February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
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FROM VOLUME 12, NUMBER 1, JANUARY 1999
SPECIAL REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND WORKSHOPS...
International Workshop on Deforestation
Global Workshop on Addressing the Underlying Causes of Deforestation and
Forest Degradation was held Jan. 18-22, 1999, in San Jose, Costa Rica. The
130 participants from 40 countries to consider proposals from the
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) to act on the underlying causes
of deforestation. Working groups considered (1) the effects of trade and
consumption; (2) stakeholder participation and land tenure; (3) investment
policies, international aid, and financial flows; and (4) forest
valuation. The major proposals that came out of the working groups were:
- Increase awareness about the impacts on forests wrought by
production, consumption, and trade.
- Develop integrated national policies that promote sustainable
production and discourage unsustainable lifestyles and consumption.
- improve data collection and dissemination on production,
consumption, and trade in forest products.
- Develop better certification processes for forest products.
- Change the fundamental philosophy and framework of international
trade agreements so they promote environmental objectives, increase the
enforceability of human rights and environmental agreements, and balance
vested interests with those of other parts of civil society.
- Ensure the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities
in national and international negotiations.
- Collect and systematize traditional knowledge on sustainable
natural-resource management and establish technical- assistance centers
for indigenous peoples and local communities.
- Ensure consideration of social, cultural, and environmental impacts
prior to the approval of all economic activities in forests.
- Guarantee stakeholders equitable participation in decision-making.
- Link implementation with monitoring and adaptation.
- Require social and environmental impact assessments for investments
- Develop a U.N. forest-keeping mechanism.
- Develop corporate-accountability mechanisms.
- Adopt bank policies that forbid investment in or subsidization of
corporations that exploit natural and indigenous forests.
- Secure space for civil society in World Trade Organisation
- Establish independent review panels to monitor national, regional,
and international legal instruments.
- Support transparency and accountability.
- Increase access to decision-makers.
- Strengthen forest-related law enforcement.
- Improve the transparency of International Monetary Fund (IMF)
operations and promote the long-term sustainability of IMF
- Give environmental and social goals equal status with economic
- Encourage the major industrialized countries (the G-8) to pressure
multilateral development banks, particularly the Asian Development Bank
and its donor governments, to ensure sustainable forest management.
- Explore the role of debt service in contributing to deforestation.
- Encourage the U.N. Development Programme to broaden its support of
- Strengthen cross-sectoral coherence in policies and initiatives that
- Change the Food and Agriculture Organisation definitions on forests
to eliminate discrimination between developed and developing countries
and to incorporate the ecosystem approach and measurements of forest
- Establish an international research program to assess all forest
goods, services and values.
- Create a separate research programme on traditional forest-related
- Develop criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management
that include ecological, economic, social, and cultural criteria useful
for decision making.
- Develop national forest plans that include reserves, community
forestry projects, forest restoration, and sustainable forest management
criteria and indicators to guide development and implementation, along
with legal and economic instruments to protect biodiversity.
- Conduct comparative studies on national legislation that affects
forest biodiversity to improve legislation.
- Perform social and environmental impact assessments prior to
The Report of the Global Workshop, consisting of a compilation
of the objectives, actions, and actors identified by the working groups,
was submitted to the Intergovernmental Task Force on Forests and the
United Nations Environment Programme for presentation to the U.N.
Secretary-General and to other parties that have an interest in the
deforestation process, such as the World Bank.
This workshop will be followed by regional consultations and a final
meeting in Canada in the year 2000. A comprehensive summary of this
meeting is available at
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Index of Abbreviations