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The FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources was established in accordance with the directives of the Fourteenth Session of the FAO Conference (November 1967), which read as follows:

"244. Forest Tree Genetic Resources. The Conference requested the Director-General to take into account Recommendation Nº 62 of document C67/AG/FO/1 in formulating the Programme of Work and Budget 1970-71. It recognized that, as development proceeds in the less as well as in the more advanced areas of the world, the reserves of genetic variation stored in the natural forests have been or are being displaced on an increasing scale. Moreover, efforts to explore and collect forest genetic resources were, on a world scale, inadequate and inadequately concerted.

245. The Conference requested the Director-General to establish a Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources to help plan and coordinate FAO's efforts to explore, utilize and conserve the gene resources of forest trees and, in particular, help prepare a detailed short-term programme and draft long-term programme for FAO's action in this field and to provide information to Member Governments."

The Director-General established the Panel in 1968. A list of current members of the Panel is shown in Appendix 1.

The Panel held Sessions as follows:

Session N°



Year of Report


October 1968

Rome, Italy



March 1971

Macon, Georgia, USA



May 1974

Rome, Italy



March 1977

Canberra, Australia



December 1981

Rome, Italy



December 1985

Rome, Italy



December 1989

Rome, Italy



June 1993

Rome, Italy



October 1995

Rome, Italy



September 1997

Rome, Italy



September 1999

Rome, Italy



November 2001

Rome, Italy


The Thirteenth Session of the Panel was held at FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy from 10 November to 12 November 2003.

Members attending the Thirteenth Session of the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources were:

1. Panel members

Mr. S.J. Midgley Australia
Dr. P.Y. Kageyama Brazil
M. A. Nikiema Burkina Faso
M. M. Zeh-Nlo Cameroon
Mr. Y. El-Kassaby Canada
Sr. J.A. Prado Chile
Mr. Wang Houran China
Sr. F. Mesén Costa Rica
Mr. L. Graudal Denmark
M. M. Bariteau France
Mr. M.K. Sharma India
Mr. B. Kigomo Kenya
Dr. D. Baskaran K. Malaysia
Sr. F. Patiño V. Mexico
Dr. P.H. Ståhl Sweden

2. Observers

Mr. A. Weber IPGRI
Mr. J. Koskela IPGRI
Ms. B. Vinceti IPGRI
Mr. Marcus Robbins Consultant
Ms. J. Loo North American Forestry Commission & IUFRO

3. Secretariat

Mr. P. Sigaud FAO, Forest Resources Development Service

Mr. M. Hosny El-Lakany, Assistant Director-General, Forestry Department, Mr. El-Hadji Sène, Director, Forest Resources Division, and Mr. Peter Holmgren, Chief, Forest Resources Development Service, attended parts of the Session, further joined occasionally by colleagues from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Departments. Participants expressed their appreciation of the outstanding work carried out by Ms. Christel Palmberg-Lerche, former Panel Secretary.

The Panel unanimously elected Mr. Stephen Midgley of Australia Chairman and Mr. Fernando Patiño of Mexico Vice-Chairman. The Agenda adopted is shown in Appendix 2.

A list of Information Notes provided to and reviewed by the Panel is given in Appendix 3. In addition, each Panel member made a brief presentation and submitted information on the region or sub-region covered by him or her. Observers also made brief statements. Such information usefully supplemented the information provided in the Information Notes on the present state of forest genetic resources in the world, programmes, priorities and desirable action.

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