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News release

ITTO grants US$7.6 million for tropical forests

Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 21 June 2005

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Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, as seen from the air.
The final phase of this project was one of many funded
by the ITTC this week. Photo: A. Sarre/ITTO

Projects to promote the trade of certified timber in Guatemala, create a market for environmental services in China's tropical forests, and assist local communities to rehabilitate degraded forest land in Java, Indonesia, were among those funded by the International Tropical Timber Council this week.

The Council is the governing body of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). It meets twice a year to discuss a wide-ranging agenda aimed at promoting the sustainable use of tropical forest resources and the trade of sustainably produced tropical timber.

The Council financed a total of 13 projects and 3 pre-projects at this session, including one that will promote the development of small-to-medium-sized enterprises in Gabon, another that will produce a state-of-the-art publication on African timber species, and another that will assist Myanmar to conserve its teak genetic resources.

A project funded in the Republic of Congo will continue work to improve forest management, conserve biodiversity and enhance local livelihoods in the buffer zone of the Noubale-Ndoki National Park. Funds were also pledged to a Congolese project that, when fully funded, will use multi-spectral aerial digital photography to improve forest monitoring. In total, some US$1.35 million was pledged to assist the Republic's forest sector.

ITTO also decided to provide additional support to the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, committing US$150,000 for activities that will assist the implementation of the Sub-regional Convergence Plan and the COMIFAC 2015 Objective.

Elsewhere, the Council financed a final phase of the project to develop the Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary as a totally protected area, and a project to build a framework and strategy for sustainable forest management in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Council also funded projects to facilitate access by developing countries to the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). One project will convene an international workshop on the subject in Ghana, and another project will build capacity to develop and implement afforestation and reforestation activities under the CDM.

The major donors at this session were the governments of Japan, Switzerland, the Common Fund for Commodities and the United States, while the governments of the Netherlands, Norway, France, Finland and the Republic of Korea also pledged funds. In addition, funds were mobilized from the Organization's unearmarked resources.

Descriptions of the newly funded projects will be published in a later edition of the ITTO Tropical Forest Update. For more information on the Council session go to www.itto.or.jp.