The turning point in forest protection was the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 1992.
The provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) grant the contracting parties scope in the implementation with introductory formulations such as "in accordance with its particular conditions and capabilities" (e.g. Art. 6 CBD) and "as far as possible and appropriate" (e.g. Art. 7 CBD). Since than, more than 170 states signed the CBD.

Romania, Virgin forest in the Capatiinii mountains

The Pan-European Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Europe's Forests was held in 1993, in Helsinki. This was the follow up convention of the CBD and the Forest Principle Agreement from Rio.

Since then, various documents were adopted at international, pan-European and EU levels containing

Virgin Forest in Romania

Regulations referring to forest biological diversity:

  • "Program of Work on Forest Biological Diversity", adopted by the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bratislava on 4-15 May 98.
  • Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe (Conference of Forestry Ministers), inter alia, with the following resolutions:

    Strasbourg 1990: S2 "Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources",

    ---Helsinki 1993: H1 "General guidelines for the sustainable management of forests in Europe and H2 "General Guidelines for the Conservation of the Biological Diversity of European Forests" as well as

    ---Lisbon 1998 L2: "Pan-European Criteria, Indicators and Operational Level Guidelines for Sustainable Forest Management".
  • "Work Programme on the Conservation and Enhancement of Biological and Landscape Diversity in Forest Ecosystems 1997 - 2000", adopted in Lisbon in 1998 in cooperation with the Ministerial Conferences "Environment for Europe" (Conferences of Environment Ministers).
  • "European Community Biodiversity Strategy"3, designed to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity in the EU.
  • "European Union Forestry Strategy", containing inter alia measures for the conservation and promotion of biological diversity.

    However, these legal framework seems to be insufficient. International free-trade agreement strengthened transnational timber-companies. The result is increased power in the hand soft corporate leaders and weakened national governments. Practically, there is no efficient international control on the timber industry, so they end up using illegal, unethical and wasteful means of harvesting timber.

    According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, strict new global regulations are needed to stop the disregard for national laws and forestry regulations. The EIA is advocating this position at the meetings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Forum on Forests.

In the opinion of the EIA,
there are 10 things a New Global Forest Convention could do for you:

"A new Global Forest Convention will create a unique international framework to promote sustainable forest management for all types of forests by, inter alia:

  1. Orchestrating a coordinated assault on deforestation and forest degradation at the global, regional, national and local levels;
  2. Raising the political and public profile of forests at both international and national levels and giving higher priority to forest conservation and sustainable management;
  3. Creating a synergy between existing instruments and international agencies dealing with forest-related issues and in so doing create an efficiency of effort and resources;
  4. Providing a holistic and comprehensive framework to address the whole range of cross-sectoral issues relating to forests in an integrated manner;
  5. Addressing the underlying causes of forest loss and degradation - particularly those relating to transboundary causes such as global consumption patterns;
  6. Providing a forum to promote a mutually supportive relationship between trade and environment, particularly in the context of international trade;
  7. Channeling financial resources towards forests by promoting a higher profile for forests and maximizing the use of existing financial resources and mechanisms;
  8. Facilitating technology transfer, exchange of information and providing a strategic framework for global forest research;
  9. Encouraging coherent and holistic policy-making at the national level, involving all actors, so as to achieve forest conservation and sustainable forest management;
  10. Reviewing the progress on the development and implementation of national forest plans and foster further international cooperation in order to achieve national objectives. "

    (From the Strategy for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in German forests, published by the Bundesministerium fur Verbraucherschutz, Ernaehrung und Landwirtschaft)


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