The Chile-Argentina workshop was hosted by the Chilean National Forestry Corporation - CONAF (Corporación Nacional Forestal) and co-sponsored by the International Model Forest Network Secretariat (IMFNS). Representatives from Chile, Argentina, Canada and the United States attended the workshop. Discussions built upon the output of the first meetings of the consultation process held in Tokyo, Japan, on March 10-12, 1998, and in Oregon, USA, from March 31 to April 5, 1998.
The Chile-Argentina workshop is part of the consultation process, and focuses on the development of South American perspectives on Model Forests and on the future of the IMFN. The specific objectives of the workshop were as follows:
a) Affirming the attributes and characteristics of the Model Forest;
b) Determining the role of Model Forests in the South American context;
c) Defining networking needs and expectation at the local, national, regional and international levels;
d) Determining priorities for networking and their means of implementation.
Issues regarding the Model Forest concept and networking were identified and examined in presentations and discussions held during the two-day workshop. Most of the topics on the agenda were addressed. However there was no in-depth analysis of issues relating to networking priorities, owing partically to the recent creation of the Chiloé Model forest, as well as to the fact that the establishment of the Futaleufú Model Forest is still pending.
The report includes a summary of the discussions and findings of the Chile-Argentina workshop on Model Forests and on the International Network in the context of the Southern-cone of Latin America. The workshop concluded that participatory management is essential for the success of the Model Forest and that such participation is based on local "champions" ("padrinos"), at least during the first stages of the process. The Model Forest represents an important step toward the sustainable management of the forest, since it enables cooperation between local interested parties, involves communities, and, through consensus, manages the ecosystem holistically, highlighting its multiple uses.
The international nature of the Model Forest Program provides a useful framework for ensuring the sustainability of national programs. Recommendations regarding networking identified the need to improve the monitoring and evaluation processes in order to assess the progress of the Model Forest Program towards the sustainable management of forests. The recommendations also included expectations regarding the important role of the Network for facilitating access to international talent and experts, access to the private sector and securing financial support. The importance of having an efficient communication system for networking was also emphasized.
As an activity complementary to the meetings, the participants visited the Chiloé Model Forest area on May 17. This provided an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Chiloé Program and to share information with the members of the Chiloé Model Forest.