Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Jim Anderton Address To UN Forum On Forests





26 MAY 2005

Chair, fellow Ministers, distinguished delegates

It gives me great pleasure to address this meeting at a time when we are focused on the need to address the future of the international arrangement on forests. This must be done with sensitivity to the needs of humankind, as well as to the future needs of our environment.

We have come far in the thirteen years since the UN Conference on Environment and Development and Agenda 21's Forest Principles. Much of this work is now encapsulated in our Proposals for Action; and other important initiatives including the development of the criteria and indicator processes, and the country-led initiatives: New Zealand has been an enthusiastic and active participant in these.

But we all agree that the current international arrangement on forests has not done enough to raise the political profile of forest issues. Implementation Proposals for Action has lagged behind expectations. Change is necessary:

- Forestry must be redefined in terms of other political agendas: we heard yesterday of the importance of forests to the outcome of the Millennium Summit.

The future international arrangement must do more to promote implementation, and combat deforestation, degradation, and illegal activities.

In considering what type of international arrangement on forestry will best serve us all, New Zealand has remained open to the possibility of a legally binding option, where it commands widespread support. It is clear that is not yet the case. Alternatives must meet our new needs and the expectations of a wider stakeholder body.

New Zealand has worked closely with others to develop options and identify essential components. These should include:

- A high level political forum to provide leadership, commitment, coordination and direction to the forest-related agenda. This ministerial body needs to be able to step back, and assess the extent of progress: to do so, it should meet every second year. The present annual meetings allow insufficient time to determine which issues need ministerial engagement: a biennial meeting would be more likely to increase ministerial attendance and political commitment.

New Zealand appreciates the role of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests: this should be strengthened in a way that facilitates greater coordinated activity among the CPF members.

- Biennial regional meetings: Many countries in our Pacific region do not feel that a meeting like this in New York has much relevance to the issues they face at home. Biennial regional meetings could lay the groundwork for the global ministerial meetings, creating a "bottom-up" approach to global forestry discussions. They could themselves have a ministerial component. We must maximise collective action and minimise duplication and confusion. Regional meetings, co-hosted by UNFF and the FAO's regional forestry commissions, could significantly improve coordination and implementation, bringing donors and developing countries together to form partnerships to address forest issues. Successful initiatives in one region could have a demonstration effect in others: these experiences could be shared during the biennial global meetings.

- Some concise over-arching objectives that encapsulate our purpose and allow us to reflect on progress.

It is also clear that we need increased resources from all sources devoted to forest issues. Part of the answer will lie in accessing new funding arrangements - including by identifying and valuing the wider contributions to sustainable development derived from forests. It should also include identifying market opportunities for investment (including by the private sector) in ecosystem services provided by forests. The NZ delegation has provided an example of how this can work with climate change at our side event on what we call EBEX21.

Mr Chairman

New Zealand's own forest system is unique, with separated, but complementary, roles of native forests (now in the conservation estate) and planted forest estate (established on marginally productive farmland).

Together they comprise our particular story of sustainability and we are committed to monitoring and reporting on sustainable forest management implementation progress against the Intergovernmental Panel/Intergovernmental Forum Proposals for Action and the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators. In both cases our experience has been that these reporting and monitoring lists required rationalisation and customisation to match our national circumstances.

I look forward to being able to join with my fellow Ministers in reaffirming our commitment to significantly increasing our efforts to address the concerns we have for a sector that has such a fundamental and wide-ranging impact on the livelihoods of our populations.

Thank you.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election