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Chapter Two

Programme 2.4.1: Forest Resources

I. OVERVIEW OF PROGRAMME FEATURES

A. Problems and Issues Addressed

132. In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) extended the UN mandate in forestry to cover the enhancement of "human well-being through the sustainable management of the world's trees and forests". This new dimension recognizes the critical role of wooded lands and forests in sustainable development through efficient provision of diversified forest products as well as through their environmental effects on increased water availability, flood and erosion control, rainfall interception, etc.. In particular, it highlights the impact sought from the services and benefits of the world's forests and trees on:

133. While forest cover has stabilized in most industrialized countries, deforestation continues elsewhere. Between 1990 and 1995, the area of natural forests in developing countries decreased by an estimated 13.7 million hectares per year, part of which through conversion to agricultural uses. Over-harvesting, overgrazing, pests, disease, wildfires, and air-borne pollution are degrading forests and wooded areas worldwide: in 1997 alone, forest fires decimated an estimated 2 million ha. At the same time, global consumption of wood is expected to increase by 1.7 percent annually between now and the year 2010. The pressure on forest resources is likely to intensify for the foreseeable future - by the year 2 000, world population will have reached 6 000 million, and may be 8 000 million twenty years later. Half of the world population will still be living in rural areas and vast numbers will be living in poverty.

134. One of the most challenging and complex tasks of modern times is to promote development through the sustainable management and use of the world's natural resources and, in particular, its forests and wood lands. Beyond their traditional role in the production of wood, shrinking forest areas are now being called upon to provide for the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Earth's rapidly expanding population without depleting their intrinsic value as a natural renewable resource. In this context, the role and contribution of forests and tree resources must be seen from the imperative of ensuring a balance between development needs and sustainability concerns. This requires a holistic, organic approach to development, particularly greater integration and synergy between agricultural and forestry development, including such cross-sectoral aspects as land use, biodiversity, agroforestry, integrated pest and nutrient management and the agricultural use of energy.

B. Programme Objectives and Main Components

135. For the period under review, the focus has been broadly on working towards the long-term goal of "expanded contribution of forest and tree resources to sustainable economic development and world food security through integrated forest management and food production at local level; improved practices of integrated forest and land use, water and soil conservation and the development of forest genetic resources ...", which represents one of the strategic objectives defined in the Forestry Department's Strategy Plan of 1997.

136. Within this framework the programme's main thrust areas have been:

137. The programme addresses several major thematic concerns of high priority to the Organization. These include issues relating to: (i) sustainable development (compatibility between development and conservation of forest and tree resources and environment, including their links with natural resources management for agriculture and rural development); (ii) UNCED follow-up (especially forest resources assessment, criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, sustainable mountain development, combating deforestation, fragile ecosystems affected by desertification, biological diversity); and (iii) the World Food Summit (WFS) follow-up actions (especially food security for the people and communities relying on forest and tree resources).

C. FAO Units and External Partners

138. The programme is executed by the Forest Resources Division (FOR) which comprises two services. The Forest Resources Development Service (FORM) is responsible for two sub-programmes on Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) and Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) (2.4.1.1) and Plantations, Protection and Forest Genetic Resources (2.4.1.2). The Forest Conservation, Research and Education Service (FORC) handles the sub-programme on Forest Conservation, Wildlife and Contribution to Food Security (2.4.1.3); it also contributes to the sub-programme on Institutions and Policy (2.4.3.1) under the Forest Policy and Planning Programme. The FOR Division works with many units in other technical departments (Agriculture, Economic and Social, Fisheries and Sustainable Development) on thematic cross-programme activities (e.g. food security, integrated land use, geographic information systems, in situ conservation of genetic resources, agroforestry, people's participation, women in development, policy advice and sustainable development).

139. Until 1996, FOR actively participated in the IDWG on Land-Use Planning headed by AGL and led the IDWG on Agroforestry and the IDWG on Desertification. Since then, these working groups have remained dormant. However, the IDWG on Desertification has been revitalized at the beginning of 1998, to provide support to the CCD. Five statutory bodies integrate the work of the Forest Resources Programme, with the FOR Division serving as the secretariat to these commissions 11.

140. The programme has traditionally maintained very close contacts and cooperative arrangements with other major players in forestry such as: the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO), the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD). After UNCED, FOR has been providing support to the work-programme of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF); especially on the "Development of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management", the "Global Forest Assessment", and the Rehabilitation and Reforestation of degraded forest lands, in particular in countries with low forest cover. FOR also provided support to the preparation of the Convention on Desertification.

II. COHERENCE OF PROGRAMME DESIGN

141. In terms of programme design, while the programme objective has not been formally articulated, the thrusts and focus have been relatively consistent over the period under review. These covered forest resources assessment, sustainable forest management for different production systems under varying fragile ecosystems, forest genetic resources and its task manager role in the UNCED follow-up. The programme traditionally covered much of these areas as the technical backbone of the Forestry Major Programme, but following UNCED, some issues such as desertification control, forest assessment and criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, have been given higher priority while other areas of traditional priority continued. This has meant that the programme now covers a greater number of priority fields which are becoming increasingly difficult to address with the resources available.

142. Furthermore, many of the issues addressed by the programme involve additional dimensions brought about by the considerations of sustainable natural resources management as well as greater interface between forest conservation, agriculture and rural development. This underlines the importance of further reinforcing the programme's links with other programmes, especially with those of the Agriculture and Sustainable Development Departments where a closer integration of outputs with land use planning, crop production and livestock management will be particularly useful.

143. Like other programmes in FAO, there is a need to establish programme objectives. The FOR Division has been actively involved in departmental efforts to address the above, including the formulation of its mission statement during 1993-94, which helped to clarify priorities for the programme. It also contributed to the development of the Forestry Department's strategic plan in 1996-97, with a set of strategic objectives for the major programme as a whole. However, during the period covered by the review, objectives at the programme level have remained more implicit than explicit.

144. This task is being pursued in the present context of corporate strategic planning, it is expected to lead to a clear definition of objective and strategy for the programme. This would provide a logical framework for establishing priorities, to be addressed with some critical mass under the programme. Because the programme covers a wide range of topics, each with a large number of activities, such priority setting and selective focusing would be critical when it is faced with increasing demand for its services under severe resource constraints, including uncertainties in extra-budgetary support.

145. It is suggested that a sound objective for the programme for the medium term contain specific consideration of: (i) improved forest management and better understanding of issues and areas linked with sustainability concerns; (ii) improved practices in establishing and managing forests and tree resources; and (iii) improved contribution of trees outside and inside forests to soil and water sustainability, rural development and food security.

III. PROGRAMME RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT

A. Staffing

146. FOR Division's staffing (RP-funded posts at HQ) for work under this programme increased from 13 full-time professionals in 1992-93 to 15 in 1998; in addition, the regular staff is now complemented by 6 long-term consultants funded by donors. The latter reflects an arrangement introduced in the present biennium to consolidate the FRA project team into the regular FOR structure 12. The professional expertise covers diverse fields, ranging from forest inventory, assessment and management to agroforestry, desertification, forest protection, wildlife and protected area management. The distribution of professional staff available during 1998 by the sub-programme and programme elements is shown in Table 1: there were also 5 Associate Professional Officers (not included in Table 1).

Table 1 - Programme 2.4.1: Distribution of Work Years by Programme Components (all funding sources - 1998)
  Programme Element Ds P5 P4 P3 Total
2.4.1   1       1
2.4.1.1 FRA 0.1 3* 4* 1* 8.1
  SFM 0.2 0.1 1 1 2.3
2.4.1.2 Forest Protection 0.3     1 1.3
  Forest Genetic Resources 0.4 0.1 1   1.5
  Forest Plantation   0.8     0.8
2.4.1.3 Agro-Urban Forestry 0.2     1 1.2
  Arid Forestry 0.3   1   1.3
  Watershed Management 0.2 1 1*   2.2
  Wildlife and Protected Areas 0.3   1   1.3
  Total 3 5 9 4 21

FRA = Forest Resource Assessment; SFM = Sustainable Forest Management

* including long-term consultants funded by bilateral donors (Sweden: 1 P-5 and 2 P-4; Switzerland: 1 P-4; and Finland: 1 P-4 and 1 P-3), totalling 6 persons.

147. With the exception of FRA and SFM (which account for 50 percent of all professionals working under the programme), FOR has on average one professional per main area of work. This has resulted in an over-extension of its work force to cover RP normative activities, technical input to field activities as well as international commitments.

148. At regional and sub-regional levels, thematic coverage of specific programme areas is partial at best. All 15 decentralized forestry officers combine responsibilities for the whole of the Major Programme on Forestry, including related technical support to the Field Programme, with 8 of them having a significant involvement in the implementation of this programme. In 1998, the total time devoted to normative activities under the programme by the decentralized officers is estimated at about 3 man/years.

B. Resource Allocations

149. The RP resources allocated (appropriations) to the Forest Resources Programme during the period have totalled some US$ 30.8 million, with the biennial allocations increasing substantially from 1994-95 and later, to around US$ 8.0 million (see Table 2). However, due to the general financial constraints, the expenditures were substantially below the appropriation levels for 1994-95 and 1996-97 biennia: much of underspending during these two biennia, especially for 1994-95, reflects enforced savings on vacant posts (e.g. for the 1994-95 biennium, a total of six professional posts were vacant, each for an average period of about 12 months). While the appropriation pattern among the sub-programmes has remained broadly similar, the share of Sub-programme 2.4.1.1 increased steadily from 33 percent in 1994-95 to 40 percent in 1998-99 - in expenditure terms, the sub-programme's share declined to 27 percent in the 1994-95 biennium. In particular, the appropriations to the Forest Resources Assessment component (FRA) within Sub-programme 2.4.1.1 increased by 37 percent under the 1998-99 zero-growth budget, indicating the high priority attached to this work. It is also noteworthy that during the period covered, the FRA work benefited from substantial extra-budgetary support of some US$ 8.0 million.

150. The expenditure patterns reflect reduced RP funding for the 1994-95 and 1996-97 biennia in line with the adjusted budget for FAO as a whole. This affected adversely overall programme support to international meetings, publications and development of computerized data management systems as well as Field Programme and network support. Apart from the FRA component, other normative areas of work within Programme 2.4.1 have been negatively affected by the cuts - in particular, the programme implementation has often had to be set aside to attend to the more immediate tasks of responding to incoming requests for assistance. The RP funding and staff constraints have resulted in heavy reliance on extra-budgetary funding and consultancies in many areas. Expenditure for non-staff human resources at FOR HQ has averaged US$ 400 000 or about 14 percent of RP funding per year 13.

Table 2 - Programme 2.4.1: Regular Programme funding during 1992/93-98/99 (in US$'000)
  1992-93*** 1994-95*** 1996-97 1998-99
Sub-programmes App.* Exp.** App.* Exp.** App.* Exp.** App.* Exp.**
2.4.1.1 1 709 1 758 2 797 1 404 2 671 2 077 3 322 N.A.
2.4.1.2 1 847 1 709 2 169 1 505 1 754 1 360 1 748 N.A.
2.4.1.3 2 708 2 156 3 446 2 356 3 368 2 608 3 286 N.A.
Programme Total 6 264 5 623 8 412 5 265 7 793 6 045 8 356 N.A.

* Appropriations as per PWB

** Final expenditures - not yet available for the 1998-99 biennium.

*** Under former Programme 2.3.1 (now 2.4.1), funding also covered components for the Tropical Forest Action Programme as well as for Regional Offices and field programme support. The table shows estimated amounts for the two biennia under the current programme structure.

C. Field Programme Component

151. The programme has traditionally had a very large field programme component: from 1992 to 1997, there was a total of some 379 projects, with a combined budget of US$ 307 million under implementation in the various fields under the programme (see Table 3). Over 71 percent of these (270) were executed under the direct backstopping responsibility of the FOR Division.

Table 3 - Programme 2.4.1: Resources for field projects during 1992-97 (Budget amounts in US$ millions)
Sub-programme No. of Projects Total Projects' Budgets
2.4.1 163 139.7
2.4.2 71 38.4
2.4.3 145 129.3
Programme Total 379 307.4

152. Trust Fund project funding was the principal source of assistance (63 percent). While UNDP accounted for 33 percent of the funding for those projects during the period, its share has declined sharply in recent years due to the national execution modality. TCP accounted for less than 4 percent of the funding but represented some 20 percent in the number of projects. In terms of regional distribution, most projects (64 percent in value) were located in Africa (33 percent) and Asia (31 percent), with the Near East and Latin America and the Caribbean regions accounting for 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

153. The Field Programme has been a major source of information and facts for Programme 2.4.1. The majority of work published by FOR during the period under review has been based on work at field level or under project funding. The synergy between normative and fieldwork has been one of the most vital assets of FAO forestry activities. This has been the case with the priority now being given to Forest Resource Assessment, Forest, Mountain and Watershed Management, Wildlife and Genetic Conservation and Desertification Control.

Table 4 - Programme 2.4.1: Thematical and Geographical Distribution of Field Programme 1992-97 (no. of projects)
  Africa Asia LA&C N.E. Europe Inter-Reg. Total
2.4.1.1 45 63 39 12 4 0 163
2.4.1.2 26 23 10 5 4 3 71
2.4.1.3 57 33 12 15 2 26 145
Total 128 119 61 32 10 29 379

154. Table 4 shows the distribution, by thematic areas and regions, of field projects supported by the programme. Under Sub-programme 2.4.1.1, projects in support of SFM and FRA represent almost half (43 percent) of the Field Programme. Major projects concerning SFM and afforestation have been executed in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Bhutan 14. In Cambodia, Cape Verde and Costa Rica 15, major FAO-executed projects have been field-testing participatory approaches to forest development and the multi-purpose use of natural and man-made forests. Support to institutional capacity-building within FRA has been provided through a series of international, regional and national projects 16 while a series of social/community forestry development projects 17 are assisting member countries in the adaptation and further development of criteria and indicators for SFM. The other major area of concentration (38 percent of the projects) has been in watershed management and dry-land agroforestry, often with innovative agroforestry and participatory strategies 18.

D. Management Aspects

155. The programme carries a very heavy support function. Firstly, it covers the major technical role of FAO in support of international mechanisms set up for UNCED follow-up. Secondly, it provides direct support to member countries, especially in national capacity-building. Thirdly, it also remains an important source of specialist advice to a number of field projects, despite substantial reductions as routine technical backstopping is being transferred to Regional Office staff.

156. Such service-oriented heavy workload has over years had some adverse effects on the implementation of normative work, with an increasing dependency on consultants for the key work. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to ensure adequate coordination and synergy in related work across the sub-programmes, with a tendency for fragmentation rather than integration within the programme. For example, the normative work for sustainable forest management under Sub-programme 2.4.1.1 could have stronger links with the various agro-ecological areas under Sub-programme 2.4.1.3. Similarly, inter-divisional cooperation with several units outside the Forestry Department needs to be conceived under a more pragmatic approach, especially on such interdisciplinary subjects as agroforestry, watershed management and land use planning. In this respect, it is suggested that consideration should be given to reactivating the Interdepartmental Working Groups for Land Use Planning under a clearly defined programme of work.

IV. IMPLEMENTATION RESULTS

157. During the period covered, the programme implemented both normative and operational activities, serving the Member Nations in several ways, ranging from global services (e.g. information and analyses and methodologies on forest resources assessment as well as tools and approaches for forest management) to groups of countries on specific issues (e.g. development and application of approaches and tools for agro-forestry or watershed development, and biological diversity). The main normative outputs included: (i) 110 publications, including a number of technical guidelines and manuals; (ii) over 90 technical meetings and workshops (63 FAO/GI scheduled meetings and others in collaboration with other institutions); and (iii) several global information databases (5 besides those for FRA). In addition, many inputs have been provided to the international processes related to UNCED follow-up as well as technical backstopping to some 380 field projects. In terms of implementation efficiency, the programme had a slightly higher rate of delivering the programme outputs in the 1996-97 biennium than the average rate of 97 percent for the Major Programme on Forestry.

A. Sub-programme 2.4.1.1 - Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Resources Assessment

158. The focus has been on the forest resource assessment (FRA) and sustainable forest management criteria and indicators, including assistance to enhance institutional capacity. Substantial inputs have also been provided to international initiatives on the UNCED follow-up. Technical backstopping covered over 160 projects, with a total budget of US$ 140 million. Collaboration with national institutions and a range of international partners has also been an important feature, including regional organizations such as CILSS, IGAD, SADC and the CCAD, with governmental organizations such as the African Timber Organization, and with NGOs such as CIFOR, ICRAF and IUFRO.

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

159. Since 1992, activities have focused on: (i) promoting the common concepts and approaches for sustainable forest management; and (ii) providing advice and information to Member Nations and national institutes in adapting these concepts and approaches, including the development of criteria and indicators, for assessing, monitoring and carrying out sustainable forest management at national and eco-regional levels.

160. As "Task Manager" within the UN System for Chapter 11 of UNCED Agenda 21 "Combating Deforestation", FAO has been supporting international, regional and eco-regional initiatives to develop criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. In this regard, FAO has been active in supporting the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and its successor-arrangement, the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), operating within the framework of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

161. FAO has regularly contributed since 1992, at the planning and technical levels, to several major international initiatives on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management:

162. An FAO/ITTO Expert Meeting in 1995 21 reviewed the possibilities and the desirability of harmonizing the above initiatives: however, the meeting agreed on the need to allow ongoing initiatives to pursue their work unimpeded in order to reflect the different environmental and socio-economic conditions from which they originated. This conclusion was reaffirmed at the Intergovernmental Seminar on Criteria and Indicators (ISCI) for Sustainable Forest Management sponsored by the Finnish Government and FAO in 1996 22.

163. At present, there is a growing agreement on the need to exchange information and experience between ongoing initiatives to ensure comparability between them and avoid duplication of efforts. This is an area in which FAO may continue to contribute within the framework of Intergovernmental initiatives on Criteria and Indicators (ISCI) for Sustainable Forest Management.

Forest Resources Assessment (FRA)

164. Work has covered the development of guidelines, computerized tools and the dissemination of general definitions and classifications for forest inventory to: (i) meet the continuous demand from the international community for information to better understand the ecological, economic, cultural and social functions performed by all types of forests; and (ii) broaden the scientific knowledge and the statistical database available. It also maintains the Forest Resources Information System (FORIS) which provides periodic reports on the state and change of global forest resources. FAO closely collaborates with the Economic Commission of Europe (ECE) in: (i) the analysis of existing reliable country data; (ii) the assessment of high-resolution satellite data; (iii) the review of environmental parameters; and (iv) capacity-building 23. Support to country capacity-building in forest resources assessment has become a priority, and during the period under review, FRA has focused this support on sub-regional "Lead Centres".

165. FRA 1990: The first truly global forest resources assessment made by FAO was based on 1980 baseline data and related documentation and was published in the early 1980s. The second global assessment was based on country-derived data and was initiated in 1990. Findings and final estimates have been published in seven reports under "The FRA 1990 series" finalized in 199524. The development of methodologies and guidelines under the FRA 1990 series includes the dissemination of improved methods for adjustment of country data to common standard definitions and classifications and to common reference years.

166. The FAO Forestry paper 130 - "Survey of Tropical Forest Cover and Study of Change Processes - Based on Multi-date High Resolution Satellite Data" (1996) highlighted two major findings: the direction of land cover change by region and climatic zones; and the confirmation of previously published forest cover estimates for state and change. Based on the above, the State of the World's Forests report, published in 1997, provided interim estimates based on the trends identified in FRA 1990.

167. FRA 2000: A series of expert meetings held in preparation of FRA 2000 culminated with the expert consultation on Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 - Kotka III (Finland, 1996). Following these meetings, detailed planning and preliminary decisions were made on the qualitative and environmental variables to be included in FRA 2000, including the incorporation of additional information on environmental, biological diversity 25 and human resources as well as agreement on methodologies, data content, core definitions as well as a global framework for FRA 2000.

168. At present, major efforts are being made to respond to the demands for new information raised in international debates and formulated, among others, by IPF. A process of strategic and operational planning for the assessment 2000 has been finalized and specific work modules for donors to sponsor or to which partners could contribute have been elaborated. Resources allocated to FRA 2000 in the Regular Programme have doubled and an additional post has been created. However, the bulk of FRA activities are still dependent on extra-budgetary trust fund sources. Financial and in-kind contributions from governments, international organizations and donor agencies have been progressing in support of the course of action determined at Kotka III.

169. The major issues for the near future are: (i) securing the cooperation of countries to provide information; and (ii) reorganizing divisional responsibilities and Global FRA functions within the context of the expanded programme. FRA activities need to be better integrated into the work of the Forestry Department if the new information requested under the Kotka agreement is to be gathered and analyzed in a timely and cost-effective manner.

B. Sub-programme 2.4.1.2 - Plantations, Protection and Forest Genetic Resources

170. The sub-programme has collaborated with national and regional institutes to counteract negative effects of deforestation, forest degradation through improved plantation management using physiologically and genetically optimal reproductive materials, integrated pest control methodologies and support to sound forest fire management and control of wildfires. Also addressed have been issues such as impact of atmospheric pollution and possible changes and fluctuations of climate on forest health and vitality. Another key function has been to provide the secretariat for the Panel of Experts on Forest Genetic Resources 26 and the International Poplar Commission, including support to the FAO secretariat to the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. At the international level, support was provided to the IV International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources and to the preparatory process of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Forest Protection

171. In collaboration with the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), FAO has organized a series of technical workshops on safe transfer of: (i) Eucalyptus spp.; and (ii) Pinus spp. germplasm, in which insects and disease can be transmitted by seeds and tissue moving in international and domestic trade. A third workshop, in 1999, will cover Acacia spp. and other woody legumes.

172. Direct assistance to countries has ranged from emergency aid to longer-term project support - the latter aimed at developing integrated pest management strategies to prevent further outbreaks 27. Pest management components often form an integral part of more comprehensive forestry projects, such as in project GCP/CPR/009/BEL 28. Close collaboration with AGPP has been maintained in the development of integrated pest control strategies as well as on the Global Plant and Pest Information System (GPPIS) site on the FAO Internet.

173. The development of regional forest pest management networks has been promoted and during the period, two were established (for Eastern and Southern Africa and Asia and the Pacific): another is under way in the Balkan countries 29 that have similar Lymantria dispar (Gypsy Moth) outbreak problems.

Forest Fire Management

174. The emphasis has been on the development of a forest fire information system and an early warning system. In collaboration with the ECE, data on forest fires is regularly updated and disseminated through the quarterly FAO/ECE/ILO journal, International Forest Fire News. FAO also collaborates with the European Joint Research Centre30 in the use of satellite remote sensing and GIS data in the detection and with UNEP in the assessment of the environmental impact of fires.

175. Over the past years, FAO has stressed the need for participatory approaches in the prevention, detection and control of wildfires. All major field projects executed during the period under review 31 have introduced this approach. FAO, in collaboration with other organizations, also provides training on forest fire prevention and control as well as advice on technical and policy issues related to fire management.

176. Following recommendations made at the XI World Forestry Congress 32, FAO organized the first meeting on Public Policies Affecting Forest Fires 33 to: (1) identify policy issues which contribute to forest fires; (2) collate information from institutions dealing with forest fires; and (3) produce recommendations on planning and policies for fire prevention, control, mitigation, rehabilitation measures. Its recommendations will be presented to the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry in March 1999.

177. Ad Hoc Groups on Climate Change have over the past years been established within FAO to review and monitor the potential relationships between forestry and climate change. With the approval of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol work in this area will undoubtedly intensify in the near future.

The Genetic Resources

178. Activities have focussed on gaining improved knowledge on variation patterns of species of actual or potential socio-economic value, and on promoting the use of genetically well-adapted and physiologically high-quality reproductive materials in tree planting and plantation establishment. In this regard, support has been given to the exploration, collection, characterization and testing, improvement and exchange of genetic materials, with due attention to diversity between species and within species, primarily through networking and twinning arrangements to enhance institutional capacities.

179. Following the programme on dryzone Accacia and Prosopis species, the International Neem Network was established to improve the genetic quality and adaptability of Neem and its utilization to meet the needs of rural people. Activities within the network have focused on provenance exploration, seed collection and exchange for the establishment of internationally coordinated trials. National institutions of 21 countries, in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, are collaborating in the network. The International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and a number of FAO/UNDP regional forestry field projects 34 also participate in the network. The network facilitates interregional cooperation and exchanges of information and genetic material; 25 seed sources, representing the entire eco-geographical variation in the range of distribution of the species, have been sampled and seed exchanged for the establishment of international provenance trials in collaborating countries.

180. As a follow-up to the recommendations of the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources, a series of reports were prepared describing the ecology, silviculture, management, utilization and conservation of mahogany species in Latin America. The reports also list ongoing activities and gaps in current knowledge and activities, and propose a programme of collaborative activities for the region.

181. In the field of genetic conservation, attention has been given to establishment of baseline data to guide the management of natural forests and woodlands in a manner compatible with the conservation of the genetic resources they contain; and to the development of practical advice and guidelines for the conservation of genetic resources using the complementary strategies of in and ex situ conservation.

182. Since 1993, a Global Information System on Forest Genetic Resources (REFORGEN) has been developed, in close collaboration with national institutes and international organizations concerned to support policy and technical decisions in genetic conservation. The annual news bulletin Forest Genetic Resources and other relevant information have recently been made available on the Internet at the FAO Home Page on forest genetic resources.

The Forest Plantation

183. Over the period under review, activities were adapted to meet the changing needs of Member Nations. At present, there is pressing need for information related to the contribution that forest plantations will make to the provision of a wide range of goods including industrial roundwood and fuelwood, rather than on species selection or techniques for the planting and management of large-scale plantations.

184. One of the major contributions of the programme has thus been to collect, analyze and disseminate data and information related to national programmes in afforestation, reforestation and tree planting as inputs to the FRA, and specific studies such as the Global Fibre Supply Model and the Asia/Pacific Timber Trend. Several position papers have been also prepared on global trends in forest plantations for international meetings (such as the World Forestry Congress and the IUFRO World Congress) and for their publication in Unasylva and the Commonwealth Forestry Review. Direct support to member countries has been also provided on the uses and performance of perennial plants and tree species in agroforestry systems; and the conservation and sustainable use of native poplar species 35.

Statutory Bodies under Sub-programme 2.4.1.2

185. International Poplar Commission (IPC): The IPC, established 50 years ago, brings together managers, academics, researchers, industrialists, conservationists and tree breeders and governmental and non-governmental organizations, universities, research institutes involved in the growing and utilization of poplars and willows. Outputs of the work of the IPC included a large number of technical papers, regularly disseminating information on technical, social and economic aspects of poplar and willow conservation, domestication and utilization, and directories of researchers.

186. FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources: The FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources was established in 1968 to: (i) review work carried out in the field of forest genetic resources, worldwide; (ii) examine priorities for action at national, regional, eco-regional and global levels; and (iii) make recommendations on the main focus and operational priorities of FAO in this field. During the period under review, the panel met three times in 1993, 1995 and 1997.

187. Based on information received from national institutes, the panel continued to update regional lists of priority tree species, ranking the corresponding priorities for action in exploration, collection, conservation, enhancement and use of their genetic resources. It also provided general recommendations on conservation and utilization of forest genetic resources as well as on priority tree species. The competence of the panel and its impartiality are globally recognized and its recommendations are widely used.

C. Sub-programme 2.4.1.3 - Forest Conservation, Wildlife and Contribution to Food Security

188. This sub-programme covers the "environmental dimension" and inter-linkages of agriculture and forestry, as well as wildlife conservation and agroforestry, including all tree systems outside forests. Emphasis has been on the management of fragile ecosystems including dryland areas, mountains and other areas needing protection and conservation measures, where land resources degradations and degradation of forest ecosystems are of major concern.

189. From 1992 to 1997, the sub-programme provided the technical backstopping to 145 projects, with a total budget of US$ 129 million. Major projects and programmes aim at afforestation through people's participation and social forestry approaches. They are generally located within fragile eco-systems, particularly in arid zones and watersheds 36.

Land Use, Agroforestry and Urban Forestry

190. During the period under review, the component on land use, agroforestry and urban forestry was introduced in view of the growing attention to non-forest tree systems and the contribution of trees and shrubs to the restoration and conservation of soil fertility. An IDWG on agroforestry was established in 1992 together with the sub-group on agroforestry within the IDWG on land use. Although both IDWGs were disbanded in 1996, the latter was recently revitalized in an ad hoc form for the specific task of following up on Chapter 10 of Agenda 21, Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources.

191. Within the IDWG on land use, FOR played a central role in the development of the land cover classification system and land quality indicators for the FAO GIS programme. On the other hand, the sub-group on agroforestry contributed to the elaboration of the Guidelines for Land-Use Planning and the follow-up activities to Chapter 10 of UNCED's Agenda 21.

192. FAO work on urban forestry was initiated in 1993 through a special issue of Unasylva 37. The principles and approaches to urban forestry were published as a concept paper on the potential of urban forestry in developing countries in 1994, and country-level experience has been synthesized in other publications.

193. FOR also played a major role in advising on the integration of trees and forests in the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) and the World Food Summit. Elements specifically related to forestry and agroforestry activities were prepared in 1998 and are included in the "Guidelines" for SPFS implementation.

194. Two agroforestry networks have been created in Asia and Latin America. The latter also includes a sub-group on dryland agroforestry. In Latin America, 19 national profiles on agroforestry and a directory of research institutions have been jointly produced with the Regional Office and an Expert Consultation on the Achievements of Agroforestry in Arid and Semi-arid zones was held in Mexico in 1993. The Asia Pacific Agroforestry Network has raised the level of interest in, and incorporation of, agroforestry elements in the region through the publication of a regional agroforestry bulletin APAN-News. A list of institutions providing short courses on agroforestry was assembled in support of regional and national training, networking and dissemination.

195. International workshops highlighting the importance of the contribution of agroforestry to the livelihood of communities in dry areas have been held under the sub-programme in cooperation with ICRAF, CIRAD, RLC, APAN, IDRC, IFS and SIDA on: Agroforestry, Research and Development, Silviculture and the Agroforestry Potential of Protection Forests in Arid Regions, and Sustainable Farming Systems in Sudano-Sahelian African countries.

196. Joint publications with other specialized units within the FO Department include Marketing in Forestry and Agroforestry by Rural People (1996) and Knowledge on the Agroforestry in Parklands of West Africa. The latter will be available early 1999 under the Conservation Guide series.

Arid Zone Forestry and Desertification Control

197. This component has supported the implementation of Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the IPF/IFF processes relating to the restoration of degraded forest ecosystems. During the period, technical support was also provided to projects aimed at: (i) restoring the forest and tree cover; (ii) arresting sand dune encroachment; (iii) promoting the role of dry forest formation and trees for food security; and (iv) using the environmental services of trees and forests in dry areas.

198. The component was also engaged in the dissemination of knowledge at local/national levels through locally-produced guidelines and training courses on windbreaks, shelterbelts, fences and sand-dune stabilization. A synthesis on FAO approaches to restoration of degraded lands and the consequences of desertification in arid areas was also prepared in cooperation with AGLS and presented to the Intergovernmental Committee on Desertification in 1993.

199. Three main documents on restoring degraded eco-systems, state-of-the-art management of natural resources in drylands and the role of forestry in combating desertification have been produced during the period under review in collaboration with concerned countries and international bodies.

200. The component also supports the AFC/EFC/NEFC 38 Network Sylva Mediterranea. Under this framework, the Mediterranean Forestry Action Programme was produced in 1992 and a regional project on forest fires promoting the establishment of computer-assisted databases was approved. Support has also been provided to the regional process on the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in the Northern Mediterranean and the Near East Regions.

Sustainable Mountain Development

201. Since 1992, when FAO was named task manager for the implementation of Chapter 13 39 of UNCED Agenda 21, there has been an unprecedented surge of demand for FAO services from the international community at large. Thus, priority under this component has been given to catalyzing international support for the implementation of Chapter 13, the coordination of UN agencies and the collection of information on UN initiatives under this chapter and responding to activities developed by an unprecedented mobilization of non-governmental organizations.

202. The process has been coordinated under the ad hoc inter-agency working group, established to monitor progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 Chapter 13. This involved a series of intergovernmental meetings, common initiatives and an international meeting on mountains, leading to solid partnerships among non-governmental organizations, national institutions within the UN framework. Three regional intergovernmental meetings on sustainable mountain development were held from 1994 to 1997 40: for the Asia Pacific region with the support of ICIMOD, Latin America facilitated by CIP 41 and Africa jointly with ILRI, UNEP and ICRAF. Two additional meetings 42 initiated the European process in 1996. The results, including policy advice and new orientations for all of the above, have been published.

203. The intergovernmental meetings were complemented by other related non-governmental meetings and initiatives held in relation to Chapter 13 of UNCED. FAO, as task manager of Chapter 13, provided significant technical guidance and conceptual inputs. In particular, support was provided to the first International NGO Consultation on the Mountain Agenda 43 which set up the Mountain Forum, a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with mountain cultures, environment and sustainable development. FAO has been a member of the organization's executive board (the Interim Facilitating Committee), which became the Mountain Forum Council in November 1997.

204. The cooperation and support to NGO initiatives through electronic conferences have yielded a number of co-publications between FAO and the Mountain Institute on innovative mechanisms for financing conservation and sustainable development; the operational, institutional and legal aspects of mountain development and conservation; and practices for linking conservation with private enterprise where FAO has provided support as a principal reviewer of the final publication.

Watershed Management

205. To address the role of forests and trees in diversified and sustainable mountain economy systems and to overall watershed management techniques, the programme has been actively promoting income-generating activities in watershed management and conservation work. Ecosystem restoration and watershed management related works are often time consuming and not immediately rewarding, thus strategies which address the satisfaction of short-term needs are encouraged through appropriate targeting of extension work and integration of actions and themes that are conducive to relatively early generation of income.

206. Within this framework, a review was undertaken in close cooperation with the FAO Regional Office for Latin America on debt for nature swaps to promote natural resources' conservation. The study, published in 1993, documents the potential of debt for nature swaps in conservation and development.

207. The regular work continued in documenting issues related to forest hydrology, watershed management and their relations with management and conservation of upland resources and related food security issues. With UNDP, FAO published a report in 1993 based on in-country experiences in addressing the needs of upland minority populations. A portfolio of interregional, regional and national watershed management projects has been backstopped mainly in African and Asian countries 44.

208. Throughout the period under review, FOR technical assistance has supported substantive changes in the concept of watershed management progressively introducing more socio-economic issues and "softer" approaches and the introduction of environmental/ecological concerns in watershed management and torrent control. The EFC45 Working Party has initiated work on the development of a mission statement that embodies objectives, policy principles and approaches for the future. It also has recently broadened its composition to include a greater number of eastern European countries and developed contacts with other regions of the world to include contribution of observers from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

209. The programme also supports regional and sub-regional TCDC networks on mountain forests and watershed management in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean and sponsored participation to regional workshops. A watershed planning and management software package is also being developed in cooperation with Computer-Assisted Development, Inc. in Colorado, USA.

Wildlife and Protected Area Management

210. The linkages between conservation and sustainable rural development have been discussed in the last three regional Forestry Commissions (Africa, Asia and Latin America) and three sub-regional workshops held in Africa. This process has led to the proposal of an International Consultation on Conservation and Sustainable Rural Development to be held in Rome in April 1999.

211. Based on FAO's considerable experience regarding conservation of the biological diversity at ecosystem level, the programme promoted concepts, approaches and education in wildlife management and use through a series of publications, including on the husbandry of small wild animals (Agouti paca and the African grass cutter) and on wildlife utilization . The publications have been widely disseminated to provide information on the many ways in which wildlife can contribute to income generation and food supply. Also, the three regional wildlife and conservation bulletins Nature et Faune, Tiger Paper and Areas Silvestres protegidas, have been regularly published, and the regional meetings of the African Forestry Commission Working Party on Wildlife and National Parks have been regularly serviced.

212. The first Latin American Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas held in Santa Marta (Colombia, 1997) was a landmark in regional cooperation. The congress was jointly organized by the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Network on National Parks and Protected Areas. In the region, two main projects carry out the work in this area, an FAO/UNEP project on conservation of biological diversity in protected areas and a project concerned with planning and management of protected areas in the Amazon.

213. There has also been an increased involvement, since UNCED, in the formulation of national and regional projects for the implementation of international agreements related to conservation of species and biological diversity, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

D. Field Programme - Findings of Project Evaluations

214. During the 1992-97 period, 44 projects backstopped under the programme were evaluated by independent missions organized by the host-country governments, donors and FAO. The overall findings of these project evaluations are summarized in Table 5, covering assessment on the overall quality of project design, implementation efficiency, output performance and the project effects. The overall pattern of assessment is comparable to that on FAO-assisted projects in general, including relative weaknesses in the quality of project design. Particular weakness in the project design (poor for 17 percent of 44 projects) included shortcomings in project objectives, in identification of pre-requisites and risks for project success and over-optimistic assumption about the pace of project implementation. The relatively high "poor" assessment on the quantity of outputs reflects the same optimistic expectation about the progress in project implementation. In terms of the results achieved (outputs and effects), those projects dealing with more traditional, mono-disciplinary areas (e.g. forest research and genetic resources management and conservation) tended to receive somewhat more favourable assessment. The complexity of many projects addressing more multidisciplinary development, such as watershed management, tended to face more difficulties in implementation and in output delivery (in terms of quantity).

Table 5 - Programme 2.4.1: Evaluation Assessment of Project Design, Implementation and Results* (1992-97)
Key Aspects Percentage Distribution of assessments rated as:
  Poor Satisfactory Good
1. Design 17 50 33
2. Implementation 7 43 50
3. Output
- Quality
- Quantity
7
13
43
50
50
37
4. Effects 5 46 49
Number of Projects   44  

* Based on evaluation questionnaires of reports rated "good" or "average"quality by the Evaluation Service.

V. PROGRAMME EFFECTS AND IMPACT

215. The programme's effects and impact may be expected to be visible in several ways. For normative work, these may occur through adoption and/or use by international bodies or groups of countries, of information and analyses as well as approaches and methods produced by the programme. This has been the case particularly with respect to the UNCED follow-up actions by the CSD and through the work of the IFF/IPF. Operational support through the Field Programme may produce planned development effects and impact at the national and regional levels in terms of capacity-building, transfer of appropriate approaches and technologies, and concrete development results at the national and local levels in the improved management and use of forest and tree resources, land/water management or greater productivity of rural people relying on the tree resources. This section attempts to make a crude assessment of such effects and impact under the programme. However, in the absence of systematic information, the assessment remains largely impressionistic.

216. In the area of Forest Resource Assessment, the programme has established a niche in the international community and is credited with being the unique source of reliable information and assessments on forest resources at national, sub-regional and global levels. Apart from improvements in common standards and definitions for global application, further methodological enhancements have been incorporated in FRA 2000, including additional information on biomass, wood and non-wood forest products and biological diversity. The high quality and timely contribution of outputs in this area are widely recognized by the participants in the international process and CSD, enhancing FAO's authority in international deliberations on complex and politically sensitive forest policy issues. With donors' support, FRA has also provided assistance for national capacity-building in many developing countries.

217. Through the Forest Resources Programme, FAO has played a lead agency role for several IPF programme elements (fragile ecosytems affected by desertification and drought, impact of airborne pollution on forests, assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests, and criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management). FAO's influence has been visible in the IPF work on the development of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management where it has actively assisted in the coordinated development of these criteria and indicators within a common framework through its participation in several regionally-based initiatives. For example, the FAO project in support of the Pro Temporae Secretariat of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty provided a major input to the Tarapoto Proposal of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainability of Amazon Forest which was adopted in 1995 by the members of the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty. Similarly, FAO played an important role in the establishment of the Convention on Combating Desertification and Drought and in bringing about the recognition of the importance of the Mountain Development agenda as well as that of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

218. More broadly, FAO's contributions under the programme to the UN-CSD process have been repeatedly recognized as timely, of high quality and usefulness. The success of the programme in these areas underlines the importance of FAO's critical mass of technical competence, its wide network of professional contact and its ability to collaborate with a wide range of key actors around the world.

219. In the fields of forest conservation, wildlife and contribution to food security including agro-forestry, forest/woodland and tree resources management and conservation in fragile eco-systems, the programme has made considerable progress in facilitating changes at the country and regional levels in policy and strategy orientations as well as adoption of more appropriate technologies and approaches in addressing priority development needs in these fields. The expert consultations and workshops, at the global, regional or sub-regional levels, served to disseminate and exchange ideas and approaches on policies, resulting in clearer recognition of key issues and in promotion of appropriate approaches to their solutions among the national officials and specialists. Frequently, these efforts have led to inter-country cooperation through technical networks, sometimes involving other international agencies and donors active in the sub-region or region. For example, the regional network on agroforestry in Latin America has been playing an active role in exchange and transfer of information on issues and best practices (techniques and approaches) in dryland agroforestry among several Andean countries. In the field, a number of technical assistance projects supported by multilateral and bilateral donors (including in particular, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Sweden/SIDA, Japan, UNDP and sometimes in partnership with the World Bank) have dramatically contributed to effective translation of these ideas and approaches into concrete practice and vice versa. Both Regular and Field Programme efforts have been analyzed and disseminated through a series of FAO publications on guidelines and documented successful cases.

220. In particular, the following presents a few examples of noteworthy results:

VI. SUMMARY ASSESSMENT

221. The table below summarizes the main assessments and conclusions in terms of the main criteria:

Criteria Assessment
a. Programme Relevance

FAO's basic mandate

Food security concerns

Sustainable agriculture and rural development

Very relevant to FAO's basic mandate and to UNCED's recommendations for the UN, particularly with respect to sustainable rural development and forestry; including the implementation of Chapters 11, 12 and 13 of Agenda 21. The programme is also relevant to food security concerns.
b. Coherence of Programme Design

Clear definition of objectives (effects and impact)

Usefulness of outputs planned

Realism and feasibility

Adequacy of strategic perspective

Improving over the period, but still unsatisfactory in some respects. The focus of individual sub-programmes has become clearer and the usefulness of planned individual outputs is generally good or satisfactory. However, the sub-programmes tended to remain compartmentalized, hindering the development of a more dynamic interface between them in addressing common issues.

Similarly, the objectives for the programme as a whole would need to be articulated more clearly in terms of the intended effects and impact to be achieved as a combined result of sub-programme components and as contribution to the Forestry Major Programme. This would facilitate integration and synergy among the basic activities and help to clarify the programme's contribution to departmental strategic objectives. Links between the two are still insufficient.

c. Implementation Efficiency

Degree of achieving targetted outputs

Implementation coordination

Generally good. The quality of outputs has been generally good to satisfactory. Performance in producing the planned outputs has been good and timely, involving a large number of outputs and services. This has been particularly so in such areas as information and methodology work in FRA as well as in the formulation and harmonization of criteria and indicators for SFM, in conservation and management of forest genetic resources, arid and semi-arid zone, agroforestry and watershed management.

Similarly, implementation efficiency has been generally satisfactory at the sub-programme level, but needs to be strengthened at the programme level so as to enhance further integration, synergy and coherence vis--vis long-term and strategic objectives at the departmental level.

d. Effects and Impact Achievement

Direct effects and impact

Likely sustainability

Contribution to FAO's priority areas

Broadly good to satisfactory. Performance regarding effects has been good under individual sub-programmes. FOR outputs and services have been generally endorsed and are being used by its target audiences. Its timely contribution to the implementation of Chapters 11, 12 and 13 of Agenda 21 has led to the expanded recognition of the effectiveness of FAO services. The immediate prospects for sustainability of such effects appear generally good, given the importance attached to the issues by the stakeholders.

The programme's overall contribution to FAO's priority areas has been good, particularly regarding sustainable management of natural resources and environment as well as in maintaining FAO's status as centre of excellence in forest resources. However, in the longer-term, there are uncertainties in the programme's ability to sustain present efforts since its staff resources are thinly spread throughout several areas, RP funding remains limited and international demand for services is increasing.

e. Overall Cost-effectiveness Generally good, although difficult to assess precisely. The programme's broad effectiveness may be inferred from the fact that with a relatively small RP contribution, the programme has been able to attract substantial levels of extra-budgetary resources that have facilitated its considerable effectiveness in a number of areas, notably for FRA, watershed development, genetic resources and SFM particularly in arid-lands, mountains and other fragile ecosystems. Its success in establishing and maintaining cooperation with a large number of external partners has also been an important factor. In other areas, such as plantations and forest protection, the programme's effectiveness appears to have been more limited and has essentially relied on RP funding.

VII. MAIN ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

222. The implementation results under the Forest Resources Programme during the period have supported both the international processes and UNCED follow-up activities as well as capacity-building of national institutions and programmes, including country-level implementation of the former. As such, its work has been highly relevant to the international community as well as to meeting national priority concerns in a number of developing countries. It has also given FAO a high international profile and a leading role in a relatively complex and undefined area of work, providing guidance in the review, development and testing of the potential linkages among agricultural development, food security, forest resource management and natural resource conservation.

223. At the same time, this has created an increased demand for FAO's services in expanded areas of work, such as:

224. The programme may be said to be at a crossroad where approaches to forest and tree resources must interface further with agriculture and environment issues with a challenge to address the new focus of international efforts in support of sustainable natural resource management, use and conservation. In order to ensure the overall effectiveness of the programme in contributing to the long-term development results, such as those envisaged under the recently designated Strategic Goals for the Forestry Department (see para. 135), it would be essential to integrate the programme more systematically with other complementary programmes within the Forestry Department and FAO as a whole.

The Need for a Multidisciplinary Approach

225. There is a need for further integration of FOR outputs into in-house land-use planning activities, agro-ecological production systems, natural resource management practices and policy support. Measures should be taken at programme level to facilitate and reinforce the links in day-to-day work of departmental units involved in SFM issues so as to: (i) ensure catalytic effects of limited staff resources by combining more effectively ongoing efforts into a common thematic focus; and (ii) bring about an integrated SFM approach, including biological diversity and other environmental concerns in support of ongoing local experiences.

226. In-house working arrangements need to be strengthened to allow for the effective interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, especially with units concerned in Agriculture and Sustainable Development Departments. Work within FAO at the interdepartmental level needs to be reinforced, prioritized and included in the divisional workplan.

The Need for More Focused Priorities with a Critical Mass

227. During the coming years, FAO will need to continue its present focus on the provision and dissemination of accurate information, assessments and "state-of-the-art" methodologies and practices on natural resource management to member countries and the international community as a whole. However, priorities to be addressed in this area have to be aligned to thematic and inter-disciplinary issues linked to sustainable rural development. UNCED follow-up goals and new areas of work will need to be integrated into its work programme within a set of clearly articulated short to medium-term programme objectives that would lead to the longer term strategic goals of the FAO Major Programme on Forestry.

228. Given that the workload is already considerable in the division and its staff is over-stretched, it would be necessary to focus priorities on the selected areas where FAO has strong comparable advantage such as FRA. The division should re-examine the work and responsibilities of its HQ staff to ensure the best use of its limited number, taking into account the wide range of programme activities to be addressed and the need to integrate its work with other major FAO initiatives for the agricultural sector.

The Need for Sound Linkages between HQ and Field

229. One of the strengths of the programme has been the synergy between normative and operational work. The division needs to ensure strong focused linkages with Field Programme activities, with a view to maximizing the eventual impact of its normative, information-gathering functions at global, regional and national levels. In the context of division of operational work between HQ units and Regional and Sub-regional Offices, the division would also need to develop a coordinated way of assigning the main responsibilities for technical support to field projects.

230. At the same time, direct linkages also need to be preserved with the related work at regional and country level to maintain its comparative advantages at the international level. Collaboration and coordination between HQ and its decentralized offices needs to be enhanced. This area needs to receive priority attention in the immediate future.

Resources

231. In the light of the highly relevant nature of the programme as well as its implementation record, a good case can be made in favour of increased RP resources for the programme, buttressed by efforts for greater cost-effectiveness. This will entail a rationalization of its programme of activities in line with selected priorities and available resources.

232. However, given the overall resource constraints facing FAO, the programme would continue to need to have access to substantial levels of stable, extra-budgetary funding for its work, especially to support effectively the role of FAO as Task Manager for UNCED follow-up in Forestry, Desertification and Mountain Development.


Annex 1

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS BY THE EXTERNAL PEER REVIEWERS 46

233. The reviewers, who are familiar with this FAO programme, agreed on the relevance and importance of this programme to the main concerns on sustainable forestry development and management, both at the international and national levels. Similarly, they appreciated the technical contribution of the programme to the ongoing international processes on the criteria and indicators for SFM, the ITFF and CSD. At the same time, they both stressed that if FAO (the programme) is to maintain its effectiveness and its current international standing as lead agency for UNCED follow-up implementation in forestry, it should be provided with adequate resources that the programme deserved.

234. They broadly agreed with the thrusts of the observations in the report regarding: (a) the need for clear focus and priorities under the programme, including the consolidation of its strengths, such as FRA; (b) the recognition of the programme's strength in dissemination of the state of art methods and approaches and up-to-date global information and assessment as well as support to national capacity building; (c) the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to issues relating to the inter-relations between forests and trees on one hand and land/water resources and agricultural practices on the other; and (d) the need for greater integration between units dealing with forestry and agriculture sectors, especially from the viewpoint of natural resources management, use and conservation. They also stressed the importance of collaboration with international development agencies, including NGOs, in helping achieve concrete results at the country level. Given the long-term efforts needed to achieve sustainable impact at the field level, they both underlined the importance of ensuring a strategic perspective in the programme. At the same time, both reviewers felt that despite difficulties involved, a greater effort could have been made to better capture the programme's development effects and impact.


Annex 2

COMMENTS OF FOREST RESOURCES DIVISION ENDORSED BY THE ADG FORESTRY DEPARTMENT

235. After careful reading of this draft, we came to the conclusion that it gives a clear and fair overview of programme features, objectives, design, resource and implementation results.

236. The analysis of programme objectives seems fair though it concluded that they "have remained more implicit than explicit". This is partly due to the multidisciplinary nature of the work. We expect that the situation will improve with the implementation of the new medium-term FO strategy formulated for the next six years. As mentioned in paragraph 144, the ongoing corporate strategic planning for 2000-2005 would provide a logical framework for "leading to a clear definition of objectives for the programme" and "for establishing priorities". While the analysis of programme resources and management is acceptable, it is worth mentioning that the "over-extension of the FRA work force" (para. 147) is related to a substantial increase of donor interest and associated trust funds in support of the FRA programme.

237. We are particularly pleased that paragraphs 151 to 153 have concluded that the field component of the programme was very large from 1992 to 1997, with a strong synergy between normative and field work. This has been one of the most qualitative strengths of the programme.

238. Paragraphs 155 and 156 have depicted the management aspects of the programme well. They do not only show its weaknesses, but in-depth analysis of the reasons are presented clearly. We accept such a constructive assessment.

239. The analysis of the implementation results and programme effects and impact is fair, even if it did not fully reflect the richness and diversity of work accomplished, in particular with national/regional/international institutions.

240. The summary of assessments and conclusions presented in paragraph 221 is very useful, and we concur with the needs for improvement described in this table.

241. Finally, the issues and recommendations presented in Part VII are relevant (paras. 222 to 232). We support the recommendations concerning in particular the need to:

COMMENTS OF SENIOR MANAGEMENT

242. The Director-General recognizes that additional resources could very usefully be applied to this programme as would also be the case for much of the Forestry Major Programme. In fact, the priority accorded to Forest Resources in 1998-99 is evident from the fact that this is one of the very few programmes to enjoy a real increase when most programmes suffered a real decrease in budget. Within the ever-present constraint of competing demands for resources, the high priority accorded to this programme by the Governing Bodies will be respected.

11 The Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions (Silva Mediterranea); the International Poplar Commission; the Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources; the African Wildlife Working Group; and the European Working Group on Mountains.

12 Until 1997, FRA work was also supported by a project team (extra-budgetary funding) of up to 5 professional staff, supplemented by several APOs.

13 Expenditures under this item range from US$ 380 000 in 1992 to US$ 541 000 in 1995. Expenditure was US$ 399 000 in 1997.

14 BGD/84/05; BKF/89/011 and BKF/93/003; BHU/91/002

15 GCP/CMB/002/BEL; GCP/CVI/015/BEL; GCP/COS/011 and 014/NET; RAS/91/004

16 GCP/INT/621/SWE; GCP/RAS/162/JPN; UTF/IND/158/IND; GCP/RAF/281/EEC and CMB/95/002; GCP/SUR/001/NET

17 GCP/ECU/063/NET; GCP/SEN/037 and 042/NET; GCP/MLI/019/NET

18 GUI/86/012; MYA/93/005 and MYA/96/007; GCP/NEP/048/NOR; PAK/88/051; GCP/VIE/019/BEL; CHD/87/016; SEN/87/027 and GCP/SEN/044/NET; GCP/SUD/033/NET

19 Strasbourg 1990 and Helsinki 1993.

20 Held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1995.

21 Rome, February 1995.

22 Helsinki, 1996.

23 The ECE is responsible for the assembly and analysis of data from developed countries.

24 Produced in cooperation with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

25 Reviewed in a recent country capacity-building exercise in south-east Asia.

26 Three sessions of the Panel of Experts have been held since 1992.

27 East Africa, Kenya, Poland and Lithuania, Niger and Nigeria, DPR Korea, Bulgaria and Romania, Seychelles and Bangladesh.

28 "Afforestation, Forestry Research, Planning and Development in the Three North Regions of China"

29 Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania in particular

30 Centre at ISPRA, Italy

31 India, Indonesia, Sierra Leone and more recently Turkey.

32 Turkey, October 1997

33 October, 1998

34 "Improved productivity of man-made forests through tree breeding" (FORTIP), based in the Philippines; "Afforestation and Reforestation - Formulation of National Policies" (STRAP), based in Vietnam; and "Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia-Pacific Region" (FORSPA), based in Thailand plus the "ASEAN Tree Seed Centre Project" (also in Thailand).

35 In China, Morocco, Kenya and in India.

36 Ghana, Sudan, CILSS countries, Yemen, India, Nepal, Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Haiti, Jamaica, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Peru.

37 No. 173, volume 44, 1993.

38 European Forestry Commission/African Forestry Commission /Near East Forestry Commission Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions Sylva Mediterranea

39 Chapter 13: Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development:

40 Kathmandu in December 1994, 1995 in Lima, Addis Ababa in June 1996

41 CGIAR International Potato Centre, Lima, Peru

42 held in Aviemore, Scotland and Trento, Italy

43 organized in Lima in 1995

44 Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Iran, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea.

45 European Forestry Commission.

46 They are Mr. Markku Aho, Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland and Mr. Reider Persson, Assistant Director-General, CIFOR (Jakarta, Indonesia).

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