Newsletter - April 1997

The International Model Forest Network Secretariat produces three issues of the international network newsletter per year. This section presents abstracts of some key articles published in the Newsletter. The issue itself will be available from all model forest centres and at the IMFNS.

Key articles from the IMFN Newsletter Vol.1 No.2 (April 1997)

Shaping the future of the network

In October 1996, the International Model Forest Network convened its annual Forum in Chihuahua (Mexico). The meetings and discussions gathered participants from more than fourteen countries that are members in the IMFN or interested in participating in the Network. Foresters as well as economists, researchers, farmers, company managers, students, "ejidatarios", local communities members and many other groups exchanged their experiences on sustainable forest management and presented their impressions and perspectives on the International Model Forest Network.

The mosaic of ideas and opinions was particularly enriching, and it permitted an exchange on a large array of issues faced by the participants and their communities in the pursuit of sustainable forest management. Through these exchanges, the IMFN as a whole was exposed to the benefits of cooperation, and gained a better understanding of the challenges a Network has to take up to continuously improve collaboration between its members, but also with the external audience.

Cooperation was seen as an essential and central activity of the International Model Forest Network. To advance sustainable forest management, there is an obvious need to collaborate and share the knowledge and know-how on sustainable development both within the Model Forests and globally with other institutions working in related fields. Communication plays an important role in this context by enhancing the exchange of information, experience and expertise in support of the model forests activities. The forum also recognized the need to dedicate special attention to socio-economic impact issues, education, and the development and demonstration of indicators to assess performance and progress towards the achievement of sustainable forest management.

These key issues identified in the Forum will set the stage for the future development of the International Model Forest Network.

Mexico and the Model Forest Program

SEMARNAP is continuing its efforts in conjunction with the IMFNS to create additional Model Forests in Mexico and to develop a Mexican Network which draws on the experience of the Chihuahua and Calakmul Model Forests. For example, efforts are underway to develop a Monarch Butterfly Model Forest in the Mexico/Michoacan regions.

The Canadian network: the second generation

Early October 1996, the Honourable Anne McLellan, the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources announced the extension of the Canadian Model Forest Program for an additional five year period. The ten Canadian Model Forests selected in 1992, have since played an important role in promoting a vision and providing support for the development of collaborative approaches to the sustainable forest management. The independent program evaluation conducted earlier in 1996, concluded that the creation of strong broad-based partnerships was a major accomplishment of each model forest. For Phase II, while building on the strengths of the established partnerships, the Canadian Network will focus on applying the knowledge and technologies developed by the Model Forests on the ground. The next generation of Canadian Model Forest Network will also be enlarged with the creation of an aboriginal led Model Forest. Thus the Canadian Network continues to address and support the long term challenge of ensuring that Canada's forests remain healthy and productive for future generations of Canadians.

Gassinski, continuing the work

"We must continue this important work", concluded Mr Vladimir Pominov, president of the Gassinski Model Forest at the IMFN Forum. In Russia, the Model Forest programme is considered a unique opportunity to advance sustainable management of natural resources while keeping in line with local conditions prevalent in the Russian Far East, or in other regions of Russia, such as Mozhaiski where a second site is being contemplated. In a short three year period of time, the Gassinski Model forest has established a strong organizational base -- more than twenty-three partners from across the Model Forest area -- and an impressive pool of projects selected by the partnership to meet what was felt the most important objective in the region: "to provide the means for people to earn an adequate living for themselves by drawing on forest resources while at the same time safeguarding the ecological balance that sustains biological diversity". 

In the coming years, the Gassinski Model Forest will consolidate and strengthen the achievements to date, and new projects will be developed to enhance support to the local economy and advance at the same time sustainable forest management.