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38. The Commission considered the challenges of securing adequate financing for sustainable forest management on the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2004/6. Several member countries shared their experiences in developing innovative funding approaches to support forest management.

39. Some countries had established special funds to support forest management and conservation, which were being financed by voluntary contributions, taxes and fees, donor grants and other sources. Others countries were testing mechanisms for compensating the provision of environmental services and developing markets for previously non-marketed goods and services.

40. The costs of fully implementing sustainable forest management were recognized to be significantly above current expenditure levels. FAO was encouraged to strengthen its work with donor countries and financial institutions to help facilitate the efforts of developing countries to implement sustainable forest management, especially during their transition to sustainable forest management.

41. Delegates recognized that countries with valuable commercial forest resources could potentially finance sustainable forest management by improving pricing and taxation systems, strengthening measures for collecting royalties and fees, and controlling illegal activities. Success depended on effective policies, sound measures for collection and supportive legal systems. FAO was requested to continue providing information and advice related to these needs.

42. Delegates acknowledged the potential to generate income and employment from non-wood forest products, environmental services (e.g., carbon sequestration, provision of clean air and water) and ecotourism. The actual realization of such benefits was currently limited, however, and their significance as a source of funding for forestry was still to be determined. The Commission requested FAO to facilitate the exchange of information and experience related to the valuation and the development of markets for these products and services.

43. FAO was urged to continue raising awareness of the contributions that forests make to the environment, rural development, poverty alleviation and other economic sectors (e.g. tourism, water resources). The Commission requested FAO to maintain efforts to ensure that sound scientific knowledge on the actual benefits provided by forests and trees was readily available to policy makers and other decision makers.

44. The Commission requested FAO to distribute information on available guidelines for assessing the magnitude of environmental services provided by forests and the impacts and repercussions of unsustainable forest management and forest clearing.

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