COFO-2001/12


COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY

Item 12 of the Provisional Agenda

FIFTEENTH SESSION

Rome, Italy, 12-16 March 2001

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REGIONAL FORESTRY COMMISSIONS AND OTHER FAO STATUTORY BODIES IN FORESTRY OF INTEREST TO THE COMMITTEE

Secretariat Note

SUMMARY

    At its second session in 1974, the Committee requested that the agenda of Regional Forestry Commission sessions include as a standing item "Matters to be referred to the attention of the Committee on Forestry (COFO)", and that the corresponding section of the report of each session be submitted to the subsequent session of the Committee. This note summarizes the main points of interest to COFO made by the Regional Forestry Commissions (RFCs), as well as other FAO statutory bodies in forestry, at meetings held since the previous session of COFO in 1999.

    Forestry Statutory Bodies are convened by FAO to provide regular fora for exchanging views and identifying priorities as well as for taking joint action in specific areas of forestry development and management. This background paper summarizes the recommendations made to COFO in their sessions during the past biennium and describes proposals for strengthening the role of the RFCs as technical and policy fora.

    The FAO Forestry Statutory Bodies in forestry include:

MATTERS FROM REGIONAL FORESTRY COMMISSIONS FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE COMMITTEE

1. Some matters raised by two or more of the RFCs included:

2. The following sections summarize matters to the attention of COFO.

AFRICAN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION (AFWC)

(12th session, Lusaka, Zambia, 27 to 30 March 2000)

ASIA-PACIFIC FORESTRY COMMISSION (APFC)

(18th session, Noosaville, Queensland, Australia, 15 to 19 May 2000)

NORTH AMERICAN FOREST COMMISSION (NAFC)

(20th session, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, 12 to 16 June 2000)

NEAR EAST FORESTRY COMMISSION (NEFC)

(Teheran, Islamic Republic of Iran, 1 to 4 July 2000)

LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN FORESTRY COMMISSION (LACFC)

(Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia, from 4 to 8 September 2000)

EUROPEAN FORESTRY COMMISSION (EFC)

(30th session, held jointly with the 58th session of the ECE Timber Committee, Rome, 9 to 13 October 2000)

MATTERS FROM OTHER STATUTORY BODIES FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE COMMITTEE

THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON PAPER AND WOOD PRODUCTS

3. The Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products (ACPWP) held its 40th session in São Paulo, Brazil, from 27 to 28 April 1999. The Committee:

4. The Committee held its 41st session in Rotorua, New Zealand, from 2 to 3 May 2000. The session concluded that:

PANEL OF EXPERTS ON FOREST GENE RESOURCES

5. The Panel held its eleventh session at FAO Headquarters, Rome, from 29 September to 1 October 1999. It recognized FAO's international leadership and its role in advising and collaborating with national institutes in the conservation in and ex situ, enhancement and sustainable utilisation of forest genetic resources.

6. The Panel passed a number of recommendations, among others:

INTERNATIONAL POPLAR COMMISSION

7. The International Poplar Commission held its 21st session, the session of its Executive Committee and meetings of its subsidiary bodies in Portland, Oregon, USA, from 24 to 28 September 2000. The 21st session noted the increasing interest in the broad range of goods and environmental services provided by poplars and willows (including their growing use for bio-energy and for phyto-remediation of polluted sites) and made the following recommendations:

DEVELOPING THE ROLE OF THE REGIONAL FORESTRY COMMISSIONS

8. RFCs serve as regional fora for the exchange of technical and policy information and the promotion of FAO action and assistance for forestry development. Feedback from the sessions of the RFCs (see below) and from individual members shows that RFCs have substantial potential and capacity to:

9. Since 1995, FAO has taken action to strengthen the RFCs, to enhance their inputs to COFO and their involvement in the development of the COFO agenda. Bureaux of all RFCs were invited to contribute to the identification of items for the COFO agenda, the theme for the next World Forestry Congress and to providing inputs for the Task Manager Report to CSD-10 on Agenda 21, Chapter 11. FAO technical support officers at Headquarters have been allocated to support study groups, e.g. NAFC. Wider publicity has been given to the background papers for the Regional Forestry Commissions that have been put on the FAO Forestry Department website since the RFC meetings of 2000.

10. FAO is ready to further develop RFCs, recognizing that environmental, social, cultural and economic differences between and within regions call for flexibility in defining their roles and responsibilities. In reviewing the future role of the RFCs, COFO member countries may wish to consider the following: