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News release

ITTO pursues forest restoration

Denpasar, Indonesia, 18 May 2002

The International Tropical Timber Council has adopted a set of guidelines to promote the restoration of degraded tropical forests, the management of secondary tropical forests and the rehabilitation of degraded tropical forest lands.

The guidelines, which were developed in cooperation with IUCN, the World Wide Fund for Nature, FAO and others, were adopted at the Council's 32nd Session, which concluded here today.

The move was hailed by Council Chairman Dr Juergen Blaser as "an important step towards the long-term sustainability of tropical forest landscapes and the livelihoods of local people".

The Council decided to finance a number of actions to promote the uptake of the guidelines by member countries. One of these was the convening of six sub-regional workshops to promote the promulgation of the guidelines and to encourage further regional and country-level initiatives in the area. It also encouraged members to apply the guidelines on a pilot scale and to submit project proposals to ITTO where appropriate.

The Council commended the guidelines to the international community as an international reference standard that will make "a major contribution towards the sustainable utilization and conservation of tropical forests and their genetic resources".

The guidelines will be published and made available to the public on the ITTO website and from the ITTO Secretariat in Yokohama, Japan. For more information contact: Dr Eva Mueller, ITTO Secretariat; rfm@itto.or.jp