Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
United States of America
Viet-Nam, Republic of
· One of the projects recently approved under the United Nations Development Program (Special Fund) is for training and demonstration in forestry and range management in Afghanistan.
The object is to prepare a program for the renewal and development of forests and rangelands in Afghanistan and over a period of five years to train technical staff for the Department of Forestry and Range Improvement, in two-year courses combining theoretical and field training.
In the fourth year the responsibility for the training aspects of the project, based on estimates of future manpower requirements, will be transferred progressively to the national counterparts who will in the meantime have received training abroad. The final year of the project will see the introduction of systematic measures for the protection and development of the country's forests and rangelands.
Provision has been made for about 15 students a year to be selected for the training program. Dormitories, lecture rooms and other necessary facilities, as well as the project headquarters, will be located at the Forestry Department's newly constructed quarters some 19 kilometers from the capital, Kabul. Headquarters for field training will be at a village in the forestry region of Kunar province. Emphasis will be on the protection of watersheds, improvement of overgrazed rangeland, and a broad range of techniques for forest rehabilitation and management.
· Two recent books published in England have called attention to the idea of reclaiming the Sahara desert. One is A woman against the desert by Wendy Campbell-Purdie and the other Sahara conquest by Richard St. Barbe Baker, founder of the movement known as Men of the Trees.
Miss Campbell-Purdie has established a plantation 130 miles south of Algiers at the Bou Saada oasis, and is trying to prove her theory that round the Sahara in the narrow strip between the cultivable land and the true desert there is land which can be afforested.
The scale on which her experiments are being carried out is modest. But what Miss Campbell-Purdie has undoubtedly achieved is wide publicity for her vision of a Green Front around the Sahara - an idea which is also the theme of St. Barbe Baker's book.
The Sahara being one and a half times the size of Australia, no single initiative can hope to do more than dramatize the idea in order to call the attention of the governments round its borders to the dangers inherent in bad land use practices which will allow the desert to encroach further, and to interest the general aid-giving public in the idea of trees holding it back.
· Since the beginning of 1966 the United Nations/FAO World Food Program has also been assisting the Government of Algeria in large-scale reforestation and land reclamation operations through the Chantiers populaires de reboisement. Begun in 1962 under the Christian Committee for Service in Algeria, this work is directed at the eventual economic development not only of northeast Algeria but of other regions. Forestry operations in this desperately poor area provide work for thousands of workers and their families, who are paid in the form of food provided by the World Food Program.
Up to the end of the 1965/66 planting season a total of some 30 million trees were planted on about 28,000 hectares. Species used included Eucalyptus globulus, E. camaldulensis, Pinus pinea, P. radiata, P. pinaster and P. halepensis, Cupressus sempervirens and C. atlantica. Samples of seed from other Mediterranean countries are being procured for future trials.
· Bulgaria has applied for membership in FAO and will be formally accepted at the next session of the FAO Conference in November 1967.
Cuba. - The Cuban Ministry of Education runs "hobby circles" to introduce children to practical work in a healthy environment. Afforestation is a popular field of interest for schoolchildren in the Camagüey province where they keep various forest nurseries and help in planting and tending work, thus participating in their country's plantation programs which have averaged 27,000 hectares per year since 1959. This picture was taken at the Jose Luis Cambo hobby circle. (L. HUGUET).
With a population of around 8 million mainly in the rural sector (60 percent). Bulgaria has a centrally-planned economy.
Over 80 percent of tile country's foreign trade is with eastern Europe (more than 50 percent with the U.S.S.R. exclusively); the other main trading partners are the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Exports rose from U.S. $570 million in 1960 to $1,176 million in 1965, and imports from $633 million to $1,178 million.
The forest area is 3.6 million hectares, about 29 percent of the country. About 80 percent comprises broadleaved species, mainly beech and oak, and of this about one half is poorly stocked. All forests are state-owned and covered by forest management plans. Fellings average around 5.5 million cubic meters (about 70 percent broadleaved), of which three quarters are industrial wood.
Production figures for 1963 show 1.5 million cubic meters sawnwood, 76,000 cubic meters plywood, 74,000 tons particle board, 54,000 tons wood pulp, and 104.000 tons paper and paperboard. In the same year Bulgaria exported 120,000 cubic meters sawnwood, 36,000 cubic meters pitprops, 10,500 cubic meters plywood, and imported. 80,000 cubic meters of coniferous sawnwood, 19,000 tons chemical pulp, 46,500 tons of paper and paperboard, 48,000 cubic meters roundwood, and small quantities of other wood products.
At Sofia there is a forestry faculty and a forest research institute, the latter within the framework of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
· Indonesia withdrew from FAO in February 1965 but has recently resumed membership. A United Nations Development Program/FAO mission has visited the country to see what assistance can now best be given, and to investigate how new projects can resuscitate previous work carried out by international assistance in the islands.
The FAO Deputy Regional Representative in tile region, Soesilo H. Prakoso, himself a one-time Director of Forestry in Indonesia and later an Undersecretary, reported that the Government gave first priority to a crash program to increase food production. Once the immediate food scarcity has been alleviated, however, there will be a need for projects aimed at improving and expanding Indonesia's exports and in this field forestry can be important. FAO has proposed investigating the prospects for re-establishing and expanding the export trade in tropical timbers (logs and sawnwood) and for diversifying this trade by development of the veneer and plywood export industry.
Denmark. - The countryside of Middle Jutland has been completely changed over the last century: large stretches of heathland have disappeared. Protective shelterbelts divide the land into squares, and there are small and large plantations everywhere. Average production on sandy fields in Jutland is now on a level with production in the rest of the country. Experience has shown that, depending on the density, protective and forest plantations reduce by 20 to 40 percent the force of the wind which blows eastward across Jutland. The right kind of protection around a field reduces, for example, evaporation: 1 mm less evaporation means that about 32 million cubic meters more water is available for the crops. (HAR SKODSHØJ).
Italy. - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is accompanied by J.J. Swift of FAO's Forestry and Forest Products Division (center) round a photographic display before a dinner held recently in Rome to launch the Italian World Wildlife Fund appeal.
Lloyd W. Swift, a former secretary of the United States wildlife fund appeal who was in Rome on his way to an FAO wildlife management assignment in Turkey, also attended the dinner. The President of the Italian World Wildlife Fund Association is Marchese Dott. Mario Incisa della Rocchetta.
Lebanon. - Part of the United Nations Development Program (Special Fund) project for the development of the highlands in south Lebanon is concerned with the reclamation of land for agriculture. The rock-strewn crust as seen in the background is broken by ripping. After ripping, the rocks are removed by landowners themselves with volunteer labor - a step toward land consolidation and the creation of cooperatives. The picture shows the demonstration of a technique for the removal of rocks by using a metal sledge drawn by a tractor. Another part of the FAO project which is due to end in 1967 is leading to the large-scale planting of cedar forests to help promote the tourist attraction) of the country.
· The Department of Agricultural Research of the Royal Tropical Institute at Amsterdam (Mauritskade 63, Amsterdam-o) has created a service to encourage the introduction of less known tropical timber species onto the market.
The scheme grew out of the fact that it is costly and cumbersome for individual industrialists in western Europe to obtain sufficiently large collections of specimens of promising new tropical timbers for investigation and practical tests. In cooperation with Surinam, the institute has built up stocks of 15 little known tropical species which have good characteristics and of which abundant supplies can be assured. None of the species has an established market. Industries can obtain specimens of these timbers against payment of handling charges in Amsterdam and the costs of delivery to their premises. If the outcome of experiments is satisfactory, the institute can arrange for regular shipments of the timber to be forthcoming.
· The timetable and work of the UNDP/FAO savanna forestry research project centered at Zaria in the Northern Region of the country suffered considerably from the political and social disturbances in Nigeria during the past year. United Nations personnel have had difficulties in traveling. The wives of the international staff did some valuable and selfless work during this period caring for the victims of the disorder. The rioting which broke out in the north resulted in the loss of contractors and the skilled artisans engaged in building a new laboratory and staff houses, and also of some of the better-trained subprofessional government employees.
By altering the scheduled program and concentrating temporarily on field work, it is hoped the project will be able to make up on the lost time.
· The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and FAO have issued a report on the development of agriculture in Spain, compiled by a mission organized by the Bank and FAO at the request of the Government. Forestry members of the mission were S.L. Pringle and J.E.M. Arnold from FAO headquarters.
There are 7.74 million hectares of high forest in Spain of which about 4.50 million hectares are well stocked, and another 4.50 million hectares of coppice and coppice with standards. In fact. 2.81 million hectares of the high forest and coppice are stocked with holm oak which is productive of little but mast (acorns), and 339,000 hectares with cork oak. In addition, there are 2.68 million hectares of open forest on pasture and 12.16 million hectares of wild lands which, though devoid of tree cover of any description, fall under the administration of the forest service, Dirección General de Montes, Caza y Pesca Fluvial. Most of the industrial wood produced in Spain comes from the limited areas of well-stocked high forest, although the other categories yield important volumes of poles and fuelwood.
Very little of the area of forests is the property of the State. The larger part of the forest land is privately owned, much of it in the form of small holdings, but a substantial area, including a high proportion of the better forests, is owned by communities and other local authorities. These community forests are usually managed by a division of the forest service, the Subdirección de Montes y Política Forestal.
During the past 25 years, the Government has mounted a very considerable program of establishing new plantation forests, largely through the agency of another division of the forest service, the Subdirección del Patrimonio Forestal del Estado. Nearly 100,000 hectares of plantations are currently being established annually, and by the end of 1964 a total of 1,525,364 hectares had been planted. This planting program has constituted the Government's principal investment in forestry.
· A first Maghreb Forestry Week was held in Tunisia at the end of February 1967, consisting of two study tours in the south and north of Tunisia, and two days of technical discussions on the general theme of afforestation. It was attended by the chiefs of the forest services of the three French-speaking North African countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), each accompanied by two members of their staff. International staff and counterparts from the UNDP project at the Tunisian Forestry Research Institute also attended and J. Prats Llauradó represented FAO.
In discussing afforestation programs, emphasis was laid on the need to relate them more closely to socioeconomic development requirements. The participants formally agreed that the countries of the Maghreb should co-ordinate their research efforts. To that effect, the heads of the research centers of the three countries will meet together in order to avoid duplication and stimulate co-operation in conducting their research programs, as well as in applying the results. The chiefs of the forest services also reaffirmed the agreement reached at an earlier meeting at Rome, that the three countries of the Maghreb should have an integrated system of forestry education.
The second Maghreb Forestry Week will he held at Rabat in April or May 1968.
Malawi. - A new postage stamp records that timber provides one of the more important of the country's industries.
· The dispute that arose over the threat of industrial pollution of Lake Baikal (called by Soviet conservationists "the purest lake on earth"), through the establishment of a pulp mill adjacent to the lake, has reportedly been won by the conservationists by a decision to create a national park which will have an area of 13,000 square, kilometers but will later be extended to 40,000 square kilometers.
The new park will apparently come under a research council responsible for development, hygiene, control of hunting and fishing, preservation of wildlife and general supervision of Baikal and its environment.
Motor roads are to be built and spas will spring Up around the many medicinal and hot springs in the mountains. The park may attract over half a million tourists a year.
As far as industry is concerned, it seems it will be allowed in the area only on the provision that it does not detract from the beauty, health or amenities of the area.
· A Russian-English forestry and wood dictionary (W. Linnard, issued by the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, Bucks., 109 p., 1966, 35 shillings) covers all major aspects of forestry and the structure, conversion and utilization of wood . It also includes the names of forest) planets indigenous to the U.S.S.R. and the most important forest insect pests. Drawing from authoritative Russian sources, the dictionary has been compiled on the basis of the author's long experience at the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau. This is apparent in the handling of the synonyms, definitions and related meanings and particularly in the careful selection. of the 7,000 terms in the dictionary.
· All historical records of the 91-year-old American Forestry Association are being permanently deposited in the Forest History Collection of Yale University. Acquisition of these records lends further strength to Yale's holdings of forestry and conservation documentary sources which include the records of the Society of American Foresters and the personal papers of many American foresters and conservationists.
The American Forestry Association is the oldest group in North America organized to promote forest conservation. Founded in 1875 by a small group of conservation-minded American scholars, businessmen and scientists, the association's record of leadership in its field parallels the history of American forestry.
· Reports have appeared in newspapers of the use of chemical herbicides sprayed from the air to defoliate part of an area of 300 square kilometers as a military measure.
The extent to which these activities disturb the ecology of man on the earth seems open to question. Not only is the tropical forest itself destroyed, but the ecological relationships of all other living things in such areas must be interrupted, whether or not the chemicals used are specifically toxic to them.
Problems which arise are the probable extent of soil contamination by these herbicides, groundwater and surface water contamination, the longer term problems of soil erosion and catastrophic gullying which may take place, and the possible accumulation of chemical residues in human beings.
While it may be argued that the use of defoliants is more humane than that of bombs, at least the effects of bombs are predictable and finite, whereas the ramifying effects of chemical treatment are largely unknown.
It is also reported that over the door of the spraying mission in the Republic of VietNam is the legend: "Only we can prevent forest fires."
· An FAO mission last year visited Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro to investigate the problems confronting the development of forests and forest industries in the two republics. The international team, consisting of E.A. Anderson (U.S.A.), F.J. Hafner (Austria), D.F. Johnston (United Kingdom) and R. Morandini (Italy), has produced a report and recommendations which are now under study by the republic and federal authorities.
The two regions which make up the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina differ largely in ecological conditions and in vegetation types. In Bosnia, a subcontinental climate dominates. This is very favorable for forest vegetation, which covers about 50 percent of the total land area. Herzegovina has on the contrary a sub-Mediterranean climate and only scattered poor forest stands; mostly scrub is found, with a very few exceptions toward the boundaries of Bosnia. As a consequence, forestry is very important in Bosnia but almost nonexistent in Herzegovina.
Montenegro can be divided into two main regions, almost equal in area. The western coastal zone has to a variable extent a Mediterranean or sub-Mediterranean climate, while the eastern interior region is dominated by a climate ranging from transition type to continental, often with marked sub-Mediterranean influences.
In the western part the land is largely bare, and only scrub or very poor and degraded coppice is found. The eastern region which is covered by large areas of forest, with some exceptions where the karst regions occur, is the only area where forests are an important economic factor.