United Nations

E/CN.17/1997/12


Economic and Social Council

 Distr. GENERAL
20 March 1997
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Fifth session
7-25 April 1997


            Report of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests
                             on its fourth session

                        (New York, 11-21 February 1997)


                                   CONTENTS

                                                            Paragraphs  Page

INTRODUCTION ................................................   1 - 7     4

 I.   IMPLEMENTATION OF FOREST-RELATED DECISIONS OF THE
      UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
      AT THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS, INCLUDING AN
      EXAMINATION OF SECTORAL AND CROSS-SECTORAL LINKAGES ...   8 - 58    5

      A. Progress through national forest and land-use
         programmes ........................................    8 - 17    5

      B. Underlying causes of deforestation and forest
         degradation .......................................   18 - 31    8

      C. Traditional forest-related knowledge ..............   32 - 40   12

      D. Fragile ecosystems affected by desertification
         and drought .......................................   41 - 46   16

      E. Impact of airborne pollution on forests ...........   47 - 50   18

      F. Needs and requirements of developing and other
         countries with low forest cover ...................   51 - 58   20

II.   INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
      AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER ...............................  59 - 78   23

      A. Financial assistance ..............................   59 - 71   23

      B. Technology transfer and capacity-building and
         information .......................................   72 - 78   28

III.  SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, FOREST ASSESSMENT AND THE
      DEVELOPMENT OF CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR SUSTAINABLE
      FOREST MANAGEMENT .....................................  79 - 115  30

      A. Assessment of the multiple benefits of all types
         of forests ........................................   79 - 89   30

      B. Forest research ...................................   90 - 94   33

      C. Methodologies for the proper valuation of the
         multiple benefits of forests ......................   95 - 104  35

      D. Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest
         management ........................................  105 - 115  37

IV.   TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT IN RELATION TO FOREST PRODUCTS
      AND SERVICES .......................................... 116 - 135  40

 V.   INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND MULTILATERAL
      INSTITUTIONS AND INSTRUMENTS, INCLUDING APPROPRIATE
      LEGAL MECHANISMS ...................................... 136 - 149  46

VI.   ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE PANEL ON ITS FOURTH
      SESSION ............................................... 150 - 151  50

VII.  ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS ...................... 152 - 161  50

      A. Opening and duration of the session ...............  152 - 154  50

      B. Election of officers ..............................  155 - 157  50

      C. Agenda and organization of work ...................  158 - 159  51

      D. Attendance ........................................     160     51

      E. Documentation .....................................     161     51

                                    Annexes

 I.   LIST OF PARTICIPANTS ............................................  53

II.   LIST OF GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED INITIATIVES IN SUPPORT OF THE
      INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON FORESTS ..............................  58


                                 INTRODUCTION


1.   At its substantive session of 1995, the Economic and Social
Council, upon the recommendation of the Commission on Sustainable
Development, approved the establishment of an open-ended Ad-Hoc
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.

2.   The Panel was mandated to pursue a consensus and formulate options
for further actions in order to combat deforestation, and forest
degradation and to promote the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests.  The Panel was
requested to promote multidisciplinary action at the international
level consistent with the Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement
of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation
and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests 1/ (Forest
Principles), taking into account the Rio Declaration on Environment
and Development 2/ and Agenda 21. 3/

3.   The Commission on Sustainable Development recognizes the
sovereignty of countries over their natural resources, as defined in
Principle 1 (a) of the Forest Principles.  The Commission also
recognizes that the right to development must be fulfilled so as to
equitably meet the developmental and environmental needs of present
and future generations.

4.   In pursuing consensus and the formulation of coordinated proposals
for action, the Panel was mandated to consider the following main
interrelated categories of issues:

     (a) Programme element I:  Implementation of United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) decisions related to
forests at the national and international levels, including an
examination of sectoral and cross-sectoral linkages;

     (b) Programme element II:  International cooperation in financial
assistance and technology transfer;

     (c) Programme element III:  Scientific research, forest
assessment, and development of criteria and indicators for sustainable
forest management;

     (d) Programme element IV:  Trade and environment in relation to
forest products and services;

     (e) Programme element V:  International organizations and
multilateral institutions, and instruments, including appropriate
legal mechanisms.

5.   It was evident at the outset that the Panel would not be able to
deal with all the complex issues before it in four sessions, lasting a
total of seven working weeks.  Consequently, a number of Governments
undertook to convene special meetings and workshops on various aspects
of forest management, conservation and sustainable development; a list
of those activities is contained in annex II.  The Panel wishes to
record its appreciation of that assistance.

6.   While the conclusions contained in the present report reflect the
overall thrust of the discussion under various programme elements,
only the proposals for action were agreed as a result of negotiations.

7.   In submitting the present report, which contains a number of
conclusions and proposals for action on the above-mentioned programme
elements (sections I-V below), the Panel, recalling its mandate,
wishes to:

     (a) Reiterate the validity of the Forest Principles;

     (b) Recognize that the Forest Principles and the forest-related
and other relevant chapters of Agenda 21 have formed the foundation
for its work;

     (c) Recognize the progress that has been made since UNCED,
including the results of several regional, international and
country-led initiatives, which have contributed significantly to
international dialogue on forests, national reports and better
understanding of sustainable forest management;

     (d) Emphasize that its proposals for action are meant to
complement, supplement and elaborate upon the above-mentioned
instruments with a view to facilitating their implementation;

     (e) Stress that, to that end, its conclusions and proposals for
action should not detract from the decisions and commitments made at
UNCED;

     (f) Recognize that there is a need as well as a potential for
improving the effectiveness of existing national and international
cooperation on forests by implementing its proposals for action;

     (g) Stress the need, in implementing its proposals for action, to
provide for effective partnership between and collaboration among all
international parties and major groups, and in that context wishes to
emphasize the crucial role of women.


           I.  IMPLEMENTATION OF FOREST-RELATED DECISIONS OF THE UNITED
               NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT AT THE
               NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS, INCLUDING AN
               EXAMINATION OF SECTORAL AND CROSS-SECTORAL LINKAGES

           A.  Progress through national forest and land-use programmes

Conclusions

8.   The Panel recognized the importance of comprehensive forest policy
frameworks or "national forest programmes" for the achievement of
sustainable forest management.  It agreed that the term "national
forest programme" is a generic term for a wide range of approaches to
sustainable forest management within different countries, to be
applied at national and subnational levels based on the basic
principles outlined below.  It emphasized that national forest
programmes demand a broad intersectoral approach at all stages,
including the formulation of policies, strategies and plans of action,
as well as their implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  National
forest programmes should be implemented in the context of each
country's socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental
situation, and should be integrated into wider programmes for
sustainable land use, in accordance with chapters 10 to 15 of Agenda
21.  The activities of other sectors, such as agriculture, energy and
industrial development, should be taken into account.

9.   The Panel emphasized a number of specific elements that need to be
considered during the development and implementation of national
forest programmes, in particular the need for appropriate
participatory mechanisms to involve all interested parties;
decentralization, where applicable, and empowerment of regional and
local government structures; consistent with the constitutional and
legal frameworks of each country, recognition and respect for
customary and traditional rights of, inter alia, indigenous people,
local communities, forest dwellers and forest owners; secure land
tenure arrangements; and the establishment of effective coordination
mechanisms and conflict-resolution schemes.

10.  Regardless of the approach adopted by individual countries,
national forest programmes, as long-term iterative processes, should
recognize the following as key elements:  national sovereignty and
country leadership; consistency with national policies and
international commitments; integration with the country's sustainable
development strategies; partnership and participation; and holistic
and intersectoral approaches.  The Panel acknowledged the usefulness
of testing and demonstrating the concept of national forest programmes
on an operational scale.

11.  The Panel recognized the need for national forest programmes to be
based on a sound economic valuation of forest resources, including
environmental services and non-timber products.  It noted that
national forest programmes can provide an effective link between
strategic and operational planning.  They should be specifically
designed to increase effectiveness and efficiency at the country level
with a view to attracting increased domestic and external resources.

12.  The Panel also recognized the need for an external economic and
commercial environment that is supportive of national forest
programmes.  Their implementation will be affected by market forces,
including international trade.  They need to be supported by a market
context that enhances the economic values of forest resources and a
price mechanism that promotes an adequate and remunerative return for
the sustainable use of forest resources.

13.  The Panel stressed that funding, in particular the provision of
external resources, including private foreign investment and official
development assistance (ODA), is greatly facilitated by a clear
commitment on the part of recipient Governments to the implementation
of national policies and programmes that promote sustainable forest
management in the forest and related sectors.  More efficient
investment policies are needed for the successful implementation of
national forest programmes.

14.  Because of the intersectoral nature of national forest programmes,
the Panel stressed the need for national authorities to look into the
institutional capacity of forest-related sectors to ensure the
successful implementation of such programmes.  It emphasized the
importance of assessing and - where necessary - enhancing national
capabilities at all levels to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate
sustainable forest management.

15.  The Panel acknowledged that coordination among all interested
parties at the national and international levels is crucial for
sustainable forest management.  The Panel noted and welcomed further
input from the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity with respect to forest biological diversity.

16.  Finally, the Panel noted the importance of improving regional and
international cooperation for the exchange of information, technology
and know-how by establishing appropriate networks to support national
programmes for sustainable forest management.

Proposals for action

17.  The Panel:

     (a) Encouraged countries, in accordance with their national
sovereignty, specific country conditions and national legislation, to
develop, implement, monitor and evaluate national forest programmes,
which include a wide range of approaches for sustainable forest
management, taking into consideration the following:  consistency with
national, subnational or local policies and strategies, and - as
appropriate - international agreements; partnership and participatory
mechanisms to involve interested parties; recognition and respect for
customary and traditional rights of, inter alia, indigenous people and
local communities; secure land tenure arrangements; holistic,
intersectoral and iterative approaches; ecosystem approaches that
integrate the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable
use of biological resources; and adequate provision and valuation of
forest goods and services;

     (b) Called for improved cooperation in support of the management,
conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, and
urged all countries to use national forest programmes, as appropriate,
as a basis for international cooperation in the forest sector;

     (c) Stressed the need for international cooperation in the
adequate provision of ODA, as well as possible new and additional
funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other
appropriate innovative sources of finance for the effective
development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of national
forest programmes;

     (d) Encouraged countries to integrate suitable criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management, as appropriate, into the
overall process of the formulation, implementation, monitoring and
evaluation of national forest programmes, on a step-by-step basis;

     (e) Urged countries to develop, test and implement appropriate
participatory mechanisms for integrating timely and continuous
multidisciplinary research into all stages of the planning cycle;

     (f) Encouraged countries to elaborate systems, including private
and community forest management systems, for planning, implementing,
monitoring and evaluating national forest programmes that identify and
involve, where appropriate, a broad participation of indigenous
people, forest dwellers, forest owners and local communities in
meaningful decision-making regarding the management of state forest
lands in their proximity, within the context of national laws and
legislation;

     (g) Urged countries, particularly in developing countries and
countries with economies in transition, to include capacity-building
as an objective of national forest programmes, paying particular
attention to training, extension services and technology transfer and
financial assistance from developed countries, taking due account of
local traditional forest-related knowledge;

     (h) Encouraged countries to establish sound national coordination
mechanisms or strategies among all interested parties, based on
consensus-building principles, to promote the implementation of
national forest programmes;

     (i) Encouraged countries to further develop the concept and
practice of partnership, which could include partnership agreements,
in the implementation of national forest programmes, as one of the
potential approaches for improved coordination and cooperation between
all national and international partners.


         B.  Underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation

Conclusions

18.  The Panel noted the critical need to understand the underlying
causes of deforestation and forest degradation, which are often
country-specific.  A focused approach is needed that concentrates on
reversing the most damaging processes and promoting the most effective
and beneficial measures.  It is also important to recognize local
initiatives that could counter current trends in deforestation and
forest degradation, especially among indigenous and local communities.

19.  Recognizing that poverty and demographic pressure are among the
root causes of deforestation and forest degradation, sustainable
development can play a key role in reducing pressure on forests and
replacing the processes leading to deforestation and forest
degradation.  Each country, whether developing or developed, will have
its own particular set of circumstances and opportunities for action. 
It is important to consider historical dimensions and to learn from
experience.  Many of the factors causing deforestation or forest
degradation interact, and some are synergistic.  Most causes are
social and economic in character.  Although some courses of action,
such as unsustainable timber extraction, are linked to the forest
sector itself, inappropriate policy choices and approaches in other
sectors can also influence deforestation and forest degradation.

20.  Production and consumption patterns, land tenure patterns, land
speculation and land markets have a major influence on the access to
and use of forest products goods and services, as well as on
deforestation.  Other important factors in many regions include
illegal logging; illegal land occupation and illegal cultivation;
grazing pressures; unsustainable agriculture; the demand for fuelwood
and charcoal to meet basic energy needs; refugee-related problems;
mining and oil exploitation in forested countries not conducted in
accordance with appropriate national legislation; and natural climatic
events and forest fires.

21.  The assessment of whether changes in forest cover are or are not
beneficial should be made against a background represented by national
policy frameworks for sustainable forest management and land-use
plans, and should enable countries to identify the quantity and
quality of forest required to provide the full range of benefits,
goods and services needed now and in the future.  The increasing
pressure from demands for forest products and other forest goods and
services, as well as for land for other uses, suggests a priority need
to strengthen intersectoral decision-making affecting land use. 
Increasingly effective institutions for resource management, land use,
research, education and extension will be an important part of
sustainable forest management.

22.  There are rational justifications for many changes in forest
structure and cover.  Different countries have different requirements,
which alter over time and affect both the area and the nature of their
forests.  Both sustainably managed natural forests and forest
plantations, as components of integrated land-use that takes account
of environmental and socio-economic concerns, fulfil a valuable role
in meeting the need for forest products, goods and services, as well
as helping to conserve biological diversity and providing a reservoir
for carbon.  The costs, benefits and disbenefits of different types of
forest management, including forest plantations, need to be appraised
under different social, cultural, economic and ecological conditions. 
The role of forest plantations as an important element of sustainable
forest management and as a complement to natural forests should be
recognized.

23.  The Panel recognized the importance of long-term changes in
consumption and production patterns in different parts of the world,
and their positive and negative effects on the sustainable management
of forests.  The long-term outlook is for steadily rising demand for
forest products and other forest goods and services, and a declining
area of forest for their production.  The implications of that outlook
should be reviewed in the context of the work being done by the
Commission on Sustainable Development and other relevant initiatives
concerned with the long-term supply of and demand for forest products
and other forest goods and services.

24.  Among the various international underlying causes of deforestation
and forest degradation, discriminatory international trade and poorly
regulated investment, as well as long-range transboundary air
pollution, are important.  Such factors as discriminatory
international trade practices, trade distorting practices, structural
adjustment programmes and external debt could indirectly influence
deforestation and forest degradation.  Market distortions, subsidies
and relative prices, including those of agricultural commodities, as
well as undervaluation of wood and non-wood forest products, can have
a direct bearing on the management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forests.

25.  In many countries, there is a need for further analysis of the
sequence of causes contributing to changes in the quantity and quality
of forests, focusing attention on the action that might be most
effective in halting damage and promoting beneficial change.  Such
analysis would be facilitated by the use of a comprehensive diagnostic
framework, elements of which have been elaborated in the
Secretary-General's reports to the Panel.  That diagnostic framework
would not only serve as a useful tool for countries to analyse
deforestation and forest degradation but could also, in adapted forms,
be useful for setting the objectives of national forest policies; for
introducing a historical perspective into the analysis of the causes;
for exploring the effects of policies in other sectors on
deforestation and forest degradation; for refining criteria and
indicators and methods of valuation in relation to national action
plans for international agreements and conventions and generally as a
powerful management tool for furthering the implementation of
sustainable forest.

26.  The diagnostic framework should be employed in a constructive,
corrective and forward-looking manner.  It would complement and
strengthen other existing planning exercises, and could also be used,
together with criteria and indicators, as a tool for the periodic
assessment of progress.  As a management tool, it should be developed
voluntarily and should not be used as a basis for conditionality in
ODA.  Its development, however, should not delay action, and it may
not be needed in countries where major direct or indirect causes have
been identified, well understood and documented, or where
deforestation is not viewed as a problem at the national level.

Proposals for action

27.  The Panel urged countries, as relevant and appropriate, with the
support of international organizations and the participation of major
groups, where relevant:

     (a) To prepare in-depth studies of the underlying causes at the
national and international levels of deforestation and forest
degradation;

     (b) To analyse comprehensively the historical perspective of the
causes of deforestation and forest degradation in the world, and other
international underlying causes of deforestation and forest
degradation, including transboundary economic forces;

     (c) To provide new factual information on the significance of
transboundary pollution.

28.  The Panel urged countries:

     (a) To assess long-term trends in their supply and demand for
wood, and to consider actions to promote the sustainability of their
wood supply and their means for meeting demand, with a special
emphasis on investment in sustainable forest management and the
strengthening of institutions for forest resource and forest
plantations management;

     (b) To recognize and enhance the role of forest plantations as an
important element of sustainable forest management complementary to
natural forests;

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

29.  The Panel also encouraged countries to undertake, as needed, the
following activities:

     (a) To formulate and implement national strategies, through an
open and participatory process, for addressing the underlying causes
of deforestation, and, if appropriate, to define policy goals for
national forest cover as inputs to the implementation of national
forest programmes;

     (b) To develop mechanisms, such as environmental impact
assessments, to improve policy formulation and coordination, through
an open and participatory process;

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

30.  The Panel also encouraged countries and international
organizations:

     (a) To provide timely, reliable and accurate information on the
underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation, where
needed, as well as on the multiple roles of forests, as a foundation
for public understanding and decision-making;

     (b) To assist developing countries in promoting an integrated
approach towards the formulation and application of national policy
frameworks, and in conducting strategic analyses of relevant
political, legal and institutional policies that have contributed to
deforestation and forest degradation, as well as of policies that have
had a positive effect.

31.  The Panel:

     (a) Encouraged countries to undertake case studies using the
diagnostic framework described above in order to:

     (i) Identify underlying causes of deforestation and forest       
         degradation;

    (ii) Develop and test the usefulness of the framework as an
         analytical tool in assessing options for utilization of
         forest and forest lands;

   (iii) Refine it, disseminate the results and apply it more widely
         as appropriate;

     (b) Urged developed countries, the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and other multilateral and international
organizations, including regional development banks, to assist
developing countries and countries with economies in transition in
those activities;

     (c) Invited interested parties to lend support, as appropriate,
to the preparation of the programme of work for forest biological
diversity of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with respect to
analysing measures for mitigating the underlying causes of
biodiversity loss, as stated in decision III/12 of the Conference of
the Parties to the Convention.


                   C.  Traditional forest-related knowledge

Conclusions

32.  Traditional forest-related knowledge (TFRK) constitutes an
important body of knowledge and experience relevant to many aspects of
the Panel's mandate. TFRK should be broadly defined to include not
only knowledge of forest resources but also knowledge of other issues
that are considered relevant by countries based on their individual
circumstances.

33.  The Panel noted with concern that some communities with
sustainable lifestyles based on TFRK have been undermined by the
accelerated loss of forests resulting from the introduction of new
technological changes and economic pressures, in the absence of
adequate measures for conservation and sustainable management.  It
agreed that indigenous people and other forest-dependent people
embodying traditional lifestyles should play a key role in developing
participatory approaches to forest and land management.  Such
approaches should involve all relevant parties from both public and
private sectors, and should focus on community forest management;
land-use systems; research, training and extension; the formulation of
criteria and indicators; and conflict resolution.

34.  TFRK can provide a strong basis for sustainable forest management,
and its potential to support actions should be reflected in national
forest programmes. The Panel, however, recognized that the
international and national communities are still in an early stage of
identifying ways and means for the effective protection and use of
TFRK, and of exploring the relationships between TFRK and sustainable
forest management.  That complex cross-cutting relationship involves
natural and social sciences, culture, tradition and the environment.

35.  The effective protection of TFRK requires the fair and equitable
sharing of benefits among all interested parties, including indigenous
people and other forest-dependent people embodying traditional
lifestyles, forest owners and local communities.  Certain conditions
at the national level will need to be met if indigenous people and
other forest-dependent people embodying traditional lifestyles, forest
owners and local communities are to participate fully in agreements
and to offer their TFRK for the benefit of other interested parties. 
Holders of TFRK will need to be represented by their own
representatives; to feel secure in their land tenure arrangements; to
be reassured that they have been accorded status equal to that of the
other members of the agreements; and to be convinced of a common
purpose compatible with their cultural and ecological values.

36.  TFRK is useful in locating valuable new products, and gaining
access to them on fair and equitable terms can only benefit each
country in its efforts to achieve sustainable development. 
Governments and others who wish to use TFRK should acknowledge,
however, that it cannot be taken from people, especially indigenous
people, forest owners, forest dwellers and local communities, without
their prior informed consent.  Ways and means to secure the effective
protection of indigenous rights and the fair and equitable sharing of
benefits arising from the use of TFRK, which many countries consider
should incorporate appropriate payment to indigenous people and
relevant local communities based on their intellectual property
rights, should be identified in the context of international and
national legal systems, which may include recognition of customary law
and indigenous legal systems.  International cooperation on TFRK and
rights related to it must be consistent with obligations under the
Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant instruments.

37.  The Panel noted the need to establish international mechanisms for
the exchange of information on national experiences and mechanisms,
including financial investment, so as to stimulate the application of
TFRK in sustainable forest management and the development of products
derived from it.  Those matters are considered further in section II
below.

38.  There are difficulties surrounding the acquisition, storage,
retrieval and dissemination of TFRK outside its place of origin,
arising from a lack of effective measures to protect and manage TFRK
and from the nature of TFRK, which is largely site-specific and
culture-specific and not amenable to being digitized, stored in
databases or accessed through clearing-house mechanisms.  The Panel
recommended further exploration of the feasibility and modalities of
exchanges in that area.

39.  The Panel recognized that the Convention on Biological Diversity
contains several provisions, including articles 8 (j) and 10 (c), that
are relevant to TFRK, which is a subset of the knowledge, innovations
and practices referred to in article 8 (j) of the Convention, while
the genetic resources of forest ecosystems are a subset of the genetic
resources referred to in article 15.  It noted the statement annexed
to decision II/9 of the Conference of the Parties to that Convention,
and accepted that the conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived
from research and development and from the commercial utilization of
biological resources fell, inter alia, within the purview of the
Convention.  It also recognized the need to avoid duplication or
overlap with other relevant intergovernmental processes.  Those
matters are considered further in section V below.

Proposals for action

40.  Recognizing that indigenous people and forest-dependent people who
possess TRFK could play an important role in sustainable forest
management, the Panel:

     (a) Taking into account the decisions arising from the 3rd
meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity, in particular decisions related to the
implementation of article 8 (j), invited Governments, international
agencies, research institutions, representatives of indigenous people
and forest-dependent people who possess TFRK, and non-governmental
organizations to promote activities aimed at advancing international
understanding on the role of TFRK in the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests to complement
activities undertaken by the Convention;

     (b) Invited countries and relevant international organizations,
especially the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, to
collaborate with indigenous people and forest-dependent people who
possess TFRK to promote an internationally acceptable understanding of
TFRK, and to identify, respect, preserve and maintain TRFK, including
innovations and practices that are relevant for the conservation of
forest biological diversity and the sustainable use of forest
biological resources;

     (c) Invited countries to explore further, at appropriate levels,
different options for the policy, institutional and legal frameworks
that are required to support the application of intellectual property
rights and/or other protection regimes for TFRK, the fair and
equitable sharing of its benefits, and the possible development of
formal agreements by which TFRK can be accessed;

     (d) Urged countries, in implementing their forest programmes, to
take measures to rehabilitate and protect TFRK, taking into account
that an essential condition for the effective protection and
rehabilitation of TFRK is the integrity and cultural survival of
forest-dependent people;

     (e) Called on countries, in the context of their national legal
systems, to promote and provide opportunities for the participation,
inter alia, of indigenous people, forest-dependent people who possess
TFRK and forest owners in the planning, development and implementation
of national forest policies and programmes, taking into account
principles 2 (d) and 5 (a) of the Forest Principles;

     (f) Called on countries, with the full support of relevant
international organizations, to work with all interested parties to
bring together knowledge and experience of the approaches that work in
practice, including credit, rewards, the recognition of the fair and
equitable sharing of benefits, and, where appropriate, the preparation
of technical guidelines on TFRK application;

     (g) Called on countries, with the assistance of international
organizations, where appropriate, to support national, regional and
international efforts that will enhance the capacity of indigenous
people, forest-dependent people who possess TFRK and appropriate
forest owners to participate, inter alia, in agreements that apply
TFRK for sustainable forest management, and to promote partnerships
among all interested parties;

     (h) Encouraged countries to recognize and support traditional
resource use systems incorporating TFRK, including, where appropriate,
through the development of new instruments and mechanisms that enhance
the security of forest-dependent groups;

     (i) Urged countries to work with communities and build on their
knowledge to establish stronger linkages between traditional and
emerging national sustainable forest management systems;

     (j) Encouraged countries and relevant international organizations
to identify ways to inventory, store, catalogue and retrieve TFRK, and
to support its effective protection and application, including
developing local and indigenous capacity, and to examine opportunities
to apply TFRK related to the management of particular types of forests
to other similar forest ecosystems, doing so only with the free and
informed consent of the holders of TFRK.  The Panel also encouraged
countries and international organizations to work out a methodological
framework of compatibility between TFRK and new technologies;

     (k) Urged countries, with the support of international
organizations, to promote research on TFRK in regional and national
institutions, with the full involvement of the holders of that
knowledge, to maintain and enhance the capacity of such institutions,
and to advance the wider understanding and use of the knowledge
gained;

     (l) Urged countries, national institutions and academic centres
to incorporate TFRK in forest management training as a way to
sensitize forest managers to the importance of respect for and
protection of TFRK; to the need to observe the principle of fair and
equitable sharing of benefits; and to the advantages of using it and
the disadvantages of ignoring it.  They should also emphasize the
importance of recognizing TFRK in developing national criteria and
indicators for the sustainable management of forests within the
context of national forest programmes, and, where appropriate, in
forest management certification schemes;

     (m) Invited countries, with the support of donors and
international organizations, to assist financially and otherwise
existing networks that are promoting the sharing of TFRK on mutually
agreed terms, as well as the sharing of technology and profits arising
from the use of such knowledge among concerned groups and
institutions, in collaboration with all involved parties, including
indigenous people and forest-dependent people who possess TFRK;

     (n) Encouraged countries, in collaboration with indigenous people
and forest-dependent people who possess TFRK, to promote digital
mapping using geographic information systems and geographic position
systems, combined, where appropriate, with social mapping for
assisting with the establishment of forest holdings, assisting
planning and management partnerships; and to assist in the location
and storage of cultural and geographical information required to
support the management, protection and use of TFRK;

     (o) Invited the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
together with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD), taking into account decision III/14 of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to undertake a
study aimed at advancing international understanding of the
relationship between intellectual property and TFRK, and to develop
ways and means to promote effective protection of TFRK, in particular
against illegal international trafficking, and also to promote the
fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from such knowledge;

     (p) Encouraged countries to undertake additional pilot studies on
the relationship between intellectual property rights systems and
TFRK, at the national level, in accordance with a decision made at the
third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention;

     (q) Requested the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the
Convention, to produce a compilation of international instruments and
national legislation, including draft legislation, pertaining to the
protection and use of TFRK and the fair and equitable sharing of
benefits arising from such knowledge, and encouraged countries to
exchange information on national experiences in that field;

     (r) Urged countries to consider developing mechanisms, subject to
national legislation, to ensure the fair and equitable sharing with
local and indigenous communities of benefits; including payments where
appropriate, arising from the use of traditional technologies
developed by them for sustainable forest management.


        D.  Fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and drought

Conclusions

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

42.  Forest-related action aimed at combating desertification and
mitigating the effects of drought should address the causes of those
phenomena in an integrated manner, and should consider the role of
poverty along with land use policies, food security, the provision of
fodder and fuelwood, the effects of non-sustainable production and
consumption patterns, the impact of trade and trade relations,
migration, refugees and many other economic, social and cultural
factors.  The Panel noted that forest fires continue to have a
devastating impact on some forest ecosystems, in particular in
countries south of the Sahara and in countries with dry forests in
Mediterranean zones, although in other areas they may have positive
effects on the vitality and renewal of forest ecosystems.

43.  The Panel noted that in some countries, forest cover had been or
was expanding as a result of community action backed by government
support.  In many areas, plantations of fast-growing trees have had
good and cost-effective results in terms of soil protection.  While
recognizing that forest land rehabilitation would be required in many
areas and that that would need international assistance, including
financial resources and technology transfer to support local and
national efforts, the Panel emphasized the need for prevention, rather
than mitigation and restoration, wherever practicable, with emphasis
on improved and sustainable management of existing natural forest and
other vegetation.  The restoration of arid, semi-arid and dry
sub-humid zones should not focus narrowly on afforestation but should
also deal with broader aspects of forest ecosystem management,
including social and economic issues.  The Panel identified the need
to strengthen research, including support to regional research
networks, related to the identification of appropriate species for
arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid land restoration, the rehabilitation
of existing vegetation types, and the potential of non-timber forest
products.  Education, training and extension systems can play an
important role.

44.  The Panel emphasized the need for an integrated approach to
national forest and land-use programmes and national plans to combat
desertification.  It urged countries to promote coordinated,
cross-sectoral action at the political and policy-making level to
improve legislation and to accelerate implementation within the
context of national sustainable development strategies.  Recognizing
the merits of bottom-up approaches involving all major groups
concerned with the issues, along with top-down approaches, the Panel
emphasized the need for national action programmes to draw more
extensively on local and traditional knowledge and evaluate
traditional agro-sylvo-pastoral systems, in accordance with the
principles outlined in programme element I.3.  Close collaboration was
needed between forest and agricultural institutions, and support
should be provided to farmers and herders.  Protected areas need to be
established and supported, where appropriate, in fragile and
endangered ecosystems affected by drought and desertification, as part
of in situ conservation strategies.  The approaches should be
supported by an enabling legislative and institutional framework that
secures rights and access to land.  Countries in regions affected by
desertification and the effects of drought should propose initiatives
and priorities for action, working in accordance with article 5 of the
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in
Africa.

45.  The Panel considered that the problems of fragile ecosystems
affected by desertification and drought must be addressed in close
relationship with existing international conventions, especially the
Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change and above all the Convention to Combat
Desertification.  It emphasized the need for donors, international
agencies and recipient countries to engage in adequate consultations
in order to develop efficient and coordinated programmes of
international cooperation that are consistent with those conventions,
the Forest Principles and Agenda 21.  The work carried out under those
conventions and the work of the Panel should complement and enhance
one another.

Proposals for action

46.  The Panel:

     (a) Urged countries and international organizations to undertake
national and international action to address the complex issues
related to dryland forest ecosystems in countries affected by
desertification and drought, inter alia, by adopting an integrated
approach to the development and implementation of national forest
and/or dryland programmes and other forest and/or dryland policies,
and by coordinating action, where appropriate, at the regional level;

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

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

     (d) Called on countries, donors and international organizations
to support education, training, extension systems and participatory
research involving indigenous and local communities embodying
traditional lifestyles in order to develop resource management
approaches that will reduce the pressure on forests in fragile
ecosystems affected by desertification and drought;

     (e) Urged countries and international organizations to strengthen
and further develop partnerships and collaboration between local
communities, Governments, non-governmental organizations and other
major groups in order to promote the sustainable management and
regeneration of natural vegetation in ecosystems affected by
desertification and drought;

     (f) Urged donors, international agencies and recipient
Governments to develop efficient and coordinated programmes of
international cooperation and action on forests and related ecosystems
affected by desertification and drought, within the context of the
Convention to Combat Desertification and the broader mandate of the
Panel, the Forest Principles and Agenda 21;

     (g) Invited the Committee on Science and Technology of the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification
to support research on appropriate plant species for use in arid,
semi-arid and dry sub-humid land restoration; on rehabilitation of
existing vegetation; on related water management techniques; and on
the potential for multipurpose trees and the supply of timber and
non-timber forest products.


                  E.  Impact of airborne pollution on forests

Conclusions

47.  The Panel noted that airborne pollution is affecting forest health
in many parts of the world in addition to Europe.  A preventative
approach is needed, taking account of economic factors including
production and consumption patterns.  The Panel emphasized the
importance of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air
Pollution, and welcomed the widespread application of the critical
loads approach adopted under that Convention.  It commended the
approach for consideration by countries whose forests are or may be
affected by air pollution.  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.

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

49.  The Panel stressed the need for international cooperation,
including information exchange; research and field data collection;
evaluation of the socioeconomic and environmental impact of airborne
pollution on forests; studies of ecosystem function where pollutant
deposition threatens sustainability; the development of methods for
assessing and monitoring national level criteria and indicators that
relate airborne pollution to sustainable forest management; the
dissemination of information to the public; the provision of access to
existing data by potential users, including managers and policy
makers; and technical assistance in order to help build capacity for
research.

Proposals for action

50.  The Panel:

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

     (b) Encouraged countries to strengthen international cooperation
for building scientific knowledge, such as techniques for monitoring
and analysing airborne causes of deforestation and forest degradation,
and to cooperate in activities related to the impact of air-borne
pollution on forest health, including the provision of access to
existing data by potential users, including managers and policy makers
and the dissemination of information to the public;

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

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

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


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

Conclusions

51.  Many of the issues arising under the present subsection also arise
elsewhere in the present section and in section III below.  The Panel
emphasized that actions under the present section need to be
coordinated with actions, inter alia, under the Convention on
Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change, and the Convention to Combat Desertification.

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

53.  The Panel felt that there was a need for more precise
identification of countries categorized as countries with low forest
cover.  The definition of forest used by the Panel, based on the
global forest resources assessment of the Food and Agriculture
Organizations of the United Nations (FAO), is that it includes
vegetation with 20 per cent and 10 per cent minimum tree crown cover
for developed and developing countries, respectively.  That definition
does not have a strong scientific foundation, nor does it allow for
comparability of data on a worldwide basis.  Furthermore, there is no
consistent way of classifying countries by the extent of forest,
however defined, into those with low and those with high forest cover.

54.  In some countries, economic development has been historically
associated with the significant loss of forests, leading to disturbing
consequences today in terms of land degradation and social, cultural
and economic hardship.  The restricted area of forests in countries
with low forest cover results in reduced capacity for the production
of timber and for the provision of goods and services, including the
protection of watersheds, the supply of fuelwood, the maintenance of
biological diversity and endemic species, and recreation and amenity. 
Moreover, many of the forest types in those countries are distinctive
or even rare, and require national protective measures and
international support, while the proportion included in nationally
designated protected areas is often below average.

55.  The Panel recognized the seriousness of problems faced by both
developing and developed countries with low forest cover in satisfying
their needs for forest goods and services.  It also recognized that,
owing to economic factors and circumstances, the impact of the problem
in developing countries is much more severe than in developed
countries.  The needs of low-income and middle-income countries with
low forest cover are likely to differ from those of high-income
countries, and consequently, different sets of actions to address
those needs will apply.

56.  The Panel noted that national forest programmes may provide a good
vehicle for addressing at least some of the needs and requirements of
countries with low forest cover.  They can provide a framework for
analysing and considering alternative ways of satisfying diverse
demands for forest products and other goods and services within and
outside the forest sector.  While additional information may be
necessary as a basis for national forest programmes in countries with
low forest cover, this should not prevent the preparation of interim
plans based on information already available.

57.  The Panel emphasized the importance of international cooperation
to address the management, conservation and sustainable development of
forests in low-income countries with low forest cover, particularly
through financial assistance and the transfer of environmentally sound
technology, as well as through the establishment of appropriate
research and information networks.  In that connection, the Panel
noted that the increasing focus of private investments in countries
with abundant forest resources has made forest ecosystems in
developing countries with low forest cover particularly vulnerable. 
In those countries, ODA is and will continue to be the most important
source of funding.  National forest programmes should be considered as
one of the main vehicles to channel and secure the effectiveness of
the required financial and technical assistance.

Proposals for action

58.  The Panel:

     (a) Called upon FAO, in consultation with relevant organizations
and countries, as appropriate, to develop a workable and precise
definition of low forest cover, applicable to all countries and
suitable for use in the forest resources assessment in the year 2000;

     (b) Urged countries with low forest cover:

     (i) To seek long-term security of forest goods and services
         through the development of national forest programmes for
         sustainable forest management, in accordance with the guiding
         principles set out in subsection IA above, taking into
         account the particular conditions of each country, defining
         as far as possible in those programmes their national
         requirements for a permanent forest estate, in those
         countries that may have a need to define a permanent forest
         estate as a policy goal;

    (ii) To plan and manage forest plantations, where appropriate, to
         enhance production and provision of goods and services,
         paying due attention to relevant social, cultural, economic
         and environmental considerations in the selection of species,
         areas and silviculture systems, preferring native species,
         where appropriate, and taking all practicable steps to avoid
         replacing natural ecosystems of high ecological and cultural
         values with forest plantations, particularly monocultures;

   (iii) To promote the regeneration and restoration of degraded
         forest areas, including by involving, inter alia, indigenous
         people, local communities, forest dwellers and forest owners
         in their protection and management;

    (iv) To fully analyse and take into account the related social,
         economic and environmental implications and costs and
         benefits, when considering non-wood substitutes or imports of
         forest products;

     (v) To establish or expand networks of protected areas, buffer
         zones and ecological corridors, where possible, in order to
         conserve biodiversity, particularly in unique types of
         forests, working in close liaison with the parties to the
         Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant
         international environmental agreements;

    (vi) In particular developing countries and countries with
         economies in transition, to embark on capacity-building
         programmes at national, subnational and local levels,
         including especially existing national institutions, to
         promote effective participation in decision-making with
         respect to forests throughout the planning, implementation,
         monitoring and evaluation processes, and taking full
         advantage of the wealth of traditional knowledge available in
         the country;

   (vii) To develop adequate research and information systems based on
         reliable evaluations and periodic assessments, including the
         use of national-level criteria and indicators and
         establishing sectoral and cross-sectoral mechanisms for
         information exchange, in order to allow for timely decisions
         related to national forest policies and programmes;

     (c) Urged developed countries with low forest cover that are
nevertheless endowed with suitable land and climate conditions to take
positive and transparent action towards reforestation, afforestation
and forest conservation, while urging other developed countries, where
appropriate, notably those with low forest cover but with limited land
and unsuitable climatic conditions, to assist developing countries and
countries with economies in transition, in particular countries with
low forest cover, to expand their forest cover, taking into account
principle 8 (a) of the Forest Principles, through the provision of
financial resources and transfer of appropriate technology, as well as
through the exchange of information and access to technical know-how
and knowledge;

     (d) Urged countries and international organizations to improve
the efficiency of and procedures for international cooperation to
support the management, conservation and sustainable development of
all types of forests in developing countries and countries with
economies in transition with low forest cover;

     (e) Urged donor countries and multilateral and international
organizations to facilitate and assist developing countries and
countries with economies in transition with low forest cover, where
required, in building capacity for data gathering and analysis so as
to enable them to monitor their forest resources.

              II.  INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
                   AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

                           A.  Financial assistance

Conclusions

59.  The Panel emphasized that the issues of financial assistance and
transfer of technology are cross-cutting, interlinked and essential
for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all
types of forests, particularly in developing countries and countries
with economies in transition.  The Panel reiterated that those
cross-cutting issues are critical to progress in all the other
programme elements within its terms of reference.

60.  In proposing measures to address those issues, the Panel
emphasized the need to take into account the Forest Principles and
relevant chapters of Agenda 21.  The Panel recognized that existing
resources are insufficient to achieve the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests.  The Panel further
recognized that there is a need for greater financial investment from
all sources, as well as a need to improve the absorptive capacity of
developing countries to use financial resources.

61.  The Panel recognized that in developing countries, domestic
resources for financing the management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forest are scarce and international
financial sources remain vital.  It reiterated the need for external
support through ODA and the provision of new and additional financial
resources, and emphasized the need to mobilize new, innovative and
additional forms of finance at the public, private, international,
domestic and local levels.  However, while recognizing the important
potential in innovative financial packages and new types of
public-private partnerships, the Panel emphasized the continuing
importance of international public finance and of existing commitments
to it, and the need to promote the predictability and continuity of
flow of financial resources.  The catalytic and leveraging roles of
international public funding remain essential for developing
countries.  It recognized that more effective use of available finance
is conducive to attracting additional resources.

62.  The financing needs for sustainable forest management at the
national level should, as far as possible, be met by the revenue
generated by the forest sector itself, be it the public or private
sector.  Some countries, with valuable forest estates and stronger
economies, have much greater potential for generating private-sector
and domestic public investment than others.  National forest
programmes and similar policy instruments can be an important policy
tool, and can serve as a means of promoting, prioritizing and
coordinating both public and private financial investments.  Community
financing is also an important element in enhancing the sustained
productivity of forest resources.  Experience suggests that despite
their low income level, many forest-dependent communities can mobilize
substantial labour, material and capital resources for forest
development, and appropriate policy changes can enhance that
potential.

63.  The Panel noted that, in general, private capital flows are
growing and are increasingly greater than public funding, but are
distributed unevenly among developing countries.  That trend is also
visible in the case of private investment in forests.  The Panel
recognized, therefore, that it is critical for countries to take the
necessary measures to introduce appropriate policies and create an
enabling environment to attract such private-sector investment. 
Policies that address long-term land tenure rights and encourage local
community investment in sustainable forest management could mobilize
significant financing.  Investment in forests may be encouraged by
voluntary codes of conduct for sustainable forest management, stronger
national regulations and enforcement, full cost internalization in the
pricing of renewable resources and various incentives.  Policies and
regulations should be carefully evaluated before implementation to
avoid negative social and environmental impacts and market
distortions, which would create disincentives.

64.  The Panel underscored the need to fulfil the financial commitments
of Agenda 21, especially chapter 33, with the aim of achieving the
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forest, including, where appropriate, the protection of representative
forest ecosystems.  Efforts in developing countries to secure
additional financial resources and technology at domestic level need
to be strengthened, and should be supplemented from international
sources.  ODA remains a main source of external public funding, and
has as a principal aim alleviating the poverty that is one of the main
causes of deforestation.  It will continue to play an important role
in supporting forest-related activities in developing countries,
especially where it is difficult to attract financing from other
sources, for example, in developing countries, with low forest cover. 
The Panel expressed its concern that funding levels, including ODA,
are insufficient and declining, and that sustainable forest management
is not given sufficient priority in ODA.  While there is a continuing
challenge to ensure that ODA funds for forest sector are used as
efficiently as possible, that is independent from the issue of trends
in international public sector financing.  Forest-related projects
that have global environmental benefits should also be supported
through GEF programmes, under the guidance provided by the conferences
of parties of the relevant international instruments.

65.  The Panel emphasized the need to examine ways to enhance
international cooperation.  It stressed the need for the international
community to find durable solutions to the debt problem of developing
countries in order to provide them with the needed means for
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forests.  Other forms of innovative financing should also be explored. 
Market-based instruments, such as taxes, levies, user fees and
domestic public investments, could generate additional financial
resources to support activities for sustainable forest management and
conservation.  A whole range of options relevant to specific national
conditions warrants further examination.  Adequately valuing forest
resources and creating markets that reward sustainable forest
management would contribute to the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests, and would generate
needed public resources.

66.  The Panel emphasized that in-country coordination and cooperation
among donors is crucial in view of the need to make the best use of
limited financial resources.  National forest programmes provide a
good basis in many countries for national and international
cooperation, including setting priorities for financial assistance and
technology transfer between recipient countries and donors.

Proposals for action to strengthen financial assistance

67.  The Panel:

     (a) Recalled the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
and relevant chapters of Agenda 21, as well as paragraph 10 of the
Forest Principles, which states that new and additional financial
resources should be provided to developing countries to enable them to
sustainably manage, conserve and develop their forest resources,
including through afforestation, reforestation and combating
deforestation and forest and land degradation;

     (b) Urged recipient countries to prioritize forest activities or
national resources development strategies that would favour
sustainable forest management and related activities in programming
the ODA available to them, and also urged donor countries and
international organizations to increase the proportion and
availability of their ODA contribution to programmes supporting the
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forests in order to respond to increased priorities for sustainable
forest management in recipient countries;

     (c) Requested the relevant United Nations organizations,
international financial institutions, other international
organizations and the donor community to work with developing
countries, on the basis of national forest programmes, to identify
their needs for sustainable forest management, estimate the resources
required to finance such needs and identify the resources available to
them for such purposes, including ODA;

     (d) Urged international organizations and international financial
institutions to use national forest programmes, as appropriate, as a
framework for the support and coordination of forest-related
activities;

     (e) Encouraged countries, through appropriate channels, to
support increased and improved programmes promoting the management,
conservation and sustainable development of forests and related
activities in international organizations and international financial
institutions, whose programmes should consider further concessional
lending for the forest sector;

     (f) Invited UNDP and the Bretton Woods institutions, together
with other relevant international organizations, to explore innovative
ways to both use existing financial mechanisms more effectively and
generate new and additional public and private financial resources at
the domestic and international levels in order to support activities
for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all
types of forests;

     (g) Recognized the importance of increasing resources available
to developing countries for promoting the management, conservation,
and sustainable development of all types of forests, welcomed the
progress that has been made in devising and implementing debt relief
initiatives, and bearing in mind General Assembly resolution 50/92,
urged the international community, particularly the creditor countries
and international financial institutions, as well as commercial banks
and other lending institutions, to continue the implementation of
various measures aimed at effective, equitable, development-oriented
and durable solutions to the external debt and debt-servicing problems
of developing countries, particularly the poorest and heavily indebted
countries, including exploring the opportunities for innovative
mechanisms, such as debt-for-nature swaps related to forests and other
environmentally oriented debt reduction programmes.

68.  The Panel also discussed the proposal that an international fund
be established to support activities for the management, conservation
and sustainable development of all types of forests, particularly in
developing countries.  The following options for action were
discussed, without a consensus being reached on those or other
possible procedures:

     (a) To urge the establishment of such a fund;

     (b) To invite the international community to discuss the
proposal;

     (c) To pursue action to enhance funding in other ways, inter
alia, as proposed in paragraph 67 (f) above.

Proposals for action to enhance private-sector investment

69.  The Panel:

     (a) Urged all countries, within their respective legal
frameworks, to encourage efforts by the private sector to formulate,
in consultation with interested parties, and implement voluntary codes
of conduct aimed at promoting sustainable forest management through
private-sector actions, including through management practices,
technology transfer, education and investment;

     (b) Urged countries to explore mechanisms, within their
respective legal frameworks, to encourage their private sector to act
consistently with sustainable forest management and to invest
financial resources generated from forest-based activities in actions
that support sustainable forest management;

     (c) Urged countries to explore mechanisms, within their
respective legal frameworks, to encourage the reinvestment of revenues
generated from forest goods and services back into the forests where
those revenues were generated;

     (d) Invited developing countries to promote policies and
regulations aimed at creating a favourable environment to attract the
domestic and foreign private sectors, as well as local community
investment, for sustainable forest management, environmentally sound
forest-based industries, reforestation, afforestation, non-wood forest
product industries, and conservation and protection of forests;

     (e) Urged developed countries to formulate and create incentives,
such as loan and investment guarantees, to encourage their private
sector to invest in sustainable forest management in developing
countries, as well as in countries with economies in transition.

Proposals for action to enhance national capacity and national
coordination

70.  The Panel:

     (a) Urged recipient countries to establish country-driven
national forest programmes that include priority needs and that serve
as an overall framework for forest-related policies and actions,
including the coordination of financing and international cooperation,
and urged donor countries and international organizations to support
national initiatives to create national forest programmes and policy
framework in developing countries;

     (b) Encouraged countries in a position to do so to continue to
develop and employ appropriate market-based and other economic
instruments and incentives to increase rent capture and mobilize
domestic financial resources in support of sustainable forest
management, as well as to reduce social costs and negative
environmental impacts due to unsustainable forest and land management
practices;

     (c) Encouraged countries, within their respective legal
frameworks, international organizations and financial institutions, to
enhance, subject to national legislation, community financing as an
important strategy to promote sustainable forest management, and to
establish policy and programmatic mechanisms and instruments that
facilitate local investments in sustainable forest management by,
inter alia, indigenous groups and forest owners;

     (d) Suggested that recipient countries, where appropriate,
identify a national authority responsible for in-country coordination
in the deployment of financial resources, including ODA, and in
requests for external assistance;

     (e) Urged developed countries, international organizations and
international financial institutions to support the efforts of
developing countries in capacity-building in the management,
conservation and sustainable development of their forests.

Proposals for action to enhance international cooperation

71.  The Panel:

     (a) Called for enhanced coordination, collaboration and
complementarity of activities among bilateral and multilateral donors
and among international instruments related to forests, notably the
Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change, the Convention to Combat Desertification
and the International Tropical Timber Agreement;

     (b) Urged recipient and donor countries to jointly explore, as a
priority activity, appropriate indicators for monitoring and
evaluating the adequacy and effectiveness of forest programmes and
projects at the national and local levels, supported by international
cooperation in financial assistance and technology transfer;

     (c) Encouraged countries to explore the feasibility of innovative
financial initiatives to support the implementation of national forest
programmes.

         B.  Technology transfer and capacity-building and information

Conclusions

72.  There is an unprecedented accumulation of technological capability
in the world today, including for forestry.  However, much of it
remains largely unrecognized, underutilized and inadequately shared. 
Dissemination of those technological innovations is critical.  The
Panel emphasized that the transfer of environmentally sound technology
in the forest sector is an important part of strategies for enabling
countries to manage, conserve and sustainably develop their forests. 
The potential of particular technologies for transfer needs to be
assessed in consultation with all interested parties, such as
Governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector,
scientists and local communities.

73.  The Panel noted that as new technologies are largely originated
from the North, in particular in private domain, there is a need for
strengthening North-South cooperation in technology transfer under
favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms,
for developing countries, as mutually agreed.  However, owing to
similarities of forest types, institutions and culture, there is also
a considerable potential for South-South cooperation in conjunction
with and as a complement to North-South cooperation.

74.  The Panel noted that developed countries bear a special
responsibility for facilitating the creation of conditions for the
conservation of forest biological diversity and sustainable use of
forest biological resources, inter alia, through constructive
approaches to the transfer of technologies to strengthen the
capabilities of indigenous people, forest dwellers, forest owners and
local communities for sustainable forest management.

75.  The Panel agreed that established priority in technology transfer
and capacity-building should be continuously reviewed, and could
include:  information dissemination to improve forest and land-use
planning and improvement of forest yields; technology and methods that
reduce environmental damages due to current forestry practices;
conservation and protection; native species research, including
biotechnology, for tree improvement; rehabilitation and restoration of
natural forest ecosystems; reforestation and nursery development;
technology and methods for retaining forest values, including
biological diversity; incorporation of indigenous knowledge in forest
management; utilization, rehabilitation, restoration and regeneration
of natural forest ecosystems; new and renewable sources of energy, in
particular fuelwood and its appropriate substitutes; environmentally
sound forest harvesting technologies; enhancement of technologies
regarding wood processing; the development of new non-wood and wood
forest products to promote techniques and design in order to add more
aggregate value for forest products; and the development and
implementation of national forest strategies.

76.  The Panel emphasized the need to review and improve information
systems.  Attention should be given to worldwide access to information
systems that would encourage effective implementation of national
forest programmes, increased private-sector investment, efficient
development and transfer of appropriate technologies, and improved
cooperation.  Internet-based information systems should allow easy
access and information-sharing among multilateral agencies, countries'
institutions, non-governmental organizations and other interested
parties.

Proposals for action to enhance technology transfer and
capacity-building

77.  The Panel:

     (a) Urged developed countries to promote, facilitate and finance,
as appropriate, access to and the transfer of environmentally sound
technologies and corresponding know-how to developing countries on
favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as
mutually agreed, taking into account chapter 34 of Agenda 21 and
paragraph 11 of the Forest Principles;

     (b) Encouraged countries, where needed, to assess and identify
their national technological requirements and capabilities in order to
achieve the management, conservation and sustainable development of
their forests.  The assessment and identification of specific
technology needs should be consistent with priorities in national
forest programmes;

     (c) Called for the strengthening of North-South cooperation and
the promotion of South-South as well as trilateral North-South-South
cooperation in forest-related technology transfer, through public and
private-sector investment and partnerships, joint ventures, exchange
of information and greater networking among forest-related
institutions, taking due note of related work being conducted in other
international forums, including the Convention on Biological Diversity
and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;

     (d) Called upon countries to formulate policies and incentives
that encourage all concerned to develop and use environmentally sound
technologies;

     (e) Called for greater emphasis on national and local
capacity-building in the development and implementation of national
forest programmes and in international cooperation programmes, as well
as in the development of mechanisms for the dissemination and
adaptation of technologies to national and local conditions;

     (f) Invited Governments, within their respective legal
frameworks, and international organizations, in consultation with
countries, to consider supporting indigenous people, local
communities, other inhabitants of forests, small-scale forest owners
and forest-dependent communities by funding sustainable forest
management projects, capacity-building and information dissemination,
and by supporting direct participation of all interested parties in
forest policy discussions and planning;

     (g) Urged United Nations organizations, with the support of the
international financial institutions, to prepare inventories of the
most appropriate forest-related technologies, as well as the most
effective methods of transfer of those technologies to developing
countries among Governments, between Governments and private sector,
and within the private sector.

Proposals for action to improve information systems

78.  The Panel:

     (a) Invited relevant international organizations and
international financial institutions to review and initiate the
development of improved forest information systems with a view to
enhancing coordination and data-sharing among interested parties
regarding the implementation of national forest programmes, ODA
programming, the provision of new and additional financial resources,
increased private-sector investment, efficient development and
transfer of technology;

     (b) Urged developed countries and appropriate international
organizations to establish mechanisms to assist the interpretation and
dissemination of information relevant to the management, conservation
and sustainable development of all types of forests to countries and
interested parties who have difficulties in accessing internationally
available information, including dissemination through electronic
means;

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


               III.  SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, FOREST ASSESSMENT, AND THE
                     DEVELOPMENT OF CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR
                     SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

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

Conclusions

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

80.  The database on forest types in both developed and developing
countries is uneven.  Much attention is still given to timber and
forest cover, whereas other goods and services provided by forests,
such as fuelwood, the sustainable use and conservation and the fair
and equitable sharing of benefits of biological diversity, soil and
water protection functions, and carbon sequestration and sinks, as
well as other social, cultural and economic aspects, are rarely
covered and need to be considered.

81.  Forest assessments at the national level should adopt an
integrated and holistic multidisciplinary approach, and should be
user-oriented and demand-driven.  Such assessments should be
transparent and accessible to all interested parties.  Further study
is needed to define the levels of precision required and the specific
needs of different users, including forest managers.  Assessments
should fully utilize the data already collected and analyses already
carried out by local, national, regional and international
institutions.  Efforts should be made to harmonize approaches to data
collection and analysis in order to enhance comparability.

82.  The Panel emphasized that assessment data already in the public
domain, including remote-sensing information, should be disseminated
effectively.  The use of existing FAO data, in combination with other
data sets, offers a rich potential to address urgent questions in a
cost-effective manner.  The Panel also recognized that data
interpretation in response to user needs is necessary.  Consequently,
a study of uses and categories of users of forest resources and
related information at the international, regional, national and local
levels is required.  This would be particularly important when
discussing new types of information to be included in the global
forest resources assessment.

83.  International and national forest assessments should take account
of appropriate international, regional, subregional and national-level
criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management.  The need
to include qualitative as well as quantitative information on forest
goods and services was stressed, and should be addressed in future
assessments.  Site-specific field testing is also needed in order to
ensure the adaptation of reliable parameters in forest assessments. 
Emphasis should be placed on the provision of reliable and
high-quality data.

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

85.  The Panel expressed strong support for the global assessment and
for the arrangements being made following the recommendations of the
FAO Expert Consultation on Global Forest Assessment held in Finland in
June 1996, and urged FAO, in consultation with countries and
interested organizations, to prepare a strategic plan for assessing
global forest resources and a detailed plan for the implementation of
the global assessment for the year 2000, including detailed cost and
funding options and target dates.  The Panel noted the importance of
eco-floristic zone and vegetation maps as tools for the assessment
process, together with appropriate qualitative parameters and criteria
and indicators defined through the Helsinki and Montreal processes,
the Dry Zone of Africa initiative, the Tarapoto Proposal and the ITTO
guidelines.

86.  The Panel took note of the recommendation of the Expert
Consultation to maintain the current 10-year interval between global
forest resources assessments.  However, the possibility of rolling
assessments by region could also be considered, together with the
possibility of updating of data at regular intervals, taking into
account the financial and resource implications for FAO, as well as
for developing and developed countries, in meeting such requirements. 
The global assessment for the year 2000 should be a partnership
exercise facilitated by FAO but also involving United Nations
organizations, national institutions and other interested parties,
including relevant major groups.  Cooperation at the national level
should involve all interested parties, both within and outside the
forest sector.

87.  While recognizing the value of remote-sensing techniques and
geographical information systems for forest assessments, the Panel
noted the need for ground validation of some parameters.  Assessments
impose a significant financial and technical burden on developing
countries, and should therefore be carried out in the most
cost-effective manner and should be assisted by developed countries
and international organizations.  Coordination is needed between
forest information systems and other relevant systems, and required
both North-South and South-South cooperation.

88.  Resources available for the global assessment for the year 2000 in
FAO's regular budget and at the national level are limited.  The Panel
stressed the urgency of identifying existing or additional financial
resources that would ensure an effective assessment.  Consideration
should be given to establishing methods by which users would provide
resources for data collection, and to more effective utilization of
existing resources and capabilities of organizations and institutions,
both in the public and private sectors, to assist FAO in executing the
assessment.

Proposals for action

89.  The Panel:

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

     (b) Encouraged all countries, where appropriate and on a step-by-
step basis, to improve national forest resources assessment, forest
statistics and the capacity to analyse and make proper use of forest
resources information, and encouraged donor countries and
international organizations to support those initiatives;

     (c) Urged countries, universities and relevant organizations and
major groups to strengthen research on forest inventory and monitoring
techniques with a view to expanding the scope and improving the
quality of forest assessments;

     (d) Requested FAO, in consultation with Governments and relevant
organizations, including UNEP, to prepare and distribute a detailed
plan for the implementation of the global forest resources assessment
for the year 2000.  The plan should provide for the inclusion of a
broad range of forest values, including non-timber values, and should
include detailed cost and funding options associated with potential
new parameters, actions, targets and responsibilities for carrying out
the assessment consistent with the recommendations of the Expert
Consultation and with due regard to the requirements arising from
internationally or regionally agreed criteria and relevant indicators
for sustainable forest management;

     (e) Requested FAO to implement the global forest resources
assessment 2000, in collaboration with international organizations,
countries and other organizations with competence in assessments, and
to share the results of the assessment effectively with the
international community;

     (f) Requested FAO, in consultation with countries and relevant
international organizations and in an open and transparent manner, to
formulate an internationally acceptable set of definitions of key
terms used in the assessment of all types of forests and their
resources, and to promote their adoption;

     (g) Urged FAO, in partnership with other international
organizations, the Intersecretariat Working Group on Forest
Statistics, national institutions and non-governmental organizations,
to address the need for better coordination and avoidance of overlap
between forest and other related information systems, and for clearer
prioritization in data collection;

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


                              B.  Forest research

Conclusions

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

91.  The Panel also took note of the recommendations on priorities for
scientific research on biological diversity and forests made by the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. 
The Panel also recognized the important role of the Convention to
Combat Desertification in addressing many of the forest-related
scientific issues and research needs as regards arid zones.

92.  The Panel recognized that institutional needs include the
strengthening of existing national research institutions; subregional
and regional networks; joint research ventures; approaches to
enhancing and strengthening existing international, regional,
subregional and national forest research institutions' participation
in an international network dedicated to the conservation and
sustainable development, management and utilization of forests and
forest policy research; and the creation of appropriate mechanisms
that could enable research findings to reach policy and field levels
more effectively and could support concrete action.

93.  The Panel recognized the importance of developing and identifying
research priorities at all levels:  national, with the involvement of
local communities and other interested parties; regional; and
international.  The Panel noted that research priorities relevant to
further understanding and implementation of chapter 11 of Agenda 21
and the Forest Principles that are in need of comprehensive
intergovernmental examination include the development of criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management, including their testing
at the field level in pilot studies; integrated site-specific
socio-economic and biophysical studies to explore the relationship
between human development and forests; periodic forest assessment;
valuation of forests and forest resources; the use of forest valuation
in national resource accounts; community participation, including the
adoption of participatory appraisal and other participatory techniques
to determine research and technology development agendas; TFRK; forest
conservation, including human impact on protected forest areas;
consideration of the long-term impacts of pervasive external stresses,
such as climate change, ozone depletion and air pollution, on forest
health, productivity and biodiversity; examination of trends in the
supply of and demand for forest products; forest policy at the
national, regional and global levels; and environmentally sound
technologies for forest-based industries, including cost-effective
processing techniques.

Proposals for action

94.  The Panel:

     (a) Requested the Centre for International Forestry Research, in
collaboration with relevant organizations and in consultation with a
group of internationally recognized experts, as well as in conjunction
with national, regional, intergovernmental and non-governmental
bodies, to develop as soon as possible mechanisms to:

     (i) Guide the identification and definition as well as
         prioritization of global and eco-regional interdisciplinary
         research problems, taking into account national priorities
         and closely linked to practical and operational forest
         management issues;

    (ii) Promote consortia or networks to lead and organize global
         forest research and ensure that results are made available to
         all users;

   (iii) Build global capacity for forest research and develop new and
         innovative means for disseminating information and
         technologies;

    (iv) Mobilize resources to accomplish the above objectives;

     (b) Called on the Conferences of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification, within
their areas of competence, to promote research and analysis undertaken
by those Conventions and to address gaps in existing knowledge where
relevant to their mandate;

     (c) Urged the United Nations system, international financial
institutions and countries to examine the need to expand the capacity
of existing research institutions at the regional and subregional
levels, and where appropriate the establishment of new
regional/subregional centres for research, development and extension,
including for biological diversity and forest products and other
forest goods and services;

     (d) Encouraged countries and regional and international research
organizations to extend on-site research and to enhance its
prioritization and the application of its results, with the
involvement of all interested parties, in the planning,
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of research so as to enhance
its relevance and impact.


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

Conclusions

95.  The Panel stressed that forests provide a wide range of benefits,
not all of which are easy to quantify.  The costs associated with
deforestation, forest degradation and changes in forest quality, in
terms of losses of biological diversity, impaired biological functions
and reduced social and environmental values are not adequately
measured by present methodologies.  However, that shortcoming is due
as much to the inability to assess the nature and significance of
biophysical, ecological, economic and social impacts resulting from
forest change as to uncertainty about how to assess their costs.

96.  The Panel recognized the importance of the services provided by
forests, including those relating to biological diversity and global
climate regulation, and the potential for developing mechanisms to
translate those values into monetary terms to encourage forest owners,
forest dwellers, indigenous populations and local communities to
conserve forests and manage them sustainably.  Further discussion on
those issues should take place in the context of the Convention on
Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change.  The Panel took note of the input received from the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
with respect to the development of methodologies for valuing forest
biodiversity.

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

98.  The Panel emphasized that the economic value of forests depends on
the characteristics of particular forest areas and their locational
relationships with people and markets.  Those characteristics vary
both spatially and in time, and as a result forest valuation estimates
are usually site-specific and time-specific.  Nevertheless, there is
considerable benefit in different countries sharing experiences, with
the application of particular valuation techniques and instruments
designed to capture a higher share of benefits for forest owners and
forest-dwelling people.

99.  A variety of methodologies has been developed to aid in the
valuation of forest benefits that were previously considered
intangible and not amenable to measurement.  They can be used in all
types of forests to improve the description of a wide range of social,
cultural and environmental benefits, including those associated with
hydrological functions, soil conservation, biological diversity and
amenity.  While those methodologies have many limitations, they could
help improve decision-making by more clearly defining the costs and
benefits associated with different patterns of forest use, and by
indicating the scope for applying various measures to internalize
environmental and social costs.  The results of that valuation, when
applied as a neutral tool, are an important potential source of
information to all interested parties, and for increasing public
awareness, particularly about currently non-marketable forest goods
and services.

100.     Although the Panel recognized the potential usefulness of
forest valuation methodologies, it felt that their complexity and the
costs involved may limit their widespread application.  The Panel
emphasized that innovative and simple scientific valuation methods
were needed, especially those related to criteria and indicators and
national forest programmes.  Expensive valuation exercises should not
be performed at the expense of more pressing basic needs, such as the
development and application of reliable data systems and the
development of strategies and mechanisms to achieve sustainable forest
management.

101.     New forest valuation methodologies should take into account
the following criteria:  neutrality and scientific validity, practical
applicability, simplicity and clarity, multidisciplinarity, cost-
effectiveness, and orientation towards currently non-marketable goods
and services.

102.     The Panel noted the need for international cooperation in the
development of methodologies for the valuation of forest goods and
services and their inclusion in national accounts.  That could include
training for staff as well as decision makers, and work on ways and
means to promote public awareness.  The need to exchange experience
and establish pilot studies and schemes was emphasized.

103.     The Panel expressed support for national forest-resource
accounting as a means of providing strategic information for forest
policy and management at the national and subnational levels, and of
creating awareness of the value of forest goods and services.

Proposals for action

104.     The Panel:

     (a) Encouraged countries, in collaboration with international
organizations, to make use of available methodologies to provide
improved estimates of the value of all forest goods and services and
allow for more informed decision-making about the implications of
alternative proposals for forest programmes and land-use plans, taking
into account that the wide range of benefits provided by forests are
not adequately covered by present valuation methodology, and that
economic valuation cannot become a substitute for the process of
political decision, which includes consideration of wide-ranging
environmental, socio-economic, ethical, cultural and religious
concerns;

     (b) Requested international organizations and relevant
institutions to prepare comprehensive documents on the available
forest valuation methods and data-sets required for the evaluation of
forest goods and services, in particular those that are not traded in
the marketplace;

     (c) Invited countries and relevant international organizations
and institutions to promote research to further develop forest
valuation methodologies, in particular those related to deforestation
and forest degradation, erosion, and criteria and indicators, taking
into account the particular circumstances of each country.


         D.  Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management

Conclusions

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

106.     The Panel recognized that criteria and indicators provide a
conceptual framework for policy formulation and evaluation, and should
be considered as useful tools for assessing trends in forest
conditions, for reporting on the state of forests and for achieving
sustainable forest management.  Criteria define the essential elements
of sustainable forest management, while indicators provide a basis for
assessing actual forest conditions.  When combined with specific
national goals, criteria and indicators also provide a basis for
assessing progress towards sustainable forest management.  Criteria
and indicators can therefore play an important role in defining the
goals of national forest programmes and policies, and evaluating the
effectiveness with which they are implemented.  Because they reflect
components of sustainable forest management, they collectively
contribute to its development as a concept.

107.     There is a need for a broad spectrum of quantitative,
qualitative and descriptive indicators covering social, cultural,
economic, ecological, institutional, legal and policy elements,
including land tenure.  Aspects of forests and woodlands that are
essential in meeting the subsistence needs of indigenous people,
forest dwellers and other local communities, including forest owners,
require special attention in some countries.  In many national,
regional and international initiatives, both quantitative, qualitative
and descriptive indicators have already been established.

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

109.     The Panel stressed the need for further efforts to reach a
common international understanding of key concepts, definitions and
terms used in formulating and developing criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management, and methodologies for data collection. 
Those terminologies and approaches must be compatible with
terminologies used in other related fields, such as inventory,
assessment and valuation, environmental assessment, national forest
programmes, land-use plans and trade-related forest issues.

110.     The Panel welcomed the efforts made to clarify the links
between the criteria and indicators appropriate at the national level
and those applicable to the subnational and forest management
unit/operational levels, and emphasized that these should be
compatible.  It recognized, however, that those links will vary from
country to country, and may require further examination.  Criteria and
indicators should be formulated through a transparent process
involving all interested parties, including forest dwellers,
indigenous people and local communities, as well as forest owners and
other major groups, where applicable.  Criteria and indicators for
application at all levels should be practical, scientifically based
and cost-effective, and should reflect, inter alia, economic, social
and ecological circumstances.

111.     The Panel noted that a number of countries are participating
actively in international and regional initiatives for defining and
implementing national-level criteria and indicators for sustainable
forest management.  That cooperation has enabled countries to benefit
from the experience of others and at the same time bring new
dimensions and ideas into international processes.  While recognizing
that the countries currently involved are at different stages in the
process, the Panel stressed the need for further progress towards
consensus on concepts, terms and definitions.  The Panel also urged
continuing efforts to involve countries and regions that are not yet
participating in such initiatives.

112.     The Panel placed particular emphasis on the need to involve
regions and subregions with distinctive ecological and geographical
characteristics, and countries with low forest cover.  It also agreed
that the development of appropriate criteria and indicators for
application at the regional levels, in particular for forests in
similar ecological zones, should be considered.  The Panel also
emphasized the need for efforts to enhance comparability and
compatibility between various international and regional processes on
the development and implementation of criteria and indicators, and
stressed the importance of mutual recognition among sets of criteria
and indicators as tools for assessing trends in forest management and
conditions at the national level; and on transparent methods for the
measurement of indicators and for the collection, assembly, storage
and dissemination of data.

113.     The Panel recognized that there needed to be consistency in
the methodology employed in global forest assessments.  It supported
the promotion of ways and means to maximize the exchange of
information, experience and technical knowledge at the global level,
in particular the promotion of best forest practices for sustainable
forest management.

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

Proposals for action

115.     The Panel:

     (a) Encouraged countries to proceed to prepare, through a
participatory approach, national-level criteria and indicators for
sustainable forest management, and, taking cognizance of specific
country conditions and on the basis of internationally and regionally
agreed initiatives, to initiate and to implement them, where
appropriate, while recognizing that further scientific and technical
examination, including field testing, will itself provide valuable
experience and assist in further refinement and development;

     (b) Urged countries to promote, as appropriate, the use of
internationally, regionally, subregionally and nationally agreed
criteria and indicators as a framework for promoting best forest
practices and in facilitating sustainable forest management; to
encourage the formulation and implementation of criteria and
indicators on a cross-sectoral basis and with the full participation
of all interested parties; to include them in national forest
programmes; to establish and, where appropriate, clarify links between
criteria and indicators employed at the national level and at the
subnational or at the forest management unit/operational levels; and
to promote their compatibility at all levels;

     (c) Encouraged countries not yet participating in any of the
ongoing international and regional initiatives on criteria and
indicators to become involved as soon as possible, thereby gaining
benefit from the experience of the existing processes as well as
contributing new insights; and urged donor countries and multilateral
and international organizations to provide adequate technical and
financial assistance to developing countries and economies in
transition to enable them to be involved and participate in the
further development, field testing and implementation of criteria and
indicators at the national, subnational and forest management
unit/operational levels;

     (d) Urged countries and international organizations, in
particular FAO, UNEP and other participants in international and
regional initiatives, to undertake efforts to achieve a common
international understanding on concepts, essential terms and
definitions used in formulating and developing criteria and indicators
for sustainable forest management (and to promote their adoption); on
indicators for forests in similar ecological zones; on mutual
recognition among sets of criteria and indicators as tools for
assessing trends in forest management and conditions at the national
level; and on transparent methods for the measurement of indicators
and the collection, assembly, storage and dissemination of data;

     (e) Recommended that FAO and participants in regional and
international initiatives draw on commonalities between criteria and
indicators developed in such initiatives, as well as on the Forest
Principles, and recommended that criteria and indicators be used by
FAO and other relevant organizations in order to improve consistency
in reporting on forest assessment and sustainable forest management;

     (f) Requested that the Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on Biological Diversity take note of the work of the
various existing initiatives on criteria and indicators to ensure that
the work done by the Convention on Biological Diversity on developing
and implementing biodiversity indicators would be consistent with and
complementary to them.


                   IV.  TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT IN RELATION TO
                        FOREST PRODUCTS AND SERVICES   

Conclusions

116.     The Panel acknowledged the potential positive relationship
between trade in forest products and services and sustainable forest
management.  It recognized the importance of promoting sustainable
forest management through mutually supportive trade and environmental
policies, in particular avoiding policies that have adverse impacts on
the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests. 
However, it also recognized the wide range and complexity of the
issues associated with this topic.  A continuing process of consensus-
building is needed, including the exploration of the possible need for
specific international trade agreements in forest products and
voluntary codes of conduct for sustainable forest management to
facilitate and improve trade in forest products in specific areas.

117.     The Panel emphasized that the issues of trade and environment
relating to forest products and services should be addressed in a
holistic manner, taking into account chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the
Forest Principles.  It recognized, however, that there was inadequate
information on both domestic and international trade in non-wood
products and forest services.  Further studies and data gathering are
needed to overcome those gaps in future.

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

119.     Forest products obtained from sustainably managed forests may
be considered to be environmentally friendly.  Competition between
different products from different regions and between wood and
non-wood alternatives is inevitable.  It need not constrain national
or global efforts to achieve sustainable forest management, but could
have implications for sustainable forest management and for markets
for specific forest products in the future.  Further economic and
market studies, therefore, should be carried out to determine how best
to use markets and economic instruments to promote sustainable forest
management.

120.     For the majority of developing countries, exports of
processed products represent a small proportion of their total
roundwood production.  Additional efforts, therefore, should be geared
towards promoting efficient and environmentally sound downstream
processing industries and exports of processed products, consistent
with sustainable forest management, in order to increase their
contribution to sustainable development and to increase export
earnings.

121.     The Panel noted that producer countries and international
institutions have undertaken many efforts and initiatives to promote
lesser used species in the international tropical timber market. 
Progress is still limited, but efforts should continue and should also
include temperate and boreal species, consistent with the management,
conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

122.     International attention to the issues of the certification of
forest management and labelling of forest products should be put into
perspective.  To date, only a small proportion of the global trade in
forest products and a small area of the world's forests are influenced
by those schemes.  Because of inadequate information and relatively
few real world experiences, it is still too early to assess
objectively their full potential in promoting sustainable forest
management.  More studies and information are required to clarify
various uncertainties, including the impacts of certification on
forest enterprises and markets; the competitiveness of forest
products; the economic and non-economic costs and benefits; the demand
for certified products; the feasibility and credibility of
certification at different levels; the use of criteria and indicators;
the governance and credibility of certification schemes in the context
of consistency with international agreements; and the role of
Government as a regulator, and in some countries also as resource
owner.

123.     The Panel recognized that voluntary certification and
labelling schemes are among many potentially useful tools that can be
employed to promote the sustainable management of forests.  In view of
the potential proliferation of schemes, there is a need to promote
comparability and avoid duplication among various voluntary
certification and labelling schemes.

124.     The Panel accepted that Governments have a critical role in
promoting effective sustainable forest management systems.  However,
because certification has thus far been developed as a voluntary
private initiative, different views expressed on the roles of
Governments and intergovernmental institutions in the development or
regulation of certification systems require further clarification.  In
considering possible roles for Governments, bearing in mind the fact
that certification is a market-driven process, distinctions should be
made between the roles of Governments as regulators, as promoters of
public policy, and in some countries as forest owners.  Governments,
however, have a role in encouraging transparency, the full
participation of interested parties, non-discrimination, and open
access to voluntary certification schemes. 

125.     International efforts should focus on ensuring that existing
and new certification and labelling schemes are open and
non-discriminatory in respect of types of forests or forest products,
forest owners, managers and operators, are not used as a form of
disguised protectionism and are not in conflict with international
obligations.

126.     Full-cost internalization may contribute to sustainable
forest management in the long term.  Without it, socio-economic and
environmental costs may not be fully reflected in and addressed by the
market, with the result that unsustainable practices may appear more
attractive and less costly than sustainable forest management.  Only
limited consensus exists on concepts, definitions, measurements,
techniques and data requirements to introduce environmental costs into
pricing mechanisms.  The relationship to substitutes, among other
things, will affect the allocation of costs and benefits of cost
internalization and market-based instruments.  Exchange of information
on various research findings and experiences in relation to costs and
policy mechanisms are encouraged so as to facilitate discussion and
policy development.

127.     Greater market transparency has the potential to promote the
mutually supportive roles of trade and environment in the forest
sector.  Improved market transparency would also help to address such
issues as illegal international trade in forest products, transfer
pricing and market distortions.  Despite some ongoing efforts by
relevant international organizations, there has been little progress
in improving market transparency for trade in forest products, and the
Panel agreed that further efforts should be encouraged.

Proposals for action on market access

128.     The Panel:

     (a) Urged countries and relevant international organizations to
study the environmental, social and economic impacts of trade-related
measures affecting forest products and services;

     (b) 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 in accordance with existing
international obligations and commitments, and in that context to
promote a mutually supportive relationship between environment and
trade in forest goods and services, and to avoid conflict between
measures that affect trade in forest goods and services and existing
international obligations so that environmental concerns do not lead
to disguised barriers to trade;

     (c) Urged all countries, subject to their national legislation,
to encourage efforts by the private sector, in consultation with
interested parties, to formulate and implement voluntary codes of
conduct for promoting sustainable forest management for forest owners,
forest developers and international investors in forestry so as to
improve trade in forest products, and to endeavour to ensure that
external trade policies take into account community rights, where
appropriate.

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

     (a) To take note of the International Tropical Timber Agreement
(ITTA) of 1994, in particular the commitment made by ITTO members to
review the scope of the agreement four years after its entry into
force on 1 January 1997;

     (b) To explore the possibility of extending the concept of the
Year 2000 Objective of ITTA for all types of forests;

     (c) To explore the possibility of an international agreement on
trade in forest products from all types of forests;

     (d) To examine the possibilities of further initiatives on trade
liberalization within the auspices of the World Trade Organization; 

     (e) To explore, within an intergovernmental forum on forests,
intergovernmental negotiating committee or other arrangements decided
upon at an appropriate time, the possibilities of promoting the
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forests and trade in forest products in the context of an
international, comprehensive and legally binding instrument on all
types of forests.

130.     The Panel considered the question of the relationship between
obligations under international agreement and national measures,
including actions imposed by subnational jurisdictions, but was not
able to reach a consensus.  Options for action proposed included:

     (a) Urging countries to remove all unilateral measures to the
extent that those are inconsistent with international agreements;

     (b) Urging countries to remove all unilateral bans and boycotts
inconsistent with the rules of the international trade system,
including those imposed by subnational jurisdictions, in order to
facilitate the long-term management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forests, in accordance with paragraph 14
of the Forest Principles;

     (c) Recognizing that those matters are also considered in forums
whose primary competence is to address trade issues.

Proposals for action on the relative competitiveness of forest
products

131.     The Panel:

     (a) Called upon relevant organizations to support efforts to
gather more information and conduct more independent market and
economic studies of potential competition between wood and non-wood
substitutes, analysing the costs and benefits, including any
substitution effects, and the overall impact on the management,
conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests;

     (b) Urged developed countries and relevant international
organizations to support efforts by developing countries, consistent
with policies and programmes for sustainable forest management, to
increase their productivity and efficiency in downstream processing
activities, and to support, where appropriate, community-based
processing and marketing of wood and non-timber forest products.

Proposals for action on lesser used species

132.     The Panel:

     (a) Called upon countries and relevant international
organizations and research institutions to intensify efforts to
promote lesser used forest species in domestic and international
markets, where increased use is consistent with sustainable forest
management;

     (b) Urged producer countries to implement policies that are
compatible and consistent with sustainable forest management for the
utilization of economically viable lesser used species;
     
     (c) Urged international organizations and research institutions
to transfer technology, and to support national and community level
efforts to develop and adapt technologies including traditional
forest-related knowledge, for increasing the sustainable utilization
of lesser used species.

Proposals for action on certification and labelling

133.     The Panel:

     (a) Urged countries, within their respective legal frameworks,
and international organizations to consider the potentially mutually
supportive relationship between sustainable forest management, trade,
and voluntary certification and labelling schemes operating in
accordance with relevant national legislations, and to endeavour to
ensure, as necessary, that such schemes are not used as a form of
disguised protectionism, and to help to ensure, as necessary, that
they do not conflict with international obligations; 

     (b) Invited developed countries and international organizations
to support, including through technical and financial assistance,
efforts in developing countries to enhance the assessment capabilities
of developing countries in relation to voluntary certification and
labelling;

     (c) Urged countries to support the application to certification
schemes of such concepts as: 

     (i) Open access and non-discrimination in respect of all types of
         forests, forest owners, managers and operators;

    (ii) Credibility; 

   (iii) Non-deceptiveness; 

    (iv) Cost-effectiveness; 

     (v) Participation that seeks to involve all interested parties,
         including local communities; 

    (vi) Sustainable forest management; 

   (vii) Transparency;

     (d) Invited relevant organizations, in accordance with their
mandate, to carry out further studies on various aspects of voluntary
certification and labelling schemes, including: 

     (i) Effectiveness in promoting sustainable forest management;

    (ii) The relationships between various criteria and indicator
         frameworks and certification;

   (iii) Issues relevant to the development, implementation,
         promotion, equivalency and mutual recognition of voluntary
         certification and labelling schemes, and the role of
         government in that context; 

    (iv) The special needs of local communities, other forest-
         dependent populations and owners of small forests;

     (v) The need to monitor practical experience with certification,
         including accreditation processes; 

    (vi) The development of consistent terminology;

   (vii) The impacts of such schemes on the relative competitiveness
         of forest goods and services in the absence of equivalent
         schemes for substitutes;

  (viii) The needs of countries with low forest cover;

     (e) Invited countries to consider the relevance to certification
schemes of the Centre for International Forestry Research project on
criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management;

     (f) Urged countries and relevant international organizations
dealing with trade in forest products to bring the current trends on
certification into perspective, and to promote comparability and avoid
duplication of efforts among various voluntary certification and
labelling schemes;

     (g) Called upon countries and relevant agencies to make
arrangements for and support an exchange of information and experience
on certification and labelling schemes, in appropriate forums, to
ensure transparency on an ongoing basis. 

Proposals for action on full-cost internalization

134.     The Panel:

     (a) Called upon countries and relevant international
organizations concerned with forestry and trade to explore ways and
means to establish full cost internalization of both wood products and
non-wood substitutes, and to undertake market and economic analyses of
their implications for forest management and development costs and for
sustainable forest management.  Such analyses should also examine the
potential cost and benefits of improved efficiency and sustainability
at all levels of the forest industry;

     (b) Drawing upon the work being carried out by countries and
relevant international organizations, encouraged the sharing of
information on research findings and experiences concerning the
implementation of full cost internalization and its application to
sustainable forest management, and relevant policy mechanisms.

Proposals for action on market transparency

135.     The Panel:

     (a) Called upon relevant international organizations and national
institutions to expand their work on market transparency for trade in
forest products and services, and to include the possible development
of a global database;

     (b) Invited countries to provide an assessment and share relevant
information on the nature and extent of illegal trade in forest
products, and to consider measures to counter such illegal trade.


         V.  INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND MULTILATERAL INSTITUTIONS
             AND INSTRUMENTS, INCLUDING APPROPRIATE LEGAL MECHANISMS  

Conclusions

136.     The Panel recognized the need to strengthen coordination
among international organizations and multilateral institutions in
order to provide a holistic and balanced approach to all types of
forests.  The Panel also recognized that a number of international
instruments and institutions deal with specific aspects of or matters
closely related to forests, as well as with matters in other sectors
that may directly affect forests.  At the same time, the Panel
acknowledged that, at present, no single multilateral body,
organization or instrument has either a mandate or capacity to
address, in a balanced, holistic and mutually reinforcing way, all
issues that are currently on the international agenda with respect to
all types of forests.

137.     The Panel noted that it has provided a very useful forum for
examining a wide range of international forest issues in a holistic,
integrated and cohesive manner, and for building consensus in a number
of areas.  The work of the informal high-level Inter-Agency Task Force
on Forests, which was established to support the Panel, was commended
as an example of effective inter-institutional collaboration.  That
informal arrangement has proven to be flexible and effective, has
provided an opportunity for outreach beyond the United Nations system,
and could easily involve other institutions in the future.

138.     The Panel noted the need for enhanced international efforts
in a number of interlinked forest-related areas, including effective
governance of international institutions, organizations and
instruments dealing with forest issues; improved mechanisms for
focusing, coordinating and monitoring the activities undertaken by
agencies and to implement instruments on international forest-related
issues; improved participation of major groups in forest-related
forums and processes to promote sustainable forest management;
strategic data collection and analysis; projects to strengthen
capacity-building, technology transfer and exchange, and human
resource development, in particular at the national and field levels;
improved coordination between international and bilateral funding
agencies; and more focused and effective funding for and coordination
of research and development in priority areas concerned with
sustainable forest management.

139.     The Panel agreed that forest-related international, regional
and bilateral agencies and organizations, existing legal instruments,
financial and trade institutions and treaty bodies should mobilize
their respective strengths and capacities in implementing the
proposals for action in the Panel's report, and should further promote
policy dialogue, consensus-building and international cooperation,
recalling Agenda 21 and paragraph 10 of the Forest Principles.  More
still needs to be done to clarify mandates, define capacities and
address overlaps, gaps and areas that need enhancement.  Forest-
related activities should be made more transparent, effective and
flexible, and should provide for effective participation of and
collaboration among all interested parties and major groups.  The
benefits of regional approaches should be fully explored.

140.     The Panel noted that there are existing international legally
binding instruments that are relevant to forests, such as the
Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention to Combat
Desertification, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the International Tropical Timber
Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially
as Waterfowl Habitat.  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.  They do not deal comprehensively with all issues relating
to forests, including sustainable forest management.  Some delegations
considered that trade in products from all types of forests also need
further consideration in a legal instrument.

141.     The Panel recognized the importance of addressing forests in
a holistic way at the regional and national level, and noted the
several regional and international initiatives and regional mechanisms
that have been launched by like-minded countries outside the United
Nations system framework to promote the national implementation of
improved forest management.  Particularly notable are several
initiatives related to developing and implementing criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management, in which more than 130
countries now participate.

142.     The Panel noted that there is no global instrument that deals
in a comprehensive and holistic way with all types of forests.  The
Panel agreed that in order to achieve the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests it is necessary to
deal coherently with all the interrelated social, cultural, economic,
trade, environment, development, production, financial and technology
issues that have a concrete impact on those objectives.  The Panel
recognized the need to address, in an integrated manner, such issues
as trade, market access and transparency, economic, environmental and
social policies that directly or indirectly affect the forest sector,
private investment, financial resources and the transfer of
technology.

143.     The Panel recommended that the holistic and balanced approach
to intergovernmental forest policy dialogue and consensus-building, as
launched by the Commission through the establishment of the Panel,
should be continued and enhanced.  That continued intergovernmental
policy dialogue on forests, which could include a high-level
component, should promote and facilitate, in a transparent and
participatory manner, a holistic consideration of all relevant forest-
related issues, and should ensure balanced treatment of all types of
forests based on the principles of common but differentiated
responsibilities of all countries and the sovereign right of States
over their natural resources, as contained in principles 2 and 7 of
the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and paragraphs 1
(a) and 2 (a) of the Forest Principles.

Proposals for action

144.     The Panel urged international organizations, in cooperation
with countries, to support and implement its proposals for action. 

145.     The Panel called upon the appropriate international
institutions and organizations to continue their work in the informal
high-level Inter-Agency Task Force on Forests, under the chairmanship
of FAO as task manager for chapter 11 of Agenda 21, focusing on the
proposals for action recommended by the Panel, in accordance with
their respective mandates and comparative advantage, and proposed that
the Task Force, in a transparent and participatory manner, undertake
further coordination and explore means for collaboration and coherent
action at the international, regional and country levels, in support
of any continuing intergovernmental dialogue on forests.

146.     The Panel called on countries:

     (a) To support the work on forest-related issues undertaken by
international and regional organizations and agencies and under
relevant instruments;

     (b) To clarify the mandates of the relevant international
institutions and organizations related to forest issues, inter alia,
through their respective governing bodies, in order to improve
integration and coordination of their efforts and to guide the
activities of each organization to areas in which they can be most
effective;

     (c) Through the respective governing bodies, to work to eliminate
waste and duplication, thereby using available resources in an
efficient manner;

     (d) 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;

     (e) To support activities related to the management, conservation
and sustainable development of all types of forests.

147.     The Panel examined a number of options for action at the
intergovernmental level to continue the intergovernmental policy
dialogue on all types of forests and to monitor progress in and
promote the implementation of the Panel's proposals for action.  It
proposed the following options, which were not necessarily seen to be
mutually exclusive:

     (a) To continue the intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests
and the consideration of all aspects and programmes aimed at the
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forests in a holistic manner within existing forums, such as the
Commission, FAO and their respective institutional structures, as well
as other appropriate international organizations, institutions and
instruments;

     (b) To continue the intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests
through the establishment of an ad hoc open-ended intergovernmental
forum on forests under the auspices of the Commission, with a focused
and time-limited mandate, charged with, inter alia, reviewing,
monitoring and reporting on progress in the management, conservation
and sustainable development of all types of forests, promoting and
monitoring the implementation of the Panel's proposals for action, and
either:

     (i) On that basis, considering and advising on the need for other
         arrangements and mechanisms, including legal arrangements
         covering all types of forests, and reporting on those matters
         to the Commission at the appropriate time in its work
         programme, which has yet to be defined;

and/or:

    (ii) Preparing the basis and building the necessary consensus for
         a decision to negotiate and elaborate possible elements of a
         legally binding instrument, reporting to the Commission in
         1999 on its work;

     (c) To carry forward intergovernmental policy action on forests
through the establishment, as soon as possible, under the authority of
the General Assembly, of an intergovernmental negotiating committee on
a legally binding instrument on all types of forest, with a focused
and time-limited mandate.

148.     The Panel also examined numerous detailed suggestions on the
mandate and programme of work under the above options; these were
noted by the Secretariat for future reference and consideration, and
will be included in a forthcoming compilation. 

149.     The Panel recommended that the options contained in paragraph
147 (b) and (c) above, if endorsed, should be serviced by a small
secretariat within the secretariat of the Commission in the Department
for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development of the United
Nations Secretariat, and should be supported by the Task Force. 


        VI.  ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE PANEL ON ITS FOURTH SESSION

150. At its 7th meeting, on 21 February 1997, the Panel had before it the
draft report on its fourth session (E/CN.17/IPF/1997/L.1), as well as a number
of informal papers.

151. At the same meeting, the Working Group took note of the informal papers
and adopted its report.


                    VII.  ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS

                    A.  Opening and duration of the session

152. The Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests of the Commission on
Sustainable Development held its fourth session from 11 to 21 February 1997,
in accordance with Economic and Social Council decision 1996/230.  The Panel
held seven meetings (1st to 7th meetings).

153. The session was opened by one of the Co-Chairmen, Sir Martin Holdgate
(United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).  The other Co-
Chairman, Mr. Manuel Rodri'guez (Colombia), also made an opening statement.

154. The Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable
Development of the United Nations Secretariat made an introductory statement.


                           B.  Election of officers

155. At the 1st meeting, on 11 February 1997, the Panel elected Mr. S. K.
Pande (India) Vice-Chairman of the Panel for the fourth session, to replace
Mr. M. F. Ahmed (India), who had retired.

156. The Bureau of the Panel comprised the following officers:

     Co-Chairmen:  Sir Martin Holdgate (United Kingdom of Great Britain
                     and Northern Ireland)
                   Mr. Manuel Rodri'guez (Colombia)

     Vice-Chairmen:  Mr. Juste Boussienguet (Gabon)
                     Mr. S. K. Pande (India)
                     Mr. Anatoliy I. Pisarenko (Russian Federation)

157. As decided at the second session of the Panel, Mr. Juste Boussienguet
also served as Rapporteur at the fourth session.


                      C.  Agenda and organization of work

158. At the 1st meeting, on 11 February 1997, the Panel adopted its
provisional agenda, as contained in document E/CN.17/IPF/1997/1, and approved
its organization of work.  The agenda was as follows:

     1.  Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

     2.  Implementation of forest-related decisions of the United Nations
         Conference on Environment and Development at the national and
         international levels, including an examination of sectoral and
         cross-sectoral linkages.

     3.  International cooperation in financial assistance and technology
         transfer.

     4.  Scientific research, forest assessment and development of criteria
         and indicators for sustainable forest management.

     5.  Trade and environment in relation to forest products and services.

     6.  International organizations and multilateral institutions and
         instruments, including appropriate legal mechanisms.

     7.  Other matters.

     8.  Adoption of the report of the Panel on its fourth session.

159. Also at the 1st meeting, the Panel agreed to establish two in-session
working groups, each to be chaired by one of the Co-Chairmen.


                                D.  Attendance

160. The session was attended by representatives of 52 States members of the
Commission on Sustainable Development.  Observers for other States Members of
the United Nations and for the European Community, representatives of
organizations of the United Nations system, and secretariats of treaty bodies,
as well as observers for intergovernmental, non-governmental and other
organizations also attended.  The list of participants is contained in
annex I.


                               E.  Documentation

161. The Panel had before it the following documents:

     (a) Report of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests on its third
session (Geneva, 9-20 September 1996) (E/CN.17/IPF/1997/2);

     (b) Note by the Secretariat transmitting a note by the Co-Chairmen of
the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests on elements of a draft report of
the Panel on its fourth session (E/CN.17/IPF/1997/3);

     (c) Report of the Secretary-General entitled "Programme element V.1: 
International organizations and multilateral institutions and instruments"
(E/CN.17/IPF/1997/4);

     (d) Report of the Secretary-General entitled "Options for follow-up to
the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests in relation to programme
element V.2:  Contribution to consensus-building towards the further
implementation of the Forest Principles" (E/CN.17/IPF/1997/5);

     (e) Letter dated 15 January 1997 from the Permanent Representatives of
Colombia and Denmark to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,
transmitting the results of the International Meeting of Indigenous and Other
Forest-Dependent Peoples on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable
Development of All Types of Forests (Leticia, Colombia, 9-13 December 1996)
(E/CN.17/IPF/1997/6);

     (f) Letter dated 27 January 1997 from the Permanent Representatives of
Sweden and Uganda to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,
transmitting the report of the Inter-Governmental Workshop of Experts on
Sustainable Forestry and Land Use (Stockholm, 14-18 October 1996)
(E/CN.17/IPF/1997/7);

     (g) Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the text of decision
III/12 of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological
Diversity (E/CN.17/IPF/1997/8);

     (h) Note verbale dated 5 February 1997 from the Permanent Representative
of Japan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,
transmitting the final report of the International Workshop on Integrated
Application of Sustainable Forest Management Practices (Kochi, Japan, 22-
25 November 1996) (E/CN.17/IPF/1997/9).


                                     Notes

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

     2/ Ibid., annex I.

     3/ Ibid., annex II.


                                    Annex I

                             LIST OF PARTICIPANTS


                                    Members

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia                       Tony Press, Peter Thomas, Gary Dolman,
                                Rod Holesgrove, Frank McKinnell, Mark Gray

Bahamas

Bangladesh                      Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, M. Zillur Rahman,
                                Muhammad Ali Sorcar

Belgium                         Alex Reyn, Christian Lepage, Hugo Brauwers

Benin                           Fassassi A. Yacoubou, Alioune S. Aladji Boni,
                                Rogatien Biaou, Houssou Paul Houansou

Bolivia                         Maria Estela Mendoza

Brazil                          Sergio Florencio, Enio Cordeiro,
                                Antonio Fernando Cruz de Mello,
                                Antonio Carlos do Prado, Luiz Carlos Ros Filho

Bulgaria                        Raiko Raichev, Zvetolyub Basmajiev

Burundi

Canada                          Yvan Hardy, Jacques Carette, David Drake,
                                Richard Ballhorn, Ralph Roberts,
                                Rosalie McConnell, Denis Chouinard,
                                Denyse Rousseau, Victoria Berry,
                                Jacques Robitaille, Guy Lemieux, Peggy Smith,
                                Martin von Mirbach, Jean-Pierre Martel

Central African Republic

China                           Qu Guilin, Su Wei, Zhou Goulin, Wang Qun

Colombia                        Julio Londono Paredes,
                                Manuel Rodriguez Becerra, Maria Andrea Alban,
                                Alvaro Jose Rodriguez

Djibouti

Egypt

Ethiopia

Finland                         Birgitta Stenius-Mladenov, Pekka Patosaari,
                                Taisto Hulmasalo, Manu Virtamo,
                                Elias La"hdesma"ki, Markku Aho, Salla Korpela,
                                Leena Karjalainen-Balk, Anneli Sund,
                                Erja Fagerlund, Heikki Granholm,
                                Hannu Valtanen, Timo Nyrhinen, Esko Joutsamo

France                          Andre Grammont, Janie Letrot,
                                Bernard Chevalier, Philippe Delacroix, Jean-
                                Paul Lanly, Jean-Pierre Le Danff, Genevieve
                                Rey

Gabon                           Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Juste Boussienguet,
                                Athanase Boussengue, Andre Jules Madingou,
                                Guy-Marcel Eboumy

Germany                         Wolfgang Runge, Ulrich Hoenisch,
                                Rainald Roesch, Hagen Frost, Peter Franz, Udo
                                Vollmer, Peter Fahrenholtz, Christian
                                Mersmann, Gerhard Dieterle

Ghana                           Jack B. Wilmot, Edward Dwumfour,
                                Messie Y. Amoah

Guyana                          Samuel R. Insanally, Clayton Hall,
                                George Talbot, Koreen Simon

Hungary

India

Indonesia                       Nugroho Wisnumurti, Toga Silitonga,
                                I. G. M. Tantra, Untung Iskandar,
                                Benny H. Sormin, M. Slamet Hidayat,
                                Wening Esthyprobo Moe'min, Bagas Hapsoro,
                                Rudy Tarumingkeng

Iran (Islamic Republic of)      Mostafa Jabari, Esmail Tekieh Sadat

Ireland

Japan                           Takao Shibata, Toshikatsu Aoyama,
                                Hiroaki Shinohara, Yutaka Tsunetomi,
                                Takeshi Goto, Atsuo Ida, Shin Inoue

Mexico                          Diana L. Ponce-Nava, Ulises Canchola

Mozambique

Netherlands                     Hans Hoogeveen, Ton van der Zon,
                                Peter Schu"tz, Rob Velders, Jeroen Steeghs,
                                Karin Wester

Pakistan

Panama                          Jorge E. Illueca, Ruth Decerega,
                                Hernan Tejeira, Judith Cardoze

Papua New Guinea                Utula U. Samana, Dike Kari, Jimmy U. Ovia,
                                Adam Vai Delaney

Peru                            Fernando Guillen, Amalia Torres, Italo Acha

Philippines                     Felipe Mabilangan, Jose De Malvas,
                                Cecilia B. Rebong, Glenn F. Corbin

Poland                          Tadeusz Strojwas, Kazimierz Rykowski,
                                Lucyna Lundorff

Russian Federation              Anatoliy I. Pisarenko, Eugeny P. Kuzmichev,
                                N. V. Chulkov, A. P. Kornienko,
                                Valentin V. Strahov, I. P. Bulafni,
                                V. M. Zimianin, V. A. Nebenzia, A. A. Pankin,
                                A. V. Davidenko

Saudi Arabia

Senegal                         Abdoulaye Kane

Slovakia                        Juraj Balkovic, Alexander Carny, Milan Dubcek

Spain                           Arturo Laclaustra, Francisco Rabena,
                                D. Ramiro Puig, Marta Betanzos

Sudan                           Hassan Osman Abdelnur

Sweden                          Hans Lundborg, Astrid Bergquist,
                                Susanne Jacobsson, Ulf Svensson,
                                Linda Hedlund, Gunnar Nordanstig, Reidar
                                Persson, Stefan Wirten, Jan Sandstrom

Switzerland                     Pierre Muehlemann, Manuela Jost Ernst,
                                Werner Hunziker, Monika Linn Locher, Livia Leu

Thailand                        Apiwat Sretarugsa, Arunrung Phothong

Ukraine                         Tetyana V. Gardashchuk,
                                Volodymyr M. Reshetnyak

United Kingdom of Great         Sir John Weston, Sir Martin Holdgate, 
Britain and Northern            Peter Gooderham, Victoria Harris, Jill
Ireland                         Barrett, Penny Brooke, Anthony Smith, John
                                Hudson, Michael Dudley, David Bills

United States of America        Mark Hambley, Stephanie Caswell, Robert
                                McSwain, Kathryn Shippe, Jan McAlpine, Mary
                                Coulombe, Douglas Kneeland, Michael Hicks,
                                Franklin Moore, Adela Backiel, Joseph
                                Ferrante, Wendy McConnel, Julia Jack, Marvin
                                Brown, Gary Cook

Venezuela                       Luis Castro Morales, Isabel Bacalao-Roner,
                                Samuel Mendoza, Judith Musso Q,
                                Sulenma Ramirez, Luis Fernando Perez-Segnini,
                                Lisette Hernandez

Zimbabwe


         States Members of the United Nations represented by observers

Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Cameroon, Chile, Costa Rica, Co^te d'Ivoire,
Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Israel,
Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua,
Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Slovakia,
South Africa, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Yemen


                       Entities represented by observers

European Community


                                United Nations

United Nations Environment Programme


                             Specialized agencies

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Bank, International
Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization


                         Secretariats of treaty bodies

Convention on Biological Diversity


                        Intergovernmental organizations

International Tropical Timber Organization, Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development


                        Non-governmental organizations

General consultative status     Franciscans International, World Wide Fund for
with the Economic and Social    Nature International
Council

Special consultative status     Forest Alliance of British Columbia, 
with the Council                Greenpeace International, International
                                Indian Treaty Council, International Union for
                                Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

On the Roster of the Council    Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, Center
or accredited to the            for International Environmental Law (CIEL),
Commission on Sustainable       Centre  for Science and Environment, Cousteau
Development                     Society, Cultural Survival Canada (Amazon
                                Coalition), Deutsche Naturschutzring (DNR),
                                Environment Investigation Agency, Friends of
                                the Earth (FOE), Fundacio'n Natura, Fundacio'n
                                Peruana para la Conservacio'n de la
                                Naturaleza, International Hardwood Products
                                Association, International Institute for
                                Sustainable Development, Scottish
                                Environmental Forum, SERVAS International,
                                Sierra Club, Survival International Ltd.,
                                Third World Network, United Nations
                                Association of the USA, UNED-UK/United Nations
                                Environment and Development - United Kingdom
                                Committee, World Conservation Monitoring
                                Centre


                                   Annex II

            LIST OF GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED INITIATIVES IN SUPPORT OF
                    THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON FORESTS


     International conference on certification and labelling of products from
sustainable managed forests, sponsored by Australia (Brisbane, Australia,
26-31 May 1996)

     International workshop on financial mechanisms and sources of finance
for sustainable forestry, co-sponsored by Denmark, South Africa and UNDP
(South Africa, 3-7 June 1996)

     Expert consultation on implementing the Forest Principles:  promotion of
national forest and land-use programmes, sponsored by Germany (Feldafing,
Germany, 17-21 June 1996)

     International expert meeting on rehabilitation of degraded forest
ecosystems, co-sponsored by Cape Verde, Portugal, Senegal, the European
Community and FAO (Lisbon, 24-28 June 1996)

     Expert meetings on forests on the theme "Overview on international
organizations, institutions and instruments related to forests", co-sponsored
by Switzerland and Peru (Geneva, 5-8 March and 24-28 June 1996)

     Expert group meeting on trade, labelling of timber and certification of
sustainable forest management, co-sponsored by Germany and Indonesia (Bonn,
12-16 August 1996)

     Intergovernmental seminar on criteria and indicators for sustainable
forest management, sponsored by Finland (Helsinki, 19-22 August 1996)

     A study sponsored by the Government of Norway, entitled "Long-term
trends and prospects in supply and demand for wood products, and possible
implications for sustainable forest management", culminated in a report
entitled "Long-term trends and prospects in wood supply and demand for wood,
and implications for sustainable forest management:  a synthesis"

     Expert meeting on sustainable forestry and land use on the theme "The
process of consensus-building", co-sponsored by Sweden and Uganda (Stockholm,
14-18 October 1996)

     International workshop on integrated application of sustainable forest
management practices, co-sponsored by Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, FAO and
ITTO (Kochi, Japan, 22-25 November 1996)

     International meeting of indigenous and other forest-dependent peoples
on the conservation and sustainable management of forests, supported by the
Governments of Colombia and Denmark (Leticia, Colombia, 9-13 December 1996);
the meeting was led by the International Alliance of the Indigenous-Tribal
Peoples of the Tropical Forest, in cooperation with the Indigenous Council for
the Amazon Basin.

                                     -----

 


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Date last posted: 7 December 1999 12:45:30
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