By all accounts, the joint Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) workshop, attended by some 30 participants from the Ulot Watershed Model Forest (UWMF) and the Samar Island Biodiversity Project (SIBP) from May 29 to May 31, 2004, in Tacloban, Philippines, was a resounding success. The three-day event helped to further disseminate information presented at the Asia-wide M&E workshop, held in Lampang, Thailand in January 2004.
The Tacloban workshop’s combination of theory and hands-on practical exercises enabled participants to take away—for immediate use—information and tools for identifying, planning, achieving and measuring the desired impacts of their model forest’s activities. The two groups also committed to working even more closely together in the future to gather and share information. For more information, please contact IMFNS Senior Program Officer for Asia–Pacific Brian Bonnell.
From March 20 to 28, 2004, three Canadian indigenous people toured the Wilhelmina Model Forest area in Sweden to meet with local stakeholders. Sam Gull of the Waswanipi Cree Model Forest, Gene Kimbley of the Prince Albert Model Forest, and Valerie Courtois of the Innu Nation (working in association with the Western Newfoundland Model Forest) met with local and regional government representatives, academics and the indigenous Saami people to discuss different aspects of their experiences with the Canadian Model Forest Program. For more information, please contact Leif Jougda, Landuse Expert with the National Board of Forestry in Vilhelmina, or IMFNS Executive Director Peter Besseau.
May 3 to 7, 2004, IMFNS Executive Director Peter Besseau attended the 4th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 4) in Geneva that focused on the progress and means of implementing the proposal and action plan of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IPF/IFF). Topics discussed included traditional forest-related knowledge; forest-related scientific knowledge; monitoring, assessment and reporting, concepts, terminology definitions; social and cultural aspects of forests; criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management; finance, transfer of environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building for sustainable forest management.
On May 7, 2004, Mr. Besseau made an intervention at the plenary on Multi-stakeholder Dialogue, Social and Cultural Aspects, Working Group on Partnerships, highlighting the more than 10 years that model forests around the world have used an inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach to partnership-based action to translate the policies of sustainable forest management into practice, at the landscape level, and for the benefit of all stakeholders and values.
On May 10, 2004, UNESCO’s Natarajan Ishwaran and Marc Patry hosted a meeting in Paris for forestry professionals, including Robert Lindeckert from Pro Silva Méditeranée – Nîmes, representatives from the Lorraine and Fontainebleau regions, from ENGREF– Nancy; and Peter Besseau from IMFNS, to discuss two main objectives: (1) sending students from ENGREF– Nancy for an internship at Canadian model forests; and (2) conducting a feasibility study with IMFNS to establish a model forest in France. Four students are now scheduled to come to Canada in late June and will intern at the Eastern Ontario Model Forest and the Forêt modèle Bas Saint in Quebec. It was proposed that France invite a small delegation from the IMFN to visit the Lorraine Region, in the Fall of 2004, and that members of the Lorraine Region visit model forests in Canada. Recommendations on whether or where to establish model forest sites in France are expected to be made in 2005.
On May 12, 2004, IMFNS Executive Director Peter Besseau met with François Wencilius, Manager of the National Forest Programme (NFP) Facility, at the FAO in Rome, to follow-up on informal discussions begun at the XII World Forestry Congress (Quebec City, September 2003) on potential collaboration between the IMFNS and the NFP on Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting resulted in strong interest expressed on both sides to support workshops and training that would link model forests and National Forest Programmes as a way to highlight concrete examples of NFP implementation at the landscape-level and on the basis of broad partnerships. It was also agreed that specific initiatives for Asia would be developed over the summer of 2004.
From April 21 to 23, 2004, the Board of Directors for the Regional Model Forest Centre for Latin American and the Caribbean (RMFC-LAC) held its semi-annual meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Twenty-two representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, CUSO, CIDA, FAO, IMFNS, and UNDP met to discuss three main topics: the Draft 5-Year Business/Strategic Plan for the Centre, the 2004 work plan, and regional programming and services. The Board welcomed Brazil and Merico as new Network members. Model forests in Minas Gerais (Brazil) and Jalisco and Michoacan (Mexico) are expected to get underway this year.
A draft proposal for a third model forest in Chile was also submitted to the RMFC-LAC. The Bosque Modelo Panguipulli, situated in the southern region of the country, will be officially launched in December 2004. For more information, please contact RMFC-LACCommunications Officer Alejandro Mañón, or IMFNS Senior Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean Rich Verbisky.
Bosque Modelo Jujuy in Argentina obtained partial financing to establish a native tree seed bank for the Yungas and Parque Chaqueño areas. The project, a cooperative effort between the Model Forest and the Centro Rehabilitación Arroyabe, has three primary objectives: (1) the conservation and sale of quality seeds; (2) the provision of employment for physically disabled community members: and (3) increased community involvement and awareness of the value of native species and forest ecosystems. For more information, please contact RMFC-LAC Communications Officer Alejandro Mañón.
Forty-five families are now participating in the classification of residential organic matter and production of worm compost project in the city of El Carmen. Volunteers and staff of the Jujuy Model Forest regularly put on displays at festivals and other events to promote compost production as an alternative to the collection of humus from the forest floor. Humus collection hinders natural forest regeneration and contributes to soil erosion. For more information, please contact RMFC-LAC Communications Officer Alejandro Mañón.
From September 9 to12, 2003, more than 100 people attended an international seminar, entitled New Approaches to Forest Fire Management on an Ecoregional Level, in Khabarovsk province. Hosted by the Gassinksi Model Forest Association (GMFA), the World Bank and the Russian Space Research Institute, the seminar resulted in the listing of the Gassinski model forest area as a key site for testing the remote sensing of forest fires.
The invitation for GMFA to co-host the conference resulted from their involvement in forest fire forecasting and modeling. The GMFA has developed a long-term method to forecast the severity of coming forest fire seasons. The GMFA’s partners developed a now well-known computer model for simulating forest fire propagation and suppression based on the geography of the GMFA site. The simulation software has attracted the attention of international aid agencies, forest service departments, and research institutes around the world that are striving to forecast forest fires, to assess their effects, and to decide whether forest fires should or should not be suppressed. For more information, please contact IMFNS Senior Program Officer, Rich Verbisky or Genrikh Telitsyn, Deputy Executive Director GMFA.
From April 21 to 22, 2004, the Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN) held its Annual General Meeting, in Halifax, Canada. About 50 representatives from across the country gathered to discuss their priorities, projects and plans for fiscal year 2004-2005.
The topics discussed included: future directions, possible involvement of the CMFN in the National Forest Strategy, networking opportunities between the IMFN and the CMFN, and accomplishments and proposed workplans related to:
Delegates also provided updates on special project areas in Prince Edward Island, Labrador and Vancouver Island.