Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF)

Welcome

Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF) is an international organisation that serves as a coordinating body for joint Major Groups activities in support of United Nations Forum on Forests and broyeur vegetaux. Through MGPoF the visibility of Major Groups within the UNFF is increased through the engagement with Governments and Inter-Governmental Organisations in policy dialogue and their implementation as they relate to conservation and sustainable forest management. This provides Major Groups with a unique opportunity to create awareness of policy decisions and their implications, as well as support the drive for implementation among peers at the grassroots level. The organization is registered in Canada and has its offices in Ottawa.

Who We Are

Origins

Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF) took its origins from the activities of Major Groups following UN forest policy debates with the inception of Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) in 1995. Since then Major Groups have played active roles in UN forest deliberations and have organized events at the global level to increase their involvement.

When the United Nations Forum on Forests came into being in 2000 as a successor organization to Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) before it, it established a mechanism where representatives of the respective Major Groups were identified as focal points to serve as links between the UNFF Secretariat and the various Major Groups and their constituencies.

Thus during various policy deliberations various Major Groups present their recommendations and lobby government officials for their inclusion in the negotiated texts. There had been points of agreement and disagreements among the various Major Groups, apart from the fact that disagreements also exist among groups of the same Major Groups on various issues with agreements on others.

However, Major Groups following UNFF sessions decided that apart from holding onto the views of their various constituencies and championing them, there will be value added when they put in a process of developing recommendations agreeable to all of them. They therefore decided to undertake joint Major Groups activities to develop common recommendations for governments to consider. Organizing global events together also helps to solicit views from many others who would not be present at the UN Session itself.

This led to Major Groups-led Initiatives (MGI) in support of UNFF first in Ghana and then in Brazil, in 2010 and 2013 respectively, which developed recommendations for UNFF9 in 2011 in New York and UNFF10 in 2013 in Istanbul.

As a result of the success of these two events they decided that to establish an international body to coordinate such activities to ensure effectiveness and continuity. Hence in 2012, Major Groups Partnership on Forests was founded to be responsible for organizing future joint events.

For more information on Major Groups refer to Agenda 21, section III ‘Strengthening the role of Major Groups’, chapters 23-32

History of UNFF

The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) has its origins in the 1992 “Earth Summit”, or United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). While not based on a legally-binding agreement, unlike climate or biological diversity deliberations, forest negotiations that took place at UNCED were subsequently taken up in the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) in 1994, which transferred its work to the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) in 1998. Both of those bodies had two-year mandates and were located within the UN apparatus under the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). The recommendation of the IFF at its fourth session (E/CN.17/2000/14) was to establish yet another body to address international forest policy negotiations in addition to overseeing the implementation of decisions of earlier bodies. That institution was to be called the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF). This recommendation was endorsed by the CSD at its eighth session in May 2000, and also by ECOSOC in its decision “2000/35” which states that “the main objective of the international arrangement on forests is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end”. As the UNFF was established as a subsidiary body under ECOSOC, all UN member states are likewise members of the UNFF.

As a subsidiary body under ECOSOC, civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ engagement in the UNFF is organized through the “Major Groups” framework established at UNCED. Since UNCED, non-governmental actors have been actively engaged in the forest policy deliberations. Since the establishment of the UNFF, several “Major Group-led Initiatives” (the first having been held in Ghana in 2010) have allowed for Major Groups to participate in UNFF deliberations in a concerted way by taking up agenda items and systematically developing points of agreement amongst Major Groups on the upcoming negotiations. While non-governmental and Indigenous Peoples’ participants in the forest policy negotiations have always engaged in deliberations with an eye to upcoming agenda items, the Major Group-led Initiatives have allowed for greater coordination regarding salient upcoming and existing issues related to Major Groups’ concerns.

Board of Directors

Joseph Cobbinah (Chair)
University Box 63
Kumasi
Ghana

Cecile Ndjebet (Secretary)
Box 791
Edea
Cameroon

Lambert Okrah (President)
3-376, Tillbury Avenue
Ottawa, ON, K2A 0Y2
Canada

Ghan Shyam Pandey
Tulsipur Municipality Ward no.11
Aswar Dang
Nepal

Peter De Marsh
12 Zionville Road
Taymouth NB E6C 1Y3
Canada

Urs Dieterich
195 Prospect Street
NEW HAVEN CT 06511
United States

Andrey Laletin (Vice chair)
28-13 Academgorodok
Krasnoyarsk 660036
Russian Federation

Hubertus Samangun (Treasurer)
Jalan setia Kawan Raya No. 39-41
Jakarta PUSAT 10140
Indonesia

Coen van der Veer
Gildestraat 7
Vught 5262 BW
the Netherlands

Sim Heok-Choh
51 Jalan 13/39, Petaling Garden
Kepong Baru 52100
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Tolulope Daramola
26339 116th Ave. SE Apt. 1303
Kent WA 98030
United States

What are Major Groups?

At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), better known as the ‘Earth Summit’ in 1992, Governments adopted Agenda 21, an action plan to achieve sustainable development. Chapter 23 of Agenda 21 recognizes the important role of civil society and the need to strengthen the role of civil society. This relationship was formalized under the heading of ‘Major Groups’ which identified nine sectors of non-state participants (as critical to the achievement of sustainable development). These nine Major Groups clearly illustrate the broad range of definitions and categorizations that are attributed to organizations:

To decide which ‘Major Group’ fits best to your organization, you should consider the nature of your organization and chose the one Major Group you most closely identify with; e.g. if your organization is focused on Women’s rights and involvement, you could identify yourself with the Major Group ‘Women’.

Major Groups and UNFF

When the United Nations Forum on Forests came into being in 2000 as a successor organization to Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) before it, it established a mechanism where representatives of the respective Major Groups were identified as Focal Points to serve as links between the UNFF Secretariat and the various Major Groups and their constituencies. UNFF sessions are opened to participants from Major Groups whose organizations are accredited to ECOSOC.

The following are some activities Focal Points undertake on behalf of their Major Groups:

UNFF Major Groups Focal Points

The UNFF facilitates a Major Group focal point system with focal points from each of the Major Groups identified by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED):

Business and Industry
Children and Youth
Indigenous Peoples
Local Authorities
Non-governmental Organizations
Scientific and Technological Communities
Farmers and Small Forest Landowners
Women
Forest Workers and Trade Unions

Below you can find the contact information for the focal points of each Major Group:

Business and Industry
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
Matthew Reddy
Director, Forest Solutions Group
Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugene-Rigot 2,
Case Postale 246, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 839 31 57
Email: reddy@wbcsd.org

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
Uta Jungermann
Manager, Forest Solutions Group
Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugene-Rigot 2,
Case Postale 246, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 839 31 02
Email: jungermann@wbcsd.org

Children and Youth
International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA)
Anna Stemberger
University of British Columbia, Room 2609
Forest Sciences Center 2424 Main Mall
Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z4
Canada
E-mail: annastem.ifsa@gmail.com

UNFF MG Children & Youth Facebook page
Olivia Sanchez Badini
The University of British Columbia
Forest Sciences Center, 2424 Main Mall
Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z4
Canada
E-mail: olivia.ifsa@gmail.com

Indigenous Peoples
International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests
Mr. Hubertus Samangun
Regional coordinator (Bahasa region)
Jalan Setia Kawan Raya No. 39 – 41
Jakarta Pusat 10140, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 632 7559
Fax: + 62 21 632 6425
E-mail: hsamangun@yahoo.com

Local Authorities
Networks are in discussion regarding their focal point.

Non-Governmental Organisations
Friends of Siberian Forests
Dr . Andrei Laletin
PO Box 26779
Krasnoyarsk-36, 660036 Russia
Tel: +7 3912 498404
Fax: +7 3912 498404
Email: laletin3@yahoo.com

Major Groups Partnership on Forests
Mr. Lambert Okrah
85 Albert Street, suite 1510
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 6A4,
Canada
Tel +1-613-236-4763
Email: lambert@mgp-forests.org

Scientific and Technological Community
Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions
Mr. Sim Heok-Choh
c/o Forest Research Institute Malaysia,
Kepong, 52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fax: +60 3 6277 3249
Email: simhc@frim.gov.my

Forestry Network of Sub-Saharan Africa (FORNESSA)
Mr. Joseph Cobbinah
University Box 63, Kumasi,
Tel: +233-24440560; +233-5160646; +233-5161378
Fax: +233-5160121
Email: jrcobbinah@yahoo.co.uk; jcobbinah@csir-forig.org.gh

Farmers and Small Forest Landowners
International Family Forestry Alliance
Mr. Peter De Marsh,
12 Zionville Rd
E6C 1Y3, Taymouth, New Brunswick
Canada
E-mail: grandpic@nbnet.nb.ca

Global Alliance of Community Forestry (GACF)
Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN)
Mr. Ghan Shyam Pandey, Chairperson
GPO Box No. 8219, Purano Baneshwor,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977 1 4485263
Fax: +977 1 4485262
Email: pandeygs2002@yahoo.com

Women
African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests (REFACOF)
Ms Cecile Ndjebet, Director,
Email: cndjebet@yahoo.com

Forest Workers and Trade Unions
Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI)
Jin Sook Lee
Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI)
Global Migration, Gender and Campaign Director
54 route des Acacias, Carouge 1227, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 827 3784
Email: jinsook.lee@bwint.org

Levels of Organization
ORGANIZATIONAL ARCHITECTURE OF MAJOR GROUPS PARTNERSHIP ON FORESTS

LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION

National Level:
As the coordinating organization of Major Groups Organizations participating in the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) process, Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF) serves as the vehicle for mobilizing Major Groups organizations for policy and implementation from national to international level.

At the national level, all organizations that have registered to participate in the work of MGPoF will constitute themselves into a working group called MGPoF National Working Group identifying the country it represents (eg. MGPoF National Working Group-Ghana).

These national working groups, in line with the international arrangement where focal points are selected for UNFF, will select national focal points representing the various Major Groups participating in the working group.

This means that we will have national focal points of Major Groups present in each participating country constituting the national coordinating body of MGPoF. These working Groups will thus directly be involved in international policy dialogue and implementation as they relate to joint Major Groups programmes at the national levels.

Regional Level:
Based on the UN regions, national working groups will be facilitated to select regional focal points for each of the five UN regions: African Group, Asia Pacific Group, Eastern European Group, Latin American and Caribbean Group and Western Europe and Others Group. They will constitute the regional coordination bodies of MGPoF of the respective regions.

These regional focal points will play a leading role in mobilizing Major Groups involvement in the regions and serving as the link between the national and international.

International Level:
At the international level, the main focal points of UNFF constitute the international coordination body of Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF). Working with the respective participating organizations of their Major Groups worldwide, they will be responsible at the global level for joint activities of Major Groups under the auspices of MGPoF.

Focal points
Apart from the national level where participating organizations will select their own focal points, MGPoF office as an independent body shall facilitate the selection of focal points at the international and regional levels when there is a vacancy based on an approved criteria by the international coordination team.

Secretariat
The organization maintains an international secretariat in Ottawa, Canada with staff that is responsible for the day-to-day work of the organization. The organization may decide to establish regional and national coordination offices as deemed necessary.

Contact Details:
Major Groups Partnership on Forests 85 Albert Street, suite #1510
Ottawa, ON K1P 6A4 Canada
Tel: +1-613-236-4763

E-mail: info@mgp-forests.org
www.mgp-forests.org

Participating Member Organisations

For each Major Group we have a list of registered participating organisations/businesses.

Projects

MGI Nepal 2015

The MGI 2015 global workshop will be in the Park Village Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal from March 2-6, 2015

The theme of the MGI 2015 global workshop will be

“Sustainable Forest Management:
Designing the Vehicles for Securing the Means of Implementation”

The meeting will bring together approximately 90 key stakeholders from all UNFF Major Groups as identified in Agenda 21, member state governments, and intergovernmental organizations actively involved in the UNFF process. The meeting will be participant-driven and designed to ensure high levels of participation and engagement among delegates.

This workshop will be organised by the coordinating organisation of the Major Groups: Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF) in cooperation with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the government of Nepal, the hosting country. The workshop is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

MGI Brazil 2013

Major Groups organized a Major Groups-Led Initiative in support of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF). The workshop took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the 18th to the 22nd of March, 2013, and brought together approximately 45 key representatives from 21 countries. The main focus of the workshop was to develop policy recommendations for the 10th session of UNFF on the theme: “Forests and Economic Development”.

In developing their recommendations to address the theme of UNFF10, Major Groups adopted the following theme for their workshop,

“Crafting the Path for Forests to Contribute to Sustainable Development”

Participants heard presentations on two case studies and had three working groups under the following headings:

What types of governance mechanisms can serve as catalysts for enhancing the role of forests sustainable forest management?
How can community-based forest enterprises be developed to contribute to economic development of forest dependent people?
How can forest products and services contribute to economic development in a sustainable way?

The working groups’ work thus served as the basis for developing the recommendations for UNFF10. It also served as the basis for the communiqué that was issued at the end of the workshop.

MGI Ghana 2010

Major Groups organised a Major Groups-Led Initiative in support of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF). The workshop took place in Accra, Ghana from the 26th to the 30th of July 2010, and brought together approximately 70 key representatives from 30 countries. The central goal of the event was to actively engage Major Groups and support the UNFF process by developing input and policy recommendations for the 9th session of the UNFF on the theme “Forests for people, livelihoods and poverty eradication”.

In approaching the overall theme,

“Applying Sustainable Forest Management to Poverty Reduction:
Strengthening the Multi-Stakeholder Approach within UNFF”

participants heard presentations on a number of case studies, and focused their discussions on four topics:

Benefits for Members

Major Groups Input into UNFF Quadrennial (2017-2020) Strategic Plan

In May, 2015 United Nations Forum Forests (UNFF), during its eleventh session adopted a resolution that called for the designing of a strategic plan to serve as the roadmap for its work from 2017-2030. In line with this resolution, UNFF Secretariat made a call to all stakeholders to submit inputs prior to Ad-Hoc Expert meetings scheduled for 2016 to design a quadrennial strategic plan for 2017-2020. The following are the proposals made by Major Groups facilitated by Major Groups Partnership on Forests (MGPoF) in response to the call.

Planning to invest in sustainable forest management

From 13-17 July, 2015, Board Members of Major Groups Partnership on Forests and UNFF Major Groups focal points met in Montreal, Canada to design a three year Business Plan for the organization. The plan is to design the road map for the work of the participating organizations in their work in support of UNFF and the implementation of Forest related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a way of building collaboration with other forest stakeholders, we had meetings with the staff from the Convention on Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Canada and Forest Products Association of Canada.

Contact Information

Major Groups Partnership on Forests
1781 Paisley Avenue
Ottawa, ON, K2C 1A7
Canada

Tel: +1-613-236-4763
Email: info@mgp-forests.org
website: www.mgp-forests.org

Staff
Major Groups Partnership on Forests is based in Ottawa, Canada and is staffed by:

Mr. Lambert Okrah
President & CEO
lambert@mgp-forests.org

Mr. Prajual Karki
Office Manager
prajual@mgp-forests.org


© 2015 Major Groups Partnership on Forests. All rights reserved.