Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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12.5.7 Institutional Mechanisms

A large number of institutions will be involved in technology transfer between countries. They are multilateral agencies, bilateral agencies, commercial financing agencies, international R&D institutions, national and international NGOs, national Ministries of Environment, forest departments, timber companies, brokerage agencies, and national research institutions. The governments have to play a key facilitative role. There is an increased need and scope for private sector participation particularly in the forestry sector projects, currently dominated by the state forest departments. Brokerage institutions could play a key role in providing information on potential sources of funding, technological alternatives and sources, and in assisting local institutions in developing countries in preparing project proposals and in negotiating terms and conditions. Similarly, local, national and international NGOs could ensure appropriate technologies are transferred and interests of forest dependent communities are protected. Institutions such as FAO, CIFOR, and ICRAF could promote international scientific collaborations and capacity building in developing countries.

The current low level of technology transfer in the forestry sector can partly be attributed to institutional inadequacies, some of which are listed in Table 12.2, as institutional barriers. The majority of the institutions have to be set up in non-Annex I countries and financial support for capacity building and providing incentives to local communities, timber logging companies may have to come from Annex I countries. However, timber certification agencies may have to be set up in Annex I countries. These certification agencies could be internationally approved by credible agencies to ensure an unbiased evaluation.

Adoption of mechanisms to promote technology transfer in the forestry sector requires the existing institutions as well as some new institutions. The existing bilateral and multilateral institutions will continue to play a dominant role in funding forestry-sector mitigation projects. Once the new mechanisms such as JI and CDM are approved, there will be an increased interest in funding forestry mitigation projects, provided that forestry projects are permitted. One of the key barriers to increased participation of bilateral, multilateral and private sector institutions is the uncertainty regarding the sustainability, measurement and verification of the C abated. Thus, it is very important to establish internationally acceptable monitoring and verification procedures and institutions. International institutions such as FAO, NGOs and private firms pre-approved by the FCCC Secretariat for monitoring and verification are required (Sathaye et al., 1997). These institutions could also play a role in the timber certification process.

Currently, many of the institutions, particularly in developing countries, are not aware of the opportunities provided under new and emerging mechanisms. In addition, these institutions in developing countries may not have access to all the information required and the procedures for preparing proposals and for negotiating terms and conditions. Thus, there is a need for setting up technology transfer mechanisms or brokerage institutions to assist multilateral and bilateral institutions, industries and utilities in Annex I countries as well as the governments, farmers' organisations, NGOs and industries in developing countries. Even agencies such as the World Bank are already acting as intermediaries between the utilities in OECD countries and recipient agencies in developing countries (e.g., carbon fund). Promotion of forestry-sector mitigation projects and the accompanying technology component would require careful attention as its adoption could impact biodiversity and the watershed role of forests and further affect the poorest and indigenous communities. Due to the potential of forestry mitigation programmes for biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, and provision of socio-economic benefits, it may be necessary to provide additional incentives.

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