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Major Programme 2.4: Forestry

Regular Programme




Programme of Work



Budgetary Transfers



Final Programme of Work






(Over)/Under Spending, US$ '000



(Over)/Under Spending, %


Field Programme




Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery



Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery



TCP Delivery



Total Field Programme Delivery



Ratio of Field to Regular Programme



Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost



Technical Support Services, % of delivery


Programme Outcome
















Methodologies and Guidelines








Coordination and Information Exchange








Information Systems and Data Bases








International Undertakings and Agreements
































Support to Member Countries and the Field









284. The programme focused on sustainable forest management. The FAO Strategic Plan for Forestry was developed in consultation with the member countries through the six regional forestry commissions and the Committee on Forestry. The plan complemented the Strategic Framework for FAO 2000-2015, with the following priorities:

The under spending of US$ 556,000 shown in the above table mainly resulted from external income and internal transfers for technical support services having been US$ 574,000 less than the amount programmed in the Programme of Work and Budget 1998-1999.

285. The Second Ministerial Meeting on Sustainability Issues: Forestry, the National and International Challenges was convened in March 1999. The 439 delegates from 127 member countries adopted the Rome Declaration on Forestry, pledging to improve forest management and promote cooperation to achieve sustainable management worldwide.

Programme 2.4.1: Forest Resources

286. Support continued for development and implementation of criteria for sustainable forest management at national and field level, including the introduction of processes in the Near East and the dry zone in Africa.

287. Significant progress was made on the Forest Resources Assessment for 2000 (FRA 2000), the most comprehensive study ever of world forest and woodland resources, including special studies of environmental attributes. Global forest maps and databases were updated; workshops were held in many countries on methods for the year 2000 assessment. FRA 2000 is being conducted by the countries themselves, with FAO coordinating, but with an emphasis on capacity-building. Findings will be released in reports and on the Internet in 2000-01.

288. A worldwide information system on forest genetic resources (REFORGEN) was developed, disseminating data on improved productivity and conservation of biological diversity in forest ecosystems. Institutions involved in forest genetic resources were strengthened at all levels, supported by workshops in Sahelian Africa and in the Pacific Islands. A guide to in situ conservation of forest genetic resources was developed and distributed.

289. The Asia Pacific Forestry Commission, with FAO support, established a working group on sustainable forest management. The problem of implementation at field level is being tackled with guidelines for sustainable timber harvesting developed in consultation with governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the private sector, an excellent example of a partnership approach to a regional problem. Work is carried out by member countries, with FAO as facilitator.

290. Pest management networks were developed in Eastern and Southern Africa; support was provided for similar networks in West Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean. Pest-control strategies were developed as part of management planning in several countries, reducing the extent of forest lost or degraded due to insects and disease.

291. Plantations are increasingly important sources of timber and fibre to meet growing global demand. FAO provides information and support for the establishment, management and protection of forest plantations, including utilisation of improved tree species that are ecologically and commercially appropriate. Outputs included:

292. Management of trees outside forests was emphasised in rural development programmes. Management of silvo-pastoral ecosystems in arid zones and of trees in irrigated farming schemes were supported. Networks were established in Africa and Latin America to share information and develop effective agroforestry and soil conservation to combat desertification. Work continued on promoting best practices for dryland forest management through published guidelines and support for workshops facilitating exchanges of experience, particularly in West and Southern Africa.

293. As task manager for Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 - Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development - FAO leads preparations for the International Year of Mountains (2002), a collaborative undertaking to develop common approaches addressing an issue critical to sustainable development. Significant progress was made in 1998-99.

294. FAO particularly supports management of wildlife and protected areas and conservation of biological diversity in Asia and Africa; the component is already strong in Latin America. The aim is more effective protected area management, fostering links with sustainable rural development.

295. FAO continued to coordinate wildlife conservation and protected area management through:

Protected Area Management and Sustainable Rural Development

The reconciliation of rural development with protected area management is essential to conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage. In collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe, FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) co-hosted an International Technical Consultation in Zimbabwe in October 1999. The participants' communiqué advocates the need to:

  • move from authoritarian management towards accommodating the needs of society;
  • strengthen local institutions for managing protected areas while promoting sustainable development in local communities;
  • develop models for protected area management, sharing results;
  • increase sustainable benefits from protected areas to local communities;
  • urge governments to make provision for marginalised populations and communities in and around protected areas

FAO, UNEP and other organizations should continue to provide a forum for dialogue, especially at regional level, on reconciliation between protected area management and sustainable rural development.

The consultation recommended continuity and links between this Consultation and the forthcoming National Parks Congress in South Africa.

The 13th Session of the African Forestry Commission Working Party on Wildlife Management and National Parks will revisit these issues, particularly management of protected areas.


Programme 2.4.2: Forest Products

296. The Global Fibre Supply Model (GFSM), covering 95 percent of the world's forests, was made available through a CD-ROM in English, French or Spanish and the FAO Internet site. It projects fibre supply under three scenarios to 2050. Interaction with the private sector continues through the Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products (ACPWP). The Recovered Paper Data report was issued after a four-year interruption due to lack of resources. Participation continues in activities of the Association technique internationale des bois tropicaux (ATIBT).

297. To promote knowledge of the benefits of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) to household economies, food security and environmental conservation, expert consultations were held in Cameroon, Finland and Lebanon. Two editions of FAO's newsletter, Non-wood News, were published. A directory of NWFP agencies was developed.

298. FAO has an important role in considering technical aspects of forest practices with respect to climate change, supporting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). FAO hosted an international consultation in Honduras in 1999 and contributed technical analyses to this issue.

299. Fuelwood and charcoal are environment-friendly energy sources for developed and rural communities. FAO serves as clearing house for information, assists in the systematic use of information about wood energy and has developed a global wood energy information system. Studies on fuelwood and charcoal organizations were distributed in Africa, Asia and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries A study of socio-economic and environmental impacts of wood-based energy projects was published.

300. There is agreement that improved wood utilisation in tropical harvesting areas reduces deforestation. Methods were developed to identify appropriate end-uses for sawn wood of lesser-known tropical trees. Information was compiled on new forest utilisation systems.

301. Results were published of an expert consultation on forest road surveying and of a seminar on environmentally sound forest transport in Romania held by FAO, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the International Labour Organization (ILO). There was a workshop on developments in cable transport for wood and a seminar, in collaboration with the Government of Austria, on forest operations for countries in transition to market economies. Four case studies were prepared on reduced-impact harvesting in steep terrain.

302. Two studies of the impact of forest products on development and the environment were published:

303. Papers dealing with certification, trade restrictions and prospects were presented in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Inputs were provided in training workshops for developing countries, including a training course on the Uruguay Round and Future Multilateral Trade Negotiations in Agriculture.

304. A compendium of marketing databases was completed. Studies were made of log auction systems, marketing of medical plants, plantation timber prices and consumer attitudes towards forest products with environmental, social and sustainability attributes.

Environmentally Sound Forest Roads

Opening roads is a precondition for sustainable forest utilisation; tropical forest roads are part of the transport infrastructure. Road construction is essential for using forest resources, but the infrastructure could be destroyed if not properly planned, particularly in areas with high population pressure.

Poor forest roads often result not from shortage of funds, modern equipment or methods but from lack of awareness of the negative impacts of badly made roads on the ecosystem. It pays to work close to nature.

The FAO programme Improvement of Forest Engineering and Harvesting proposes a strategy to reduce destructive impacts, calling for:

  • competent personnel;
  • pre-harvest network planning in relation to directional felling;
  • equipment requiring lower road density;
  • downgrading road width, saving costs and productive land;
  • re-establishing vegetation on disused roads and landings;
  • bypassing wet soils, streams, cultural or religious sites and habitats of rare plants and animals.

A recent FAO case study compares traditional logging, with 20 percent of the harvesting area affected by roads and landings, with an environmentally sound system in Brazil with only 4.5 percent.


Programme 2.4.3: Forestry Policy and Planning

305. The main barrier to sustainable forest management is insufficient institutional capability to pursue effective policies, especially in developing countries. The core of FAO forestry policy is collaboration with member countries to strengthen institutions. In 1998-99, FAO and local institutions organised four seminars in Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasising development of forestry policies and institutions; similar seminars are planned for other regions in 2000-01.

306. Forestry is a key area in many countries moving to market-based economies. During 1998-99, FAO provided training and direct assistance to several countries developing policies and legal frameworks for sustainable forest management in a market economy. In Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Albania, this was coordinated under the TCP programme; in China, Mongolia, Myanmar and Vietnam, it was carried out in collaboration with Japan under the FAO/Government Cooperative Programme.

307. Many issues addressed by the World Bank in its forestry policy review are similar to those being analysed by the Forestry Department. During 1998-99, FAO and the World Bank undertook several in-depth analyses of the present situation and policy options for forestry issues such as sustainable management and livelihoods, governance, climate change and product markets. The results are a point of reference in decisions about forestry sector investment policies and priorities.

308. Support continued for regional research networks as tools to strengthen national capacities and regional cooperation. A regional meeting was organised in Brazil with the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria (EMBRAPA) and the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO); an East Africa sub-regional meeting was held with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, with links to networks in other African sub-regions. Assistance was provided to countries adapting forestry education and extension systems to new conditions. Case studies were prepared on forestry education in Central and Eastern Europe. Support was provided to Slovenia and Malawi to develop mechanisms for implementation of natural resource policies.

309. The State of the World's Forests 1999 (SOFO 99) extended SOFO 95 and 97 to address policy and institutional developments, future directions and external influences on the sector. Released in connection with the 14th session of the Committee on Forestry, it was well received as a publication demonstrating the links between forest resources and management, environmental and social services of forests and the evolving institutional framework.

310. Member countries have requested FAO and other organizations to improve collaboration in collecting information, reducing duplication and national reporting burdens. As an example of improvements made in 1998-99, FAO, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) developed a questionnaire about production and trade of forest products. The information is requested only once per year; results are available to partners and internationally via the Internet and statistical publications, including FAO's Forest Products Yearbook.

311. The Interagency Task Force on Forests (ITFF), chaired by FAO, coordinates the work of forestry organizations informally at high level. It includes the:

312. Established in 1995, ITFF continued to support the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests in 1998-99.

Global Forestry Information

FAO's expanded Forestry Internet site opened during the 14th session of the Committee on Forestry (Rome, March 1999), providing policy and technical information on sustainable forest management and hyperlinks to forestry Internet sites in member countries and partner institutions. An innovation is that much of the information is automatically updated through links with FAO-World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) databases. Visitors can navigate by country, subject or organization. This site is a major step toward providing a global forestry information centre

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