Rio Summit failed to reach a legally binding agreement (UN
forests, choosing instead to adopt set of guidelines, known
as the Forest Principles The Forest Principles document did
not reach full convention status. Instead it is a "non-legally
binding authoritative statement of principles for a global
consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable
development of all types of forests".
Forests get a mention in Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 "Combatting
The debate on forests initiated prior to and during UNCED
continued with increasing intensity after the Earth Summit.
Governments engaged in a series of national, bi-lateral and
global initiatives; the UN agencies established special interagency
arrangements for co-operation on forests and forestry issues;
and NGOs, the private sector and other major groups engaged
in activities related to sustainable forest management and
co-operation with the UN Commission on Sustainable Development
(CSD). The CSD, at its Third Session decided to establish
the "Open-ended ad hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests"
(IPF) under its aegis.
The IPF looks to
UNCED decisions related to forests at the national and
international level including an examination of sectoral
and cross-sectoral linkages.
cooperation in financial assistance and technology transfer;
research, forest assessment and development of criteria
and indicators for sustainable forest management;
and environment relating to forest products and services.
organizations and multilateral institutions and instruments
including appropriate legal mechanisms;
Panel should make progress towards:
national forest policies and development strategies at
the national level
co-ordination and enhanced quality of international co-operation;
approaches to forest resources assessment including social
and economic values of forest resources;
improved understanding of environmental implications of
harvesting and trade of forest products.
on Forest Principles from the United Nations at http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/ipf.htm
Institute of Sustainable Development
and check out Natural Resources - Forests
Forest Principles - text
subject of forests is related to the entire range of environmental
and development issues and opportunities, including the
right to socio-economic development on a sustainable basis.
guiding objective of these principles is to contribute
to the management, conservation and sustainable development
of forests and to provide for their multiple and complementary
functions and uses.
issues and opportunities should be examined in a holistic
and balanced manner within the overall context of environment
and development, taking into consideration the multiple
functions and uses of forests, including traditional uses,
and the likely economic and social stress when these uses
are constrained or restricted, as well as the potential
for development that sustainable forest management can
principles reflect a first global consensus on forests.
In committing themselves to the prompt implementation
of these principles, countries also decide to keep them
under assessment for their adequacy with regard to further
international cooperation on forest issues.
principles should apply to all types of forests, both
natural and planted, in all geographic regions and climatic
zones, including austral, boreal, subtemperate, temperate,
subtropical and tropical.
types of forests embody complex and unique ecological
processes which are the basis for their present and potential
capacity to provide resources to satisfy human needs as
well as environmental values, and as such their sound
management and conservation is of concern to the Governments
of the countries to which they belong and are of value
to local communities and to the environment as a whole.
are essential to economic development and the maintenance
of all forms of life.
that the responsibility for forest management, conservation
and sustainable development is in many States allocated
among federal/ national, state/ provincial and local levels
of government, each State, in accordance with its constitution
and/or national legislation, should pursue these principles
at the appropriate level of government.