The offending paragraph.... and how it got modified

  • 14/07/1992
  • FAO

The offending paragraph.... and how it got modified THIS IS how the paragraph in Agenda 21 text came to Rio:
"To facilitate and support the effective implementation of the non-legally binding authoritative statement of principles for a global consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, adopted by the UNCED, and on the basis of those principles, to give all possible support to efforts to [develop appropriate international cooperation] [negotiate an appropriate legal instrument] promote the implementation of national strategies and programmes aimed at forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, including afforestation, reforestation and rehabilitation" -- the square brackets being the UN shorthand for text that is still open for negotiations. The words "legal instrument" smacked of a global forest convention to most developing countries.

German environment minister Klaus Topfer presented the following compromise draft: "To facilitate.... the UNCED, and on the basis of these principles to consider the need for and the feasibility of internationally agreed arrangements, including appropriate legal instruments, to promote international cooperation on forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests including afforestation, reforestation, and rehabilitation" (our italics to mark the offending words).

Finally, the following formulation was accepted: "To facilitate.... the UNCED, and on the basis of the implementation of these principles to consider the need for and the feasibility of all kinds of appropriate internationally agreed arrangements to promote international cooperation on forest management.... rehabilitation (italics to show words added)."