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Convention on biological diversity


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CBD









CONVENTION ON

BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY




Distr.

GENERAL
UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/INF/3

2 November 2001
ENGLISH ONLY


SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

Seventh meeting

Montreal, 12-16 November 2001

Item 4 of the provisional agenda*


MAIN THEME: FOREST BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

Review of the status and trends of, and major threats to, the forest biological diversity, prepared by the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Forest Biological Diversity


Note by the Executive Secretary

1. The Executive Secretary is circulating herewith, for the information of participants in the seventh meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), a preliminary version of the review of the status and trends of, and major threats to, the forest biological diversity, which was prepared by the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Forest Biological Diversity established by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in its decision V/4. The review is expected to be finalized for submission to the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting.


2. The review is being distributed in the form and language in which it was received by the Convention Secretariat.



Review of the status and trends of, and major thReats to, the forest biological diversity
Ad hoc Technical Expert Group on Forest Biological Diversity

Preface


In its decision V/4, the Conference of the Parties decided, at its fifth meeting, held in Nairobi in May 2000, decided to establish an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Forest Biological Diversity to assist the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in its work on forest biological diversity. The terms of reference of the Expert Group, as contained in the annex to that decision, request the Group to:

(a) Provide advice on scientific programmes and international cooperation in research and development related to conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity in the context of the programme of work for forest biological diversity;

(b) Carry out a review of available information on the status and trends of, and major threats to, forest biological diversity, to identify significant gaps in that information;

(c) Identify options and suggest priority actions, time frames and relevant actors for the conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity for their implementation through relevant activities;

(d) Identify innovative, efficient and state-of-the-art technologies and know-how relating to assessment, planning, valuation, conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity and provide advice on ways and means of promoting the development and transfer of such technologies.

The Group held two meetings with the objective to produce a report fulfilling the mandate provided by SBSTTA. The first meeting took place in Montreal, Canada, from 27 November to 1 December 2000, with financial support from the Government of Canada. It elected Dr. Ian Thompson (Canada) and Mr. Gordon Patterson (United Kingdom), as Co-Chairs of the Group, and Dr N. Manokaran (Malaysia) as the Rapporteur. Its second meeting took place in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, from 23 to 27 April 2001, with financial support from the Government of the United Kingdom.

Membership of the group was from eighteen countries, as well as from NGOs and IGOs. All members participated in providing ideas and discussions towards developing a report from the Group. At the Montreal meeting, the Group progressed through a discussion paper provided by the SCBD on forest biodiversity and then divided into working groups along various themes to consider most urgent needs and recommendations. At the outset, all members of the Group agreed that loss of forest biodiversity, especially in the tropical forest biome, has reached a crisis stage that must be immediately globally addressed to arrest and avert continued broad losses. At the second meeting in Edinburgh, the working groups continued their tasks and were successful in developing recommendations in several important disciplines with respect to maintaining forest biodiversity. The underlying approach taken by the Group was to identify major problems, which result in the loss of forest biodiversity, and then to provide recommended objectives to help to resolve those problems.

The Group produced two main documents. The recent review summarises important scientific and monitoring assessments of forest biodiversity, including broad-scale information about forest loss and studies on the effects of loss on ecosystem function. The Group also took a broad approach to the problem by assessing the underlying causes of change and the effects on local communities, including indigenous peoples. The second main document, Report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on forest Biological Diversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/6), is a summary paper that also includes the main recommendations of the group. Matrices used in defining options and priority actions for conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity are distributed as an information document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/INF/4).

The final version of this document was developed at a meeting of a ‘writing committee’ which met at the CBD offices, in Montreal in June, and which continued to finalise the documents by electronic correspondence, and with commentary from the rest of the Expert group during June and July, 2001. Thus the documents are the culmination of work by not only the AHTEG, but from comments and reviews by other experts from throughout the world.

August 1st, 2001

Ian D. Thompson Gordon Patterson
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Edinburgh

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Members of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Forest Biological Diversity represented eighteen countries and a wide expertise related to various aspects of forest biological diversity: Adalberto Verossimo (Brazil), Jacques Mbandji (Cameroon), Nsangou Mama (Cameroon), Ian D. Thompson (Canada), Carlos Le Quesne-Geier (Chile), Ma Keping (China), Modesto Fernandez Diaz-Silveira (Cuba), Mart Külvik (Estonia), Stefan Leiner (European Commission), A.A. Oteng Yeboah (Ghana), Shobna Nath Rai (India), Kiyoshi Nakasima (Japan), Takayuki Kawahara (Japan), N. Manokaran (Malaysia), Bakary Toure (Mali), Cecilia Nieto de Pascual Pola (Mexico), Maria C. Raposo Pereira (Mozambique), Kazimierz Rykowski (Poland), Andrey N. Filipchuk (Russian Federation) and Gordon Patterson (United Kingdom). I am very grateful for their successful work. Especially I would like to thank two co-chairs of the Group, Ian D. Thompson and Gordon Patterson for the their valuable efforts.

Many expert from major agencies and institutes, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations participated in the work of the Group and contributed to its results: Robert Nasi (CIFOR), Pierre Sigaud (FAO), Douglas Williamson (FAO), Mario Ramos (GEF), Kanta Kumari (GEF), Gudrun Henne (Greenpeace), John Leigh (ITTO), David Hinchley (IUCN), Max Ooft (Organization of Indigenous Peoples in Suriname, OIS), Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Tebtebbe Foundation), Gemma Smith (UNEP-WCMC), Jaime Hurtubia (UNFF), Carole Saint-Laurent (WWF) and Kathleen McKinnon (World Bank), as well as observers Ian Plesnik (Chair of the SBSTTA), Gijs van Tol (The Netherlands), Adrian Wells (United Kingdom). Michael Garforth was the facilitator for the Edinburgh meeting.

The draft of this report was reviewed externally through the Peer-Review Process. It was also posted on the web site of the Convention for the commenting by the scientific community at large. I express my gratitude for their review to following invited reviewers: Ron Ayling, Alexander V. Pugatchevsky, Perry S. Ong, Anoja Wickramasinghe. Valuable reviews and comments were given by The Ministry of the Environment in Poland, the National Focal Points of Canada and New Zealand collecting comments by many experts and scientists from their countries, Friends of the Earth International, World Rainforest Movement, International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Studies, Forest Peoples Programme, Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (Society for threatened Peoples), WWF, FERN, UNEP-WCMC, the Liaison Unit Vienna, PEFC Council Secretariat, Confederation of European Paper Industries. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all these for their valuable contributions.

Hamdallah Zedan

Executive Secretary

Executive summary: Status and Trends of Forest Biological Diversity and Major Gaps in INformation


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