ADVANCE UNEDITED TEXT Programme Element I.b of the Programme of Work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests MONITOR PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTATION Note from the Secretariat --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary The implementation of the IPF proposals for action and the continued international dialogue on forests in IFF were initiated after the nineteenth special session of the United Nations General Assembly. These parallel processes provide unique opportunities for monitoring reviewing and reporting. This current Note covers these topics and identifies opportunities to: (1) Identify existing data and information sources relevant to management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forest; (2) Develop a framework for assessment in the long-term; (3) Identify some parameters, associated with issues reflecting the IPF/IFF programme of work, to discern progress, preferably ones that are measurable and already collected; and (4) Encourage and support ongoing efforts to create synergies and compatibility among a set of fairly fragmented data collections. It should be recognised that any data collected by countries for regional and global purposes will have to have a tangible value at the national level. Consequently, monitoring, assessment and reporting requirements at the regional or international levels need to be integrated into national forest programmes and the development of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONTENTS Paragraphs Page Executive Summary I INTRODUCTION II MANDATE AND SCOPE A. Mandate B. Scope III INFORMATION AND DATA GATHERING ON FORESTS A. United Nations B. Regional Organisations C. Conventions D. Non-Governmental Organisations E. Commercial IV MECHANISM, PROCESS AND FORMAT FOR REVIEWING, MONITORING, REPORTING AND ASSESSING PROGRESS IN THE MANAGEMENT, CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ALL TYPES OF FORESTS A. Background B. Possible Parameters C. Possible Models V. ASSESSMENT, INFORMATION AND THE INTERNET A. Assessment Parameters and Information Sources G. Dissemination and Accessibility through the Internet VI. BACKGROUND DISCUSSION AND SECRETARY-GENERAL■S REPORT FOR IFF III I INTRODUCTION The intergovernmental discussions on forests at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) , Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF), and now the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), as well as other international discussions attest that forests are no longer viewed from a purely conservationist, economic or industrial perspective. The implementation of the agreements and recommendations stemming from these processes will require concerted action and allocation of resources in the short, medium and long-term. The main tools and actors for this implementation are primarily dealt with under Category I.a - facilitation and promotion of implementation (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/?), as well as under Category II.e - forest related work of international and regional organisations (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/?). Both of these issues will receive substantive discussion at the second session of the IFF. With the recognition that forests provide multiple benefits, have diverse constituencies and that trends and policies in other sectors have an impact on the state of forests, as well as that implementation of sustainable forest management requires divers tools and actors, follows the need to assess progress towards sustainable forest management and to base policies affecting forests on the best information available. It is fundamentally the need to assess progress at the national level that will then drive and provide the basis for any assessment undertaken at other levels of aggregation, i.e. regional and/or global. II MANDATE AND SCOPE A Mandate At its first session, the IFF decided that the work of its forthcoming sessions should be conducted according to three interlinked categories, which should receive balanced intergovernmental attention. The first of these three categories, entitled "promoting and facilitating the implementation of the proposals for action of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IFF) and reviewing, monitoring and reporting on progress in the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests", contains two elements: I.a and I.b. The focus of this Note is programme element I.b. The Secretary General's Report on programme element I.a (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/?), deals with the facilitation and promotion of implementation. At its first session, the Forum decided that programme element I.b would receive background discussion at its second session. At its first session the Forum also decided that the background and substantive discussions on programme element I.b should be guided by the following mandate: Monitor progress in implementation. Consider the mechanisms, process and format for reviewing, monitoring and reporting on progress; and assess progress in implementation, inter alia, by countries, United Nations agencies, other international organizations and major groups, including the private sector, and indigenous people, forest dwellers, forest owners and local communities. B. Scope The purpose of this Note from the Secretariat is to assist the IFF in its background discussion on mechanism, process and format for reviewing, monitoring, reporting and to assess progress in the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. It is assumed that no new reporting and/or data collection mechanism at the international level would be initiated during the current IFF process. Rather, a discussion could be initiated on the form that such monitoring, reviewing and reporting could take in the medium- and long-term, at the national, regional and global levels, while taking advantage of already ongoing discussions within the UN system on streamlining of reporting. Accordingly, the Note provides a short review of some information sources for forest related data and information and then suggests an approach to review how available data sources can be used and integrated for intergovernmental assessment. III INFORMATION AND DATA GATHERING ON FORESTS In order to provide an initial overview of the mechanisms that are available and could be used to analyse progress achieved in management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, a few examples and short descriptions of some forest-related information gathering activities within the UN system and elsewhere are given below. A United Nations There are a few organisations that gather forest related data and/or information and to which countries and others, such as correspondents, report periodically. Most notable here is the FAO and the ECE as well as United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). 1. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisations a. Forest Resource Assessment The FAO collects information on different types of forest world-wide from national focal points. The scope is global and the data are collected and published every ten years, with an up-date every five years. This exercise is also complemented by a capacity building and technical assistance programme for national and regional forest assessment and information collection. This assessment is unique in that it collects national information for regional and global aggregation, which is widely used all over the world. The Forest Resource Assessment 2000 is much wider in substantive scope than has been the case for previous assessments. It not only includes forest cover but also requests information on: biological diversity and protection status; wood supply and carbon sequestration functions; forest condition; forest fires; non-wood goods and services; and protective and socio-economic functions. b. Trade Data and Production Data Country level data on production, imports and exports of different wood forest products, both in the form of value and volume, are also collected by the FAO. Its scope is global and is collected annually from national focal points and designated correspondents. This information is available on the FAO WebPages though an interactive data base. c. Pulp and Paper Capacities Survey The FAO also collects data on pulp and paper production capacities, organised by country and product. The survey is based on information provided by national focal points, correspondents and secretariat estimates. This annual survey is global in scope and includes five year projections. d. Forest Sector Financing and Investments The FAO collects data on ODA and other investment and financing data to support its forest sector monitoring. These data are periodically collected through national focal points and correspondents. The collection is global in scope, and includes projections and FAO estimates. e. Monitoring of National Forest Programmes. The FAO is the repository for national forest programmes and monitors implementation through FAO■s country and regional advisors in the field. Collection and up-dating of this information takes place on a continuos basis. f. State of the World's Forests The FAO started publishing this overarching report on the state of the world's forest four years ago upon the recommendation of the "High Level Advisory Group on Forests" convened in 1994 to give advise on FAO's work on forests. This report is aimed at filling a very important gap of easy to access and understandable information on issues that affect forests, to be used by the public, policy makers and others. So far, two issues of this report have been published, in 1995 and in 1997. The next and third issue will become available in 1999. The State of the World's Forests assesses information on forests available to the FAO both in-house and from other sources. It includes an aggregated version of the latest data from the Forest Resource Assessment, as well as on past and future trends. The latest issue had special sections giving regional perspectives on the state of forests. The two issues, to- date, have included chapters highlighting policy developments relevant to forest, both in the forest sector itself as well as in other sectors affecting forest such as agriculture. The reports have also covered such aspects as economic and social development in the forest sector, and environmental aspects such as conservation, and forests■ contribution to environmental stability. In the foreword of the 1997 issue, FAO specifically states its intentions to form partnerships with those doing related work in order to cast it nets wider and capture more information and data in order to present a more complete picture of the world's forest. 2. United Nations Industrial Development Organisation UNIDO collects data on the manufacturing sector, including wood and pulp and paper industries. Their Industrial Statistics Yearbook contains information on wood products, furniture and paper and paper products manufacturing, collected from national sources as well as UNIDO's own estimates. UNIDO also has a Commodity Balance Statistics Database which contain data on different grades of wood pulp, boards etc, traded as commodities. 3. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe The Economic Commission for Europe, ECE, in collaboration with FAO, collects and repots on data for forests in Europe and North America. These data includes both forest quantity and quality. ECE is, for example, the repository for data on forests affected by pollution. It also collects trade and production data. The ECE's work is used for the Forest Resource Assessment, coordinated by the FAO. 4. United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) a. United Nations Statistical Division In the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) work is progressing in compiling environmental indicators from national statistical services based on a core set of indicators, as approved by the Statistical Commission at its 28th session. This division within DESA is also preparing a AManual on Environmental Statistics and Indicators@. This Manual will contain concepts, definitions, classifications and descriptions of data sources, tabulations and data uses for environmental indicators. The UNSD also collects information on fuelwood use as part of their energy statistics. b. National Reports The Division of Sustainable Development(DSD) is the repository for the national reports on progress in implementing Agenda 21, in accordance with the Commission on Sustainable Development■s (CSD) programme of work. Countries are requested to submit national reports each year on a voluntary basis, focusing on the programme of work of the CSD of any particular year. It has requested information on forests, twice, in 1995, when Chapter 11 and the Forest Principles were on the CSD■s agenda, and in 1997 for the country profiles presented at the 19th special session of the UN General Assembly. It will request information on forests again for the eighth session of the CSD in the year 2000, when forest will be on the agenda. c. Work Programme on Indicators of Sustainable Development and the International Work Programme on Changing Consumption and Production Patterns (IWPCCPP) The Division for Sustainable Development is responsible for the Work Programme on Indicators of Sustainable Development. This ongoing work programme has developed a working list of indicators of sustainable development divided into four categories social, economic, environmental and institutional. Three types of indicators have then been identified for each category: driving force indicators, state indicators and response indicators. For Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 on Combatting deforestation, the driving force indicator is - wood harvesting intensity; the state indicator is - forest area change; and the response indicator is - managed forest area ratio, and protected forest area as percent of total forest area. Within the DSD and under the work programme of the CSD, there is also on going work on measuring critical trends in consumption and production patterns, in the IWPCCPP. The current challenge of this work programme is to identify a provisional core set of indicators. In monitoring the sustainability of land use this programme has proposed a set of indicators involving forests. For example: land use per sector, per capita and/or as percent of total land area; land use change per sector as percent change over unit of time; change in land condition; as well as subsidies for agricultural inputs - as a percentage of their price, among others. 5. United Nations Environment Programme The United Nations Environment Programme UNEP has collected country studies on biodiversity which to a large extent should be relevant to forests. It also has the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) Meta Directory, the Infoterra data base and a data base on environment economics, containing mostly publications. It has also produced the Global Biodiversity Assessment, Environmental Data Report, Global Outlook and the World Atlas of Desertification. 6. United Nations Development Programme The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised and convened an expert meeting on synergies in national implementation of the Rio agreements, i.e. the Forest Principles, CBD, Convention on Combatting Desertification (CCD), and FCCC, in March 1997 in Israel. Among the topics that were raised at this meeting, was the issues of information, monitoring and reporting. The meeting concluded that there were three areas of physical overlap among the agreements, among them the role of forest. It was recommended that a core data set on forest type and extent, serves the need for forest background information for each of the instruments. In addition, modifications to forest inventory methods by including data of interest to other instruments and the development of common definitions of terms and indicators could go a long way in creating the necessary synergies and avoid duplication of data collection. This meeting also identified a set of forest -related information needs common to most of the instruments, which included: forest area/extent; forest type; species composition; distribution by zone (altitude, climate); status of naturalness; forest condition and health; common flora and fauna; forest density; forest age structure; regeneration type and rate; deforestation (area by type); afforestation (area , by type); timber use and fate; site location (elevation, slope, aspect); growing stock/biomass; and canopy information. B. Regional Organisations 1. Southern Africa Development Co-operation - SADC The SADC Forestry Sector Technical Coordination Unit, located in Malawi, collects data on the regions forest resources and utilization. These data are made available on the Internet in the form of searchable databases. The databases are divided into six categories: Human Resources, Education and Training; Forest Resources; Basic Data, includes economic indicators, donors active in forests in the region and non-governmental organisations; Forest Research; Forest Utilization; and Forest Economics. 2. Association of South East Asian Nations - ASEAN The ASEAN Institute of Forest Management (AIFM), located in Malaysia, has a Resource Inventory Section. This section develops resource inventory and monitoring techniques of forest resources in the region. This institute also provides technical advise and training as well as develops standard multiple resource inventory methodologies. C. International Conventions and Agreements 1. Framework Convention on Climate Change The COPs of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, FCCC, report on both amount of carbon stored in forests and on emissions of carbon resulting from land use changes, for example through harvesting and deforestation. 2. Convention on Biological Diversity Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity have submitted their first national reports on measures taken for the implementation of the provisions of the Convention. In accordance with decisions of the Conference of the Parties, these reports focused on the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention, concerning the development of national biodiversity strategies and action plans and the integration of biological diversity conservation and sustainable use into sectoral and cross-sectoral planning and policy. The fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (held in Bratislava, Slovakia in May 1998) considered a synthesis of the information contained in the 107 reports so far received. The Conference of the Parties adopted a further decision on national reports (decision IV/14), as well as a decision on forest biological diversity (decision IV/7). 3. Convention on Combatting Desertification UNEP produced the World Atlas on Desertification, inter-alia, as a contribution to the Convention on Combatting Desertification. Data on climate, soil degradation and vegetation were combined and analysed using geographical information systems. This Atlas provides a valuable reference point for future monitoring, assessment and reporting within the Convention. 4. International Tropical Timber Agreement The International Tropical Timber Organisation collects data related to market and trade information of tropical timbers, such as production, import, export and log prices. It also inquires about topics such as tariffs , incentives, disincentives that could affect trade. ITTO also collects data on species composition and the use of lesser used species in trade, capacities in forest products industries, as well as general market situation for tropical timber such as housing starts etc The ITTA also has several projects for assisting parties in data collection and gathering of market information.. D. Non-Governmental Organisations 1. World Conservation Monitoring Centre - WCMS The WCMC together with Centre for International Forest Research (CIFOR) has recently produced a significant amount of data and analysis on the protection status of the world's forests. These include data on forest location, by type, and the amount of each type protected in each region of the world and can be easily accessed through WCMC■s WebPages. 2. World Resources Institute, WRI WRI, in its publication World Resources presents data on forests cover , deforestation etc, mainly using data from the FAO. In the 1996-97 issue of this publication WRI estimated, based on FAO deforestation data, CO2 emissions from other than industrial processes, including those stemming from land-use change. WRI provides independent analysis, conclusions and recommendations on resource use as a whole, including forest lands. E. Commercial Several private companies collect and analyse data for a fee. These companies focus particularly on the forest and forest products industry. For example: AThe 1997 Southern Hemisphere Forest Industry Yearbook@ publishes data on afforestation, wood flows, pulp and paper, solid wood manufacturing and panels and boards for Chile, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Some financial and marketing data can also be found on the Internet. In some case there are links to stock and other exchange market information on traded forest products and pulp and paper or wood related firms, options, futures, funds and indices. Many of these are updated on a daily basis. IV MECHANISM, PROCESS AND FORMAT FOR REVIEWING, MONITORING, REPORTING AND ASSESSING PROGRESS IN THE MANAGEMENT CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ALL TYPES OF FORESTS A. Background The Forum recognised the need to clarify the approaches towards measuring progress in management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests in a systematic and co-ordinated fashion. At all levels, many of the existing data and information sources are fragmented, both subject wise as well as in terms of location of the repository. This might not necessarily pose a problem as data on specific topics, for example, forest biodiversity or forest investments ought to be collected, with a comparative advantage, by an organisation that is directly concerned with the topic and possesses relevant expertise. Many reports are available on issues that have an impact on forests. However, they are not necessarily produced with forests as a primary focus. Much of the data involved do have relevance to forests, but their analysis, review and reporting might not specifically deal with forests . There are relatively few examples of integrated analysis, interpretation and reporting on forests. One notable exception is the recently launched report on the - State of the World's Forests■, published biannually by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). To design the structure and operationalise a mechanism, process and format for reviewing, monitoring, reporting and assessing progress takes several years. Therefore, for the third session of the Forum quantitative information is not expected to be available to permit an assessment of progress in the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests since the formulation of IPF■s proposals for action, little over a year ago. Nor is it envisaged that available information will show that the IPF■s proposals for action have had any discernible impact on the actual bio-physical state of the world■s forests. Very few, if any, of the IPF■s proposals for action entailed any specific target against which countries could easily measure progress. Most of the proposals for action urge countries, major groups and international organisations to promote the application of certain guidelines, principles and/or agreed concepts in formulating and developing strategies for forests and forest related issues. It is important to note, however, that a large number of national, regional and international initiatives have been launched by countries, international organisations and major groups; these are described in Secretary-General■s Report on programme element I.a (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/??). B Possible Parameters Regardless of level, i.e. national, regional and/or global , it would be important to decide at the onset what needs to be measured and assessed, as well as the level of accuracy needed. The parameters against which progress can be assessed should ideally be simple, collected periodically and allow meaningful and insightful policy analyses and assessments. a) Link Between Indicators and Assessment The Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, in its fourth report (E/CN.17/IFF/1997/12), concluded, inter alia, that forests is a cross-sectoral issue, and that there is a need for a broad spectrum of quantitative, qualitative and descriptive indicators covering social, cultural, economic, ecological, institutional, and legal and policy elements. While the Panel had divergent views on the merits of a core set of criteria and indicators for use at the global level, they recognised that the dialogue should continue in order to improve consistency in reporting on forest assessment and sustainable forest management. For example, the Group of 8 (G8) industrialised countries at its summit in Birmingham, UK in 1998, also acknowledged that criteria and indicators provide common framework for describing, monitoring and assessing, over time, progress towards sustainable forest management. The link between the national level and the FAO■s global forest resources assessment is important in providing consistent, reliable and compatible forest data on a global basis. In due course, a harmonised and compatible core set of criteria and indicators might become a useful tool available to decision makers at all levels in the forest sector. The lack of a core set of criteria and indicators does not deter from the fact that: there are collections of forest- related data, that have national, regional or global scope, and that have been collected over a period of time that could be used to discern progress. A positive aspect of the ongoing criteria and indicator processes is that data and information needs are identified primarily for their value to national efforts. Over the long-term the criteria and indicator processes will provide not only invaluable and finely tuned instruments for national and sub-national level efforts but also for international level assessments. The IFF, as a policy forum, presumably would not need, nor want, to examine the same level of detail as, for example, a scientist or other professionals involved in sustainable forest management at the national, sub-national and forest management unit level. In contrast to most national level efforts, the IFF may wish to consider elements of a framework that can be used as a broad and simple diagnostic tool for assessing progress, preferably by using already available highly aggregated data and parameters and mechanisms. b) Framework. Whatever parameters one chooses to use, it is obvious that the level of economic development, type and amount of forest in a particular country as well as social conditions, will determine in what areas, and at what pace, progress can be achieved and measured at a particular point in time. Progress in individual parameters used to assess management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests will not be even at all times, neither globally, nor regionally, nor at the country level. It would be preferable to review progress that takes into account both development level and extent of forests cover of countries. One possibility would be to review and assess progress within the typology of countries with: 1) low per-capita income and low per-capita forest cover; 2) low per-capita income and high per-capita forest cover; 3) high per-capita income and low per-capita forest cover; and 4) high per-capita income and high per-capita forest cover. This kind of approach could possibly identify: (a) commonalties among countries facing similar priority areas of concern as well as (b) the parameters, (c) factors and (d) interventions in forest related policies and sectors that have been critical in the past and possible lessons that can be learnt. The Forum may wish to identify a framework and broad areas for monitoring, reviewing and reporting. This framework could encompass: levels of economic and social development and environmental protection, and/or management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forest; or a mix of both. Organisation of the data at the national , regional /eco- regional and global levels would provide additional valuable perspectives. Reaching a consensus on how to array the many core issues on the IPF/IFF■s agendas, either for the purpose of monitoring, reviewing and reporting or to identify possible elements, is a critical task for the Forum. It is proposed that the Forum consider to cluster a set of parameters, associated with issues that reflect the IPF/IFF programme of work, into the following categories: (1) economic development, (2) social development, and (3) environmental protection /ecological considerations, in addition to a component of (4) institutions and policy instruments. This approach is consistent with the frameworks followed by most criteria and indicator processes and the conclusions and proposals for action by the IPF. In order to assist monitoring at the global level the Forum may also wish to identify, within this framework, a number of parameters associated with the following: 1. Economic Development - Supply and demand of wood and non-wood forest products and services - Value of international co-operation - Value of forest and forest products industry investments - Value of international trade in forest products and services 2. Social Development - State and level of forest-related education and training - Forest ownership and user-rights patterns. - State and level forest related employment - Level of participation by local populations in decision making, resources management, and benefit sharing. 3. Environmental Protection - Forest cover, changes; quantity and quality - Level of forest conservation and protection - State of forest services: biodiversity, carbon sinks/reservoirs, soil and water 4. Institutions and Policy Instruments - National forest programmes: implementation - Criteria and indicators: implementation - Forest assessments: implementation - Economic instruments and tax policies: implementation C. Possible Models Within the overall framework of national forest programmes, a possible model could be designed with the objective of achieving as integrated and cross-sectoral assessment of progress in the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The Forum has decided that such a model should contain monitoring, reviewing, reporting, and assessment for policy making. National, regional and international policy and decision- makers could then decide on further actions needed. Even if such a framework would consist of already existing mechanisms, additional support at the national, regional and global levels would be necessary. The examples given in the following sections are mostly from the global or regional levels but the components for monitoring and reviewing and reporting, outlined below, would also be applicable at the national level. 1. Monitoring a): Collection of Data and Information Data and information collection is undertaken in many forms, for example: voluntary, such as national reporting to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD); obligatory, such as national reports under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Framework Convention on Climate Change ( FCCC); and global and/or regional, such as the forest assessment collected by the FAO and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Data and information can be obtained through, for example: national reports to a central body; questionnaires; country visits, for example - "twinning", as in the OECD; hearings, for example the by World Commission on Forest Sustainable Development (WCFSD); monitoring networks and/or remote sensing; and national focal points or independent correspondents, for example data collected by the FAO for its forest resource assessments and UNIDO for its industrial statistics data base. b) Data Organisation The value of data lies in the manner it is organised. In the forest sector, it could be by: the Forest Principles or the IPF/IFF programme elements; by factors concerning economic, social, environmental/biophysical, and institutional/policy issues; predetermined priority areas; political or ecological regions; forest type, and by the state of development. 3. Reviewing a) Analysis and Interpretation The review, analysis and interpretation of the data is usually accomplished by the collecting or monitoring agency, and/or by another designated agency, and/or by independent experts, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, academia, etc. In some cases the review and analysis are made with a specific mandate stemming from an intergovernmental body, instrument or governing bodies. Transparency and accessibility of data and information is important, so that to as many actors as possible can draw their own conclusions from the best available information. 4. Reporting a) Presentation and Dissemination All UN organisations report periodically to their governing bodies and some of these reports are relevant for monitoring forest-related issues. These bodies often review policies and measures undertaken by governments, international organisations and major groups. For example, in FAO, the Committee on Forestry (COFO), meets every two years; the governing body of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) meets every year and may or may not consider forest-related issues depending on its agenda; International Tropical Timber Organisation■s (ITTO) governing body the International Tropical Timber Council meets every year; and the CSD meets every year and the practice has been to consider forest issues every three to five years. 5. Assessment for Policy and Decision Making Assessments for policy and decision making take place in various national and international processes. It can be accomplished through a parliamentary or intergovernmental body or, for example the Conference of the Parties (COP) of a regional or international instrument. Assessments are also carried out through independent expert panels, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and/or by individual experts, national and international organisations, major groups, and academia. None of the above examples are necessarily mutually exclusive they could be a part of any integrated national, regional or global effort. A more detailed description of various existing mechanisms for reviewing and reporting, primarily in the UN system but also within such organisations as the OECD and the EU, is presented in the Secretary Generals Report on - Modalities for the Exchange of National Experiences at the Regional Level■, prepared for the sixth session of the CSD (E/CN.17/1998/9). 6. Streamlining of Reporting The Commission on Sustainable Development, in its early deliberations, considered the need for streamlining reporting requirements in the field of sustainable development. This concern was largely driven by two considerations: one, the increasing number of international legal agreements and intergovernmental decisions that were calling for national reporting on issues of relevance to sustainable development; and, two, the cross-sectoral nature of sustainable development itself. Following a decision by the CSD, the Division for Sustainable Development prepared a four-year calendar which reflects the periodicity, scheduling and focus of these reporting requirements across the UN System, as well as the Conventions. In a consultative meeting of the Inter-agency Committee on Sustainable Development the possibility of adopting a common format or even a single format for requesting information for Governments was discussed. However, it was felt that this would not be feasible for the following reasons: 1) mandated requests for information vary in their timing, periodicity and scope; 2) they are addressed to very different clientele at the national level (e.g., most intergovernmental bodies have designated specific national focal points as their interlocutors); and 3) the kind of information ranges, e.g., from statistical to assessment to experiential. It was agreed that information relevant to the issues contained in Agenda 21 should be requested in such a manner that Governments would not be asked to provide the same information to more than one UN organization. This presupposes that organizations review what is available "in-house" and ensure that they make -value added■ requests; and, that the information is made fully accessible, preferably via the World Wide Web. This is, in fact, one of the major intended purposes of the UN System-wide Sustainable Development Web Site. V. ASSESSMENT PARAMETERS, INFORMATION SOURCES AND THE INTERNET A. Assessment and Information Using the framework suggested in Chapter IV Section B, the following matrix is proposed using some of the descriptions of information sources above. This matrix could give an indication of how these information sources fit into the suggested general framework. INFORMATION SOURCES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FAO: Supply and Demand Surveys, Pulp and Paper Capacity, Trade and Production, Forest Sector Financing and Investments, FRA 2000 ITTO: Pricing and trade data of tropical timbers. UNIDO: Forest products manufacturing sector data. WORLD BANK: Valuation, IFC forest products industry investment data Various commercial information sources. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT FAO: FRA 2000; State of the World's Forests; capacity building data. UNIDO: employment data ENVIRONMENT/BIOPHYSICAL FAO: FRA 2000, agricultural land expansion, deforestation data; WCMC/CIFOR/UNEP: Protected areas; CBD: National Reports UNEP: Biodiversity country studies, Global Biodiversity Assessment, Environment Data Report UNECE: polluted forest area data FCCC & WRI: carbon storage and sink data INSTITUTIONS AND POLICY INSTRUMENTS FAO: National forest programme collection; Research institutions; Criteria and indicator processes; FRA 2000, Certification schemes OVERARCHING REVIEW FAO: State of the World■s Forests B. Dissemination and Accessibility Through the Internet Modern information media such as the worlwideweb provides for many interesting opportunities in accessibility and dissemination of information. One collaborative task for the ITFF member organisation as well as other partners could be to make their forest related data collections available on the Internet. To some degree this is already available, albeit not in a collective fashion. A proposal for action related to this issue is presented in Secretary-General's Report on II.e, "Forest-related work of international and regional organisations". A notable emerging initiative is the consortium formed among International Union for forest Research Organisations (IUFRO), Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), World Forest Institute (WFI), FAO, Oxford Forest Institute (OFI) and European Forest Institute (EFI). These organisations are discussing methods to increase accessibility of good, timely, and reliable data on forests and their utilisation. A number of options are being explored including better synchronised connections on the Internet , more access at each institutions, new investments in capability in developing countries and regional information centres. V. BACKGROUND DISCUSSION AND SECRETARY-GENERAL■S REPORT FOR IFF III For its background discussion at the second session, the IFF may wish to consider the following five points: 1) Not enough time will have passed to discern concrete progress since the formulation of the IPF■s proposals for action. Several initatives have, however, recently been launched in response to the IPF, see Secretary-General■s Report for programme element I.a (E/CN.17/IFF/1998/??) ; 2) a process should be designed primarily to benefit and support country level efforts and enable regional and/or global level integration; 3) the design of a framework that would enable monitoring, reviewing and reporting on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests in the long term using available and compatible data sources; 4) parameters associated with economic, social, environmental and institutional aspects, which would recognise different conditions around the world as well as acknowledge that progress for different parameters will be uneven globally among countries and locally within countries at different points in time; and 5) the value of monitoring increases with time and integration. There are several organisations that have collected data and information for a considerable time, synergies can be achieved through their collaboration and integrated analysis. The Secretary General's Report for programme element I.b for the third session of the Forum will take into account the guidance received during the background discussion at its second session. It will particularly take into account comments on the critical parameters to assess sustainable forest management and on already existing efforts towards integration of fragmented information. NOTES 1. Synergies in National Implementation: The Rio Agreements; UNDP/Sustainable Energy and Environment Division; 1997. 2. SADC Forestry Sector Technical Coordination Unit; <www.fstcu.org> 3. ASEAN Institute of Forest Management; <www.jaring.my/aifm> 4. UNCCD <www.unccd.ch/parti.html> 5. World Conservation Monitoring Centre; <www.wcmc.org.uk/forest/data> 6. Trade and Media Services Limited; <www.forestnet.com/journal/year> 7. Directory of Forest Products, Wood Science, and Marketing Online <www.forestdirectory.com> 8. G8 Action Programme on Forests <http://birmingham.g8summit.gov.uk> 9. <http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21/natlinfo/>
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Date last posted: 5 December 1999 15:45:34