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The Work of FAO

Latin American forestry commission
Topical notes
Oxford system of decimal classification for forestry

Latin American forestry commission

FAO's Latin American Forestry Commission held its seventh session in Mexico City, 3 to 6 August 1960. Delegations participated from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, United States, and Venezuela. The Holy See and the following international organizations sent observers: United Nations, International Labour Organisation, World Meteorological Organization, the Organization of American States, and the Inter-American Statistical Institute. The Director-General of FAO was represented by Sir Henry Beresford-Peirse, Deputy Director of the Forestry and Forest Products Division. Mr. Eero Kalkkinen, Regional Forestry Officer for Latin America, acted as Secretary of the session.

The Commission elected Enrique (Mexico) as Chairman, and Elias Dabas (Argentina), Flavio (Peru) and Rafael Viloria Diaz (Venezuela) as first, second and third Vice-Chairmen, respectively. Juan Manuel González (Mexico) was appointed Rapporteur.

Trends in forest policy

The Commission's review of current trends concluded that:

1. Many of the countries in the region still depend heavily on imports to meet their needs for wood and wood products, but national forest policies are steadily being adapted to the requirements of domestic consumption and toward the reduction of imports.

2. Forestry is definitely being given greater emphasis in all the countries in the region in connection with land use programs, colonization and agrarian reform. Specific examples were cited from Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Puerto Rico. Especially in Cuba and Venezuela recent events have created completely new conditions with regard to the problems of land tenure, distribution and use.

The importance was emphasized of the establishment of machinery for economic integration and co-operation in Central America (CAIS) and in the countries of the Montevideo Treaty (ALALIC). FAO is already collaborating with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) in the study of matters affecting forestry, and the Commission requested that all possible information be furnished to national forest services and that, eventually, meetings of representatives of these services be convened in order to analyze the possible consequences for forest policies of the gradual application of such regional integration schemes. The Commission would welcome any action along the same lines taken by private associations of producers, industrialists and traders in the countries participating in these schemes.

The reason for the slow progress in building up administrative services for the development of forest resources, and institutions for forestry research and education, continued in part to lie in the lack of adequate guarantees of service stability for trained personnel. The Commission noted the progress of co-operation between FAO and the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the forestry education program offered at Turrialba, Costa Rica, and its possible expansion through the aid of the United Nations Special Fund for Economic Development. Other Special Fund projects in education and research were developing for Chile and Brazil.

The Commission asked FAO to prepare a regional training program for sawmill maintenance and logging operations with the International Labour Office (ILO), expressing its sincere appreciation to that body for its offer to extend its co-operation with FAO in this field to the Latin American countries.

Regional study of wood resources and requirements

A Secretariat spokesman reported on the present status of the FAO/ECLA study on trends in the production, consumption and trade of forest products in Latin America, which is expected to provide guidelines for long-term forest policies and add much to the knowledge of existing resources and their utilization. Discussing the general lack of data available on forest resources of the region, the Commission requested FAO to assign a high priority to the establishment of a regional center for training in aerial photogrammetry. The Mexican delegate offered the facilities of the Mexican Institute of Forest Research for such a center. (The first Special Fund forestry project to become operational in Latin America provides for a national forest inventory in Mexico, to be undertaken over the next four years.)

Other work of FAO in the region

The Commission fully supported FAO's program of work for Latin America which met current needs in the region. It referred its report to the Sixth Regional FAO Conference for Latin America (Mexico City, 8 to 20 August 1960), for endorsement. Many of the delegates proceeded on from the session to join the Fifth World Forestry Congress in the United States. On their return, a number joined the tour which FAO organized with the Government of Mexico in September-October, for foresters to study the extensive range of conifers growing in that country and which have been widely introduced into other regions for planting programs. The Mexican tour was followed by short visits in British Honduras and Cuba.

Topical notes

FAO Freedom from Hunger Campaign

The FAO Freedom from Hunger Compaign was officially launched on 1 July 1960 at a ceremony in Rome distinguished by messages of support from the presidents of the United States of America, France, India, Germany and Yugoslavia, from the Queen of the Netherlands, from the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand, and from His Holiness the Pope.

Mr. B.R. Sen. Director- General of FAO, said the response to the campaign was symptomatic of the interest of peoples all over the world in a rededication of the aims and objectives of FAO. The problem with which it is trying to deal is that more than one half the world's population do not have enough food or the right sort of food. "They are caught in a vicious circle of stagnation, apathy and poverty. At the same time, population is increasing at a faster rate than ever before, particularly in those same regions which are deficient in food supply." The crux of the matter, however, "is not overpopulation but underproduction." The campaign was designed to recognize this threat. Hunger is neither inevitable nor irremediable and it is within man's power to bring this old affliction under control.

Since each individual country has its special problems, the components of an action program will vary widely among different countries. Examples of projects where forestry and forest products can help are: restoring overgrazed soils, community forests, growing more food with shelterbelt protection, range reserves for drought years, more fuelwood for cooking and heating, better packaging, farm woodlands adding to farm incomes, improved low-cost housing.

FAO Council

Under the presidence of Louis Maire of Switzerland, Independent Chairman, the FAO Council held its thirty-fourth session in Rome, 17-27 October 1960. Since the Tenth Session of the FAO Conference in 1959, four countries newly independent have joined the Organization as full members: Cameroun, Cyprus, Nigeria and Togo. FAO's membership now stands at 81 countries, with seven associate members.

Addressing the Council, the Director-General remarked: " I venture to say that seldom before in the history of FAO have we been called upon to undertake such an expanding variety and volume of activities.

" In the first five years of its existence, FAO's functions were confined to activities carried out under the Regular Program of Work and Budget fixed at a level of 85 million per annum. The year 1950 saw the beginning of the Expanded Technical Assistance Program, which has grown to about $8 million per annum. In addition, countries have increasingly turned to FAO for assistance at their own expense under trust funds, which will amount to nearly a million dollars in 1960.

" The biggest and most recent of the additions to our program comes from the establishment of the United Nations Special Fund for Economic Development. FAO's responsibilities include planning, evaluation and execution of projects. The Special Fund budget is on the increase and FAO, judging by the realities of the situation, can well expect to continue to participate in the operations of the Fund on the present proportionate, scale. This would mean FAO staff taking responsibility for planning and evaluation of over $17 million worth of projects every year and executing, by the beginning of 1962, projects totalling over $12 million and, by the end of 1963, well over $20 million. Recent discussions have indicated that FAO may also be asked to play a part in the effective realization of funds available to a number of other international organizations which have just been or are about to be established. "

These new and additional responsibilities, added to emergency programs arising from the Chilean earthquake disasters of May, the Congo troubles and the rapid evolution which is generally taking place in Africa, are placing a heavy strain upon the staff of the Organization, said Dr. Sen. New staff have to be recruited and the combination of technical qualifications and languages is not always easy to locate.

" The question may be asked whether it is necessary that all these new forms of activity should be assumed by FAO. The answer in my view is emphatically 'yes.' These activities are essentially of an operational character; they bring us into closer touch with the process of accelerating agricultural and economic development which is a basic responsibility under our Constitution. They make this Organization more than ever a live and dynamic body, and provide close participation in national development programs. However, these responsibilities must be additional to, and not in substitution of, our Regular Program.

" My 1962-63 budget proposals will take account of these developments. I have given careful thought to all the issues involved, and have come to the conclusion that a total increase in the contribution of governments will be needed in the order of $ 5,700,000 for the biennium.

" For a Budget for 1962-63 at this level, I do not feel, Mr. Chairman, that I need make any apology. The world as a whole today is on the march. A large part of the developing regions of the world is predominantly agricultural. The Organization established by the United Nat-ions and charged with providing international leadership in this field is FAO. The Preamble to the FAO Constitution makes that clear. Any dynamic policy on the part of the United Nations to assist the economic development of the underdeveloped countries must, therefore, be adequately reflected in the Program and Budget of FAO."

Mediterranean Forestry Subcommission

It has not been possible to report earlier on the seventh session of the Mediterranean Forestry Subcommission held in Lisbon, 2-7 May 1960. The meeting was attended by 53 delegates representing nine countries, and was presided over by P.M. Hermosilla (Spain), with J. Vieira Natividade (Portugal) and M. Badra (Tunisia) as Vice-Chairmen. L. Gimenez-Quintana (FAO) acted as Secretary, Egon Glesinger represented the Director-General of FAO and Sir Henry Beresford-Peirse was present for FAO's Forestry and Forest Products Division.

The Subcommission concentrated mainly on follow-up action on the FAO Mediterranean Development Project, and the most important recommendations were:

1. national forest services to nominate permanent liaison officers to FAO for the implementation of the project;

2. the establishment of a Mediterranean seed bank for the collection, storage and distribution of indigenous and exotic tree seeds;

3. expert consultation to investigate the possibilities for a regional plan for the establishment of industries, mainly pulp and paper;

4. the regional co-ordination and programing of forest research, to be carried out co-operatively by the research stations in the region;

5. the establishment in the region of a faculty of land use to train technicians to serve in any country of the region;

6. creation of a Mediterranean forest fund (on the lines of the similar French fund) to finance long-term investments in forestry;

7. managers of integrated development projects in the region to meet from time to time for the exchange of technical experience; to arrange, if feasible, exchange of experts and equipment; and to consult on phasing of development programs and location of new " spearhead development zones. "

Other subjects dealt with in detail were range management (forest grazing) and the resin industry. The working parties on cork oak and on eucalypts held separate meetings.

J. de Vaissière (France) was elected the new Chairman of Silva Mediterranea, a position filled for ten years, it will be recalled, by a figure held in the highest esteem and much beloved, the late Professor Aldo Pavari of Italy.

FAO research fellowships

The research fellowships instituted by the FAO Conference in honor of Professor André Mayer of France, a renowned scientist who died in 1956 and who had been one of the moving spirits in the formation of the Organization, are aimed at promoting and encouraging scientific research having a connection with FAO's program of work, and are awarded annually to selected researchers. They enable the recipient to work for one to two years at an institute in any FAO member country, either to carry out independent research work or to receive training in advanced research methods.

Awards approved for 1960 include one to George N. Baur, Australia (ecology as a basis for rain forest management). Earlier awards in forest research have been made to: Sumihiko Asakawa (Japan), P.J. Viro (Finland), Sorayut Karatna (Thailand), A. Nyassonen (Finland), and G. von Malmborg (Sweden).

Training course in aerial forest inventory

A report will appear in the next issue of Unasylva on the first international training course in aerial forest inventory which took place from August to October in Malaya and North Borneo. Organized by FAO in co-operation with the governments of the countries concerned and with the support of other organizations, including the Colombo Plan, students attended from the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Malaya and Korea. Director of the center was Professor Fritz Loetsch, on leave of absence from the Federal Forestry and Forest Products Institute, Germany.

The first two months of the course were spent at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, with a field trip to a mangrove forest area. The final month was spent in North Borneo and entirely devoted to field trips. Instruction dealt with aerial photographs and surveying; photo interpretation; sampling methods in combination with interpretation of aerial photographs; combination of aerial and ground forest survey; inventory methods used in various tropical countries; and possibilities of using aerial photographs for forest management plans and national forest surveys.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

The utilization of the " wildlands " marginal to agriculture and sometimes also to forestry, which constitute an appreciable part of the world's - and Africa's - land surface, is a problem the importance of which is gaining considerable recognition today. The recent inclusion of wildlife management among the activities for which FAO accepts responsibility is evidence of this growing concern.

In the light of the important program being carried out by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in this field, and at the request of its Executive Board, FAO has agreed to the temporary secondment of Gerald Watterson, of its African Office, to IUCN as its new Secretary-General. He will relinquish his post of Regional Forestry Officer for Africa early next year.

Apart from establishing IUCN's new headquarters in Switzerland, one of his first tasks will be to organize and lead a small group of qualified Africans to discuss the principles and practices of conservation with leaders of African opinion. This mission is one of the steps in preparation for the proposed CCTA/IUCN Wildlife Management Conference scheduled for the latter half of 1961 in East Africa.

Near East Forest Rangers' School

There has not been opportunity earlier to report the formal opening of the Near East Forest Rangers' School at Latakia, United Arab Republic, which took place in February 1960.

The opening ceremony started with speeches, followed by a tree-planting ceremony when a new avenue was planted in front of the school buildings. The Minister of Agriculture for the Syrian region then out the band at the main entrance to the school and unveiled a commemorative marble plaque at the main gate. After the school buildings had been inspected, there was a showing of forestry films, and later a formal banquet.

For this FAO project, the United Arab Republic has provided the land, buildings and many other facilities. FAO has contributed equipment and an Acting Director, Dr. O.A. Badran. The school is intended to train men from the Arabic-speaking countries of the region to fill the gap that exists between university-trained forestry officers and forest guards. The course of studies will extend over two years. The first group of students is drawn from Iraq, Jordan, Sudan and the United Arab Republic.

Oxford system of decimal classification for forestry

The Joint FAO/IUFRO Committee on Bibliography at its Eleventh Session in Madrid in September 1959 examined and discussed some further proposals for amendments to the Oxford System of Decimal Classification for Forestry. As a result, notification is made of the following decisions taken in conformity with the method of procedure for the development of amendments to the Oxford System of Decimal Classification for Forestry*

* See Unasylva, Vol. 11, No. 3 and Vol. 13, No. 2.

Amendment No. 3, as authorized by the Joint FAO/IUFRO Committee on Bibliography (Madrid, September 1959).

At 0, p. 12,

in square-bracketed comment under main title, add
; for general monographs of individual species or other taxonomic groups see comment at 17

At 14

in square-bracketed comment add
See also comment at 17

At 17

in square-bracketed comment, add a third and fourth paragraph as follows

The numbers that follow, with their further subdivisions (alphabetical or numerical) can serve, by using cross-references, as an index to any other information on the plants concerned, as well as pure taxonomy. The procedure is explained by examples in section (3) of the Introduction. Two further examples:

(a) General monographs on individual taxonomic units (chiefly species) may be referenced as 0 : 17. . ., or 0-17. . ., or 17... - 0;

(b) their general silviculture is treated similarly as 2:17..., or 2-17..., or 17... -2. If only one card can be allowed, the third method has the advantage of collecting all the information on e.g., a species in a single place in the catalogue - viz. at 17... -.

If desired, the same procedure may be used for animals, under 14.

At 233

in square-bracketed comment read
[Cross-reference, as appropriate, to subdivisions of 114.4, 116, or 187. For afforestation policy see 913/914]

At 322.3

add, " chemical barking "

At 411

add subdivisions as follows
411.1 Natural enemies concerned in control
411.11 Lower invertebrates
411.12 Insects and other arthropods
411.13 Amphibia and reptiles
411.14 Birds
411.15 Mammals
411.16 Bacteria and fungi
411.18 Virus diseases
411.19 Miscellaneous

At 62

insert after WORKING PLANS in round brackets

At 811.7

insert after bark in round brackets
(including also gross morphology)

At 928

Fragmentation and consolidation of holdings

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