This decision has been retired.
FOREST BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITYThe Conference of the Parties
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 countries,
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 level,
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 biological diversity;
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 Diversity;
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.
AnnexWORK PROGRAMME FOR FOREST BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
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 forest-management systems;
(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 programme.
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 include:
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 therein.
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 approaches.
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 Article 8(j).
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 the Convention.
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 factors.
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 stakeholders.
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 forest management.
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 diversity.
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 diversity.
34. Improve dissemination of research results and synthesis of reports of the best available scientific and traditional knowledge on key forest biological diversity issues.
35. Case-studies on assessing impacts of fires and alien species on forest biological diversity and their influences on the management of forest ecosystems and savannahs.
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 diversity.
47. Methodologies to advance the elaboration and implementation of criteria and indicator frameworks and the improved capacity of countries to implement these frameworks.
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 Biological Diversity.
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 forests;
(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.
1. See background document for the Intergovernmental Seminar on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, Helsinki, June 1996.
2. For example, the international seminar on research and information needs in international forest processes, to be held in Vienna in September 1998.