Recalling decision III/12 of the third meeting of the Conference of
the Parties, and recommendations II/1, II/8 and III/3 of the Subsidiary Body on
Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice,
Having considered the report of the Executive Secretary on the draft
programme of work for forest biological diversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/7),
Taking note of views expressed by the Parties and countries on the
development of the work programme, as contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/4/Inf.11,
Noting that the development and implementation of national measures
that enhance the integration of the conservation and sustainable use of forest
biological diversity into national forest and land-use programmes and
forest-management systems is an important task for both developed and developing
Looking forward to the outcomes of forthcoming work under the
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), including the global workshop on
underlying causes of deforestation, to be hosted by the Government of Costa Rica
in January 1999,
Reaffirming that the proposals for action contained in the final
report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF), in particular those
related to national forest and land-use programmes, and the objectives of the
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests, provide a good basis for the implementation
of key provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national
Noting that decision IV/13 gives further guidance to the Global
Environment Facility (GEF) with regard to forest biological diversity,
1. Decides to endorse the work programme for forest biological
diversity as contained in the annex to the present decision;
2. Urges Parties, countries, international and regional organizations,
major groups and other relevant bodies to collaborate in carrying out the tasks
identified in the work programme;
3. Calls upon Parties and countries to integrate forest biological
diversity considerations in their participation and collaboration with
organizations, institutions and conventions affecting or working with forest
4. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FAO) to further integrate forest biological diversity into ongoing work with
the Global Forest Resources Assessment;
5. Urges Parties and countries and international financial
institutions, including the Global Environment Facility, to give high priority
to the allocation of resources to activities that advance the objectives of the
Convention in respect of forest biological diversity;
6. Calls upon the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to provide
financial support, in accordance with Article 7 of the Convention, for
activities and capacity-building for the implementation of the work programme
for forest biological diversity and the use of the clearing-house mechanism,
particularly for activities to halt and mitigate deforestation effects, basic
assessments and monitoring of forest biological diversity, including taxonomic
studies and inventories, focusing on forest species, other important components
of forest biological diversity and ecosystems under threat;
7. Invites Parties, when requesting assistance through the financial
mechanism, to propose projects that are being fully consistent with previous
guidance of the Conference of the Parties and promote the implementation of the
focused work programme on forest biological diversity;
8. Requests the financial mechanism of the Convention to consider the
operational objectives of the programme of work as a guidance for funding in the
field of forest biological diversity and strongly encourages the Global
Environment Facility to assist in the implementation of the programme of work at
the national, regional and subregional level;
9. Notes the potential impact of afforestation, reforestation, forest
degradation and deforestation on forest biological diversity and on other
ecosystems, and, accordingly, requests the Executive Secretary to liaise
and cooperate with the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change and the Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification
in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
particularly in Africa to achieve the objectives of the Convention on Biological
10. Requests the Executive Secretary to compile a synthesized report
on the information on forest biological diversity made available to the
Conference of the Parties, particularly national reports;
11. Requests the Executive Secretary, in implementing the work
programme on forest biological diversity to actively continue collaborating and
cooperating with the secretariat of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests and
relevant institutions and to inform the Conference of the Parties thereon;
12. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and
Technological Advice, in accordance with its mandate, to provide advice on the
status and trends of forest biological diversity and the identification of
options for the conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity
to the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting;
13. Requests the Executive Secretary to transmit this decision to the
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests at its second meeting, to the Conference of
the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at its
fourth meeting and to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Desertification at its second meeting.
UNDER THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
1. In accordance with decision III/12 of the Conference of the Parties, this
work programme on forest biological diversity focuses on the research,
co-operation and development of technologies necessary for the conservation and
sustainable use of forest biological diversity of all types of forests in the
programme elements and priority areas already identified.
2. The work programme is based on recommendation III/3 of Subsidiary Body on
Scientific Technical and Technological Advice and incorporates the views and
interests expressed by Parties and countries. The work programme is
action-oriented, demand-driven, needs-driven and flexible enough to reflect and
respond to changing conditions, including but not limited to, the outcome of and
the priorities to be identified by the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF).
The work programme also reflects the varied needs and circumstances of Parties,
indicating that inclusion of an activity in the work programme does not
necessarily imply full participation in that activity by all Parties. In
carrying out work under the identified programme elements, Parties should recall
the further research priorities listed in recommendation II/8 of the Subsidiary
Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice.
3. The objectives of the programme of work are:
(a) To enhance Parties' abilities to realize the objectives of the Convention
through improved implementation, by encouraging and assisting Parties to develop
measures for enhancing the integration of conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity into their national forest and landuse programmes and
(b) To facilitate the implementation of the objectives of the Convention on
Biological Diversity based on the ecosystem approach;
(c) To provide an effective and complementary tool to national forest and
land-use programmes for the implementation of the Convention on Biological
Diversity at the national level;
(d) To identify traditional forest systems of conservation and sustainable
use of forest biological diversity and to promote the wider application, use and
role of traditional forest-related knowledge in sustainable forest management
and the equitable sharing of benefits, in accordance with Article 8(j) and other
related provisions of the Convention;
(e) To identify mechanisms that facilitate the financing of activities for
the conservation, incorporation of traditional knowledge and sustainable use of
forest biological diversity, taking into account that activities should be
complementary to, and should not duplicate, existing efforts;
(f) To contribute to ongoing work in other international and regional
organizations and processes, in particular to the implementation of the
proposals for action of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and to provide
input to IFF;
(g) To contribute to the access to and transfer of technology in accordance
to Article 16 of the Convention; and
(h) To identify the contribution of networks of protected areas to the
conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity.
4. The programme of work reflects a rolling three-year planning horizon in
three phases, on the assumption that, in its consideration, the Conference of
the Parties will identify a rolling longer-term programme of work.
C. Review and planning process
5. Each phase of the work programme should be subject to periodic review and
the development of the work programme, including work in its future phases,
should take into consideration recommendations made by the Subsidiary Body on
Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice. The phases and outputs should
take into account the timeframes and work of IFF.
6. Interim reports after each three-year phase to provide the Conference of
the Parties with information on progress made in the implementation of the work
D. Ways and means
7. In its recommendation III/3, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical
and Technological Advice identified the following ways and means for carrying
out the work programme: workshops, regional meetings, the clearinghouse
mechanism, scientific meetings and case-studies. Other feasible ways and means
a. National mechanisms and pilot projects;
(b) Peer-review mechanisms, including networks of experts or liaison groups
and inter-agency task force groups, relying to the extent possible on existing
electronic communication systems;
(c) Use of national and international data and meta-databases, especially in
the national and regional monitoring of forest biological diversity;
(d) Bearing in mind Articles 16 and 17 of the Convention, use of remotesensing
technologies to assist Parties to assess changes in their forest biological
diversity, as well as to enhance their ability to report on certain aspects of
criteria and indicators frameworks.
E. Collaborative efforts
8. The work programme should support and enhance cooperation on the
conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity at all levels,
ranging from community to inter-organization level, nationally and
internationally. At all levels the work programme should be developed and
implemented with relevant stakeholders, recognizing that the most important part
of work is action at the national level.
9. In the context of this work programme, collaboration should be
strengthened in particular with the Convention to Combat Desertification in
Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
particularly in Africa and with the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change, in order to advance the effective implementation of the
Convention on Biological Diversity.
II. WORK PROGRAMME
Elements of the proposed work programme
10. The work programme elaborates, as follows, the elements for inclusion
1. Holistic and inter-sectoral ecosystem approaches that integrate the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking account of
social and cultural and economic considerations
11. The IPF proposal for action 17 encourages countries to develop,
implement, monitor and evaluate national forest programmes, which include a wide
range of approaches for sustainable forest management, including ecosystem
approaches that integrate the conservation of biological diversity and the
sustainable use of biological diversity.
12. Synthesize existing knowledge of holistic and inter-sectoral approaches
that enhance the integration of forest biological diversity conservation into
sustainable forest management, examine how such integration can be better
achieved, and assist in identifying priority research areas in relation to these
13. Examination of methodologies for enhancing the integration of forest
biological diversity conservation and sustainable use into an holistic approach
to sustainable forest management.
14. Development of methodologies to advance the integration of traditional
forestrelated knowledge into sustainable forest management, in accordance with
15. Cooperation on the conservation and sustainable use of forest biological
resources at all levels, ranging from community to interorganization level, at
the national and international levels in accordance with Articles 5 and 16 on
16. Case-studies from countries in which the ecosystem approach has been
applied in sustainable forest management practices, including arid and semiarid
areas. This could assist other countries in developing their own national
actions and approaches under this work programme.
17. Sharing of relevant technical and scientific information on networks at
all levels of protected forest areas and networking modalities, taking into
account existing national, regional and international networks and structures,
in all types of forest ecosystems.
18. Clearing-House mechanism, national pilot projects, the Convention on
Biological Diversity participating in Inter-Agency Task Force on Forests (ITFF)
and in the meetings of IFF to actively encourage countries to implement national
forest programmes that encompass an ecosystem approach which ensures the
maintenance of forest biological diversity values, while also taking into
account social, cultural and economic considerations.
19. Consideration of the UNEP guidelines and the FAO document entitled
"Basic principles and operational guidelines for the formulation, execution
and revision of national forestry programmes" for the preparation of
country studies of biological diversity.
20. The integration of social, cultural and economic considerations into the
conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity will bring the
concept close to sustainable forest management. The issue should also be dealt
with thoroughly in other forums, mainly within the work under IFF.
21. A better understanding of the ecosystem approach as it relates to forest
biological diversity, and an elaboration of the linkages to other work under the
Convention, including the incorporation of Article 8(j).
22. Guidance of the Convention on Biological Diversity to IFF and other
relevant forums and conventions.
23. Cooperation among Parties and with organizations and conventions.
24. A better understanding of the complexity and interdependencies of
biological communities and their dependencies on the abiotic site-specific
25. Methodologies to help ensure that forest plans and practices reflect the
social, cultural and economic values of forests as well as the views of forest
26. Identification of general guidelines or methodologies to help ensure that
forest plans and practices reflect biological diversity conservation
considerations, as well as social, cultural and economic factors.
27. Clarification of the links between the ecosystem approach and sustainable
Development of technologies
28. Promote activities to support the development of techniques and means for
the effective conservation and sustainable use of biological resources, in
particular, full support for technology transfer from developed to developing
countries, in accordance with Article 16 of the Convention.
2. Comprehensive analysis of the ways in which human activities, in
particular forest-management practices, influence biological diversity and
assessment of ways to minimize or mitigate negative influences
29. Promote activities for an enhanced understanding of positive and negative
human influences on forest ecosystems by land-use managers, policy makers,
scientists and all other relevant stakeholders.
30. Promote activities to assemble management experiences and scientific,
indigenous and local information at the national and local levels to provide for
the sharing of approaches and tools that lead to improved forest practices with
regard to forest biological diversity.
31. Promote activities with the aim of providing options to minimize or
mitigate negative and to promote positive human influences on forest biological
32. Promote activities to minimize the impact of harmful alien species on
forest biological diversity, particularly in small island developing States.
33. Identification of means and mechanisms to improve the identification and
prioritization of research activities related to the influences of human
activities, in particular forest management practices, on forest biological
34. Improve dissemination of research results and synthesis of reports of the
best available scientific and traditional knowledge on key forest biological
35. Case-studies on assessing impacts of fires and alien species on forest
biological diversity and their influences on the management of forest ecosystems
36. Regional workshops and/or liaison meetings that bring together experts in
sustainable forest management, sustainable use and science from the forest
sector and, if necessary, representatives from other relevant sectors, with
experts on biological diversity, bearing in mind the IPF proposal for action
contained in paragraph 94 of the report on its fourth session.
37. The sharing of forest and land-use guidelines, for example, through the
clearing-house mechanism, to ensure the fuller integration of genetic, species
and habitat diversity into sustainable forest management systems.
38. Analysis of human impacts on forest ecosystems, as well as an enhanced
ability to prioritise research needs and apply results and an enhanced
understanding of the role of traditional knowledge in ecosystem management to
minimize or mitigate negative influences, and to promote the positive effects.
39. Expansion of research capacity to develop and assess options
incorporating the applications of traditional knowledge to minimize or mitigate
negative influences, and to promote the positive effects.
3. Methodologies necessary to advance the elaboration and
implementation of criteria and indicators for forest biological diversity
40. Foster activities to determine and advance the methodology for
elaborating and implementing the criteria and indicators of forest biological
diversity. These activities could supplement work that has already been
developed. In this regard, coordination with IFF, and drawing upon existing and
ongoing work at the national, regional and international levels, is recognized
as an important approach.
41. Foster activities to determine criteria and indicators for the
conservation and sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits
arising out of utilization of resources of forest biological diversity and to
advance methodology for integrating these criteria and indicators into existing
criteria and indicators processes.
42. The work related to indicators of forest biological diversity could also
imply the need for an inventory to assess current status and trends in forest
biological diversity, at the local and national level based on repeated measures
of the selected indicators. The work under this programme element could also
include, inter alia, capacity-building on taxonomy and inventories,
taking note of the work under the Global Taxonomy Initiative.
43. Assessment of experiences gained in the national and regional processes,
identifying common elements and gaps in the existing initiatives and improving
the indicators for forest biological diversity.
44. Taxonomic studies and inventories at the national level which provide for
a basic assessment of forest biological diversity.
45. Collaboration with national institutions and relevant bodies and in
coordination with the work on the general development of methods for
implementing Article 7 under the Convention. Collaboration with ITFF member
agencies; cooperating with and complementing existing criteria and indicators
initiatives for sustainable forest management, including regional initiatives to
develop appropriate criteria and indicators, such as the Helsinki process for
boreal, temperate and Mediterranean-type forests in Europe; the Montreal process
for temperate and boreal forests outside Europe; the Tarapoto proposal for the
Amazon forest; the UNEP/FAOinitiated processes for dry-zone Africa and the
Near East in arid and semiarid areas; and the "Lepaterique" process
for Central America initiated by FAO and the Central American Commission for
Environment and Development (CCAD)1.
46. Review of specific indicators of forest biological diversity that have
been derived by the major ongoing international processes related to sustainable
forest management. The prioritization of related activities should consider the
development of indicators that are capable of providing the most useful
information on national or regional status and trends of forest biological
47. Methodologies to advance the elaboration and implementation of criteria
and indicator frameworks and the improved capacity of countries to implement
48. Contribution to the national and regional initiatives in the development
of indicators under the criteria for forest biological diversity.
4. Further research and technological priorities identified in the
recommendation II/8 of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and
Technological Advice as well as issues identified in the review and planning
process under the work programme
49. Included under this element is a series of specific research and
technological priorities initially identified under recommendation II/8 of the
Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice. These
represent important issues brought forward into the Convention from the IPF
proposals for action. These priorities are among the issues to be discussed by
IFF at its scheduled meetings in 1998 and 1999 and within the inter-sessional
meetings of the IFF2, as part of its attempt to identify and define global and
regional research priorities for forests, taking into account national
priorities. It is essential that the Convention on Biological Diversity
coordinates with IFF in order to enhance synergy on these issues as they
intersect with the programme of work for forests under the Convention on
50. Following input from IFF on these priorities, the Conference of the
Parties may wish to consider incorporating them in phases 2 and 3 of this work
programme. When additional scientific and technological priorities are
identified, they can similarly be incorporated in the periodic planning
activities and reviews of the work programme.
Analysing measures for minimizing or mitigating the underlying causes
of forest biological diversity loss
51. Besides unsustainable forest-management practices, there are other causes
for the loss of forest biological diversity in forest ecosystems, such as
habitat transformation, harmful alien species, pollution, erosion, uncontrolled
forest fires and poverty. There is a need for a better understanding of the
underlying social, cultural and economic causes of forest biological diversity
loss and the improvement of measures for mitigating those causes.
Assessing ecological landscape models, the integration of protected
areas in the ecosystem approach to sustainable forest management and the
representativeness and adequacy of protected areas networks
52. Conserving the biological diversity of forests should be carried out both
by establishing protected areas and by taking into account biological diversity
conservation in all types of forests outside the protected areas, taking into
account plantation forests. The outcome of this programme element would include
the further development of methods to integrate protected areas into sustainable
forest management and analysis of the representativeness and adequacy of the
protected areas networks.
53. Reducing gaps in knowledge in the areas of fragmentation of habitats and
population viability, to include mitigation options such as ecological corridors
and buffer zones.
54. The work should also contribute to the preparation of the discussions of
the Conference of the Parties on in situ conservation.
Advancing scientific and technical approaches
55. Promoting the development of scientific and technical local approaches to:
(a) Conserve and sustainably manage biological diversity in production
(b) Rehabilitate degraded and deforested ecosystems as appropriate;
(c) Enrich indigenous biological diversity in forest plantations.
56. Developing assessment and valuation methodologies for the multiple
benefits derived from forest biological diversity.