HTML _ 95-960 - International Forestry Agreements: Current Status
11-Sep-1995; Susan Fletcher; 8 p.

Abstract: Over the past decade, there has been extensive public concern about loss of forests around the world. Attention to the rapid rate of tropical deforestation accelerated during the late 1980's as concern about global climate change emerged; at the time, the extensive burning of forests in Brazil (and the consequent release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere) was a major concern. There has been a proliferation of programs and declarations dealing with forests, including documents emerging from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, popularly known as the Earth Summit). At the Earth Summit, the United States was among the nations actively seeking a global treaty on sustainable forest management, although the documents emerging from the Earth Summit on forests are non-binding. The rates of deforestation and decline in forest health remain high, and forests are regarded as one of the most significant unresolved issues following the Earth Summit. Generally, governments are currently split between those who continue to seek a global agreement on forests, and those who seek a regional approach. However, most nations recognize a need to formulate effective policies for ¨sustainable management¨ of forests. Currently, a major focus of attention is the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which established in April 1995 an Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests to conduct studies and report in 1997 with recommendations in several areas. This panel is likely to be the focal point for resolving major forest issues over the next two years. While the CSD panel is the major focus, however, a large number of other actions are underway. This report summarizes the current status of some of the major ongoing efforts to deal with forest issues directly, including the CSD panel, the Forest Principles and Agenda 21 chapter on forests from UNCED, the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development, and the Forest Stewardship Council. It does not discuss other international agreements that focus on other issues but are relevant to forests, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Climate Change Convention. [read report]

Topics: Forests, International, International Finance

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