Introduction and acknowledgments

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The information presented in this document is the result of an Expert Consultation on the Role of Forestry in Combating Desertification organized by FAO in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (SARH) of Mexico, as a satellite meeting to the Ninth World Forestry Congress. It was held in Saltillo, Mexico, from 24 to 28 June 1985. The Consultation was preceded by a study tour to Sierra-Vista, Arizona, USA, and Coahuila, Mexico.

The more specific purpose of the consultation was to:

The Consultation was attended by 30 experts from 21 countries, namely: Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, Prance, Federal Republic of Germany, India, Italy, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, and USA. It was also attended by representatives from UNEP, Unesco, ESCAP, ICRAF, USAID, GTZ, ALESCO, IUFRO and by 25 observers from 6 countries of which 19 were from Mexico.

In preparation for this consultation, FAO solicited a number of papers which were used to prepare five overview documents which were presented and discussed at the consultation. The overview documents were:

Gaps and issues which were identified by the overview documents were discussed in general during the plenary sessions and later in greater detail by three working groups namely:

A strategy on the role of forestry in combating desertification was elaborated. This strategy was presented and endorsed by the Ninth World Forestry Congress Technical Committee I: Trends and new contributions in the management of forestry resources, Theme II The role of forestry in combating desertification.

FAO wishes to express its gratitude to the Government of Mexico for its kind invitation, close cooperation and generous hospitality as well as to all the people who ensured the success of this Consultation and particularly to the participants who prepared papers and contributed to the discussions. Special mention should be made of Dr. M. Cabellero Deloya, Director-General, Centro Investigaciones Forestales, Mexico, for his valuable contribution as well as to his staff.

Special thanks are also due to the officers and forestry staff of the Fort Huachuca military reservation in Sierra-Vista (Arizona), USA and to forestry staff of the Coronado national forest for their whole-hearted cooperation. The assistance of Dr. P. Ffolliott, Professor of Forestry at the School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, was very valuable in all the stages of the preparation and organization of the consultation. The assistance of J. Levingston in reviewing the synthesis was highly appreciated.

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