
      borne pollution in general, and of certain types of emissions, such
      as sulphur, in particular;
b.    Consider the possibilities for the extension of monitoring to areas
      not presently covered, and encourage national commitments to the
      further reduction of emissions of damaging air-borne pollution,
      especially by countries not presently within the LRTAP Convention;
c.    Emphasize the need for further research to strengthen the analysis of
      available data, and the need for the coordination and promotion of
      cooperation in research and monitoring of pollutant depositions;
 d.   Consider the need for further dissemination of information to the
      public and access to data for potential users, such as forest
      managers and policy-makers.

Needs and requirements of developing and other countries with low forest cover

268.The outcome of the various on-going activities under this IPF programme
element will be included in UNEP's input to  the Secretary-General's report
for substantive discussions at IFF III.

Financial assistance

269.Preliminary proposals for action include: a call for increased ODA for
SFM in developing countries; consider emerging revenue sources of forests,
increased rent capture, increased private investment; and review of the GEF
mechanism in relation to the proposal to establish an international forest
fund.  For further details, please refer to document
E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..concerned with IFF programme element II.a.

Technology transfer and capacity-building and information

270.Preliminary proposals for action include a comprehensive assessment of
technology needs, increased south-south and trilateral cooperation, and
consideration of modern wood energy technologies as a follow-up to the
Kyoto Protocol.  For further details, please refer to document
E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..concerned with IFF programme element II.c.

Assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests 

Conclusions

271.A number of national, sub-regional, regional and global level
activities in progress will contribute to the quality of national level
forest resource assessments as well as for FRA 2000 mainly through improved
country capacity building.  It remains clear that developing countries need
technical and financial assistance in many cases to enhance their capacity
to conduct forest resources assessments and to use the information for
planning sustainable forest management.

272.Progress is being made in the collection of a core set of information
on a broad range of forest values, including non-timber values for all
developing and industrialized countries.

273.Several components of FRA 2000 are still unfunded, in particular the
remote sensing programme for which no extra-budgetary resources have been
received.

Preliminary Proposals for action

274.The Forum may wish to consider:

a.    Examine capacity building needs for forest resources assessment in
      developing countries;
b.    Consider the needs for funding of components of FRA2000 which are
      still inadequately funded;
c.    Encourage and support the strengthening of partnerships and
      information sharing mechanisms related to the assessment of the
      multiple benefits of all types of forests.

Forest research

275.Strengthening and redefinition of priority areas in forest science is
needed. The involvement of the eventual clients of forest research not only
in the identification of research topics but also in the conduct of the
research activities is critical to improve the application of research
outputs.  The new broad international concern of societies about the nature
and range of forest issues requires a re-examination of forest research
institutions, as well as of the -culture■ of forest research. What type of
new approaches and new alliances are needed now and for the future? Equal
emphasis should be placed on how research gets done as on what is done. 

Preliminary Proposals for action

276.CIFOR will prepare inputs for IFF III based on inter alia the ICRIS
expert consultation

Methodologies for the proper valuation of the multiple benefits of forests

277.Only limited progress has been made on this topic since IPF.  The
proposals for action, formulated by the IPF are still valid and need to be
implemented. The Kyoto Protocol, the increasing concerns over water
scarcity and over conservation and use of biological diversity, together
with the growing revenues from ecotourism, have provided further evidence
of the importance of the proper valuation of the environmental and other
services provided by forests.

Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management

Conclusions

278.International processes aimed at the definition of criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management have made significant
progress. Criteria and indicators for SFM have proven to be useful tools in
country-driven efforts to incorporate a wide array of forest-related values
within a common conceptual framework.

279.Operational level criteria and indicators, applicable at the forest
management unit level have been developed to complement national C&I within
the framework of eight international initiatives.

280.There is still a very significant number of countries which are not at
present actively participating in the international criteria and indicators
initiatives. 

281.Increased efforts are urgently needed at country- and forest management
unit level implementation of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest
management.

282.There is a need to ensure continued dialogue among on-going and new and
emerging initiatives and to ensure that criteria and indicators developed
and implemented by countries within the framework of these processes are
mutually compatible and that they contribute towards a common understanding
of sustainable forest management.

Preliminary Proposals for Action

283.The Forum may wish to consider:

a.    Emphasize the need to continue efforts to assist countries which are
      not at present actively participating in the international criteria
      and indicators initiatives to engage in these activities;
b.    Urge countries to increase efforts aimed at country-level
      implementation of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest         
      management.  Countries which have advanced in respect to implementation  
      should be encouraged to share their experiences and to assist others;
c.    Encourage and support continued dialogue among on-going and new and
      emerging initiatives, and ensure that criteria and indicators
      developed and implemented by countries within the framework of these
      processes are mutually compatible and that they contribute towards a
      common understanding of sustainable forest management.  The
      development of joint brochures and work on common terminology needs
      to be continued;
d.    Encourage countries concerned to ensure compatibility of criteria and
      indicators implemented at national level and those being developed at
      the forest management unit level;
e.    Encourage and support continued and increased efforts by
      international agencies and national institutes to streamline action
      related to criteria and indicators with national forest assessment
      and with FAO's Global Forest Resources Programme (FRA).

Trade and Environment in Relation to Forest Products and Services

284.Preliminary proposals for action include further reduction of tariff
and non-tariff barriers to trade in forest products, analyses of potential
competition between wood and non-wood substitutes, consider international
timber certification, and improve market transparency and intelligence. 
For further details, please refer to document E/CN.17/IFF/1998/..concerned
with IFF programme element II.b.

Overall Conclusion

285.Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests concluded its work in
February 1997, countries, international organizations, NGOs, and a
significant number of international fora have endorsed the outcome of the
IPF and called for the implementation of the proposals for action.  The
preliminary results of the many initiatives taken so far by a number of
countries and interested parties indicate that, although the proposals for
action do not constitute a formal and coherent plan of action, the
proposals "make sense" in the national context.  

286.There is, however, a clear need for continuing political support to
this process as well as increased international support to developing
countries, in particular to those who are not at present able to attract
private sector investment in forest and forest-related activities.

287.There is also a clear need to monitor and evaluate progress towards
sustainable forest management as provided under IFF programme element I.b.
Only through a long term process of monitoring and evaluating progress will
it be possible to make the necessary adjustments to on-going, and launch
additional, initiatives in support of the conservation, management and
sustainable development of all types of forests.

Preliminary Proposals for action

288.A key factor in the concerted efforts of supporting the overall
implementation of the IPF proposals for action is the facilitation,
catalysing and clearing house roles and functions of the members of the
informal, high level Interagency Task Force on Forests (ITFF). The Forum
may wish to call upon donor countries to:

a.    Support the ITFF Implementation Plan through a screening of project
      proposals in line with IPF's proposals for action and in agreement
      with the division of labour agreed within the ITFF;
b.    Involve ITFF members as partners in support programmes for
      implementation of IPF■s proposals for action at the national,
      regional and global levels; and
c.    Encourage interagency partnerships as a crucial supportive mechanism
      to use existing institutions and resources in the most cost-effective
      and efficient manner.

 


This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 5 December 1999 15:45:34
Comments and suggestions: DESA/DSD