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Research Report

Revitalizing the United Nations Forum on Forests: Critical Issues and Ways Forward

Doris Capistrano
Markku Kanninen
Manuel R. Guariguata
Christopher Barr
Terry Sunderland
David Raitzer
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2007
Pages: 35
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    In collaboration with the Government of Germany and with the support of other governments and international organizations, the Government of Indonesia organized and hosted a Country-led Initiative (CLI) in Bali, Indonesia from 13-16 February in preparation for the 7th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF-7). The CLI was co-hosted by the Governments of Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America along with the World Bank, UNFF Secretariat and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). A steering committee consisting of members from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Germany, Kenya,...

  2. (pp. 3-9)

    In reviewing progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the Secretary General of the United Nations noted that actions to date have produced mixed results, and that challenges remain, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has remained unchanged since 1990 and their absolute number has increased dramatically (UN 2006). In Africa as in other parts of the developing world, forests are a vital resource for addressing the MDGs of reducing extreme poverty and hunger. Forests provide a range of goods and services to different users. For poor forest-dependent people, especially for women...

  3. (pp. 11-15)

    Now more than ever, there is a need for a high level global political forum that could address, in a comprehensive manner, the persistent issues and unprecedented challenges confronting forests and forest users. Established to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long term political commitment to this end, the UNFF is uniquely poised to play this role. Both the UNFF and its predecessor bodies (Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF)) are credited with some laudable successes. These include: (i) providing leadership towards the development of guidelines...

  4. (pp. 17-18)

    The purpose of this section is to suggest possible criteria for prioritizing among the many potential issues and actions that could be included in the UNFF MYPOW. The four proposed criteria build upon the critical and emerging issues described in Section II of this document, and the lessons learned from other international processes described in Section III. Annex 1 of this document provides illustrative examples of actions that could be considered for inclusion in the MYPOW. These actions could usefully be subjected to discussion regarding the degree to which they meet the proposed criteria.

    The first criterion for inclusion in...

  5. (pp. 19-19)

    With the increasing pressures and unprecedented demands on forests the world over, now more than ever there is a need for a high-level body with the legitimacy and credibility necessary to advance the international forestry agenda. The UNFF is uniquely positioned to play a leadership role to catalyze action and infuse new energy to the common cause of promoting the sustainable use and management of the world’s forests for present and future generations.

    But the UNFF would have to reinvent itself and adapt new, more effective ways of working. In the process, the UNFF would be well served to look...