Central African republic
· It has been estimated that, 500 years ago, the forests of Brazil covered 83 percent of its territory. By 1962 less than half of its woods remained. Some 36 million square kilometres of forest (an area almost equal to that of the whole Indian subcontinent) had been felled or destroyed by fire. The valuable stands of Paraná pine in southern Brazil have been heavily overexploited and are consequently threatened with extinction. This devastation reflects an inclination to regard forestry solely in terms of land clearance, and timber merely as a natural byproduct.
It is not surprising therefore that, although it possesses the world's greatest forest resources, Brazil had no school of forestry in 1960 and there was an adverse trade balance in forest products.
The situation was such that the Government was urged into action. The first step was to set up a school of forestry able to provide a regular output of forest specialists of high professional standards in administration, teaching and research. In 1960 the Government therefore sought the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and, as a result, an FAO/SF project for the establishment of such a school was approved and became operational in February 1962. The UNDP contribution was $1 474 000, while the Government contributed $882 872.
The project started in Viçosa in the State of Minas Geráis, but moved to Curitiba in the State of Paraná in 1963 where the school formed a new faculty at the Federal University.
As of 1 January 1969, 76 students took the degree of forest engineer, a new qualification in Brazil, and are now all working for the government and other forestry agencies. Every year, 35 to 50 more students will qualify in the near future, and the number is expected to rise to 70. A separate forestry research agency has also been established at the Federal University of Paraná at Curitiba. The Rural University of Viçosa has taken advantage of the period when the project was located there to start a forestry school of its own. This school graduated 20 forest engineers in 1968 and 1969, and the University of the State of São Paulo is planning to start a forestry school at university level with a five-year curriculum. An annual output of at least 250 forest technicians (forest rangers) is needed to keep pace with this expansion in higher forestry education.
The research stations at Santarém, Curuá, Viçosa and Rio Negro which are attached to the FAO/Special Fund project have made important experiments in species selection, planting methods, natural regeneration, extraction and conversion. They have also made forest inventories and carried out studies of the economic uses of forest products.
While the project was in operation the public image of forestry and its importance for the country greatly improved. The Government of Brazil has passed legislation giving substantial tax concessions for replanting and for improving forest management, and the Superintendencia do Desenvolvimento de Amazonia is providing financial support for the development of timber resources in the Amazon basin. The various government agencies dealing with forestry and forest products have been amalgamated into a Forest Service.
The project has helped the Government to form a nucleus of a corps of Brazilian forestry experts who are already helping to execute and control long- and medium-term policy plans.
As a second step specific problems are being tackled, particularly in Amazonia where there is great scope for forest and forest industry development. A project request designed to assist in fulfilling these needs is under consideration, and, if accepted, will be of great assistance to the Government.
· Despite sizable amounts of potentially exploitable timber resources, the fast-growing population of the Central African Republic has an extremely low wood consumption. Moreover, the country annually imports some 16 000 tons of cement together with other construction materials which could largely be replaced by locally produced timber. However, the obstacles in the way of the development of timber production are formidable: inadequate knowledge of the quantity and quality of the forest resources; lack of trained intermediate and subordinate staff; the reluctance of the urban population to live in wooden housing; and the cost and difficulty of transporting logs to the coast.
The Government therefore obtained bilateral assistance to carry out an inventory of the dense tropical forest, to make a survey of foreign markets, and take other essential steps. In 1963 it requested UNDP assistance to i set up a training centre for local personnel and, by means of practical demonstrations, to promote the acceptability of wooden housing in place of concrete or other types of construction requiring imported materials. The plan of operation for a five-year project was signed on 18 May 1965. The Special Fund allocation was $553 600 and the government contribution in kind the equivalent of $307 530.
A forestry training and demonstration centre, located near Botambi and divided into a forest exploitation and sawmilling section and a wood working section, was inaugurated in February 1967. All the buildings for the centre were constructed with timber felled, logged and sawn in the project operations. A total of 30 students will shortly complete their course. A number of these have already been offered positions with the government Forest Service or with prominent timber companies. Recruitment is also open to students from neighbouring countries.
In 1967 the Government asked that the work of the centre should be expanded by demonstrations in boat construction. Internal communications and trade are largely based on river transport, but most commercial river boats have to be imported.
United Nations Development Programme support of the centre was subsequently extended for three years in order to strengthen its activities in wood-processing industries and housing construction, and to include demonstration and training in boat building techniques and industries; the allocation was increased to $981 300 and the government counterpart contribution in kind to $443 100.
Central African Republic. Work at the FAO/UNDP Forestry Training and Demonstration Centre has been extended to include practical instruction in boat building.
Instruction in boat building will be provided at a small demonstration shipyard under construction. Students at the centre receive practical training in the construction of transport craft, small tugs and fishing boats. The centre plans to offer fishing boats for sale in Chad as well as in the Central African Republic.
· Iran, with a total land area of 163 million hectares, has about 12 million hectares of forest, of which 3.5 million hectares are in the north and constitute the last great forest of the Near East. For years these forests have been overcut, wastefully used and destroyed by uncontrolled grazing. Yet the need for fuel for domestic use is constantly increasing and it is estimated that from 196065 Iran annually imported 30 percent of its total consumption of timber and timber products and 90 percent of its paper requirements, at a yearly cost of $16-20 million.
It has been realized for some time that the main remedy for this situation is the creation of a large staff of forest engineers, to be employed mainly by the Iranian Forest Service but also by private owners and firms engaged in forest industries. On the basis of information accumulated as a result of multilateral and bilateral technical assistance, it was calculated that at least one fully-trained forest engineer was required for every 10 000 hectares of forest and the assistance -was needed of about five rangers, giving an estimated total of 400 forest engineers and 2 000 forest technicians. In. 1962 the Forest Department comprised only 44 forest officers of whom 14 had hail university-level training, while forest rangers were fewer than 100.
The shortage of trained personnel at both professional and technical levels and the inadequacy of existing training facilities led the Government of Iran to request assistance from the UNDP (Special Fund) for a six-year forestry and range institute, and forest rangers' school project; in ] 963 the plan of operation was signed. The UNDP (SF) contribution was set at $888 150. The government cooperating agency was a steering committee consisting of the representatives of the ministries concerned. The purpose of the project was:
(a) to extend the Forestry Department of the College of Agriculture into a, Forestry and Range Department with the aim of ultimately establishing it as the Forestry and Range College of the University of Teheran at Karadj, in order to provide Iran with highly qualified forestry engineers;
(b) to improve, expand and strengthen the Forest Ranger School at Gorgan in order to provide more and better trained forest rangers;
(c) to plan and prepare research programmes and initiate research activities in forestry problems peculiar to the country;
(d) to train and equip counterparts who only take over teaching and research responsibilities on termination of project.
The Forestry and Range Department to be located on the premises of the University of Teheran was to form a part of the university. A forest nursery and forest and range experimental areas covering 11 hectares were to be attached to the Forestry and Range Department. Near Karadj a larger area of 400 hectares was made available to serve as a forest and watershed demonstration unit.
Under tier, scheme a link is established between (a) agriculture and (b) forestry and range education by the joint use of facilities. Especially during the first two years of study, forestry and range management students in general follow the same courses as agriculture students.
The third and fourth years of forestry and range study are devoted entirely to forestry and range subjects. The curriculum follows the usual pattern but with modifications to suit the particular conditions of Iran. In addition to the field work included in the curriculum, the students have to complete 4-6 months of field work in forestry, forest industry or range management during university holidays.
For the duration of the UNDP (Special Fund) assistance, the capacity of the Forestry and Range Department is about 25 students for each year of the four-year course, or a total of 100 students, including five places a year for students from abroad.
The Forest Ranger School is directly attached to the Forest Organization. A forest nursery and a forest experimental area of 300 hectares are attached to the Forest Ranger School. One FAO/SF post is supplied for the school. AU other expenditures of the Forest Ranger School (instructors, fellowships, equipment, buildings and land) are met by the Forest Organization and the Plan Organization.
Training at the Forest Ranger School lasts two years; 60 percent of the course is devoted to field work and field trips. All graduates have at once been taken on by the Forest Service.
In July 1966, the then Forestry and Range Institute was raised to a faculty with its own budget. The University Council also formally approved the creation of a one year Master's degree course, in addition to tile revised curriculum covering the four-year undergraduate course.
Under the new arrangements, 60 students were released forestry course proper. In subsequent years, the intake was held down to 25 a year, and the total number of forestry students was l 00.
The Ranger School started with an intake of 25 students in 1963, and the figure rose gradually, reaching 60 in 1967. The Government of Iran was so gratified with the results of the school that it provided generous scholarship, stipends, and loans to the students. A record figure of 171 students was recruited in 1968 to attend the first year, and this extended the resources of the school to its maximum.
The project is scheduled to terminate in late 1969. Satisfactory progress is being made with fellowship and training programmes to equip and train local counterparts to take over teaching and research responsibilities on expiry of the project. The counterparts have responded well in this respect, and have already taken over the major portion of teaching and research duties. The local staff now consists of two professors, five associate professors and two assistant professors. Three of the staff have returned from fellowship courses with doctorate degrees (in silviculture, forest engineering, and forest policy and legislation). Fellowships were also awarded in forest protection, range and watershed management, mensuration and forest management, and forest economics. In addition, two short-term fellowships were provided in afforestation and mycology, while 11 graduates were given bilateral aid fellowships for further study abroad.
Having established the curricula, syllabuses, training programmes and courses, the international staff in collaboration with the counterparts have prepared and published essential teaching materials, lecture notes, textbooks and manuals - some in English and some in Persian. Research programmes were drawn up on important local problems, and the local staff is now conducting work in these.
Though now considered to have achieved its major objectives, the project is not without its difficulties and the young faculty is suffering from growing pains. The construction of the new main building to house the classrooms, offices, and laboratories has fallen behind schedule and is yet to be completed. This in turn causes delay in the procurement and installation of some equipment from abroad. In consequence, the counterparts will not have the full benefit of the presence of experts in acquainting themselves with the use of such equipment. An area of 8 000 hectares of forest were recently acquired by the faculty for teaching, demonstration and practical purposes, but plans for administration and management and for a road and transportation network have yet to be made and implemented. It is envisaged that two experts may have to be extended for at roast a year each to assist in this work. The ranger school has some difficulty in attracting more full-time instructors. The Ministry of Natural Resources has tried to help by increasing the pay of its teaching staff by 100 percent. The response, though not yet encouraging, should improve in the long run.
The best indication of the progress made has been that the increased supply of trained personnel has led the Government to request further assistance in the shape of another FAD/SF project-the development of the Caspian forests-which became operational in late 1968.
· Out of Malaysia's total area of 33 million hectares, about 75 percent is covered by forests, but the trees are mainly hardwood, short-fibred species, not primarily suitable for the needs of the pulp and paper industry. Most of the country's requirements for paper and allied products are met by imports and the demand for such products, as in most developing countries, is expected to rise sharply.
Despite extensive appraisals and research on raw materials, no integrated assessment of the entire forestry and forest industries sector has so far been made for Malaysia as a whole. A United Nations Development Programme project is now in operation to prepare a consolidated development programme in this sector. The FAO project manager is K. Sargent.
The project is expected to compile a master development programme for forest industries in Malaysia as a whole, supplemented by particular forest development plans for West Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. It will undertake forest inventories, forest and forest products marketing studies, assess forest management and utilization practices and requirements, evaluate economic possibilities of specific industrial proposals and assist the Government in appraising and, if necessary, modifying forest policies, legislation, administration, management and research programmes.
This study has stimulated constructive discussion on the need to reorient some of the basic criteria upon which resources planning in
West Malaysia has hitherto been based and to place greater emphasis upon the industrial impact of properly managed, fully utilized forest resources. Doubts have been cast on the wisdom of exclusive preference for agriculture on certain land capability sites, and greater interest shown in the possibility of a more balanced pattern of land use which permits the retention of industrially viable units of forest on land previously scheduled solely for the development of rubber.
Forestry, which appears to have been omitted from national planning activity by default, is now being accepted as an essential element of resource planning mainly because exports of forest products have taken the second position in the external trade of the country and its interests are now more actively represented by the Forest Industries Development Project. Particular emphasis is being placed upon the need to define certain specific criteria to permit the location of future permanent forest reserves and of major land settlement schemes, as this is basic for the determination of future resource flow forecasts.
Detailed consideration is already being given to the limited capacity of the existing forest industry to translate the total available forest resources into maximum foreign exchange earnings. Concern has been expressed at the high degree of wastage associated with current exploitation policy; the lack of coordination between land clearance programmes and organized forest exploitation; the general inefficiency of the sawmilling industry and the need to utilize a much broader range of those currently noncommercial species which have excellent industrial prospects.
· A paper and pulp material survey has been made by a United Nations Development Programme project team which was assisted in industrial investigations by a Canadian consulting firm.
Field work was completed in 1967, inventories having been made of five selected forest areas. Wood samples were collected and sent for laboratory testing abroad, and experiments carried out on the establishment. and management of pulpable wood and bamboo species. On the basis of the results of these and other investigations, an overall feasibility report was prepared reviewing the situation in regard to basic supplies and evaluating the future prospects for paper and board manufacturing industries.
Detailed proposals were made for a short-term expansion of the paper and pulp industry using existing sources raw materials and for a long-term programme that would involve the establishment of manmade forests and new plantations.
The recommendations for the first five-year phase included the construction of three pulp and paper plants, improvement of an existing paper mill and for the carrying out of an intensive training programme for local staff. The estimated investment was placed at U.S. $75 million. In the later stages, a further investment of $53 million is foreseen for the construction of paper and pulp plants.
The National Planning Board of Thailand (NEDB) has already launched a number of promotional activities aimed at encouraging private industrial enterprise in this area. The raw materials survey of Kanchanaburi province and the bamboo experiment station set up under the project have also given an impetus to the construction of a now kraft paper mill at Ban Pong. This mill is expected to go into production before 1970.
Thailand. The nursery of the UNDP/ FAO project at Bae Luang. Plantations will be necessary to meet the long-term raw material requirements of an expanded pulp and paper industry. (Left) Pine seedlings are set in woven bamboo baskets ready for transplanting.
The Forest Department, following the recommendations on the establishment of new sources of material, has substantially expanded one station for experiments on fast-growing pine species. In addition, two species trial stations are situated in Kanchanaburi, not too far from Bangkok, one being al; Lampoa specializing in fast-growing species trials, and the other, at Hua Hin Lap, the first bamboo research station in southeast, Asia. Another research centre close to Surathani is concentrating on pine and hardwood species trials.
· One big attraction at the British Forestry Commission's Jubilee Exhibition held at Edinburgh in June was this new hydrostatic forest tractor which has been developed jointly by the Forestry Commission and private engineering firms.
It is an articulated frame-steering tractor, four-wheel-drive, with EL small turning circle and high ground clearance, combined with a low centre of gravity. Since it is hydrostatic, there are :no clutches, gears or axles, etc., but only an engine driving a variable-flow hydraulic pump from which fluid is piped to hydraulic ball motors in each wheel. This provides an infinitely-variable drive between stationary and maximum speed. The machine is fitted with two hydraulic winches, fairleads, back plate, log-rolling blades, etc.
Specification are: brake horse power, 75 gross; maximum steering angle, 450; maximum articulation angle, 30°; kerb-to-kerb turning circle, 27 ft (8.2 m); winch pull, 11000 lb (5 000 kg), bare drum; system hydraulic pressure, 3 000 pounds per in² (211 kg per cm²) for drive; system hydraulic pressure, 2 000 pounds per in² (141 kg per cm²) for winches.
United Kingdom. Hydrostatic forest tractor shown at the Forestry Commission's Jubilee Exhibition.