Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

11. the departments, divisions and other major units(continued)

Economic and Social Policy Department

An Economics and Statistics Division was established in May 1946, some seven months after the founding of FAO. The first Director-General gave special attention to its development, since he looked to it to assist him in finalizing his proposal for a World Food Board, and to help in servicing the Board if established. When the proposal was rejected by the Second Session of the FAO Conference later in 1946, the emphasis changed somewhat, but this Division continued to be the focal point of the work of the Preparatory Commission which led to the establishment first of the FAO Council and subsequently of the Committee on Commodity Problems.

By July 1947 the Division had been redesignated Economics, Marketing and Statistics Division; it had four branches, dealing respectively with Economics and Statistics Intelligence, Commodities and Commercial Policy, Agricultural-Industrial Relations, and Statistical Standards. By February 1948 the first of these had been renamed Statistical Intelligence Branch, and a Production Economics Branch had been created, being renamed Economics of Production and Development Branch by January 1949.

During the period of post-war shortages, FAO action led to the establishment of an International Emergency Food Council (IEFC) in May 1946. This Council functioned as a separate entity under the aegis of FAO until November 1947, when it was converted into an FAO International Emergency Food Committee (IEFC); the IEFC was dissolved in June 1949.

In September 1948 the Economics, Marketing and Statistics Division was separated into two divisions:

Distribution Division, with Cereals, Fats and Oils, Rice, Fibres, Livestock, Fertilizer, and Miscellaneous Commodity Sections; its Director also served as Secretary-General of the IEFC;

Economics and Statistics Division, classified as a “service division” and containing Statistics, Economics of Production and Development, Food Consumption and Utilization, and Economic Analysis Branches.

This structure prevailed until early 1951, when the Headquarters of FAO was transferred to Rome. At that time the Distribution Division was abolished and its staff and functions recombined with those of the Economics and Statistics Division, under the condensed name of Economics Division. As of June 1952 this reconstituted Division was made up of Economic Analysis, Commodities, and Statistics Branches.

The transition from a Division to an Economics Department took place on 1 January 1959, at which time the three Branches mentioned above became —

Economic Analysis Division

Commodities Division

Statistics Division

In December 1962, the Rural Institutions and Services Division was transferred from what was then the Technical Department to the Economics Department, whose name was changed to Economic and Social Policy Department (redesignated again from January 1964 to May 1968 as Department of Economic and Social Affairs). In June 1968, the Nutrition Division was transferred from the Technical Department to this Department, whose title was shortened to Economic and Social Department. At this stage the Department was composed of the following Divisions, two of which had been renamed:

Economic Analysis Division

Commodities and Trade Division

Statistics Division

Nutrition Division

Rural Institutions Division

In 1974 the Department's name was again changed to Economic and Social Policy Department, and three of its Divisions were renamed, as follows:

Policy Analysis Division

Food Policy and Nutrition Division

Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division

In March 1974, the Agricultural Operations Division was formed; although placed administratively in the Agriculture Department, it also services the field programme of the Economic and Social Policy Department, the Division Director reporting to the Assistant Directors-General of both Departments. This basic structure has since been maintained. In addition, a Population Programme Unit was set up in April 1972 and a Global Prospective Studies Unit was created in 1978; both are located in the Office of the Assistant Director-General.

The main functions of the Economic and Social Policy Department can be summarized as follows:

The following officers have provided leadership of the Department and of its precursor Divisions:

Director, Economics and Statistics Division and Economics, Marketing and Statistics DivisionCountryPeriod
 Dr. Howard R. TolleyUnited StatesMay 1946–Mar. 1951
Director, Distribution Division  
 Frederick B. NorthropUnited StatesSept. 1948–Feb. 1951
Director, Economics Division  
 A.H. BoermaNetherlandsMay 1951–Dec. 1958
Assistant Director-General, Economics Department  
 Dr. Mordecai EzekielUnited StatesJan. 1959–Feb. 1961
Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department  
 Oris V. WellsUnited StatesJune 1962–July 1963
Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and Economic and Social Department  
 Mekki AbbasSudanSep. 1963–Sep. 1968
Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Department  
 Albert AdomakohGhanaApr. 1969–July 1970
Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Department and Economic and Social Policy Department  
 Dr. Eric M. OjalaNew ZealandAug. 1970–Sep. 1976
Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department  
 Dr. Nurul IslamBangladeshJuly 1977–

Since 1964, the Assistant Director-General of the Department has been assisted by the following officers:

Assistant to the Assistant Director-GeneralCountryPeriod
 Ebo GlazenburgNetherlandsJan. 1964–May 1973
 Teuvo LehtiFinlandJuly 1973–Oct. 1976
 Dr. M.H. AbbasJordanNov. 1976–

Policy Analysis Division

Although the first clearly identifiable precursor of the Policy Analysis Division was the Economic Analysis Branch, which appeared in the structure of the Economics, Marketing and Statistics Division in September 1948, the earlier Economics and Statistics Intelligence Branch had some responsibilities similar to those presently assigned to the Division. The former became the Economic Analysis Division in January 1959. In July 1972, the Policy Advisory Bureau, which had existed since January 1969 in the Office of the Director-General, was integrated into the Division, which was then redesignated Policy Analysis Division.

The Production Economics Branch, set up in the Economics, Marketing and Statistics Division in about February 1948, renamed Economics of Production and Development Branch by January 1949, and abolished with the move to Rome early in 1951, is also a precursor of the Division.

The Division is currently organized into three Services:

Planning Assistance Service

Development Policy Studies and Training Service

Situation and Outlook Service

The Policy Analysis Division is responsible for:

When the Division's precursor Economic Analysis Branch was set up in 1948, it was assigned primary responsibility for preparing the Director-General's annual report, The State of Food and Agriculture, which is submitted in accordance with Rule XXXVII.2(c) of the General Rules of the Organization. From the outset, this work was organized mainly on a regional basis, but with a focus on country economic analysis. The former Branch, and the Division, have maintained close links with the Joint Divisions established by FAO and the UN in the UN Regional Economic Commissions. Pioneering work was carried out in agricultural planning and project analysis, sector analysis, price policies, marketing, project evaluation, etc., although responsibility for work in the two latter fields was subsequently transferred to other units in the Organization.The Division maintains a substantial reference collection of country economic information files. National development plans are reviewed, and countries' agricultural development problems and needs are analyzed within the context of their overall economic and social policies and needs. This work contributes to and supports situation and outlook reporting, planning assistance and project appraisal activities, the backstopping of field and regional activities (including the work of the Joint Divisions), the briefing of field experts, and the provision of up-to-date country economic information and analyses to other FAO units.

The world and regional food and agricultural situation and outlook are analyzed, and the results published, in the Director-General's report, The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA). Other periodic reports are also prepared for the FAO Conference, Council and Regional Conferences. Contributions are made to the United Nations system's biennial review and appraisal of progress in the development decades. In recent years, increasing emphasis has been placed on the analysis of the flow of external and domestic resources into agriculture, and on the problems of the most seriously affected (MSA) and least developed countries (LDC).

The Division's direct assistance both to individual governments and to regional and sub-regional groupings, in improving national planning capacities, includes agricultural sector analysis, the analysis of policy options, the formulation of food and agricultural development plans, programmes and projects, and the provision of training in agricultural planning and analysis. It is provided both through Regular Programme missions and through the technical backstopping of planning assistance projects in the field.

Leadership of the Division and of its precursor Branches has been provided by the following officers:

Chief, Economics and Statistics Intelligence BranchCountryPeriod
 J.B. RutherfordCanadaJuly 1947–Sep. 1948
Chief, Production Economics Branch and Economics of Production and Development Branch  
 Harold A. VogelUnited StatesJuly 1947–Mar. 1951
Chief, Economic Analysis Branch and Deputy Director, Economics Division  
 Dr. Mordecai EzekielUnited StatesApr. 1951–Dec. 1958
Chief, Economic Analysis Branch and Director, Economic Analysis Division  
 Philip G.H. BarterUnited KingdomJan. 1958–Mar. 1966
Director, Economic Analysis Division  
 Clifford F. PennisonUnited KingdomJuly 1966–June 1967
Dr. Kenneth L. BachmanUnited StatesSep. 1967–June 1972
Director, Policy Analysis Division  
 W.H. PawleyAustraliaJuly 1972–Jan. 1974
 Dr. J.P. BhattacharjeeIndiaFeb. 1974–

Commodities and Trade Division

The first precursor of the present Commodities and Trade Division was a Commodities and Commercial Policy Branch, included in the Economics, Marketing and Statistics Division as of July 1947. In September 1948 this Branch was incorporated into the Distribution Division, with sections dealing with various major commodities. By May 1951, following the transfer of FAO Headquarters to Rome, a Commodities Branch had been re-established as part of the reconstituted Economics Division, into which the Distribution Division had been absorbed.

In January 1959, the Commodities Branch was transformed into the Commodities Division, whose name was changed in June 1968 to Commodities and Trade Division.

The present structure of the Division includes —

Basic Foodstuffs Service

Raw Materials, Tropical and Horticultural Products Service

Commodity Policy and Projections Service

Food Security and Information Service

Food Security Assistance Unit

From the outset, the Division (which should be taken here to include its precursors) carried out pioneer work on problems arising from international trade in agricultural commodities, exclusive of fishery and forestry products. It serviced post-World War II debates on world emergency reserves and on the disposal of food surpluses. It has also pioneered research on commodities, and has done much to facilitate international cooperation. It has been in the forefront in making commodity projections, preparing commodity reports and bulletins necessary for the development of intergovernmental cooperation, and preparing guidelines for international action, particularly in trade policy. Close links have been maintained with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) since the latter's establishment as an arm of the UN in 1964.

The Division keeps under constant review the situation and outlook for all the main agricultural commodities. Data on commodities are assembled and analyzed, and the results published in the annual FAO Commodity Review and Outlook. It identifies specific commodity problems and proposes international action to deal with them on a commodity-by-commodity basis, rather than by geographical areas.

In order to assist in a broad range of problem areas relating to international trade in agricultural commodities, the Division services intergovernmental meetings of producers and consumers through the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) and its intergovernmental groups. It also deals with surplus disposal problems, through the CCP's Consultative Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal. At the national level, assistance is given in the form of advice on individual commodities, and by participation in missions related, for example, to the International Scheme for the Coordination of Dairy Development and the International Meat Development Scheme.

The Division also provides leadership and carries out key functions in relation to world food security. It services the FAO Committee on World Food Security and the related International Undertaking on World Food Security. It operates the Global Information and Early Warning System, and the Food Security Assistance Scheme initiated in 1974, which by early 1981 had assisted 44 countries. More recently an FAO Plan of Action on World Food Security has been developed and is being followed up.

The Division also cooperates with the World Food Programme (WFP) in preparing material for the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes (CFA). Technical support has been supplied to UNCTAD in commodity negotiations on tea, jute and jute products, hard fibres, bananas, meat and oilseeds, under the Integrated Commodity Programme.

Officers who have provided leadership in the Commodities and Trade Division and its predecessors have been the following:

Director, Distribution DivisionCountryPeriod
 Frederick B. NorthropUnited StatesSep. 1948–Feb. 1951
Chief, Commodities and CommercialPolicy Branch  
 P. Lamartine YatesUnited KingdomJuly 1947–Sep. 1948
Chief, Commodities Branch and Director, Commodities Division  
 Miss Gerda BlauUnited KingdomSep. 1951–Dec. 1962
Director, Commodities Division and Commodities and Trade Division  
 Dr. Eric M. OjalaNew ZealandJuly 1964–June 1970
Director, Commodities and TradeDivision  
 Dr. Sartaj AzizPakistanAug. 1971–Jan. 1976
 A.G. LeeksUnited KingdomDec. 1976–

Statistics Division

As of July 1947, two branches had been established in the Economics, Marketing and Statistics Division to deal with different aspects of this subject: an Economics and Statistics Intelligence Branch and a Statistical Standards Branch.

In September 1948, the statistics work was consolidated in a Statistics Branch, in what was then the Economics and Statistics Division. The Branch was upgraded to division status, as the Statistics Division, in January 1959. The Division is currently organized as follows:

Statistical Development Service

Statistical Analysis Service

Basic Data Unit

The statistical work of FAO in its initial stages was very largely a continuation and strengthening of the pioneering work done by FAO's precursor organization, the International Institute of Agriculture (IIA). IIA's first Yearbook of Agricultural Statistics, for 1910 (released in 1912), included area,yield and production of selected crops and livestock numbers; coverage was subsequently expanded to include trade and price data for major crops and fertilizers. The Institute also published several monographs and methodological notes on statistics, and a series of volumes on farm accounting statistics was published almost annually from 1927–28 to 1936–37. The results of the first agricultural census (1930) were published in the IIA's Bulletin de statistique agricole. World War II interrupted the work of the Institute, however, and its assets and some of its functions were subsequently taken over by FAO. To mark this transition in the statistical field, the last of the Institute's statistical yearbooks, covering the period 1941–42 to 1945–46, was a joint publication which FAO issued in three volumes in 1947.

Although IIA's work provided the initial framework for FAO's statistics programme, an important difference in emphasis and orientation had to be taken into account in shaping the new structure of the Branch and in turn the Division. When FAO was established there was a general awareness that a large proportion of the world's population was inadequately nourished, but facts and figures, and the statistical analysis needed to assess the dimensions of the problem, were far from adequate. This necessitated considerable expansion in the coverage of the available basic statistics and intensification of statistical analysis, particularly in the realm of food supplies in relation to the expanding world population and to the problems of hunger and malnutrition, especially those arising from uneven distribution of the available food among population groups within countries.

The expansion of the national data compiled by the Statistics Division and other units of FAO culminated in setting up a computerized data bank on food and agricultural statistics, the largest of its kind in the world. One of its distinctive features is the linkage of various individual data series, formerly compiled separately, into a single system that brings out their interrelationships and thus facilitates analytical work.

At the same time as it was compiling and disseminating food and agricultural statistics, the precursor Statistics Branch initiated a programme of technical assistance to countries in the field of food and agricultural statistics, including censuses and surveys. It played a major role in the introduction of probability sampling techniques (combined with objective measurement) in many developing countries, for compiling crop areas and yields as well as livestock statistics, and in improving food consumption surveys. The agricultural census programme of the IIA was pursued and appreciably expanded by promoting decennial national agricultural censuses, beginning with the Programme for the 1950 World Census of Agriculture. A major programme was also undertaken for the standardization of concepts, definitions and classifications relating to food and agricultural statistics; the dissemination of related technical and methodological information; and the further development of data collection methods, published in a series of manuals and guidelines.

An important step toward expanding the coverage and improvement of basic country statistics was to involve the countries themselves in reviewing national data and in shaping the technical aspects of the work programme of the Division. For this purpose commissions on agricultural statistics were established in Asia and the Far East (now Asia and the Pacific), in Africa and in the Near East. For the Western Hemisphere, a joint sub-committee was set up in cooperation with the Inter-American Statistical Institute, for Europe a corresponding study group on food and agricultural statistics in cooperation with the Conference of European Statisticians and the ECE. At the same time, the UN Statistical Office was establishing regional conferences of statisticians, with which the FAO Statistics Division and its Regional Commissions have worked in close cooperation. The work programme of the Statistics Division at Headquarters takes into account the deliberations of these regional bodies. Furthermore, in accordance with Resolution No. 46/59 of the Tenth Session of the FAO Conference, a Statistics Advisory Committee of Experts reviews FAO statistical publications and makes recommendations on the technical aspects of the Organization's statistical programme.

A major accomplishment of the Division, soon after its establishment in 1959, was the preparation of the Third FAO World Food Survey, which was published in 1963. While the First (1946) and Second(l952) World Food Surveys essentially analyzed total food supplies as between countries, the novel feature of the Third Survey was an attempt to analyze the available information on patterns of distribution of food between households within countries, with a view to estimating the total numbers of undernourished or malnourished. This Survey was the basic document for the First World Food Congress, held in Washington in 1963, and provided much of the technical material for the Freedom from Hunger Campaign. The Fourth FAO World Food Survey, published in 1977,while updating the Third, further expanded the analytical work on the distribution aspects of food supplies and provided, for the first time, estimates of numbers of the undernourished for many individual countries, in addition to broad estimates for the major regional groupings and the world as a whole. Continuous concern with the distributional aspect of food supplies within countries has further led to increased emphasis being placed on collecting and tabulating disaggregated data by small sub-national areas and agro-ecological zones, as well as socio-economic groups. A beginning in this direction has been made in cooperation with the Land and Water Development Division, by tabulating population, area and crop production data by agro-ecological zones for countries in Africa. The WCARRD Programme of Action gave further impetus to this work by recommending that countries collect appropriate data and develop indicators for monitoring and evaluating agrarian reform and rural development. This major challenge for the immediate future will call for very intensive efforts, both nationally and internationally.

Those who have provided leadership in FAO's statistical work over the years include the following officers:

Chief, Statistical Standards Branch and Statistics BranchCountryPeriod
 Dr. Conrad TaeuberUnited StatesDec. 1946–Feb. 1951
Chief, Economics and StatisticsIntelligence Branch  
 J.B. RutherfordCanadaJuly 1947–Sep. 1948
Chief, Statistics Branch and Director, Statistics Division  
 Dr. P.V. SukhatmeIndiaJuly 1951–Jan. 1972
Director, Statistics Division  
 Dr. K.L. BachmanUnited StatesJuly 1972–July 1975
 Dr. R.D. NarainIndiaOct. 1977–Feb. 1980
 Dr. C.L. QuanceUnited StatesJan. 1981–

Dr. R.D. Narain (India) also served as Acting Director during the periods February–June 1972 and August 1975–September 1977.

Food Policy and Nutrition Division

FAO's work in nutrition formally began in July 1946, when Dr. W. R. Aykroyd was named Director of the Nutrition Division. Small at the outset, the Division was organized into an Area and Field Branch and a Nutrition Programmes Branch in 1947. When FAO Headquarters moved to Rome early in 1951 and the Rural Welfare Division was abolished, the latter's responsibility for home economics work was transferred to the Nutrition Division, in which a Home Economics Section was formed. Otherwise, the Division remained relatively unstructured until June 1958.

Another early precursor of the Food Policy and Nutrition Division, the Food Consumption and Utilization Branch, was set up in the Economics, Marketing and Statistics Division in about January 1949, but was abolished when the transfer to Rome was made. The main output of this Branch was a series of Food Balance Sheets for FAO Member Countries.

In January 1960, when an overall reorganization plan was brought fully into effect, the Nutrition Division was placed in the Technical Department. When the latter became the Agriculture Department in June 1968, as part of a further general reorganization, the Nutrition Division was transferred to the Economic and Social Department. At that time, it consisted of four branches, as follows:

Food Consumption and Planning Branch

Food Science Branch

Applied Nutrition Branch

Home Economics Branch

In January 1970, these were transformed into the following three services:

Food Policy and Food Sciences Service

Nutrition and Protein-Rich Food Development Service

Home Economics Service

During this period the Division also contained a Programme Coordination Office (later redesignated Programme Coordination and Administrative Office) and a small secretariat to service the Protein Advisory Group of the United Nations system (PAG), an interdisciplinary body sponsored jointly by FAO, WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the UN.

In August 1972, the Home Economics Service was transferred to the Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division, and the Food Standards Branch, renamed Food Standards and Control Service, was transferred from the International Agency Liaison Division to what then became the Food Policy and Nutrition Division.

In 1973 the Division consisted of the following units:

Food Policy and Food Science Service

Food Standards and Control Service

Nutrition Programmes and Research Service

PAG Secretariat

Programme Coordination and Administrative Office

A further reorganization in 1974 resulted in renaming the three Services:

Nutrition Policy and Programmes Service

Food Standards and Food Science Service

Food and Nutrition Development Strategy Service

Late in 1976 further changes were made, and the Division assumed its present basic structure, with the following Services:

Food and Nutrition Assessment Service

Nutrition Programmes Service

Food Standards and Food Science Service

The PAG was abolished in 1977 and its secretariat disbanded. As of January 1978, the Programme Coordination and Administrative Office was replaced by a small administrative unit in the Office of the Director.

Among the mandates of FAO as set out in the Preamble of the Constitution, two are particularly pertinent to the work of the Food Policy and Nutrition Division:

raising levels of nutrition and standards of living…

and ensuring humanity's freedom from hunger.

The Division seeks to assist Member Countries in formulating and executing sound nutrition programmes, in introducing nutritional considerations into the design and assessment of investment and rural development projects, in formulating and implementing special programmes aimed at helping vulnerable groups, in improving the quality and safety of food supplies for the protection of consumers, and in developing and accepting internationally agreed standards to facilitate international trade in food.

The Food and Nutrition Assessment Service assists governments in strengthening their capacity to assess nutrition situations, to formulate policies and programmes for alleviating hunger and malnutrition, and to monitor progress. It provides assistance in the building up of national nutrition planning institutions and in developing national or area nutrition planning methodologies, and nutrition surveillance. It is also responsible for collecting and interpreting data on food consumption, food composition, and human nutritional requirements, and publishes FAO or joint FAO/WHO reports on these matters.

The Nutrition Programmes Service assists countries in planning and implementing nutrition programmes in rural areas; these include applied nutrition programmes, under which families are taught to grow and utilize nutritious foods, and nutrition education programmes designed to inculcate improved food habits, particularly improved child-feeding practices. Another avenue of assistance has been technical support and advice on food aid and supplementary feeding programmes. Beginning as early as 1965, meetings have been organized on the evaluation of applied nutrition activities, including supplementary feeding programmes, and a manual on Planning and Evaluation of Applied Nutrition Programmes has been published. A simple field guide on the methodology of evaluation, to supplement this manual, is currently in preparation.

The Food Standards and Food Science Service is concerned primarily with maintaining food safety and quality. Its work is divided into three broadcategories:

An important aspect of the activities of all these Services is building up national institutions and strengthening the capacity of local personnel in each of the above fields, through in-service training, regional and national workshops and seminars, and support to regional and international courses, particularly in developing countries. Manuals, guidelines and other training materials are issued to support the training programmes.

Present institutional arrangements in regard to nutrition, under the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), include an ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition to assist in harmonizing the nutrition policies and activities of the organizations in the United Nations system, particularly in achieving the objectives of Resolution V of the World Food Conference. This Sub-Committee receives expert advice from an Advisory Group on Nutrition (AGN), meetings of which have replaced those of the PAG. The Secretariat of the ACC Sub-Committee, which began to function early in 1978, also services the AGN, and is located in the Food Policy and Nutrition Division of FAO. Thus, the Division is the centre of efforts to mobilize the institutional, human and financial resources of the UN system and other organizations concerned with improving the world's nutrition.

The Lord Boyd Orr Food and Nutrition Memorial Library, a branch of the David Lubin Memorial Library, is an autonomous unit providing full indexing and retrieval services. Containing about 5,000 volumes, 200 current periodicals and complete FAO documentation on food and nutrition, it serves, as its name indicates, to honour the first Director-General of FAO.

The following officers have served as Director of the Nutrition Division or the Food Policy and Nutrition Division:

Director, Nutrition DivisionCountryPeriod
 Dr. W.R. AykroydUnited KingdomJuly 1946–May 1960
 Dr. M. AutretFranceAug. 1960–Oct. 1971

Director, Nutrition Division and Food Policy and Nutrition DivisionCountryPeriod
  M. GanzinFrance Nov. 1971–June 1977
Director, Food Policy and NutritionDivision  
  Dr. Z.I. SabryCanadaFeb. 1979–

During the period July 1977 to January 1979, Mr. G.O. Kermode (United Kingdom) served as Acting Director. Mr. David M. Lubbock (United Kingdom) served as Chief of the Food Consumption and Utilization Branch from about January 1949 to March 1951.

Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division

This Division's roots can be traced back to the Agricultural Institutions and Services Branch and the Rural Welfare Branch of the former Agriculture Division and, beyond the latter, to its predecessor Rural Welfare Division; the agrarian reform aspects of its work were earlier the responsibility of the Land and Water Use Branch of the Agriculture Division. When it was established under its original title of Rural Institutions and Services Division, it drew programme elements and staff from all three of these sources. Subsequently, it drew an additional element, home economics, from the Nutrition Division which, initially, had itself been part of the Rural Welfare Division. Its history is thus quite complicated.

The Rural Welfare Division was set up in July 1947, with Dr. Horace Belshaw (New Zealand) as Director. A small division, it was designed, in a sense, to be the conscience of FAO in rural welfare matters, to give particular attention to rural sociology, cooperatives and credit, and to initiate FAO's work in home economics. When the Headquarters of FAO was moved to Rome early in 1951, the Division was abolished, and its functions and staff transferred to other Divisions: home economics to the Nutrition Division, and the other subject-matter areas to the Agriculture Division.

When the Agriculture Division arrived in Rome in April 1951, two new Branches were established: a Rural Welfare Branch, to carry out work in the fields of rural sociology, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural credit and rural industries; and an Agricultural Institutions and Services Branch, to deal with agricultural extension, education, research and the overall problems of administering agricultural institutions. In January 1959, as part of a comprehensive reorganization, a new Rural Institutions and Services Division was created within the Technical Department, and to it were transferred these two Branches, now restructured into three:

Agricultural Education and Administration Branch

Rural Welfare Branch

Land Tenure and Settlement Branch

The elements of the last of these were transferred to the new Division from the Agriculture Division's Land and Water Use Branch which, with its predecessor Land Use Branch, had been active in land tenure and settlement matters since mid-1947, and particularly so since 20 October 1947, when Sir Bernard Binns took up a post in the Branch as Land Tenure Specialist. Emphasis on work on these problems increased during the period 1951–1958, i.e. from the move to Rome until the establishment of Rural Institutions and Services Division, to which this activity was transferred.

In December 1962 the Division was transferred from the Technical Department to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. As of June 1968, it was redesignated Rural Institutions Division and reorganized as follows:

Agricultural Education Branch

Agricultural Extension Branch

Development Institutions and Services Branch

Land Reform, Cooperatives, Credit, Marketing and Rural Sociology Service Cooperatives, Credit and Rural Sociology Branch
Land Tenure and Agrarian Reform Branch
Marketing Branch

Operations Office

In January 1970, this structure was consolidated as follows:

Agricultural Education, Extension and Rural Youth Service

Agrarian Reform, Rural Sociology and Institutional Service

Marketing, Credit and Cooperatives Service

Operations Service

As of 1 January 1972, the second of these was divided into two parts:

Agrarian Reform and Rural Sociology Service

Development Institutions and Services Unit

Home economics activities had been initiated in FAO in the Rural Welfare Division in September 1949, when Miss Margaret Hockin, later Mrs. Margaret H. Harrington (Canada), took up the first home economics post. When FAO moved to Rome in 1951, responsibility for this work was assigned to the Nutrition Division. A Home Economics Branch, set up within the Nutrition Division in June 1968, was upgraded to Service status in January 1970. In August 1972, redesignated Home Economics and Social Programmes Service, it was transferred to the Rural Institutions and Services Division, which simultaneously received the new title of Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division.

The Division's activities relating to research were transferred in January 1973 to the Research Centre in the Development Department, and in April of the same year responsibility for marketing and credit work was transferred to the Agricultural Services Division.

In January 1974 the Division assumed a structure with five services:

Agricultural Education and Extension Service

Development Organization and Institutions Service

Land Tenure and Production Structure Service

Home Economics and Social Programmes Service

Operations Service (abolished in March 1974, its functions being transferred to the Agricultural Operations Division)

The work of the Division is aimed at improving the well-being of rural people generally, and in particular at promoting progress in rural development in the poorer sectors. These objectives are pursued through assistance to governments in the preparation and implementation of national strategies and policies and in the establishment of an institutional framework for the realization of the relevant goals. Particular emphasis is laid on bringing into the mainstream of development the underprivileged rural strata hitherto excluded from it, enabling them to participate in decisions and operations concerning them, raising their productivity and income, and thereby improving their living conditions. Stress is placed on the concept of integrated approaches to rural development, and action is sought and supported in many sectors, including the institutional, social and structural sectors of development, i.e., land tenure and settlement, production structures and agrarian reform; home economics, population programmes and the integration of women in development; agricultural education and extension; training and rural youth; cooperative development; rural people's organizations; manpower planning and employment, particularly of landless farmers; and administration of rural development.

The Division services numerous field projects and provides advice on the institutional and social aspects of projects of other divisions. In addition to its activities at the national level, it also supports inter-country and regional work, promoting the establishment of regional centres for rural development and their networks of national institutions; thus, a Centre for Integrated Rural Development in Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) was established in 1979, a similar centre for Africa is currently being set up, and negotiations are under way for establishing others in Latin America and the Near East. The Division also services the ACC Task Force on Rural Development (composed of 24 organizations and bodies of the UN system) which, under FAO's leadership, coordinates inter-agency action in rural development. The Director, who serves as Secretary of the ACC Task Force, is also responsible for servicing an Inter-Departmental Committee on Rural Development, which formulates programmes and monitors progress in rural development as one means of achieving effective follow-up of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD).

The Agricultural Education and Extension Service deals with Member Countries' systems and programmes in agricultural education and extension, with emphasis on programmes that lead to grass-roots training of the farming population and others servicing the agricultural sector. It has an active interest in the educational aspects of environmental programmes, encourages innovative methodologies in formal education, extension and training, promotes national and sub-regional workshops and seminars and assists national and regional centres in improving the skills of local staff. It also provides the secretariat for the FAO Inter-Departmental Working Group on Training, supports other divisions' projects containing education, extension and training components, and represents FAO on the FAO/Unesco/ILO Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Agricultural Education, Science and Training.

The Development Organization and Institutions Service deals with cooperatives and other rural organizations, with the organization of services for development, and with problems of rural employment and manpower planning. These activities include —

The Land Tenure and Production Structure Service deals with problems relating to land tenure, settlement and agrarian reform, particularly the inseparably-linked reforms in production structure and supporting services. It assists governments to analyze, plan and implement programmes and projects for improving their agrarian structures and thus helps them to attain their objectives as regards access to, and distribution of, land and other inputs, increased production and more equitable distribution of income. The Service provides technical support and assistance in research and training, and in the planning, implementation and evaluation of agrarian reform and land settlement programmes. In collaboration with ILO it prepares a quadrennial report to ECOSOC on progress in land reform. It also acts as a centre for the collection and dissemination of information on land tenure, land settlement and agrarian reform for Member Governments and other interested bodies, and to this end it maintains a documentation service of over 30,000 references.

The Home Economics and Social Programmes Service assists Member Countries to develop programmes designed to integrate families and women into rural development through programmes of home economics, rural extension and training, and family life/population education. Governments are assisted in formulating goals, policies and plans to raise the standard of living of rural families by promoting economic productivity and social development, with special emphasis on easing the tasks of women by improving home and village facilities and organizations and by enabling them to realize their potential contribution to development activities and structures. Assistance is also provided to Member Countries in the planning and development of family-oriented and home economics training with a view to staffing national programmes and services for families and women in rural areas. The Service also provides leadership within FAO for the promotion of women in rural development programmes.

The Home Economics and Social Programmes Service also engages in population activities in the context of rural development. Advice is provided to countries on the formulation of national population programmes, and help is given in training, education and research, with emphasis on building up national research capacities. A documentation service on population and rural development is helping to develop an information network and to train national documentalists.

In view of the complicated history of the Division it is difficult to situate accurately the individuals who provided the key leadership in its development, in the various organizational sectors of which the work has been a part.However, all the following are worthy of note. They are listed chronologically in the order in which they took up key posts dealing with subject matters now the responsibility of the Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division:

Dr. J. Lossing BuckUnited StatesChief, Land Use Branch and Land and Water Use BranchFeb. 1947–July 1954
Dr. Horace BelshawNew ZealandDirector, Rural Welfare DivisionJuly 1947–Feb. 1951
Dr. Fred F. LiningerUnited StatesChief, Agricultural Institutions and Services BranchJune 1951–June 1952
R.N. HenryUnited KingdomChief, Rural Welfare Branch and Director, Rural Institutions and Services DivisionApr. 1952–Dec. 1958
Dr. R.J. GarberUnited StatesChief, Agricultural Institutions and Services BranchSep. 1952–Aug. 1953
A.H. MaunderUnited StatesChief, Agricultural Institutions and Services BranchOct. 1953–Nov. 1957
Dr. Rainer SchickeleUnited StatesChief, Land and Wk Use BranchJuly 1954–Dec. 1958
Dr. D.C. KimmelUnited StatesChief, Agricultural Institutions and Services BranchDec. 1957–Dec. 1958
Mrs. Margaret H. HarringtonCanadaChief, Home Economics BranchJan. 1959–Apr. 1962
Dr. Sushil K. DeyIndiaDirector, Rural Institutions and Services DivisionJan. 1960–Aug. 1962
Viggo AndersenDenmarkDirector, Rural Institutions and Services DivisionAug. 1962–Dec. 1972
Dr. H.R. KötterFed. Rep. of GermanyDirector, Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform DivisionJan.1973–Mar. 1976
Rafael R. MorenoChileDirector, Human Resources,Institutions and Agrarian Reform DivisionOct.1978–

During the period March 1976–October 1978, Mr. K.A.P: Stevenson (India) served as Acting Director of the Division.

Fisheries Department

A Fisheries Division was established in June 1946, when a Director and an Executive Assistant took up their posts in FAO. By early 1948, the Division included three branches:

Fisheries Biology Branch

Fisheries Technology Branch

Fisheries Economics Branch

This basic structure was maintained through 1965. As of January 1960 the Division was placed in the Technical Department, and it remained there through 1965. With the approval of the Thirteenth Session of the FAO Conference in 1965, as of 1 January 1966 the Fisheries Division was removed from the Technical Department and upgraded to department status. At the same time the three Branches were consolidated into two Divisions:

Fisheries Resources and Exploitation Division

Fisheries Economics and Products Division

This structure was maintained through 1969, except that as of June 1968 an Operations Office was added.

In January 1970, as part of the general reorganization of FAO, the structure of the Department was rearranged to include the following units:

Fishery Resources Division

Fishery Economics and Institutions Division

Fishery Industries Division

Operations Service

In 1972 the Fishery Resources Division was redesignated Fishery Resources and Environment Division.

At the end of 1973 the Fishery Economics and Institutions Division was dissolved, and a Policy and Planning Service was established in January 1974.At the end of 1977 the latter was abolished, and a Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Service was set up as of January 1978. Thus, at that time the Fisheries Department was composed as follows:

Fishery Resources and Environment Division

Fishery Industries Division

Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Service

Operations Service

In addition, the Office of the Assistant Director-General contained a Fishery Liaison Unit, a Perspective Studies Unit, and a Management Support Unit, the latter of which had, in fact, functioned as part of the Operations Service since 1974. In 1980, the Fishery Liaison Unit and the Perspective Studies Unit were merged into a new Fisheries Policy and Planning Division.

The report of the Interim Commission to the First Session of the FAO Conference in 1945 observed that there was need to increase the total output of world fisheries by better exploitation of fishing grounds, and to make better use of the supply obtained. Scientific and statistical information were deficient. Improvements were needed in techniques for processing fish and conserving nutrients. Long-term objectives should be to obtain larger supplies for the world's consumers, and to advance the welfare of those who depend on fishing for a livelihood.

Against this background, FAO's role is to serve its Member Countries by —

By establishing Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), as a consequence of discussions in the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, an increasing number of countries have extended their claims to jurisdiction over the waters off their shores, typically to 200 miles. By early 1981, 100 countries had so acted, and the resulting EEZs cover areas equal to about two thirds of the world's land surface. If all coastal nations take such action, the water areas falling under national control will approach that of the entire land surface. The fish stocks that provide some 90% of the world's marine fishing harvest are found in these areas, and the new legal regime has brought under the control of coastal nations many fish stocks that previously were exploited by foreign fleets.

This extension of national jurisdiction is transforming fisheries management and development, since the coastal states are now in a position to conserve this renewable resource and use it for the benefit of their peoples and economies. At the same time, if the management efforts of individual countries are to be effective, a great deal of inter-country cooperation will be necessary, since fish do not recognize international boundaries, and many stocks move seasonally from the waters of one country to those of another.

In order to help its Member Countries, and in particular to aid those developing countries which lack the trained manpower and facilities to take advantage of the new situation, FAO established in 1979 a comprehensive programme of EEZ assistance to promote the rational management and full use of fishery resources in the economic zones of the developing countries, and to enable them to secure a greater share of their living marine resources.

With the above objectives in mind, the Fisheries Department is providing immediate help through —

These actions to meet priority requests for assistance are being complemented by longer-term studies of basic principles and methods for the management and development of fisheries in the EEZs.

The following officers have provided the leadership of the Fisheries Division and the Fisheries Department:

Director, Fisheries DivisionCountryPeriod
  Dr. D.B. Finn Canada June 1946–Jan. 1964
  Roy I. Jackson United States May 1964–Dec. 1965
Assistant Director-General, Fisheries Department  
 Roy I. JacksonUnited StatesJan. 1966–Dec. 1971
 Fred E. PopperCanadaJan. 1972–Sep. 1976
 Herman C. WatzingerNorwayJan. 1977–Aug. 1978
 Kenneth C. LucasCanadaNov. 1978–Oct 1981

Fishery Policy and Planning Division

While this Division was established only as of 1 January 1980, a number of its functions can be traced back to earlier units, including —

the Fisheries Economics Branch, which existed in the Fisheries Division from 1948 through 1965;

the Economics and Development Branch, which existed in the Fishery Economics and
Products Division and, later, the Fisheries Economics and Institutions Division from January 1966 through December 1973;

a Perspective Studies and Fishery Policy Unit, later renamed Fisheries Perspective Studies Unit, which was part of the Office of the Assistant Director-General from 1974 through 1979;

a Fishery Liaison Unit, which was located in the Office of the Assistant Director-General from January 1966 through 1979.

The Fishery Policy and Planning Division is organized into two units, a Fishery Development Planning Service and a Fishery International Institutions and Liaison Unit. Its major functions are to advise and assist Member Governments on policies, plans and programmes fox fishery management and development. It is also responsible for preparing policy proposals for FAO regional fishery bodies, for maintaining liaison with international intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and institutions concerned with fisheries, and for providing support in the planning, coordination and monitoring of the EEZ Programme.

The creation of EEZs has reinforced the necessity for clearly identifying national objectives governing the use of fishery resources, and determining the strategies to be followed, and the specific measures to be taken; it has also lent greater urgency to the need for inter-country collaboration. During the first 18 months of the 1980–81 biennium, the Division mounted 16 multidisciplinary missions to provide advice on EEZ policies and planning. It has also been instrumental in adjusting and strengthening the sub-regional structures of FAO regional fishery bodies, to enable them to respond more effectively to the specific needs of countries with such common problems as shared fishery stocks.

Leadership in the Fishery Policy and Planning Division and its precursors has been provided by the following officers:

Chief, Fisheries Economics BranchCountryPeriod
Dr. G.M. GerhardsenNorwayJan. 1947–Dec. 1953
 Fred E. PopperCanadaJune 1954–Oct. 1962
Director, Fisheries Economics and Products Division  
 R. HarrisonUnited StatesMay 1966–June 1969
Director, FisheryEconomics and Products Division and Fishery Economics and Institutions Division  
 Dr. J.A. StorerUnited StatesJune 1969–Sep. 1973
Director, Fishery Policy and Planning Division  
 Jean-Emile CarrozSwitzerlandJan. 1980–

During the period August 1963–May 196S, Mr. C. Beever (United Kingdom) served as Acting Chief Fisheries Economics Branch

Fishery Resources and Environment Division

This Division had its beginnings in the Fisheries Biology Branch, one of the three established when the Fisheries Division received its first formal structure in early 1948. By 1965 the Branch had grown to the point where three sections were established to deal with Marine Biology, Inland Biology and a Research Programme. When the branch became the Fishery Resources and Exploitation Division in January 1966, it consisted of five branches:

Fish Stock Evaluation Branch

Inland Fishery Branch

Marine Biology and Environment Branch

Fishing Vessels and Engineering Branch

Fishing Operations Branch

In January 1970, the Division's fishing vessel and exploitation functions were transferred to other units, its name was shortened to Fishery Resources Division, and the number of its branches was reduced to three:

Fish Stock Evaluation Branch

Inland Fishery Resources Branch

Marine Biology and Environment Branch

Late in 1972, the Division was redesignated Fishery Resources and and Environment Division. In January 1974, its three branches were consolidated into two services, as follows:

Aquatic Resources Survey and Evaluation Service

Aquatic Resources Improvement and Environment Service

In January 1978, the titles of the services were again adjusted, thus:

Marine Resources Service

Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service

This structure has since been maintained.

The work of the Marine Resources Service is designed to increase knowledge of the magnitude, distribution and potential harvest of marine fish resources and to ensure that this knowledge is used in the most effective way to optimize exploitation of the world's fishery resources, either by developing the use of those that are under-utilized or by better management of those that are heavily fished. To these ends, a broad range of activities is aimed at evaluating the state of different fish resources, improving methods of resource evaluation, providing direct assistance to Member Countries through resource evaluation studies and training to increase national capabilities, and disseminating information. The EEZ Programme also includes substantial elements of assistance in resource evaluation.

The Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service provides a broad range of services in three distinct but related disciplines: inland-water capture fisheries,aquaculture, and environmental problems of coastal and inland fisheries. The Service provides assistance to Member Countries in the assessment, development and management of fish resources of lakes, reservoirs, rivers and lagoons; in developing the production of fish and other aquatic products through culture; and, on the environmental side, in the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of natural water in order to improve fish production.

The earliest efforts of what was then the Fisheries Biology Branch were focused on assembling and disseminating information on fishery biology and the population dynamics and stock assessment techniques that were being evolved in Europe and North America during the 1950s. This emphasis gave way to more practical concerns in the 1960s, with increased concentration on aquaculture, responsibility for dealing with which was eventually incorporated into the programme of the Inland Fishery Branch. At the same time, work in more general aspects of management began to gain urgency: in the marine sector, for example, problems of multi-species tropical stocks, inaccessible to the more traditional methods of stock assessment, and problems of shared stocks, which need to be managed jointly by one or more countries, became more and more important. These considerations have taken on new significance with the introduction of the EEZs, which allow countries complete jurisdiction over the fisheries off their coasts. In inland waters the trend has increasingly been to consider fisheries and aquaculture as one use among many of river basins and to integrate fisheries interests with those of other users.

The following officers have provided leadership to the Division and its primary precursor Branch:

Chief, Fisheries Biology BranchCountryPeriod
Dr. J.L. KaskUnited StatesJan. 1948–Jan. 1951
 W.H. SchusterNetherlandsJan. 1952–Nov. 1953
 Dr. G.L.K. KestevenAustraliaApr. 1954–Apr. 1960
 Dr. S.J. HoltUnited KingdomApr. 1960–Dec. 1965
Director, Fisheries Resources and Exploitation Division  
 Dr. S.J. HoltUnited KingdomMay 1966–Aug. 1968
Director, Fishery Resources Division and Fishery Resources and Environment Division  
 Dr. M. RuivoPortugalDec. 1969–Dec. 1973
Director, Fishery Resources and Environment Division  
 Dr. H. KasaharaJapanJan. 1974–Dec. 1980
 Dr. A. LindquistSwedenAug. 1981–

Fishery Industries Division

The Fishery Industries Division was established in January 1970 to deal with fishing harbours and plant design; vessel design, construction and operation; fishing methods and gear; training of fishermen; fish preservation, processing and products development; and the marketing of fish and fishery products. Responsibility for some of these activities had earlier been carried out by other units. An early precursor in the original Fisheries Division was the Fisheries Technology Branch, of which Mogens Jul (Denmark) served as Chief from January 1952 to November 1953. Following the establishment of the Fisheries Department in January 1966, the Fishery Resources and Exploitation Division had included the Fishery Vessels and Engineering Branch and the Fishing Operations Branch, while the Fishery Products and Marketing Branch was located in the Fishery Economics and Products Division. In January 1970 these elements were brought together in the Fishery Industries Division, organized as follows:

Fishing Vessels and Engineering Branch

Fishing Gear and Methods Branch

Fishery Products and Marketing Branch

Fleet Management Unit

In 1974 the last of these was transferred to the Operations Service and the three branches were consolidated into two services:

Fishing Industries Development Service

Fishery Industries Technology and Marketing Service (redesignated Fish Production and Marketing Service in 1976).

In January 1978 the services were again partially restructured and renamed, as follows:

Fishery Industries Development Service

Fish Utilization and Marketing Service

Fisheries Technology Service

In January 1980 the first of these was abolished, some of its functions being transferred to the newly-created Fishery Policy and Planning Division.

As its name indicates, the Fishery Industries Division fosters the development of fishery industries and undertakes activities leading to commercial fishery development. The Fisheries Technology Service is responsible for all work on fishing vessels, fishing gear and small-scale fisheries development; the Fish Utilization and Marketing Service is responsible for all work on. fish handling, preservation, processing and marketing.

The following officers have served as Director of the Division:

Director, Fishery Industries DivisionCountryPeriod
Herman C. WatzingerNorwayFeb. 1970–Dec.1976
 A. LabonPolandFeb. 1977–

Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Service

During the period prior to 1966, when the Fisheries Division became a Department, its information, data and statistics functions were distributed as parts of the current programmes of its various units. In January 1966 a Fishery Intelligence and Reports Unit was set up in the Office of the Assistant Director-General, primarily to collect information on the fisheries of Member Countries and to edit field project reports. At the same time, statistics and economic data services were consolidated in the Fishery Economics and Products Division, and scientific information and data services within a Biological Data Section in the Fishery Resources and Exploitation Division. Information on processing technology, naval architecture and fishing vessels was provided by the Fisheries Technology Branch through a quarterly journal, World Fisheries Abstracts, while the information needs of the scientific fishery community were met by the Fishery Biology Branch, mainly through an annotated journal, Current Bibliography for Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries.

These statistical data and scientific information functions were maintained for the most part, with changes in the names of the responsible units, through 1977. In January 1978, all the pertinent functions were consolidated in the Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Service, with Mr. E. F. Akyüz (Turkey) as its Chief. This Service endeavours to place at the disposal of all sectors of the Fisheries Department, Member Governments, other organizations in the UN system, and the world fishery community, a store of reliable and up-to-date information on all aspects of world fisheries. It thus provides the information base for the planning and management of fisheries, thereby increasing the efficiency of governmental and industrial decision-making, and at the same time helping to improve national methods of collection, compilation and dissemination of such information, the demand for which has increased substantially with the advent of the EEZs.

Operations Service

Although the technical assistance activities of the Fisheries Division had begun almost as soon as the Division itself was created, by 196S they had grown to the point where it was deemed desirable to centralize the operation of field projects in a Field Projects Coordination Office. In June 1968, an Operations Office was set up in what had become the Fisheries Department to take over the task of coordinating field activities, and in January 1970 it became the Operations Service. In January 1974, a Management Support Unit and the Fleet Management Unit were placed in the Service.

The field programme of the Fisheries Department expanded steadily during the 1960s, and by 1970 the Operations Service was managing 42 UNDP/Special Fund-financed projects valued at $43.3 million. There was a further steady increase between 1970 and 1980, with an increasing number of Trust-Fund-financed projects, and projects under the Technical Cooperation Programme. By 1980, the Operations Service was managing 241 operational projects, with a staff of 260 field experts and funds from various sources totalling $145 million. During the period January 1951 -June 1960, the technical assistance activities of the Fisheries Division were carried out under the supervision of Mr. Reginald H. Fiedler (United States). From 1966 onwards, this work has been under the supervision of the following officers:

Chief, Field Projects CoordinationOfficeCountryPeriod
M.J. GirardFranceMay 1966–June 1968
Director, Operations Service  
 H.C. WinsorCanadaJan. 1970–Feb. 1974
 N. KojimaJapanMar. 1974–

Forestry Department

A Forestry and Forest Products Division was among the four substantive Divisions established within the first year following the founding of FAO.However, the inclusion of forestry in the Organization's terms of reference was, in a sense, an afterthought.

When preparations for the establishment of FAO were initiated at the Hot Springs Conference and the scope of the new Organization was considered, it was decided not to include forestry among the disciplines that FAO should take up. There was in fact only one reference to forestry in the Final Act of the Hot Springs Conference, and this was in connection with a recommendation to nations on conserving land and water resources. In this context, nations were urged to implement economic and other measures aimed at protection of forests, and afforestation of unprotected watersheds where necessary, including measures for the protection of food-producing wildlife; to prevent flood damage; and to conserve water needed for direct consumption and for irrigation.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Hot Springs Conference, a small group of foresters met in Washington and decided to pursue the matter further. An informal working group was set up, chaired by Mr. Lester B. Pearson, who was not a forester but was interested in the subject, and who was Chairman of the Interim Commission established after the Hot Springs Conference. When the group presented its case in support of the inclusion of forestry to the Undersecretary of Agriculture of the United States, Paul H. Appleby, he was hesitant, but agreed to take the matter up with Dean Acheson, then Assistant Secretary of State. Acheson replied that by all means forestry should be included. Even so, Appleby was still reluctant, since President Franklin D.Roosevelt, in convening the Hot Springs Conference, had outlined its scope in broad terms, but had not included forestry in it. On 2 November 1943, however, he wrote to the President seeking his views. Roosevelt's hand-scrawled reply read, “Yes, I think forestry should be included.” With this support, the matter was followed up in the Interim Commission (Winters, 1974).

The Interim Commission ultimately set up a Technical Committee on Forestry and Primary Forest Products, whose findings were included in the Interim Commission's report of 25 April 1945. They stressed that FAO must go beyond “freedom from want of food” and that forests were one of the resources with which FAO should be concerned, because there were close interrelationships between forestry and agriculture, and because forestry could make an important contribution to an expanding world economy. They were published as one of a series of Five Technical Reports on Food and Agriculture (Interim Commission on Food and Agriculture, 1945), which provided the basis for consideration of FAO's future programme by the Quebec Conference. At Quebec, finally, the decision was taken to include forestry in FAO's terms of reference.

These efforts had been preceded by earlier efforts to assemble information on the world's forests and to promote studies on forestry matters. An international conference held in Vienna in the early summer of 1932 had decided that a Comité international du bois (CIB) should be created, with headquarters in Vienna, to assemble and publish information on production, trade, stocks and prices of forest products, and to promote trade in timber. Some 15 European countries, in addition to Canada and the United States, became members. During the second World Forestry Congress in Budapest in 1936, a resolution was introduced aimed at setting up a competing Centre international de sylviculture (CIS) as an autonomous unit of the International Institute of Agriculture (IIA). The CIS was eventually established in Berlin, in May 1939,and continued to function, with limited membership, during the World War II years. Certain of the CIB's functions were assumed by a CIS subsidiary, the Commission Internationale d'utilisation du bois (CIUB), in 1942. Following the war, no trace could be found of the files and library materials assembled either by CIB or by CIS and CIUB (Winters, 1974), but among the actions of the Quebec Conference relating to forestry was a recommendation that FAO should pursue the activities of CIB as well as those initiated by the IIA through the CIS.

The FAO Forestry and Forest Products Division had its beginning in June 1946, when Mr. Marcel Leloup (France) took up the post of Director. From that time until it was transformed into a Forestry Department in 1970, the Division underwent several changes in name, as follows:

Forestry and Forest Products Division, June 1946–August 1951

Forestry Division, September 1951–December 1958

Forestry and Forest Products Division, January 1959–December 1967

Forestry and Forest Industries Division, January 1968–December 1969

Forestry Department, January 1970-

By April 1947 the Division had developed a formal structure, with a Forestry Branch and a Forest Products Branch. Following this, there were five major evolutionary changes in structure, of which only the main movements are noted below, although this approach no doubt oversimplifies some of the changes. In 1949, the Forestry Branch was divided into Policy, Silviculture, and Economics Sections, and the Forest Products Branch into Technical Development, Equipment, and Trade and Industries Sections. In 1952, following the transfer to Rome early in 1951, these six units were consolidated into three branches, the Policy and Silviculture Sections becoming the Forest Policy and Conservation Branch, the Technology Development Section becoming the Research and Technology Branch, and the last three, dealing with Equipment, Trade and Industries, and Economics becoming the Forest Economics Branch.

Further changes took place in 1957, when the Forest Policy and Conservation Branch was renamed Forest Policy Branch and the equipment and forest industries aspects of the work of the Forest Economics Branch were transferred to the Research and Technology Branch, which was redesignated Forest Technology Branch.

This pattern was maintained until 1964, when a Forest Production Branch was added and the Forest Technology Branch was renamed Forest Industries and Utilization Branch. In 1966, the Forest Production Branch was redesignated Forest Management Branch, and the Forest Industry and Utilization Branch was divided into two, one retaining the same name and one named Forest Logging and Transportation Branch. Thus, between 1966 and 1969, the Division had five branches. In addition, an Operations Office was set up in June 1968.

The Forestry and Forest Industries Division was transformed into a Department on 1 January 1970, with two Divisions: a Forest Resources Division with four branches, dealing respectively with Wildlife and Forest Conservation, Forest Management, Forest Logging and Transport, and Forestry Institutions and Education; and a Forest Industries and Trade Division, with three branches responsible for Pulp and Paper, Mechanical Wood Products, and Economics and Statistics. The Forest Industries and Trade Division was renamed Forest Industries Division in 1978, and at the same time responsibility for forest logging and transport work was transferred to it from the Forest Resources Division.

In 1976 a Policy and Planning Service was established, drawing upon some elements of both divisions, and upon other elements of the Department, as is reported below.

Thus, the Forestry Department currently consists of four major units:

Forestry Resources Division

Forest Industries Division

Policy and Planning Service

Operations Service

Those who have provided leadership of the Forestry Department and of its precursor Divisions are the following:

Director, Forestry and Forest ProductsDivision and Forestry DivisionCountryPeriod
M. LeloupFranceJune 1946–Jan. 1959
Director, Forestry and Forest Products Division  
 Dr. Egon GlesingerAustraliaJan. 1959–July 1963
Director, Forestry and Forest Products Division and Forestry and Forest Industries Division  
 N.A. OsaraFinlandAug. 1963–Sep. 1968
Director, Forestry and Forest Industries Division, and Assistant Director-General, Forestry Department  
 B.K. SteenbergSwedenDec. 1968–Aug. 1974
Assistant Director-General, Forestry Department  
 Kenneth KingGuyanaAug. 1974–July 1978
 Dr. M.A. Flores RodasHondurasSep. 1978–

Forest Resources Division

The Forest Resources Division, established in January 1970 when the Forestry and Forest Industries Division was transformed into a Department, is composed of a Forest Resources Development Branch, a Forest Conservation and Wildlife Branch, and a Forestry Education, Employment and Institutions Branch. As noted above, its lineage can be traced back to the original Forestry Branch established in November 1946.

The Division seeks to promote the multiple-use management of existing forests and the creation of new forests in support of sustained national and rural development. In its work it takes into consideration three functions of forestry:

The activities of the Division are directed for the most part toward assisting forest services and related national institutions and services in successfully carrying out their roles in integrating forestry and agriculture, managing tropical forests, rationalizing shifting cultivation, managing watersheds, establishing and managing forest plantations, arresting and reversing the desertification process, expanding the production of energy from the forest biomass, and ensuring a continuing supply of forest raw materials for industry. Promoting the development of forest resources involves assistance in expanding and improving global, regional and national forest resource surveys; improving silvicultural treatment and harvesting techniques to optimize yield and natural regeneration; introducing improved techniques in nursery, reforestation, plantation management and agro-silviculture; and carrying out global programmes on improved seed procurement and distribution as well as on the conservation of genetic resources.

In its efforts to promote the conservation of forests and wildlife, the Division assists in implementing proper techniques of rehabilitation and management of mountain watersheds for maintaining soil fertility and regulating stream flow; improving living standards of shifting cultivators and upstream populations; reducing flood damage and maintaining permanent cover to provide wood, fodder and food; maintaining, managing and rehabilitating wildlife and national parks; stabilizing sand dunes and establishing and managing shelterbelts and windbreaks, especially in arid zones, to furnish protection against further degradation and desert encroachment, provide fuelwood and improve the environment.

In regard to forestry education, employment and institutions, the Division assists FAO's Member Countries by assessing manpower training needs in forestry and improving the content and methods of forestry education and training; establishing new, or strengthening existing, facilities for forestry education, training and extension; promoting continuing education and in-service training of forestry staff; formulating and updating forest policies, legislation and administrative structures and strengthening the institutional framework for forestry research; and promoting cooperatives and other local organizations as they relate to forestry.

In common with most other subject-matter sectors of the Organization, the Division has become increasingly involved in the backstopping of the field programme, so that, while its overall programme of work has grown, increasing concentration is placed on activities to provide assistance to developing countries.

Those who have provided leadership of the Forest Resources Division and of its predecessors are the following:

Chief, Forestry BranchCountryPeriod
S.B. ShowUnited StatesNov. 1946–Sep. 1949
Chief, Silviculture Section  
 D.T. GriffithAustraliaJan. 1950–Dec. 1950
Chief, Forest Policy and ConservationBranch and Forest Policy Branch  
 T. FrançoisFranceJune 1971–Sep. 1962
Chief, Forest Policy Branch and Forest Management (Production) Branch and Director, Forest Resources Division  
 R. FontaineFranceSep. 1962–Oct. 1973

Director, Forest Resources DivisionCountryPeriod
 Dr. H. SteinlinSwitzerlandNov. 1973–Oct. 1976
 L. HuguetFranceMar. 1977–Apr. 1980
 Dr. J. Prats-LlauradóSpainMay 1980–

Forest Industries Division

As has been seen from the account of the evolution of the Forestry Department, this Division, which began as a Forest Products Branch in 1947, has had a quite chequered history, not only as regards its structure but also with regard to its subject-matter coverage and emphasis. To some extent, this emphasis was influenced by the philosophy and theory of economic development adhered to by the leadership at a particular time. When foreign exchange was regarded as the main limiting factor in economic development, the focus tended to be on industrialization aimed at tapping export markets. Industrialization aimed at better utilization of secondary species was given major attention when the focus was on making full use of the resource endowment. When education was deemed to be the critical factor, emphasis was placed on educating and training technicians, operators and managers, to lay the foundation for industrialization. But increasingly it has been recognized that single-factor solutions seldom provide the basis for solving problems of economic underdevelopment, and the Division's efforts have been directed more and more to integrated approaches to forestry and rural development.

The matters currently dealt with by the Division begin with the harvesting of trees in the forest and the transport of wood to processing plants; then the passage of the wood through the various industrial processes such as sawmilling and the manufacture of plywood, fibreboard, particle board, wood pulp and paper; followed by the utilization of forest and mill residues in other processes,and to an increasing extent for energy; and finishing with the handling and transport of the processed products to the ultimate markets.

As a basis for effective application of these processes, forest resources must not be treated as a mine, but managed for continuous and increased production. Forest industries, by transforming the standing resource into needed, usable products, are an essential part of the overall process of forest management, conservation, and effective utilization. Hence, many of the Division's activities are directed toward the establishment and management of forest industries in developing countries, and to doing this in such a way that the industries will be effective tools in forestry and social development. To achieve these aims, industries must be properly planned, prudently but adequately capitalized, and competently staffed and managed. Each of these aspects has a place in the Division's programme of work.

Those who have provided leadership in the Forest Industries Division and its principal precursors include the following:

Chief Forest Products BranchCountryPeriod
 Dr. Egon GlesingerAustriaJuly 1947–Oct. 1949
Chief Technical Development Section  
 L.J. VernellUnited KingdomNov. 1949–Mar. 1951

Chief, Equipment SectionCountryPeriod
 Jean VinzantFranceNov. 1949–Mar. 1951
Chief, Research and Technology Branch and Forest Technology Branch  
 Dr. I.T. HaigUnited StatesMar. 1951–Mar. 1958
Chief, Forest Technology Branch  
 André MétroFranceJune 1958–Nov. 1965
Chief, Forest Logging and Transport Branch  
 Gsaak KissinBrazilJan. 1966–Jan. 1969
Chief, Forest Industries and Utilization Branch  
 J. SwiderskiUnited StatesMar. 1966–Aug. 1969
Director, Forest Industries and Trade Division  
 Pekka J. VakomiesCanadaJan. 1970–Mar. 1977
Director, Forest Industries and Trade Division and Forest Industries Division  
 A.J. LeslieAustraliaNov. 1977–

Policy and Planning Service

The Policy and Planning Service, which was set up in January 1976, had two main ancestral lines. One the one hand it traces back to a Policy Section that existed from 1949 through 1951, became a Forest Policy and Conservation Branch in 1952, and finally a Forest Policy Branch in 1957. In 1966 this Branch was divided into two, dealing respectively with Forest Policy and Forest Management. They were again merged into the Forest Resources Division in 1970, but at that time a Plans Unit, set up in the Office of the Assistant Director-General, took over certain responsibilities of the former Forest Policy Branch, as well as certain functions of a Programme Coordination Unit which had been located in the Office of the Director, Forestry and Forest Industries Division. These policy and planning activities were assigned to the Policy and Planning Service in 1976.

On the other hand, the Service can be traced back to an Economics Section (1947–1951) and subsequently a Forest Economics Branch (1952–1970), which was merged into the Forest Industries and Trade Division. In 1976, the relevant responsibilities were transferred from this Division to the Policy and Planning Service.

The Service carries out, for the Department as a whole, substantive functions relating to planning, perspective studies, statistics, trade and economic analysis. In addition, it is responsible for the organization of sessions of the Committee on Forestry and of the Regional Forestry Commissions, for some liaison and programming functions, and also for some editorial and documentation activities. Among the periodical publications for which the Service is primarily responsible are Unasylva, the FAO Yearbook of Forest Products, and a Monthly Bulletin on the Tropical Timber Trade. A World Forest Inventory 1963, the fifth such inventory, was issued in 1966.

Those who have provided leadership in the Policy and Planning Service and its precursors include the following officers:

Chief, Economics SectionCountryPeriod
J.D. HarrisonCanadaNov. 1949–Mar. 1951
Chief, Trade and Industries Section  
 T.V. TarkiainenFinlandJan. 1949–Sep. 1952
Chief, Policy Section, Forest Policy and Conservation Branch and Forest Policy Branch  
 T. FrançoisFranceNov. 1949–Sep. 1962
Chief, Forest Economics Branch  
 T. StreyffertSwedenNov. 1952–Oct 1953
 H. TrompSwitzerlandDec. 1955–Sep. 1957
 J.C. WestobyUnited KingdomJan. 1958–Aug. 1963
Chief, Programme and Operations Office  
 L.J. VernellUnited KingdomJune 1960–Mar. 1961
Chief, Forest Policy Branch  
 R. FontaineFranceSep. 1962–Nov. 1965
 L. Gímenez-QuintanaSpainJuly 1966–Dec. 1969
Chief, Forest Economics Branch and Policy and Planning Service  
 Dr. S.L. PringleCanadaDec. 1963–

Operations Service

The work of the Operations Service, which was first established under the name of Operations Office in June 1968, can be traced back to the beginnings of the field programme in 1951, when a Technical Assistance Officer was appointed. Between1951 and 1968 the responsibility for coordinating field programme activities was assigned to various units attached to the Office of the Division Director.

Those who have provided leadership or general supervision over this sector have included —

Technical Assistance Officer and Chief Technical Assistance OfficerCountryPeriod
D. Roy CameronCanadaApr. 1951–Jan. 1953
Chief Technical Assistance Officer  
 Pierre TerverFranceJan. 1953–Jan. 1956
Chief, Programme and OperationsOffice  
 L.J. VernellUnited KingdomJune 1960–Mar. 1961
Field Operations Officer and Chief, Operations and Coordination Office  
 N. FelsovanyiAustriaDec. 1964–July 1969
Director, Operations Service  
 L. HuguetFranceSep. 1969–Feb. 1977
 Dr. J. Prats-LlauradóSpainMar. 1977–Apr. 1980
 Dr. M.K. MuthooIndiaMay 1980

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page