Highlights from Tuesday, 17 November 2009
The Country-led Initiative (CLI) by the People's Republic of China in Support of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) opened on 17 November 2009, with the theme “Forests for People: the role of national forest programmes (NFPs) and the Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (NLBI).”
In the opening ceremony,statements were made by representatives of the State Forestry Administration of China, the Municipality of Guilin, the UNFF Secretariat, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Austria, the US Department of State, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, the German Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A plenary session was then held during which participants heard presentations on: forests for people in the context of the NLBI, NFPs and the UNFF; global and regional activities to promote forests for people contributing to the implementation of NFPs and the NLBI; and NFPs as a tool to facilitate stakeholder participation in promoting forest for people and implementing the NLBI.
In the afternoon plenary, delegates from China, Guatemala, Finland and Ghana presented their countries' experiences and lessons learned in implementing NFPs and the NLBI to improve livelihoods and eradicate poverty. Participants also met in four working groups, focusing on: policy, legal and organizational frameworks; sustainable production of goods and services; national arrangements to mobilize finance; and capacity building and participatory approaches.
Highlights from Wednesday, 18 November 2009
On the second day of the meeting, participants convened in a special session to hear statements by: Thomas Stelzer, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN; Felix Finkbeiner, Plant for the Planet Student Initiative; and Wei Wei, famous Chinese singer and environmental activist. This was followed by a plenary session, during which participants heard presentations on experiences and lessons learned in implementing NFPs and the NLBI to improve livelihoods and eradicate poverty from the representatives of Major Groups.
In the afternoon plenary, participants heard presentations on actions by members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) to support implementation of NFPs and the NLBI, focusing on forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication. These presentations were made by representatives of FAO, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the International Union of Forestry Research Organization (IUFRO).
Participants also reconvened in four working groups during the morning and afternoon to continue discussions and prepare conclusions and recommendations on: policy, legal and organizational frameworks; sustainable production of goods and services; national arrangements to mobilize finance; and capacity building and participatory approaches.
Highlights from Thursday, 19 November 2009
On Thursday, participants met in a plenary session in the morning to hear conclusions and recommendations from the four working groups. Matthias Schwoerer, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Germany, presented for Working Group 1 on policy, legal and organizational frameworks; Marylin Headley, Forestry Department, Jamaica, presented for Working Group 2 on sustainable production of goods and services; Oppon Sasu, Forestry Commission, Ghana, presented for Working Group 3 on national arrangements to mobilize finance; and Alisher Shukurov, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Uzbekistan, reported for Working Group 4 on capacity building and participatory approaches. Following the presentations, participants engaged in a discussion on the groups' reports. In the afternoon, while the drafting committee met to prepare the summary report of the meeting to be presented in plenary on Friday, participants took a field trip that showed the natural beauty of the Guilin region.
Highlights from Friday, 20 November 2009
On Friday morning, participants took part in a field trip before they reconvened in a plenary session in the afternoon. In the plenary, Co-Chair Ingwald Gschwandtl presented the draft Co-Chairs' summary report. He said the report summarized the discussions held during the week and contained conclusions and recommendations. He clarified that the summary is not intended to be a negotiated text. Participants commented on the text and made suggestions for its improvement, after which the report was accepted.
During the closing ceremony, Thomas Stelzer, UN Assistant Secretary General congratulated participants on the outcomes of the meeting and committed that the UN will stand firm in supporting sustainable forest management. Co-Chair Gschwandtl thanked: participants for their active participation; the Chinese government for the hospitality and excellent organization; and the staff of the CLIC Secretariat for their hard work. On behalf of the Chinese organizers, Lu De, Deputy Director General of APFnet, expressed satisfaction with the success of the meeting and thanked the co-organizers and participants for their contribution. The meeting was closed at 3:31 pm.