Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade

The European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) pilot project aims to support commercial ventures and producer groups in becoming export-oriented, market-driven enterprises that will consistently supply overseas markets with competitive agricultural and forestry products. The project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji and started in May 2008.

UNFF commends SPC on Pacific Heads of Forestry meeting
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 11:00
The Director of United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Ms Jan McAlpine applauded the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for organising the Pacific Heads of Forestry (HOFs) meeting in Nadi.

In her video message to the 60 participants at the HOFs meeting she acknowledged that the theme - Forests, Climate Change and Markets is crucial with inter-related issues for the Pacific countries and territories, as well as for forests for other countries worldwide.

‘The relationship between these issues has been high on the UN Forum on Forests’ agenda for many years.
‘Not only are they rooted in the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests agreed by all countries of the UNFF – the first international agreement with a 360o perspective on the full spectrum of issues – but they are also featured as key discussion topics of official sessions of the forum,’ Ms McAlpine said.

She said that 50 years ago forests were thought of by most only in the context of their timber production value.


‘We have learned the hard way that forests provide far more than timber as a service; the economic values are very much only a part of the contribution of forests – the social and environmental contributions are enormous‘
‘Now, she added, we are considering the contribution of forests in the context of climate change.
Let’s not risk repeating the error of only seeing a single value for forests and ignoring their other functions.
Forests are not just timber or climate carbon pools; they are a survival tool for Fiji and other small island developing states,’ Ms McAlpine said.

She further stated that protecting forests means protecting the water supply, guaranteeing food and traditional medicine, providing employment and income, supporting livelihoods, conserving terrestrial biodiversity and lowering the chances of flooding.

Despite the growing recognition of the importance of forests within the climate context, funding for forests in small island developing states has been low.
However, the UNFF Secretariat has announced that a worldwide initiative will soon be launched on facilitating financing for sustainable forest management (SFM) in small island developing states.

This initiative draws from past UNFF studies on the means for implementing SFM and will provide Pacific Island countries and territories with an opportunity to analyse funding challenges and present options for improving institutional frameworks and increasing forest resilience in the face of climate change.

The four-day meeting of HOFs ended with a number of recommendations being agreed by all representatives of participating countries.
One of the major issues that were agreed upon was endorsing the activities of the SPC Land Resource Division’s Regional Forestry programme which is in line with relevant objective of the Secretariat’s Strategic Plan (2009 – 2012).

The forum also recommended that SPC remain the focal point for the Pacific on UNFF matters to build communication regarding activities on the global and regional levels.
In support for the development of markets for carbon, timber and non-wood forest products in the PICTs, the Heads of Forestry recommended following:

‘In recognition of the importance of non-wood forest products and the extraordinary diversity and uniqueness of products existing in the PICTs, support for SPC LRD to help further development, production and marketing of local products for the domestic and international markets.’
‘Promoting of forest and eco-certification and strengthening awareness and information exchange among resource owners on market-related issues in forest development planning.’

In addition, Promoting understanding among relevant stakeholders on emerging markets in carbon, non-wood forest products, and ecosystem services.

Land Resource Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in collaboration with European Union and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) organized the Heads of Forestry Meeting.

For further information please contact Vinesh Prasad on telephone (679)3370733 or (679) 9938746, email [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or LRD Help Desk on email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Background:

SPC’s 26 member countries and territories include American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.

 


The European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of SPC.