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IV. Forestry and forest products


1. The Technical Committee on Forestry and Forest Products held seven meetings between 30 October and 9 November 1961.

2. Fifty-five delegates from forty-four Member Nations participated. In addition, observers were present from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

3. The Committee unanimously elected the following officers:

Chairman : Khalid Hamad (Sudan)

Vice-Chairman :
A. Leslie Best (Canada)
Tasdique Husain (Pakistan).

4. The terms of reference of the Committee being noted as those contained in document C 61/24, the provisional agenda contained in document C 61/INF/2 was adopted. The Committee devoted a portion of one of its meetings to a discussion of development aid and field programs with which FAO was directly concerned or associated.

5. A Drafting Subcommittee was appointed to formulate the Committee's report, comprising representatives of Canada, France, Pakistan, Spain and Sudan, with Henry E. Clepper (U.S.A.) as Rapporteur.


6. The Director of the Forestry and Forest Products Division gave an introductory statement on the work of FAO carried out in 196061, and the program proposed for 1962-63. The Committee took note of the trend toward a reorientation of FAO's work as the result of the great change in size and in the nature of field programs. This, and the need for increased forest production to keep pace with rising world requirements, were the factors that had primarily influenced the planning of the 1962-63 regular program of work and budget.

7. While appreciating that all activities of the Organization were closely interlocked, delegates were particularly concerned that the field programs appeared to be causing a slowing down of certain important phases of the regular program. Through 1960 and 1961 the sudden spurt of activities under the United Nations Special Fund for Economic Development and other programs found the Organization with no resources earmarked to support the heavy new workload. This affected to an identifiable and substantial degree, regular program activities as approved by the Tenth Session of the FAO Conference.

8. The Committee was informed that the Division was likely to face another increase in workload from field programs for instance the Freedom from Hunger Campaign and the FAO food surplus disposal program, not to speak of such developments as project planning in EPTA or increasing collaboration with bilateral aid programs.

9. The Committee welcomed the growth in number and variety of field programs, which were of great value to the developing countries and because they in turn made important contributions to the regular program. But as a matter of principle, field activities, however useful, should not disrupt the basic regular program. In other words, there should in future be no curtailment of approved regular program activities for which funds had been specifically voted.

10. Delegates were informed that the situation as recently experienced was improving as allocations from the United Nations Special Fund became available for overhead expenses. The Committee conceded that it was not within its terms of reference to comment on the regulations governing the distribution of expenditures under funds external to the Organization. Nevertheless, it recommend, that the Director-General take action to ensure that amounts shall be forthcoming to the Organization from the United Nations Special Fund, EPTA and other sources external to the regular budget, sufficient to support fully not only the operational phases of field programs but also all planning preparation and follow-up. It further recommends that appropriate action be taken to co-ordinate the programing periods of FAO, EPTA, the Special Fund and similar outside agencies. This would enable FAO to indicate in a clearer way the field programs to be considered by the Technical Committees of the Conference.

11. The Committee agreed that the program of work for 1962-63 as presented by the Director-General was well balanced. It noted the proposed establishment of a fourth technical branch to deal with Forest Industries and Utilization, and hoped this would increase the Division's efficiency. It strongly emphasized that, should unforeseen circumstances arise that impose adjustments in the regular program activities as approved by the Eleventh Session of the FAO Conference, the over-all balance of the regular program must not be impaired.

12. For the future, the Committee believes that since regular and field programs are differently financed, although in many respects integrated, means should be devised including forward estimates of the cost of future field programs, to enable the Conference of FAO, and in particular its Technical Committee on Forestry and Forest Products, to review meaningfully and constructively all the work of the Organization.

Activities through 1960 and 1961

13. In other respects, the Committee commended the Division on the program fulfilled through 1960 and 1961. Items singled out for special mention were the study tour on Latin-American conifers, the second World Eucalyptus Conference, the Far East Inventory Training Center, the inauguration of the Near East Forest Rangers' School, the first sessions of the African and North American Forestry Commissions the study on Timber trends and prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, the work related to pulp and paper, and co-operation with ILO and the Economic Commission for Europe on forest working techniques and training of forest workers.

Program of work 1962-63

14. The Committee agreed that the proposed regular program of work for 1962 and 1963 reflected trends in world forestry the needs of member countries, and the directives of the FAO Conference, regional conferences, regional forestry commissions and other bodies. It was, as already said, well balanced.

15. Of the main lines of activity to receive special emphasis the Committee agreed that education and training had first importance. Other lines that should be given high priority were forest inventories, land use (including shifting cultivation watershed management and grazing in forests and other open land); development of forest industries (pulp and paper, sawmilling, plywood manufacture and other industries); logging; quick-growing tree species; and silviculture (including research on savanna forestry).

Education and training

16. Education and training were the basic means of helping to narrow the gap between the developed and developing countries. The Committee was glad to note the number of United Nations Special Fund projects being developed by countries to improve education and training facilities.

17. In principle, there should be ranger schools and facilities for training subordinate staff and providing vocational training in every country where the forest resources represent a valuable potential. At present, however, there is still a strong case for regional facilities; therefore the Near East Forest Rangers' School should continue to be supported by FAO and indeed be strengthened through EPTA, and means should be found to establish a center for French-speaking countries of Africa.

18. Higher university training should be available in nations having extensive forest resources or at regional centers for groups of neighboring countries where separate university-type facilities are not warranted, for instance in West and East Africa. Postgraduate and specialized training may generally best be obtained in long-established centers abroad. The FAO Advisory Panel on Forestry Education had confirmed this approach, which clearly revealed the widespread need for teachers in the developing countries. Fellowships for training abroad were the immediate solution for the shortage of teachers.

19. The provision of facilities and programs must be related to the results of manpower-requirement surveys and to actual development needs and plans. Personnel requirements for forestry and for forest industries must be taken into account in general FAO programs aimed at promoting properly planned and phased education and training facilities. In this connection the Committee heard with approval of the work of the Latin-American Advisory Group on Education and Research (GACIFAL). Several delegates recommended that a similar group be forthwith established through EPTA for Africa, and for the Far East region too.

20. The Committee believes that education in forestry economics and in development planning needs to be greatly expanded in existing and new centers everywhere.

21. Delegates heard with interest that extension courses were to be introduced at the forestry school in Madrid to train Spanish students for work in tropical or subtropical Spanish-speaking countries, and for students from countries of Latin America.

22. As regards public education, a proposal was made that FAO explore ways of disseminating among countries ideas on posters and publicity material for forestry.

23. The Committee was advised of negotiations under way to accelerate the preparation of a multilingual forest terminology, and for the publication in the meantime of a multilingual glossary of forestry terms, and hoped that they would prove successful.

Development planning

24. The Committee expressed disappointment that it had not been found possible to devote adequate attention to problems of planning the medium- and long-term development of forestry and forest industries, especially in regard to questions of organization and methodology. This point is referred to later in this report, but the Committee noted that the Division had been active in FAO's Mediterranean Project and subsequent follow-up, in the special African survey submitted to the Conference of FAO, and would be in the new Alliance for Progress program in Latin America.

25. In connection with the latter, a recommendation was made for the appointment, through EPTA, of a regional adviser on the forestry aspects of colonization and agrarian reform programs expected to develop through all countries of Latin America. It was also recommended that the existing Latin-American Advisory Group on Pulp and Paper Development, a joint EPTA project of FAO and the Economic Commission for Latin America, be expanded to cover the whole sphere of both forestry and forest industry development.

26. The Committee heard with great interest of the seminar conducted in 1961 in Germany by the Institute for Developing Countries for senior officials from Africa and Asia, and of the similar seminar planned for 1962 for officials from Latin-American countries. It also welcomed a seminar on planning for forest industry development proposed to be organized by Yugoslavia. FAO co-operation in such seminars furthered its objectives and supplemented its resources.

27. The Committee noted with satisfaction the progress being made in collaboration with the regional economic commissions of the United Nations on the cycle of studies of timber resources and requirements. These should be completed before 1965, so that the Sixth World Forestry Congress will have the opportunity of conducting the first global review of the present and potential role of the forest resources in contributing to human welfare.

Forest inventories

28. Many delegates believed that the striking progress made in recent years in increasing the precision and lowering the cost of forest inventories would be of great value to developing countries intent on mobilizing their forest resources, and they welcomed the successful efforts of FAO to place these new techniques at the disposal of member countries. They hoped that it would be possible with the aid of EPTA funds to organize regional training centers on forest inventory methods for Latin America and Africa.

29. The Committee welcomed the news that the Division's capacity to support additional effort in field projects was strengthened by the appointment of an inventory specialist through the United Nations Special Fund allocation for overheads.

Land use

30. The Committee gave high importance to the proper integration of forestry into land-use patterns. It noted the improved collaboration between agricultural and forestry interests that was evident in Europe, and considered that this trend should be extended.

31. Proposals for establishing a working party on forest range management especially to be concerned with socio-economic and legal aspects, and for work on the influence of goat grazing, shelterbelts and forests in arid zones, were referred to the Mediterranean Forestry Subcommission. Forest range management and the permanent settlement of nomadic tribes were vital matters for the Near East region and the Mediterranean basin.

32. Some delegates also drew to the attention of the Division the importance which they attached to forestry phases of the Lower Mekong Development Project. These involved especially shifting cultivation and its control.

33. The Committee called attention to the importance of the watershed management work of the Division. The economic aspects of watershed management were mentioned and the desirability of publishing the manual on watershed management principles, already prepared in collaboration with the Land and Water Development Division. The observation was made that commercial publishers might be interested.

34. The Committee strongly urged a strengthening of cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), especially in regard to programs of wildlife conservation and management' and national parks.

Quick-growing tree species

35. The use of quick-growing species, both indigenous and exotic, temperate and tropical, appears to be one of the most promising practices for increasing supplies of wood. Some delegates considered natural tropical hardwood forests to be a diminishing asset except as regard their protective role, because of the difficulties and cost of securing regeneration of commercial valuable species. Plantations - but not necessarily of exotics - might be preferable, provided planting programs are linked directly to plans for economic development and prospective markets, or to local needs.

36. Delegates warned of some of the dangers inherent in the widespread creation of plantations. Research institutes, for instance, had a great responsibility to conduct timely research on species and wood quality to be sure that what is grown is utilizable for the purposes required.

37. The Committee warmly welcomed an invitation from Sweden to hold the proposed world consultation on forest tree improvement in that country in the autumn of 1963. Seed provenance, seed orchards, exchange of planting material, and management techniques should receive full attention at this meeting. It also took note of and welcomed invitations from Yugoslavia to host the next session of the International Poplar Commission, from Spain to receive the Joint Working

Party on Afforestation and Reforestation, and from France to receive the Working Party on Chestnut of the European Forestry Commission.

38. The Committee heard with interest of the research projects directly related to FAO's work which member institutes of IUFRO in the Mediterranean area proposed to conduct. It noted with gratitude the offer of the Agriculture and Forestry Experimental Center of the Ente Nazionale Cellulosa e Carta in Rome to provide the necessary secretariat facilities, and of Tunisia to lend the facilities of its forest research institute.

Forest protection

39. The Committee expressed the hope that it would prove possible, as proposed in the 1962-63 program, to organize a study tour on forest fire prevention and control techniques, similar to that conducted in the U.S.A. in 1951. It referred the matter to the North American Forestry Commission and its Forest Fire Control Working Party. The Committee welcomed as most useful a proposal emanating from the Thirteenth IUFRO Congress that FAO organize an international symposium on the control of tree diseases. Such a project should be included in the 1964-65 program but there would be great advantage in bringing it forward to 1963 if this could be done without displacing any other approved project.

Forest industries development

40. Strong support was expressed for the Division's activities carried out in accordance with the directives of the last FAO Conference, designed to encourage a sound expansion of pulp industries in line with the ability of local resources to produce continuously adequate wood supplies and with trends in paper demand and requirements, with emphasis on the developing region. This sector of forest industries is constantly growing in importance and the time is ripe for intensified attention at the international level. The Committee especially welcomed the successful establishment of the Advisory Committee on Pulp and Paper to advise the Organization on its work, and the undertaking of a special study on pulp and paper prospects in Europe, financed by industry.

41. Mechanical industries still take the bulk of the present output of industrial wood. Moreover, such industries because of the relatively low investment involved and the proportionately greater effect on employment, are often more suited to the possibilities of developing countries than pulp and paper mills.

42. The Committee approved the holding of a world consultation on plywood and panel products, and hoped that out of it would come a publication analogous to that resulting from the meeting on fibreboard and wood particle board held in 1957.

43. An invitation from Poland for FAO, together with the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), to organize a study tour on the utilization of small-sized wood, was welcomed. Markets and uses ought to be found for many millions of cubic meters of such wood annually, if intensive forest management is to be encouraged. This suggested that FAO should strengthen the effort devoted to rural industries and the training of craftsmen and artisans. The Committee, therefore recommended that the United Nations Special Fund and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign should consider any application for help in this important field of work with the utmost sympathy.


44. Logging is a sphere where new ideas and developments in methods, tools and equipment can most readily be spread from one country and region to another. The Committee endorsed the extension of improved techniques into developing regions, and welcomed the collaboration of ILO in this endeavor. Two particular aspects were mentioned as needing attention, the logging of watershed (catchment) areas so as to avoid erosion and adverse effects on water supplies and the economic removal of small-sized timber from plantations so as to permit early returns.

45. The Committee noted the success of the training courses on forest working techniques organized jointly by FAO, ILO and ECE in different European countries. Such courses can lead quickly to an appreciable rise in productivity. It therefore endorsed the proposal in the 1962-63 program that FAO/ILO courses should be arranged through EPTA in each developing region. The courses should not concentrate solely on exploitation techniques as there are many other types of forest operation which can be usefully covered, for instance planting methods.


46. The value of study tours in spreading, knowledge of silvicultural techniques was stressed by several delegates. The invitation of the Netherlands to host the next silvicultural tour of the European Forestry Commission, on the subject of thinning techniques, was welcomed. The Committee was glad to note that FAO would give to savanna forestry the priority requested by the African Forestry Commission. It heard with interest the intention of Nigeria to seek the help of the United Nations Special Fund in establishing a savanna research institute.

47. Some delegates made strong representations that the problem of improving the productivity of small woodlands should receive closer attention. The Committee felt that this was a matter for the regional forestry commissions.

48. Some delegates urged that IUFRO be asked to consider holding some of its meetings and congresses outside Europe.

Wood technology

49. The Committee endorsed the holding of a Fifth FAO Conference on Wood Technology in 1963. Reservations were expressed as to the advisability of assembling at the same time the directors and leaders of forest products research laboratories and institutes, as proposed in the program of work. IUFRO should be consulted in this regard in view of its recent decision to expand its section on forest products.

Regional activities

50. The Deputy-Director of the Forestry and Forest Products Division described the trends that were emerging in the various regions as revealed through the regional forestry commissions. The Committee noted that the pattern of these commissions now covered the whole membership of FAO.

51. The Committee took note of the reports of the African Forestry Commission (First Session) and the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (Fifth Session). It endorsed the recommendation made by both these bodies that the Teak Subcommission should be transformed into a joint body of the two Commissions.

52. It also took note of the reports of the European Forestry Commission (Eleventh Session), Latin-American Forestry Commission (Seventh Session), and North American Forestry Commission (First Session). It commended the decisions and recommendations expressed in all these reports to the attention of the Director-General and of Member Governments.

53. The Committee also formally took note of the reports of the First Session of the Governing Council of the now independent Latin-American Forest Research and Training

Institute (together with the comments of the Second Session of the Latin-American Forestry Commission's Forest Research Committee) and of the reports of the First and Second Sessions of the Governing Body of the Near East Forest Rangers' School.

World forestry congresses

54. The Committee requested the Eleventh Session of the FAO Conference to convey to the Government of the United States of America, in the Conference report, the great appreciation and admiration of Member Nations for the manner and spirit in which the Fifth World Forestry Congress had been organized Seattle in 1960. It was an historic event in world forestry.

55. As regards the Sixth World Forestry Congress, the Committee recommends to the Eleventh Session of the Conference of FAO that it should request the Director-General to send out a letter early in 1962 to all countries, members of FAO or of the United Nations, inviting formal offers to serve as host to the Congress. The replies received should be submitted to the 1962 session of the FAO Council which would at that time decide on the particular invitation to be accepted. The Committee noted that Argentina and Spain had already extended offers to organize the Congress. It received with pleasure a statement by the delegate of Thailand that his Government also would be formally inviting the Congress to meet in his country.

Future programs and program trends

56. In the preceding paragraphs some projects are mentioned additional to those already contained in the Director-General's proposed 1962-63 program. These should be included in a future program of work.

57. Several delegates proposed that, given the examples of the man-made forests of New Zealand, Chile, East and South Africa, and other countries, and the problems of international interest that they posed, a Southern Hemisphere conference on quick-growing tree species should be included by FAO in a future work program. This might in effect be an elaboration of the series of world eucalyptus conferences arranged by the Organization.

58. The Committee also supported a proposal that there be accelerated action to develop international grading rules for round and sawn timber.

59. As a result of the general discussion the consensus was that the program of work for 1964-65 should maintain the balance of the 1962-63 program, with no major shift in emphasis. Priority should be given to: education and training; quick-growing tree species; resources surveys and appraisals; watershed (catchment area) management; utilization of presently unmarketable hard woods in tropical regions; pulp and paper development; development planning for forestry and forest industries.

60. Delegates discussed at length possible changes in the method of presentation of future accountability reports and programs of work and budgets. It was agreed that it would make the work of Technical Committees more effective if an itemized tabulation giving the work content, authorization and documentation for each project listed, could be given in future. The Committee, therefore, recommends that Commission II should give this point its earnest consideration.

61. A further proposal concerning the method of presentation of future programs of work and budgets was presented.

Other business

62. In concluding its series of meetings, the Committee wishes to express its appreciation of the arrangements made by the FAO Council, enabling Technical Committees to meet prior to the Eleventh Session of the FAO Conference. The additional time allotted for Committee meetings, coupled with their revised terms of reference, allowed for the production of a report containing all significant details of the Committee's work, and resulted in a most productive and meaningful effort.

Adoption of report

63. A draft report, as presented by the Rapporteur, was considered and after certain amendments, adopted unanimously on 9 November 1961.

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