LE PRESIDENT: Si vous le permettez, avant de passer au point du Comité des forêts, je voudrais faire une brève déclaration. J'ai reçu cette nuit de New-York un projet de résolution concernant le Programme alimentaire mondial, qu'il eût été intéressant d'avoir pour notre discussion d'hier. Cette résolution-nous allons savoir exactement si elle a été déposée à l'Assemblée générale, et où elle en est-omet un certain nombre de points importants. Vous savez qu'hier le caractère conjoint Nations Unies-FAO de supervision du Programme a été souligné par l'ensemble des délégations. La dernière mouture dont je suis saisi, qui est une troisième mouture, ne fait même plus allusion au rôle de la FAO, ni aux instances responsables qui doivent transmettre, avec leurs avis et considérations, les conclusions du Comité des politiques et d'aide alimentaire aux Nations Unies et à l'Assemblée générale, via la double voie que vous connaissez de la FAO et de l'ECOSOC.
J'ai estimé de ma responsabilité de vouloir vous avertir, de façon à ce que vous soyez au courant, et je vous tiendrai informés dans la journée, ou au plus tard demain matin, de la suite qui aura été donnée à cette troisième mouture.
Maintenant, si vous le voulez, nous allons passer à l'examen du rapport de la dixième session du Comité des forêts, y compris l'examen du Plan d'action forestier tropical.
Comme vous le savez tous, le Comité des forêts s'est réuni du 24 au 28 septembre 1990, et a eu une session intéressante, même si elle a été parfois quelque peu agitée.
Nous sommes saisis de deux documents importants. Je vous les rappelle: le document CL 98/8, Rapport de la Dixième session, et le document CL 98/8-Sup.1, Observations du Directeur général sur le rapport de la dixième session du Comité des forêts. Ces deux documents (et ces deux documents seulement) sont les documents officiels portés à la connaissance du Conseil, et sur lesquels nous avons à délibérer.
Je passerai immédiatement la parole au Sous-Directeur général du Département des forêts, M. Murray.
C.H. MURRAT (Assistant Director-General, Forestry Department): Mr Chairman, distinguished delegates, as has been indicated by the Chairman already, the Committee on Forestry met for its Tenth Session from 24 to 28 September. As is required by our Basic Texts, the report of the Committee, as document CL 98/8, is presented to the Council for examination, along with the comments of the Director-General in document CL 98/8-Sup.1.
The attention of the Council is called to the recommendations in para. 90 of the COFO report and in paras 11 and 15 of document CL 98/8-Sup.1. These concern, firstly, the proposal for an international instrument on the conservation and development of forests and, secondly, the implementation of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan which is recommended to be renamed Tropical Forestry Action Programme.
I shall take the opportunity in each case, Mr Chairman, to inform the Council of developments since the Committee on Forestry met in September.
Turning first to the implementation of the Tropical Forestry Action Programme-in para. 5 of document CL 98/8-Sup.1, the cost of the ad hoc group of experts is given as US$130 000.
During the COFO meeting, I announced that the Director-General had already, then, taken steps to arrange a high-level meeting with the World Bank. That meeting took place on 9 October with a Vice-President and a Director of the World Bank.
The meeting between FAO and the World Bank paved the way for a gathering of the four co-sponsors of the TFAP at UNDP/New York on 4 November. Since I was unfortunately not available on that date, the Director-General was represented by Mr Declan Walton, our former Deputy Director-General. Mr Walton is beside me here today. With your agreement, Mr Chairman, he could give some insight into what transpired at that meeting to which I have referred.
However, on the occasion of that meeting the four co-sponsors agreed in principle on a broad-based high-level group which should meet in January for three days. The group would include participants from six industrialized and six developing countries, some intergovernmental organizations, five NGOs and, of course, the co-sponsors. Consideration is being given to including participants from the private sector. The intention is to include a wide range of opinion.
The group's tasks would include all the related issues of substance listed in the COFO Report. It was agreed, also, that the high level group should meet in a developing tropical country to symbolise the reinvigoration of the TFAP, and in particular the shift to a "country-driven" approach, as emphasized by the Indepedent Review team.
I could add here that we are already in touch with one developing tropical country on the question of hosting the meeting.
Since arrangements are not yet firm, it has not been possible to prepare a reliable budget for the event. However, we hope that the costs can be
shared with UNDP and the World Bank, and that FAO's share will be well below the figure of US$130 000 quoted in the document I have referred to.
Throughout the discussions and negotiations for an improved TFAP close attention will be given to the financial implications as much for FAO as for the Programme as a whole.
To summarize, the agreement of the Council is sought to the recommendations in the report of the Committee on Forestry, in particular to proceed with the implementation of the recommendations concerning the TFAP and to incur FAO's share of the cost of the ad hoc group of experts.
Allow me now to turn to the question of an international instrument on the conservation and development of forests. The rationale, justification and main elements of such an international instrument were given to the Committee on Forestry in document COFO 90/3 (a).
Such a global forest instrument would provide common principles for universal action for the conservation and sustainable development of all forest resources-boreal, temperate, mediterranean, subtropical and tropical. The Tropical Forestry Action Programme, could play a vital role in the implementation of a global forestry instrument and this in turn would also add weight, authority and efficacy to the TFAP.
COFO agreed that FAO should continue in its efforts to contribute to the technical and legal scope and content of a global forest instrument. This, we have continued to do. However, we believe it would be most important to obtain advice and inputs from governments and other concerned organizations at an early stage.
Such inputs would be an important contribution to the comprehensive report on forests and forestry which the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) has been asked to present to the Second Session of the UNCED Preparatory Committee.
Since the Committee on Forestry met in September, at the Director-General's invitation, the Secretary-General of UNCED visited FAO on 11 October. Mr Strong, the Secretary-General, explained the basic purpose of the conference and the expected results. He saw the merits of an international instrument on forests and recognized the role FAO could play in its preparation. He felt, however, that the preparatory processes for the three instruments should be closely coordinated and interactive.
FAO attaches great importance to such coordination and has invited Mr Strong to convene such a meeting early in 1991, preferably before the second meeting of the Preparatory Committee of UNCED to be held in March.
Meanwhile, we have had extensive contacts with all the bodies I have mentioned-indeed our representatives have just returned from the meeting of the International Tropical Timber Organization Council in Yokahama.
In addition, delegates will have heard from Mr Mahler of FAO's participation in the Second World Climate Conference and from Mr de Haen on the biodiversity convention. FAO has been requested to provide Secretariat
support for the forestry aspects-embodied in a protocol or otherwise-at the climate negotiations. FAO will, of course, cooperate and provide the requested assistance to the fullest extent.
In addition, I confirm that FAO is already preparing a substantial contribution to the report on forests and forestry which the Secretary-General of UNCED has been asked to present at the next Preparatory Committee meeting.
As the major UN specialized agency in the field of forestry, FAO is well within its role and mandate to provide its member countries with the technical and intellectual inputs from which they may or may not then decide on the scope and type of instrument or instruments they wish to consider, and which they will have the sovereign right to discuss and negotiate. Of course, political guidance will come not only from this august body, but also from other fora with legitimate interests in the matter.
Finally, we look to this session of the Council to provide such guidance as it may deem appropriate. The Secretariat is ready to respond to the wishes of Member Governments. My colleagues and I are at the disposal of yourself, Sir, and distinguished representatives to answer questions.
Declan J. WALTON (Special Adviser to the Director-General): What I have been concerned in is the implementation of paragraph 90 of the COFO report. In this paragraph, the Committee on Forestry called on FAO to organize first of all a high-level meeting with the other co-sponsors of the TFAP and then to set up an ad hoc group of experts for which the terms of reference are laid out in that paragraph.
As you heard, Sir, we had a meeting on 4 November in New York. We agreed on moving ahead to a meeting which will be held in January and which will take a form slightly different from that we had earlier envisaged. As Mr Murray said, it will be a very broadly based meeting of governments from North and South, and of non-governmental organizations. It will include the critics as well as the supporters of the TFAP. Invitations to this meeting will be extended by the four co-sponsors jointly and they will be extended to individuals, experts, not to countries or organizations as such. This meeting is still in the preliminary planning stage, and I am afraid I cannot yet give any firm indication of who will be involved. The invitations have not yet been sent out. There are some very tentative soundings being started, but we do not yet have a firm invitation list.
We are also working on a discussion paper for the meeting with the World Bank, UNDP and the World Resources Institute. By way of information, it might be helpful to the Council to have insight into the current thinking on the three substantive items referred to this meeting; in other words, to suggest an answer to the question. "What do you expect to get out of this meeting?"
First of all, in paragraph 90 COFO called for options for improved institutional arrangements. Options are options; there is no blueprint
being worked on, but we would expect that agreement will ultimately emerge on a new mechanism which will bring together all the interested parties in the TFAP, both governmental and non-governmental. It will look at the strategic orientation of the TFAP and in particular at the social and economic framework within which the problems of the tropical forests have to be tackled. This will not be a body duplicating the work of COFO or other technical bodies in FAO. We hope it will look at forestry problems in this much wider context.
Secondly, COFO called for proposals for clarification of goals and objectives. Here we hope that the meeting will map out common ground between those countries which are primarily interested in conservation and those which are primarily interested in development.
Thirdly, COFO called for ways and means to strengthen the coordinating functions of FAO. At the moment we are working on some ideas, and if I can quote one sentence from the COFO report which would be our general guideline it would be the following from paragraph 84: "The Committee further stressed the need to develop a more decentralized, country-driven, process-oriented approach in which individual countries would shoulder their responsibilities and play the leading role". This deliberate move toward a country-driven approach is symbolized by the intention of organizing the January meeting in a developing country.
In conclusion, I would emphasize the very good working relations with the three other co-sponsors. This whole exercise is being planned and will be undertaken as a joint initiative. FAO cannot itself unilaterally determine one aspect or another but, of course, the comments that the Council may wish to make on this subject will be extremely important for us as we handle the FAO input to this process.
LE PRESIDENT: Je déclare le débat ouvert. J'ai déjà quelques orateurs inscrits et je demande à ceux qui désirent prendre la parole de se manifester.
Dato Wan Jaafar ABDULLAH (Malaysia): Mr Chairman, environmental issues have in recent years emerged in the forefront on the global agenda. Increasingly, the world community is concerned with the serious deterioration of the global environment and the threat it poses to the life-support systems of our present and future generations. This stems essentially from past neglect in sustainably managing our natural environment and resources, including air, water and land.
The industrialized countries continue to be the main causes of environmental degradation, given their unsustainable patterns of lifestyles. The world environment has been degraded by decades of industrial and other forms of pollution, including unsafe disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes, nuclear testing and unwholesome practices in agriculture, fishery and forestry. The excessive consumption, especially of
fossil fuels, has resulted in the emission of substantive amounts of greenhouse gases which has become a daily affair.
Many environmental problems transcend national boundaries and interest, hence the need for the global community to have a coordinated effort and action to manage its scarce resources to ensure that the earth remains environmentally safe and clean while promoting economic growth and development.
The call for a global forest convention at this juncture by certain developed countries is rather circumspect. This is notwithstanding the fact that the 10th Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) which met here from 24-28 September 1990 supported the concept of an international instrument on the conservation and development of forests.
Let us not prejudge the decision taken at the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Nairobi in August 1990. It was decided by the Preparatory Committee of UNCED that all relevant information on the status of global forest cover and their economic value should be prepared and that the interlinkages among the various efforts under way, such as the Conventions on Climate Change and on the Biological Diversity, be fully understood. It may also be noted that too many conventions or protocols may result in duplication of efforts and render them ineffective.
In this connection, the UNCED Secretariat has been requested to prepare a comprehensive report with the cooperation of all relevant agencies as well as governments for consideration at the next Preparatory Committee meeting of UNCED. For this preparatory process, FAO could assist in the preparation of the UNCED Report in association with other international bodies such as ITTO, which is an international timber organization represented by both producing and consuming countries.
For the above reason, I agree with the view of COFO that it is premature to express an opinion on the nature of the instrument or the form or modalities of any negotiations; also the call by FAO to convene, in early 1991, a group of experts, in cooperation with ITTO, UNEP, WMO and the UNCED Secretariat, to study in more detail an international instrument on world forestry, is conjectural. It would be more appropriate for the Preparatory Committee of UNCED, at the forthcoming meeting in Geneva, to study the comprehensive report first and to await the outcome of the deliberations before making any move to convene a meeting of the group of experts.
In this respect, my delegation wishes to reiterate that it is more appropriate and useful for FAO to submit an input relevant to its competence and guided by the decisions of the Preparatory Committee of UNCED. It is the role of UNCED to collate and coordinate the views and reports of FAO and the other UN Agencies. Therefore any initiative by FAO to convene a meeting of ITTO, UNEP, WMO, etc. would also be a duplication of efforts already undertaken by UNCED. Let me be more specific, Mr Chairman, my delegation wishes to stress that there is no merit in FAO taking such precipitous action as commencing work on the preparation of an international forest convention before other related issues on this vast subject of the conservation and development of forests have been adequately
identified and assessed. I would like to say here that they are issues with significant ramifications and repercussions for developing countries. Therefore, my delegation considers it a matter of great concern that FAO should not attempt to use its contribution to the comprehensive report requested by UNCED to include work on the preparation of a convention on forests. In short, my delegation wishes to see FAO's contribution guided by the requirements of UNCED and not to exceed the parameters of those requirements.
My delegation wishes to inform the Council that the delegations to the Tenth Session of the Committee on Forestry or COFO Meeting in September this year did not have enough time to consider fully the Final Report. Therefore, my delegation is of the view that the COFO Report should not be adopted in toto, because the Report does not accurately reflect the views expressed by the delegations. This inaccuracy relates particularly to the paragraphs and wording referring to an international forestry convention. In view of this, my delegation would like the Council to defer decision on those parts of the COFO Report that deal with proposed action by FAO on the preparation of an international forestry convention.
There is a need for a balanced perspective in addressing environmental issues. Issues pertaining to energy and transport and their contribution to the "greenhouse effects" have not been adequately addressed, while on the other hand the issue of deforestation of tropical rainforest has been singled out. Indeed, there is a concerted effort by some developed countries to circumvent decisions on the need to control and reduce emission of greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide by portraying deforestation as the most serious environmental threat currently facing mankind.
I wish to inform you all that studies have shown that net carbon dioxide uptake in virgin forests is well below that of forests which are regrowing after the old and matured trees have been harvested. In fact, the studies further indicate the carbon dioxide sink in the oceans is significantly more important than that in the forests. Indeed, it is believed that oceans absorb approximately two-thirds of carbon dioxide emission while forests about one-third. Furthermore, according to the IPCC reports, forestry practices and other human activities associated with land use account for 9% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is important to note that the tropical rain forests only cover 7% of the total earth's land surface area. On the other hand, 75% of carbon dioxide is emitted through other users and applications in the developed countries. If the industrialized countries are truly concerned with climate change, they should take firm measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Indeed, if we require a legal instrument, industrialized countries should promote the formulation of a convention or protocol on the control and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
With reference to the concern of the industrialized countries with the state of the world forest cover, may I suggest the setting up of a minimum level of forest cover for the world. This level should then be the minimum target for all countries, especially the industrialized countries which have already destroyed their forest. In this regard, allow me to provide some statistics in terms of world forest cover: Germany 29.5%, Netherlands 10.5%, UK 9%; while countries in the tropics like Malaysia have 61%,
Indonesia 75%, Senegal 57.5%, Tanzania 47%, Brazil 61%, Bolivia 62% and Colombia 50%.
The move to restrict the importation and use of tropical timber through, inter alia, legislative proposals, labelling, advocating boycott and promoting the use of substitutes for tropical timber is counter-productive. I believe that the provision of better market access and the removal of tariff barriers for higher value-added tropical timber products would actually encourage producing countries to better conserve and manage these renewable assets for the long-term benefits, which would take into account both economic and environmental needs. Incentives and not punitive measures must be used together with a supportive international economic environment which promotes the economic growth and development of developing countries.
Mr Chairman, as you are aware, Malaysia has completed the draft document of the National Forestry Action Plan (NFAP) for the TFAP Round Table. In this connection, I welcome the assistance of FAO in proposing a senior consultant to work with Malaysia's TFAP team to finalize the draft TFAP document and project profiles. I look forward to FAO expeditiously selecting an appropriate candidate so that the final document could be submitted to Malaysia's National Steering Committee for consideration.
LE PRESIDENT: Je crois qu'il est de mon devoir d'attirer l'attention du Conseil sur notre souhait de le voir se prononcer sur les questions portées à notre attention.
Vous aurez vu qu'aux pages (iii) et (iv) du document CL 98/8, six points sont soumis à l'attention du Conseil et que, dans la conclusion du document présenté par le Directeur général (CL 98/8-Sup.1), le Conseil est invité à se prononcer sur deux points précis: l'élaboration d'un instrument international et la convocation d'un groupe d'experts.
Dans le document CL 98/8, le Comité des forêts attire l'attention du Conseil sur la recherche forestière, la foresterie et l'environnement, les femmes et la foresterie, la conservation des forêts, le rapport sur l'état d'avancement du projet d'évaluation des ressources forestières en 1990 et les programmes de la FAO dans le secteur forestier tropical.
Je tiens à remercier le Représentant de la Malaisie de son exposé très clair, qui a repris les différents points de ce document.
Winston RUDDER (Trinidad and Tobago): As representative of the small twin island state Trinidad and Tobago and speaking on behalf of the thirteen member small states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), my delegation intervenes on this agenda item to signal quite clearly the importance we attach to forests and forest resources in the developments of our countries and to demonstrate our interest and concern about global forestry development issues.
My delegation participated fully in the deliberations of the 10th COFO and we are satisfied that the report of that meeting in document CL 98/8 is an accurate reflection of proceedings. We wish to comment broadly on two issues, firstly the TFAP. We are encouraged by the developments that have taken place since the COFO, in particular the discussions with the World Bank and the other co-sponsors and we look forward to the expected cooperation on forestry policy matters which will ensue. A word of caution is that this initiative and further planned inter-agency collaboration and inter-action in this area should not result in the imposition of unreasonable and unacceptable structures on forest resources development which are unsupported by scientific and technical evidence.
We view the recommendation at paragraph 90 of CL 98/8 as important to the process of further refining of the modalities of the TFAP resulting in an improved TFAP, as discussed and agreed by the COFO. We therefore recommend its adoption, with the proviso indicated at paragraph 4 of CL 98/8-Sup.1. The TFAP remains an extremely important development for us in the Caribbean. Indeed, only on 22 October last, FAO, the CARICOM secretariat and the United Kingdom government signed an agreement in my country in which the United Kingdom committed significant financial support to a regional CARICOM Tropical Forest Action Plan embracing nine countries. On behalf of all CARICOM member states my delegation expresses its gratitude to the United Kingdom for its generosity and to the FAO for finalizing technical arrangements. We now look forward to action on the ground.
Secondly, a few comments on the proposals and recommendations relating to an International Instrument on Conservation and Development of Forests. As we said at the COFO, it is entirely appropriate, indeed as it is timely and necessary for FAO, in collaboration with the relevant international agencies to be pioneering activities related to the development of a framework or global instrument on forestry, a convention, call it what you will, for after all the FAO is the international specialized agency for forestry development. Such an action, in our view, in no way prejudices or undermines current initiatives related, say, to the Convention on Biodiversity or to the Protocol on Forests being considered as part of the Climate Convention, although as an aside, there seems to be grave doubts as to whether any further progress may be expected in the latter direction. In our view a Global Forestry Instrument reinforces and complements actions taking place elsewhere and provides a much broader contextual basis for understanding and conditioning overall forestry development, of which climate and biodiversity considerations are important aspects. You see, forests are significant, not only for impact on climate, although that indeed is very considerable. Very importantly too, forests constitute a critical resource which must be developed prudently and in a sustainable way to meet the needs of all peoples. Although on sound scientific and technical grounds preservation may be required in certain instances, as a rule our forests cannot be locked away and left in a pristine state for millenium, serving the role as carbon sinks. Such an approach is doomed. It merely precipitates illegal and ill-advised land-use practices which lead to forest degradation and all the attendant effects of environmental despoliation, ultimately undermining the very development process itself in our countries. We understand this very well for we live it every day.
As I indicated in an earlier intervention it is the story of people, resources, environment and development. The multi-faceted uses to which forests may be put, the tremendous potential of forests in contributing to development, the continuing threats to which forest systems, be they Mediterranean, temperate, boreal, sub-tropical or tropical, are subjected to speak for the need for a broad global agreement on the conservation and development of forests. This instrument, a statement of principles or guidelines for actions if you will, grounded in sound scientific and technical advice may provide the basis for a full understanding of, and greater commitment to, the sustainability of what remains of the world's forest resources. It may also serve as a framework for the elaboration and articulation of protocols dealing with specific relevant matters, for example, endangered species, wildlife, etc. This approach takes an holistic view of the role and the significance of forests and forest resources in development. In light of the foregoing we supported at the COFO; we endorse here and now and we urge Council to do likewise, the recommendations and proposals for action outlined at paragraphs 14(a) and 14(b) of CL 98/8-Sup.1. Such action on our part is wholly consistent with a shared concern for sustainable development which is now fully espoused by all countries.
Ms Kirsti ESKELINEN (Finland): I have the honour of making this statement on behalf of the four Nordic countries, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
As the fruitful discussion in COFO in September so clearly showed the Tropical Forestry Action Programme is one of the most important activities in assisting developing countries in the field of forestry conservation and development. As recognized by COFO the TFAP has been under increasing criticism, including not being sufficiently sensitive to the importance of environmental issues, NGO participation and inter-agency cooperation. Even though part of this criticism may be based on misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations as to what can be achieved we find that this criticism should be taken very seriously.
The independent review team appointed by the Director-General also identified many weaknesses in the implementation of the TFAP. Based on experience from individual TFAP exercises we share the review team's concerns about most of these weaknesses. Nevertheless, as the TFAP is a unique framework for the conservation and sustainable management of tropical forest resources continuing support to TFAP is important in combatting deforestation. It is crucial both to the future of the TFAP and for FAO, as the specialized agency in forestry, that the recommendations on the Committee on Forestry on TFAP, as referred to in paragraph 90 of document CL 98/8 be implemented without delay. As stressed by COFO the expertise of FAO's Forestry Department, as well as all other experience and knowledge available in other sectors of the Organization need to be fully mobilized to give the assistance needed by the co-ordination unit.
Contrary to the earlier Council decision the modest share of forestry did not increase in FAO's Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91. Therefore the Nordic countries again voice their strong support to the recent COFO
recommendation that FAO allocate more Regular Programme resources to forestry during the biennium 1992-93.
We welcome the steps taken by the Director-General in formulating new TFAP guidelines, as well as in arranging the high-level consultations with the World Bank and other discussions with the three other co-sponsors of the TFAP, the World Bank, UNDP and the World Resources Institute.
We endorse the COFO recommendations concerning the ad hoc group of experts, as well as the terms of reference given in paragraph 90 of the COFO Report. We note with satisfaction that steps have already been taken by the co-sponsors to establish such a group. The Nordic countries are interested in participating in the work of this group. We also appreciate the information that the steering committee will be established for the Tropical Forestry Action Programme.
Another important question discussed by COFO is FAO contribution to the preparations of the Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate Change, as well of the proposed International Instrument on the Development of Forests. It is indeed necessary to develop sustainable and environmentally sound forest practices for all countries and for all types of forests. Commitment to that effect must be made by both developed and developing countries, taking into account the social, economic and ecological dimensions on forestry.
The Nordic countries endorsed COFO requests to the Secretariat in close collaboration with the other United Nations agencies concerned to submit to the UNCED secretariat a legal and technical contribution of a comprehensive report on forest and forestry in order to facilitate forward-looking decisions at the session of the UNCED preparatory committee in March 1991. The issue of sustainable management of forests is closely related to the protection of biological diversity as well as to the efforts to avert climate change as an appropriate balance between conservation and development of forests and it is essential for both of the Conventions already initiated as part of the preparatory process. We find it important that the experience gained by FAO, both in its Forestry Department and in other relevant departments, be fully used in the preparations of these Conventions. The FAO Secretariat should also be responsive to such initiatives that governments may take in order to facilitate this work as part of the UNCED preparatory process.
The Council is also invited to give guidance on the development of an International Instrument for the Conservation and Development of the World's Forests. It is important that such an Instrument does not duplicate the work of preparing the Conventions on Climate Change and Biodiversity. Inter-linkages between the different objectives need to be carefully examined. The Nordic countries therefore feel that the decision on the process regarding the proposed Instrument should be taken at the session of the preparatory committee for UNCED in March 1991 after the comprehensive report on forests, prepared with substantial inputs from FAO, has been considered.
F.C. PRILLEVITZ (Netherlands): It is interesting that the two speakers before me have spoken on behalf of a group of countries, the CARICOM and the Nordics and I have to speak for my country. Perhaps in future I can speak on behalf of Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands.
I concentrate my intervention only on the TFAP, but I can say that later in the debate there will be a representative of the European Community speaking also on the subject of the Convention. Since 1985, the year that TFAP-you know that there are two groups, one speaking of TFAP and the other is the TFAP-sayers, so I belong to the TFAP and it is easy for me because plan and programme has the same abbreviation. Since the TFAP was launched my Government has followed the implementation of this plan very intensively. The Netherlands is one of the nine donors to the multi-donor trust fund for the Coordination Unit of TFAP within the Forestry Department of FAO and my delegation participated actively in the debate on this subject in the 10th COFO meeting and we can approve that part of the report.
With your permission, Mr Chairman, I would like to use the time which I think I have available for this topic to introduce a draft Resolution. My Government is of the opinion that the subject, the conservation and sustainable development of forests, is of the utmost importance to the world. We see this reflected in public opinion in my country and almost every day my Government is approached by international NGOs to give clarification about the state of affairs regarding TFAP. The same applies, as you know, to other donor countries. After the Review of TFAP the whole affair has been accelerated and we are grateful to the secretariat for all the actions which have been taken since COFO/10, as just explained by Mr Murray and Mr Walton in their introduction to the Council. Adoption of a Council Resolution, which can be considered as a strong support for all these actions and an encouragement for the secretariat to go on in this direction, is of great importance to my delegation and I hope to all delegations. It is furthermore a sign of goodwill, of good intentions to the outer world, especially the NGOs. This Resolution is meant to be a firm commitment of FAO together with other partners to implement a reviewed TFAP.
To facilitate the adoption of this Resolution we followed as closely as possible the text of the COFO report. I do not think that it is necessary to read out the full Resolution, but I want to amplify some points. I gave the text to the secretariat a couple of days ago and I am aware of the fact that the translation into other languages is almost ready. It reads as follows:"The Council,
Having considered the report of COFO/10 and the comments of the
Director-General of FAO thereon,
Is that clear, Mr Chairman?
LE PRESIDENT: Je me suis informé parce que j'apprends qu'il y a une résolution. Et je voulais demander au Secrétariat depuis quand ce dernier
était en possession d'un texte qui, pour moi, est un "non-paper" jusqu'à présent, pour la bonne raison que je n'en suis pas saisi; et il paraîtrait que le Secrétariat serait en possession de la dernière mouture depuis hier soir. Nous y reviendrons après votre intervention.
F.C. PRILLEVITZ (Netherlands): So then I will read a little bit more. First of all the preamble:
"Having considered the report of COFO/10 and the comments of the Director-General of FAO thereon,
Reiterating the importance of TFAP as a unique framework for the conservation and sustainable use of Tropical Forest Resources for the development of the countries concerned and for environmental sustainability,
Convinced of the need to strengthen TFAP…"
Recalling that TFAP has been conceived as a collaborative effort and responsibility of the agencies and partners involved,
Recognizing the important role of FAO as the principal coordinating agency for the TFAP in collaboration with the World Bank, UNDP and the World Resources Institute".
And then the operative paragraphs:
"1. Endorses the recommendations of COFO regarding:
"a) the need for TFAP to become a long-term programme…" that is paragraph 84 of COFO
"b) the need to fully reflect the priority accorded to TFAP in the Organization in the development of FAO's forestry programmes…" (paragraph 85)
"c) the need for better mobilization of resources for the TFAP…" (paragraph 86)
"d) the need to develop and establish new guidelines for TFAP implementation…" (paragraph 87)
"e) the need to develop and fund country capacity projects designed to strengthen forest policies and planning capabilities and provide training at the national level…" (paragraph 88)
Then some parts of paragraph 89 of the COFO report:
"f) the need for FAO to take the initiative to promote the effectiveness of TFAP implementation and coordination…"
"g) the need for FAO to organize a high-level meeting…" We have heard about that already. Then:
"h) the need for FAO, after consultation with the co-sponsors,…"
(which has been done already) "… to establish as soon as possible an ad hoc group of experts…"
Then the last part of paragraph 90 of the COFO report, and Mr Walton has informed us already about the participation in that meeting at the beginning of next year. So in the text is:
"… representing developing countries…"
- and some countries have told me that with the knowledge we have now it should not be "representing" because people are asked in a personal capacity, but that is one of the things we have to change perhaps.
Then the second operative paragraph reads:
"2. Stresses the need for a fully representative and equal participation of developing countries, donor agencies, developed countries and NGOs, in the work of the ad hoc group of experts and authorizes the Director-General to increase the number of participants if and to the extent additional voluntary contributions are made available".
There is a possibility that my country will do that.
"3. Requests the Director-General to promote and ensure the prompt and full implementation of these recommendations, including the convening of the proposed ad hoc group of experts.
4. Appeals to the donor community to increase its efforts to provide prompt and adequate financial and technical support for the preparation and implementation of national TFAPs and recognizes that existing financial mechanisms provide the most appropriate channels for prompt action".
We have already some suggestions for changes in the text, but I think it is a matter of working on it later in a certain mechanism. Perhaps we can use the Drafting Committee as such a negotiating mechanism.
May I express the hope that all members of the Council unanimously adopt this Resolution and in doing so again emphasize the importance of the issue at hand.
LE PRESIDENT: En ce qui concerne le préambule de l'intervention du Représentant des Pays-Bas, j'attire son attention sur le fait qu'en ma qualité de Président indépendant du Conseil, je suis dépourvu de toute nationalité. Je l'ai dit et redit. Et si l'honorable Représentant des Pays-Bas veut confronter ses points de vue, il n'a qu'à les confronter avec l'honorable observateur du Royaume de Belgique et il verra s'ils sont tous les deux sur la même longueur d'onde.
En ce qui concerne ce projet de résolution, ou projet de décision, je n'en ai pas été saisi jusqu'à présent, et je ne crois pas que le Conseil en ait été saisi. La première question qui se pose est de savoir (et je ne préjuge pas de l'avis du Conseil) si ce document a déjà été distribué; je poserai la question; si ce document a déjà été traduit; si l'ensemble du Conseil, et non quelques privilégiés, dispose de ce document, de façon à savoir s'il a eu l'occasion de se pencher sur ce document. En ce qui concerne le principe même de la résolution, nous avons adopté une résolution, et j'ai bien souligné qu'il s'agissait d'une résolution à titre tout à fait exceptionnel, sur un sujet sur lequel tout le monde était d'accord, et qui ne présentait aucun point litigieux. C'est la résolution sur les pays les moins avancés (Least developed countries) qui a été présentée par le très
honorable Ambassadeur de France. L'honorable Ambassadeur du Venezuela avait également déposé un document intéressant, qui a été pris en compte dans le cadre de la discussion sur les ressources phytogénétiques comme document de travail. Et je vous ai dit de manière claire que le rôle du Comité de rédaction était de rédiger, et non pas de négocier, des formules de fond qui relèvent de la compétence du Conseil. Il est hors de question que l'on demande au Comité de rédaction de se transformer en sous-organe politique du Conseil. Le Comité de rédaction a suffisamment de difficultés pour recueillir un assentiment général sur un texte commun; les interprétations, du fait de différences linguistiques, de différences de points de vues, sont déjà tellement diverses, et le nombre d'heures de travail consacré par le Comité de rédaction est déjà tellement élevé, qu'il me paraîtrait difficile de leur demander davantage, et en tout cas pas de se substituer au Conseil.
Alors, en ce qui concerne la résolution, qui peut être une proposition de résolution, une proposition de décision, je vous ai déjà fait part de mon sentiment, mais je suis entre les mains du Conseil. Il est clair que nous n'allons pas en discuter maintenant. Je voudrais simplement savoir si ce document peut être distribué, si le Conseil émet le voeu qu'il soit distribué, de façon à ce qu'il puisse être examiné, et que nous puissions en parler. Moi, je viens de voir ce document; il y a certains points qui me paraissent curieux et qui sont presque des tautologies. Je lis: "autorise le Directeur général à accroître le nombre des participants s'il y a plus de contributions volontaires". Le Directeur général n'a évidemment pas besoin d'avoir une autorisation pour augmenter l'effectif du personnel s'il dispose de plus de moyens, pour remplir plus facilement les objectifs. C'est de sa responsabilité en tant que pouvoir exécutif, et il est inutile de le dire sous forme de résolution, ou de décision.
Alors, le principe qui me paraît important, est de savoir s'il faut, quand on aboutit à un document d'un comité, transformer ce document en résolution, ou en projet de décision. De toute façon, à ce stade, il est prématuré d'entamer une discussion. Je demanderai simplement, avant de poursuivre le débat-et je crois que le débat est essentiel pour nous éclairer sur les avis des Membres du Conseil-s'il ne serait pas préférable de publier ce document, et d'en assurer la diffusion dans toutes les langues, de façon à ce que, ultérieurement, nous puissions en discuter. Mais je crois que pour le moment, il est impossible d'en discuter, parce que nous n'avons pas été saisis officiellement de ce projet. Je regrette d'ailleurs que l'on ne m'en ait pas parlé auparavant, et que l'on ne m'en ait pas saisi, parce que j'en aurais fait immédiatement la communication au Conseil. Je ne l'ai pas fait, parce que ce document, je ne l'ai pas vu et que pour moi, il s'agit jusqu'à présent de "non-paper".
Je demande maintenant l'avis du Conseil: y a-t-il lieu de procéder à l'impression et à la traduction de ce document? S'il n'y a pas d'objection, il en sera ainsi. Le document sera donc traduit et distribué dans les langues officielles, de façon à ce que tout le monde puisse en prendre connaissance, et puisse faire part de ses avis et considérations sur le texte précis. Je vous ai dit mon sentiment en ce qui concerne le principe même, et je crois qu'avant de discuter du fond, nous devrons discuter du principe, de façon à ce que le Conseil puisse se prononcer, parce qu'il n'est pas dans les habitudes du Conseil d'adopter des projets de
résolution, tâche de la Conférence. Et en ce qui concerne les décisions, celles-ci sont consignées dans le rapport, et ne doivent pas revêtir le caractère d'une résolution.
Nous avons remercié Madame l'Ambassadeur du Venezuela pour son importante contribution dans un domaine où un large accord avait été réuni, qui nous a d'ailleurs permis, dans un domaine important de la diversité biologique, de faire de sérieux progrès sur le plan de la procédure. Eh bien, j'émets le voeu que ce document serve également, dans le domaine forestier, à faire de sérieux progrès, mais des progrès dans une voie réaliste, et qui recueille l'accord général et un consensus de tous.
Raphael RABE (Madagascar): Monsieur le Président, nous voudrions d'abord féliciter M. Murray pour la présentation de qualité du sujet, ainsi que M. Walton pour les informations à jour qu'il nous a communiquées.
La Délégation malgache a participé aux travaux de la dixième session du Comités des forêts, et n'éprouve donc aucune difficulté à accorder son approbation au rapport de ladite session. Des sujets très importants ont été traités par le Comité, et le Conseil devra se prononcer sur des propositions qui auront des impacts notoires sur le développement de la foresterie dans la décennie à venir. Le plan à moyen terme de la FAO devra également tenir compte des principales orientations qui seront retenues.
En traitant des principales questions portées à l'attention du Conseil, je voudrais en fait reprendre et confirmer les positions que nous avons adoptées lors de leur examen au COFO. Ainsi, en matière de recherche forestière, ma délégation est convaincue que le renforcement de la recherche forestière dans les pays en voie de développement apparaît comme condition sine qua non d'un développement forestier rationnel. Cette recherche gagnerait dans la plupart des cas à prendre en considération les autres secteurs du développement agricole et rural. Et c'est dans cette optique que la 15ème Conférence régionale de la FAO pour l'Afrique a demandé le renforcement des recherches sur les systèmes agroforestiers productifs, et l'intégration du développement forestier dans le développement rural. Le plan d'action forestier tropical pourrait et devrait jouer un rôle important en appuyant la recherche forestière lors de la préparation et de l'élaboration de plans d'actions forestiers nationaux et régionaux. Ma délégation appuie donc les recommandations du Comité sur ce sujet.
En ce qui concerne le deuxième point, à savoir "Foresterie et environnement", nous limiterons nos commentaires à la question de l'instrument international pour la conservation et la mise en valeur des forêts, car lors de l'examen du point 10, nous avons déjà largement débattu des problèmes d'environnement et de développement durable.
En prévision de la tenue de la Conférence mondiale sur l'environnement et le développement de 1992, institutions, Etats, individus, désireux d'y jouer un rôle déterminant se préparent et essaient de mettre au point un instrument juridique, sortes d'engagements internationaux qui interdisent toutes actions qui peuvent nuire à l'environnement. La création par les
Nations Unies d'un Secrétariat général de la Conférence permettra sans nul doute d'harmoniser et de coordonner les initiatives et, bien entendu d'éviter les doubles emplois et les concurrents inutiles sinon néfastes. Il est cependant reconnu que les forêts jouent un rôle déterminant dans la qualité de cet environnement et méritent donc une attention toute particulière. Toutefois, il faudrait que tous les aspects concernant les ressources forestières-conservation, exploitation naturelle, valorisation économique-soient pris en considération dans l'élaboration de tout instrument devant les régir.
Les forêts, surtout celles dites tropicales, assurent encore et pour longtemps de multiples fonctions vitales pour nos populations. Les Comités spécialisés de la FAO entre autres, le Comité de l'agriculture, le Comité de la Sécurité alimentaire, ont mis en exergue le rôle que les forêts jouent en matière de sécurité alimentaire, de sources renouvelables d'énergie et de nombreuses fonctions encore irremplaçables en l'état actuel de nos économies. Un instrument qui négligerait ces éléments serait, dès le départ, voué à l'échec.
Le principe de l'instrument étant acquis, il faudra que son élaboration mobilise et concerne tous les protagonistes, notamment ceux dont la survie dépend encore de l'exploitation de leurs ressources forestières.
Lors de l'examen du point 10 que j'ai cité auparavant, ma délégation s'est déjà déclarée favorable à tout préparatif conduisant à l'élaboration de l'instrument décrit au paragraphe 22 du rapport.
Concernant les chapitres "femmes et foresterie", "conservation des forêts et évaluation des ressources forestières", nous faisons nôtres les recommandations du COFO. Pour ce qui est du programme de la FAO dans le secteur forestier, ma délégation voudrait réitérer l'appui du Gouvernement malgache au programme de coopération technique dont le rôle de catalyseur des investissements forestiers, de catalyseur aussi dans la promotion de la coopération technique et de la formation n'est plus à démontrer.
Un des sujets qui, à juste titre, a occupé largement les travaux du Comité est l'exécution du plan d'action forestier tropical; l'initiative du Directeur général de faire réaliser l'étude est une initiative heureuse, a reconnu le Comité, ce qui lui a permis de se pencher en connaissance de cause sur les principales recommandations visant au renforcement du plan et à sa plus grande efficience.
Nous faisons nôtres les recommandations du Comité, notamment celles figurant aux paragraphes 88, 90 et 93. Cependant, l'examen du document CL 98/8-Sup.1 portant observations du Directeur général sur le rapport du Comité, conduit la délégation malgache à manifester certaines préoccupations. En effet, elle ne voit pas quels programmes ou sous-programmes du biennium pourraient être supprimés ou réduits pour dégager les 130 000 dollars E.-U. nécessaires au financement des dépenses du groupe spécial d'experts dans la mesure où justement, ces programmes et sous-programmes se complètent. La suppression de l'une des activités est toujours source de conséquences néfastes pour le soutien au développement de nos pays. Fort heureusement Monsieur Murray vient de nous indiquer que ce montant va connaître une réduction importante car les autres
constitutions concernées par le sujet participeront aux dépenses. Cela ne peut que nous tranquilliser, mais en tous cas, quel que soit le montant, nous pensons utile d'accorder notre confiance au Directeur général pour étudier et voir quelles sont les décisions des réductions de modification de programme qui n'hypothéqueraient pas l'avenir du mouvement dans nos pays ni le développement normal et rationnel du Programme de travail et budget de 1990-91.
Paul ARES (Canada): Thank you for giving me an opportunity to present the views of the Canadian delegation on the report of the Tenth Session of the Committee on Forestry.
The recent COFO meeting marked an important step in the evolution of the world forestry community. At COFO, the senior world forum devoted solely to the discussion of forest issues, the world forestry community agreed on recommendations to reform the Tropical Forestry Action Plan and endorsed the concept of an international instrument on the conservation and development of forests. Both these initiatives have the potential to vastly improve the management and protection of world forests as well as national economies and the environment. These aspects on economies and the environment were explained very well by my distinguished colleague from Trinidad and Tobago. I will not repeat those multiple users of forests.
We believe that these two initiatives should eventually also strengthen forestry agencies in various countries around the world.
I was a participant at the COFO meeting. Those of us who were at the COFO meeting will recall that there was a lively debate on both issues.
In the case of TFAP, the debate was not over whether reform was necessary, but rather what kind of reform would be best. COFO determined that reform should be derived through the joint efforts of the co-founders of TFAP and through implementation of the recommendations of an ad hoc group of experts established following consultation among the co-founders. It is clearly recommended in paragraph 90 of the COFO report and the Canadian delegation again today strongly endorses these recommendations.
We welcome the progress on this initiative, as reported by Mr Walton, and we look forward to the implementation of the necessary reforms.
In the case of the international instrument on the conservation and development of forests, paragraph 20 of the COFO report was debated at length at the time of the adoption of the report. This debate helped considerably to clarify the earlier discussions on the proposed forests convention. The COFO clearly endorsed the need and the desirability for such an instrument to be adopted within the framework of the United Nations. The COFO acknowledged that, together with other key UN agencies, FAO would play a key role in the preparation of proposals for the development of the envisaged instrument. While some delegations felt that the UNCED preparatory process was the appropriate forum for development of this instrument, the consensus was that FAO must, in any event, work closely with the UNCED Secretariat in developing UNCED's report to the
Geneva UNCED Prep. Com. in March 1991 and to report on FAO's preparations with respect to the instrument at the Geneva Prep. Com.
The Canadian delegation would like to reiterate a point made by Canada during the COFO and reflected in paragraph 28 of the COFO report. It is of the utmost importance that the world forestry community guide the development of the contents of and the process leading to an international convention or instrument on forests. The pressing issues concerning forests need to be dealt with in a cohesive and comprehensive manner uniting both economic and environmental aspects. While it is important that forest issues should not be dealt with solely in the context of environmental concerns, I would draw the attention of delegates to paragraph 30 of the report which stressed the need to maintain appropriate linkages with the Draft Convention on Biological Diversity and, I might add, with the Draft Convention on Climate Change. Furthermore, Canada believes strongly that all three are complementary and progress on one ought not to impede progress on the other two.
The Canadian delegation at the COFO noted the importance of the forests in the USSR and urged that the USSR be actively involved in the process of developing a forests convention. We are pleased that this is reflected in paragraph 22 of the COFO report.
The recommendations of COFO, on TFAP, on the world forest convention or instrument, on women in forestry and on forestry research fairly reflected the consensus of COFO. In rare instances when consensus was not possible, the varying views of delegations, as expressed in the debate, have been reflected.
The Canadian Delegation notes the document entitled "Director-General's comments on the report of the Committee on Forestry". It is appropriate for the Director-General to submit to Council a report on the financial implications of the COFO report. The Canadian delegation regrets, however, that despite the short time frame, the Director-General did not find it possible to convene special meetings of the Finance and Programme Committees to review the COFO report prior to the Council meeting.
The Canadian Delegation notes the Director-General's efforts to summarize elements of the report of the COFO in his "comments". Council may wish to note these comments. The Canadian Delegation strongly maintains, however, that this Council should consider only the COFO report itself. The COFO report is clear and concise and accurately summarizes the deliberations of a long and full week of the COFO session.
The Canadian Delegation would urge the Council to approve, in its entirety and without change, the report of the Tenth Session of the Committee on Forestry.
LE PRESIDENT: Je vous remercie très vivement de votre intervention. Nous avons entendu un certain nombre de doléances, lorsque nous avons examiné la situation financière de l'Organisation concernant la convocation des différents Comités. On a évoqué des pays très lointains, et notamment le
coût que représentent les réunions de ces Comités. Je ne vois pas très bien comment, entre fin septembre et novembre, on aurait eu le temps de réunir les Comités, la décision de réunir les Comités appartenant au Conseil, celui-ci se prononçant sur les dates. Je suis convaincu que, lorsqu'ils se réuniront, les Comités se pencheront sur la question qui vient d'être soulevée par l'honorable Représentant du Canada que je remercie de son intervention extrêmement claire et précise.
Peter FRANKLIN (Australia): The Report of the 10th Session of COFO as provided in Council document CL 98/8 covers quite comprehensively the wide range of issues covered at that meeting. My intervention will, however, address only those issues which appear to require comment and which the Director-General has identified in document CL 98/8-Sup.1-that is, in relation to TFAP and the development of an international instrument on the conservation and development of forests.
In relation to the TFAP, the delegation of Australia shares the concerns regarding the effectiveness of the TFAP, which were expressed by so many delegations at the COFO meeting last September, and which have again been repeated today. While we appreciate the efforts of the Forestry Department in this area it is clear to us that concerns about tropical deforestation and the operations of the TFAP are now both keenly and broadly felt.
We share the view that the key factors identified by the independent review are vital to the improved performance of the TFAP and should be addressed as a matter of priority.
We are hopeful that the work of the experts as envisaged at paragraph 90 of CL 98/8, and further elaborated by Mr Murray today, will provide a suitable mechanism and process to address these issues in a pragmatic way, and that as a consequence significant progress can be made towards improving the effectiveness of the TFAP, thereby arresting the rate of tropical deforestation.
In relation to the development of an international instrument on the consultation and development of forests my delegation notes that at its recently concluded meeting, COFO devoted considerable time and energy to the issue of FAO's role in the development of a forest convention. The final position, as contained in the report, reflects a considered assessment of the issue, and balances recognition of the desirability of an international instrument on forests with the need to integrate any such work with work on the development of other conventions in accordance with the thrust of the UNCED Prep. Com. resolution on forests.
My delegation feels strongly that all convention-related activities of the FAO Secretariat between now and the next UNCED Prep. Com. meeting in March 1991 should be carried out within the parameters set by UNCED Prep. Com. and COFO, and in particular that its activities will be largely of a legal/technical support nature; will be supportive of the processes leading to the UN Conference on Environment and Development, and that they will be without prejudice to the nature of any international instrument or the forum or modalities of any related negotiations.
Having said that, there are two additional points I would wish to make on this subject. The first is in relation to the question of an inter-agency meeting. COFO agreed to the proposal that a meeting be convened of representatives from UNESCO, UNEP, WMO, IUCN, the Secretariat of UNCED, the sponsors of the TFAP and other international organizations concerned. While the specific nature of such a meeting was not defined, my delegation accepts that such a meeting might be advisable to discuss respective contributions to the agreed UNCED process and to avoid unproductive duplication of effort.
We cannot, however, agree to the proposition contained in CL 98/8-Sup.1 that this meeting be recast as a meeting of experts "for the preparation of elements for inclusion in a draft instrument".
In our view such a meeting would go well beyond, and indeed would be quite inconsistent with, the thrust of the COFO outcome-that is, that at least initially FAO's role on this matter should be limited essentially to work of a technical/legal nature and to work in support of the UNCED process.
My delegation would like to note in closing that the COFO report suggests that, based on its legal/technical capacity, FAO would "play a leading role in the preparation of proposals for the envisaged instrument". There is a substantial and substantive difference between the FAO playing a leading role and taking the lead. The question of which international agency or forum should take the formal lead in the development and negotiation of any such instrument has yet to be determined. It is our view that until we are further down the UNCED path it would be quite premature for the Council to take any formal decision on this matter.
Subject to these comments my delegation would wish to endorse the Report of the 10th Session of COFO as reported in COFO 98/8.
Jacques WARIN (France): Monsieur le Président, à mon tour, en commençant, je voudrais remercier, d'une part, M. Murray, pour la présentation qu'il a faite des problèmes qui nous occupent aujourd'hui, et, ensuite, M. Walton pour les observations complémentaires qu'il y a apportées.
Nous examinerons principalement deux documents: le rapport du Comité des forêts (CL 98/8) et les observations du Directeur général (CL 98/8-Sup.1), auxquelles nous attachons une importance particulière. J'adopterai moi-même comme plan de mon exposé la même articulation que celle adoptée par l'orateur précédent, à savoir deux sujets qui nous intéressent particulièrement: d'une part, le Plan d'action forestier tropical et, d'autre part, l'Instrument international sur la conservation et la mise en valeur des forêts.
En ce qui concerne le Plan d'action forestier tropical, je voudrais tout d'abord rappeler que la France a soutenu dès l'origine et qu'elle continue à soutenir le principe et les orientations de ce plan qui constituent un très bon moyen pour renforcer l'efficacité et la cohérence des actions en faveur des forêts tropicales.
Le Comité des forêts, loin de remettre en cause le PAFT, a proposé de lui donner une nouvelle dimension, plus à la mesure des problèmes posés, en le transformant en programme. La France appuie cette proposition, comme elle appuie celle de maintenir au sein du Département des forêts la responsabilité de la coordination et de l'administration du PAFT, tout en faisant largement appel aux différents services de la FAO et des autres institutions concernées.
Face à des besoins considérables, les moyens financiers pour la protection et la mise en valeur des forêts tropicales restent beaucoup trop modestes et il est indéniable que des efforts accrus sont à accomplir. De nombreuses institutions bilatérales et multilatérales, comme la Banque mondiale et le PNUD, sont concernées.
Permettez-moi, Monsieur le Président, de rappeler à ce sujet la proposition faite par la France en 1989 au Comité du développement de la Banque mondiale de mobiliser des ressources additionnelles en vue d'amplifier, en liaison avec le PNUE et le PNUD, les actions de la Banque mondiale en faveur de la protection de l'environnement, et plus particulièrement dans le domaine forestier.
Ma délégation considère que de telles dispositions seraient préférables à la création d'un fonds pour les forêts tropicales, dont l'intérêt n'est pas encore tout à fait établi.
Enfin, s'agissant de la recommandation faite par le Comité des forêts d'organiser une rencontre de haut niveau avec les coparrains du PAFT-M. Walton s'en est expliqué longuement et c'est à sa proposition que je fais allusion-nous appuyons cette démarche comme étant de nature à préciser les objectifs et les mécanismes institutionnels de mise en oeuvre de ce programme. Nous estimons d'ailleurs que cette coopération sera utilement consolidée à la suite des prochains travaux du groupe d'experts en cours de constitution, dont la composition doit naturellement permettre une participation des principaux partenaires concernés; et j'en profite pour dire que mon pays est prêt à se joindre aux travaux de ce groupe.
Si je rappelle ces deux manifestations, c'est parce qu'elles témoignent, d'une part, de l'intérêt porté par les plus hautes autorités de mon pays aux questions forestières sous tous leurs aspects et, d'autre part, pour rappeler également que la France est un grand pays forestier. J'ai relevé tout à l'heure l'intervention de mon collègue malaisien, qui était la première de ce débat, et j'ai noté qu'il a cité les superficies forestières de trois pays membres de la Communauté..11 n'a pas cité celles du plus grand d'entre eux et je la lui donne: la France a 14 millions d'hectares de forêt sur une superficie totale de 50 millions d'hectares, ce qui fait d'elle un pays que l'on peut considérer comme très largement forestier, avec une superficie d'environ 28 pour cent consacrée aux forêts. Tout cela pour dire que la France est convaincue de la nécessité de disposer d'un instrument juridique permettant d'aborder de façon globale et cohérente les différentes composantes de la protection et de la mise en valeur des forêts.
Il reste que l'on doit rechercher l'articulation la plus satisfaisante possible avec les projets de convention sur le climat et la biodiversité,
en tenant compte notamment de la brièveté des délais impartis pour mener à bien les négociations sur tous ses textes.
C'est dans ce cadre que ma délégation tient à réaffirmer le rôle de chef de file de la FAO pour les questions forestières, y compris, bien entendu, la protection des forêts qui, dans l'optique du développement durable, ne peut être dissociée de la mise en valeur des ressources forestières.
Nous appuyons donc l'initiative du Directeur général, au paragraphe 14 du document CL 89/8-Sup.1, qui consiste à déterminer, sur les plans juridique et technique, ce que devraient être la nature, le champ d'application et le contenu de ce projet d'Instrument. A ce sujet, ma délégation considère qu'il importe en premier lieu de se pencher sur le contenu de cet Instrument au regard des besoins d'une politique forestière, globale et cohérente. Dans un deuxième temps, cette démarche devrait permettre à la communauté internationale de choisir le statut le plus approprié pour cet Instrument en examinant, en particulier, la possibilité d'une convention internationale qui soit bien articulée avec les autres textes en discussion.
C'est pourquoi la délégation française approuve également la proposition du Directeur général de réunir, au début de 1991, un groupe d'experts dont le rapport serait examiné en mars prochain, à l'occasion de la deuxième session du Comité préparatoire de la Conférence des Nations Unies pour l'environnement.
Nous suggérons, à cet égard, que la FAO associe la Banque mondiale et le PNUD à l'organisation de ces activités. Je tiens à préciser que la France, de son côté, est prête à apporter son concours aux travaux du groupe d'experts proposé.
Gerhard LIEBER (Germany): I would like to thank Mr Murray and Mr Walton for their clear introduction to the item we are now discussing. To begin with, we approve the report of the Tenth Session of COFO in full, and we congratulate the Committee and the Secretariat for the successful work accomplished.
Allow me first a few remarks on the review of the TFAP. This is an item of major importance for us. The German Delegation welcomes the fact that COFO has been dealing intensively with the necessary improvements of the TFAP mechanism on the basis of the results of the External Review Mission. We are of the opinion that only a speedy and convincing solution of the present TFAP difficulties will make it possible for this very valuable and appreciated instrument to continue to be a central basic instrument for international cooperation in the tropical forest sector. This is also of great importance for the continuation of support from my country.
The German Delegation appreciates that FAO has meanwhile taken steps toward improvements. We welcome the active participation of FAO in the orientation of the new forest policy of the World Bank, and we are in favour of the convening of the ad hoc Group of Experts as soon as possible, as proposed
by COFO, to help to prepare the introduction of the proposed improvements as recommended.
The German Delegation also supports the COFO recommendation that the responsibility for TFAP should continue to remain within the Forestry Department of FAO. We would, however, like to stress that this must be linked with the requested institutional improvement of the TFAP process. This includes, in particular, an improved mechanism of consultation and control which involves all parties concerned.
We also think that this must be reflected in future in an approved allocation of funds within the Regular Programme of Work and Budget of the Organization. The German Delegation would be grateful to FAO for a clear statement of intention. We would also be grateful to the Secretariat for information about the steps taken, or to be taken, with regard to the COFO recommendation to issue status reports on national TFAPs.
Now I would like to make a few remarks on the instrument or convention which was proposed. The German Delegation supports in principle-and quite strongly so-a legal instrument which takes all requirements of global forest conservation into account. We also welcome the fact that FAO makes its expertise available without delay for the preparation of such a legal instrument. For the Federal Government, quick and comprehensive solutions are of great importance. Under no circumstances, however, should this result in setbacks for the requested improvements of the TFAP process which is of outstanding importance for us.
We also attach special importance to intensive collaboration and cooperation with the other UN agencies concerned in order to ensure from the very beginning a strong and reasonable linkage with the World Climate Convention and the Convention on the Conservation of Biodiversity. In our opinion all these instruments are well justified and deserve support.
With regard to forests, however, there is in our opinion need for additional efforts to avoid duplication within the system. My government is prepared to cooperate in the work of the preparatory bodies envisaged.
On the basis of the proposals to be developed in the preparatory process, and in the light of the progress with the Conventions on World Climate and Biodiversity, a decision will have to be taken within the UN System on how to make use of existing instruments and how to interlink the necessary action in the most efficient way.
J. Dawson AHALT (United States of America): First let me say that my delegation appreciates the up-dates from both Mr Murray and Mr Walton on developments that have taken place since the COFO meeting in September. My comments will focus on the Tropical Forest Action Plan. The US is pleased to learn of FAO's participation in the November 1990 high-level meeting of the TFAP co-founders. We are especially pleased with the results of that meeting, notably the commitment of the co-founders to convene a meeting in January 1991, in a developing country, with a broadly representative group
to discuss options for institutional reform and, hopefully, to come to a consensus on a preferred approach.
The US has urged such a meeting since the TFAP advisers met in Rome last June. In our view, it is essential that this meeting takes place as planned.
In our view also there is an urgent need to strengthen the implementation of TFAP. This will require clarification and commitment by the four co-sponsors of TFAP, as well as other donors. The TFAP is clearly in need of restructuring, as was called for by the FAO Independent Review and others. In particular a structure is needed which encourages stronger participation of all co-sponsors, greater involvement between various related disciplines, and more involvement of NGOs, bilateral donors and tropical countries. However, a decision to support or oppose restructuring cannot be made until alternative organizational structures are identified, their pros and cons made clear and their costs estimated.
Finally on TFAP, the US proposes that the Council should authorize the FAO to exercise all flexibility in working with other co-sponsors of TFAP to develop a rational and effective mechanism, to move forward with this programme and to engage in such institutional changes as agreed at the January meeting that is proposed. FAO should report back on the progress and changes made at the next Council meeting.
In regard to an international forestry agreement, the United States strongly supports the rapid development of a global forest agreement. It also supports continued work by the FAO on this issue, as we noted at COFO. However, the United States believes that for FAO to convene an international meeting of government experts, as proposed for a January 1991 session, would prejudge the issue of the agreement's form and the forum for negotiation. The charter for addressing such issues was clearly given to UNCED at the last meeting of the Prep. Com. in Nairobi, and will be considered at the next Prep. Com. meeting in Geneva in March.
We believe that FAO should concentrate on developing technical and legal ideas for such an agreement and contributing to the UNCED process, preparing for the March meeting. If FAO believes that a meeting with other United Nations organizations to help sort out United Nations institutional issues in order to assist UNCED is appropriate, the US could agree to that. However, in our opinion, experts from individual countries should not participate in such a meeting, or in an official or private capacity. We note, however, that UNCED has established a series of working parties, including one on forests, which is scheduled to meet in Geneva on the 19th December this year. FAO and other United Nations agencies have been invited to participate. This may well obviate the need for an FAO hosted meeting of United Nations agencies with forest-related interests in any case. The United States believes that a decision again regarding any international meeting involving governments, such as that proposed by FAO, should be deferred at least until after the March UNCED meeting. We propose that the Report of COFO be adopted as presented without any additional interpretation. The COFO provided adequate guidance for FAO to undertake significant work contributing to the UNCED process.
J. RASOOLOF (Iran, Islamic Republic of): Regarding some issues on document CL 98/8 and CL 98/8-Sup.1, which can play a significant role in the implementation of FAO functions in developing countries in general and those countries which are located in arid and semi-arid zones of the work in particular, the views of the Islamic Republic of Iran are as follows: first, with regard to the work of the global forest assessment 1990 project, in accordance to paragraph 5 of document CL 98/8, within the developing countries the assessment work is being implemented in two parts, the first for the tropical zone and the second for the non-tropical zone. According to the item 7, forest conservation, of document CL 98/8, some part of the project has been implemented for the tropical zone apparently, whereas in non-tropical developing countries, or at least in our country no work has been taking place until now in this regard.
As the delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran I fully endorse the importance of tropical forestry conservation and also I support the involvement and role of FAO in connection with tropical forest conservation activities such as Tropical Forest Action Plan, but it is expected that the FAO should take into consideration that its abilities in general and technical assistance capability in particular should be divided in such appropriate manner that meets the needs of the non-tropical forest developing countries in regard to conservation and development as far as possible. Since forest resources assessment plays an important role in forest conservation development I would like to ask FAO to pay more attention to the work of forest assessment in the non-tropical developing countries as well and I hope the Council emphasises this matter in the final report of the Council for the promotion of the work.
With regard to forest conservation, the main causes of natural resources degradation in developing countries are nearly the same but the most important point is that the destruction of natural resources in general and deforestation by rural people in particular is not intentional but it is based on their needs because they have to meet their basic needs such as food, fuel, fodder and building materials from their environment, which is natural resources. We do believe that natural resources of each country, particularly in developing countries, must be conserved and rehabilitated only by people who make their living from it. In other words natural resources should be conserved and rehabilitated by the people who are the main causes of destruction. From the planning point of view this is the most important point that must be taken into consideration in preparing natural resources conservation and rehabilitation plans, particularly in arid and semi-arid zones of the world where production capacity of the land is too low to meet the rural communities demand. Accordingly at the implementation stage of natural resources conservation plan the basic needs provided for the rural communities by applying conservation incentives through the integrated development plan. In order to achieve this task an international organized incentive scheme, such as an international fund for conservation and natural resources and afforestation will be needed. The suggestion of an international fund for the same purpose was brought up in the ministerial World Food Council which took place in May in Thailand and received great attention. In this fund the main money is raised by the people from the villages to the national and international level for construction conservation of natural resources.
As indicated in paragraph 7 of document CL 98/8-Sup.1 the World Bank is preparing a new forest policy which is expected to be ready by mid 1991. The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran would like to suggest this new forest policy should encompass all types of forests in the world, not only tropical forest; second, if possible, the before-mentioned international fund for forest resources, conservation incentive, taking into account the view on forest policy of the World Bank in an appropriate manner.
With regard to the International Instrument on the Conservation and Development of Forest, since the intensity of deforestation and natural resources degradation in developing countries is as high as that for rehabilitation, conservation and development of forest resources, with special reference to the socio-economic development of rural communities in place, performance of various measures at national and international level, such as the subject of our present discussion is strongly needed. Consequently, as the delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran I fully support the continuation of FAO's efforts to contribute to the preparation of the legal and technical scope and content of a world forest conservation and development instrument. In this context there is one point that I would like to emphasize, that is as it indicates in paragraph 16 of document CL 98/8, the International Instrument should encompass all types of forests, tropical, sub-tropical, Mediterranean, temperate and boreal.
LE PRESIDENT: Il est clair que la notion de définition des tropiques est une notion particulièrement vague; puisque les tropiques comprennent l'Equateur, cela comprend aussi bien la forêt équatoriale que tropicale; l'on est toujours voisin d'un tropique ou de l'autre, que ce soit le Tropique du Cancer ou du Capricorne, et il est clair qu'il y a des forêts dans des régions particulièrement froides, qui sont visées dans le cadre des forêts tropicales. "Tropicale" ne veut absolument pas dire région chaude. Je crois qu'il y a une énorme diversité, et je partage, en ce qui me concerne, l'avis de l'honorable Représentant de l'Iran.
Poedi SYAMSUDDIN (Indonesia): Let me start my intervention by expressing our gratitude to the Secretariat for the comprehensive report on this agenda item and for the excellent and clear presentation by Mr Murray and Mr Walton.
My delegation has carefully considered all matters requiring attention by the Council as reported in document CL 98/8. However, in this statement our views and comments would focus only on the two issues that are currently being raised. The issues also relate to DG's comments as presented in document CL 98/8-Sup.1, concerning the TFAP and the international instruments on conservation and development of forests.
General awareness of tropical forestry problems are increasing in recent years. The problems are mostly addressed to developing countries, especially those who have tropical forests, which are now launching their
efforts as part of national development to improve living standard for the welfare of their people.
Since TFAP has been implemented in more than 80 tropical countries, criticism, supports, and participation of developing and developed countries, International organizations, as well as NGO's involvement have obviously been significant. At this stage, therefore, the role of FAO as one of the leading and coordinating agency of TFAP should be strengthened, the hopes and expectations of international concerned countries have to be properly responded and addressed to the recent problems and shortcoming, and to determine what improvement and adjustment are required.
As a reflection of our strong commitment to the framework and principle of TFAP, our Government has immediately taken several actions. At the 25th FAO conference last year, our delegation had actively participated in the preparation and have sponsored the Resolution 2/89. In this connection my delegation wishes to inform the Council that Indonesia has successfully launched Round Table type II meeting last May in Jakarta, which would be followed by type III meeting scheduled tentatively for April 1991.
Compared with other national TFAP, Indonesia National TFAP has specific characteristics. It has completely national initiative. It also constitutes as part of the Five-year National Development Plan of the country, which is based on the State Broad Guidelines of the Government Policy. In addition, in terms of funding implication of the implementation of the TFAP, we wish to inform the Council that approximately 70 percent of budget for forestry development activities in our country is funded by national budgetary and the remaining 30 percent is done with the kind cooperation and assistance of the international donor communities.
My delegation wishes to express their appreciation and noted the FAO's generous assistance rendered to our Government in formulating the National TFAP. However, some crucial points need further consideration, particularly in the following two aspects:
Firstly, in tropical countries, TFAP constitutes an integral part of national forestry development plan. Therefore, separation of TFAP from national development plan would make TFAP less effective.
Secondly, TFAP is a national initiative. It is a national economic and environment-oriented programme. Therefore, the planning and executing agency should be placed under the responsibility of the national government.
In the light of recommendations presented by Independent Review, my delegation could go along with the views of the Director-General that institutional separation of TFAP would lead to complexities in budget. Therefore, we would like to reaffirm that this responsibility should remain in the Forestry Department of the FAO.
Furthermore, with regard to the recommendation made by the 10th session of COFO as pointed out in para. 90 of the COFO report to organize a high-level meeting with the co-sponsors of the TFAP, my delegation looks forward to the possibility of locating the Meeting of Ad Hoc Group of Experts on TFAP
in Jakarta, Indonesia scheduled for January 1991. If it is the case, I assure that my Government would seriously consider the matter and we warmly welcome all participants to the said meeting.
Turning to the most important issue in this agenda item, that is the proposal for the international instrument on the conservation and development of forest, my delegation is of the view that the instrument constitutes a great idea and a great innovation, particularly in noting that environmental issues have in recent years occupied a pre-eminent portion on the global agenda.
Keeping the global impact of this instrument in mind, therefore, we should not rush into dateline. In formulating the concept, we should be able to also take into consideration and to accommodate the decisions of the sessions of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). As a member of the United Nations, we are bound by the Resolution 44/228 which among others decided that all organizations of the UN System to contribute fully to the preparation of the UNCED on the basis of Guidelines and requirements to be established by the Preparatory Committee of the Conference. We wish to call the attention of the Council to this matter. We, therefore, certainly will do our best to cooperate toward the successful preparation of a comprehensive report on forestry as requested by the Preparatory Committee of the UNCED. It is our hope that the reports will elaborate all aspects of development, so that it would neither loosen nor tighten up the interest of developing countries, especially those who have tropical forests.
In addition to this, the proposal on the aforesaid international instrument should reflect the integrated relationship among countries throughout the world, including boreal, temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical forest ecosystems.
Furthermore, the instrument must be fully arranged on the basis of legal, institutional, and technical aspects. In this connection, my delegation wishes to request clarification on the status of legal instrument of the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA). The outcomes of ITTO meeting, which was held last week in Yokohama, as we properly follow the legal aspect, therefore, has also to be taken into consideration in preparing the proposed instrument.
We are pleased to advise you here, that our delegation calls upon FAO, in cooperation with ITTO, UNEP, WMO, UNCED, and other relevant international organizations to take part in providing substantive inputs for the above comprehensive efforts. However, the following points are factors that need to be thoroughly considered in making any decisions. These are:
Firstly, environmental issues related to forestry such as global warming, deforestation, and species extinction should be viewed on a global environmental perspective, and should not focus only on tropical forest.
Secondly, any efforts on an international instrument on forestry should take into consideration the inter-linkages among various efforts under way, such as climatic changes, protection of the ozone layer, conservation of biological diversity, and the environmentally sound application of bio-technology.
To conclude this statement my delegation would like to underline and reiterate the following statements as we hope they will resolve the global environmental issues.
1. Indonesia supports the increase of efforts on forest and forestry development activities for better global economy and environment. Therefore we will continue to cooperate in the area of forestry, particularly in deliberations pertaining to an international instrument on forestry. We will contribute toward the preparation of a comprehensive report on forestry as requested by the Preparatory Committee of the UNCED.
2. To improve the benefit of forest for common welfare, a better cooperation and mutual understanding between countries needs to be encouraged. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reaffirm the commitment of the Governments toward sustainable management of forests for ecologically, environmentally, socially, and economically sound long-term development.
3. The goal of forest and forestry development is the improvement of both national and international human welfare. Hence, we emphasize that any effort on an international instrument on forestry should take into consideration the interlinkages among various efforts under way, such as climatic change, the protection of biological resources, and the environmentally sound application of bio-technology.
4. To strengthen the role of forest in improving the global environment, more efforts should be made on conserving tropical forest as well as extending forested lands in temperate, boreal, and sub-tropical forests. Environmental issues to forestry, therefore, should be viewed on a proper global perspective. Moreover, it should not be focused on the forest itself, particularly in the tropical regions, but it has to be linked closely with all aspects of development activities.
5. In view of the required immediate actions, it is an urgent need to undertake concerted efforts to identify suitable research and pilot projects to develop suitable technology for all types of forest management, including in boreal, temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical forests ecosystem.
6. It is necessary to develop human resources producing the relevant skills for sustainable forest management in general, and particularly in tropical countries.
I would like also to use this opportunity to inform the Council that at the Twelfth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) held in Manila, Philippines, from 18-20 October 1990, the International Instrument on Forestry was discussed. It was agreed, inter alia, to establish an ASEAN Task Force to monitor and coordinate activities pertaining to international instruments on forestry, including the elements for an international instrument, modalities and effective means of implementation. This agreement was endorsed by the twenty-second Meeting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers held on 20-30 October 1990 in Bali, Indonesia.
Finally, our delegation would like to express our sincere grateful appreciation to all FAO's staff members for continuing precious assistance and keeping mutual cooperation with our country so as to achieve environmental stability and sustain development of the country.
Vanrob ISARANKURA (Thailand): My country is always aware of the deforestation. It is one of the main causes of the environmental problem, not only in Thailand but also in the world as a whole. Therefore my delegation strongly supports the initiative by the FAO in giving higher priority to forestry research and the establishment of a Forestry Research, Education and Training Branch in FAO's Forestry Department.
My delegation is very pleased to note that the FAO continues to promote the integration of women as equal partners in the design and implementation of forestry activities. We also join other delegations in supporting the FAO's Forestry Programmes. We hope that the Director-General will make his utmost effort to increase the FAO's Regular Programme budget allocations to the Forestry Programmes, despite the Organization having financial difficulties. In this connection my delegation once again would like to appeal to all Member Nations to settle their arrears quickly and in full to enable FAO to implement its Programme of Work for 1990-91.
My delegation deeply appreciates the progress in the implementation of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan. It is certain that TFAP is an internationally shared undertaking with responsibility in which developing countries are the major actors working with the collective cooperative support of the international community. The TFAP in Thailand is now going on to play an important role with the assistance of the international organizations and the friendly donor countries, such as Finland. On this occasion we would like to thank its government for their generosity. We would also like to encourage other donor countries as well as the international organizations to give more assistance to the developing countries in protecting our planet from the ecological problem.
In this connection we strongly support the Committee's recommendation as contained in paragraph 90 of document CL 98/8, including establishing as soon as possible an ad hoc group of experts, with the mandate and the terms of reference as indicated in that paragraph. My delegation can agree that the cost of this ad hoc group of experts could be met from some reduction in activities already approved in the Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91.
Regarding the international instrument on the conservation and development of forestry, my delegation fully supports the views which were expressed by the delegates of Malaysia, Finland, Australia, Germany, the USA and Indonesia that FAO should not convene a meeting of experts in 1991 as mentioned in paragraph 14 a) of document CL 98/8-Sup.1. This is because the Thai delegation has always recognized that the FAO is a UN specialized agency on food and agriculture, including forestry. While we support the views of the COFO, as contained in paragraph 20 of the report, we are of the view that by sending highly qualified and keen staff to join the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee of the UNCED, FAO can play a major
role and provide sound contributions to the preparation of both the legal and technical scope and content of a world forest conservation and development instrument at that meeting if they are willing to do so. This means that we do not need a meeting of experts but will need a spirit of cooperation.
Andrew BENNETT (United Kingdom): I would like to start by thanking both Mr Murray and Mr Walton for their presentations and for their update on actions taken to date. This is very encouraging.
There have been many excellent interventions this morning covering a wide range of issues and showing many areas in which there is a high level of consensus and agreement in concern about the world's forest resources and the need for action to promote their sustainable management.
I also note your call, Mr Chairman, for the Council to give clear and unambiguous guidance to the Director-General on priorities for FAO in the reform of the TFAP and the development of an international instrument on forests with particular reference to the role that FAO should play in this area.
I would like to confine my remarks to those of TFAP and the international instrument.
The U.K. sees the TFAP as the main mechanism for concerted global action to help tropical countries manage their forests in a sustainable way, particularly at country level, and also for the coordination of donor assistance.
Last November my Minister, Mrs Chalker, called for a reform of the TFAP at the FAO Governing Council. The U.K. is very pleased with the progress that has taken place so far. The U.K. strongly endorses the following conclusions of COFO; that COFO was right to organize an independent review, that TFAP is FAO's priority forestry activity which should be reflected in FAO's programme and allocation of resources. On specific recommendations made by the review and considered by COFO the U.K. agrees with the renaming of the TFAP as a programme rather than as a plan. It agrees that the TFAP should be country-driven, process-oriented and policy-centred. It supports the revision of the guidelines already under way which should be completed openly and urgently. It also strongly supports the call for country capacity projects.
The U.K., however, has serious doubts that there is a case or a need at this stage for a tropical forestry fund, given the existing aid channels and the proposals currently under discussion in Paris for the establishment of a global environmental facility.
We also agree that there should be a firm commitment by donors to provide the necessary resources for tropical forestry.
The U.K. supports COFO's recommendation that FAO takes the initiative in exploring institutional options to improve TFAP effectiveness. It welcomes
the fact that FAO has met with other co-sponsors to clarify the TFAP goals and objectives and how they might work collaboratively toward improving them.
Like Germany, the U.K. can agree that TFAP should remain within the Forestry Department provided it is given the right level of prominence within that department and wider contacts in FAO generally and a very senior person designated to keep a general overview.
Most importantly the U.K. endorses COFO's recommendation for an ad hoc group of experts to consider options for improving the institutional arrangements and to clarify TFAP's goals and objectives.
The U.K. is very clear that the TFAP does need an overseeing, representative, independent, high-level group in which Member States and co-founders and the wider community can have confidence. We must all work hard to improve the credibility of TFAP and ensure it delivers the expectations of it.
The U.K. stands ready to help in this process of discussion and improvement. However, like my German colleague, time is short and action needed is urgent so we suggest that there should be a clear timetable for the reform process. We would like to propose that this should be completed before March 1991.
We think that the draft outline resolution that our Netherlands colleagues have produced might provide a useful basis for this meeting to consider and on which to focus its attention.
We would like now to turn to the International Forestry Instrument. Like other speakers this morning, the U.K. wants to see an effective international forestry instrument in place as soon as possible. We agree with other speakers that FAO quite obviously has the expertise and knowledge to contribute to the development of such an instrument but, as with previous speakers this morning, we believe that this should be done very clearly within the context of the UNCED framework.
The U.K. also believes that we should rigorously pursue work on the umbrella Conference on Climate Change and include associated proposals on, for example, forestry and biological diversity.
We also believe that there is perhaps, in view of the urgency and importance of forestry interests, merit in running with a separate charter for signature in 1992.
I have heard this morning large areas of agreement but I have also heard areas of serious concern expressed by delegations here. I think it is important that we should concentrate on the areas of agreement and move forward and perhaps develop a charter that focuses on the areas of agreement but I am concerned that if we get into the more contentious areas we will be further delayed. In any case, once things have moved forward there would be no difficulty in converting a charter to perhaps a more legally constituted instrument.
We think that Council should give FAO a very clear mandate to respond to the task offered to it by the UNCED Prepcom resolution agreed in Nairobi at the end of August but, as with other speakers this morning, we think it premature for FAO to convene a meeting of experts early next year meeting outside the auspices of UNCED. If any such meeting does take place at some time in the future I think that UNCED should have the overview.
We are also a little perplexed and baffled as to why FAO feels that these activities that they would have proposed would have had no additional costs to FAO whereas for the meetings of TFAP, which we recognize to be a very high priority for FAO, there is a need for more resources from outside. We would suggest that FAO should devote its undoubted talents and resources to the reform of the TFAP as its number one priority while continuing to collaborate within the framework of UNCED on the legal or future international instruments for forests.
LE PRESIDENT: Je vous ai entendu avec attention et intérêt. Je voudrais quand même faire remarquer que le PAFT est, à l'heure actuelle, un Fonds fiduciaire et que ce Fonds n'existerait pas si un certain nombre de pays n'avaient pas contribué à sa constitution. J'émets le voeu que le dernier intervenant insistera sur une participation substantielle de façon à permettre le développement voulu du PAFT.
Je voudrais faire une communication: le délégué de l'Egypte m'a remis son intervention en demandant qu'elle soit insérée au Verbatim de cette séance. Je l'en remercie, son intervention figurera in extenso.
Le Secrétariat vient de m'informer que le projet de résolution des Pays-Bas a été traduit dans toutes les langues et qu'il est procédé actuellement à une première distribution aux membres du Conseil. Très tôt cet après-midi, d'autres copies seront disponibles au comptoir des documents.
Tadeusx STROJWAS (Pologne): Monsieur le Président, permettez-moi d'abord de remercier M. Murray pour l'introduction à la discussion de ce matin. La délégation polonaise voudrait faire quelques courtes remarques, à l'occasion de cette discussion sur le rapport de la dixième session du Comité des forêts.
Avec tout le respect et le soutien que j'accorde au PAFT, qui doit être exécuté efficacement jusqu'à la fin pour le bien des forêts, cette ressource précieuse est le poumon de l'humanité; je voudrais faire remarquer qu'il y a également en Europe centrale, en Europe occidentale, et notamment en Pologne, des forêts malades. L'industrie lourde et l’industrie chimique détruisent les forêts. Il y a donc, là aussi, une grande tâche pour la FAO. C'est dans ce contexte que la délégation polonaise appuie l'idée d'élaborer un Instrument international pour la conservation et la mise en valeur des forêts.
Lors de la dernière session du Comité des forêts, on a parlé en termes généraux d'une convention ou d'un autre instrument juridique. Vous vous
souviendrez que la question suivante a été posée: est-ce la FAO qui doit être l'Organisation chargée d'initier et de faire progresser les travaux sur une telle convention? Effectivement, la délégation polonaise soutient vivement l'idée que ce soit la FAO, en collaboration bien sûr avec le Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement et l'Organisation météorologique mondiale, ainsi que la Conférence des Nations Unies sur l'environnement et le développement, qui devrait initier et poursuivre les efforts en vue de préparer cet Instrument "en définissant le champ d'application et le contenu juridique et technique" (CL 98/8, par. 20).
Nous partageons aussi l'opinion du Directeur général selon laquelle un instrument mondial sur les forêts pourrait contribuer considérablement à harmoniser les approches sociales, culturelles, économiques et écologiques qui régissent l'utilisation des ressources forestières, en fournissant une base et une norme communes pour l'action en faveur de la conservation et du développement durable des ressources forestières dans le monde entier.
Ms Theresa CRUZ-CAPELLAN (Philippines): Improving the quality of our people's lives is based on sustainable growth and equity and is translated into specific imperatives for the agricultural sector. One of these imperatives is to enforce policies which promote the judicious use of the country's land, forests and marine resources in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the natural resource base from which real incomes are derived. In this connection we wish to support paragraph 90 of document CL 98/8 which recommends that in particular FAO take the initiative to promote the effectiveness of TFAP implementation and coordination.
We also support paragraph 76 which strongly recommends a substantial increase in FAO's Regular Programme budget allocation to the Forestry Programme.
As we note these objectives, we all know that industrial pollution, caused over the centuries, has been the leading and major factor in the deterioration of the global environment. We view the control and reduction of CO2 as important in preserving our forests,
The developing countries are aware of the importance of forest preservation. We do realize that without sustainable forest management we face disaster. We are in agreement that dialogue and discussion based on data will heighten our awareness and responsibility to the rest of the world on this important subject of forest management.
It is in this light we wish to support the views expressed by the Malaysian delegation that any international instrument on forestry should not be concluded in haste without taking into account its implications for developing countries. We agree that it would be premature to express an opinion on the nature of the instrument or the forum or modalities of any negotiations.
My delegation therefore concurs with the proposal to defer a decision on those parts of the COFO report that deal with proposed action by FAO on the preparation of an international forestry convention.
LE PRESIDENT: Avant de donner la parole au Représentant du Cameroun, je voudrais souligner, à propos du paragraphe 76 du document CL 98/8, que le Comité recommande une augmentation substantielle des crédits du budget ordinaire. Il faut savoir ce que l'ont veut. Si l'on augmente les dépenses relatives à un secteur dans le cadre des limites d'un budget, il faut diminuer les dépenses relatives à d'autres secteurs. Lorsque les pays marquent leur accord pour une augmentation substantielle des dépenses dans un secteur, ils doivent indiquer quels sont les secteurs pour lesquels ils estiment qu'il faut procéder à une réduction significative. C'est là une des responsabilités du Conseil.
Michael ΚΙΜΑ TABONG (Cameroon): I would like first of all to thank Mr Murray for his clear and concise presentation of the document under review, and Mr Walton for the useful and positive additional information provided to us.
With its 20 million hectares of forest land, Cameroon is the second largest forestry reserve in Africa and one of the most important in the world as far as tropical forests are concerned. From these facts, Mr Chairman, you can imagine that forestry plays a very important role in our economy, and the Government agrees with the experts that forestry's full potential is very far from being utilized. This is also to say that forestry matters are of great interest to the Cameroon Government. It is in this spirit that Cameroon participated actively at the 10th Session of the Committee on Forestry held last September here in Rome. During that session we expressed our views on all the important topics on the Agenda. I do not need to repeat what was on that Agenda. However, allow me to make a few comments on two key issues raised by the Report under consideration, namely, the Tropical Forestry Action Plan and the Convention on the Conservation and Development of Forests.
On the execution of the TFAP the position presented by the Cameroon delgation during that COFO meeting remains unchanged. My delegation supports the recommendations as mentioned in the Report with special stress on the need to develop a more decentralized, country-driven, process-oriented approach in which individual countries would shoulder their responsibilities and play a leading role.
On the proposed instrument on conservation and development of forests, let me recall that during the COFO meeting my country associated itself with the position taken then by the African Group on that issue which is clearly stated in paragraph 25 of the Report. Before giving this Council the position in Cameroon on that important issue, let me make a few observations on it.
Cameroon remains open to any discussion, formal or informal, and any forum on the topic of the development of forest reserves. We are fully aware of the impact of forests on the environment of the earth as a whole and its role, particularly in relation to the inhabitants of Cameroon. My Government is particularly concerned with the absolute necessity to preserve and perpetuate our resources, but it is our strong view that the management and exploitation of our national forestry resources is the sole and unique responsibility of our Government. Therefore, the preparation of any legally binding instrument on forests should be conducted under the control and the full participation of interested Member Governments. It should also take into consideration the development concerns of the national communities for whom forests constitute by and large the main, if not the only, resource. This concern is clearly stated in the sentence of paragraph 21 of the Report.
We agree with the contents of paragraph 24 that the preparation of a proposed instrument might be a complex task and should not be undertaken hastily. Hence, recognizing the leading role that FAO should play in any instrument on the conservation and development of forests, and with the request that due consideration be given to the observations above, Cameroon recommends that FAO goes ahead with the preparatory work for a convention on the conservation and development of forests.
I have noticed that this subject has drawn and is still drawing abundant contributions from representatives of many countries. What is more gratifying is that the contributions are coming from some of those countries which have lost or are on the verge of losing their forests. Hence, they know the consequences of such loss. Therefore, it is also very important that those countries who still have considerable forest resources should be more careful in embracing or rejecting any proposals for any global forestry conservation which do not take into consideration their own views. I promised to be brief!
Paulo Estivallet DE MESQUITA (Brazil): My colleagues and I would also like to thank both Mr Murray and Mr Walton for their interesting presentations on this subject.
With regard to the Report of the Committee on Forestry we can say briefly that we favour its approval as it is. I will refrain from repeating what my delegation said during the 10th Session of COFO.
However, the Director-General's comments require a more careful reply. In particular, I wish to refer to the matter of an international instrument on the conservation and development of forests. Brazil has said on a number of occasions here and also in the last session of COFO, that it is open to the idea of an international instrument which would deal specifically with the conservation and use of all forests, tropical, temperate and boreal in an integrated manner not through the definition of targets or standards but rather through the promotion of international cooperation, especially financial and technological cooperation.
We also stated that any initiative in this sphere should be carefully examined against the background of related processes, such as the proposed convention on climate change and biodiversity. We stressed the need to avoid duplication of effort. The Committee on Forestry had a very useful and interesting discussion on this and other related matters. However, it was only preliminary discussion, and this is recognized clearly in the Report, particularly in paragraphs 20 and 23. While we understand that the Director-General may have felt it would be appropriate to convene a meeting of experts in order to proceed with preparations, we are informed that the Secretary-General of UNCED is convening a similar meeting. Therefore, we would urge the Director-General of FAO to avoid duplication of effort and to consult with the Secretary-General of UNCED before proceeding further.
We are convinced that FAO has a major role to play in the preparation of any instrument on forests, but we also think that for the time being it should concentrate on the preparation of an input in its area of competence to the Preparatory Committee on UNCED.
LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Représentant du Brésil de sa très claire intervention. Je crois d'ailleurs que l'idée qu'il a avancée d'élaborer un instrument pour toutes les forêts du monde est une idée importante. Il ne faut pas faire une distinction-et je l'ai dit-entre l'Equateur, les tropiques et les pôles. Cela me semble une vision révolue. Dans un domaine aussi important, nous devons avoir une vision globale.
Avant de lever la séance, je vais donner la liste des orateurs encore inscrits sur ce point: Nicaragua, Mexique, Angola, Portugal, Argentine, Pérou, Congo, Venezuela, Kenya, Nigéria, Colombie, Pakistan, Japon, Maroc et Guinée, plus un observateur, l'OCDE. Il est important que nous sachions plus ou moins quel est le nombre d'orateurs inscrits de façon à planifier la suite de nos travaux.
Adel EL SARKY (Egypt): The Egyptian delegation would like to express his thanks for the excellent performance and introduction of this document. Egypt has participated actively in the meeting of the Tenth Session of the Forestry Commission held in Rome from 24-28 September 1990, with a high rank officer specialized in the field of forestry and afforestation. This participation is due to the deep conviction with conservation of forest resources and its development, and its vital role in environment.
The Egyptian delegation, shares the views of those who talked about the importance of strengthening the research at the country level, and the idea of concluding an agreement dealing with forestry conservation in welcoming the two points.
The Egyptian delegation, after considering paras 32 to 43, welcomes the integration of women in forestry.1
1 Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
F.C. PRILLEVITZ (Netherlands): Before we adjourn, I would like to comment that the draft resolution has now been distributed, but in the Spanish text there is a mistake: point 4 should be deleted and hence point 5 will become point 4. We must correct that. It is about the ITTO; it can be of interest.
LE PRESIDENT: En ce qui concerne le projet de résolution, donc après le débat général, je commencerai un, débat sur la procédure. Je vous ai dit mon sentiment en ce qui concerne les projets de résolution et les projets de décision. Et nous aurons une discussion de procédure. La discussion de fond, comme l'a souligné l'honorable Représentant des Pays-Bas, a lieu au cours du débat général, puisque-selon ce qu'a dit le Représentant des Pays-Bas-le projet n'ajoute rien par rapport aux deux documents qui nous sont soumis. Donc je crois qu'il ne faudra pas réouvrir le débat sur le fond du projet de résolution, mais uniquement sur la procédure.
Maintenant, je déclare la séance levée. Nous nous revoyons à 14 h 30.
The meeting rose at 12.30 hours
La séance est levée à 12 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.30 horas