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International Tropical Timber Council: Thirty-Fifth
| 3 - 8 November
Saturday, 8 November
Saturday, ITTC-35 held its closing Plenary, in which the Council
heard reports from Committees, elected new chairs and listened
to closing statements. In
his closing statement, Chair Bin Che Freezailah (above) expressed
hope and optimism for the future of the ITTO, noting that
the organization is on the right rack for the future. He underlined
that despite the ITTO's successes in terms of, among other
things, implementing SFM and establishing C&I, there is still
considerable work to be done, noting the issues of tropical
deforestation, low levels of certification of tropical forests,
poverty, and trade barriers. Freezailah emphasized the needs
to balance the rights and responsibilities of consumer and
producer country members, to improve the flow of administrative
budget and voluntary contributions, and for countries to work
together to address illegal logging and trade issues. He said
the ITTO has demonstrated its ability and resilience like
a deep-rooted tree that can withstand the weather.
to Chair Bin Che Bin Che Freezailah). Photo:
ITTC-35 Vice-Chair and ITTC-36 Chair Jan McAlpine and ITTC-35
Chair Bin Che Freezailah after being presented with a gavel
made of tropical timber
Filho, ITTO Executive Director, and ITTC-35
Chair Bin Che Freezailah.
McAlpine presents a gavel made of tropical timber to Chair
Freezailah (Listen to her statement).
McAlpine (US) and Alhassan Attah (Ghana) were elected Chair and
Vice-Chair of ITTC-36, respectively.
(left) and CFI Vice-Chair Bergquist presented, and delegates
noted, the CEM/CFI's report on its thirty-third session (CEM-CFI(XXXIII)/7).
Chair Kaya announced that Renzo Siliva (Venezuela) was the elected
Vice-Chair of the CEM for 2004.
Chair Ellis (right) presented, and delegates noted, the CFA's
report on its fourteenth session (CFA (XIV)/6) and announced
that Shaharuddin Mohamad Ismail (Malaysia) was the elected Vice-Chair
of the CFA for 2004 . Chris Ellis and David Brooks of the US
Bun, Foundation for People and Community Development, on behalf
of the Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG), underscored
the group's aim to provide an opportunity for local voices and
experiences to be heard and to encourage the Council to take
steps to better reflect the interests and aspirations of civil
society. Bun outlined two key shifts in the tropical forest
landscape since the negotiation of the 1994 agreement: a significant
transfer in forest ownership to indigenous and other communities;
and a shift in trade and finance to community-controlled ecosystem
services and non-timber forest products. Regarding the negotiations
of a successor agreement, he recommended: the shaping of forest
trade so that it contributes to producer country goals of economically,
socially, and environmentally sustainable development; the increasing
of the roles of indigenous and other communities; the tracking
of changes in tropical forest tenure arrangements; the assessment
of economic efficiency of community producers and the obstacles
they face; and the development of mechanisms to facilitate information
exchange and capacity building of community entrepreneurs.
Group Spokesperson Luiz Cesar Gasser noted that it had been
an intense meeting and thanked the Chair for his able leadership.
Group Spokesperson Aulikki Kauppila (Finland) said ITTC-35
had been very constructive, notably through agreeing on the Biennial
Work Programme. She suggested avoiding simultaneous meetings of
committees at subsequent ITTC sessions, and called for emphasis
on: the establishment of regional offices; forest law enforcement;
market access issues; capacity building; timely assessments of
financial matters; and data collection.
the youngest ITTO member, Nigeria expressed its gratitude for
being admitted this year.
highlighted the importance of addressing illegal trade and logging
through collaborative efforts and noted its government's efforts
to combat these issues. Japan commended
the ITTO for its contribution to timber trade development. Stressing
the importance of cooperation between consumers and producers,
he encouraged member countries to work cooperatively and flexibly
at the PrepCom and next year's formal negotiations. Japan also
extended its continued support to ITTO.
Enerunga, Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation,
Water and Forests, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
outlined the extent of natural forests in his country, noting,
however, that the forestry sector makes only a minor contribution
to the economy. He said that the DRC is committed to improving
its forestry sector and that significant reforms in forest
governance are underway, focusing on: equitable land distribution
based on development, conservation and forestry objectives;
a moratorium on new allocations of forest concessions until
reforms are completed; tax reforms; and revision of existing
forestry contracts to comply with the DRC's new forestry code.
He also noted that the DRC plans to increase the amount of
its forest-protected areas to 15% of the total national area.
Enerunga recommended, inter alia, the use of remote sensing
tools to support the conservation of protected areas, encouragement
of SFM, and international support.
(left) emphasized cooperation and partnership; The
EU (right) highlighted the adoption of the Biennial Work Programme
and expressed confidence in cooperative development of guidelines
for its implementation. He stressed the importance of implementing
forestry laws, and said that initiatives such as certification
will serve to improve the ITTO's image and stimulate constructive
Drake, Canada (left) and Papua New Guinea (right).
ITTO website, with provisional
for the meeting, and information about the ITTO.
ENB summary from ITTC-34: (HTML, PDF,
ENB summary from ITTC-33: (HTML, PDF,
ENB summary from ITTC-32: (HTML, PDF,
desertification and land issues page, including a brief
introduction to global forest policy.