FRIDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2003

As reported by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

A Special Session convened in the morning to present the results of side events, while a General Session presented conclusions and recommendations of Theme Sessions A, ¿Forests for People,¿ and B ¿Forests for the Planet,¿ and the Ecoregional Sessions. The Plenary Session focused on implementing policies and provided an introduction to Theme Session C, ¿People and Forests in Harmony.¿ In the afternoon Theme Session C convened to address: participatory decision making and management; forest management partnerships; forest policy and administration; cross-sectoral policies and interactions; professional development and education; and implementation of international commitments.

GENERAL SESSION

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS of THEME SESSIONS A AND B AND ECOREGIONAL SESSIONS

Hosny El-Lakany, FAO, explained that the summaries of the Thematic Sessions took into account the recommendations of the World Forestry Congress (WFC) Forest Policy Committee.

Jean-Louis Kérouac, Secretary General of the XII WFC, presented the draft report of the thematic area ¿Forests for People¿, which highlights that forests are critical for human needs, and that benefits derived from forests are often undervalued. He said the report¿s recommendations include: addressing poverty and sustaining livelihoods; placing people at the centre of forest management; enabling people to manage forests sustainably; and assessing the success of forest management. He noted that the report also includes references to gender equity and states that importing countries need to recognize that they can trigger unsustainable logging in producing countries.

Jean Prosper Koyo, FAO, presented the draft report of the thematic area ¿Forests for the Planet,¿ which describes the status of global forests, environmental factors and trends in forest management. He explained that the report calls for actions to address poverty, climate change, watershed management, wildfire prevention and conservation. He said it also calls for participatory management, inter-sectoral policy development, and recognition of the need to manage all ecosystem values and functions. Koyo stated that the report further notes the need to: reduce reporting burden; harmonize definitions and terms; work on criteria and indicators; and manage non-wood forest products of forest plantations.

Regent Gravel, Canadian Centre for Teaching and International Cooperation, presented a summary of the vision for forests developed by the Ecoregional Sessions, including improved forest integrity and biodiversity, full access to capacity building and education, decentralized and transparent participatory decision making, and sustainable integrated forest management resulting in equitable benefits. He explained that the Ecoregional Sessions identified strategies to achieve the vision, including: furthering education and training programmes; ensuring local participation in decision making; creating partnership opportunities; improving certification and monitoring; including stakeholders in forest planning; and harmonizing regulatory financial and inter-sectoral frameworks.

Susanne Hilton, Geewehdin Consulting Services, provided a synthesis of visions and strategies of various stakeholders resulting from the discussions on sustainable forest management (SFM), ecological integrity, and economic aspects. She said participants decided that forest management should focus on people and communities, equitable benefit sharing and public participation. Hilton proposed improving education and social justice by involving forest peoples in decision making and empowering communities to take decisions on cultural, social and institutional matters.

In the ensuing discussion, participants called for mentioning in the synthesis report, inter alia: clear targets to reduce deforestation by half in the coming decades; political commitment; youth involvement; clear mechanisms for follow up to WFC recommendations; compensation for environmental services; and increased communication to encourage the exchange of ideas and build public opinion in order to influence government. Other participants recommended: taking into account the existing concentration of power and resulting pressures on communities; reflecting ecoregional differences in the final statement; treating communities equitably; harmonizing global criteria and indicators to encourage comprehensive planning; and forwarding the outcomes of the WFC to decision makers, including the Canadian Prime Minister for presentation at the G-8.

Jean-Louis Kérouac, Secretary General of the XII WFC, said the proposed changes would be incorporated in the synthesis report for Theme Sessions A ¿Forest for People,¿ and B, ¿Forests for the Planet,¿ and the Ecoregional Sessions.

SPECIAL SESSION

PRESENTATION OF THE RESULTS OF SIDE EVENTS

Jacques Carette, Canadian Forest Service, informed participants that the 15th meeting of the Montreal Process Working Group convened on Monday 22 September and adopted the Quebec City Declaration on criteria and indicators for SFM.

PLENARY SESSION

IMPLEMENTING POLICIES

Neil Byron, Productivity Commission, said world forests suffer from deforestation, degradation and declining political support. He said the remedies include SFM, plantations, biodiversity conservation, socioeconomic changes, public participation, and an integrated landscape approach. Noting that many actions had failed, he called for broad policies, new institutional arrangements, protection of biodiversity and aesthetic values, environmentally conscious consumption and good governance. He also recommended that governments concentrate on desired outcomes and not micro-management. Peter de Marsh, International Family Forest Alliance, presented activities of small forest communities in Canada as an example of sustainable development. He called for better dialogue between forest owners, governments and urban dwellers.

INTRODUCTION TO AREA C ¿PEOPLE AND FORESTS IN HARMONY¿

Kathryn Monk presented the benefits of SFM for businesses and local communities. She stressed the need for good governance and a comprehensive approach to SFM. Monk recommended the creation of community enterprises and discussed whether these should be community or individually lead. She said the choice between these two options affects the distribution of gains and may pose problems in increasingly heterogeneous communities. She described new local management systems, noting they are increasingly holistic and complex. She called for the local implementation of global visions, practical solutions and institutional frameworks that were discussed during the XII WFC.

John Weaver, Abitibi Consolidated, presented the successes of collaborative forest management in Canada, noting the crucial role of partnerships between government and stakeholders. He explained that these partnerships are based on information and trust, and aim to establish a meaningful exchange of information and ensure SFM. He listed the forest industry¿s voluntary controls, third-party audits, and certification processes and praised its pro-active approach.

THEME SESSIONS

AREA C - PEOPLE AND FORESTS IN HARMONY

PARTICIPATORY DECISION MAKING AND MANAGEMENT: Manual Hernandez Paz, Canadian International Development Agency, introduced the session, noting that nowadays, the social dimension of SFM is synonymous with community participation in forest management and planning.Gopa Pandey, Madhya Pradesh Forest Department, spoke about community forestry in India, stressing that local empowerment, economic security, and institutional building are critical to the success of community forestry. Marilyn Headley, Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica, shared her experience establishing local forest management committees in Jamaica, noting that one committee is developing a plant nursery and another is establishing an ecotourism project. Lai Qingkui, South West Forestry College, spoke about the co-management of Chinese forests and emphasized the role that forestry can play in alleviating poverty. Roberta Raffailli, University of Toronto, spoke about local forestry in the alpine region of Trentino, Italy. She stressed that alpine forests are multi-functional, and that the best method for maintaining mountain forest multi-functionality is through commercializing non-timber forest products. Peggy Smith, Lakehead University, emphasized that the Canadian Government must negotiate agreements with indigenous peoples on forestry in order to achieve sustainable integrated forest management in Canada. She also said informed  consent from indigenous peoples would constitute a necessary element of any negotiated outcome.

FOREST MANAGEMENT PARTNERSHIPS: John Naysmith, Forestry Futures Trust, highlighted the objectives of Canada¿s Model Forest Programs (CMFP), which include combining human ingenuity with forest ecosystems and establishing performance indicators. He said CMFP¿s future plans include continuing to facilitate partnerships and develop SFM curricula and tools and strategies to assess the Program¿s success. Ferardo Warholtz, National Forestry Commission in Mexico, reported that Mexico¿s land is primarily community owned, noting the resulting challenges for community forest enterprises, including: the integration of traditional governance with more efficient management; corruption and equity; and the strengthening of social capital and community institutions. He stated that community forest enterprises contribute to social and economic development and are profitable on all levels. Christian Brawenz, Association of Forestry and Agriculture Enterprises in Austria, underscored the challenge of addressing the needs of foresters and nature protection groups. He outlined solutions, including, voluntary and active involvement of private landowners, and partnerships between forest owners, scientists and nature protection groups. Rainee Oliphant, Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica, noted the challenges of SFM and reforestation on private land, such as a limited number of seedlings and antiquated land laws, but highlighted tax exemptions as incentives for change. She noted future activities, which include increasing seedling supply and identifying investors. Bob Udell, Foothills Model Forest, reported on adaptive forest management, stressing the importance of consistency of and research on forest practices. He concluded by stating that industry can deliver SFM, model forest programs are crucial for SFM, and industry and scientists should establish partnerships. Ajit Krishnaswamy, National Network of Forest Practitioners, highlighted that participatory research plays a key role in community forestry.

FOREST POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION: Nelson Thiffault, Ministry of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Parks in Quebec, explained that countries need polices that empower stakeholders. Juan Carlos Collarte, Principal Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Regional Model Forest Network in Chile, showed that model forests are practical systems and economically viable models that work to establish trust among various stakeholders. Christian Barthod, Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development in France, explained how social contracts can play a role in forestry and policy in the European context and should be complemented by traditional mechanisms, including direct subsidies and legislation.Jeimar Tapasco, Colombian National University, explained the Colombian Government¿s conservation policy provided compensation to local landowners, which reduced soil erosion on the purchased land but had negative social effects on the landowners. He proposed creating new complementary policy instruments, drawing attention to the need for political will. Karel Vancura, Ministry of Agriculture in the Czech Republic, explained the mechanisms used by the Czech Republic to manage forests, including a restitution of forests to previous owners, the creation of a legal entity, and the privatization of forest enterprises through joint-stock companies. José María Solano López, Ministry of Environment in Spain, discussed the creation of Spain¿s forest strategy using public participation, emphasized the need for transparency in participatory approaches and stressed that stakeholders need to remember they are working towards a common objective. Cleto Ndikumagenge, IUCN, explained that a lack of coherence, leadership disputes and armed conflicts are real challenges to forest ecosystems in Central Africa. He said countries need to create a vision and cooperate with each other, and recommended that donors establish a roundtable to harmonize policies.

CROSS-SECTORAL POLICIES: Jeffrey Sayer, WWF International, presented his organization¿s position on conservation, which goes beyond national parks and protected areas, and called for holistic management. Shashi Kant, University of Toronto, presented his economic theory on emerging forest property rights, looking at co-management, communal rights and public rights, which would emphasize social optimization rather than short-term economic gain. Michael Jacobsen, Pennsylvania State University, presented studies on water consumption on plantation forests and South African¿s use of water pricing. Liga Mengele, State Forest Service in Latvia, presented on ownership rights and environmental concerns, arguing that forests should be seen as legal entities with the state as their guardian. Christophe Orazio, European Institute for Cultivated Forests, explained the work of his institute with universities, research centers and forest owners in various countries with different legal systems. Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples¿ Forest Forum called for the specific demands presented in the Wendake Action Plan, such as recognition of indigenous peoples¿ rights to forest management, to be reflected in the final statement of XII WFC. Others noted how indigenous peoples¿ struggle for the recognition of their rights can shape the definition of property. Participants also called for the adoption of the landscape approach and references to intellectual property rights and access to technology and information.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION: Introducing the event, Jacques Poirrier, Tecsult, stressed the need to increase forest education and research on SFM. Jeannette Gurung, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, called for institutionalizing gender equity in the forest sector. Omar Mhirit, National School of Forest Engineers in Morocco, recommended, inter alia: creating research and information networks and promoting information exchange with the help of international organizations. Pieter van Lierop, FAO, noted the decline in funding available for forest education and research, and the need for increased innovation in forestry. Juan Pulhin, College of Forestry and Natural Resources in the Philippines, said a shift toward participatory forest management requires an academic forestry curriculum that incorporates social dimensions.Geneviève Brisson, Laval University, explained the need for more democratic communication among forest professionals and stakeholders. Johanne Gauthier, Order of Forestry Engineers of Quebec, discussed ways to ensure professionalism in the forest industry, including professional inspections and stringent job qualification requirements.

Participants discussed, inter alia, the need for academic exchange programmes, the dissemination of best practices, ways of promoting participatory development of forest curricula and increased interest in forest education.

IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENTS: James Mayers, International Institute for Environment and Development, outlined international initiatives on forest management, noting the challenge to develop a global vision of SFM, particularly in light of poorly integrated multilateral environmental agreements and the unbalanced effects of the international trade regime. Tina Vähänen, FAO, described the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), noting its initiatives such as a database of funding resources and the streamlining of country reporting and harmonization of definitions. Mike Apsey, Canadian Forest Service, described Canada¿s National Forest Strategy for the custodial management of Canada¿s forest heritage, emphasizing its flexibility, reflexivity and stakeholder involvement. He advocated the creation of a ¿holistic¿ forest convention for information exchange and technical assistance.

Jean Prosper Koyo, FAO, identified the difficulties of forest conservation in the Congo Basin, stressing inconsistent and narrowly framed policies as constraints to adequately reflect socioeconomic and ecological complexities in forest conservation. Leland Humble, Canadian Forest Service, described the risk of invasive wood-borers, proposing the implementation of FAO guidelines on wood packaging as an instrument for risk reduction.

Participants discussed, inter alia, the need for an international legally binding instrument on SFM. Some argued that such a convention could provide sectoral links, stakeholder and business involvement and regulatory strength, while others stressed the value of institutional diversity and the need to implement existing international guidelines and expand the activities of the CPF.

SIDE EVENTS

Supporting sustainable development in Brazil¿s Amazon: World Bank contributions

Presented by the World Bank

Gregor Wolf, World Bank, described the challenges facing the Amazon region, including the lack of consensus among decision makers in the region, unclear property rights, uncontrolled deforestation and use of fires, and poor quality of life. Wolf explained that the World Bank¿s involvement in the region is based on the Bank¿s commitment to sustainable development, increased confidence in the stability of the region, and strong state and municipal demand for Bank support in Brazil. He highlighted the importance of, inter alia: linking the objectives of developmental and environmental investment, minimizing Brazil¿s conservation costs, and creating a dialogue with different stakeholders.

Wolf explained that the objectives of the World Bank¿s contribution to the region include reducing poverty, creating conditions for economic development and promoting environmental conservation. He said such conservation work will target the poorest areas, and be based on the restriction of access to natural resources, increased value of standing forests, and participation of key stakeholders. The objectives will be achieved through loans, technical assistance, policy analysis, knowledge management and the promotion of partnerships.

Participants discussed, inter alia, the linkages between Bank programmes and debt alleviation, the role of states and federal governments in initiating and implementing support programmes, and the restriction of free access to resources could prevent deforestation. Participants also discussed other support initiatives, such as the Congo Basin Initiative, noting the importance of multiple donors and country- and region-driven support projects.

Links to more information:
http://www.worldbank.org/rfpp
http://www.bancomundial.org.br
http://www.mma.gov.br/ppg7

Contact:
Gregor Wolf: gwolf@worldbank.org   

last updated:  Friday, November 28, 2003