World Rainforest Movement

International Expert Consultation

Invited by GTZ, Alvaro González of the International Secretariat of the WRM, participated at the International Expert Consultation on the Six-Country Initiative “Putting the IPF Proposals for Action into Practice”, that took place in Baden Baden, Germany, from June 29 to July 3.

During the 1st session of the IFF, held in October 1997, the governments of Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Uganda and Honduras, in cooperation with the IFF Secretariat, UNDP and FAO, agreed to join in a government-led initiative to conduct a case study exercise in each of these countries and produce a synthesis report on the national experiences. The objectives of the consultation were to review the findings of such studies and to elaborate recommendations and inputs to IFF-2 (Geneva, August 24-September 4).

More than 100 participants worked on the analysis of the cases presented and set up recommendations for the Forum. NGO representatives emphasized the importance of land tenure rights, underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation and the influence of international trade on the sustainability of forest management. It was pointed out that while most of the participants of the consultation were government and international agency officials, no indigenous or local community people were present. This implies a contradiction with point 32 of IPF-4 report which states that “Traditional Forest Related Knowledge constitutes an important body of knowledge and experience relevant to many aspects of the Panel’s mandate”.

The meeting’s conclusions and recommendation will be now circulated among IFF-2 participants at the Geneva meeting. Those interested in receiving more information related to the meeting.