Regional Convention For The Management And Conservation Of The Natural Forest Ecosystems And The Development Of Forest Plantations

Filename: 1993-RegionalManagementConservationNaturalForestEcosystems.EN.txt

Regional Convention For The Management And Conservation Of The Natural Forest Ecosystems And The Development Of Forest Plantations (Spanish title: Convenio para el Manejo y la Conservación de los Ecosistemas Naturales Forestales y el Desarrollo de Plantaciones Forestales)

Source: http://www.iucn.org/themes/law/pdfdocuments/EPLP37EN.pdf, downloaded 20070810

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republics of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama

Considering:

That the Tegucigalpa Protocol, which institutes the Central American Integration System (SICA) reaffirms, among its objectives "To establish concerted actions directed to the preservation of the environment through respect and harmony with nature, ensuring a balanced development and rational exploitation of the region's natural resources with the perspective to establish a New Ecological Order in the region."

That the forestry development potential of Central America is based on its existing 19 million hectares of natural forests and in its 13 million hectares of lands with forestry potential that are presently without forests;

That the wealth and diversity of the different life zones and species found in the region's tropical forests, linked to its isthmic nature, as a bridge between the continental masses of North and South America, make this Central American Region the most important deposit of genetic wealth and biological diversity in the world;

That, in contrast with this wealth, there is another reality: at present, more than 20 million Central Americans live in poverty conditions, particularly those 14 million that live in extreme poverty conditions since they cannot even satisfy their basic needs of nutrition. It is important to point out that two thirds of the poor live in rural areas;

That, every day, in the region, it becomes more evident that poverty worsens forest and local environmental degradation, and increases even more with the external debt and the loss in the terms of exchange, all products of an unbalanced growth in the previous decades;

The in the rural sector, the concentration of land is even greater than what the indices show since, frequently, the best lands are occupied by those that have the means and technology to exploit them, relegating the poor to poor quality land, basically on the hill sides. This is the habitual cause for deforestation and the high levels of erosion and soil loss observed in the region, which lead to an even greater empoverishment of those who work these areas;

That a frontal attack on poverty is a fundamental part of the restructuring and modernizing strategies of the economy.

This strategy requires the massive incorporation of technical progress in productive efficiency and greater social equity, to increase the quality of life of this poor majority, and to facilitate and support their absolute access to the productive and investment processes and to increase their productive performance;

That forest resources which cover 45% of the regional territory, and the soils with forestry potential, which add up

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nongovernmental organizations, and individuals, and the inhabitants of forested areas, in the planning, implementation and evaluation of national policy resultant from this Convention.

b. Recognize and duly support the cultural diversity, respecting the rights, obligations and needs of indigenous peoples, their communities and those of the other inhabitants of forested areas.

CHAPTER V

INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING

Article 6

The Contracting States of the present Convention must:

a. Strengthen the sectorial and inter-sectorial coordinating mechanisms in order to impel sustainable development.

b. Strengthen the forestry development institutional frame-work in each country, through the adoption of the National Tropical Forestry Action Plans, as mechanisms to reach the objectives of this Convention.

c. Create environmental attorney general's offices in the legal framework of each country, that will watch for the protection and improvement of the forest resource.

d. Create, by law, through the respective legislative powers, the obligation to carry out environmental impact studies in forest areas where large scale forestry concessions, or other economic activities are being proposed, that may have a negative impact on the forest.

e. Profit from the comparative advantages of each country, propitiating their transfer to the rest of the countries.

f. Strengthen the region's technical capacity through training and applied research programs, and the promotion of forestry techniques in productive and planning activities.

g. Data on infrastructure and necessary means to ensure quantity and quality of forestry seeds that may be needed.

h. Data on the personnel necessary for the vigilance and conservation of national forests.

CHAPTER VI

REGIONAL COORDINATION

Article 7

The Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) is instructed to implement a Central American Council on Forests in conjunction with the National Administrations of Environment and Development, integrated by Forest Service Directors of each country, the National Coordinators of the Tropical Forestry Action Plans, or the authority designated by each State, who together will have the responsibility of the follow-up of this Convention.

Article 8

CCAD is given the mandate to request support from international organizations or friendly governments, in or-der to fund coordinating activities for the implementation of this Convention.

CHAPTER VII

GENERAL RESOLUTIONS

Article 9

Ratification

The present Convention shall be submitted to ratification by the signatory States, according to the internal standards of each country.

Article 10

Adherence

The present Convention remains open to the adherence of other States of the Mesoamerican Region.

Article 11

Deposit

The instruments of ratifications or of adhesion and denunciation of the present Convention and its amendments, shall be deposited and registered in the General Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SICA), who will communicate them to the Chancelleries of the rest of the Contracting States.

Article 12

State of Being in Force

The present Convention shall be in force on the date the fourth instrument of ratification has been deposited. For each State that ratifies or adheres to the Convention, after the fourth instruments of ratification has been deposited, it will be in force, for that State, on the date its instrument of ratification is deposited.

Article 13

Registration in the United Nations

When this Convention and its amendment are in force, the General Secretariat of SICA shall proceed to send a certified copy of these, to the General Secretariat of the United Nations, for the purposes of registration that are indicated in Article 102 of this Organization.

Article 14

Denunciation

The present Convention shall be denounced when any Contracting State so decides. The denunciation shall have effect, for the denouncer State, 180 days after it has been deposited and the Convention shall continue in force for the rest of the States, as long as at least three of them remain adhered to it.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the present Convention is signed in the City of Guatemala, Republic of Guatemala, on the twenty ninth day of the month of October, nineteen ninety three.