UNFF7 – Outcomes they constitute a solid package resulting of successful negotiations: the conclusion and adoption of a non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests, the agreement and adoption on the multi-year programme of work (MYPOW) of the UNFF for 2007-2015 and the commitment to develop and consider a voluntary global financial mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financing framework for all types of forests with a view for its adoption at UNFF8:
- o Despite the non-legally binding and voluntary nature of the instrument, it is a solid and encompassing basis of work as it foresees a range of measures to be developed at national level as well as international cooperation actions; its implementation will contribute to achieve the global objectives on forests, already agreed during UNFF6, and, ultimately, sustainable forest management;
o The multi-year programme of work (2007-2015)1 sets the road map for the work ahead, and includes very important topics that will allow policy debate concerning the contribution of forests to other global environmental agreements and to MDGs;
o Concerning the voluntary global financial mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financing framework it aims at mobilizing significantly increased, new and additional resources from all sources, based on existing and emerging innovative approaches in order to support the achievement of sustainable forest management and the global objectives on forests as well as implementation of the non-legally binding instrument.
By fulfilling the tasks now launched, Member States will be able, at global, regional and national levels, to reverse the loss of forest cover and halt forest degradation, and by doing so, we will also contribute to the improvement of all forest-dependent peoples livelihoods and to poverty eradication.
This new conceptual framework further provides the possibility of enhancing the contribution of forests, sustainable forest management and forest products in climate change mitigation, whilst recognizing the ongoing need for adaptation. In addition, there is room to reinforce the active role forests and their sustainable management play in mitigating natural hazards, such as floods and droughts, as well as in combating soil erosion and desertification.
The non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests foresees a range of measures to be developed at national level as well as regional and international cooperation actions. In this context, the EU sees a need to continue to make concerted efforts towards securing sustained high-level political commitment to implementation for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM); this is the only way to mobilize means of implementation that countries, especially developing countries, need. Even though, the European Union believes that in the long term, Sustainable Forest management should be economically viable, we recognize however that initial efforts need to channeled.
To facilitate an increased allocation of means for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), which includes ODA, but also which comprises other public and private sources, nationally and internationally, it is crucial to mainstream Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), as a matter of priority, in national development plans and other plans, including poverty reduction strategies; in fact, the risk of providing means of implementation without being sure that they will be allocated to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) has to be substantially decreased; only through raising forest issues visibility within the national development plans and, in addition, through recognizing forests as a national priority, can the means of implementation provided to developing countries and countries in transition be expected to reach their true objectives and purpose forests and sustainable forest management.
Forests have the potential to provide goods and services to sustain local communities and therefore the contribution of forests to poverty eradication is a key issue. The loss of forest cover endangers the livelihood of many poor people, in addition to environmental impacts, and efforts to manage forests in a sustainable way, need to be supported. Illegal activities in forests, like illegal logging, should be stoutly combated and the international community should be ready to support these measures.
The EU is now in the process of establishing voluntary partnership agreements with several developing countries under the EU Forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT) Regulation.
This process marked the beginning of a long process by which the EU aims to develop and implement measures to address illegal logging and related trade.
Measures proposed in the FLEGT Action Plan include support for improved governance in wood-producing countries and voluntary partnerships between the EU and wood-producing countries to ensure that only legally sourced timber enters the EU. The FLEGT Action Plan also puts emphasis on demand-side measures to reduce consumption of illegally harvested timber, including public procurement policies, whilst providing support to law enforcement
The allocation of means of implementation to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) to issues like adjusting forest-related legislation, administrative procedures, forest land tenure matters, technological transfer, education, extension services and training is fundamental;
- o only by contributing to the development of the appropriate and strong legislative and administrative tools, meaning to forest law enforcement and governance at all levels, can one expect changes and improvements in the overall community/environment;
o only by improving the capacities/skills of the working force, as well as by sharing information and knowledge with local communities, can one expect to positively contribute to the improvement and strengthen of forest-related practices, thus promoting the sustainable forest management.
The multi-year programme of work for 2007-2015, provides a balanced and comprehensive framework for the next years, and it gives particular attention to the subjects related to this Round Table;
Irrespectively of its approach, the mere fact of dealing with this highly important subjects can help contributing in a significant manner to generate wealth and food security and therefore to eradicate poverty; in 2009, the MYPOW foresees addressing the Means of implementation for Sustainable Forest Management, thus answering a long time request and recognized necessity by developing countries; 2011 will be the year dedicated to dealing with Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication, a direct and self explanatory link to the subject at stake; and so does 2013 focusing on Forests and Economic Development; it goes without saying that cross-cutting issues as well as the common agenda items also have strong links with global commitments and regional innovations in sustaining pro-poor generation of wealth, food security and peace through sustainable forest management.
Furthermore, poverty reduction strategies in highly forested developing countries can be reinforced by a strong and adequate forest-related component, as both their economy and social development are very much dependent on forests and respective products; benefits from forests and the value of their products have to be properly and fairly assessed and local communities should profit from that, thus allowing an improvement of the livelihoods of forest dependent people and poverty eradication amongst these forest based communities.
1 MYPOW establishes biannual sessions, each focused in concrete themes: 2009 Forests in a changing environment and Means of implementation for Sustainable Forest Management; 2011- Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication; 2013 Forests and Economic Development; 2015 Forests: Progress, Challenges and the Way Forward for the International Arrangement on Forests; in addition, each session will tackle cross-cutting issues such as means of implementation and forest law enforcement and governance at all levels and will address common agenda items, namely, the achievement of the four global objectives on forests, the implementation of non-legally binding instrument and the regional inputs