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2.1. The organisation

· This workshop was the first in a series of five (four of which are taking place in Africa) and focused geographically on seven North and East-African countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.

· Two participants per country (except in the case of Kenya, which sent six), attended the workshop while a number of national and international NGOs and donor-funded projects were present as observers. Four FAO Officers (three from Rome and one from Accra) were involved in this exercise. The list of workshop participants is attached in Appendix V.

· The FAO representative sent each participating country, approximately one month prior to the workshop, several background documents related to the forest resources and products in their country.

· One FAO staff member travelled to Kenya one week before the workshop to finalise preparation with i) FAO Representative in Kenya, ii) UNEP and iii) the management team of the Sarova Hotels Company where the workshop was held.

2.2. Welcome and introductory addresses

· As Chairman, Mr. George Ochieng welcomed the participants to workshop in Kenya. He expressed his desire for a constructive meeting that would focus on the generation of useful forest data, particularly non-wood forest products (NWFPs), and on its practical application in forest planning.

· Mr. Bai-mass Taal, speaking on behalf of UNEP and of his colleague, Mr. Jinhau Zhang, spoke warmly of the co-operation between FAO and UNEP, and outlined UNEP's involvement in and contribution to the Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2000) in Africa.

· In his capacity as FAO Representative to Kenya, Mr. D. Gustafson echoed the welcome expressed by the Chairman and drew particular attention to the good collaboration FAO experienced with both UNEP and EU. Mr. Gustafson spoke optimistically of the opportunities for developing FAO's forestry field programme in Kenya.

· Mr. Giovanni Preto (Senior Forest Officer, Forest Resources Division, FAO), speaking on behalf of the ADG of the FAO Forestry Department, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Government of Kenya, UNEP and, in particular, to the EU, whose support was indispensable in achieving project objectives. He also presented an introductory address entitled Information Needs for Formulating and Developing Sustainable Forest Policy and Programmes, which elaborated the role and need for various sorts of forestry statistics.

· Mr. Peter Lowe (Forestry Planning Officer, Regional Office for Africa, FAO), conveyed the cordial greetings of Mr. Pape Kone, FAO's Senior Forest Officer in Africa, and presented a paper entitled the Forestry Situation in Africa (see Appendix III, b). This paper reviewed the needs for forest statistics and, in particular, emphasised the importance of regional and sub-regional collaboration among countries to provide policy makers with harmonised data in order that they might develop and adopt common negotiating positions in global discussions of sustainable forest management. The speaker suggested that considerations of the contribution of forests to Food Security provided a powerful theme on which foresters could approach data collection, and he provided various examples. Finally, he highlighted various problems and deficiencies in forestry data collection in Africa which need to be addressed, and in so doing, informed the participants of the proposed Forestry Outlook Study for Africa (FOSA) which FAO was initiating in concert with various partners, including the EU.

· Mr. Felice Padovani, Forestry Officer (Statistics) gave a exposition on the role of forestry statistics in FAO's information databases (WAICENT), highlighting the relative strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement that might be considered by workshop participants.

2.3. Workshop activities

· The workshop lasted four and a half days and was divided for one and a half days into two parallel working groups (Forest Resources and Forest Products). A copy of the agenda is attached in Appendix I.

· A Senior Forestry Officer of the Kenya Forest Department was invited to chair the plenary sessions, while the two parallel working groups (Forest Resources and Forest Products) were chaired by Senior Forestry Officers of participating countries.

· The participants from each of the seven countries presented in plenary session a country brief according to the format distributed prior to the workshop. A thorough discussion of the main topics analysed in the country reports followed each presentation, and the comments made have provided a good starting point for the parallel working groups.

· There were also a number of other presentations, which enriched the discussions:

· Two parallel sessions have been organised for an in depth discussion and analysis of the forestry sector in the Region, one concerning forest resources and the other forest products. The participants, according to their specific interest and engagement in forest administration, actively took part in the one and half day working group discussion.

· As support to the technical discussions and in addition to the background information sent to each country, complementary FAO documentation was distributed during the workshop; these papers are listed in Appendix III, c.

· The discussion group was introduced by presentations made by the Senior Forestry Officer, FAO HQs, and the Regional Forestry Officer, FAO RAFR. The Forest Resources Working Group was asked to consider the following aspects of forest resource information:

· The discussion group on Forest Products and Information Technology was briefed by the Forestry Officer from FAO headquarters. The Forest Products Working Group was asked to consider the following aspects of forest products:

· Special consideration was given to the NWFPs component. The FAO Forestry Consultant individually interviewed each country participant on NWFPs. Based on the background material and NWFPs statistics prepared by FAO Officers in Rome, discussions lead to up-dated comments on this issue (see Appendix IV). Three participating countries (Eritrea, Sudan and Kenya) presented special papers on NWFPs.

· The FAO APO in Kenya provided assistance during discussion topic with her report on Trees Outside the Forest.

· In the plenary final session the conclusions and recommendations of both working groups were discussed. See Reports of the Forest Resources Team and the Forest Products Team (Appendix IV, b and e). A follow-up agenda for the next Workshop was also agreed upon.

2.4. Presentation of Country Briefs

Participants from each country presented in plenary session, a country brief according to the format distributed prior to the workshop. The reports did not include wildlife aspects to any significant degree, which may be attributed to a lack of emphasis in the standard format, as well as institutional factors in each country. See Appendix V for full Country Reports.

· The report on Eritrea was based primarily on FAO sources (Agriculture Sector Review, 1994; Investment Centre Identification Mission, 1996; TCP Report, 1997) and Ministry of Agriculture documents. It provided a good description of forestry in Eritrea, including the potential of non-wood forest products (e.g. incense and Opuntia cactus).

· The report on Ethiopia was based mainly on the Ethiopian Forestry Action Plan, 1994 which provided an exhaustive review of forestry. The report concludes that the country is currently weak in the generation and management of natural resource information.

· The report on Kenya was based on the Kenya Forestry Master Plan, enhanced by other recent sources, such as the Kenyan Forestry Department and IUCN. Despite the comprehensive nature of the report, it concludes that there is a serious shortage of data regarding forests, and a need to improve information management capacity.

· Kenya submitted a second report on Non-wood Forest Products which described the large role of NWFPs in Kenya. With the exception of forest barks for tannin and other commercial purposes, due to the informal nature of utilisation, quantification is lacking.

· The report on Somalia was based on the scarce documentation predating the civil war. The report vividly described the urgent needs of the country and the necessity of the forest administration to deal with effects of civil war on the country's forest resources, particularly, how forest administration is impossible due to the current lack of government in Mogadishu.

· The report on Sudan was orientated to non-wood goods and services. It was based mainly on official government statistics. The data provides a detailed account of the importance of NWFPs in Sudan and exemplifies the kind of data collection possible.

· The report on Tanzania was based primarily on information obtained from the Tanzania Forestry Action Plan (1989/90 - 2007/8), supplemented by the National Environment Action Plan (1994) and National Land Cover and Land Use Survey (1996). The report is mainly descriptive in nature and concludes that the forestry sector's contribution to the national economy is under stated due to lack of reliable forest statistics, even in regard to the formal sector.

· The report on Uganda was based mainly on reports of the National Biomass Study and on government statistical services. Although, as with most other countries, these were relatively weak in the area of NWFPs, the information provided on forest cover, stocking and change presents a comprehensive picture.

2.5. Other Presentations

There were also a number of other presentations that enriched the discussions.

· A Forest Action Network (FAN) representative based in Kenya gave a brief presentation on the role of NGOs in forestry, and on the type of data their activities can generate, such as conflict over natural resources, tenure and property rights, gender relationships and dependency on forest resources. Particular attention was drawn to the potential contribution of NGOs to FRA 2000 in terms of information on Trees Outside the Forest, fuelwood consumption and NWFPs (see Appendix IV).

· An ICRAF representative was called on short notice to outline their role in data collection. He recalled ICRAF's relative advantage in relation to non-forest tree data, especially concerning Trees Outside the Forest (TOF), and affirmed that TOF is regarded as a priority area by ICRAF. In terms of potential collaboration with EC-FAO, ICRAF has indicated its interest in undertaking the First Phase of the regional study Assessment of Trees-Outside-Forest: Contribution to FRA 2000. The main line of approach for making tree resource assessment at farm level is seen as research into alternative assessment techniques that can adequately measure non-traditional forest products, as well as the socio-economic context which determines usage.

· An of IUCN representative spoke of the need for organisations such as his to work at the sub-national level to collect data that might have relevance to decision making by resource users. Pursuant to this theme, he gave concrete examples of how GIS might be used to integrate low-level detail into national databases.

· An Africover project representative reviewed the scope and progress of their ambitious pan-African land cover mapping project. He said that Africover comprised four modules - Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, Central Africa and Western Africa - in effect, each module operated as a separate project under its own funding arrangements. Thus, while the Italian Government was supporting the ongoing work in Eastern Africa, the Central Africa module was due to start in August 1998 under World Bank support and the other two modules were delayed pending resolution of funding proposals. Within the Eastern module: work on Kenya and Somalia had proceeded to the stage of digitisation; preliminary work had started on Egypt; work was due to start next on Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi; and, these would be followed by the Sudan and Uganda. It was noted that Eritrea, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo had not joined the Africover project yet.

2.6. Summary of Technical discussions

The working group on forest resources reached the following principle conclusions and recommendations:

Forest Resources Data Sets

Forest Cover Type Classification

Plantation Data

Volumes and biomass

Forest health

Trees Outside Forest

The working group on forest products and information technology reached the following principle conclusions and recommendations:

Fuelwood Statistics:

Forest Products Statistics:

Information Technology

2.7. Workshop Evaluation

Workshop participation has been high with respect to: i) working schedule and attendance; ii) cooperative team spirit; and iii) sharing of responsibilities assigned and sharing experiences among countries.

At the end of the workshop, an evaluation form of activities was presented to the participants to have some individual feedback to improve future workshops. The participants of the 7 countries expressed their opinion according to the following criteria:

· Organization of the workshop (Excellent 14%, Very Good 14%, Good 72%,);

· Content of the Workshop (Very Good 29%,Good 71%);

· Objectives of the Workshop Fulfilled (Very Good 43%, Good 57% and); and

· Distribution of the time (Very Good 14%,Good 72%, Bad 14%,).

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