Highlights and images for 10 November 2020

The second day of the virtual Fifty-sixth Session of International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-56) and the Associated Sessions of its four Committees focused on two agenda items: a possible extension of the current treaty governing the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and a progress report on implementation of ITTO’s New Financial Architecture (NFA) and related fundraising and collaboration efforts.

The discussion on the possible extension of the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA), 2006 began with a presentation by the Secretariat on the procedures for either extending or renegotiating the ITTA, 2006. She pointed out that a decision could be taken by consensus or special majority vote, but in either case it must be done well before the Agreement expires on 6 December 2021 to properly notify the Agreement’s depository, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In the ensuing discussion, the spokespersons for Producers and Consumers and Member States intervening supported extending the Agreement for another five years, but indicated they needed time to complete domestic and legal consultations before they could formally agree on such a decision.

On the NFA, ITTO Executive Director Gerhard Dieterle briefed the Council on fundraising efforts in 2019 and 2020 under ITTO’s new programmatic approach, proposals pending with various agencies for another USD 40 million, and the status of work to meet the ITTC-55 mandates for the implementation of the NFA pilot phase. He outlined ITTO engagement with the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund about possible funding and accreditation as an implementing or executing agency. He also described efforts to negotiate memoranda of understanding with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and stepped up cooperation with the members of the UN Collaborative Partnership on Forests.