United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

30 July 1998/WORKING DRAFT/BD.5

                           BACKGROUND DOCUMENT 5


                          UNDER EXISTING INSTRUMENTS

                              New York, July 1998

This non-official document is a working draft, distributed for information only.
It contains a preliminary analysis and inventory of relevant international
arrangements and mechanisms. The information contained in the document will be
sent for review and verification to all the international arrangements and
mechanisms mentioned in the document. 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.
It is envisaged that at a later stage, when input on its content had been
received, a final version will be prepared.



II.    INTRODUCTION          

Environment, Sustainable Development      
1.     Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially 
        as Waterfowl Habitat                   
2.     Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 
3.     Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 
4.     United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 
5.     Convention on Biological Diversity      
6.     United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 
Human Rights    
7.     Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent      
8.     Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and 
9.     International Tropical Timber Agreement 
10.  General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade / World Trade Organization

Environment, Sustainable Development      
11.  Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution 
12.  Treaty for Amazon Cooperation    
13.  Central American Convention on Forests.
14.  Lome' IV Convention         
15.  Alpine Convention           
Trade, Economic Integration      
16.  North American Free Trade Agreement
17.  Treaty Establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa 


18.  Forest Principles           
19.  Agenda 21               
20.  IPF Conlusions and Proposals for Action 
21.  Forest Partnership Agreements / National Forest Plans 
22.    Processes on Criteria and Indicators 






CBD          Convention on Biological Diversity
CEC          Commission for Environmental Cooperation (under NAAEC)
C&I          Criteria and Indicators
CITES        Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild   
             Fauna and  Flora
COMESA       Treaty establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern    
COP1, COP2 etc.     First Conference of the Parties, Second Conference of the  
                    Parties, etc. 
CSD          Commission on Sustainable Development
CSD1, CSD2 etc.     First Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, 
CTE          Committee on Trade and Environment (under WTO)
ECE          Economic Commission for Europe
EMEP         Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air   
             Pollution on Long-Term Financing of the Co-operative Programmes for 
             Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-Range Transmission of Air   
             Pollutants in Europe 
FAO          Food and Agriculture Organisation
FPA          Forest Partnership Agreement
GATT         General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GEF          Global Environmental Facility
IFF          Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
IFF1         First Session of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Forum on 
ILM          International Legal Materials
ILO          International Labour Organisation
IPF          Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests
IPF-I, IPF-II etc.  First Session of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on     
                    Forests, etc.
ISO          International Standards Organisation
ITTA         International Tropical Timber Agreement
ITTO         International Tropical Timber Organisation
IUCN         World Conservation Union
LRTAP        Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution 
MEA          Multilateral Environmental Agreement, International Environmental 
NAAEC        North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation
NAFTA        North American Free Trade Agreement
NFP          National Forest Plan
SFM          Sustainable forest management
TBT          Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade
TFRK         Traditional Forest Related Knowledge 
TRIPS        Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
UNCCD        United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
UNCED        United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNEP         United Nations Environment Programme
UNDP         United Nations Development Programme 
UNGA         United Nations General Assembly
UNGASS       Nineteenth Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly
UNFCCC       United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNTS         United Nations Treaty Series       
WTO          World Trade Organisation


This Background Document is prepared to facilitate the substantive
discussion of program element  II(e), "Further examine the forest-
related work being carried out by international and regional
organizations and under existing instruments to identify gaps and
overlaps", for the Second Session of the Ad hoc Open-ended
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF).  This Document is an
elaboration of United Nations document (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/11).

This Document is also highly relevant to the mandate of category
III of the IFF's programme of work.  The options presented in this
Document, may also be noted in light of the "consensus building"
and "engagement in further action" phases of category III,  The Note
from the Secretariat on category III is contained in United Nations
document (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/9).  This Document and the Secretary-
General's Report on programme element II.e (ii) may be seen as
useful complementary information to facilitate the substantive
discussion of category III at the Forum-s third session in May,

This Background Document reviews 21 existing international
instruments with relevance to forests.  First, it considers
seventeen instruments that are legally binding: of these, ten
instruments are global in scope, and seven are regional.  Second,
four non-legally binding instruments, considered most relevant and
constituting a holistic approach towards forests, are also
examined.  In addition this Document also includes a short overview of the
various criteria and indicator processes currently underway.  The
Document focuses not solely on the text of an instrument but also
takes into account its follow-up actions and practical
implementation. Third, in a set of four tables, the Document
attempts to chart the interrelationships between various
instruments and the functions of forests as well as the preconditions to
fulfill these functions.

For each instrument, the following items will be elaborated:
1) the nature, scope and objectives of the instrument;
2) its relevance to forests;
3) the cooperation and links with other forest-related instruments; and 
4) developments within the framework of the instrument with relevance to forests.

It is noted that besides the instruments cited here, there are many
more environmental agreements aimed at environmental conservation,
in particular at the regional level.  They may include habitat
protection and protection of particular species of fauna and flora,
such as the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and
Natural Habitats (1979); the Protocol Concerning Protected Areas
and Wild Fauna and Flora in het Eastern African Region (1985); and the
Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and
Environment of the South Pacific Region (1986).  While these
instruments are not included, an attempt has been made to include
a relevant and representative selection of those regional conventions
with most direct relevance to forests.  Similarly, not all economic
oriented regional treaties could be incorporated, although some of
them contain provisions of relevance to forests.  Also ongoing
negotiations on subjects with relevance to forests, such as the
revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic
Resources, fall outside the scope of this Background Document. 

It is understood that there is a difference between legally binding
and non-legally binding instruments.  Some instruments are not
binding because they have not entered into force yet; others are
not intended to be legally binding.  From a legal point of view, it is
difficult to compare the two categories.  This Background Document
somewhat disregards this legal reality in some instances, in order
to come to an analytical framework and a subject-oriented
comparison to arrive at an identification of gaps and overlaps of
international instruments of relevance to forests.

Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF)
The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) open-ended ad
hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) was established in 1995. 
It focused on 12 programme elements under five chapter headings,
under which category V entitled "International organizations and
multilateral institutions and instruments, including appropriate
mechanisms" a discussion on existing instruments took place. 
Category V was discussed substantively at the third and fourth
sessions of the IPF.  The final report of the IPF noted that there
are existing international legally binding instruments that are
relevant to forests, such as the Convention on Biological
Diversity, the Desertification Convention, CITES, ITTA, the Climate Change
Convention and the Ramsar Convention. Those instruments address
forest-related issues in a specific context, embody the concept of
sustainability, and address many cross-cutting issues that are
relevant to forests, such as financial resources, technology
transfer, trade, and traditional knowledge. IPF also noted that
these instruments do not deal comprehensively with all issues
relating to forests, including sustainable forest management

Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF)
At its nineteenth special session in June 1997, the General
Assembly decided to continue the intergovernmental policy dialogue on
forests through the establishment of an ad hoc open-ended Intergovernmental
Forum on Forests (IFF) under the aegis of the CSD. The UN Economic
and Social Council, by its resolution 1997/65, established the IFF
The IFF, at its organizational session in October 1997,  agreed on
its programme of work which includes programme element II.e on" forest related
work of organisations and under instruments" and Category III on  "International
arrangements and mechanisms to promote the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests."  The Forum should under II.e
"examine forest related work being carried out...under existing instruments" and
under category III "identify elements, build a global consensus and engage in
further action" and should also identify the possible elements of and work
towards a consensus on international arrangements and mechanisms, for example,
"a legally binding instrument on all types of forests."

At the Second Session of IFF, a substantive discussion of programme
element II.e and a background discussion on category III are
scheduled.  At its Third Session in May 1999, a substantive
discussion will take place on category III. Subsequently IFF will
finalize its report at its fourth session in February/March 2000
and transmit it to the Eight Session of the CSD. Based on that report
and depending on the decision taken by the Commission at its Eight
Session, the Forum will engage in further action on establishing an
intergovernmental negotiation process on new arrangements and
mechanisms or a legally binding instrument on all types of forests.


In this Chapter, seventeen international legally binding
instruments with relevance to forests will be discussed.  First, ten global
conventions are addressed (nos. 1-10) in the following three
categories: "Environment, Sustainable Development", "Human Rights"
and "Trade".  Within each category, the treaties are ordered
chronologically by date of adoption.  Subsequently, seven legally
binding instruments which are regional in scope are considered,
grouped in the sections -Environment, Sustainable Developments- and
"Trade, Economic Integration".


                   Environment, Sustainable Development

1. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
Especially as Waterfowl Habitat

Adoption:           2 February 1971 
Entry into force:   21 December 1975
Parties:            106  (03/1998)
Text:               996 UNTS (United Nations Treaty Series) 245
Website:            http://www2.iucn.org/themes/ramsar

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention

The Convention's mission is the conservation and wise use of wetlands by national
action and international cooperation.[Arts.1-3]  At present, there are 903 sites
designated as wetland of international importance.  The total surface area of
these designated sites is 67,9 million hectares.  

Relevance of the Convention to Forests

Wetlands include intertidal forested lands, including mangrove swamps, nipa
swamps, tidal freshwater swamp forests, and seasonally flooded forests. 

Cooperation and Links with Other Forest-related Instruments

Art.5 Ramsar refers to cooperation: Parties are obliged to consult
one another about the implementation of the convention, and
undertake to coordinate their policies on wetlands.  This is
further interpreted as covering development assistance and cooperation with
other conventions.  The Strategic Plan calls for cooperation to be
developed and strengthened with, inter alia, UNFCCC, World
Heritage, CITES and the CBD in particular. Wetland diversity is seen as an
important element of global biological diversity, as formulated in
para.13 of Resolution VI.9: "Invites Contracting Parties to
strengthen coordination of their approach to the two Conventions,
so that Ramsar can contribute in the field of wetlands to the
Convention on Biological Diversity's broader work on conservation
of global biological diversity" [emphasis added].  A Memorandum of
Cooperation between the Ramsar Bureau and the CBD Secretariat was
signed at 16 January 1996, and a by Ramsar proposed Joint Workplan
(March 1998) will be discussed at CBD COP4.  Also more cooperation
with the Council of Europe (Pan-European Biological and Landscape
Strategy), GEF and  NGOs is needed [Resolution VI.10].

The XI World Forestry Congress (October 1997) recommended that governments should
pay more attention to mangrove and coastal forest ecosystems. The Ramsar
Convention could be an appropriate forum to do so.

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 

The Ramsar Convention originally focussed exclusively on preserving
wetlands as waterfowl habitats, but has developed extensively over
time, via decisions of the COP, to acknowledge the importance of
wetlands for their biodiversity and their other ecological and
environmental functions.  The 6th Meeting of the Conference of the
Parties (1996) adopted the Strategic Plan 1997- 2002 of the Ramsar
Convention.  It stresses the need to integrate the conservation of
wetland biodiversity with sustainable development (considered
synonymous with the Convention's concept of "wise use") and health
and well-being of people everywhere. The Strategic Plan has two main purposes:
to encourage implementation of the treaty and its multitude of guidelines which
have been adopted over the years, and to involve as many actors as possible in
its implementation.  Some selected objectives of strategic plan are:
- Progress towards universal membership of Convention;
- Integrate economic use and sustainable development of wetlands,
  including informed participation of local communities,
  indigenous peoples and other stakeholders;
- Raise awareness of wetlands values and functions;
- Reinforce institutional capacity on national level; and
- Mobilize international cooperation and financial assistance in
  collaboration with other conventions and agencies

2.   Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and
     Natural Heritage

Adoption:           16 November 1972
Entry into force:   17 December 1975
Parties:            152  (10/1997)
Text:               11 ILM (International Legal Materials) 1358
Website:            http://www.unesco.org/whc

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention     
The Convention aims to establish an effective system of collective
protection of cultural and natural heritage of outstanding
universal value. States recognize the duty of ensuring the identification,
protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future
generations of their cultural and natural heritage.[Art.4] Parties
are encouraged to adopt policies which aims at giving natural
heritage a function in the life of the community and to integrate
the protection of that heritage into comprehensive planning
programmes.  The Convention establishes the World Heritage List
listing the world heritage sites. The World Heritage Fund provides
a mechanism to provide international assistance.  In this framework
the special situation of developing countries has been recognized.

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
Forests can be considered as "natural heritage" in accordance with
Article 2 of the Convention: "areas which constitute the habitat of
threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal
value from the point of view of science or conservation" and "natural areas of
outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or
natural beauty".  Currently, over 32 forests are designated as World Heritage
Sites.  Inclusion in the World Heritage List creates the obligation for the State
to protect the forests concerned, which could be national enforceable. Inclusion
of a forest in the World Heritage List recognizes the universal interest and
value, as well as the national sovereignty of the State over that forest.

Cooperation and Links with Other Forest-related Instruments
Cooperation with other conventions is not known; no clear links are
established.  In referring to protected area systems, Chapter 11 of
Agenda 21, makes a link to possible nomination under the World
Heritage Convention. 

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 
There is no specific focus on forests.  In recent years, the implementation of
the Convention has shown the recognition of indigenous populations and
traditional land-use systems, mainly through the inclusion of cultural landscapes
in the World Heritage List.

3. Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer 
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 

                  Vienna Convention         Montreal Protocol      
Adoption:         22 March 1985             16 September 1987      
Entry into force: 22 September 1988          1 January 1989 
Parties:          166 (03/1998)              165                
Text:             26 ILM 1529                26 ILM 1550   
Website:          http://www.unep.org/secretar/ozone

                  London Amendment      Copenhagen Am.    Montreal  Amendment.
Adopted:          29 June 1990          25 November 1992  17 September 1997
Entry into force: 10 August 1992        14 June 1994      1/1/1999 if 20 ratific.
Parties:          120                   81                --
Text:             30 ILM 537            32 ILM 874              

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The depletion of the ozone layer is caused by the anthropogenic
emission of certain inert gases, particularly CFCs and halons. 
This causes increased levels of ultraviolet rays which may cause harm to
human health and the environment. Through the Vienna Convention,
States commit themselves to protect the ozone layer from these
destructive elements, and to cooperate with each other in
scientific research to improve understanding of scientific processes. The
Vienna Convention is a framework agreement, without targets or
timetables for action.  Subsequently, the Montreal Protocol on
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was agreed to in 1987 and
has been amended three times since (1990, 1992 and 1997). Many
States have not yet ratified the London and Copenhagen amendments
to the Montreal Protocol. The Protocol contains detailed international
standards governing the production and consumption of ozone
depleting chemicals based on continuing scientific evaluation under
the Vienna Convention, and aims to reduce and eventually eliminate
the emissions of man-made ozone depleting substances.  The amended 
Protocol establishes a Financial Mechanism. [Art.10]

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
The Convention establishes a framework for the adoption of measures
to protect "human health and the environment against adverse
effects...from human activities which modify.. the ozone
layer."[Art.2]  The main relevance of the ozone regime for forests
is the link between depletion of the ozone layer and the possible
adverse effects this might have on forests. [Art.1.2]
Implementation of the ozone regime would be beneficial to forests.

Cooperation and Links With other Forest-related Instruments
The protection of the atmosphere under the ozone regime is closely
linked with the climate regime.  They are complementary: the Kyoto
Protocol regulates gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol.
CSD5 recommends Governments to give priority to solutions that
provide the greatest overall benefit in terms of both ozone
protection and prevention of global warming, which would be
consistent with an integrated approach to the protection of the
atmosphere.  Further, the Montreal Protocol contains provisions
which have an impact on international trade, most importantly Art.4
on trade restrictions.  The ozone layer can be described as an "exhaustible
natural resource" within the meaning of Art.20(g) GATT.
There is compliance because the Protocol aims at its conservation. 

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance to Forests
The ozone regime deals to a certain extent effectively with the problem of ozone
depletion. It  continues to expand to include more gases and stricter timetables.

4.   United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Kyoto Protocol to the 
     United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

                   UNFCCC                Kyoto Protocol
Adoption:          9 May 1992            11 December 1997
Entry into force:  21 March 1994         not yet in force
Parties:           174  (03/1998)             --
Text:              31 ILM 849            Annexed to FCCC/CP/1997/7/Add.1
Website:           http://www.unfccc.org

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The ultimate objective of the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) is
to achieve a stable level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere
that will avoid dangerous interference with the climate system.
[Art. 2]   Since the emissions of greenhouse gasses have increased,
the concentrations in the atmosphere are going up.  As these
concentrations change, the temperature of the earth rises.  This,
in turn, leads to changes in the patterns of precipitation and to sea-
level rise. If there would be no global agreement to limit
greenhouse-gas emissions, the temperature of the Earth is expected
to increase between 1.0 and 3.5 Celsius over the next century. 
Even a stabilization at about present levels will require significant
reductions in global emissions next century.   The Convention
itself contains no concrete targets and timetables.  With the Berlin
mandate, stemming from COP1 in 1995, the Parties agree "to begin a
process to enable to take appropriate action for the period beyond
2000, .. through the adoption of a protocol or another legal
instrument."  Industrialized (or 'Annex 1') Parties have committed
themselves to aim at setting "quantified limitation and reduction
objectives within specified time-frames ... for their anthropogenic
emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases not
controlled by the Montreal Protocol" [II.2.(a)].  To take the
necessary action, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted: States agree to
limit emissions CO2 to assigned amounts as stipulated in its Annex
A, to be reached between 2008 - 2012. 

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
There is a direct relationship between the climate regime and
forests.  Forests serve both as reservoirs of carbon, and sinks for
atmospheric carbon dioxide.  Maintaining or increasing forest cover
can mitigate the treath of climate change, by reducing the level of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  Deforestation affects
greenhouse gas emissions.  Land-use policies and practices have a
major effect on climate change, and they have altered considerably.

The anticipated rate of warming is considerably faster than the
evolutionary history or experience of forests.  Consequently, the
ability of forests to rapidly adopt to changing climate regime may
be limited.  It is thought that one-third of all forest species
"and two-thirds in the boreal forests of the northern hemisphere taiga"
could change in a world warmed by a doubling of CO2 concentrations
in the atmosphere.  Forest ecosystems and planted trees may be
affected by changes in climate, in terms of distribution, growth
rate, diversity etc.  Further, forests can be strategic for meeting
emission reduction targets in some countries.  
Art.4.1(d) of UNFCCC calls for the "enhancment, as apropriate, of
sinks and reservoirs of all greenhouse gases.., including ...
biomass, forests, and oceans.."   Art.4.1(a) calls on Parties to
develop "national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by
sources, and removals by sinks" of all greenhouse gases.

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
- See also above under the Vienna Convention
- There is a relationship with biological diversity: while the
quickest way to sequester carbon may be to plant fastgrowing tree
species, there may be a potential to derive multiple benefits from
trees planted under this framework.  For example, there may be
opportunities to restore biodiversity, rehabilitate degraded
forests, create energy plantations, rehabilitate degraded watershed
forests and conserve soil and water.
- For relationship wtih the Desertification Convention, see below. 

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance to Forests 
The recent adoption of the Kyoto Protocol could have great relevance
to forests. It states that each Annex 1 Party shall, in achieving
its quantified emission limitation and reduction commitment "implement and
further elaborate policies and measures in accordance with national
circumstances, such as ...(ii) Protection and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs
of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, taking into account
its commitments under relevant international environmental agreements;
promotion of sustainable forest management practices, afforestation
and reforestation." [Art.1(a)(ii)]  Further, Art.3.3 of the Protocol
declares: "The net changes in greenhouse gas emissions by sources
and removals by sinks resulting from direct human induced land-use
change and forestry activities, limited to afforestation, reforestation and
deforestation since 1990, measured as verifiable changes in carbon stocks in each
commitments period, shall be used to meet the commitments under this Article of
each Party included in Annex 1.  The greenhouse gas emissions by sources and
removals by sinks associated with those activities shall be reported in a
transparent and verifiable manner and reviewed in accordance with
Articles 7 and 8."  
Before COP1 of the Parties to the Protcol meets, Annex 1 countries
will have to provide data of their carbon stocks in 1990 to enable
to estimate changes in subsequent years [Art.3.4] in order to, for
example, changes in greenhouse gas removals by sinks can be
subtracted from the assigned amount for that Party.  The COP will
have to decide on how to measure this, taking into account work of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and advice of 
Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice.  Other
relevant provisions are to be found in Art.6, which states that
Annex 1 Parties may, under conditions which will have to be
elaborated, acquire from any other Party emission reduction units
resulting from projects aimed at enhancing anthropogenic removals
by sinks, and in Art.12, which establishes a "clean development
mechanism" to fund project activities which aim at meeting the
ultimate objective of the Convention and to assist in achieving
compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. 
There are opportunities to derive multiple benefits through the
implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. For example, the XI World
Forestry Congress concluded that the Joint Implementation approach
under the climate regime is regarded by some as a promising
instrument for the protection of tropical rainforests. 

5. Convention on Biological Diversity

Adoption:           5 June 1992
Entry into force:   29 December 1993
Parties:            172  (03/98)
Text:               Doc. UNEP/Bio.Div/N7-INC.5/4, 31 ILM 822
Website:            http://www.biodiv.org/forest.html

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The CBD has three goals: 1) the conservation of biological diversity, 2) the
sustainable use of the components of biological diversity, and 3) the fair and
equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. 
Biological diversity includes diversity within species, between species and
ecosystems, and between various types of forest landscapes.

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
A large component of the world's biodiversity is found in forests. 
Forests are estimated to contain 70% of the world's plant and
animal species. Most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity is located in
primary tropical forests.  Some temperate and boreal forests also
provide an importent habitat to some endangered and threatened
species. If the current rate of deforestation in the tropics
continues, the rate of extinction for birds, animals and plants
could be many times the natural extinction rate.  Arts.6 and 10(a)
call for development of national strategies for in situ
conservation of biological diversity, their inclusion into cross-secrotal plans,
and in national decision-making.  Art.8 paras.(a) (b) and (c) call
for setting aside protected areas, and protecting unique and
threatened ecosystems. These articles have mainly a programmatic
character. They do not provide specific criteria regarding the
areas which should be protected and how absolute such protection should
Another link is the area of Traditional Forest Related Knowledge
(TFRK). Section III.3 of the terms of reference of IPF provides
that consistent witht the terms of the CBD, IPF should encourage
countries to consider ways and means for effective protection and
use of TFRK.  IPF-IV stresses again that international cooperation
on TFRK and rights related to it must be related with the
obligations under CBD, especially Arts. 8(j) and 10(c) are
relevant.  It is recognized that indigenous people and forest-dependent people
who possess TFRK could play an important role in SFM.

Links and Cooperation with other Forest-related Instruments
COP3 (1996) agrees in Decision III/21 on the "relationship of the
Convention with the Commission on Sustainable Development and
biodiversity-related conventions, other international agreements,
institutions and processes of relevance".  It endorsed the
memoranda of cooperation with, inter alia, the Ramsar Convention and CITES.
Closer relationships will have to be developed with UNFCC and UNCCD
(see further below), with a view to making implementation activites
and institutional arrangements mutually supportive.  Compared to
other conventions, CBD puts quite some effort in cooperation efforts.

Developments Within the framework of the Convention with relevance
to forests COP2 (1995) adopted the Statement on Biological Diversity and
Forests, which was presented at IPF-II. The Statement highlights
issues of mutual concern to the CBD and IPF: forest have a crucial
role in maintaining global biological diversity, eg as providing
habitat.  Within forest ecosystems, the maintenance of ecological
processes is dependent on the maintenance of their biological
diversity, and vice versa. The loss of forest biological diversity
is linked to the substantial deforestation, fragmentation and
degradation of all types of forests.   
Forest and forest biological diversity play an important economic,
social and cultural role in the lives of many indigenous and local
communities.  Sustainable forest management should ensure that
components of biological diversity are used in a way and at a rare
that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological

Other areas of mutual concern are research, capacity building,
criteria and indicators. COP2 took Decision II/9 on "Forests and
Biological Diversity", in which the COP, inter alia, requests
advice and information pertaining to the relationship between indigenous
and local communities and forests, and wants a study on links
between forests and biological diversity.
Decision III/12 of  COP3 (1996) contains its Programme of Work for
forest biolgical diversity.  The CBD affirms that it will work in
a complementary way with the IPF and other forest-related forums on
forests and biological diversity.  A work programme will be
developed which will facilitate the application and integration of
the objectives of the CBD in the sustainable management of forests
at the national, regional and global levels, in accordance with the
ecosystem approach; complement existing national, regional and
international C&I frameworks for SFM; and incorporate traditional
systems of forest biological diversity conservation.  Ensuing, the
Decision gives guidance to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific,
Technical and Technological Advice (SBTTA) of the CBD on research
priorities in this area.  It is recommended that biodiversity
considerations to be integrated fully into IPF recommendations and
proposals for action, and a list of research and technological
priorites were identified, varying from analysing the role of
biodiversity in forest ecosystem functioning to developing
methodologies to assess and evaluate the multiple benefits derived
from forest biodiversity.  The COP affirms that some forests can
play a crucial role in conserving biodiversity, and recognizes that
issues related to forest must be dealth with in a comperehensive
and holistic manner, and notes that conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity must be an integral part of SFM practices.  
The implementation of CBD's Work Programme on Forest Biological
Diversity would be of great importance to forests and the work of
IFF, it contains many elements of mutual interest. Especially CBD's
work on ecosystems, genetic resources, indigenous peoples and
development of methodologies is relevant to IFF, and vice versa. 
COP4 (May 1998) will discuss the Programme of Work for Forest
Biological Diversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/7).  Its four proposed
objectives are; 1) develop national measures for integrating
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into
national forest management systems; 2) identification and wider
application of traditional systems of conservation and sustainable
use of forest biological diversity, and equitable sharing of
benefits; 3) financing for conservation and sustainable use of
forest biological diversity; and 4) contribute to other
international and regional organizations and processes, in
particular the IPF proposals for action and input to IFF. 

6.   United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those
Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
Particularly in Africa

Adoption:           17 June 1994
Entry into force:   26 December 1996
Parties:            122  (03/98)
Text:               Doc. A/AC.241/15/Rev.3, 33 ILM 1328
Website:            http://www.unccd.ch

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The UNCCD aims at combatting desertification, mitigate the effects
of drought and contribute to the achievement of sustainable
development.  This involves long-term strategies that focus on
improved productivity of the land and rehabilitation, conservation
and sustainable management of land and water resources, leading to
improved living conditions.  The UNCCD adopts an integrated
approach which addresses the physical, biological and socio-economic aspects
of the processes of desertification and drought. The Convention
recognizes that combatting desertification is not a narrow sectoral
activity but requires a broad approach, incorporating most aspects
of environmental management in the drylands which comprise one
third of the Earth's land surface.  

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
To the extent that forests carry out important ecological functions
which prevent both drought and desertification, forests are an
important element to the UNCCD.  The Convention aims to protect
forests because forests perform important ecological functions that
prevent desertification and arid conditions.  Intact forest
ecosystems help stabilize the soil; consequently deforestation
fosters both desertification and land degradation, particularly in
arid, semiarid and subhumid regions. In addition to this ecological
link, forest loss and desertification are linked in that the
underlying socio-economic conditions and causes are very similar. 
Strategies to deal with desertification are likely to mitigate also
forest loss, and vice versa. 
Regional Implementation Annexes are provided for, and the ones for
Africa an Latin America and the Caribbean require national action
programmes to ensure the integrated and sustainable management of
natural resources, including forests.  The UNCCD emphasizes the
need for integrated, cross-sectoral responses to the problem of land
degradation. There is a strong emphasis on the involvement of
non-governmental organizations and the need for a community-based,
bottom-up approach, involving all stakeholders in planning and
The 1997 Report of the -Second International Expert Consultation on
the Role of Forestry in Combatting Desertification-, endorsed by
the XI Wold Forestry Congress, recalls the key role of forestry in
desertification control, but it can only be effective if well
planned and fully integrated into national, long- and medium term
strategies, taking due account of the resources available. 

Links and Cooperation with other Forest-related Instruments
Art.8 UNCCD refers to the need for coordination with other
conventions, in particular CBD and UNFCCC.  COP1 (1997) in its
Decision 13/1 on collaboration with other conventions, intents to
strengthen further the collaboration with other relevant
conventions and in particular CBD, UNFCCC and the Ramsar Convention, while
recalling the "Programme for the further implementation of Agenda
21" adopted by UNGASS which, inter alia, recommends that the COPs
to conventions signed at the Rio Conference or as a result of it, as
well as other conventions related to sustainable development,
cooperate in exploring ways and means of collaborating in their
work to advance the effective implementation of the conventions.
Biodiversity: The UNCCD refers to dryland ecosystems contain a rich
biota, including plant and animal species not found elsewhere.  The
Executive Secretary of the CBD emphasized (in ICCD/COP(1)/11 of 29
December 1997) institutional cooperation between the Rio
conventions, and called cooperation between the Subsidiary Body on
Scientific, Technical and Technological Advise (SBSTTA) under the
CBD and the CST under the CCD of particular interest.
Climate Change: UNFCCC Preamble: "countries with arid and semi-arid
areas or areas liable to floods, drought and desertification ...
are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change."  It is
also thought that desertification may temporarily affect
climate change. 
Forestry can play a major part in helping to combat almost every
type of soil degradation including desertification.  In the arid
zones where the linkage between forestry and food security is most
evident, forests and wooded lands help to conserve the soil and
water base that makes agricultural production possible through
protective forests, nitrogen-fixing tree species may further help
to improve soil fertility.  
The Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC stressed (also in
ICCD/COP(1)/11) the interlinkages between climate change an
desertification.  The Kyoto Protocol could also make an important
contribution in the fight against desertification.  The two
secretariats need to explore opportunities for cooperation,
particularly in capacity building, and streamlining processes for
gathering and considering information.  He also stated that in this
respect a pilot project had started, involving some developing
countries to produce national reports that meet the requirements
the three -sister conventions- (UNCCD, UNFCCC and CBD).  

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 
Since the UNCCD is a relatively new convention, the future direction taken by the
implementation  and the relevance specifically for forests is not yet clear. 
Some guidance can be gathered from COP1, where it is decided in its work
programme to focus on benchmarks and indicators in the furtherance of the aims
and objectives of the Convention.  The Committee on Science and Technology
reported on work regarding benchmarks and indicators. The Committee placed
particular emphasis on the further elaboration of implementation of indicators,
and the development of a methodology for determining impact indicators, which are
seen as necessary to assess the effects
of actions to implement the UNCCD.  
Another field of future work of relevance to forests is the area of
traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and
practices.   A number of initiatives regarding  inventories of traditional and
local knowledge have been undertaken.
COP1 established a Global Mechanism for promoting, mobilizing and
rationalizing the transfer of financial and technological
assistance, and collecting and dissemination of information.  The
Global Mechanism has not yet become operative; it might offer a
opportunity to raise financial assistance for forest-related
projects.  Another feature of the UNCCD is the provision for
partnership arrangements.  These agreements spell out the role of
each partner, including donor agencies and governments, recipient
governments, and NGOs for many different purposes such as
mobilizing financial resources, reorienting assistance mechanisms to fit the
Convention-s approach, making inventories of funding sources, or
developing new models of technological cooperation.  These could
possibly include forest-related aspects.  Another application of
the UNCCD relevant to forests would be exchange and use of data on
issues relevant to both topics.

                              Human Rights

7.   Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in
Independent Countries (ILO No. 169) 

Adoption:           27 June 1989
Entry into force:   5 September 1991
Parties:            12 (04/98)
Text:               28 ILM 1382
Website:            http://www.ilo.org

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The Convention provides a comprehensive approach for the protection
of the social, economic and cultural rights of indigenous people. 
Parties undertake the responsibility for developing, with the
participation of the peoples concerned, coordinated and systematic
action to protect the rights of indigenous and tribal people and to
guarantee respect for their integrity.  ILO Convention 169 is the
updated version of  ILO Convention No. 107 (adopted in 1957), which
expressed  a more interventionist approach.  They are the only
existing international legal instruments specifically designed to
protect the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples.   

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
Many indigenous and tribal people live in forests. Forests provide
habitat and are important to them for economic, social and cultural
reasons.  The Convention could be a tool to exercise control over
ways of life and economic development, and make distinctive
contributions to ecological cooperation and understanding. Concerns
about conserving and managing forests often coincide with the
survival and integrity of the cultures and knowledge of indigenous
people.  Art.15.1 provides that the rights of people -to the
natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specially safeguarded-
and this includes the right -to participate in the use, management
and conservation of these resources-.  Art.7 declares that Parties
should "take measures, in co-operation with the peoples concerned,
to protect and preserve the environment of territories they
inhabit."  Also provisions on land-use planning and public
participation have relevance to forests. 
For implementation of the Convention, the INDISCO Programme had
been adopted.  This Interregional Programme to Support Self-reliance of
Indigenous and Tribal Communities through Cooperatives and other
Self-Help Organizations is to contribute to improving
socio-economic conditions of indigenous and tribal communities through pilot
projects implemented by local organizations and traditional
institutions of these communities.  There is no specific focus on
forests, though programme activities include, inter alia, ancestral
domain management and environment and natural resource management. 

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
Since the Convention has a vary limited ratification, no
cooperation mechanisms are established.  There are clear links with other
conventions related to forests, most importantly with the
Biodiversity Convention.  Arts.8(j), 10(c), 17.2 and 18.4 deal with
indigenous and traditional forest related knowledge and
technologies.  The CBD certainly includes a concern for indigenous
rights, but at the same time it also presents the risk for 
indigenous people to be seen as a -resource- for biological
diversity rather than as people who hold legal, social, cultural
and economic rights in relation to it. Within IPF/IFF, indigenous
peoples- concerns related to forests fall mainly under CBD.  Para.
I.3 of the Terms of Reference of the IPF (E/CN.17/IPF/1995/3, Annex
III) provides that: "Consistent with the term of the Convention on
Biological Diversity, encourage countries to consider ways and
means for the effective protection and use of traditional forest-related
knowledge, innovations and practices of forest dwellers, indigenous
people and other local communities, as well as fair and equitable
sharing of benefits arising from such knowledge, innovations and
practices";  the Secretariat of the CBD was designated lead agency
for preparing the background document for IPF.
The Desertification Convention provides in Arts. 17.1(c) and
18.2(b) equitable benefits arising from traditional local knowledge, know-
how and practices. 
On the side of  soft-law instruments, the Forest Principles contain
various references to indigenous rights, although some could be
interpreted as rather ambiguous:
- Preambular para.(c) calls for a holistic and balanced examination
  of forest uses, taking into account the traditional uses of
- Principle 2(b) recommends the ecological management of forestry
  resources and land, in order to sustain the social, economic,
  cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations;
- Principle 2(d) promotion of participation of local communities and
  indigenous populations in planning, development and execution of
  forest policies;
- Principle 5(a) indicates that forest policies should support
  cultural interests and respect the rights of indigenous peoples,
  creating economic interest for them, while maintaining their
  cultural identity through adequate titles over land;
- Principle 8 recommends that policies and laws should protect
  forests with cultural and spiritual importance; and
- Principle 12(d) recognizes the importance of indigenous capacity
  and local knowledge, and benefits arising from the utilization of
  indigenous knowledge should be equitably shared among them. 
In 1996, the International Meeting of Indigenous and Other
Forest-Dependent Peoples on the Management, Conservation and
Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests, in support of the
IPF  produced the Declaration of  Leticia, which, inter alia,
states that "the rights, welfare, viewpoints and interests of Indigenous
Peoples and other forest-dependent peoples should be central to all
decision-making about forests at local, national, regional and
international levels" and concluded that Indigenous Peoples and
other forest peoples constitute an important cross-cutting theme in
the forest agenda, affecting many other issues.

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 
There are no specific developments within the framework of the ILO
Convention with particular relevance to forests.  However, should
the Convention undergo a revival, it could become an important
instrument in relation to forests and could possibly include
reference to participation of indigenous people in national land
use plans and programmes [Forest Principles 5(a) and 12(d), IPF Work
Programme Element I.1].


8. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora 

Adoption:           3 March 1973
Entry into force:   1 July 1975
Parties:            143  (12/1997)
Text:               993 UNTS 243.
Website:            via http://www.unep.ch

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (CITES) is aimed at protecting certain endangered
species of wild fauna and flora from over-exploitation through
international trade via a system of import/expert permits.  CITES
focuses exclusively on trade, and is premised on the view that the
control of international markets will contribute to the
preservation of endangered species. CITES operates by listing endangered in one
of its three appendices: 
Appendix I      endangered species, trade in which to be tightly controlled
Appendix II     species that may become endangered unless trade is regulated
Appendix III    species that any party wishes to regulate and
                requires international cooperation to control trade. 
Detailed criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II are to be
found in Resolution Conf. 9.24 of the Conference of the Parties;
for inclusion in Appendix III in Conf. 9.25 (Rev.).
CITES is a mix between an environmental treaty and a treaty
regulating trade. Its enforcement provisions are relatively
detailed.  All parties must take appropriate measure to enforce the
Convention and prohibit trade in specimens in violation of its
provisions, including by penalising trade and possession, and
providing for confiscating or return to the state of export. 
Resolutions have been adopted to further improve enforcement and

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
Given the potential for over-exploitation of an endangered tree
species as a result of trade, regulation of trade can be an
important mechanism by which to ensure sustainable extraction and
use. CITES can prevent trade in a species threatened by extinction.

It is thought that there might be approximately 100 tree species
endangered at present. Only a limited number of trees have been
listed for protection.

Links and Cooperation with other Forest-related Instruments
COP10 of CITES (1997) adopted a resolution entitled -Co-operation
and Synergy with the Convention on Biological Diversity-.[Conf.
10.4]  The resolution notes an overlap between the two conventions
and calls upon Secretariats and Parties to coordinate activities. 
It further calls upon Parties to explore opportunities to obtain
funding through the Global Environmental Facility for relevant
projects which are also contributing to the objectives of the
Convention on Biological Diversity. 

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 
CITES has the potential to become increasingly important for
forests, and especially for timber.  COP10 adopted Resolution Conf.
10.13 regarding the implementation of CITES for timber species. 
The resolution tries to strike a balance between the biological data
and the trade data which should be available before discussing
amendment proposals of a timber species in one of the Annexes to CITES.  It
lists a number of organisations, part of which should be consulted
before submission of the proposal.  It is recognized that identification of
timber can be difficult but that it is essential for the effective implementation
of the Convention.  Further, it is recognized that commercial trade may be
beneficial to the conservation of species, on the other side it is also noted
that some timber species may be under threat because of detrimental
levels of use and international trade.  "The range states pay
particular attention to internationally traded timber species
within their territories for which the knowledge of the biological status
and silvicultural requirements gives cause for concern." [10.13(j)]

Besides the increased attention to timber species, the identification of timber
species has the potential to be of great relevance to forests.  COP10 decided in
this regard: 
-10.51 The Parties should determine whether national standard
organisations have already developed agreed vernacular
nomenclatures for timber species and, if so, should provide this information to
the Secretariat.
10.52 A list of agreed scientific names and their agreed vernacular
names should be provided to timber importers and agencies dealing
with CITES enforcement and border inspections for the
standardization in 10.51 to be useful.
10.53 The Parties that have proposed and obtained the inclusion of
timber species in ht appendices should comply with their obligation
to produce identification material for the species concerned.-
COP10 further decided to maintain its Timber Working Group, which
was formed 1984 to study implementation problems resulting from the
inclusion of several timber species in the CITES appendices.  It
now received new terms of reference, including the mandate to peruse
the definition of terms and units used to describe parts and
derivatives of timber in trade.  

9. International Tropical Timber Agreement

Adoption:           26 January 1994
Entry into force:   1 January 1997
Parties:            51
Text:               Doc. TD/TIMBER.2/L.8
Website:            http://www.itto.or.jp

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Agreement
The 1994 ITTA is the successor Agreement to the 1983 ITTA, and is
a commodity agreement to facilitate the trade in tropical timber, and
ensure exports from sustainable sources by the year 2000. 
Membership to the International Tropical Timber Organisation
(ITTO), the intergovernmental organisation which administers the ITTA, is
restricted to producers and consumers of tropical timber.  A State
has to be member in order to participate in the Agreement. The ITTO
Council is made up of 53 member governments, which between them
account for 75% of the world-s tropical rainforests and 90% of the
trade in tropical timber.  The Agreement seeks to create a
framework for cooperation on all relevant aspects of world timber economy
(Art.1) and takes into account the linkages between tropical timber
trade and the international timber market, as well as the need for
a global perspective [Preamble].  The objectives of 1994 ITTA
-    providing an effective framework for cooperation, consultation
     and policy development among all members on all relevant aspects of the 
     world timber economy;
-    contributing to the process of sustainable development and
     supporting member countries- national strategies for achieving
     exports of tropical timber and timber products from sustainably managed 
     sources by the year 2000; and
-    providing a forum for consultation to promote non-discriminatory timber 
     trade practices so environmental concerns will not give rise to 
     protectionism.  This concern, addressed in Art. 36, states that nothing in 
     the agreement authorizes the use of measures to restrict or ban 
     international trade of timber and timber products, particularly imports and 
The Agreement also aims at, inter alia, improve marketing and
distributing of tropical timber exports from sustainably managed
sources;  to promote and support research and development; to
encourage members to develop national policies aimed at sustainable
use and conservation of timber producing forests and their genetic
resources, and maintain the ecological balance in the regions
concerned; and promote access to technology. 

Relevance of the Agreement to Forests
1994 ITTA remains continues to concentrate on tropical timber. 
During the negotiations of this Agreement, the positions on main
issues were polarized along producer and consumer States. 
Producers favoured extending the scope of ITTA to cover all timber from all
sources, in order to bring all forests under the same scrutiny,
stringent guidelines and target date for sustainability, as agreed
in the ITTO for tropical forests.  The consumer countries held the
view that broadening the scope to a global forest convention did
not fall under the ITTO mandate.  
ITTA reflects the tensions between sovereignty and emerging norms
of sustainable management, and also reflects ecological concerns.  Its
Preamble refers explicitly to the Forest Principles. 
Tropical forests are considered important because of the various
functions they perform at the national level, including ecological
functions, such as conserving soil and water, providing habitat for
plants and animal species, and play a key role in regional climatic
conditions (rainfall, temperature).  Tropical forests represent
also a wide array of socio-economic functions: they are an important
instrument for economic development, are is the source of many
products for the very subsistence of indigenous people, provide
income and employment.  On the international level tropical forests
represent also various ecological and socio-economic functions:
they influences climate change by helping slowing down global warming;
they are reservoirs of biological diversity, since they harbour
more than half the world-s plants and animal species; they are important
for biotechnology; and they further are a heritage in their own

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
- In 1993, the ITTO adopted its "Guidelines on the Conservation of
Biological Diversity in Tropical Production Forests", which calls,
inter alia, for national forest policy and legislation to recognize
biodiversity conservation as an important goal of forest

- On indigenous people, reference is made to the need to give -due
regard for the interests of the local communities dependent on
forest resources [Art.1].  
- There are many links with GATT/WTO which will have to be explored
in the near future.  This is especially necessary since
contradictions between GATT and 1983 ITTO never were satisfactorily
- ITTO continues to participate in the work of the CITES Timber
Working Group, which is  established to review the procedures,
criteria and logistics for listing timber species in the Appendices
-    ITTO works on timber certification with Forest Stewardship
Council and ISO 14001.
- ITTO links its work on certification with the development on the
Forest Principles, Agenda 21, IPF Action Proposals, and various regional
processes concerned with developing criteria and indicators for SFM.

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance to Forests 
In 1991 the International Tropical Timber Council of the ITTO adopted the "ITTO
Year 2000 Objective".  The objective of this strategy is to ensure that through
international collaboration and national policies and programmes, ITTO members
will progress towards achieving sustainable management of tropical forests and
trade in tropical timber form sustainably-managed resources by the year
Objective 2000 is formulated as a strict obligation, but is a non-binding goal
and seems to provide for a process.   Objective  2000 was only accepted after the
consumer parties pledged, in a separate declaration, to apply the same standards
for SFM to their own forests as developed by ITTO.  The commitment by the
consumers is clearly broader than that of the producers and applies to forests
as opposed to internationally traded timber. [Preamble/Art.1]
Available information on progress to date points to the difficulty in
achieving Objective 2000.  In 1994, ITTO producers members reported
that about 2.7 million hectares of tropical forest in their
territories was under sustainable management, which is about 1.5%
of their total area of natural forests.  As a first step towards
developing sustainable forest management, the establishment of
demonstration forests is another positive development.  Several
ITTO members are now in the process of establishing demonstration
Certification.  ITTO is intensifying its work on certification, as
indicated at the 23rd session of the ITT Council (1997).  It
studies the overall developments since 1996 including details of
experiences gained in seven countries.  Some progress has been observed in the
development of certification schemes.  One underlying assumption of
an effective use of certification is the existence of a market
where certified products are preferred by buyers and consumers.  The
other is that forest owners and managers, processing industry, suppliers
and distributors could enjoy equitable benefits from certification. 

Criteria and Indicators. In the context of ITTO's Year 2000
objective, ITTO developed a set of  revised C&I,  aiming at
offering practical assistance to member countries in their efforts towards
SFM and will provide a measure by which to monitor these.
Other developments of interst are the commitment made by ITTO
members to review the scope of the agreement four years after its
entry into force; and the possibility of extending the concept of
the Year 2000 Objective of ITTA for all types of forests.

10. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade / Agreement Establishing
the World Trade Organisation
Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (1995)
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (1995)
Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (1995)
Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (1995)

                   GATT                      WTO
Adoption:          30 October 1947           15 April 1994
Entry into force:  1 January 1948            1 January 1995
Parties:           126                       132 (09/1997)
Texts:             55 UNTS 194               33 ILM, 1144
Website:           http://www.wto.org

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Agreement 
From 1986 to 1994 the Uruguay Round negotiations took place, which
resulted in the Agreement establishing the WTO and, inter alia, the
four Agreements listed above.  It might be  too early to fully
assess the meaning of these agreements and their implementation in
the area of  forests.  
The functions of WTO are: administering WTO trade agreements forum
for trade negotiations; handling trade disputes; monitoring national trade
policies; technical assistance and training for developing countries; and
cooperation with other international organizations. The GATT is an instrument
intended to support and ensure the proper functioning of free trade.  
The chief objective of GATT/ WTO is to provide a secure and
predictable trading environment, as well as a continuing process of
market opening, in order to promote worldwide economic growth. It
is based on three key principles: the most favoured nation obligation
(Art.I), the national treatment obligation (Art.III) and the
prohibition on quantitative measures (Art.XI).  GATT/WTO creates a
mechanism for members to negotiate tariff schedules; although it is
intended that tariffs be reduced in this process, there is no
obligation to actually make such reduction.  As regards non-tariffs
barriers, the most important GATT prohibition is on the use of
quantitative import and export provisions.  The set of Uruguay
Round Agreements contain specific rules aimed at eliminating other non-
tariff barriers. The protection of the environment is an overall
objective to the parties of the Agreement, since it also contains
in its Preamble a reference to sustainable development and the
protection of environmental protection.  

The most important environmental provision, subject to different
legal interpretations, is Article XX.  It includes provisions for
exceptions to all trade rules for certain specified purposes such
as: (b) necessary to protect human, animal or plant life; and (g)
relating to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources if
such measures are made effective in conjunction with restrictions
on domestic production or consumption.  These measures are subject to
the conditions that measures not be "applied in a manner which
would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination
between countries where the same conditions prevail, or a disguised
restriction on international trade."  The exceptions of Article XX
come into consideration for environmental or other purposes when a
national measure raises a bound tariff without compensation,
imposes a quota, denies national treatment or otherwise infringes a benefit
accorded to another party.
The Preamble of the WTO Agreement includes direct references to the
objective of sustainable development and the need to protect and
preserve the environment. The new Agreements on Technical Barriers
to Trade (TBT) and on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures take
explicitly into account the use by governments of measures to
protect human, animal and plant life and health and the
Both the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of International
Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Subsidies Agreement contain
environment-related provisions.  More generally, and as was
recognized at UNCED, an open, equitable and non-discriminatory
trading system has a key contribution to make to national and
international efforts to better protect and conserve environmental
resources and promote sustainable development.
Relevance of the Agreement to Forests 
The GATT/WTO is of relevance to forests since the Agreement
regulates all trade, including timber and timber products.  Trade
liberalisation can have both positive and negative effects on the
exploitation of natural resources.  This is also of importance
because many forests are subject to Multilateral Environmental
Agreements (MEAs), for which a different set of rules is under
further development.  A range of provisions in the WTO can
accommodate the use of trade-related measures needed for
environmental purposes, including measures taken pursuant to MEAs.
Those that are cited regularly as being of key importance are the
provisions relating to non-discrimination and to transparency. 
Beyond that, and subject to certain important conditions, the
exception clauses contained in Article XX of the GATT, allow a WTO
member legitimately to place its public health and safety and
national environmental goals ahead of its general obligation not to
raise trade restrictions or to apply discriminatory trade measures.
For example, the issue arises whether a country may ban or restrict
exports of natural resource products on the grounds that it is
necessary for conservation purposes.  A ban on timber exports for
true conservation purposes could be consistent with Art.XX(g). 
These and other provisions have been a major focus of work of the
Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) of the WTO and will be
kept under review in its future work programme.  
Another area of interest for forests is WTO's work on
standardization.  If standards are harmonised and they result in
requirements which represent significantly different costs of
compliance by countries, the issue of unequal treatment of like
products or discrimination could be raised.  Unnecessary obstacles
to trade could arise when level of standards is higher than what is
implied by the legitimate objective of "protection of plant and
animal life or the environment".  

Links and Cooperation with other Forest-related Instruments
- Although the TRIPS Agreement makes no reference to sustainable
development or environmental protection, there is a clear link with
Biodiversity.  Within CTE, some States see contradictions between
TRIPS and CBD, while others do not envisage problems.  One area of
overlap is access to genetic resources,  Arts. 8(j) and 16.5 of
CBD. ASEAN countries supported the view that fair and equitable sharing
of benefits arising form patenting and commercial use of genetic
resources had not been dealt with in TRIPS. 
- WTO has recognised that well designed environmental labelling
programmes can be effective instruments of policy to encourage the
development of an environmentally conscious public.  As a voluntary
instrument and if applied by private sector organizations,
certification and labelling of forest products can be considered
compatible with the international trade rules, not falling within
the jurisdiction of the TBT Agreement, but when labelling
programmes distort trade, they may be challenged by WTO.  TBT compliance could
be used as a guidance in the design of any certification and
labelling scheme to avoid friction with trade rules.  The TBT
Agreement covers technical regulations concerning products and
their process and production methods. It is not clear if schemes for
certification of products made of sustainably produced timber and
eco-labelling will be subject to the TBT. 
- The CTE, in 1997 held information sessions with representatives
of Secretariats of MEAs, (e.g., CITES, Montreal Protocol, UNFCCC, and
CBD) to examine the relationship between the provisions of the
multilateral trading system and trade measures for environmental
purposes.  There are now approximately 200 multilateral
environmental agreements, of which at least 20 contain trade
provisions.  No WTO/GATT dispute resolution panel has yet addressed
the conformity of any multilateral environmental agreement with
GATT rules. 

Developments Within the Framework of the Agreement with Relevance
to Forests 
Certification. The Uruguay Round has made significant progress in
improving market access for forest products, especially in terms of
reducing tariffs for all types of forest products.  However,
several initiatives taken during the last years, such as the development of
rules for of accreditation for certifiers, may be non-tariff
barriers to international trade in forest products.
The trade-environment debate. When trade ministers approved the
results of the Uruguay Round negotiations, they also took a
decision to begin a comprehensive work programme on trade and environment
within the WTO, thus recognizing WTO-s responsibility to address
environmental considerations in developing and administering trade
rules.  The CTE was established in 1995, as an attempt to bring
environmental and sustainable development issues more into the
mainstream of WTO work.  The CTE-s first report, which was adopted
by the WTO Ministerial Conference in 1996, notes that the
multilateral trading system has the capacity to further integrate
environmental considerations and enhance its contribution to the
promotion of sustainable development without undermining its open,
equitable and non-discriminatory character.  The CTE is, inter
alia, charged with making appropriate recommendations on -the need for
rules to enhance the positive interaction between trade and
environment measures for the promotion of sustainable development-.

The pace of progress to date on these issues has been slow .  The
CTE report contains limited substantial analysis or concrete
However, the trade and environment debate  relating to forest
products and services could in the near future deal with several
issues applicable to forests, such as the improvement of market
access to forest products and services, including further reduction
of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade; the promotion of
community-based processing and marketing of wood and non-wood
forest products; the development and exchange of experiences in respect of
the implementation of full cost internationalization and its
application to sustainable forest management, and relevant policy
mechanisms; and the promotion of certification of forest products. 
A related area pertinent to forests is the issue of trade measures
applied pursuant to MEAs.  A number of proposals have been pout
forward in the CTE to broaden the scope available under WTO
provisions for the use of trade measures applied pursuant to MEAs,
including some that would create an -environmental window- for the
use of discriminatory trade measures against non-Parties to MEAs.
These proposals have not yet attracted consensus support in the
The Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures concerns the
application of food safety and animal and plant health regulations.

The Agreement is an elaboration of 1994 GATT provisions, in
particular Art.XX(b).   It could become pertinent to forests
because among its purposes are the protection of plants form pests or
diseases and to protect human health form plant-carried diseases. 
Together with the 1995 TBT Agreement, it provides for a regime on
product import restrictions.  
Under the TBT, Governments may decide that international standards
are not appropriate because of, for example, fundamental
technological problems.  There is uncertainty about the role of "eco-labelling"
criteria in TBT, since TBT covers mandatory rules and standards and Eco-labelling
is often on a voluntary basis.  The CTE is of the opinion that eco-labelling is
permitted, if rules on eco-labelling do not give preference to national products
compared to imported products .
Another recent WTO Agreement which might have implications for
forests is the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. 
It creates three categories of subsidies and remedies, including
permissible subsidies which are non-actionable and non-countervailable if they
are structured according to criteria intended to limit their potential for
distortion.  Government assistance to meet environmental requirements is included
in this category of subsidies, provided that such assistance meets certain
conditions.  The Subsidies Agreement includes attention for adapting existing
facilities to meet new, government-imposed environmental requirements which
result in greater constraints and financial burdens on such firms.
There is an ongoing discussion if trade experts, within the
framework of WTO, are capable to discuss legitimacy and
effectiveness of certain trade measures incorporated in an MEA. 
Within CTE there seems to be a reasonable agreement to accept the
role of environmental experts to judge if the trade measures
suggested are most effective to reach intended environmental goal,
if the MEA: 1) is open for participation of all States; 2)
preferably negotiated under UN auspices; and 3) various categories
of States (developed-developing countries, consumers - producers)
are represented.   If this is the case, the role of WTO could in
principle be limited to review against the chapeau of Art. 20 GATT,
and not against the more restrictive wording of arts XX(b) and (g).

The CTE Report states on this issue: -Views differed on whether any
modifications to the provisions of the multilateral trading system
are required ... This matter should be kept under review.- 


                  Environment, Sustainable Development

11. Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution 
Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air
Pollution on Long-Term Financing of the Co-operative Programmes for
Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-Range Transmission of Air
Pollutants in Europe (EMEP)

                    Convention            EMEP         
Adoption:           13 November 1979      28 September 1984      
Entry into force:   16 March 1983         28 January 1988        
Parties:            43 (03/1998)          37                
Text:               18 ILM 1442           1491 UNTS 167          
Website:            http://www.unece.org/env

              Prot.Sulphur   Prot.Nitrogen     Prot.OrgCmp   Prot.SulphurII
Adoption:     8 July 1985     31 Oct. 1988     18 Nov. 1991  14 June 1994
Entry /force: 2 Sept. 1987    14 Feb. 1991     29 Sept. 1997 not yet in force
Parties:           21              25               17            --

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP)
has been negotiated under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission
for Europe.  It addresses the issue of acid rain.  The text of the
Convention itself is rather weak, especially regarding implementation and further
actions to be taken by Parties; subsequently it was supplemented by five
Protocols to give "teeth" to the Convention: 
- Co-operative Programme for the Monitoring and Evaluation of the
  Long-Range Transmissions of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) (1984)
- Protocol to the 1979 Convention on LRTAP on the Reduction of
  Sulphur Emissions or Their Transboundary Fluxes by at Least 30 Per Cent (1985)
- Protocol Concerning the Control of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides or their 
  Transboundary Fluxes (1988)
- Protocol on the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds and their 
  Transboundary Fluxes (1991)
- Protocol on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions (1994)
The Cooperative Programme (EMEP) is meant to monitor sulphur
dioxide and related substances and to develop and use comparable or
standardised monitoring procedures, and establish monitoring
stations as part of an international programme. The other four
protocols establish more detailed commitments in relation to
particular substances.  The Convention can be seen as one of the
first adoptions of the -framework-protocol- approach. 

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
The Convention and its subsequent protocols are adopted in response to evidence
of widespread damage in parts of the ECE region to natural resources, including
forests, caused by acidification of the environment from sulphur dioxides,
nitrogen oxides and other pollutants, caused by the combustion of fossil fuels. 
IPF-IV (1997) noted that airborne pollution is affecting forest health in many
parts of the world in addition to Europe.  It was agreed that the potential
impact on forest health from inputs of nutrients and airborne pollutants, acting
in combination with other processes, such as natural weathering and leaching,
should be taken into account in forest planning and management.   

Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
There are direct links with the both the Ozone and Climate regimes.
The definition of "air pollution" in LRTAP is broad enough to
include atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gasses and ozone
depleting substances as "air pollutant".  Another illustration is
the 1991 Protocol on Volatile Organic Compounds.  According to this
Protocol, which recently entered into force, Parties are required,
within 5 years, to apply the best available technology which is
economically feasible to stationary sources in areas where
international tropospheric ozone standards are exceeded.  The
Protocol includes a provision which states that Parties are not
relieved from obligations to reduce emissions that may contribute
significantly to climate change or ozone depletion.  

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 
The detailed monitoring network set up under EMEP is important to
observe and evaluate the impact of airborne pollution on forest
health, and developed techniques for monitoring and analysing
airborne causes of deforestation and forest degradation.  Under the
Convention, a Working Group on Effects has been established  (1985)
which oversees, inter alia,  the International Cooperative Programme
for Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests,
which coordinates annual surveys of forest condition, such as a
monitoring programme for the crown condition of European forests. 
Its objectives are to collect comprehensive and comparable data on
changes in forests under actual environmental conditions through
both large-scale assessment and monitoring on permanent sample
plots; and to determine cause-effect relationships through research
and monitoring.  Detailed annual transnational and national surveys
on forest condition have been conducted.
The 1988 Nitrogen Protocol introduced an innovation in the form of 
environmental quality standards,  aiming at establishing levels
beyond which pollution is not permitted.  This approach sets
targets for acceptable levels of environmental interference by setting -
critical loads- which can be translated into individual country
targets [Art.2].  IPF-IV welcomed the widespread application of the
critical loads approach adopted under LRTAP, and commended the
approach for consideration by other States whose forests are or may
be affected by air pollution.  
IPF-IV 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, and further 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; it also recommended countries to consider
entering into international agreements on the reduction of
long-range transboundary air pollution, and  that existing regional
programmes monitoring the impact of airborne pollution on forest
health in affected countries could be extended to other regions.

12. Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation 
Adoption:           3 July 1978
Entry into force:   2 August 1980
Parties:            8
Text:               17 ILM (1978), 1045
Website:            http://www.spt-tca.org.

Nature, scope and objectives of the Treaty
The Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation has been adopted by the eight
Amazonian Basin States and is not open to adherence.  Its primary
objective is to promote the harmonious development of the Amazonian
region; it secondary objective is to permit an equitable
distribution of the benefits of that development among the
Contracting Parties, as well as the conservation of the environment
and the "conservation and rational utilisation of the natural
resources of those countries."[Art.I] . To protect the region's
flora and fauna, the Parties are to rationally plan their
exploitation on the basis of scientific research and the exchange
of information.[Art.VII]

Relevance of the Treaty to Forests 
The Amazon basin has a variety of ecosystems harboring more than
50% of the world-s terrestrial biodiversity. The Treaty creates a
framework to take joint action in their development in a manner
which is equitable, preserves the environment, and achieves the
rational utilisation of their respective natural resources,
including forests.  The Parties declare their sovereign right to
the exclusive use of and utilization of their natural
Scientific research and exchange of information is to be promoted,
to ensure that the exploitation of the flora and fauna of the
Amazon region is rationally planned so as to maintain the ecological
balance within the region and preserve the species.[Art.VII]

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
A forest conservation programme in cooperation with the Central
American Forest Convention has been established.  The 1995
Declaration of  Lima promotes joint discussion within the framework
of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty for the implementation of the
Convention on Biological Diversity, and establishes an  institute
for research and protection of Amazon genetic resources.  There are
several other links with the CBD such as the 1996 meeting on
promoting the sustainable utilization of the biodiversity of fruits
and vegetables of the Amazon region. On indigenous people, the 1995
Declaration reiterated the importance and respect assigned by the
governments to the rights of indigenous populations and local
communities, to preservation of their cultural identities, to the
recognized value of traditional knowledge, and to protect and
safeguard their -habitat- and improve quality of life and living

Developments Within the Framework of the Treaty with Relevance to
In 1989 the Parties adopted the Amazon Declaration, by which they
reaffirm the sovereign right of each country to manage freely its
natural resources, and reiterate that the Amazon heritage must be
preserved through the rational use of resources of the region, so
that present and futures generations may benefit from this legacy
of nature.  It declared that the defence of the Amazonian environment
was one of the essential objectives of the treaty, though provides
little guidance however as to how that objective is to be attained,
or what it means in practice.  The emphasis is rather on linking
environmental protection and economic development, in particular by
denouncing the burden of foreign debts owed by countries of the
region. The Amazon Declaration objects to conditionalities imposed
in the allocation of international resources, and emphasized that
concerns expressed in highly developed countries in relation to the
Amazon environment will have to be translated into financial and
technological support.  
Also in 1989, in the Declaration of San Francisco de Quito, the
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the eight States declare that they
are aware of the great importance of the Amazonian ecosystems for
the point of view of their biodiversity, their endemism, and their
fragility.  They underscore the need to conserve and develop
maintenance for the ecosystems and their ecological processes and
to establish joint environmental preservation policies to preserve the
soils, flora, fauna, water resources, climatic conditions, and all
natural resources in general. They decide to form a Special
Commission for the Amazon Environment, so that each State may
achieve prevention of  -the deterioration of Amazon natural
resources, particularly deforestation and soil degradation.- Within
the framework of the Treaty, five other Special Commissions have
been established, including the Special Commission of the Amazon
Region on Indigenous Affairs.  Further, several regional projects
and consultation processes have been instigated, such as on "forests, trees and
rural communities", "training for the sustainable use of the Amazon
biodiversity", and on agroforestry.  Under the auspices of the Amazon Cooperation
Treaty, numerous cooperation programmes have been and are being developed.  
In 1992, an experts meeting was held to elaborate a regional
strategy for the Reasonable Use of Amazon Forests. It requires each
Amazon State to undertake particular strategic actions regarding
forestry and instructs the Special Commission on the Environment to
develop and implement a specific Forestry Programme.  In 1995, a
Work Plan has been adopted by the Ministers of  Foreign Affairs
which, intern alia, creates a permanent secretariat, establishes a
financial mechanism and an institute for research and protection of
genetic resources, instigates a  joint program to promote education
and environmental awareness at school level, and continues to
identify and promote with a view to adopt C&I for sustainability of
the Amazon forest.  The 1995 Declaration of Lima includes 4
paragraphs on the Amazon forest which:
- highlight the progress made on C&I (Tarapoto Proposal);
- impel, once discussions at the national level have been
concluded, the adoption of a regional document on C&I for sustainability of
the Amazon forest;
- recognize the inestimable repository for the food, chemical and
pharmaceutical industries existing in the amazon rain forests, as
well as the urgent need to develop sustainable production systems
based on both timber and non-timber forest resources; and
- design soil conservation and improvement plans and forests
strategies for the region.
The Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation is becoming increasingly
important for the forests of the Amazon region.  Its effective
implementation is enhanced by the acquiring of necessary funds, the
great variety of projects, and the organisational structure under
the Treaty.  The Treaty establishes an important political forum.
Further implementation of programmes and projects would be relevant
to forests. 

13. Regional Convention for the Management and Conservation of the
Natural Forest Ecosystems and the Development of Forest Plantations

Note:      At the time of preparing this Background Document there
           was not enough information available about  this Regional
           Convention for a thorough analysis.  This omission will
           be corrected in any future version of this Document. 

Adoption:           29 October 1993
Entry into force:   Not yet in force
Parties:            --
Text:           IUCN Database No. G-993102900           
Website:        http://www.ccad.org.gt 
                (Central American Commission on Environment and Development)

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The Convention is open for signature to States of the Central
American region and has six signatories.  The objectives of the
Convention are 1) to promote national and regional mechanisms that
will prevent a change in land use of those areas covered with
forests that are occupying lands with forestry potential, and to
recover deforested areas; 2) to establish a homogenous soil
classification system, through the reorientation of settlement
policies in forests lands; 3) the discouragement of actions that
favour forest destruction in lands with forestry potential; and 4)
promotion of land-use planning processes and of sustainable
options.[Art.2]   The signatories reaffirm their sovereign right to proceed
to use, manage and develop their forests in agreement with their
own policies and regulation, as a function of their needs to
development, conserving and sustainably using their forests as a
social and economic function while ensuring that their activities
do no cause environmental damages to their own or other countries in
the region.  The Convention will oblige the Parties to promote
participation of all interested parties, including inhabitants of
forested areas in the planning, implementation and evaluation of
national forest policies, and to recognize their rights,
obligations and needs; and it will strengthen the application of national
forest policies and strategies.  The Central American Commission on
Environment and Development is the main executive organ of the
Convention. [Art.7]  

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
The Convention considers the Central American region the most
important deposit of genetic wealth and biodiversity in the world;
on the other hand, it recognizes that millions of Central Americans
live in poverty conditions.  It is considered that the genetic
diversity, scenic value, potential to produce timber and non-timber
goods can be the basis for not only conserving forest resources,
but also for making them contribute, in a significant and sustainable
manner, to abate underdevelopment in Central America:  Forests
should contribute to increasing the quality of life of the Central
American people. [Preamble]

Links and Cooperation with other Forest-related Instruments
Cooperation with the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty has been
Further, links with the Conventions on biodiversity and
desertification are regarded as necessary (Latin American and
Caribbean Forestry Commission).

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 
The establishment of the Central American Council on Forests and
Protected Areas, as well as the further developments in the
regional process on Criteria and Indicators are important results. 
The 1994 Declaration between Central American States and the USA on
Sustainable Development  institutes cooperation on the following 4
sectors: conservation of Biodiversity, energy, environmental
legislation, economical sustainable development.  In 1995, a
project grant agreement between the USA and the CCAD has been concluded for
the financing of projects to implement the above Declaration

14. Protocol 10 on Sustainable Management of Forests Resources of
the Agreement Amending the Fourth APC-EC Convention of Lome'

Adoption:       4 November 1995
Entry into force:   Not yet in force
Parties:            --
Text:           The ACP-EU Courier No.155, 1996
Website:        Not known

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Convention
The Convention of Lome' between ACP States (Africa, Caribbean and
Pacific) and the European Union has been renegotiated four times. 
Lome'-I was concluded in 1975, Lome'-IV in 1990, and the Agreement
amending the Fourth APC-EC Convention of Lome' was signed in
Mauritius in 1995.  It has been signed by 70 ACP States and 15
European States, and has not yet entered into force.  The 1995
Agreement contains Protocol 10 on the sustainable management of
forest resources.

Relevance of the Convention and Protocol 10 to Forests
Title II, Chapter 2 on Drought and Desertification control
[Arts.54-57] places great emphasis on the role of restoration of the natural
environment, and on forestry and agroforestry  in combatting
drought and desertification.  Most relevant for forests is Protocol 10 on
the sustainable management of forests resources.  It contains an
environmental and a trade section.  The environmental part (Art.2)
focuses on tropical forest and their biodiversity, interests of
local populations, conservation and sustainable management, forest
management, and re-afforestation.  It also recognizes areas where
efforts will be concentrated on: research and institution-building
in the forestry sector, and the development and implementation of
national action plans to improve the management, conservation and
sustainable management of forests.  The trade section (Art.3)
acknowledges the importance of timber and timber products for the
economies of the ACP States, and acknowledges the following areas
of concentration:  (a) improving timber trade and marketing from
forests under sustainable development;  (b) development of
certification systems for tropical timber as part of envisaged
internationally harmonized certification systems for all kind of
timber and timber products; (c) supporting measures to increase the
share of tropical timber and timber products from sustainable
sources;  (d) diversifying international trade in tropical timber;
(e) developing ACP national policies aimed at sustainable use and
preservation of tropical timber producing forests and their genetic
resources ans maintaining an ecological balance; and (f) access to
and transfer of technology as well as technical cooperation. 

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
With Protocol 10, the Parties acknowledge the importance and the
need for the rational management of forests resources with a view
to ensuring a long-term sustainable development of forests in ACP
States in conformity with the Rio Declaration, the Forest
Principles, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the
Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Desertification

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests 
No developments, since the Convention has not yet entered into
force.  However, implementation of Protocol 10 could play an
important role for the forests located in the ACP States.  It
attempts to provide a balanced approach of various functions of

15. Convention on the Protection of the Alps (Alpine Convention)
Protocol for the Implementation of the Alpine Convention 1991 in
the Area of Mountain Forests

                Alpine Convention     Mountain Forest Protocol
Adoption:       7 November 1991       27 February 1996 (8 States)
Entry into force:   6 March 1995      not yet entered into force
Parties:            5 (01/1997)                    -
Text:           31 ILM (1992), 767    IUCN Database 991:83 
Website:        not available         (No English text of Protocol available yet)

Nature, scope and objectives of the Convention  
The Alpine Convention is intended as an international effort to
protect the multi-national domain that is the Alps in its entirety
and not simply within national boundaries, the Alps are treated as
a "uniform geographical are within Europe", in order to avoid uneven
competition an division along national lines, they are
characterized as an international region to be protected along natural, cultural,
historical, economic and recreational lines.[Preamble] 
The Alpine Convention is an environmental treaty.  The main
objective of its Parties is to pursue a comprehensive policy for
preservation and protection of the Alps by applying the principles
of prevention, payment by the polluter, and cooperation, through
the prudent and sustained use of resources.[Art.2.1]  In order to
achieve this Parties will take measures in a wide range of areas,
including mountain forests: "to preserve, reinforce and restore the
role of forests, in particular their protective role, by improving
the resistance of forests ecosystems mainly by applying natural
forestry techniques and preventing utilization detrimental to
forests, taking into account the less favourable economic
conditions in the Alpine region."[Art.2.2.8]  Also measures to reduce soil
damage are to be taken, in particular by applying agricultural and
forestry methods which do not harm the soil.[Art.2.2.4]  Another
objective is to respect, preserve and promote the cultural and
social independence of the indigenous population of the Alps.  
The Convention demonstrates the elements of a framework convention,
and is accompanied by Protocols of implementation which define
specifically the binding obligations of the Parties, each centred
at a specific theme.  Because of its nature as a framework convention,
the obligations accepted by State parties remain very general.  In
accordance with Art.2(3) these obligations are defined at the level
of Protocols, which delineate measures to implement the terms of
the Convention.  Work on the Protocols began even before the Convention
entered into force, with parallel negotiations, with the result
that three Protocols were opened for signature at the same time.  

Relevance of the Convention to Forests
The Alpine Convention aims at incorporating traditional farming and
forestry practices adapted to the small-scale environmental
conditions which preserve the ecological soundness of the Alps into
the modern world.  The objective of the 1996 Mountain Forest
Protocol is to preserve mountain forests as a natural ecosystem, to
develop and expand it if necessary, and to improve its
stability.[Art.1]  In the Preamble, the role of mountain forests is
recognized as representing a form of vegetation providing effective
protection against natural dangers such as erosion; it is further
stated that forests absorb CO2 from the atmosphere for the
production of wood and in this manner fixates carbon for a long
time.  Parties are aware that mountain forests are indispensable
for a balanced regional climates, cleaning of the air, and water
management.  It is also recognized that mountain forests have a
recreational function.  They are a renewable energy source, but
also represent an essential source for work and income in rural areas. 
Mountain forest ecosystems are recognized as important habitats for
a great variety of species of flora and fauna.  
The Parties undertake to ensure above all: natural regeneration of
the forests; a well structured tree collection, which are adapted
to their location;  planting of local mountain plan species; and
prevention of soil erosion and soil compacting through appropriate
exploitation procedures.[Art.1(2)] 

In Article 2, Parties agree to consider the objectives of the
Protocol in their other policies, especially in the following
- reduction of air pollution;
- ungulates are only allowed at a limited level so that mountain
forests can regenerate without   special protection measures, 
possible re-introduction of certain species of carnivores;
- the conservation of a healthy mountain forest has preference
above existent mountain grasslands;
- recreational functions should be limited to the extent that they
do not interfere with the conservation and the natural
regeneration of mountain forests; 
- sustainable exploitation and use of mountain forests is
- prevention of forest fires; and
- sufficient and qualified personnel to take care of all functions
of forests. 

Links and Cooperation with other Forest-related Conventions
The Protocol makes a link between the role of mountain forests as
carbon sink (UNFCCC), and as habitat for a great diversity of
species of flora and fauna (CBD). [Preamble]

Developments Within the Framework of the Convention with Relevance
to Forests
Since the adoption of the Protocol no relevant developments
regarding its implementation took place. However, when the Mountain
Forest Protocol to the Alpine Convention enters into force it could
form a comprehensive framework for the region regarding its
 It attempts to provide a balanced approach between conservation
and economic functions of  mountain forests, and stresses the need for
international cooperation.   It contains also provisions on
monetary compensation in order for States to implement the protocol, for
example when designating an area as forest reserve.[Arts.10-11]  

Trade, Economic Integration

16. North American Free Trade Agreement Between the Government of
the United States, the Government of Canada and the Government of
the United Mexican States
North American Agreement on Environmental Co-operation

                    NAFTA                 NAAEC
Adoption:           17 December 1992      13 September 1993
Entry into force:   1 January 1994        1 January 1994
Parties:            3                     3 Texts:  
                    32 ILM (1993), 289, 605 and 1480
Website:            http://www.nafta-sec-alena.org

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) creates a free
trade zone encompassing Mexico, Canada and the United States.  In
contrast to the relatively large number of international environmental
agreements that contain provisions dealing with trade,
international trade agreements rarely address environmental matters.  However,
NAFTA places the goal of trade liberalization in the context of the
over-arching goal of sustainable development.  NAFTA's Preamble
specifically provides that the agreement is intended to "Contribute
to the harmonious development of world trade ... in a manner
consistent with environmental protection and conservation; ...
promote sustainable development...; strengthen the development and
enforcement of environmental laws and regulations."               

Relevance of the Agreement to Forests
NAFTA states that failure of environmental protection is an
unacceptable means of encouraging investment and
development.[Art.114.2]  The North American Agreement on
Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) supplements the NAFTA and commits
the Parties to a series of obligations and institutions intended to
advance both environmental protection and the environmental
sustainability of NAFTA-related trade.  Specifically, the NAAEC
goals include the promotion of sustainable development, support for
the environmental objectives of the NAFTA, and promotion of
transparency and public participation in the development and
enhancement of environmental protection.   The NAAEC is designed to
raise environmental standards and to create a dispute settlement
mechanism to address failures to enforce environmental laws and
regulations: while it is not necessary to protect the environment
to protect trade it is often necessary to regulate trade to protect
the environment.   NAAEC establishes the Commission for Environmental
Cooperation (CEC), which mandate includes to address regional
environmental concerns; prevent potential trade and environmental
conflicts; and promote the effective enforcement of environmental law.

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Conventions
Climate Change: Statement of Intent to Cooperate on Climate Change
and Joint Implementation (Council Resolution 95-6); 1997 Project on
North American Cooperation on Greenhouse Gases Emissions Trading. 
Biodiversity: Project development (from 1996) of a North American
Biodiversity Information Network.  CITES: Under the 1997 Enforcement Cooperation
Program is a section on capacity building for the enforcement of CITES. 
GATT/WTO: NAFTA deals explicitly with the interrelationship between international
environmental agreements (MEAs) and trade rules.  Art.104 and its annexes attempt
to realize environmental protection.  Art.104 provides that in the event of an
inconsistency between NAFTA and the trade provisions of 5 listed
MEAs, the obligation of a party under the MEA "shall prevail to the
extent of the inconsistency".  Under the five MEAs are the Montreal
Protocol to the Vienna Convention and CITES.  Other MEAs may be
added through unanimously consent of the NAFTA Parties.

Developments Within the Framework of the Agreement with Relevance
to Forests 
The North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation  (Council
Resolution 95-9) was established for the purpose of directly
engaging "the energy and the imagination" of the people in North
America in achieving the goals and objectives of the NAAEC.  The
Fund got an "overwhelming response" and supported 35 projects [1997
Annual Program and Budget].  Forest related projects could fall
under its scope.  The Project on North American Air Monitoring and
Modelling (from 1995) includes attention to long-range
transboundary air pollution and its harmful effects on the environment, including
Although NAAEC contains no direct reference to forests, it provides
in its objectives for, inter alia, increased cooperation to better
conserve, protect, and enhance the environment, including wild
fauna and flora; protection and improvement of the environment, promotion
of sustainable development; avoidance of creating trade distortions
or new trade barriers; and public participation in the development
of environmental laws: all of these objectives could have direct
relevance to forests.  Its elaborate Part Five on consultation and
resolution of disputes regarding a "persistent pattern of failure"
by a Party to effectively enforce its environmental law could be
applied in forest-related matters.   

17. Treaty Establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern

Adoption:           5 November 1993  
Entry into force:   8 December 1994
Parties:            20 Member Countries
Text:               available at comesa@comesa.za
Website:            http://www.comesa.int

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Treaty
The Treaty establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern
Africa (COMESA) marks a new stage in the process of economic
integration of the region. COMESA aims at consolidation of economic
cooperation through the implementation of common policies and
programmes aimed at achieving sustainable growth and development. 
The goal is eventually to arrive at an Economic Community.  COMESA
established a clearing house mechanism and various organs,
including a Court of Justice and 12 Technical Committees.  Before the year
2000, all internal trade tariffs and barriers will be removed (free
trade area), and by 2004 a common external tariff will be

Relevance of the Treaty to Forests
Chapter 16 [Arts.122-126] on "Cooperation in the development of
natural resources, environment and wildlife" has relevance to
forests.  With Art.122.2 Member States recognise that economic
activity is often accompanied by environmental degradation,
excessive depletion of resources and serious damage to natural
heritage and that a clean as well as attractive environment is a
prerequisite for long-term economic growth. Art.123 on Cooperation
in Management of Natural Resources includes in its para.2 the
conservation and management of forests:
"123.2 The Member States agree to take necessary measures to
conserve and manage forests, through the 
(a)    adoption of common policies for the conservation and
       management of natural forests, industrial plantations and
       nature reserves;
(b)    exchange of information on natural forests and industrial
       plantations development and management;
(c)   joint promotion of a common forestry practice within the Common Market;
(d)    joint utilisation of forestry training and research facilities;
(e)    adoption of common regulations for the preservation and
       management of all catchment forests within the Common Market; and
(f)    the establishment of uniform regulations for the utilisation
       of forestry resources in order to reduce the depletion of the natural 
       forests and avoid desertification within the Common Market."
COMESA adopted five priority areas (1994) for the next five to ten years:
- increase in productivity in industry to create more jobs and wealth
- increase in agricultural production
- development of transport and communications infrastructures
- new programmes for trade promotion, expansion and facilitation
- development of  information data bases covering all sectors of the economy.
Chapter 16 of COMESA has great potential to address forest issues in the region. 

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Conventions
The COMESA Secretariat considers it as its role to take the lead in
assisting its member States, through promotion of regional
integration, to make the adjustments necessary for them to become
part of the global economy within the framework of WTO regulations.

The WTO Committee on Trade and Development has handled the
notification of the COMESA preferential arrangement. 


18. Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global
Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All
Types of Forests

Adopted:      14 June 1992
Agreed by:    176 States (UNCED)
Text:         UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26 (Vol.III)
Website:      http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/iff

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Principles
The Non-Legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for
a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable
Development of all Types of Forests (the Forest Principles), is one
of the instruments adopted at 1992 UNCED.  After lengthy
discussions no consensus was reached on a binding instrument, and the Forest
Principles were explicitly qualified as "non-legally binding" thus
they can be regarded as of limited legal authority and content. 
The Forest Principles represent a first global consensus on forests,
which may or may not serve as the basis for a future legal
instrument.  They apply to all types of forests, and provide that
forest issues must be dealt with in a holistic and balanced manner.
The principles do not internationalise forests or state that
forests are a common concern of mankind.  Instead, they note that "their
sound management and conservation is of concern to the Governments
of the countries to which they belong and are of value to local
communities and to the environment as a whole".[Preamble para.(f)] 
Consistently through the Statement runs the theme that forest issues are a matter
for national, rather than international policies. [see, inter alia, Principles
2(a), 3(a), 5(a), 6(b), 8(d), 8 (f), 8(h) and 9(c)]
Relevance of the Principles to Forests
The Forest Principles are since their adoption in 1992 regularly
invoked as representing global consensus and have since then gained
authority. Together with Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 (below under 19),
the Statement of Forest Principles form the basis for discussions
and consensus-building within IPF and IFF (below under 20).

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
The Statement of Forest Principles itself does not include explicit
references to other forest-related instruments.  The Principles
aspire to encompass a holistic approach to forests.  Some of the
Principles cover areas that are already regulated in other
international legal instruments.  However, none of these
instruments sets or implements a global forest agenda or represents a global
consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forests. 

19. Agenda 21

Adopted:     14 June 1992      
Agreed by:   176 States (UNCED)
Text:        UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (Vol.I)
Website:     http://www.un.org.esa/sustdev

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Instrument  
Agenda 21 is one of the three instruments adopted at 1992 UNCED. 
The others are the Rio Declaration and the Statement of Forest
Principles (see above under 18).  Agenda 21 is a non-binding
blueprint and action plan for a global partnership for sustainable
development, to which end it constitutes an extensive series of
programme areas setting out the basis for action, objectives,
activities and means of implementation.  It can be regarded as a
consensus document negotiated by the international community over
a period of two years and reflects the integrated approach of matters
pertaining to environment and development.  1997 UNGASS reaffirmed
that Agenda 21 remains the fundamental programme of action for
achieving sustainable development. 

Relevance of the Instrument to Forests
Agenda 21 is non-binding, intended to give guidance on a broad
range of forest issues, and is used together with the Forest Principles
as a basis for negotiations in the Commission on Sustainable
Development, the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and the
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests.  On the national level it gives
guidance for issues to be included in national forestry plans. 
Chapter 11 of Agenda 21, entitled "Combatting deforestation" is
most relevant to forests.  Regarding legal aspects it includes a call
for more effective measures at the national level improve and harmonize
legislative measures and instruments [11.1]; review and revise
forest measures in order to relate them to other land uses and
legislation [11.3(c)].  It states that capacity-building
activities, needed to implement the programme activities of Chapter 11, to
include policy and legal frameworks [11.19]. Chapter 11 further
calls for facilitating and supporting the effective implementation
of the Forest Principles, and for considering the need for and
feasibility of all kind of appropriate internationally agreed
arrangements to promote international cooperation on forest
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types
of forests, on the basis of implementation of the Forest
Principles.[11.12(e)]  Chapter 11 is dived into four programme
areas which more or less repeat the content of the Forest Principles. 
The first programme area is intended to sustain the multiple roles and
functions of all types of forests, the second is to enhance the
protection, sustainable management and conservation of all forests
and "green" degraded areas through rehabilitation, afforestation
and reforestation; the third will promote efficient use and assessment
to recover the full value of goods and services provided by
forests; and the fourth is to establish and strengthen planning, assessment
and systematic observation.
Besides Chapter 11, many other chapters of Agenda 21 include
references to forests: Chapters 5, 7-10, 12-18, 24, 26, 32 and 40. 
Sometimes they just touch upon issues such as reafforestation,
forest cover, or deforestation, at other places forest issues are
given a more prominent role.  
The Secretary-General's report at CSD5 noted that "Chapter 11 of
Agenda 21 urges countries to develop forest strategies and concrete
plans of action for sustainable forest development. Specifically,
it refers to the Forest Principles and contains a comprehensive
description of the various policy areas that can address
deforestation and promote sustainable forest management. The
recommended measures cover a broad range of actions and emphasize
the importance of ensuring the participation of affected population
and interested groups in these actions. The Forest Principles and
Chapter 11 are therefore regarded as providing a broad and balanced
foundation for the conservation, management and sustainable
development of all types of forests."

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
Chapter 11 includes references to areas under other instruments,
such as ITTA and GATT.  On the latter one para.11.24 points out
that "cooperation and assistance (...) in technology transfer,
specialization and promotion of fair terms of trade, without
resorting to unilateral restrictions and/or bans on forests
products contrary to GATT and other multilateral trade agreements, and the
application of appropriate market mechanisms and incentives will
help in addressing global environmental concerns." 
Many other Chapters of Agenda 21 include elements of  international
instruments with relevance to forest.  Examples are to be found in
Chapter 9 "Protection of the atmosphere" where reference is made to
the Vienna Convention, the Montreal Protocol, and UNFCCC.  It
states that greater emphasis should be put on photo-oxidant damage to
forests in establishing or strengthening regional agreements for
transboundary air pollution control and international cooperation
on emission control technologies [9.28(a)]; Chapter 12 on "Managing
fragile ecosystems: Combatting desertification and drought" in
which afforestation and reforestation activities are most important for
combatting land degradation [12.15-12.25]; and Chapter 15 "Conservation of
Biological Diversity", where forests are regarded as one of the ecosystems which
contain much of the earth's biodiversity [15.2]. 

20. Conclusions and Proposals for Action of the Intergovernmental Panel on

Adopted:        21 February 1997
Agreed by:      53 States (Members of the CSD/IFF)
Text:           UN Doc. E/CN.17/IFF/1997/12
Website:        http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/iff

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Conclusions and Proposals for
The Ad hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests was established by
CSD3 in 1995. It is worth noting that while only those counties
that were members of the CSD during this time, were also members of the
IPF.  However, in practice, observer member States participated
fully in the discussions and negotiations of the Panel.  The Panel
also provided opportunities for contribution by major groups.  The
Panel was established to pursue consensus and formulation of
consensus on proposals for action in order to, inter alia, combat
deforestation and forest degradation and to promote management,
conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. 
The Panel was also requested to promote cross-sectoral policy
action at the international level consistent with the Forest Principles,
taking into account the Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development and Agenda 21 (see  Section 18 and 19 above).  The
establishment of  IPF was clearly a reflection of the consensus and
trust building initiatives that had been undertaken since UNCED. 
States felt the need to further elaborate on the Forest Principles
and Chapter 11 of Agenda 21.  The mandate given to the Panel
consists of  five interrelated categories:
  I    Implementation of UNCED decisions related to forests at the
       national and international level, including an examination of
       sectoral and cross-sectoral linkages;
 II    International cooperation and financial assistance and
       technology transfer;
III    Scientific research, forest assessment and development of
       criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management;
IV     Trade and the environment relating to forest products and
       services; and 
 V     International organisations and multilateral institutions and
       instruments including appropriate legal mechanisms

The 1997 Final Report of the IPF contained conclusions and some 135
proposals for action on all of the above categories.   The
conclusions of the IPF report reflected the overall thrust of the
discussion in the Panel, while only the Proposals for Action were
agreed to as a direct result of the negotiations.  This is to some
extent reflected in the fact that it proved to be difficult to
reach full consensus on what action to engage in as a result of certain
conclusions.  The Final Report explicitly states that on certain
issues in the areas of finance, trade and legal instruments no
agreement was reached.  Subsequently UNGASS decided to establish
the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests with the objectives to:
facilitate and promote the implementation of the IPF-s proposals
for action; and to discuss the pending issues and other issues arising
from the IPF process.

Relevance of IPF's Proposals for Action to Forests
The Panel's Proposals for Action represent a significant advance in
the international discussions on forest and forest related issues
and brought the emerging consensus from UNCED at a more advanced
stage. The objectives of  IPF's Proposals for Action are to
complement, supplement and elaborate upon the Forest Principles and
Agenda 21 with a view to facilitate their implementation. 

The Final Report of  IPF was the culmination of two years of 
intergovernmental policy dialogue, and represents a significant
advance in the international discussion of critical political and
policy issues related to forests.  IPF's Proposals for Action are
non-binding, but intended to give guidance to countries through
urging them to apply certain generally agreed upon concepts and/or
principles when working towards sustainable forest management. The
forest issue is closely interconnected with other cross-sectoral
issues of Agenda 21 such as poverty, demographic pressures, women,
biodiversity, climate change, desertification, mountain development,
freshwater resources management, patterns of production and consumption,
indigenous people, and trade.

The management, conservation and sustainable development of all
types of forests may be regarded as the progressive and balanced
achievement of sustained economic growth, improved social equity
and environmental protection.  Accordingly, IPF stressed the importance
of integrated forest policy development; public participation in
decision-making including the full participation of interested
groups such as indigenous people, industry and local communities;
institutional capacity-building; and global partnerships involving
many stakeholders.

The Panel, in underlining the need for States to manage, conserve
and develop their forests sustainably,  incorporated cross-sectoral
issues into all categories.  It particularly stressed the value of
national forest programmes within the wider context of integrated
land use for achieving sustainable forest management and for
implementing its Proposals for Action.
IPF's Proposals for Action also form the starting point for the
discussion that will take place within IFF at  three substantive
sessions.  The two processes taken together will finally constitute
a comprehensive representation of the current international
consensus on forests.

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
Besides several references to the Forest Principles and Agenda 21,
the Proposals for Action of the IPF include several explicit
references to other international instruments.
Among these instruments, the Biodiversity Convention is represented
most prominently, for example, in such areas as: underlying causes
of deforestation and forest degradation, the promotion of
internationally acceptable understanding of traditional forest
related knowledge, and advancing international understanding of the
relationship between intellectual property rights and TFRK.  The
Proposals for Action also requested the COP of the CBD to take note
of the work of  various existing initiatives on criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management to ensure that the
work of the CBD on developing and implementing biodiversity indicators
would be consistent with and complementary to them.  There were
also reference to the CBD in the areas of international cooperation,
research and technology transfer.
The Proposals for Action relating to fragile ecosystems affected by
desertification and drought, the Panel urged donors, international
agencies and recipient countries to develop efficient and
coordinated programmes of international cooperation related to
forest affected by desertification and drought, within the context
of the Desertification Convention. The Panel also invited the
Committee on Science and Technology of UNCCD to support research on
plant species for the mitigation of drought and desertification.
In the area of impact of air-borne pollution on forests the Panel
recommended that States consider entering into international
agreements, as appropriate, on the reduction of long-range air
In the area of international cooperation the Panel called for
enhanced coordination, collaboration and complementarity of
activities among international instruments related to forests,
notably the CBD, UNFCCC, UNCCD and the ITTA.

In the area of research the Panel called on the COPs of the CBD,
UNFCCC and UNCCD to promote research and analysis undertaken by
those Conventions and to address gaps in existing knowledge.
With respect to trade, the Panel requested countries to undertake
measures for improving market access for forest goods and services,
including the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade
and that this has to be done in accordance with existing
international obligations and commitments.  It was while discussing
the desirability of having a legally binding instrument on trade
covering forest products form all types of forest that the Panel
could not come to agreement on the course of action to be taken. 
The Panel could also not reach consensus on the question of the
relationship between obligations under international trade
agreement and national measures.
IPF also agreed on Proposals for Action related to other forest
related instruments.  The Panel called on States to guide relevant
international and regional institutions and those administering
instruments, through their governing bodies, to accelerate
incorporation into their relevant work programmes of the forest-
related results of UNCED and of further progress achieved since
then, and of the proposals for action recommended by the Panel.  As
regards a continued international policy dialogue on forests the
Panel provided a set of options, including: to continue the
dialogue in existing fora such as FAO and CSD; the establishment of an
International Negotiating Committee; or to establish an
intergovernmental forum on forests.  This last option was agreed
upon at UNGASS.
As recommended by the Panel, governing bodies of organisations and
instruments are encouraged to incorporate the implementation of the
IPF-s Proposals for Action into their mandates and programmes. 
Countries are also encouraged to integrate recommendations into
their national forest programmes.  Governing bodies such as the
ITTO Council of  ITTA, the CBD and COFO have already acknowledged and
recommended the inclusion of relevant Proposals for Action into
their respective work programmes.

21. Forest Partnership Agreement (FPA) / National Forest Plan (nfp)
These instruments have not been formally adopted yet, and no specific text exists
Website: http://www.undp.org

Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Combined Instruments  
The FPA concept was developed by UNDP in 1995 and further
elaborated by an Expert Group under the guidance of the Forestry Advisory
Group and IUCN.  FPAs represent a multi-stakeholder concept: they are
intent to serve as a mechanism to coordinate and structure the
dialogue and interactions between relevant institutions and actors,
within the context of the national forest policy frameworks for the
achievement of sustainable forest management such as a nfp.  FPAs
are based on the assumption that partnership mechanisms are needed
to integrate all relevant actors and institutions into the nfp
process, and could ensure implementation of nfp by facilitating the
coordination and cooperation of all relevant actors on a
participatory basis.  
Two distinctive types of FPAs are to be distinguished: on the
national and on the international level.  
On the national level, the objective is to integrate relevant
policy, strategy and planning frameworks and the establishment of
participatory privileges for relevant actors in the nfp process. 
FPAs would position the framework for the involvement of the
private sector and other relevant non-governmental actors in the public nfp
process.  On the international level, an FPA is seen as regulating
international involvement in support of the nfp process and thus
ensuring that the relevant international players pay due regard to
nfp instruments as implemented by a specific country.  Its
objectives are to integrate external contributions to the national
forestry sector into the nfp process and to harmonize international
planning approaches with national planning frameworks at the
national level.  The international FPA process is meant to be truly
country driven whereby the donor coordinating process should become
a part of national development planning.

Relevance of the Combined Instruments to Forests
The call for partnership, an essential element to reach sustainable
development, as embodied in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration has
been reaffirmed in for example the 1997 Programme for the further
implementation of Agenda 21.  Its para.39 on forests states that
there is an urgent need for  -(a) Countries and international
organizations and institutions to implement the proposals for
action agreed by the Intergovernmental Panel, (...) in collaboration and
through effective partnership with all interested parties, (...) 
(b) Countries to develop national forest programmes in accordance
with their respective national conditions, objectives and
priorities- in order to come at sustainable forest management. 
Sustainable forest management is a cross-sectoral policy issue and
inadequate coordination and cooperation of relevant institutions
and actors responsible for achieving sustainable forest management is
a major problem. The 1997 Final Report of the IPF encourages
countries to further develop the concept and practice of partnership,
including partnership agreements, in the implementation of nfp-s
one of the potential approaches for improved coordination between all
national and international partners.  The FPA concept has been
introduced in Ecuador as pioneer country.

Links and Cooperation with Other Forest-related Instruments
Forest Partnership Agreements and national forest plans are mainly
directed at the national level, where they could also be utilized
to implement selected objectives of other international instruments
with relevance to forests. 

22. Processes on Criteria and Indicators

The Forest Principles [para.8(d)] and Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 call
for the identification of Criteria and Indicators (C&I) to be used
to evaluate progress in efforts of States to practice sustainable
forest management.  Since then, a large number of national,
regional and international initiatives have been undertaken.  The definition
of "criterion" and "indicator" is in all processes quite similar;
there are strong common and conceptually comparable elements.  In
general, indicators show or reflect the state of the art as well as
time-related changes. The criteria help to characterize SFM and the
indicators ....   Typically an indicator shows a quantitative
change.  As all aspects of forestry cannot be measured with
quantitative indicators, some descriptive indicators have been
formulated to reflect the change regarding legal, institutional and
economic policy framework as well as informational means to
implement the policy. A criterion describes the different aspects
of sustainability at a conceptual level. It is a distinguishing
element or a set of conditions or processes by which a forest
characteristic or management is judged.  The indicators show changes over time
and demonstrate how well each criterion reaches the objective set for
it.  In 1995, FAO and ITTO organized an expert meeting on the
possibilities of  harmonization among the different sets of  C&I.

CSD5 (1997) stated that the "definition of criteria for SFM has led
to a general agreement on the essential elements of forest
management and on principles against which the sustainability of
forests can be assessed.  The identification of agreed-upon
indicators serves as the basis for periodic, national-level
assessment and monitoring of the overall effects of forest
management indictors and the consequences of non-intervention. 
Monitoring progress of SFM against agreed criteria and indicators
will allow action to be adjusted over time to better meet stated,
overall aims and objectives in support of the various functions of
More than 100 States are involved in the various regional processes
associated with C&I.  These processes demonstrate substantial
progress toward a global acceptance on the subject, and an emerging
political consensus on the contents and implementation of C&I. 
They made a significant contribution to tackling challenges related to
SFM, and achieved noteworthy progress in the area of technical and
scientific research.   There are many more initiatives than ones
listed below; CIFOR reviews, on an on-going basis, the various
processes on C&I.

There is a certain amount of cross-referencing between the
different processes, each learning from other and all committing themselves
to continuing research and to further improvements.  The, mostly, six
or seven criteria defined by the international processes described
below are very similar.  It is recognized, however, that the
indicators which correspond to identified criteria should be
closely linked to national conditions, needs and priorities, and therefore
vary both between processes and among countries participating in
them.  Among others, the following international initiatives have
been developed:

1) International Tropical Timber Organisation
ITTO has produced three sets of guidelines on sustainable
management of forests, in which the notion -principle- forms the basis of the
term C&I in the other processes:
a) for the conservation of biological diversity in tropical
production forests;
b) for the establishment and sustainable management of planted
tropical forests; and
c) for the sustainable management of natural tropical forests. 
These efforts complement other ITTO processes, including its
objective to achieve SFM in forest producing tropical timber for
international trade by the year 2000. The ITTO C&I are the first
intergovernmental C&I, and are currently under revision, to be used
as templates for national-level development of more stringent

2) Helsinki Process
The Helsinki Process is an European oriented process, for which
each State has appointed a national coordinator.  The institutional set-
up also knows a liaison unit, a General Coordinating Committee, and
a Scientific Advisory Group.  The Helsinki Declaration of the
Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe
(1993) acknowledged the global dimension of European forests, which amount
to approximately a quarter of the world-s forests, and the
intention to "Participate in, and promote, international activities towards
a global convention of  the management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forests." The implementation and follow-up on the
1990 and 1993 Ministerial Conferences resolutions are undertaken through national
and Pan-European activities.  Ongoing Pan-European activities include developing
guidelines for SFM at the operational level, developing a work programme on
conservation and enhancement of biological and landscape diversification for
ecosystems, and preparing a report on the status of SFM in Europe. 
At the third Ministerial Conference in June 1998 the ministers will
review progress, provide regional responses to the IPF-s action
proposals, and emphasize socio-economic challenges in forestry. 
The following C&I were agreed to in 1994 and cover boreal,
temperate and Mediterranean-type forests:
a)  maintenance and appropriate enhancement of forest resources and
    their contribution to global carbon cycles
b)  maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality
c)  maintenance and encouragement of productive functions of forests (wood and 
d)  maintenance, conservation and appropriate enhancement of
    biological diversity in forest ecosystems
e)  maintenance and appropriate enhancement of protection functions
    in forest management, notably soil and water
f)  maintenance of other socio-economic functions and conditions

3. The Montreal Process on Criteria an Indicators for SFM
The Montreal Process is directed towards covering temperate ad
boreal forests outside Europe.  Nine meetings are held to date.  A
First Approximation Report of Montreal Process Countries was
completed, which revealed that, for a large percentage of
indicators, data are being collected and gaps identified, but that
application, monitoring and capacity to apply C&I vary. In 1995, a
set of 7 criteria and 67 indicators for sustainable forest
management were approved.  The selected criteria are: 
a)     conservation of biological diversity
b)     maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystems
c)     maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality
d)     conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources
e)     maintenance of forest contribution to global carbon cycles
f)     maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socio-economic
       benefits to meet the needs of societies
g)     legal, institutional and economic framework for forest
       conservation and sustainable management

4. Tarapoto Proposal on C&I for the Sustainable Management of Amazon Forests
In 1995, the Tarapoto Process was established for States which are signatories
to the Treaty on Amazonian Cooperation (see above under section 12).  The
Tarapoto Proposal aims at facilitating the formulation of common policies,
establishing common positions at meetings,  preserving biodiversity and planning
of sustainable development.  National consultations to evaluate the Tarapoto
Proposal are an important and ongoing part of the Tarapoto process, in order to
analyse C&I in their economic, environmental and political contexts.   The
Tarapoto Proposal contains 12 criteria and 77 indicators for the sustainable
management of Amazonian forests grouped as follows: 
I.  National Level
a)     socio-economic benefits
b)     policies and legal institutional framework
c)     sustainable forest production
d)     conservation of forest cover and regional biological diversity
e)     conservation and integrated management of water and soil resources
f)     science and technology for the sustainable development of forests
g)     institutional capacity to promote sustainable development
II.    Management Unit Level
h)     legal and institutional framework
i)     sustainable forest production
j)     conservation of forests ecosystems
k)     local socio-economic benefits
III.   Services at Global Level 
l)     economic, social and environmental services performed by Amazonian forests

5. African Timber Organisation
The African Timber Organisation attempts to balance the need to reconcile the
productive functions of forests with their environmental role.  ATO, with CIFOR,
is developing C&I at unit-level to improve market competitiveness in connection
with certification.  C&I will also be reflected in national forestry plans.  Six
countries have been selected as pilot countries to test the C&I.  CIFOR is
researching if C&I can be applied across different eco-regions, and is
considering how the needs of forest-dwellers can be modified for community
forestry.  It is also investigating whether natural forest C&I can be applied to
plantation forests.  28 criteria and 60 indicators for the sustainable management
of African tropical forests have been developed, grouped around the following 5
major principles:
a)     sustainability of the forest and its multiple functions
b)     areas identified as permanent forest estate
c)     adequate management of forested estates
d)     maintenance of the main ecological functions of the forest
e)     definition of the rights and duties of all stakeholders

6. Leparterique Process for Central America
Central American C&I cover a variety of forest types, including
wetland forests, highland forests and conifer forests, and are
founded on four principles: ensuring integration of peace and
democracy; benefiting from experiences in other regions;
cooperating with FAO; and encouraging international support.  Under auspices of
FAO and the Central American Commission for Sustainable
Development, C&I for sustainable forest management in Central America have been
developed, in particular for the States signatories to the Central
American Treaty on Forests (see above under number 13)
In 1997, seven principles for Sustainable Forest Organization in
Central America were established: 
a)  political responsibility
b)  forest maintenance and health
c)  contribution from forest
d)  maintenance of biological diversity
e)  forest production
f)  development of science and technology
g)  forest for people 
Also, two sets of C&I have been developed, one aimed at Central
America, the other set for the national level.  They are regarded
as important characteristics for strengthening the full democratic
participation of  the Central American society

7. Dry Zone Africa Process 
The Dry Zone Africa regional process, was initiated in 1995 by FAO
and UNEP.  It  proposed a set of C&I for sustainable forest
management in sub-Saharan dry-zone Africa.  The significance of C&I
to individual countries in a regional context and the applicability
of criteria are under discussion.  The process is relatively new
and faces a number of challenges, such as the identification of 
national focal points for the process, issues related to data
collection, implementation capacity and limited financial
resources. The following criteria have been proposed: 
a)  maintenance and improvement of forest resources, including their contribution 
    to global carbon cycles
b)  conservation and enhancement of biological diversity in forest ecosystems
c)  maintenance of forest ecosystem health, vitality and integrity
d)  maintenance and enhancement of production functions of forests and other 
    wooded lands
e)  maintenance and improvement of protection functions in forest
f)     maintenance and enhancement of socio-economic benefits
g)  adequacy of legal, institutional and policies frameworks for
    sustainable forest management

8. Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Managment in the
Near East C&I have only recently been introduced in the Near East, with the
FAO/UNEP Workshop in 1996.  Their application presents challenges
due to the prevalent aridity and ecological, social and technical
problems of the region. Emphasis was put on identification of  the
specific characteristics of the region.  It was discussed that,
among other things, foresters will have to be trained to apply the
C&I; the elaboration of criteria, and particularly assessment and
monitoring of indicators should be done in a cost-effective way;
issues related to data collection and reporting; and the
establishment of national focal points.  The criteria identified
a)     extent of forest resources
b)     conservation of biological diversity in forest areas
c)     health, vitality and integrity
d)     productive capacity and functions
e)     protective and environmental functions
f)     maintenance and development of socio-economic functions and conditions
g)     legal and institutional framework


The following four tables are designed in order to summarize the
information on the twenty-one international instruments discussed
above.  They visualize:
-   the contents and implementation of the instrument, including
    additional protocols,    decisions of the COP etc;
-   the relation of these instruments with the role and functions forests may 
    fulfill; and
-   the relation of these instruments with the basic preconditions
    which are deemed necessary to  meet the role and functions as
    identified before.

TABLE I    handles the global legally binding instruments with relevance to 
TABLE II   is on the regional legally binding instruments with relevance to 
TABLE III  deals with the non-legally binding instruments
TABLE IV   synthesizes tables I, II and III

The shades of the segments of the tables indicate if the particular
function of forests fulfill  has been regulated by the
international instrument and/or its implementation activities, on a relative




One of  the conclusions which can be drawn after analysis of the
existing instruments with relevance to forests included in this
Background Document, appears obvious from the tables: all functions and roles
of forests have been regulated to some extent.  The descriptive part
demonstrates that many instruments have links or have established
links on forest-related issues.  On the other hand, the analysis also
articulates the lack of coordination and the great dispersion in
addressing forest-related issues. There does not exist any all-encompassing
cohesive comprehensive legal instrument on forests.  In all instruments
discussed in this Background Document, certain functions or roles
of forests, or preconditions to make optimal use of these functions,
are omitted.  Further, not all geographic regions are involved to the
same extent.  

Broadly, there are four ways to regulate the gaps in the international forest

1.      It would be possible to adopt existing conventions to new circumstances,
such as, for example, the Ramsar Convention developed itself into the direction
of taking into accounts aspects of biological diversity.  Agreed instruments are
not static: conventions could extend themselves to forests, forests could fall
under the scope of existing instruments.  In practice though, their range of
flexibility is quite often rather limited.  Amendments are difficult to agree on,
their procedures are lengthy processes; it is a form of renegotiation, which
might disintegrate fragile balances within the context of a particular
instrument.  Further, since no legally binding instrument presents a truly
holistic approach towards forests, there will always be some perspectives which
will remain under represented. 

2.      Another possibility to fill gaps would encompass a piecemeal approach. 
In this case, areas with relevance to forests that have not been regulated are
singled out and the particular segment becomes subject of an agreement.  This
strategy could also be applied to certain "under regulated" geographic regions. 
However, this approach could also encounter obstacles, most obvious demonstrated
by the discussions within IPF and IFF: the more the interrelationships and
integrative aspects of forests are accepted, the greater the tendency towards
unacceptableness and infeasibility to confining international negotiations to
only one angle of forests.  

3.      The option to reach a comprehensive agreement on forests is
also being taken into account.  With this approach, the "convention
fatigue" of the international community comes to the foreground, mainly
instigated by the failures of existing conventions to deliver.  It is recognized
that negotiations within an International Negotiating Committee (INC) are very
costly and equally time consuming.  They could represent a realistic danger of
delaying current initiatives on forests, the negotiation of a global instrument
could discourage regional and other existing initiatives, and it is argued it
would be too inflexible by nature. The fear has been expressed, in
particular by some  NGOs, that a convention and its protracted negotiations
would possibly lead to more trade in timber and more deforestation

On the other hand, a comprehensive agreement on forests could be a
way to take into account their holistic nature.  Such an agreement
would have an unifying influence among the plethora of instruments and
initiatives; at this moment, it is barely feasible to have an overview. 
It could provide an opportunity to take all aspects of forests into
account, all regions, and all views of relevant actors.  The negotiations,
adoption and subsequent implementation would definitely raise public and
political expectations and awareness.  The instrument could address the gaps
currently existing, and provide a balance for all functions of forests. It could 
install unified procedures for reporting and monitoring, and provide a global
framework for initiatives at other levels and in other fora.

4.      The fourth option is to fill gaps with "soft-law
instruments", which are non-legally binding.  Soft law has played an important
role in the evolution of international environmental law.  Frequently,
an area is regulated by a non-legally binding instrument first; upon
the basis of the consensus regarding the developments and implementation
of that instrument, a legally binding instruments often form the next
stage.  Soft law makes important contributions for crystallizing of emerging
norms on a given subject and help, in turn, in securing an international
environmental agreement with harder obligations later. 
On the other hand, a soft law instrument can be regarded as lacking
requisite characteristics of international legal norms and are usually
considered vague or imperfect provisions; often they are obscure or ambiguous and
therefore politically convenient to participating States.


Kolk, A. "Forests in International Environmental Politics" ,
International Books, ISBN 90 5727 002 1

Committee on Forestry COFO-95/2 - Supp.4, 1995 "Assessing the
advantages and disadvantages of a legally binding instrument on forests".

Astrid Skala Kuhmann, September 1997, "The forest partnership agreement", via
Support to International Programmes in Tropical Forestry, fax +49.6196.797333

David Humphreys, 1996, "Forest Politics - The Evolution of International
Cooperation", Earthscan Publications Ltd., London, 1996, ISBN 1 85383 378 9

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative,August 1994, "The GATT Uruguay Round
Agreements" Report on Environmental Issues, ISBN     0 16 045155 8

UNCTAD Secretariat, 1996, "Implications of the Uruguay Round for Trade
in Wood and Wood Products", Doc. UNCTAD/COM/75 

Markku Simula, June 1996, "Effective Coordination Mechanisms in Financing
Sustainable Forestry Development", Report prepared for the Workshop on Financial
Mechanisms and Sources of Finance for Sustainable Forestry.

Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Portugal,
November 1996, "The role of forestry in attaining the objectives of
the Convention to Combat Desertification", Secretariat note no. 3.
Expert meeting on rehabilitation of forest degraded ecosystems, 

"Lome' IV Convention as revised by the agreement signed in
Mauritius", The ACP-EU Courier no. 155, January-February 1996, ISSN 1013-7335

Council of Europe Publishing 1996, "Pan-European Biological and Landscape
Diversity Strategy", Nature and Environment, no. 74, ISBN 92-871-3046-9

Robert Housman, 1994, "Reconciling Trade and the Environment:
Lessons from the North American Free Trade Agreement", UNEP Environment and Trade

Ulrich Beyerlin and Thilo Marauhn, 1997, "Law-Making and Law-Enforcement in
International Environmental Law after the 1992 Rio Conference", Erich Schmidt
Verlag Berlin ISBN 3-503-04075-7

Philippe Sands, 1995, "Principles of International Environmental
Law" Vol.I: Frameworks, standards and implementation,Manchester
University Press, ISBN 0 7190 3483/1.

Thomas Schoenbaum, April 1997, "International trade and the protection of the
environment: the continuing search for reconciliation", American Journal of
International Law, Vol.91

David Luff, 1996, "An overview of international law of sustainable development
and a confrontation between WTO rules and sustainable development", Revue Belge
de Droit International, 1996/1

Andre' Nollkaemper 1996, "Between the forests and the trees - an emerging
international forest law", Jutta Brunne'e and  Environmental Conservation 23(4).

Guri Kristin Rosendal, 1993, "The Quest for a Global Forest Strategy: Barking up
the wrong tree?", Fridtjof Nansens Institute,  ISBN82-7613-056-9

Ed. by A.J. Grayson and W.B. Maynard, 1997, "The World's Forests - Rio
+ 5: International Initiatives towards Sustainable Management", Commonwealth
Forestry Association, ISBN 0-9515059-2-0

Roger Sedjo and Brent Sohngen, April 1998, "How will Climate Change Impact the
World's Forests?", at http://www.weathervane.rff.org/features/feature037.html.

David Brand, 1998, "Potential Opportunities Generated by the Kyoto Protocol in
the Forest Sector", Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills 2120,
Australia, not published.

Extensive use has been made of the websites mentioned in the text of this
Background Document

In addition, the full text of many treaties can be found on:


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