The third day of 18th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF18) addressed the always tricky issue of financial and technical resources for forests, including the possibility of greater tapping of the carbon market. The session also discussed advances in monitoring, assessment and reporting (MAR), including the refinement of a global core set (GCS) of forest indicators.
Regarding means of implementation, the session discussed progress involving the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) activities and clearinghouse initiation. Much of the debate focused on the proposed GFFFN office in Beijing, China, with many members posing questions and expressing concerns about the transparency of the process of setting up the office, the delegation of tasks between the UNFF Secretariat and the office, its funding sources and its name. UNFF Secretariat Director Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo tried to answer these concerns. She was asked to include the answers in writing as an attachment to the Chair’s summary of UNFF18.
Some delegations supported the idea of a technology facilitation mechanism, but others argued that this would go beyond UNFF’s mandate and instead suggested asking the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to assess current mechanisms and whether any more are required.
A private sector expert presented on tapping carbon markets for forests, arguing that the basic tools for effectively doing so already exist and just require standardization of methodologies, and digital monitoring, reporting and verification that is open and transparent.
On MAR, delegates discussed follow-up on the GCS and the revised format for voluntary national reporting, whether a new flagship publication should be initiated, preparations for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN’s (FAO) 2025 Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA), and alignment of UNFF reporting cycles with the FRA. They also considered the terms of reference for a new advisory group on reporting to advise the Secretariat on work in this area.