Agenda 21 - Combating Deforestation - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
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Combating Deforestation

INTRODUCTION

11.1. This chapter refers to the four programme areas resulting from the negotiations held at the fourth session of the Preparatory Committee.

PROGRAMME AREAS

A. Sustaining the multiple roles and functions of all types of forests, forest lands and woodlands

Basis for action

11.2. There are major weaknesses in the policies, methods and mechanisms adopted to support and develop the multiple ecological, economic, social and cultural roles of trees, forests and forest lands. Many developed countries are confronted with the effects of air pollution and fire damage on their forests. More effective measures and approaches are often required at the national level to improve and harmonize policy formulation, planning and programming; legislative measures and instruments; development patterns; participation of the general public, especially women and indigenous people; involvement of youth; roles of the private sector, local organizations, non-governmental organizations and cooperatives; development of technical and multidisciplinary skills and quality of human resources; forestry extension and public education; research capability and support; administrative structures and mechanisms, including intersectoral coordination, decentralization and responsibility and incentive systems; and dissemination of information and public relations. This is especially important to ensure a rational and holistic approach to the sustainable and environmentally sound development of forests. The need for securing the multiple roles of forests and forest lands through adequate and appropriate institutional strengthening has been repeatedly emphasized in many of the reports, decisions and recommendations of FAO, ITTO, UNEP, the World Bank, IUCN and other organizations.

Objectives

11.3. The objectives of this programme area are as follows:

(a) To strengthen forest-related national institutions, to enhance the scope and effectiveness of activities related to the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests, and to effectively ensure the sustainable utilization and production of forests' goods and services in both the developed and the developing countries; by the year 2000, to strengthen the capacities and capabilities of national institutions to enable them to acquire the necessary knowledge for the protection and conservation of forests, as well as to expand their scope and, correspondingly, enhance the effectiveness of programmes and activities related to the management and development of forests; (b) To strengthen and improve human, technical and professional skills, as well as expertise and capabilities to effectively formulate and implement policies, plans, programmes, research and projects on management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and forest-based resources, and forest lands inclusive, as well as other areas from which forest benefits can be derived.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

11.4. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of regional, subregional and international organizations, should, where necessary, enhance institutional capability to promote the multiple roles and functions of all types of forests and vegetation inclusive of other related lands and forest-based resources in supporting sustainable development and environmental conservation in all sectors. This should be done, wherever possible and necessary, by strengthening and/or modifying the existing structures and arrangements, and by improving cooperation and coordination of their respective roles. Some of the major activities in this regard are as follows:

(a) Rationalizing and strengthening administrative structures and mechanisms, including provision of adequate levels of staff and allocation of responsibilities, decentralization of decision-making, provision of infrastructural facilities and equipment, intersectoral coordination and an effective system of communication;

(b) Promoting participation of the private sector, labour unions, rural cooperatives, local communities, indigenous people, youth, women, user groups and non-governmental organizations in forest-related activities, and access to information and training programmes within the national context;

(c) Reviewing and, if necessary, revising measures and programmes relevant to all types of forests and vegetation, inclusive of other related lands and forest-based resources, and relating them to other land uses and development policies and legislation; promoting adequate legislation and other measures as a basis against uncontrolled conversion to other types of land uses;

(d) Developing and implementing plans and programmes, including definition of national and, if necessary, regional and subregional goals, programmes and criteria for their implementation and subsequent improvement;

(e) Establishing, developing and sustaining an effective system of forest extension and public education to ensure better awareness, appreciation and management of forests with regard to the multiple roles and values of trees, forests and forest lands;

(f) Establishing and/or strengthening institutions for forest education and training, as well as forestry industries, for developing an adequate cadre of trained and skilled staff at the professional, technical and vocational levels, with emphasis on youth and women;

(g) Establishing and strengthening capabilities for research related to the different aspects of forests and forest products, for example, on the sustainable management of forests, research on biodiversity, on the effects of air-borne pollutants, on traditional uses of forest resources by local populations and indigenous people, and on improving market returns and other non-market values from the management of forests.

(b) Data and information

11.5. Governments at the appropriate level, with the assistance and cooperation of international, regional, subregional and bilateral agencies, where relevant, should develop adequate databases and baseline information necessary for planning and programme evaluation. Some of the more specific activities include the following:

(a) Collecting, compiling and regularly updating and distributing information on land classification and land use, including data on forest cover, areas suitable for afforestation, endangered species, ecological values, traditional/indigenous land use values, biomass and productivity, correlating demographic, socio-economic and forest resources information at the micro- and macro-levels, and undertaking periodic analyses of forest programmes;

(b) Establishing linkages with other data systems and sources relevant to supporting forest management, conservation and development, while further developing or reinforcing existing systems such as geographic information systems, as appropriate;

(c) Creating mechanisms to ensure public access to this information.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

11.6. Governments at the appropriate level and institutions should cooperate in the provision of expertise and other support and the promotion of international research efforts, in particular with a view to enhancing transfer of technology and specialized training and ensuring access to experiences and research results. There is need for strengthening coordination and improving the performance of existing forest-related international organizations in providing technical cooperation and support to interested countries for the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests.

Means of implementation

(a) Financial and cost evaluation

11.7. The secretariat of the Conference has estimated the average total annual cost (1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about $2.5 billion, including about $860 million from the international community on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order of magnitude estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon, inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

11.8. The planning, research and training activities specified will form the scientific and technological means for implementing the programme, as well as its output. The systems, methodology and know-how generated by the programme will help improve efficiency. Some of the specific steps involved should include:

(a) Analysing achievements, constraints and social issues for supporting programme formulation and implementation;

(b) Analysing research problems and research needs, research planning and implementation of specific research projects;

(c) Assessing needs for human resources, skill development and training;

(d) Developing, testing and applying appropriate methodologies/ approaches in implementing forest programmes and plans.

(c) Human resource development

11.9. The specific components of forest education and training will effectively contribute to human resource development. These include:

(a) Launching of graduate and post-graduate degree, specialization and research programmes;

(b) Strengthening of pre-service, in-service and extension service training programmes at the technical and vocational levels, including training of trainers/teachers, and developing curriculum and teaching materials/methods;

(c) Special training for staff of national forest-related organizations in aspects such as project formulation, evaluation and periodical evaluations.

(d) Capacity-building

11.10. This programme area is specifically concerned with capacity-building in the forest sector and all programme activities specified contribute to that end. In building new and strengthened capacities, full advantage should be taken of the existing systems and experience.

B. Enhancing the protection, sustainable management and conservation of all forests, and the greening of degraded areas, through forest rehabilitation afforestation, reforestation and other rehabilitative means

Basis for action

11.11. Forests world wide have been and are being threatened by uncontrolled degradation and conversion to other types of land uses, influenced by increasing human needs; agricultural expansion; and environmentally harmful mismanagement, including, for example, lack of adequate forest-fire control and anti-poaching measures, unsustainable commercial logging, overgrazing and unregulated browsing, harmful effects of airborne pollutants, economic incentives and other measures taken by other sectors of the economy. The impacts of loss and degradation of forests are in the form of soil erosion; loss of biological diversity, damage to wildlife habitats and degradation of watershed areas, deterioration of the quality of life and reduction of the options for development.

11.12. The present situation calls for urgent and consistent action for conserving and sustaining forest resources. The greening of suitable areas, in all its component activities, is an effective way of increasing public awareness and participation in protecting and managing forest resources. It should include the consideration of land use and tenure patterns and local needs and should spell out and clarify the specific objectives of the different types of greening activities.

Objectives

11.13. The objectives of this programme area are as follows:

(a) To maintain existing forests through conservation and management, and sustain and expand areas under forest and tree cover, in appropriate areas of both developed and developing countries, through the conservation of natural forests, protection, forest rehabilitation, regeneration, afforestation, reforestation and tree planting, with a view to maintaining or restoring the ecological balance and expanding the contribution of forests to human needs and welfare;

(b) To prepare and implement, as appropriate, national forestry action programmes and/or plans for the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests. These programmes and/or plans should be integrated with other land uses. In this context, country-driven national forestry action programmes and/or plans under the Tropical Forestry Action Programme are currently being implemented in more than 80 countries, with the support of the international community;

(c) To ensure sustainable management and, where appropriate, conservation of existing and future forest resources;

(d) To maintain and increase the ecological, biological, climatic, socio-cultural and economic contributions of forest resources;

(e) To facilitate and support the effective implementation of the non-legally binding authoritative statement of principles for a global consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and on the basis of the implementation of these principles to consider the need for and the feasibility of all kinds of appropriate internationally agreed arrangements to promote international cooperation on forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests including afforestation, reforestation, and rehabilitation.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

11.14. Governments should recognize the importance of categorizing forests, within the framework of long-term forest conservation and management policies, into different forest types and setting up sustainable units in every region/watershed with a view to securing the conservation of forests. Governments, with the participation of the private sector, non-governmental organizations, local community groups, indigenous people, women, local government units and the public at large, should act to maintain and expand the existing vegetative cover wherever ecologically, socially and economically feasible, through technical cooperation and other forms of support. Major activities to be considered include:

(a) Ensuring the sustainable management of all forest ecosystems and woodlands, through improved proper planning, management and timely implementation of silvicultural operations, including inventory and relevant research, as well as rehabilitation of degraded natural forests to restore productivity and environmental contributions, giving particular attention to human needs for economic and ecological services, wood-based energy, agroforestry, non-timber forest products and services, watershed and soil protection, wildlife management, and forest genetic resources;

(b) Establishing, expanding and managing, as appropriate to each national context, protected area systems, which includes systems of conservation units for their environmental, social and spiritual functions and values, including conservation of forests in representative ecological systems and landscapes, primary old-growth forests, conservation and management of wildlife, nomination of World Heritage Sites under the World Heritage Convention, as appropriate, conservation of genetic resources, involving in/situ and ex situ measures and undertaking supportive measures to ensure sustainable utilization of biological resources and conservation of biological diversity and the traditional forest habitats of indigenous people, forest dwellers and local communities;

(c) Undertaking and promoting buffer and transition zone management;

(d) Carrying out revegetation in appropriate mountain areas, highlands, bare lands, degraded farm lands, arid and semi-arid lands and coastal areas for combating desertification and preventing erosion problems and for other protective functions and national programmes for rehabilitation of degraded lands, including community forestry, social forestry, agroforestry and silvipasture, while also taking into account the role of forests as national carbon reservoirs and sinks;

(e) Developing industrial and non-industrial planted forests in order to support and promote national ecologically sound afforestation and reforestation/regeneration programmes in suitable sites, including upgrading of existing planted forests of both industrial and non-industrial and commercial purpose to increase their contribution to human needs and to offset pressure on primary/old growth forests. Measures should be taken to promote and provide intermediate yields and to improve the rate of returns on investments in planted forests, through interplanting and underplanting valuable crops;

(f) Developing/strengthening a national programme and/or master plan for planted forests as a priority, indicating, inter alia, the location, scope and species, and specifying areas of existing planted forests requiring rehabilitation, taking into account the economic aspect for future planted forest development, giving emphasis to native species;

(g) Increasing the protection of forests from pollutants, fire, pests and diseases and other human-made interferences such as forest poaching, mining and unmitigated shifting cultivation, the uncontrolled introduction of exotic plant and animal species, as well as developing and accelerating research for a better understanding of problems relating to the management and regeneration of all types of forests; strengthening and/or establishing appropriate measures to assess and/or check inter-border movement of plants and related materials;

(h) Stimulating development of urban forestry for the greening of urban, peri-urban and rural human settlements for amenity, recreation and production purposes and for protecting trees and groves;

(i) Launching or improving opportunities for participation of all people, including youth, women, indigenous people and local communities in the formulation, development and implementation of forest-related programmes and other activities, taking due account of the local needs and cultural values;

(j) Limiting and aiming to halt destructive shifting cultivation by addressing the underlying social and ecological causes.

(b) Data and information11.15. Management-related activities should involve collection, compilation and analysis of data/information, including baseline surveys. Some of the specific activities include the following:

(a) Carrying out surveys and developing and implementing land-use plans for appropriate greening/ planting/ afforestation/ reforestation/ forest rehabilitation;

(b) Consolidating and updating land-use and forest inventory and management information for management and land-use planning of wood and non-wood resources, including data on shifting cultivation and other agents of forest destruction;

(c) Consolidating information on genetic resources and related bio-technology, including surveys and studies, as necessary;

(d) Carrying out surveys and research on local/indigenous knowledge of trees and forests and their uses to improve the planning and implementation of sustainable forest management;

(e) Compiling and analysing research data on species/site interaction of species used in planted forests and assessing the potential impact on forests of climatic change, as well as effects of forests on climate, and initiating in-depth studies on the carbon cycle relating to different forest types to provide scientific advice and technical support;

(f) Establishing linkages with other data/information sources that relate to sustainable management and use of forests and improving access to data and information;

(g) Developing and intensifying research to improve knowledge and understanding of problems and natural mechanisms related to the management and rehabilitation of forests, including research on fauna and its interrelation with forests;

(h) Consolidating information on forest conditions and site-influencing immissions and emissions.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

11.16. The greening of appropriate areas is a task of global importance and impact. The international and regional community should provide technical cooperation and other means for this programme area. Specific activities of an international nature, in support of national efforts, should include the following:

(a) Increasing cooperative actions to reduce pollutants and trans-boundary impacts affecting the health of trees and forests and conservation of representative ecosystems;

(b) Coordinating regional and subregional research on carbon sequestration, air pollution and other environmental issues; (c) Documenting and exchanging information/experience for the benefit of countries with similar problems and prospects;

(d) Strengthening the coordination and improving the capacity and ability of intergovernmental organizations such as FAO, ITTO, UNEP and UNESCO to provide technical support for the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests, including support for the negotiation of the International Tropical Timber Agreement of 1983, due in 1992/93.

Means of implementation

(a) Financial and cost evaluation

11.17. The secretariat of the Conference has estimated the average total annual cost (1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about $10 billion, including about $3.7 billion from the international community on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order of magnitude estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon, inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

11.18. Data analysis, planning, research, transfer/development of technology and/or training activities form an integral part of the programme activities, providing the scientific and technological means of implementation. National institutions should:

(a) Develop feasibility studies and operational planning related to major forest activities;

(b) Develop and apply environmentally sound technology relevant to the various activities listed;

(c) Increase action related to genetic improvement and application of biotechnology for improving productivity and tolerance to environmental stress and including, for example, tree breeding, seed technology, seed procurement networks, germ-plasm banks, "in vitro" techniques, and in situ and ex situ conservation.

(c) Human resource development

11.19. Essential means for effectively implementing the activities include training and development of appropriate skills, working facilities and conditions, public motivation and awareness. Specific activities include:

(a) Providing specialized training in planning, management, environmental conservation, biotechnology etc; (b) Establishing demonstration areas to serve as models and training facilities;

(c) Supporting local organizations, communities, non-governmental organizations and private land owners, in particular women, youth, farmers and indigenous people/shifting cultivators, through extension and provision of inputs and training.

(d) Capacity-building

11.20. National Governments, the private sector, local organizations/communities, indigenous people, labour unions and non-governmental organizations should develop capacities, duly supported by relevant international organizations, to implement the programme activities. Such capacities should be developed and strengthened in harmony with the programme activities. Capacity-building activities include policy and legal frameworks, national institution building, human resource development, development of research and technology, development of infrastructure, enhancement of public awareness etc.

C. Promoting efficient utilization and assessment to recover the full valuation of the goods and services provided by forests, forest lands and woodlands

Basis for action

11.21. The vast potential of forests and forest lands as a major resource for development is not yet fully realized. The improved management of forests can increase the production of goods and services and, in particular, the yield of wood and non-wood forest products, thus helping to generate additional employment and income, additional value through processing and trade of forest products, increased contribution to foreign exchange earnings, and increased return on investment. Forest resources, being renewable, can be sustainably managed in a manner that is compatible with environmental conservation. The implications of the harvesting of forest resources for the other values of the forest should be taken fully into consideration in the development of forest policies. It is also possible to increase the value of forests through non-damaging uses such as eco-tourism and the managed supply of genetic materials. Concerted action is needed in order to increase people's perception of the value of forests and of the benefits they provide. The survival of forests and their continued contribution to human welfare depends to a great extent on succeeding in this endeavour.

Objectives

11.22. The objectives of this programme area are as follows:

(a) To improve recognition of the social, economic and ecological values of trees, forests and forest lands, including the consequences of the damage caused by the lack of forests; to promote methodologies with a view to incorporating social, economic and ecological values of trees, forests and forest lands into the national economic accounting systems; to ensure their sustainable management in a way that is consistent with land use, environmental considerations and development needs;

(b) To promote efficient, rational and sustainable utilization of all types of forests and vegetation inclusive of other related lands and forest-based resources, through the development of efficient forest-based processing industries, value-adding secondary processing and trade in forest products, based on sustainably managed forest resources and in accordance with plans that integrate all wood and non-wood values of forests;

(c) To promote more efficient and sustainable use of forests and trees for fuelwood and energy supplies;

(d) To promote more comprehensive use and economic contributions of forest areas by incorporating eco-tourism into forest management and planning.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

11.23. Governments, with the support of the private sector, scientific institutions, indigenous people, non-governmental organizations, cooperatives and entrepreneurs, where appropriate, should undertake the following activities, properly coordinated at the national level, with financial and technical cooperation from international organizations:

(a) Carrying out detailed investment studies, supply-demand harmonization and environmental impact analysis to rationalize and improve trees and forest utilization and to develop and establish appropriate incentive schemes and regulatory measures, including tenurial arrangements, to provide a favourable investment climate and promote better management;

(b) Formulating scientifically sound criteria and guidelines for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests;

(c) Improving environmentally sound methods and practices of forest harvesting, which are ecologically sound and economically viable, including planning and management, improved use of equipment, storage and transportation to reduce and, if possible, maximize the use of waste and improve value of both wood and non-wood forest products;

(d) Promoting the better use and development of natural forests and woodlands, including planted forests, wherever possible, through appropriate and environmentally sound and economically viable activities, including silvicultural practices and management of other plant and animal species;

(e) Promoting and supporting the downstream processing of forest products to increase retained value and other benefits;

(f) Promoting/popularizing non-wood forest products and other forms of forest resources, apart from fuelwood (e.g., medicinal plants, dyes, fibres, gums, resins, fodder, cultural products, rattan, bamboo) through programmes and social forestry/participatory forest activities, including research on their processing and uses;

(g) Developing, expanding and/or improving the effectiveness and efficiency of forest-based processing industries, both wood and non-wood based, involving such aspects as efficient conversion technology and improved sustainable utilization of harvesting and process residues; promoting underutilized species in natural forests through research, demonstration and commercialization; promoting value-adding secondary processing for improved employment, income and retained value; and promoting/improving markets for, and trade in, forest products through relevant institutions, policies and facilities;

(h) Promoting and supporting the management of wildlife, as well as eco-tourism, including farming, and encouraging and supporting the husbandry and cultivation of wild species, for improved rural income and employment, ensuring economic and social benefits without harmful ecological impacts;

(i) Promoting appropriate small-scale forest-based enterprises for supporting rural development and local entrepreneurship;

(j) Improving and promoting methodologies for a comprehensive assessment that will capture the full value of forests, with a view to including that value in the market-based pricing structure of wood and non-wood based products;

(k) Harmonizing sustainable development of forests with national development needs and trade policies that are compatible with the ecologically sound use of forest resources, using, for example, the ITTO Guidelines for Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests;

(l) Developing, adopting and strengthening national programmes for accounting the economic and non-economic value of forests.

(b) Data and information

11.24. The objectives and management-related activities presuppose data and information analysis, feasibility studies, market surveys and review of technological information. Some of the relevant activities include:

(a) Undertaking analysis of supply and demand for forest products and services, to ensure efficiency in their utilization, wherever necessary;

(b) Carrying out investment analysis and feasibility studies, including environmental impact assessment, for establishing forest-based processing enterprises;

(c) Conducting research on the properties of currently underutilized species for their promotion and commercialization;

(d) Supporting market surveys of forest products for trade promotion and intelligence;

(e) Facilitating the provision of adequate technological information as a measure to promote better utilization of forest resources.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

11.25. Cooperation and assistance of international organizations and the international community in technology transfer, specialization and promotion of fair terms of trade, without resorting to unilateral restrictions and/or bans on forest products contrary to GATT and other multilateral trade agreements, the application of appropriate market mechanisms and incentives will help in addressing global environmental concerns. Strengthening the coordination and performance of existing international organizations, in particular FAO, UNIDO, UNESCO, UNEP, ITC/UNCTAD/GATT, ITTO and ILO, for providing technical assistance and guidance in this programme area is another specific activity.

Means of implementation

(a) Financial and cost evaluation

11.26. The secretariat of the Conference has estimated the average total annual cost (1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about $18 billion, including about $880 million from the international community on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order of magnitude estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon, inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

11.27. The programme activities presuppose major research efforts and studies, as well as improvement of technology. This should be coordinated by national Governments, in collaboration with and supported by relevant international organizations and institutions. Some of the specific components include:

(a) Research on properties of wood and non-wood products and their uses, to promote improved utilization;

(b) Development and application of environmentally sound and less-polluting technology for forest utilization;

(c) Models and techniques of outlook analysis and development planning;

(d) Scientific investigations on the development and utilization of non-timber forest products;

(e) Appropriate methodologies to comprehensively assess the value of forests.

(c) Human resource development

11.28. The success and effectiveness of the programme area depends on the availability of skilled personnel. Specialized training is an important factor in this regard. New emphasis should be given to the incorporation of women. Human resource development for programme implementation, in quantitative and qualitative terms, should include:

(a) Developing required specialized skills to implement the programme, including establishing special training facilities at all levels;

(b) Introducing/strengthening refresher training courses, including fellowships and study tours, to update skills and technological know-how and improve productivity;

(c) Strengthening capability for research, planning, economic analysis, periodical evaluations and evaluation, relevant to improved utilization of forest resources;

(d) Promoting efficiency and capability of private and cooperative sectors through provision of facilities and incentives.

(d) Capacity-building

11.29. Capacity-building, including strengthening of existing capacity, is implicit in the programme activities. Improving administration, policy and plans, national institutions, human resources, research and scientific capabilities, technology development, and periodical evaluations and evaluation are important components of capacity-building.

D. Establishing and/or strengthening capacities for the planning, assessment and systematic observations of forests and related programmes, projects and activities, including commercial trade and processes

Basis for action

11.30. Assessment and systematic observations are essential components of long-term planning, for evaluating effects, quantitatively and qualitatively, and for rectifying inadequacies. This mechanism, however, is one of the often neglected aspects of forest resources, management, conservation and development. In many cases, even the basic information related to the area and type of forests, existing potential and volume of harvest is lacking. In many developing countries, there is a lack of structures and mechanisms to carry out these functions. There is an urgent need to rectify this situation for a better understanding of the role and importance of forests and to realistically plan for their effective conservation, management, regeneration, and sustainable development.

Objectives

11.31. The objectives of this programme area are as follows:

(a) To strengthen or establish systems for the assessment and systematic observations of forests and forest lands with a view to assessing the impacts of programmes, projects and activities on the quality and extent of forest resources, land available for afforestation, and land tenure, and to integrate the systems in a continuing process of research and in-depth analysis, while ensuring necessary modifications and improvements for planning and decision-making. Specific emphasis should be given to the participation of rural people in these processes;

(b) To provide economists, planners, decision makers and local communities with sound and adequate updated information on forests and forest land resources.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

11.32. Governments and institutions, in collaboration, where necessary, with appropriate international agencies and organizations, universities and non-governmental organizations, should undertake assessments and systematic observations of forests and related programmes and processes with a view to their continuous improvement. This should be linked to related activities of research and management and, wherever possible, be built upon existing systems. Major activities to be considered are:

(a) Assessing and carrying out systematic observations of the quantitative and qualitative situation and changes of forest cover and forest resources endowments, including land classification, land use and updates of its status, at the appropriate national level, and linking this activity, as appropriate, with planning as a basis for policy and programme formulation;

(b) Establishing national assessment and systematic observation systems and evaluation of programmes and processes, including establishment of definitions, standards, norms and intercalibration methods, and the capability for initiating corrective actions as well as improving the formulation and implementation of programmes and projects;

(c) Making estimates of impacts of activities affecting forestry developments and conservation proposals, in terms of key variables such as developmental goals, benefits and costs, contributions of forests to other sectors, community welfare, environmental conditions and biological diversity and their impacts at the local, regional and global levels, where appropriate, to assess the changing technological and financial needs of countries;

(d) Developing national systems of forest resource assessment and valuation, including necessary research and data analysis, which account for, where possible, the full range of wood and non-wood forest products and services, and incorporating results in plans and strategies and, where feasible, in national systems of accounts and planning;

(e) Establishing necessary intersectoral and programme linkages, including improved access to information, in order to support a holistic approach to planning and programming.

(b) Data and information

11.33. Reliable data and information are vital to this programme area. National Governments, in collaboration, where necessary, with relevant international organizations, should, as appropriate, undertake to improve data and information continuously and to ensure its exchange. Major activities to be considered are as follows:

(a) Collecting, consolidating and exchanging existing information and establishing baseline information on aspects relevant to this programme area;

(b) Harmonizing the methodologies for programmes involving data and information activities to ensure accuracy and consistency;

(c) Undertaking special surveys on, for example, land capability and suitability for afforestation action;

(d) Enhancing research support and improving access to and exchange of research results.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

11.34. The international community should extend to the Governments concerned necessary technical and financial support for implementing this programme area, including consideration of the following activities:

(a) Establishing conceptual framework and formulating acceptable criteria, norms and definitions for systematic observations and assessment of forest resources;

(b) Establishing and strengthening national institutional coordination mechanisms for forest assessment and systematic observation activities;

(c) Strengthening existing regional and global networks for the exchange of relevant information;

(d) Strengthening the capacity and ability and improving the performance of existing international organizations, such as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), FAO, ITTO, UNEP, UNESCO and UNIDO, to provide technical support and guidance in this programme area.

Means of implementation

(a) Financial and cost evaluation

11.35. The secretariat of the Conference has estimated the average total annual cost (1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about $750 million, including about $230 million from the international community on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order of magnitude estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon, inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for implementation.

11.36. Accelerating development consists of implementing the management-related and data/information activities cited above. Activities related to global environmental issues are those that will contribute to global information for assessing/evaluating/addressing environmental issues on a world-wide basis. Strengthening the capacity of international institutions consists of enhancing the technical staff and the executing capacity of several international organizations in order to meet the requirements of countries.

(b) Scientific and technological means

11.37. Assessment and systematic observation activities involve major research efforts, statistical modelling and technological innovation. These have been internalized into the management-related activities. The activities in turn will improve the technological and scientific content of assessment and periodical evaluations. Some of the specific scientific and technological components included under these activities are:

(a) Developing technical, ecological and economic methods and models related to periodical evaluations and evaluation;

(b) Developing data systems, data processing and statistical modelling;

(c) Remote sensing and ground surveys;

(d) Developing geographic information systems;

(e) Assessing and improving technology.

11.38. These are to be linked and harmonized with similar activities and components in the other programme areas.

(c) Human resource development

11.39. The programme activities foresee the need and include provision for human resource development in terms of specialization (e.g., the use of remote-sensing, mapping and statistical modelling), training, technology transfer, fellowships and field demonstrations.

(d) Capacity-building

11.40. National Governments, in collaboration with appropriate international organizations and institutions, should develop the necessary capacity for implementing this programme area. This should be harmonized with capacity-building for other programme areas. Capacity-building should cover such aspects as policies, public administration, national-level institutions, human resource and skill development, research capability, technology development, information systems, programme evaluation, intersectoral coordination and international cooperation.

(e) Funding of international and regional cooperation.

11.41. The secretariat of the Conference has estimated the average total annual cost (1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about $750 million, including about $530 million from the international community on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order of magnitude estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon, inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for implementation.

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