Int'l conference to promote the development of non-timber forest products and services

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For decades, non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and services have generated high expectations due to their potential to combine forest management and conservation with income generation. Efforts to increase the role of NTFPs by improving the management, conservation and marketing of NTFPs and forest services are under way in many parts of the world. However, progress has often been less than hoped for and expected.

There is an urgent need to consolidate lessons learned among ITTO members including on how best to encourage more private investment in the sector. ITTO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China, will therefore convene an International Conference to Promote the Development of Non-Timber Forest Products and Services from 19 to 21 September 2007, in Beijing, China.

Objectives

The conference will:

bring producers, traders and consumers together to share experiences in promoting NTFPs in domestic and international trade;
study opportunities to promote the development of NTFPs and forest services that can improve the economic attractiveness of maintaining the forest resource base; and
make recommendations on policy and other measures to promote the sustainable production of NTFPs and the sustainable provision of forest services.
The ITTO conference will address these issues through keynote presentations and panel discussions.
Participants

Participants will include decision-makers and experts from governments, companies and cooperatives, industry associations, local communities, and international and non-governmental organizations.

The conference will be open to all interested participants and there will be no fees for participation, except for those fees associated with pre- and post- conference tours to NTFP centres.

Conference program

The conference program will consist of:

three days of keynote presentations and panel discussions by experts in the field;
discussions on technical papers highlighting on-the-ground experiences with NTFPs and forest services;
optional (fee-based) pre/post-conference tours to NTFP processing centres in China.
The language of the conference will be English, with the opening and closing speeches delivered in Chinese.
Organization

The conference is sponsored by ITTO, with the support of the Ministry of Commerce and the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China.

The conference is being organized by ITTO and the Chinese Academy of Forestry in technical collaboration with the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR), the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Conference venue

The International Bamboo and Rattan Tower, Beijing, China

Participants are encouraged to stay at the adjacent International Bamboo and Rattan Tower Hotel. (International Bamboo and Rattan Tower Beijing; No.8, Fu Tong Dong Da Jie, Wang Jing Area, Chao Yang District; Tel: +86 10 6471 9666; Fax: +86 10 6475 4443 / 6470 2577)

INBAR and the Bamboo and Rattan Tower Hotel are conveniently located between Beijing International Airport and the city centre, 18 km from the airport between the 5th and 4th Ring Roads (see the map and address at www.inbar.int). Public metered-taxis for the journey from the airport to the hotel cost about 50 Yuan (about US$6.00).

Registration and visa information

ITTO will post a Registration Form for the conference together with more details on www.itto.or.jp in the coming months. Information on obtaining entry visas for the People's Republic of China will also be provided.

For other visa services, please visit the website of the Chinese Embassy in your country of residence.

Contact

ITTO Secretariat
Forest Industry Division
Tel: +81 45 223 1110
Fax: +81 45 223 1111
Email: fi@itto.or.jp