Forests and the biodiversity convention: Independent monitoring of the implementation of the expanded programme of work - summary report (2008)

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This paper assesses what progress different countries have made over recent years on preserving, protecting and restoring forest biological diversity. Specifically, the report presents the findings of research undertaken in 22 countries by independent country monitors on implementation of the Expanded Programme of Work on Forest Biological Diversity adopted under the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD/POW).

The report presents research findings on the following countries:
  • Africa: Cameroon, Mozambique, Uganda;
  • Americas: Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay;
  • Eurasia: Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, The Netherlands, The Russian Federation;
  • Oceania: Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, Samoa.
Overall, it reports that levels of implementation of the COP/POW are variable, but that all countries could do better. It ginds that levels of knowledge about the CBD/POW at the national level are low - shockingly so in many countries. There are some clear success-stories of forest biodiversity conservation, especially on recognised Indigenous lands, but indigenous peoples and local communities were hardly involved in policy-making. The report also notes that some countries are heavily reliant on protected areas as the main tool for meeting their commitments under the CBD/POW. In many countries, environmentally and socially harmful monoculture tree plantations are still being promoted within the framework of forest and climate change mitigation policies. Finally, it finds that insufficient efforts are being made in relation to forest restoration. The report concludes with a number of recommendations, including:
  • there is a clear need to strongly enhance awareness of the CBD/POW as a tool to implement the legally binding commitments under the CBD;
  • forest biodiversity conservation policies must go beyond the establishment of protected areas;
  • there is a clear need to develop a coherent definition of forests that recognises forests as an ecosystem and excludes monoculture tree plantations;
  • governments facing high deforestation rates should implement deforestation moratoria and bans, which have proven to be a highly successful policy measure to halt forest biodiversity loss.
Language: English
Imprint: Global Forest Coalition, Amsterdam: 2008
Series: Report,