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Kyushu-Okinawa Summit 2000

Report on The Implementation of The G8 Action Programme on Forests

Okinawa, July 21, 2000

Progress Report

I. Introduction

G8 Action Programme on Forests was published at the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in May 1998 held prior to the Birmingham Summit. The communique of the Birmingham Summit held in the same month stated that the G8 leaders will assess the progress on implementation of the Programme in 2000. The following describes Japan's progress on implementation of the Programme, including Japan's domestic actions, international assistance programmes and contributions through intergovernmental processes, as of August 1999.

II. Monitoring and Assessment

1. has been surveying the state of its forest resources basically every 5 years in order to contribute to the development of appropriate forest management plans and to their smooth implementation. The most recent survey indicated information of the state of forest resources in each of 44 expanded watershed areas around the country.
2. in FY 1999 launched a new nation-wide Continuous Forest Inventory (CFI) to monitor and assess the forest resources and their dynamics using the unified methodologies, considering the compatibility with the criteria and indicators (C&I) of the Montreal Process.
3. has been conducting a 10-year-survey project in two watershed areas in Japan in order to develop C&I at the local level and the monitoring methodologies.
4. has been conducting a research project in Japan in order to develop and assess measurement methodologies of the indicators of the Montreal Process.
5. has been monitoring at fixed locations in Japan for early detection of forest degradation caused by acid rain and for observation of changes in forest conditions.
6. has been undertaking the National Survey on the Natural Environment in order to collect information on the present state of Japan's natural environment including forests, and to utilize it for the national policy development on nature conservation. Especially, as a part of the Survey in 1999, actual vegetation maps throughout the country are being revised.
7. has been conducting surveys to support the development and application of C&I monitoring systems in partner countries.
8. has contributed funds to the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) projects to develop C&I and the C&I measurements application manual, as well as to disseminate ITTO's C&I. Japan will consider the possibility of further contribution to ITTO projects for the wide use of ITTO's C&I.
9. has contributed funds to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project for strengthening the country capacity in forest resources assessment for sustainable forestry planning in the Asia-Pacific region as a contribution to the Forest Resources Assessment 2000.
10. has been implementing the Forest Fire Prevention Management Project in Indonesia through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the purpose of monitoring forest fires and developing initial suppression methods.
11. has been financially supporting an ITTO project in Indonesia to develop the national guidelines on the protection of forest against fire in line with the ITTO's guidelines on fire management in tropical forest adopted in 1996. In February 1999, these national guidelines were completed at the international workshop in Indonesia. Training of the Indonesian local government personnel using these national guidelines will be conducted.
12. dispatched a JICA project formulation study team on forest fire management to Indonesia and Malaysia in September 1998. Following up on this study, JICA has dispatched the Japanese experts to Indonesia in1999, and also will dispatch an expert to Malaysia.
13. financed the ITTO expert mission on forest fire to Indonesia and Malaysia in September 1998. In order to find out further necessary actions, the mission examined the extent and causes of the forest fires, and the various national and international initiatives which had already been undertaken.
14. JICA, ITTO, and the related agencies of the Indonesian government co-organized the International Cross-Sectoral Forum on Forest Fire Management in Southeast Asia in December 1998. The objectives of this forum were to share information among the relevant countries and international organizations, to review forest fire management activities which had been conducted, and to contribute to the effective implementation of future measures against forest fires.
15. has been conducting a project to support the establishment of the methodologies for forest resource assessment using the remote sensing technology and to assist the establishment of the data service system, in order to promote appropriate management of the tropical forests in partner countries.
16. has funded an ITTO project to develop and disseminate user-friendly methods to estimate the forest canopy density, using the remote sensing technology. This project is still on-going.

III. National Forest Programmes

17. on the basis of the Forestry Basic Law, has developed and announced the "Basic Plan on Forestry Resources and Long-range Demand and Supply Projection on Important Forest Products" as the most basic long-term program on which Japan's forest management plans and various forest and forestry policies and measures should be based. The present Plan clearly sets forth the concept of sustainable forest management and, in view of the importance of forests as an ecosystem, promotes the development of diversified forest resources with the wide range of people's participation.
18. in October 1998 reviewed the relevant laws including the Forest Law with a view to contributing to the promotion of sustainable forest management nationwide. As a result of this review, Japan introduced a system to make available the draft plans, such as forest management plans (e.g., Regional Forest Plans for private and national forests) and the Basic Plan for Administration and Management of National Forests, to the public for comments in order to reflect a wide range of opinions. Japan also expanded substantial roles of municipalities in the forest management planning system.
19. in August 1999 developed the Medium-Term Policy on Official Development Assistance (ODA), in which Japan described the basic direction of its ODA. Based on the philosophy and program of action in the Initiatives for Sustainable Development (ISD), which Japan announced at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in 1997, Japan attached great importance to its partner countries' sustainable forest management, and stated in this "Medium-Term Policy" that it would continue to actively implement various technical and financial assistance projects. Japan is conducting technical and financial cooperation through a variety of schemes by JICA and the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF), aiming to support the promotion of its partner countries' sustainable forest management.
20. has been conducting a survey to support the establishment of the model forests for the field-level application of sustainable forest management in partner countries, which aims to develop a system for the participation of stakeholders such as local people .
21. has been hosting a series of international workshops, which will continue until FY 2000, for the promotion of model forests as a field-level application of sustainable forest management.
22. in FY 1999 started to provide funds for an FAO regional project which aims at demonstrating sustainable forest management at the field level through strengthening the national capacity building for formulation and implementation of national forest programs in partner countries in Asia.
23. has been conducting the transfer of technology through JICA's Development Studies for the formulation of national or specific regional forest resources master plans in partner countries, and has been carrying out projects to build the partner countries' national capacity to formulate and implement their national forest programs.
24. has contributed funds through ITTO to the producer member countries' projects for the field test and application of ITTO's various guidelines and C&I in Asia, Africa and South America, in order to support the producer member countries' efforts toward the ITTO's Year 2000 Objective. Japan has also funded a number of other ITTO projects related to the ITTO's Year 2000 Objective.

IV. Protected Areas

25. has designated various protected areas nationwide to conserve the forest ecosystems and restrict the development activities therein, on the basis of such legislation as the Forest Law, Law for Administration and Management of National Forests, the Nature Conservation Law, and the Natural Parks Law. Japan also conducts research on protected areas.
26. has designated protection forests throughout the country, which are expected to provide the public functions including conservation of the unique natural environment. Through the regulation such as the restriction on logging, forests conservation and appropriate forest management are secured in the protection forests, which account for 30% of the total forests in the country.
27. in December 1998 formulated "The Basic Plan for Administration and Management of National Forests" and shifted its management policy to emphasize the public functions of National Forests. In line with this shift, Japan reorganized forest types into 3 new types categorized by their respective expected functions. These new types are; "Forest for Water and Land Conservation," "Forest for Humans and Nature," and "Forest for Recycling Use of Resources". Among these, the "Forest for Humans and Nature" gives priority to the conservation of forest ecosystems and to the promotion of health, cultural and educational activities, and its area is about 2 million ha (approximately 30% of National Forests). In order to reserve specific forests that are essential natural forests and precious habitats for wildlife, the "Protected Forest System" has been working in the National Forests and its area is about 514 thousand ha in 812 places located in the above-mentioned "Forest for Humans and Nature" as of April 1, 1999.
28. has designated "Wilderness Areas" and "Nature Conservation Areas" throughout the country under the Nature Conservation Law. While the former are the natural areas that maintain a wilderness condition having certain coherence as an area, the latter are the forests in which excellent natural forests account for a considerable part. In these Areas, the natural environment is protected through the regulations on human activities.
29. has designated 28 national parks, 55 quasi-national parks, and 306 prefectural natural parks in Japan as of March 1999, on the basis of the Natural Parks Law. In these natural parks, various human activities are restricted to protect wildlife and their habitats. As a result, natural parks play a great role in conserving the biodiversity. To conserve the forests in these natural parks, certain activities are restricted according to the respective regulations necessary for protection.
30. is considering the identification of forest vegetation types based on the results of the nation-wide Continuous Forest Inventory (CFI).
31. has contributed funds through ITTO to a forest conservation project in the permanent forest estate in Malaysia.
32. has contributed funds through ITTO to a joint project of Indonesia and Malaysia to study biodiversity of flora and fauna in protected areas straddling the Indonesian-Malaysian borders.
33. has been conducting a survey project to support the establishment of appropriate management methods of protected forests in partner countries in tropical areas.
34. in 1999 started the JICA training courses for the technical experts of partner countries to strengthen their capacity to manage protected areas.
35. is planning to do research on the roles played by the protected areas within various types of forests in the world in conserving the biodiversity and preventing global warming.

V. Private Sector

36. promotes the watershed-based forest management system in 158 watershed areas in the country. Under this system, according to the characteristics of each watershed area, the public and private sectors are consulting with each other on the forest management and activation of forestry throughout the private and national forests. Promotion centers, in which various stakeholders participate, are set up in each watershed area and are formulating and implementing programs and projects on a consensus basis.
37. has been conducting projects in Japan to raise pubic awareness about functions of forests and to promote the people's voluntary participation in reforestation, as one of the counter-measures against global warming.
38. has been domestically implementing projects to promote technological innovation of utilization and processing of wood in order to tackle global warming through the effective use of wood.
39. has been conducting a survey to support the formulation of a code of conduct for tropical timber production forests, contributing to the work of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Committee (APFC) of FAO to develop a regional code of conduct for forest harvesting in the Asia-Pacific region.
40. has contributed funds through ITTO to member countries' projects to facilitate effective use of resources and sustainable production in the timber production sector. These projects are still on-going.
41. has been supporting the Japanese private sector's tree planting activities in partner countries by disseminating information and providing training and technical advice regarding tree planting activities.
42. Prime Minister Obuchi announced in July 1999 during his visit to China that Japan would establish a fund ("Obuchi Fund") to financially support Japan's private sector groups' activities to co-operate with the Chinese private sector groups engaged in afforestation programs in China. Japan is currently in the process of organizing the operational body of this fund.

VI. Illegal Logging

43. in the Forest Law and other relevant legislation, stipulates various systems that regulate disorderly felling and uncontrolled forest development activities in Japan, as well as penal provisions and other rules for the violations.
(1) Forest Management Planning System: Submission of logging plans by private forest owners; administrative orders to comply with and/or to make amendments to submitted logging plans.
(2) Forest-land Development Permission System: Permission is required for forest development activities exceeding a certain scale.
(3) Conservation Forest System: Permission is required for logging (and damaging) of standing timber and bamboo in Protection Forests.
(4) Others: Under such legislation as the Nature Conservation Law and the Natural Parks Law, permission is required for logging (and damaging)of standing timber and bamboo in stipulated areas.
(5) Penalty: In the case of violation of above-mentioned regulations, the offenders have to pay a penalty.
44. has a domestic system to control illegal logging (stealing) in national forests as follows. Forest officials including the district foresters and the forest rangers of the District National Forest Offices are given authority to take judicial police action against a range of forest-related illegal activities including illegal logging, as agreed upon by the Regional Public Prosecutor's Office.
45. has contributed funds through ITTO to the producer member countries' projects to develop their human resources and institutions, with a view to developing the timber statistics and information system and to enhancing their statistical processing ability. Japan has also contributed funds to co-operative activities by relevant international organizations to enhance the statistical functions and network internationally. Japan contributes to the improvement of economic information and market transparency on timber trade by supporting these activities.

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Source: The Government of Japan

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