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10 August 2004
BASELINE INFORMATION RELEVANT TO SPECIFIC CRITERIA FOR THE REVIEW OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ARRANGEMENT ON FORESTS

A. INTRODUCTION

At its second session, the United Nations Forum on Forests identified (in Resolution 2/3, paragraph 4) 21 Specific Criteria for the assessment of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests. These Specific Criteria relate to the six principal functions of the Forum, as specified in ECOSOC Resolution 2000/35. Resolution 2/3 also invited the secretariat, in co-operation with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and taking into account the work of the Ad Hoc Expert Groups, to gather baseline information relevant to the above-mentioned Criteria.

At its fourth session, the Forum adopted Resolution 4/4, on a Process to facilitate the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests. As part of this process, the Forum requested the Secretariat to transmit the baseline information to member States, CPF members and other relevant organisations and forest-related processes, by 30 July 2004. Paragraph 2 (c) of Resolution 4/4, states that the baseline information is to be “developed in cooperation with the CPF members, relevant to the Specific Criteria, compiled from existing information, taking into account the work of the relevant Ad Hoc Expert Groups”.

Since the international arrangement of forests was established in 2000, a considerable amount of baseline information has become available through, inter alia, voluntary national reports; documents prepared for consideration by the Forum; the work of Ad Hoc Expert Groups; the work of CPF and its members; and country- and organisation-led initiatives. This paper identifies sources of baseline information relevant to each Specific Criterion. Where necessary, cross-references are made to avoid duplication (for example, baseline information on national forest programmes is relevant both to Element 1 of Specific Criterion ai and to Specific Criterion aii.)

B. BASELINE INFORMATION

Principal function (a): Implementation of IPF/IFF proposals for action

(a i) The extent to which countries, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other actors have made progress in implementing the relevant IPF/IFF proposals for action.

The plan of action for the Forum identified 16 Elements as an important tool for implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action (see Resolution 1/ 2, Annex, paragraph 15) and all these Elements were addressed during the second, third or fourth sessions of the Forum. Accordingly, the Elements are used here as a tool for relating baseline information to the implementation of IPF/IFF proposals.

Element 1: National forest programmes

National forest programmes are a common item for each Forum session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on national forest programmes (E/CN.18/2002/4), considered by the Forum at its second session. This Report also included the following Table indicating the status of national forest programmes by region:

 

Status of national
forest programme

Total number
of programmes

Region

Planning

Implementation

 

Africa

21

22

43

Asia

10

4

24

Near East

0

3

3

Latin America & Caribbean

0

33

33

Economies in transition

3

11

14

OECD

0

21

21

Total

34

104

138

Further information about national forest programmes is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General to the third session on economic aspects of forests (E/CN.18/2003/7, paragraphs 65-67).

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.1), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 24-26) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 25-28). Further information is provided on the NFP Facility website (www.fao.org/forestry/site/14527/en).

Element 2: Promoting public participation

Promoting public participation is a common item for each Forum session and a number of Reports of the Secretary-General provide baseline information on the subject. These include:

E/CN.18/2002/6 on combating deforestation and forest degradation (paragraphs 18-19);
E/CN.18/2002/7 on progress in rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover (paragraphs 18-19);
E/CN.18/2002/9 on forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems (paragraphs 18-19);
E/CN.18/2003/7 on economic aspects of forests (paragraphs 62-64);
E/CN.18/2004/7 on traditional forest-related knowledge (paragraphs 32-33);
E/CN.18/2004/8 on social and cultural aspects of forests (paragraphs 33-45 and 67-69);
E/CN.18/2004/11 on criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management (paragraphs 35-38).

In addition, Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues were held at the second, third and fourth sessions of the Forum. Information is provided in Notes by the Secretary-General on the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues, together with Addenda by major groups (E/CN.18/2002/10, E/CN.18/2003/4 and E/CN.18/2004/4) and the Chairman’s summaries of the multi-stakeholder dialogues E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14), paragraph 35; E/2003/42 (E/CN.18/2003/13), paragraph 52 and E/2004/42 (E/CN.18/2004/17), Chapter IV, paragraph 10).

Stakeholder participation was considered at the Workshop on Decentralization, Federal Systems in Forestry and National Forest Programs, held in Interlaken, Switzerland on 27-30 April 2004.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.2), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 27-31) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 29-35).

Element 3: Combating deforestation and forest degradation

This was a substantive item at the second session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on combating deforestation and forest degradation (E/CN.18/2002/6). The Chairman’s summary of the discussion is in E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14), paragraph 24, sub-paragraphs A. 1. 2-9. Following this discussion, the Forum adopted Resolution 2/2 (section A).

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.3), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 32-35) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 36-37).

Element 4: Traditional forest-related knowledge

This was a substantive item at the fourth session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on traditional forest-related knowledge (E/CN.18/2004/7).

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.4), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 36-37) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 38-39).

Element 5: Forest-related scientific knowledge

This was a substantive item at the fourth session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on forest-related scientific knowledge (E/CN.18/2004/9). Following discussion of this item, the Forum adopted Resolution 4/1.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.5), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 41-49) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 40-42).

Element 6: Forest health and productivity

This was a substantive item at the third session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on progress in implementation on forest health and productivity (E/CN.18/2003/5). Following discussion of this item, the Forum adopted Resolution 3/2.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.6), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 41-49) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 43-47).

Element 7: Criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management

This was a substantive item at the fourth session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management (E/CN.18/2004/11). Following discussion of this item, together with monitoring, assessment and reporting (see Element 10), the Forum adopted Resolution 4/3.

Further information is provided in the Reports of the Expert Consultation on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, held in Rome, Italy, 15-17 November 2000; the International Conference on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management held in Guatemala City, 3 – 7 February 2003; and the Expert Consultation on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, held in Cebu City, the Philippines, from 2 to 4 March 2004.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.7), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 50-55) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 48-51).

Element 8: Economic, social and cultural aspects of forests

This was a substantive item at the third and fourth sessions. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on economic aspects of forests (E/CN.18/2003/7); and at the fourth session the Forum considered a Report of the Secretary-General on Social and cultural aspects of forests (E/CN.18/2004/8). Following discussion of these items, the Forum adopted Resolution 3/1 and Resolution 4/2.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.8), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 56-59) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 52-58).

Element 9: Forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems

This was a substantive item at the second session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems (E/CN.18/2002/9). The Chairman’s summary of the discussion is in E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14), paragraph 24, sub-paragraphs A. 2. 10-19. Following this discussion, the Forum adopted Resolution 2/2 (section B).

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.9), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 60-64) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 59-62).

Element 10: Monitoring, assessment and reporting, and concepts, terminology and definitions

This was a substantive item at the second and fourth sessions. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on monitoring, assessment and reporting, including concepts, terminology and definitions (E/CN.18/2002/8); in the Report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Approaches and Mechanisms for Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting (E/CN.18/2004/2) and in the Report of the Secretary-General on Monitoring, assessment and reporting, concepts terminology and definitions (E/CN.18/2004/10). Following discussion of this item at its second session, the Forum adopted Resolution 2/2 (section E), and following discussion at its fourth session the Forum adopted Resolution 4/3.

Further information is available in the reports of the International expert meeting on monitoring, assessment and reporting on the progress toward sustainable forest management, held in Yokohama, Japan on 5-8 November 2001; and the meeting on Lessons learned in Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting on Implementation of IPF/IFF Proposals for Action, held in Viterbo, Italy on 17-20 March 2003.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 7.0), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 11-18 and 65-68) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 10-16 and 63-68). These activities include the work of the Taskforce on streamlining forest-related reporting, and the initiative on forest-related definitions.

Element 11: Rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover

This was a substantive item at the second session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on progress in the rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover (E/CN.18/2002/7). The Chairman’s summary of the discussion is in E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14), paragraph 24, sub-paragraphs A. 3. 20-26. Following this discussion, the Forum adopted Resolution 2/2 (section C).

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.10), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 69-72) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 69-73).

Element 12: Rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands, and promotion of natural and planted forests

This was a substantive item at the second session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on the rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and the promotion of natural and planted forests (E/CN.18/2002/3). The Chairman’s summary of the discussion is in E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14), paragraph 24, sub-paragraphs A. 4. 27-36. Following this discussion, the Forum adopted Resolution 2/2 (section D).

Further baseline information is available in the Report of the Expert Meeting on the Role of Planted Forests in Sustainable Forest Management in Wellington, New Zealand, on 24-28 March 2003; and on the website of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.11), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 73-76) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 74-79).

Element 13: Maintaining forest cover to meet present and future needs

This was a substantive item at the third session. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General on maintaining forest cover to meet present and future needs (E/CN.18/2003/8). Following discussion of this item, the Forum adopted Resolution 3/3.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.12), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 77) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 80-82).

Element 14: Financial resources

Finance is one of the means of implementation, and was on the agenda of the second, third and fourth sessions of the Forum. Financing for sustainable forest management was addressed during the high-level ministerial segment of the second session (see E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14), paragraph 46, sub-paragraphs 25-32). Further baseline information is provided in the Report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Finance and Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (E/CN.18/2004/5); following discussion of this Report, at its fourth session, the Forum adopted Decision 4/2.

Baseline information on finance is also provided in background documents considered by the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Finance and Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies, including the Note by the Secretariat on Financing for sustainable forest management: current challenges in the changed financial environment (E/CN.18/AC.2/2003/2); the Report of the Secretary-General on Implementation of and follow-up to commitments and agreements made at the International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico, in March 2002 (A/58/216); the report of the International workshop on financial mechanisms and sources of finance for sustainable forestry, held in Pretoria, South Africa on 3-7 June 1996; the report of the Workshop on Financing of Sustainable Forest Management, organised in Croydon, United Kingdom from 11-13 October 1999; and the report of the International Meeting of Experts on Financing Sustainable Forest Management, held in Oslo, Norway on 22-25 January 2001.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.13), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 10 and 78-81) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 8-9 and 83-86).

Further information is also provided on the FAO website and in the Sourcebook on Funding for Sustainable Forest Management (a CPF joint initiative). The Sourcebook includes a searchable database that provides information on sources of funds for sustainable forest management, funding policies and delivery mechanisms of bilateral donors, international organizations, development banks, private sector entities and other relevant bodies. It also provides information on trends in funding sustainable forest management, fund-raising and the development of project proposals.

Element 15: International trade and sustainable forest management

Trade is a common item at sessions of the Forum. Baseline information is provided in the Note by the Secretary-General on trade and sustainable forest management (E/CN.18/2002/5), considered at the second session, and updated in the Report of the Secretary-General on economic aspects of forests (E/CN.18/2003/7, paragraphs 20-31) considered at the third session. Following discussion of this item at the third session, the Forum adopted Resolution 3/1.

Further information is available in the Report of the Expert Consultation on Trade and Sustainable Forest Management, held in Rome, Italy on 3-5 February 2003.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.14), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 82-83) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 87-89).

Element 16: International cooperation in capacity-building and access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies

Capacity building and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies are amongst the means of implementation considered at each session of the Forum. Baseline information is provided in the Report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Finance and Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (E/CN.18/2004/5), considered by the Forum at its fourth session. In addition, the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue at the fourth session included an exchange on the topic of Capacity Building; the Chairman’s summary is in E/2004/42 (E/CN.18/2004/17), Chapter IV, paragraph 10, sub-paragraphs 15-24.

The importance of capacity building is also stressed in a number resolutions and decisions adopted by the Forum, including Resolution 2/2, Resolutions 3/1, 3/2, 3/3 and 3/ 4 and Decision 4/2.

Baseline information on the transfer of environmentally sound technologies is also provided by the Reports the Workshop on the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies for Mangrove Forests, held in Managua, Nicaragua 3-5 March 2003; the report of the Conference on Technology Transfer and Capacity Building was held in Trondheim, Norway, 23-27 June 2003; and the Global Workshop on transfer of environmentally sound technologies and capacity building for sustainable forest management, held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 24-27 February 2004.

Relevant CPF activities are outlined in the CPF Framework 2002 (paragraph 6.15), the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 84-86) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 90-96).

(aii) The extent to which countries have developed and started to implement national forest programmes or equivalent processes.

As explained under Specific Criterion ai, Element 1, the Report of the Secretary General to the second session on National Forest Programmes (E/CN.18/2002/4) provided an overview of the current status of national forest programmes. The National Forest Programme facility website describes national forest programme processes in 38 countries; information from another 27 countries will be available on the site in the near future.

In their voluntary national reports to the second, third and fourth sessions of the Forum, a number of countries outlined the development and (where applicable) implementation of their national forest programmes or equivalent processes. In some countries older programmes are being, or have been, updated. Other countries explain that their national forest programmes are not single, free standing documents: they may, for example, be components of broader land use plans or Poverty Reduction Strategy Programmes; or they may consist of a number of forest programmes organised on a geographical or thematic basis.

In a regional context:

(a iii) The extent to which participation of stakeholders in those programmes and processes has been enhanced.

The Report of the Secretary General to the second session on National Forest Programmes (E/CN.18/2002/4) refers to some of the challenges facing countries in enhancing stakeholder participation in national forest programmes and similar processes (E/CN.18/2002/4, paragraphs 56 (c), 57 (c), 60, 61(a)).

Information about social aspects of national forest programmes is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General to the fourth session on social and cultural aspects of forests (E/CN.18/2004/8, paragraph 69).

The need for participation has been highlighted in Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues, see for example the Chairman’s summary at the third session (E/2003/42 and E/CN.18/2003/13, paragraph 52, sub-paragraph 9). Participation by stakeholders in development of national forest programmes was also discussed as part of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Partnerships during the fourth session (E/2004/42 and E/CN.18/2004/17, Chapter IV, paragraph 10, sub-paragraphs 25-30).

In their voluntary national reports most countries that refer to their national forestry programmes or equivalent processes also explain how stakeholders have participated. The range of stakeholders who participate, and the nature of their participation varies; for example, in some countries stakeholder participation is a long-established practice, sometimes enshrined in law, whilst in other countries new approaches to stakeholder participation are being developed.

Further information is provided in the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraph 25), which refers to a technical meeting on enhancing stakeholder participation in national forest programmes, organised by FAO in November 2002; and in the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 27 and 33), which refers to the role of the National Forest Programme Facility and to a second meeting organised by FAO, which focussed on qualitative assessment of stakeholder participation in national forest programmes.

(a iv) The extent to which the international arrangement on forests has facilitated and promoted countries implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action, focusing on the means of implementation (finance, transfer of environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building) as well as the relevant common items.

The means of implementation, as well as relevant common items, have been addressed at the second, third and fourth sessions of the Forum. Specific references are given in the section dealing with Specific Criterion ai (above), especially in relation to elements 14 and 16.

A number of Reports of the Secretary-General provide baseline information on means of implementation. These include:

E/CN.18/2002/3 on rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and the promotion of natural and planted forests (paragraphs 53-56);
E/CN.18/2002/6 on combating deforestation and forest degradation (paragraphs 23-33);
E/CN.18/2002/7 on progress in rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover (paragraphs 23-31);
E/CN.18/2002/9 on forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems (paragraphs 24-34);
E/CN.18/2003/5 on forest health and productivity (paragraphs 31-33);
E/CN.18/2003/7 on economic aspects of forests (paragraphs 51-59);
E/CN.18/2003/8 on maintaining forest cover to meet present and future needs (paragraphs 43-51);
E/CN.18/2004/7 on traditional forest-related knowledge (paragraphs 28-31);
E/CN.18/2004/8 on social and cultural aspects of forests (paragraphs 64-65);
E/CN.18/2004/9 on forest-related scientific knowledge (paragraphs 52-56);
E/CN.18/2004/10 on monitoring, assessment and reporting, concepts, terminology and definitions (paragraphs 37-46);
E/CN.18/2004/11 on criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management (paragraphs 28-33).

The importance of means of implementation, and relevant common items, is also stressed in the resolutions and decision adopted by the Forum following discussions of these items, namely Resolution 2/2, Resolutions 3/1, 3/2, 3/3 and Decision 4/2.

As noted under Element 16 of Specific Criterion ai, the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue at the fourth session included an exchange on the topic of Capacity Building (see E/2004/42 (E/CN.18/2004/17), Chapter IV, paragraph 10, sub-paragraphs 15-24). Sources of baseline information relating to the activities of CPF members are provided under Specific Criterion ai, Elements 14 and 16.

(a v) The extent to which countries have made progress in assessing the IPF/IFF proposals for action in order to determine their relevance in their national context.

A six-country initiative on Putting the IPF Proposals for Action into Practice at the National Level led to the development of a Practioners’ Guide, to help countries assess the IPF proposals, and the development of six national case studies (for Finland, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Uganda and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). These documents were subsequently discussed at an International Expert Consultation, held in Baden Baden, Germany on 29 June – 3 July 1998, where 37 countries were represented. In addition, a Workshop on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests: Implementation for the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action was held in Fiji on 15-17 April 2002.

The Program of Forests (PROFOR) and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have published a tool to assist national-level assessment of progress and priorities for action towards sustainable forest management.

In their voluntary national reports to the second, third and fourth sessions of the Forum, a number of countries referred to detailed analyses they had undertaken (or were in the process of carrying out) to assess progress in implementing the IPF/IFF proposals for action, and identify gaps. Other countries explained in more general terms how the IPF/IFF proposals for action were being implemented through their forest policies.

In a regional context, the EC (European Community) reported upon an evaluation that it commissioned. Also in the European context, the MCPFE (www.mcpfe.org), which has 44 member countries, published (as MCPFE Paper, in May 2001) an assessment that demonstrated several strong linkages between its work and IPF/IFF proposals for action.

Principal function (b): Forum for continued policy development and dialogue

(bi) The extent to which the international arrangement on forests, including, inter alia, Forum sessions, intersessional work and the multi-stakeholder dialogue, and the related work of the CPF and its members, as well as country- and organization-led initiatives, have enhanced forest policy development and dialogue.

Baseline information relating to this Specific Criterion is available in:

  • Reports of Forum sessions. Representatives of 99 member states attended the first session; representatives of 84 states attended the second; representatives of 116 attended the third; and representatives of 91 attended the fourth. There was a high-level ministerial segment at the second session. The third session included a Panel discussion on regional initiatives and the fourth session included Panel Discussions on The role of forests in achieving broader development goals, Sustainable forest management in Africa; and Forests and forestry in Small Island Developing States (SIDS); the Chairmans’ summaries of these Panel Discussions are in E/2004/42 (E/CN.18/2004/17), Chapter IV, paragraphs 11-33.

  • Intersessional work: Reports of Ad Hoc Expert Groups were presented at the fourth session on the Finance and Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (E/CN.18/2004/5) and on Approaches and Mechanisms for Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting (E/CN.18/2004/2);

  • Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues were held during the second, third and fourth sessions: see Specific Criterion ai, Element 2 for details;

  • the CPF Frameworks (CPF Framework 2002, E/CN.18/2003/INF/1 and E/CN.18/2004/INF/1);

  • Reports of the country and organization-led initiatives referred to elsewhere in this paper.

  • Side events: in total, there were about 90 side-events during the second, third and fourth sessions.

(b ii) The extent to which the international arrangement on forests has worked in a transparent and participatory manner, including through the involvement of major groups.

Major groups have been invited to contribute discussion papers to the second, third and fourth sessions of the Forum and Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues have taken place at these sessions. As part of the plenary sessions of the Forum, the Dialogues provide an opportunity for major groups to bring their experience and perspectives to the general debate and to engage in discussion with government representatives. In order to facilitate the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue process, major group networks have identified “focal points” to assist in coordination of the input of each major group network. Advantage has also been taken of events at the regional level to advance the work of major groups, for example through the pan-European Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue network, announced at the 4th Ministerial Conference of the MCPFE in 2003.

At the second session, two major groups presented papers (E/CN.18/2002/10: Add1 Add2), and statements were made by two other major groups. The Chairman’s summary of the discussion is in E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14, paragraph 35).

Prior to the third session, two multi-stakeholder consultation meetings were held to help major groups prepare for the multi-stakeholder dialogue. Eight major groups were represented and papers were presented by six of them (E/CN.18/2003/2: Add 1, Add 2, Add 3, Add 4, Add 5 and Add 6). The Chairman’s summary of the discussion is in E/2003/42 (E/CN.18/2003/13, paragraph 52).

In an effort to increase accessibility and to expand the consultative process for planning major group input to the fourth session, a series of monthly conference calls were organised: these included participation of all eight major groups. At the fourth session, eight major groups were represented by 150 participants. Five papers were submitted as official documents (E/CN.18/2004/4: Add 1, Add 2, Add 3, Add 4, Add 5) and two additional papers were submitted as non-official documents and distributed at the session. The Chairman’s summary of the discussion is in E/2004/42 (E/CN.18/2004/17), Chapter IV, paragraphs 2-10.

The Forum secretariat has worked with the NGO unit of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs to increase the level of non-governmental organisation accreditation to ECOSOC, in order to promote balanced and representative participation by major groups in sessions of the Forum. Although progress is being made, it is constrained by the time available for the work of the inter-governmental committee charged with granting ECOSOC consultative status.

A website, and an informal newsletter, in English, French and Spanish, keeps those with an interest in the work of the Forum in touch with developments.

The CPF has published a flier outlining its role, giving details of its members and the focal agency system, and providing website addresses; and fliers on the Sourcebook on Funding for Sustainable Forest Management and on the CPF Portal on Forest Reporting.

The CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 19-22) explains that the CPF Network was established in 2002 to facilitate cooperation and communication between interested partners. The Network, which met twice in 2003, has 280 members.

(biii) The extent to which the Collaborative Partnership on Forests members have responded to the guidance of the Forum.

The actions taken by the CPF and its members in response to guidance from the Forum are outlined in the Framework 2002, CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1). These Frameworks represent both the work plans and the annual progress reports of the Partnership.

Since its establishment, the CPF has embarked on a number of collective activities or joint initiatives at the request of the Forum:

  • the establishment of an online searchable database on funding sources for sustainable forest management (requested in Resolution 1/3, paragraph 9, and also referred to in Resolution 3/1, paragraph 11);

  • work to streamline reporting on forests (requested in Resolution 2/2E, paragraph 4, and also referred to in Resolution 3/4, paragraph 3 and Resolution 4/3, paragraph 9);

  • efforts to foster a common understanding of forest-related definitions (requested in Resolution 1/3, paragraph 9, and also referred to in Resolution 2/2E, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 and Resolution 4/3, paragraph 9).

(b iv) The extent to which progress has been made in reaching a common understanding of forest-related concepts, terminology and definitions.

Baseline information is provided in the Reports of an Expert Meeting on Harmonizing Forest-related Definitions for Use by Various Stakeholders, held at FAO Headquarters, Rome on 23-25 January 2002; and of a Second Expert Meeting on Harmonizing Forest-related Definitions for Use by Various Stakeholders, held at FAO Headquarters, Rome, on 11-13 September 2002. The Report recommended that the comparative analytical framework of forest-related definitions, developed during this process, should be disseminated amongst, and used by, international processes.

The CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 15-16) explains that follow-up activities have included harmonising the core definitions in French and Spanish, standardising terminology on forest carbon and biomass, and harmonising terminology related to natural and managed forests, planted forests and trees outside forests. Terms and definitions for FRA 2005 are available. IUFRO’s clearing house for multilingual forest terminology is SilvaVoc.

Principal function (c): Cooperation and policy and programme coordination

(ci). The extent to which partnerships relevant to the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action have been advanced.

The Notes by the Secretary-General on Enhanced co-operation and policy and programme co-ordination, considered at the third and fourth sessions of the Forum (E/CN.18/2003/6 and E/CN.18/2004/13 ) contain baseline information about the following partnerships:

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) confirmed the importance of partnerships to achieve sustainable forest management. The WSSD website gives information about eight forest-related sustainable development partnerships that have developed following WSSD. They include the Asia Forest Partnership; the Congo Basin Forest Partnership and the Latin America Model Forest Network.

Voluntary national reports also give many examples of relevant partnerships at the national level.

The role of partnerships was also discussed during the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue at the fourth session of the Forum. The Chairman’s summary of this discussion is in E/2004/42 (E/CN.18/2004/17), Chapter IV, paragraph 10, sub-paragraphs 25-30.

CPF members participate actively in a wide range of partnerships, many of which are referred to in the CPF Frameworks. Several of them have bilateral memoranda of understanding. In addition, the CBD Secretariat has developed a web-based portal offering all relevant stakeholders the opportunity to report on activities related to forest biological diversity; the close correspondence between the forest work programme of CBD and the IPF/IFF proposals for action indirectly facilitate their implementation.

(c ii) The extent to which the international arrangement on forests has facilitated and promoted coordination and cooperation among other forest-related organizations, instruments and processes.

The Notes by the Secretary-General on Enhanced cooperation and policy and programme coordination, considered at the third and fourth sessions of the Forum (E/CN.18/2003/6 and E/CN.18/2004/13 ), contain baseline information about coordination and cooperation among other forest-related organizations, instruments and processes:

Resolution 3/4 called for Member States and CPF member organisations to submit views on three topics relevant to collaboration between the Forum and CBD. Submissions were received from 11 countries, the European Union, FAO, CBD and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the Program on Forests (PROFOR) and the World Bank. These are posted on the UNFF website.

The CPF Frameworks (CPF Framework 2002, paragraph 4.0; E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 90-92; and E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 99-112) explain how the CPF and its members forests have facilitated and promoted co-ordination and co-operation among other forest-related organizations, instruments and processes in capacity building and access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies. In addition, CPF activities relevant to forest biological diversity are outlined in the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF/1, paragraphs 87-89) and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 97-98).

A Directory of forest-related international and regional institutions and instruments was updated by FAO on behalf of the CPF in April 2002 and is available on the CPF website.

Principal function (d): International co-operation

(di) The extent to which the international community, including bilateral and multilateral donors and organizations, Collaborative Partnership on Forests members and international and regional processes, have facilitated the implementation of IPF/IFF proposals for action in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, inter alia, through the provision of financial, technical and scientific resources and capacity-building.

The section on Specific Criterion a iv deals with the extent to which the international arrangement on forests has facilitated and promoted countries implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action, focusing on the means of implementation (finance, transfer of environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building) as well as the relevant common items. The baseline information referred to in that section relates also to this Specific Criterion.

The CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF/1, paragraphs 84-85) provides information about the work of GEF (including the Review of financial-arrangements in GEF-supported biodiversity projects and the GEF report Forests matter; GEF’s contribution to conserving and sustaining forest ecosystems); the mobilisation of funds by ITTO (paragraph 86); and the National Forest Programme Facility (paragraph 27).

Further information on finance is provided in the Report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Finance and Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (E/CN.18/2004/5, paragraphs 42-70) and on the FAO website. The CPF web-based Sourcebook on funding sources for sustainable forest management (see under Element 14 of Specific Criterion ai) includes baseline information about trends in funding.

Other activities by CPF members include work by CBD (such as its programme of work on technology transfer and technological and scientific cooperation, using its Clearance House Mechanism; technical studies on the role of intellectual property rights in technology transfer; and guidance on the enabling environment); ITTO’s Special Account for Projects and Bali Partnership Fund and its Fellowship Fund; IUFRO’s Special Programme for Developing Countries, which aims to expand and foster forest research capacity in developing and economically disadvantaged countries; work by FAO (including field projects and support for national forest assessment); work by ICRAF and partners; and work by the World Bank through PROFOR and other partners on, for example, changes in forest management in transition economies, reform of forest fiscal systems and economic incentives and alternative financing for sustainable forest management.

(d ii) The extent to which the international arrangement on forests has promoted efforts by the international community to facilitate the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action through, in particular, North-South cooperation and public-private partnerships, as well as through South-South and North-North cooperation.

Many of the country- and organization-led initiatives referred to in this paper demonstrate North-South, as well as South-South and North-North cooperation.

The Forum secretariat is compiling information on regional initiatives and processes. As part of this exercise, South-South and North-South partnerships will also be examined, along with obstacles and opportunities in regional co-operation so that ways to replicate successful examples can be identified (see E/CN.18/2004/13, paragraph 7). This will provide a further source of baseline information. Further information about international and regional co-operation is provided in the following sections of Reports of the Secretary-General to the Forum:

E/CN.18/2002/3 on rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and the promotion of natural and planted forests (paragraphs 50-52);
E/CN.18/2002/6 on combating deforestation and forest degradation (paragraph 22);
E/CN.18/2002/7 on progress in rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover (paragraphs 21-22);
E/CN.18/2002/9 on forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems (paragraphs 23);
E/CN.18/2003/5 on forest health and productivity (paragraphs 10-27).

The Report of the Secretary-General to the third session on economic aspects of forests provides information about the involvement of the private sector in sustainable forest management (E/CN.18/2003/7, paragraphs 42-45). A Forest Investment Forum, hosted by the World Bank in Washington DC on 22-23 October 2003 explored opportunities for public and private sector investment in environmentally and socially sustainable forestry in developing and economic transition countries. Information about private sector funding is also available in the CPF Sourcebook on funding for sustainable forest management (see under Element 14 of Specific Criterion ai).

Principal function (e): Monitoring and assessing progress through reporting

(ei) The extent to which countries, regions, organizations and processes respond to the call from the Forum and Collaborative Partnership on Forests members for voluntary reports, with a focus on the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action.

Voluntary national reports were submitted by 14 countries to the second session of the Forum; by 37 countries to the third session; and by 36 countries to fourth session. Altogether, 54 countries have submitted voluntary national reports to at least one session. A regional breakdown of countries submitting voluntary national reports to at least one session is set out in below:

Region

Number of countries

Africa

7

Asia

13

Europe

23

N & C America

4

Oceania

3

S America

4

The European Community submitted a report to the third session in the format of a national report.

Details of submissions by major groups are given under Specific Criterion bii.

CPF members supplied information for the CPF Frameworks Information documents. In addition, CPF members drafted many of the Reports of the Secretary-General on progress in implementation.

(e ii) The extent to which trends, lessons learned, emerging issues and actions are identified and become apparent through those voluntary reports.

Information about trends, lessons learned, emerging issues and actions which are identified and become apparent through these voluntary reports is provided in the following sections of Reports of the Secretary-General to the Forum:

E/CN.18/2002/3 on rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and the promotion of natural and planted forests (paragraphs 9-49);
E/CN.18/2002/6 on combating deforestation and forest degradation (paragraphs 4-17);
E/CN.18/2002/7 on progress in rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover (paragraphs 4-17);
E/CN.18/2002/9 on forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems (paragraphs 9-17);
E/CN.18/2003/5 on forest health and productivity (paragraphs 28-30; 46-66);
E/CN.18/2003/7 on economic aspects of forests (paragraphs 10-50);
E/CN.18/2003/8 on maintaining forest cover to meet present and future needs (paragraphs 9-42);
E/CN.18/2004/7 on traditional forest-related knowledge (paragraphs 10-27);
E/CN.18/2004/8 on social and cultural aspects of forests (paragraphs 15-63);
E/CN.18/2004/9 on forest-related scientific knowledge (paragraphs 9-36);
E/CN.18/2004/10 on monitoring, assessment and reporting, concepts, terminology and definitions (paragraphs 9-27);
E/CN.18/2004/11 on criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management (paragraphs 9-27).

(e iii) The extent to which major groups have been encouraged to participate in developing voluntary reports.

A number of voluntary national reports explain that major group representatives were encouraged to participate in the development of the report. This was achieved in a variety of ways: inviting major group representatives to take part in discussions about the report; writing to major group representatives to request input to the report; and inviting major group representatives to comment on a draft of the voluntary national report. A number of other countries explained that the voluntary national reports had been based upon existing documents, and that major groups had participated in the development of those source documents.

Some countries that did not involve major groups in participation of their voluntary national reports indicated that they wished to secure greater participation in the future, especially if there is time.

(e iv) The extent to which Collaborative Partnership on Forests members have worked to strengthen countries’ abilities to monitor, assess and report progress in the implementation of IPF/IFF proposals for action

Information about the work of CPF and its members to strengthen countries’ abilities to monitor, assess and report progress in the implementation of IPF/IFF proposals for action is provided in the CPF Framework 2002 (section 7); the CPF Framework 2003 (E/CN.18/2003/INF1, paragraphs 11-18 and 65-68); and the CPF Framework 2004 (E/CN.18/2004/INF1, paragraphs 10-16 and 63-68). Relevant joint initiatives include:

  • the work of the CPF Task Force on Streamlining Forest-related Reporting. The Task Force has developed a web-based “portal” which provides easy access to information submitted by countries to CPF members, together with the corresponding reporting formats. The Task Force is also exploring other ways of reducing the reporting burden, for example by examining opportunities for joint requests from its members; through cross-referencing of questionnaires; and by identifying areas of overlap (so that they can draw countries’ attention to existing relevant information to prevent duplication of effort);/

  • CPF initiative on harmonizing forest-related definitions, explained under Specific Criterion b iv;

  • the Global Forest Information Service, which aims to provide access to forest information resources at a global scale. The prototype website is at www.gfis.net

(e v) The extent to which Forum sessions provide opportunities to voluntarily report progress and lessons learned.

All countries were invited to submit voluntary national reports to the second, third and fourth sessions of the Forum. Suggested Reporting Formats were provided for reports to the third and fourth sessions; these guidelines specifically invited comment on progress and lessons learned. The voluntary national reports were drawn upon in the development of Reports of the Secretary-General for consideration at Forum sessions. These Reports of the Secretary-General also drew upon information provided by CPF members (who often have a lead role in drafting particular Reports), findings from country- and organisation-led initiatives and other relevant information.

Opportunities are also provided through:

  • Panel discussions (see under Specific Criterion bi for details);

  • Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues (see under Specific Criterion bii for details);

  • side events and informal meetings in the margins of Forum sessions.

The Forum highlighted lessons learned in Resolution 2/2 A, B, C, D and E; Resolutions 3/1, 3/2, 3/3 and 3/4; and Resolutions 4/1, 4/2 and 4/3.

(e vi) The extent to which countries make progress in monitoring, assessment and reporting through, inter alia, applying criteria and indicator processes or similar tools in their efforts to achieve sustainable forest management.

Baseline information on the extent to which countries have made progress in relation to the development and implementation of criteria and indicator processes is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General to the fourth session on Criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management (E/CN.18/2004/11, paragraphs 9-27). A total of 149 countries, representing around 85% of the world’s forests, are now participating in one or more of the nine criteria and indicators processes.

Following discussion of this paper, the Forum adopted Resolution 4/3 on Forest-Related Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting; Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. This acknowledged that the seven thematic elements of sustainable forest management, drawn from the criteria, offer a reference framework for sustainable forest management The FRA 2005 process has also endorsed the use of these thematic elements.

In addition, further information on monitoring, assessment and reporting is provided in the Report of the Secretary-General to the fourth session on monitoring, assessment and reporting (E/CN.18/2002/8) and in the Report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Approaches and Mechanisms for Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting (E/CN.18/2004/2).

Principal function (f): Strengthening political commitment

(fi) The extent to which high-level engagement furthers political commitment to the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action by countries.

A high-level ministerial segment was held during the second session of the Forum. Ministers from 22 countries made statements; and there were also statements from a further 26 countries.

In the Ministerial Declaration and Message from the UNFF to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Annex to Resolution 2/1), Ministers said (in paragraph 2) that:

“We commit ourselves to the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action. While recognizing that countries have the primary responsibility to implement the IPF/IFF proposals for action, we underline the importance for the international community to strengthen cooperation in the areas of finance, trade, transfer of environmentally sound technology and capacity-building, which are essential to ensure sustainable forest management in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. We stress the importance of national forest programmes or similar approaches, the role of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, and voluntary certification systems.”

Ministers also (in paragraph 15i) invited the Summit to:

“Call on countries and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to accelerate implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action and intensify efforts on reporting to the Forum to contribute to an assessment of progress in 2005.”

In a regional context:

  • a Forest Law Enforcement and Governance East Asia Ministerial Conference was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 11-13 September 2001. It adopted a Ministerial Declaration aimed at strengthening collaboration to address violations of forest law and forest crime;

  • a Declaration issued by MCPFE following the Summit held in Vienna on 28-30 April 2003 stated, inter alia, that the representatives of the 40 signatory states and European Community are committed to:

  • “ further promote and contribute to the full implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action”.

  • Ministers from 39 countries (including 31 African countries) agreed, at the Africa Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Ministerial Conference, held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, 13-16 October 2003, to work together, inter alia, to strengthen institutional reforms aimed at good governance programmes.

(f ii) The extent to which the international arrangement on forests succeeds in enhancing the positioning of forests on the international agenda.

In summing up the discussion at the high-level ministerial segment during the second session, the Chairman stated (E/2002/42 (E/CN.18/2002/14) paragraph 46, sub-paragraph 12) that:

“It was noted that implementation of sustainable forest management was more than a commitment; it was a common responsibility. Forests were vital to economic development, poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods, as well as to the well-being of the planet and humanity. They provided subsistence, employment and shelter for hundreds of millions of poor people in rural areas.”

In the Ministerial Declaration and Message from the UNFF to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Annex to Resolution 2/1, paragraph 15 b), Ministers invited the Summit to:

“Enhance political commitment to achieve sustainable forest management by endorsing it as a priority on the international political agenda, taking full account of the linkages between the forest sector and other sectors through integrated approaches”

The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the associated WSSD Plan of Implementation emphasized the links between poverty eradication, environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources. Paragraph 45 of the WSSD Plan of Implementation focused on sustainable forest management, reflecting the Ministerial Declaration and Message from UNFF.

Millennium Development Goals were agreed by world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit, held in New York, in September 2002. They are a set of time-bound and measurable goals and targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women, among other pressing issues. Goal 7 (Ensure environmental sustainability) includes a target (Target 9) “to integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources”. One of the indicators (Indicator 25) relating to this target is the proportion of land area covered by forest.

Ministers and Heads of Delegations participating in the high-level segment of the substantive session of 2003 session of the Economic and Social Council, held from 30 June to 2 July 2003 adopted a declaration which included a pledge (E/2003/L.9, paragraph 19):

“to promote environmentally sound and sustainable natural resources management, including the implementation of integrated land management, sustainable forest management programmes and water-use plans and the use of traditional and indigenous knowledge and practices as well as modern technologies of sustainable resource use and management.”

C. CONCLUSION

The reference date for this paper is 30 June 2004. It will be updated as new sources of baseline information become available, including:

  • the Report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Consideration with a View to Recommending the Parameters of a Mandate for Developing a Legal Framework on All Types of Forests;

  • the Reports from the regional workshops being organised by FAO during 2004, in conjunction with regional forestry commissions’ meetings;

  • reports from other country and organisation-led initiatives;

  • additional input from CPF members.

 


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