033_Global13_Insight_Forestry

Global 13

Global InsightSustainable Forestry competing land-uses that could yield higher returns. For develop- ing tropical countries, trade can be a powerful form of self-help and effort, and is a far more honourable option to development than assistance and aid provided by donors. Although expanding, the international trade in tropical timber is still a relatively small portion of production. It is imperative that tropical timber products and services are produced and traded in a manner that is supportive of SFM and will not adversely affect the inherent values, functions and productivity of tropical forests as well as the physical and social conditions of the environment. Fully implementing this agenda is fraught with a host of prob- lems, constraints and challenges. There are formidable gaps in commitment, prioritisation, human and institutional capac- ity, knowledge, skills, technology and financing that have to be bridged. Addressing these problems and challenges has been – and continues to be – an integral part of the mission of ITTO. What is ITTO doing to help developing countries improve their sustainable forest management? Many developing countries with substantial tropical timber resources still lack effective capacity for sustainable forest ecosystem management. In ITTO’s latest survey, conducted in 2010, some progress was noted, with the area of tropical per- manent forest estates (PFE) sustainably managed expanding to 53 million hectares, which was less than 10 percent of the total area of PFE. The total area of tropical PFE certified also in- creased to 17 million hectares, also less than 10 percent of the achievement considering that virtually all tropical forests are in Credit: © IUCN Daniel Shaw- global certified forest area. Albeit at a marginal rate, the con tinuing improving trend can still be regarded as a commendable developing countries facing pressing challenges and constraints to development. Requirements for the sustainable management of natural tropical forests are far more complex and demanding than non-tropical forests, and sustainable management of natu- ITTO seeks to increase tropical forest management capacity ral tropical forest management is far less attractive in terms of financial returns vis-à-vis other land uses. ITTO is determined SFM, including social and environmental safeguards; and assist- and fully committed to redoubling its effort in assisting its trop- ing member countries to implement mechanisms for payment of ical member countries to further enhance their capability and environmental services in support of SFM. capacity in managing tropical forests on a sustainable basis in Continued implementation of the ITTO Thematic Programme the years ahead. on Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Environmental Services in Tropical Forests (REDDES) will con- Does ITTO have the mandate and resources to monitor cases of tribute to accomplishing this strategic priority. The objectives of forest degradation or poor ecosystem management? What can it REDDES are to strengthen capacity to reduce forest degradation do to address these issues? and unplanned deforestation, maintain and enhance environmental Reducing forest degradation has been included in the ITTO’s Stra- services of forests, contribute to social and economic sustainability tegic Priorities and Actions under the ITTO Strategic Action Plan through forest restoration, rehabilitation and payments for environ- 2013–2018, adopted by the International Tropical Timber Council mental services, and enhance the adaptation and resilience of tropi- (ITTC) in November 2012. Efforts to reduce deforestation and for- cal forests to climate change. est degradation in developing countries and enhance the provision The recently updated ITTO/IUCN International Union for Con- of environmental services of forests will be taken to address the servation of Nature Guidelines for the Conservation and Sustain- main concerns raised in international climate change negotiations able Use of Biodiversity in Tropical Timber Production Forests and during the process of national policy development in many represent another specific tool to help secure valuable environ- tropical countries. The importance of tropical forests in helping to mental services. Close cooperation between ITTO and IUCN in mitigate the consequences of global climate change is now well developing manuals for restoring forest landscapes and in training established. stakeholders has proved to be highly useful and can be continued Examples of specific actions to accomplish this strategic prior- through a programmatic approach under REDDES. The recent ex- ity through the latest ITTO Biennial Work Programme and project post evaluation of five ITTO projects in the field of rehabilitation work include: assisting ITTO members to gain access to sources and management of degraded and secondary forests has shown that of financing for REDD+ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation valuable lessons have already been gained through ITTO-funded and Degradation; assisting members in developing capacity for projects, and that there is an opportunity to scale up the organisa- monitoring, reporting and verification of REDD+ in the context of tion’s activities in this area. globalfirst quarter 2013 www.global-briefing.org l33


Global 13
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