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Cablegate: Forest Transparency Workshop Shows Opportunities

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R 071608Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2900
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4055
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7047
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 2640
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

UNCLAS LIMA 004289

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/AND, EPSC AND OES/ETC,ENV
BRASILIA FOR ESTH HUB - J STORY
SAN JOSE FOR ESTH HUB - B LINK
USAID FOR LAC, EGAT
USDA/AS/FAA/BAILLEY AND USDA/FAS/ITP/FSTSD/BREHM
USDA/FS FOR MAYHEW

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR SENV ETRD EINV EAID ECON PE
SUBJECT: FOREST TRANSPARENCY WORKSHOP SHOWS OPPORTUNITIES

1. SUMMARY: USAID, U.S. Forest Service and State sponsored an
Amazon Basin forest transparency workshop in Lima, September 19-22,
2006. Over 100 participants from governments, industry and NGOs
found common ground in identifying solutions to improve forest
governance. Firms and NGO's exhibited services and technologies that
aid log tracking, forest certification and mapping of changes in
forest cover in a novel "Market of Ideas." Bolivian and Peruvian
community-based NGO's formed a plan to exchange best practices; USG,
Tropical Forest Trust and other collaborators began planning for a
new short training course for university faculty in Amazon forestry
management programs. END SUMMARY.

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2. Over 100 participants from Amazon Basin countries and the U.S.,
Honduras, and Europe met in Lima, Peru from September 19-22, 2006 to
explore techniques and approaches for increasing transparency in the
forest sector. The workshop was implemented through a joint effort
of State's OES Bureau and the Regional Environmental Hub in
Brasilia, USAID, U.S. Forest Service International Programs and the
International Wood Products Association (IWPA). The workshop
brought together multiple stakeholders including government,
industry, local and indigenous community forestry groups,
non-governmental organizations and other private sector interests.
For many participants, this workshop presented the first opportunity
to sit at the table and share experiences as equals with other
stakeholders to forge common interests.

3. Participants began by discussing the meaning of forest management
transparency. They collaboratively defined forest transparency as
clear and open processes that require broad stakeholder involvement
and clear rules of engagement to effectively govern management of
forest resources. Through presentations, panel discussions and
break-out sessions, and a novel "Mercado de Ideas" or idea
marketplace, participants exchanged information on ways to address
governance in the forest sector.

4. The key objectives achieved included broad stakeholder engagement
on challenges and opportunities for increasing transparency,
providing information on available tools, exchange of ideas and
identification of concrete areas for further collaboration. Some of
the opportunities outlined included development of a supply of
timber harvested under sound ecological practices and marketed to
socially responsible companies; the availability of new technologies
for maintaining chain of custody; and the chance to build local
capacity in the countries to sustainably manage their resources.
Presentations on CITES and trade agreements as they related to
forest transparency elicited some lively discussion on how science
and policy intersect.

6. The "Mercado de Ideas" provided an opportunity to share
approaches to increase forest transparency. Fifteen exhibitors,
including Helveta, Tropical Forest Trust, Global Witness, World
Wildlife Fund, Winrock, World Resources Institute shared techniques
they are implementing internationally to increase forest
transparency, including satellite imagery, technologies used for log
tracking, forest change detection, certification, and real-time
information exchange.

7. Chain-of-custody was a high priority for the participants. There
was wide agreement on the need for private industry -- loggers,
buyers, exporters and importers -- to take a leadership role in
chain-of-custody and other issues that relate to legal acquisition
even when there is a sufficient regulatory regime. Technological
solutions displayed in the Idea Market showed how chain-of-custody
solutions can also help both improve business efficiency and
inventory species such as mahogany.

8. As a result of the workshop, several collaborative efforts began
to share best practices. The BOLFOR II project (Bolivian
community-based certification) implementers agreed to work with
AIDER (a Peruvian NGO working with indigenous people engaged in
forest management) to promote an exchange of experiences between
Peruvian and Bolivian community forestry enterprises. They will
also collaborate to open new market channels by facilitating AIDER
participation in ExpoForest 2007, a large forest products trade fair
in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Another example involves the USG, Tropical
Forest Trust and other collaborators, who have agreed to work
together to design and sponsor a new short training course for
faculty members of forestry management programs of the Amazon
Region.

9. Workshop information, presentations, photographs and results will
be posted at http://www.fs.fed.us/global/forest_transparen cy. For
further information contact Julie Kunen at USAID/LAC,
jkunen@usaid.gov, State Environmental Hub Director Jimmy Story at
storyjb@state.gov or Liz Mayhew at lmayhew@fs.fed.us.
STRUBLE

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