Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 200 million

Official Journal Reference

L 327 of 1995-12-31

Legislative Reference

3062/95 of 1995-12-20
To help conserve tropical forest resources in developing countries by carrying out innovative projects, by developing new ideas and implementing them on a large scale, by promoting sustainable development in developing countries and by protecting the global environment.

Abstract

This programme of activities to promote tropical forests is established in response to the seriousness of the threat to tropical forests and the frequently articulated need for international action which links environmental issues to development. In this regard, the action takes account of the adherence of the Community and its Member States to the Rio Forest Principles, the Agenda 21 action programme and the Convention on Biological Diversity and Climate Change. It further gives expression to the Community's intention to expand its actions to promote the conservation of tropical forests within the context of the Community's environment policy and the new Development Cooperation title in the Treaty on European Union (Articles 130u to 130y).

The various activities to be pursued, have as their goal, the conservation of tropical forest resources. This is to be achieved through the:

- Protection of forest resources by analysing the causes of deforestation and introducing policies and measures to slow it down;
- Sustainable management of forests designated for the production of wood and other products;
- Involvement of local and native people in the preparation and implementation of the measures to be financed;
- Creation of the structures required for training, research, legislation and by upgrading the institutions concerned with the protection of forest resources.

Special consideration is to be given to actions supporting the conservation of forests of importance for local communities, such as the protection of watersheds, the prevention of soil erosion and the restoration of degraded areas, and for global effects, such as climate change and loss of biological diversity.

Subdivision

No details are available for this section.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for administering tropical forest cooperation activities assisted, as appropriate, by the Committee established by the Council Regulation on financial aid and technical assistance to, and economic cooperation with, the developing countries in Asia and Latin America (443/92, Official Journal No L 52 of 22.7.1992) or by the Committee established by the Internal Agreement on the financing and administration of Community aid under the Fourth ACP-EEC Convention (Official Journal No L 229 of 17.8.1995).

Community funding is in the form of non-reimbursable grants, consisting of financial support or technical assistance for actions which support and encourage the efforts of developing countries and their regional organizations to conserve and sustainably manage their tropical forests. The recipients of aid and partners in cooperation may include not only States, regions or oversees countries and territories, but also the following: decentralized authorities, regional organizations, public agencies, local or traditional communities, private industries and operators, such as cooperatives, non-governmental organizations and representative associations of forest peoples active in the conservation of tropical forests. Wherever possible, operations are to be carried out within the framework of regional organizations and international programmes of cooperation in the context of a global policy on the conservation of forests.

The priority given to specific actions is to be determined according to the needs of each country, as reflected in regional and national development and environment policies relating to forests and according to Community cooperation priorities. However, particular consideration is to be given to actions which promote the following:

- Conservation of primary tropical forests and their biodiversity and regeneration of tropical forests which have been damaged, supported by analysis of the underlying causes of deforestation and taking into account differences between countries and regions and measures to address them;

- Sustainable management of forests designated for production of timber and other products, but excluding commercial logging in primary tropical forests (except those which are Community based, small-scale, sustainable, environmentally sound and implementing an appropriate forest management);

- Definition of certification systems for timber produced from tropical forests according to sustainable forest management principles as part of envisaged internationally harmonized certification systems for all kinds of timber and timber products;
- Participation by, and support from, forest peoples in the identification, planning and implementation of actions;

- Capacity-building to address the needs for training schemes for local populations, forest managers and researchers, for legislation, for increased political and social support and institutional strengthening, and for organizations and associations active in forest conservation;

- A strategic and adaptive research policy aimed at supplying the knowledge required for the conservation and sustainable management of forests and also for the implementation of research monitoring activities in the framework of projects and programmes;

- Development of buffer zones to assist the conservation or regeneration of tropical forests, as part of a broader land utilization plan;

- Development and implementation of forest management plans aimed at conserving tropical forests and promoting sustainable exploitation of timber and other forest products.

Participation in invitations to tender and purchasing and other contracts is open, on equal terms, to all natural or legal persons of the Member States. Financial and technical assistance resulting from the tendering processes is usually granted to the recipient state, and may also be extended, case-by-case, to other developing countries. Projects and programmes for which Community funding exceeds ECU 2 million in the case of an ACP State, and ECU 1 million in the case of an Asian or Latin American country, must be sanctioned by the Commission after consulting the appropriate Committee referred to above. This is also the case for any substantial modifications which exceed 20% of the amount originally agreed for a project or programme.

Financial and technical assistance granted by the Community may cover all foreign currency costs and local costs for carrying out projects and programmes, including, whenever necessary, integrated programmes and sectoral projects. Maintenance and operating expenses for economic cooperation operations, training and research programmes and development projects and programmes are also covered. With the exception of research and training programmes, such expenses may be covered, as a general rule, only at the launching stage and, then, gradually in decreasing amounts.

Systematic efforts are to be made to seek contributions, particularly in financial form, from partners (countries, local communities, undertakings, individual recipients) as far as their means permit and according to the nature of each operation. Study costs and the short- and long-term use of experts to assist the recipients and the Commission in devising general policies, identifying and preparing operations, and monitoring and evaluating these, is generally covered by Community funds, either as part of the financing for individual operations or seperately.

All actions supported by the Community must be preceded by reports detailing their ecological, social, economic and cultural impact, together with on outline of the specific qualitative and quantitative objectives of the action.

Community financial assistance for the implementation of actions under the Regulation is drawn from a budget of ECU 150 million which covers an initial three year period. The budget authority is responsible for determining the appropriations available for each financial year. The Council is required to consider the mechanisms for funding from 1998 onwards before the end of 1997. This must take account of the mid-term review of the Fourth ACP-EEC Convention and the projected review of the framework regulation concerning cooperation with developing countries in Asia and Latin America.

Actions carried out under this Regulation are to be coordinated with, and may provide support for, national and international programmes and actions concerned with conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests. These include the Tropical Forest Action Plan and the International Tropical Timber Organization.

The Commission is required to submit an annual report containing an assessment of the implementation of the measures to the European Parliament and the Council. The annual report must set out the results of the implementation of the budget as regards commitments and payments and provide details of the programmes and projects financed during the year, containing as far as possible, information on the funds committed at national level during the same financial year. Finally, the annual report contains specific, detailed information (undertakings, nationality, etc.) on the contracts awarded for the implementation of projects and programmes.
Record Number: 527 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05