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IN THIS ISSUE:
 

This summer the Secretariat has been gathering information, data and perspectives to help enrich the UNFF8 reports on forests and desertification and land degradation, forests and biodiversity, and forests and climate change. We hosted a series of web-forums on these three issues over the past three months (May-July 2009). The web forums were well attended averaging over 7000 visits per forum. We would like to thank all those who took the time to voice their opinions and share their valuable experiences.

In the past few months, various meetings have been convened by Member States, CPF members and our other partners on issues that relate directly to our work. In the area of climate change there were the meetings of the SBSTA 28 and the SBI 28 in Bonn, as well as the High-Level Conference on World Food Security in Rome. The CBD held its COP9 in Bonn in May, and in July we had a short-term staff exchange with the CBD Secretariat. On the regional level, there were the MCPFE Expert meeting, the session of the North American Forest Commission and the council meeting of the African Forest Forum. Each of these provided an excellent opportunity for the UNFF Secretariat to exchange information on areas of collaboration and synergy and raise awareness on the various avenues for input to the Forum.

Initiatives that have directly supported the preparation for UNFF8 have included: the Advisory Group on Finance which has moved ahead on the analytical mapping exercise of needs, sources and mechanisms for financing SFM; preparations for the Country-Led Initiative (CLI) on financing SFM in Suriname in September and the UNFF8 Bureau has finalized the dates for the UNFF Ad Hoc Expert Group on finance, which will be held from 3 to 7 November 2008 at UNOV, Vienna, Austria.

Preparations for UNFF8

3rd meeting of the UNFF8 Bureau
The UNFF8 Bureau held its third meeting on 6 May 2008, at UN Headquarters, New York, under the chairmanship of Dr. Boen M. Purnama. Bureau members reviewed preparations for the Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) meeting to develop proposals for a voluntary global financial mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financing framework as well as preparations for the eighth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF8). After careful consideration of a number of determining factors, including availability of conference services, the UNFF8 Bureau decided to convene the Ad Hoc Expert Group meeting in Vienna, Austria, from 3 to 7 November 2008. The minutes of the Bureau meeting are available on the UNFF website.

Advisory Group on Finance (AGF) for SFM
At its second meeting, in February in Bonn, the Advisory Group decided to commission an analytical mapping of financing needs, available sources and mechanisms for financing SFM. In May, the AGF in close cooperation with the UNFF Secretariat initiated the process to finalize the TOR for this exercise. The study will review existing, potential and evolving sources and mechanisms of funding, taking into account new developments in the climate change regime relating to forest finance and possible ways to access those sources and mechanisms for the implementation of the NLBI and sustainable forest management. The study is also expected to identify lessons learned, constraints and recommendations related to financing in the context of effective implementation of the NLBI.

AFFCountry-Led Initiative (CLI) on Financing SFM
The Governments of Suriname, the Netherlands and the United States are co-organizing the International Dialogue on Financing Sustainable Forest Management; a Country-Led Initiative (CLI) in Support of the UNFF from 8 - 12 September 2008 in Paramaribo, Suriname. The CLI will highlight experiences in mobilizing forest funding from all sources with a focus on further exploration of the "Portfolio Approach". Participants will include forest and finance experts and policy-makers from governments, IGOs, international NGOs, finance institutions, the private sector, foundations and academic institutions. The CLI Advisory Committee had its first meeting on 5 May 2008, in New York. For more information on the CLI please see: http://www.clisuriname.com

Recent Forest-related Meetings

MCPFEMCPFE Expert Level Meeting
The MCPFE Expert Level Meeting (ELM) took place from 7 - 8 May in Oslo, Norway. The meeting was organized in follow-up to the 5th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe held in Warsaw, Poland in November 2007. Issues discussed included: experiences and lessons learned; implementation of commitments; the strategic direction of the MCPFE; SFM and Climate Change; and plans for the European Forest Week. The ELM was attended by 88 delegates representing 31 European countries and the European Commission, 20 observer countries and organizations and the MCPFE Liaison Unit Oslo. The UNFF Secretariat participated in the meeting and presented a statement outlining avenues for regional-global cooperation and information exchange. Detailed minutes of the meeting are available on the MCPFE website.

cbdCBD (COP 9)
The ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity took place from 19 - 30 May in Bonn, Germany. COP9 adopted an expanded programme of work on forest biological diversity. Other issues discussed included impacts of genetically modified trees on conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity; the emerging issue of biofuels in the programmes of work on agricultural biodiversity and the expanded programme of work on forest biodiversity. The UNFF Secretariat participated in meeting and presented a statement on strengthening cooperation with the UNFF and another on UNFF 7 outcomes and contribution to the review of the programme of work on forest biological diversity. For details on COP9 decisions please see http://www.cbd.int/decisions/cop9/

faoHigh-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy
The conference was held from 3 - 5 June in Rome, Italy, to highlight the challenges posed by climate change, bioenergy and food prices on world food security. Participants included heads of State, Ministers and NGOs from 181 member countries. The issue of forests was raised by a number of speakers both in the context of livelihoods and climate change. The Conference adopted a declaration calling on the international community for increased assistance for developing countries, in particular the LDCs and those most affected by high food prices. The report of the conference is available on the meeting website.

UNFCCCSBSTA 28 and SBI28 of the UNFCCC
The 28th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) of the UNFCCC took place from 4 - 13 June in Bonn, Germany. All five elements of the climate change negotiations - adaptation, mitigation, technology, finance and long-term cooperative action - were discussed at SBSTA 28 and the SBI at the Bonn session. Three workshops were held on adaptation, finance and technology where Parties agreed to scale up technology transfer efforts for Africa, SIDS and LDCs, in particular. On the issue of adaptation, Parties agreed to carry of the next phase of the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. The UNFF Secretariat delivered a statement on 4 June informing the session about recent developments and future events related to the UNFF, highlighting the adoption of the NLBI by the UN General Assembly and emphasizing the need for enhanced collaboration and cooperation to make the instrument effective. The next round of climate change negotiations will take place in Accra, Ghana from 21-27 August 2008. For more details on the Bonn talks see: http://unfccc.int/meetings/sb28/items/4378.php

fao

24th session of the North American Forest Commission (NAFC)
The 24th Session of the NAFC took place from 9 -12 June in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The meeting discussed key forestry issues in the region including the forestry sector outlook for North America and the issue of forests and energy. The session included reports from the various NAFC Working Groups on: atmospheric change and forests; fire management; forest genetics resources; forest insects and diseases; forest inventory, monitoring and assessment; invasive plants; silviculture and watershed management. The NAFC was updated on the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 process, and invited to comment on the FAO strategy for forestry, which will be reviewed by COFO in March 2009. NAFC members were also invited to use the upcoming international years on Natural Fibres (2009); Biodiversity (2010); and Forests (2011) to help to promote forestry issues. The Commission recommended that COFO (2009) give attention to the issues of forests and climate change, forests and water, and forests and energy including in particular, bioenergy. The UNFF Secretariat presented a statement to the session on preparations for UNFF8 and the Ad Hoc Expert Group meeting on finance. The report of the 24th Session of the NAFC is available online.

AFF3rd meeting of the Governing Council of the African Forest Forum (AFF)
The 3rd meeting of the Governing Council of the AFF took place from 11 to 13 June in Cape Town, South Africa. The Council decided upon various issues related to the work of the AFF including: AFF participation in UNFF related meetings including the AHEG and Suriname CLI; links to the African Model Forest Network; developing programmatic link with ICRAF; and collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy for Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) including in particular that KLSA would be a liaison office for AFF in Europe. The UNFF Secretariat is a founder member of the AFF and also serves as an observer at Governing Council. For more information see the African Forest Forum website.

CLICLI Preparatory Workshop on Financing for SFM: International Developments and Perspectives for Suriname
The Preparatory Workshop took place from 16 to 19 June 2008, in Paramaribo, Suriname. The meeting was organized to share information on actions toward sustainable forest management at the international, regional and national level and in particular on the development of finance mechanisms for SFM. Workshop participants included representatives from various ministries and government institutions in Suriname involved in the CLI preparatory process, policy makers, representatives from the University of Suriname, the private sector, NGOs, representatives from local communities as well as other stakeholders. The UNFF Secretariat provided participants with an overview of the work of the Forum, and participated as an observer at the meeting.

Upcoming Forest-related Events

August

5 - 8 August 2008 (Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)
IUFRO Conference on Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems and Landscapes organised by IUFRO

25 - 28 August 2008 (Umeň, Sweden)
Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Changing Climate with Emphasis on Forest Health: A Review of Science, Policies, and Practices organised by FAO, IUFRO and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

September

3 - 5 September 2008 (Koli, Joensuu, Finland)
Forests in the Changing Environment: Pan-European workshop as a regional contribution to the UNFF organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland

7 - 12 September 2008 (Murten, Switzerland)
23rd IUFRO Conference for Specialists in Air Pollution: Effects on Forest Ecosystems Air Pollution and Climate Change at Contrasting Altitude and Latitude organised by IUFRO

8 - 12 September 2008 (Paramaribo, Suriname)
International Dialogue on Financing Sustainable Forest Management; a Country-Led Initiative (CLI) in Support of the UNFF organised by Governments of Suriname, The Netherlands and the United States

16 - 18 September 2008 (Chengdu, China)
International Conference: Landscape Ecology and Forest Management: Challenges and Solutions organised by IUFRO, International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) and Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF)

17 - 19 September 2008 (Toledo, Spain)
Forest Fires 2008: International Conference on Modeling, Monitoring and Management of Forest Fires organised by Wessex Institute of Technology, UK, and University of Castilla - La Mancha, Spain

18 - 20 September 2008 (Orvieto, Italy)
European Forest Institute Annual Conference: Focus on the Adaption of Forest Landscape to Environmental Changes organised by European Forest Institute

October

29 September - 3 October 2008 (Quito, Ecuador)
Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission - 25th Session organised by FAO

5 - 9 October 2008 (Bali, Indonesia)
International Scientific Conference on Tropical Rainforests and Agroforests under Global Change organised by Collaborative Research Center STORMA (Stability of Tropical Rainforest Margins in Indonesia)

5 - 14 October 2008 (Barcelona, Spain)
The World Conservation Congress organised by IUCN

13 - 16 October 2008 (Accra Ghana)
International Conference on Traditional Forest-related Knowledge and Sustainable Forest Management in Africa organised by IUFRO, The Forestry Commission, CSIR, and University of Ghana

13 - 17 October 2008 (Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, Korea)
International Conference "Advances in Forest Management and Inventory" organised by IUFRO, Kangwon National University, and Korea Forest Research Institute

20 - 24 October 2008 (Rome, Italy)
34th Session European Forestry Commission organised by FAO

20 - 24 October 2008 (Rome, Italy)
European Forest Week organised by FAO, UNECE, MCPFE and EC

30 - 31 October 2008 (Barcelona, Spain)
International Conference on Water and Forests: A Convenient Truth? organised by European Forest Institute Mediterranean, Centre de Recerca Ecol˛gica i Aplicacions Forestals (CREAF), Fundaciˇ Territori i Paisatge (FTiP), Centre Tecnol˛gic Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC), IUFRO, FAO Forestry Department, MCPFE and University of Barcelona

UNFF Staff Update
The UNFF and CBD Secretariats carried out a staff exchange this summer which involved our Forest Affairs Expert, Catalina Santamaria visiting the CBD Secretariat from 7-11 July and CBD Programme Officer for Forest Biodiversity, Tim Christophersen, visiting the UNFF Secretariat from 21-25 July. Areas of collaboration and coordination that were strengthened during this exchange included preparations for the UNFF8 agenda item on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation including Protected Areas; cooperation on regional forest-related aspects and synergies between the International Years of Biodiversity (2010) and Forests (2011).

We recently bid farewell to Ms. Ghazal Badiozamani who left the UN to pursue a MBA at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Ms. Badiozamani joined the UN in 2001, working in the Division for Sustainable Development where she worked on issues of urban transport, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. In 2003, she joined the UNFF Secretariat where she worked on issues related to poverty and livelihoods, and climate change as well as serving as the liaison with the CPF, and major groups representatives. We wish her all the best in her academic pursuits and her future endeavors.
Information Requests

Update your National Focal Points Information
We would like to invite all member States to review the national focal point name and contact information currently listed on our website to ensure that the information is correct and up to date.  Please send any corrections to the UNFF Secretariat via email.

New nominations of national focal points should be sent in hard copy through mail or fax (+1 917 367 3186).  Please contact us if you require templates of nomination letters or copies of past communications regarding this matter.

NLBI translation in languages other than official UN languages?
We would like to request all member States who may have translated the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (NLBI) into their official languages to inform the UNFF Secretariat as this would greatly facilitate our efforts to widely disseminate the instrument.