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4.1. Forest Resources Working Group Recommendations

Trees outside forests

The working group recognised the environmental and socio-economic importance of Trees Outside Forests (TOFs); the working groups acknowledged FAO's initiatives with regards to starting pilot studies on the subject; the following recommendations were made:

· Reconsider (for FAO) the its present definition of TOFs, particularly as regard tree height and crown cover density, and should also include a clause into the definition limiting TOFs to those with a demonstrable economic and social function.

· Convene a regional workshop by FSTCU with assistance from FAO or other appropriate institution, which would use as direct inputs the country briefs on TOFs to be prepared through FAO assistance.

Forest cover classification

It was recognised that there is need to have concrete terms and definitions of forests resources, the definitions should reflect national needs and that the information should be compatible and transferable at the sub-regional level. The following recommendations were made:

· SADC will do what it can to find a donor to support the implementation of the SADC Vegetation mapping and Information Network Projects.

· Countries should prepare a comprehensive review of the status of their Permanent Sample Plots.


The working group observed the inconsistency of data on plantations and detail amongst the SADC countries. It was noted that questionnaires from FAO were too detailed and laborious to complete. Recommendations on plantation data were as follows:

· institutions responsible for data collection should work closely with growers, producers and users and special attention should be given to the small scale growers and millers.

· where plantation data is missing, FAO and countries should use "expert opinion" to make estimates.

Fires and forest health

Fires are actual and potential hazards to natural woodlands. It was noted that there is a dearth in information on the effects of fires on the condition and health of natural forests. It was recommended that:

· countries should, where necessary, adjust forest areas to reflect losses arising from drought, fire and other causes;

· SADC, with FAO assistance, should follow up studies on the causes and economic importance of fires;

· Countries should, improve their record keeping in regard to bush-fires and, where possible, distinguish controlled from wildfires;

· Greater regional co-operation should be sought in the monitoring of bush-fires.

4.2. Forest Products Working Group Recommendations

Non-wood forest products (NWFP)

The current definition of NWFP was considered too sparse and inadequate and the following recommendations were made:

· FAO should review existing definitions of NWFPs to ensure inclusion of products from TOFs and of small wood products;

· The existing reporting formats prepared by FAO should be modified to include data source and target end-user of the report';

· FAO should include products from Trees Outside Forests in the definition of NWFP;

· FSTCU with assistance from FAO should take lead in developing appropriate methodology and assessment criteria for data collection on NWFPs.

· National reports on NWFPs (including small wood products) should make use of varied formats such as tables, text and maps.

Fuelwood data

Gross fuelwood data does not reflect the supply and demand dynamics in a country. There is need to re-visit the quality of data on fuelwood to reflect supply and demand situations. The following recommendation was made:

· countries should compile statistics on fuelwood supply, distribution, consumption and trade at national and sub-national levels.

Informal wood production

The working group noted the proliferation of small scale wood industries, particularly the informal sector, and the need to obtain reliable data covering such production scenarios. The following recommendation was made:

· FSTCU with FAO assistance should develop strategies and methodologies applicable at the regional level, for capturing data on wood production from the informal sector.

4.3. Recommendations on Aspects of Forest Statistics

The following recommendations were made concerning data collection capacity within SADC countries, high staff turnover, lack of continuity, lack of institutions/offices specifically tasked with compilation and analysis of forest data:

· FAO, among other institutions, should promote technical co-operation in all aspects of data collection, analysis and dissemination between countries within the region and within the framework of the TCDC programme.

· FAO should support and work with the Forest Sector Technical Cooperation Unit (FSTCU) of SADC in joint initiatives on forest sector information and statistics.

· Countries should seek collaboration through FSTCU, and with the assistance of FAO and donors, in improving their updating their data collection and analysis for SFM.

· FSTCU, FAO and countries should endeavour to improve feedback of statistical reports in order to encourage greater participation in data collection and use of results for SFM.

· Countries should explore new ways to involve stakeholders (communities, NGOs and the private sector) in the primary collection of forestry statistics, and should improve communications with the private sector in this regard.

· Each country should establish a Forest Statistics Office to be responsible for forest sector statistics, and also designate an FAO Focal Point for contact and information exchange.

· Countries should examine their own forest sectors to remove constraints arising from organisation structures in order to ensure smooth and free data flow. Promote technical co-operation in all aspects of data collection, analysis and dissemination between countries within the SADC region.

· remove constraints arising from institutional structures to ensure smooth and free data and information flow.

· improve feedback on statistical reports in order to encourage greater participation in data collection and use.

Data exchange with FAO

· FAO should present country data sets such that countries only need consider sections relevant to their own circumstances;

· FAO should ensure that data exchange between countries and FAO should be harmonised and made available in electronic formats;

· Country contact points should review the data sets prepared by FAO for their countries to confirm that they are complete, up-to-date and accurate, and should return them when corrected to FAO as soon as possible.

4.4. Recommendations for future workshops

· Send the workshop invitation 3 months before the workshop starts so that the appropriate staff can make itself available to attend;

· Send the documentation for the workshop 2 months ahead of time so that the appointed officers can brief themselves well and prepare their country report well in advance;

· Screen the country report before the workshop starts so that the relevance (forest statistics and the way it is gathered) is emphasised; timely preparation of the workshop is therefore crucial.

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