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African Forestry and Wildlife Commission

The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC), established by the FAO Conference in 1959, provides a policy and technical forum for African countries to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis, and advises FAO accordingly.

The 13th session of the AFWC was held in Libreville, Gabon from 25 to 29 March 2002. The session was attended by 107 participants including representatives from 16 member and observer countries and observers from international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

Areas highlighted by the Commission for attention and possible FAO assistance included the following:

Background documentation and the full report of the session are available on the Internet ( or can be obtained through the Meetings Officer, Forestry Department, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy (e-mail: ).


Silva Mediterranea gears up for change

The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, European Forestry Commission and Near East Forestry Commission (AFWC/EFC/NEFC) Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions - Silva Mediterranea is a forum for regional cooperation in the sustainable development and management of Mediterranean forests. Its mission is to examine trends in forest and land use, identify priorities for forestry research and identify and implement studies and surveys. The committee's membership includes 26 countries and the European Union. Non-member countries and organizations are invited as observers to the sessions of the committee.

At the committee's 18th session, held at FAO headquarters in Rome from 2 to 5 April 2002, the future of Silva Mediterranea was the main topic on the agenda. Based on an external review of Silva Mediterranea and its networks, carried out as recommended by the committee's previous session in Antalya, Turkey in October 1997, a number of changes were recommended to reinvigorate Silva Mediterranea.

The committee proposed that the research networks be phased out and replaced by working groups with a specific mandate and clear objectives, outputs and time frames. Silva Mediterranea should also establish more effective alliances with other institutions working in the Mediterranean region.

The meeting suggested that Silva Mediterranea should address in future: the finalization of past work that holds potential for delivering important and useful output; activities leading to the sustainable management of Mediterranean forests and woodlands; and the contribution of Silva Mediterranea to sustainable development in general. Silva Mediterranea should approach forest issues in the region in ways consistent with new paradigms and developments emerging both in the Mediterranean region and in the international policy dialogue on forests.

The participants noted that Silva Mediterranea should be more responsive to the needs of countries, particular in the following areas:

The Secretariat will further elaborate and organize these proposals into a structured programme of work to be finalized through consultation with the member countries.

Background documentation and the full report of the session are available on the Internet:

FAO Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products

The FAO Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products (ACPWP), one of FAO's technical statutory bodies, provides direct communication with the private sector and allows the Organization to ensure that its activities in the forest products sector are of relevance to the private and public forest industry.

The ACPWP held its 43rd session at FAO headquarters in Rome on 25 and 26 April 2002. The session was attended by 60 participants from 24 countries and five international organizations. The main items on the agenda were illegal logging, certification, forests and climate change, and the status of forest industries in countries with economies in transition.

Key areas in which FAO was urged to concentrate its work include the following:

In addition, various recommendations were made for collaboration between FAO and the newly formed International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA).

Background documentation and the full report of the 43rd session may be obtained by writing to the Chief, Wood and Non-wood Products Utilization Branch, Forestry Department, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100, Rome, Italy. Both are also available on the

EC-FAO Partnership Programme in South and Southeast Asia - second workshop

The European Commission (EC)-FAO Partnership Programme on Information and Analysis for Sustainable Forest Management: Linking National and International Efforts in South Asia and Southeast Asia is designed to enhance country capacities to collect, analyse and disseminate up-to-date information on forestry and to make this information more readily available for strategic decision-making. Thirteen countries in South and Southeast Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam) participate in the programme. Operating under the guidance of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) Working Group on Statistics and Information, the EC-funded initiative is implemented by FAO in close partnership with experts from participating countries. It draws on experience gained from similar EC-FAO efforts in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The second workshop for the programme, entitled Forest Policy and Forest Policy Reviews, was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 22 to 24 January 2002. The workshop was designed as a forum for discussing arrangements for establishing a regional network of statistical correspondents and for conducting in-depth forest policy studies.

The workshop reviewed the progress of the EC-FAO Partnership Programme and discussed future activities to improve forestry statistics. The group discussed the status of forest policy reviews that have been conducted in the 13 participating countries in the past five to seven years and obtained updated information on the status of forest policy in these countries. The meeting also agreed on additional forest policy studies that could be supported by the programme.

The proceedings of the workshop, as well as background information on the EC-FAO Partnership Programme, are available on the

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