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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

The following report deals with the activities carried out in Germany to implement the G8 Action Programme on Forests, which the G8 Ministers for Foreign Affairs decided at their meeting in Birmingham (United Kingdom) in May 1998. While implementing this Action Programme, Germany will at the same time pursue the implementation of the "Proposals for Action" contained in the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF). Furthermore, Germany will continue to participate in the dialogue on sustainable forest management in the competent fora, in particular the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe and the Agenda for the Baltic Sea Region (Baltic 21). Germany supports the acitivities within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in the field of biological diversity of forest ecosystems namely the programme of work which takes account of the conclusions of IPF and IFF and aims at contributing to ongoing work within IFF.

II. Monitoring and Assessment

- carries out a broad survey of its forests, taking account of the manifold shapes and various functions of forests. The first Federal Forest Inventory supplied information on the forest area, shares of tree species, growing stock, forest structures and forest opening etc. by the deadline 1 October 1987. A second Federal Forest Inventory is scheduled for the year 2002. It will go beyond the already surveyed parameters of the first inventory and provide additional, topical information on growth, removals and ecological parameters,
- assesses the condition of forests on a broad basis, including three approaches:
  • surveys on a systematic grid throughout Germany supplying area-representative information on the extent and development of forest condition (designated "Level I Programme" at the European level),
  • the intensive examination of cause-effect relations between forest ecosystems and the factors influencing them ("Level II Programme"),
  • research into forest ecosystems,
- monitors the forest condition additionally by means of separate Laender (Federal States) forest monitoring programmes,
- co-operated intensively in the set of questions of the Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA 2000) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and transmitted the FRA 2000 data to FAO,
- takes - as far as possible - account of the criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management in all national survey programmes,
- created the framework conditions for the access of all interested groups and organizations to remote sensing data and technologies,
- supports capacity-building measures regarding fundamental issues of national forest policy and sustainable forest management in developing countries within the framework of bilateral technical co-operation,
- promotes the project "Integrated fire-management in Indonesia" within the framework of technical and financial cooperation. In addition to its normal tasks regarding advisory services as well as infrastructure improvement for forest fire prevention and control in East-Kalimantan in 1996/97, this project made a major contribution to disaster relief. Ad-hoc advisory services were also financed in this connection.

III. National Forest Programmes

- required all forest owners under the Federal Forest Act to conserve forests because of their multifunctional importance, to expand them if required and to ensure their proper management on a sustainable basis. This principle of sustainability is accepted by all forest owners and by the public,
- set out the situation of the German forestry sector in the 1997 National Forest Report of the Federal Government and assessed it in terms of its economic, social and ecological significance. The Federal Government formulated aims and measures of the Federal Government forestry policy in this report,
- also adopted the principle of sustainability and proper management to safeguard and develop the multifunctionality of forests into the Laender forestry legislation, taking the respective specific regional conditions into account,
- has a programme of measures at its disposal for the "improvement of agricultural structures and coastal protection" in which the Federal Government and the Laender jointly assist private and community forest owners in overcoming structural handicaps and safeguarding multifunctional forests on a sustainable basis,
- further expanded the joint Federal/Laender programme of measures at Laender level through Laender-specific measures,
- developed in Federal/Laender co-operation a strategy for the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of public forests in Germany,
- participated in the so-called Six-Country Initiative, making a major contribution to the exchange of experience between industrialized and developing countries on the issue of national forest programmes. A methodical set of tools - Practitioner's Guide - has been developed, improved and presented at IFF 3 in May 1999,
- is elaborating a national forest programme in co-operation with the Laender,
- takes account of the priority accorded by partner countries of development co-operation to the issue of sustainable forest management as well as the instrument of national forest programmes. The setting of these policy priorities of partner countries will become increasingly important,
- uses new findings (Six-Country Initiative, national forest programmes, cross-section evaluations) for reviewing and, as appropriate, re-aligning German forest-related development co-operation programmes in selected partner countries (e.g. Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam) as well as for a better co-ordination of the current promotional measures in the forestry sector,
- supports international initiatives promoting sustainable forest management in various ways. This includes, for example, bilateral promotional measures to assist partner countries in achieving the ITTO-2000 aim (i.a. Indonesia, Malaysia), advisory services and co-ordination with international programmes (UNDP-Global Forests Programme) and the provision of trust funds (e.g. WWF for WWF/World Bank co-operation programme in the forest sector, IUCN, IIED, WRI/Forests Frontier Programme). Within the framework of horizontal exchange of information among relevant projects of development co-operation, these aspects are continuously being intensified and improved,
- is the most important donor (40% of the funds) during the first phase of the Pilot Programme to Conserve the Brazilian Rainforests (PPG7), the largest programme world-wide for the conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests,
- contributes actively to the fulfillment of the IFF mandate, i.a. regarding the identification of possible elements of and working towards a consensus on international arrangements and mechanisms, for example, a legally binding instrument on all types of forests.

IV. Protected Areas

In Germany
- all forests are generally conserved according to the Federal Forest Act. All forest owners have to conserve forests because of their multifunctional importance; where required forests are to be expanded and their proper management is to be ensured in a sustainable manner. This principle of sustainability is accepted by all forest owners and by the public,
- special protected forest areas are created on two legal bases essentially:
  • Nature conservation legislation. In Germany, the responsibility for the field of nature conservation rests with the Laender. The Federal Government provides a general framework through its Nature Conservation Act. Within this framework, the Laender can designate various categories of conservation areas, especially nature reserves, national parks and biosphere reserves. Many of the larger conservation units comprise forest areas. The highest degree of protection is achieved in the core zones of these areas, where any type of commercial use of forests is in principle prohibited.
  • Forest and forestry legislation. Again this field is within the competence of the Laender and the Federal Government provides a general framework through its Federal Forest Act. Within this framework, the Laender can designate e.g. protected forest reserves and recreational forests,
- around 65 % of the total forest area is located in protected areas and is under some sort of special protection. About 5 % of the total forest area is situated in forest reserves as well as in the forested parts of nature reserves and national parks. Forests in these reserves are subject to protective regulations which often severely limit or even exclude use. The total forest area, which is completely excluded from commercial use, comprises around 83,000 hectares (around 0.8% of the total forest area, mainly forest reserves and core zones of nature conservation areas),
- there is cross-border co-operation between countries on protected areas. Four protected areas with extensive forest cover maintain a cross-border relationship with protected areas outside of Germany:
  • the National Park "Unteres Odertal" in Brandenburg which is part of the Inter-National Park "Unteres Odertal" of Poland and Germany,
  • the "Bavarian Forest National Park and "Sumava National Park" in the Czech Republic,
  • the national park "Sächsische Schweiz" in Saxony and the protected landscape area (and planned national park) "Labske Piskovce" in the Czech Republic,
  • the biosphere reserve "Pfälzerwald" in Rhineland-Palatinate and the biosphere reserve "Vosges du Nord" in France.
In the case of Saxony, cross-border co-operation has a legal basis in a treaty of co-operation in environmental matters between Saxony and the Czech Republic. The co-operation between the biosphere reserve "Pfälzerwald" and the biosphere reserve "Vosges du Nord" is intended to lead eventually to the creation of a cross-border biosphere reserve "Vosges du Nord-Pfälzerwald",
- a system of natural forest reserves has been established by the Laender, which aims at the protection and undisturbed development of forest ecosystems. It is co-ordinated at Federal level and permanently improved. The development of these forest ecosystems is monitored in detail to obtain useful information for future forest management practice. The Laender have designated a total of 676 forest reserves of various types; average size: over 36 hectares, total percentage: 0.24 % of total forest area,
- the Federal Government and the Laender are aiming at further improvements in securing and maintaining biodiversity also in the forest sector. This includes above all close to nature forest management, if possible on the whole managed forest area. In certain regions attempts are being made to establish further protected forest areas,
- support for protected areas is granted by German development co-operation. German development co-operation provides support for a number of projects dealing with the conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests. The management of protected areas and their buffer zones has increasingly received attention over the past few years,
- currently over 150 projects of forest and biodiversity protection (funding commitments: around DM 1.5 billion) are being promoted through bilateral technical and/or financial co-operation. Corresponding measures are additionally also promoted within the framework of funds in trust arrangements with international non-governmental organizations such as IUCN, WWF, WRI and IIED. In some countries like Bolivia and Peru, for example, possibilities of bilateral debt relief or debt swaps measures are also being used.

V. Private sector

- grants its private (and communal) forest owners in various ways assistance and incentives for a sustainable management of their forests,
- promotes sustainable forest management through specific fiscal regulations for private forestry enterprises,
- ensures the proper and sustainable management of forests in the privatization of large forest areas in the new Laender by a long-term commitment of purchasers,
- can count on a consensus among private forestry enterprises regarding sustainable development as the priority aim of the forestry sector. The objectives are being further refined in an intensive dialogue between the Federal Government, the Laender and the private sector discussing possibilities of a more transparent account of the realization of aims,
- supports the improvement of framework conditions in developing countries for a responsible involvement of the private sector in various projects of technical co-operation in the field of forestry (e.g. Ecuador, Malaysia and Indonesia). The sectoral project on certification initiated by the Federal Government in 1998 in the tropical forest/tropical timber area is also closely related to this topic.

VI. Illegal logging

-is not affected by illegal logging due to its legislation and control, land ownership structures and the traditional management of forests by their owners,
- promotes the improvement of legal or administrative framework conditions and technical possibilities of control aided by the ongoing forestry policy advice, sectoral planning and forest conservation within the framework of technical and financial co-operation to check illegal timber use activities as part of a broader concept of advice or promotion (e.g. Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Brazil, Costa Rica).

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Source: The Government of Japan

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