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20 May 

21 May 


Preparatory Committee for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA), 1994 (PREPCOM1)
20 - 21 May 2003 Panama City, Panama 

Highlights for

Wednesday, 21 May 2003



Delegates to the First session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom I) for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1994 (ITTA, 1994) convened in Plenary and working groups. Working Group I (WG-I) and Working Group II (WG-II) considered proposals on the Preamble of the Agreement. The Plenary addressed proposals on Article 1 (Objectives) of the Agreement, and heard closing statements. Above photo: Vice Chair Carlos Antonio Paranhos, Chair Jürgen Blaser and ITTO Executive Director Manoel Sobral Filho    

Working Group I

Japan urged minimal modifications to the preamble and stressed the need to retain the first preambular paragraph, which sets the historical context.

The US suggested new preambular text recognizing that forests provide economic, social, and environmental goods and services, including to local communities, indigenous people, and forest dependent communities, and that forests contribute to sustainable development and other sectors.

Indonesia suggested a preambular reference to the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), and cautioned against referencing too many issues in the preamble, including issues that may broaden the Agreement's scope.

Norway supported preambular references to the WTO Doha Round, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and the Millennium Development Goals.

The EC insisted that illegal logging be mentioned in either the preamble or the objectives or both. He recommended retaining the paragraph containing a commitment to achieve the sustainable management of forests by 2000.

Regarding a paragraph that recognizes the importance of timber to the economies of countries with timber-producing forests,
Malaysia proposed reference to non-wood forest products. Malaysia also called for preambular reference to certification and the need for further processing and value added.

Working Group II

SWITZERLAND emphasized that preambular reference to other processes should avoid duplication and seek mutual supportiveness. He also proposed that should the successor agreement contain a mission statement it should constitute Article 1 and that the objectives should fall within the ambit of Article 2.

The US said paragraph 3 of the preamble could include reference to WSSD and that the UNFF and CPF should be given separate mention in a preambular paragraph 3bis.

suggested adding references to the Rio Summit and WSSD in paragraph 4 of the preamble. He also said reference to C&I could be included in preambular paragraph 5, but opposed reference to ecosystem management.

suggested that preambular paragraph 4 could include reference to non-forest timber products as well as the social, environmental and economic values that derive from forests to the benefit of local communities.

Closing Plenary:

Aulikki Kauppila (Finland) Consumer Group Spokesperson, drew attention to the challenges facing the PrepCom and stressed the need for expediency in PrepCom future work.

Jean Williams Sollo
(Cameroon), Producer Group Spokesperson, said progress had been made in PrepCom I and congratulated the co-Chairs for their excellent work.

Raúl Pinedo (Panama), thanked ITTO for the opportunity to host ITTC-34 and PrepComI and reiterated his readiness to host future ITTO activities.

Chair Blaser
reviewed the work of the intersessional working group and the terms of reference for the study on experiences of the implementation of ITTA, 1994. After giving thanks to all the delegates, the ITTO Executive Director and his staff, and to Panama for its gracious hosting, Chair Blaser officially closed PrepCom I at 7:42pm.

ENB Snapshots:


ENB Summary of ITTC-33 in PDF (English)

ITTO website, with documents for the meeting (includes provisional agendas),
and information about the ITTO.

Linkages forests, desertification and land issues page, including a brief introduction
to global forest policy

UNFF Website

FAO Website 

Recent SD coverage on Forest:

4th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE)

UNFF Country Led Initiative

International Conference on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (CICI)

Trade and Sustainable Forest Management 


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