Approach to the Issues concerning Forests in the UN

1. About Forest Issues

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was growing concern around the world about the state of the world's forests and the alarming rate of deforestation occurring in some countries. In Chapter 11 of the "Agenda 21" adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, the States agreed on the various roles and functions of all types of forests, as well as enhancement of sustainable forest management and conservation. At the conference, the "Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests" (Forest Principles) was also adopted. This document provides 15 themes related to the national, regional and global actions for conservation and sustainable forest management such as national sovereignty and common but differentiated responsibility on forests, international cooperation, etc.

Following significant progress made by UNCED, the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF, 1995-1999), the Intergovernmental Forum on Forest (IFF, 1997-2000) and the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF, 2001- ). Under the framework of UNFF, Member States, major intergovernmental agencies concerned with forest issues and major groups are addressing issues related to forests in addition to exchanging experiences in the implementation of sustainable forest management practices. At UNFF7 (2007), the Member States reached agreement on the Non-legally Binding Instrument (NLBI) on all types of forests with four global objectives for sustainable forest management (SFM) and on the Multi-Year Programme of Works (MYPOW) until 2015 under NLBI.

2. Japan's Contribution

Japan hosted an international expert meeting on "Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting on the Progress towards Sustainable Forest Management" in November 2001 in Yokohama. It was a country-led initiative in support of UNFF and its outcome was reported to the session of UNFF2.


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