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Report of the Committee on Forestry (3rd Session, Rome, November 1976) 1

44. In reviewing the Report of the Third Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) (Rome, 22–27 November 1976), the Council commended both the clarity and substance of the report, and supported COFO's proposal that FAO's activities in the forestry sector should concentrate on priority areas.

45. While endorsing the Committee's recommendations, the discussions of the Council centered around the following major subjects:

46. The Council endorsed the recommendation of COFO that Forestry for Local Community Development be given high priority in FAO's programme of work. It recognized that forestry was an integral part of rural development, no less important than agriculture or pastures. Forestry could contribute not only wood, but also food, fodder and other products such as gum arabic, and environmental benefits such as shelter to crops and livestock and the control of soil erosion. Education, training and extension work should form the main components of the programme.

47. The Council noted with satisfaction that the theme of the Eighth World Forestry Congres s, to be held in Indonesia in 1978, was "Forests for people" and that Forestry for Local Community Development had a major role in the Congress agenda.

48. The Council supported the high priority accorded by COFO to tropical forestry development and agreed that agri-silviculture should be regarded as an area of major concern in the tropical zones. More information was required on the suitability of tropical species, especially of tropical pines, for afforestation, while in the field of rural employment importance should be given to developing a methodology for assessing the backward and forward linkages in forestry and forest industries. It was suggested that more attention be paid to the specific problems of equatorial forestry, particularly in relation to research and technological development. The Council recommended that special attention be given to the preparation of guidelines for social cost/benefit analysis with emphasis on ways to identify and measure the indirect benefits of forestry activities.

49. The Council supported the stress laid by COFO on the importance of conservation, with special reference to arid and semi-arid zones, where forestry could make an essential contribution to the stabilization of sand dunes, the preservation of the ecological balance, the control of desert encroachment, and to range and watershed management. Emphasis should be put on the preparation of guidelines for the evaluation of the social costs and benefits of measures for the control of soil erosion. In many of the arid areas, fire was a serious threat to the forest and adequate fire control practices were essential. The Council supported the close cooperation between FAO and CILSS in assisting countries to enhance the contribution of forestry to overall rehabilitation programmes for the Sahel and endorsed COFO's proposal that FAO's forestry activities in this zone should be strengthened.

50. The Council stressed the importance of (i) Regional Research Institutes for testing tropical wood species and of (ii) Regional Training Centres for technicians and sub- professionals for Mechanical Wood Industries and suggested that FAO assist in their establishment.

51. Recognizing the importance of small-scale forest industries in developing countries, particularly of small mills for the production of sawnwood, panel products, pulp and paper, the Council welcomed FAO's initiatives and commended the results already achieved in th e design of such mills.

52. The Council recommended that particular attention be given by FAO to programmes assisting developing countries to increase their capacity to process their own wood raw material and to market forest products. While priority in such programmes should be given to tropical wood species, the dissemination of technology for processing small diameter wood and coppice merited consideration.

53. The Council stressed the importance of good relations and contacts between impor ters and exporters of tropical wood species and underlined the relevance of production and marketing of non-wood forest products to the economy of rural communities in many developing countries.

54. The Council endorsed COFO's recognition of the paramount importance of forestry education and training in FAO's programmes and welcomed the progress reported by several countries in developing national forestry training institutes. FAO should continue its programme of regional training courses, both at the professional and at the sub-professional level, and such courses should include training in the use of mechanical equipment both in forestry operations and in forest industries.

55. The Council noted and supported the wish of COFO to be provided at its future se ssions with information showing precise figures for expenditure in the current biennium and a clear indication of future trends set out under detailed sub-heads.

56. With the above considerations, the Council endorsed the report of the Third Sess ion of the Committee on Forestry.

Report of the Committee on Fisheries (11th Session, Rome, April 1977) 2

57. The Council endorsed the Report of the Eleventh Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) (Rome, 19-26 April 1977) and the recommendations it contained.

58. The Council noted that there were three matters for decision. The first was the question of the southern boundary of the Fishery Commission for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF), which the Committee on Fisheries had recommended should be extended southwards. The Council expressed the view that if this was done it should be brought about in full consultation with all the parties concerned and every effort should be made to harmonise their activities.

59. The Council noted the proposal to create a fishery commission for the Near East and observed that a specific proposal in this respect had emanated from the Thirteenth Near East Regional Conference (Tunis, 1976).

60. As regards the proposal for Arabic interpretation at future sessions of the Committee on Fisheries, the Council noted that this issue had been covered under Item 18 of its Agenda 3.

61. In discussing the matters for information, the Council endorsed all major propos als for future activities of FAO in Fisheries. The Council approved the major trends, such as decentralization of activities, training and the strengthening of the developmental aspects of the work of the Department. It drew particular attention to the importance of the socio- economic aspects of fisheries, to activities for increasing food supply and particularly animal protein. It also considered that more attention should be given to small-scale fisheries, inland fisheries and to aquaculture. In marine fisheries there was need for the better management of fishery resources, for the development and exploitation of new resources, including those in areas which had not in the past been conventionally exploited, for the better use of fish caught, for the development of fishery products, for measures to reduce waste and for protection against pollution.

62. In discussing developments in the regime of the seas and their implications for fisheries, the Council noted the increased role that FAO would have in assisting developing countries to make the optimum use of the living resources of the exclusive economic zones which were being established. In this connexion FAO should take an active role in identifying investment opportunities in developing countries and in promoting development, through arrangements such as joint ventures, where appropriate. This would help use idle vessel capacity in the developed countries and assist the developing countries in the increased exploitation of their resources. FAO should also assist developing countries in the preparation of feasibility studies, plans and projects, so as to secure funds from regional and international financial institutions. It appreciated the fact that the future of the regional fishery bodies was under review. The Council also noted the need for increased cooperation between FAO and other UN Agencies concerned with marine affairs.

63. The Council expressed its appreciation of the efforts of the Committee on Fisheries to adjust itself to the changing regime of the oceans and to take a more active role in the determination of world fisheries policy. It agreed with the Committee's desire to stren gthen its activities by concentrating on a few major tasks such as ensuring that proper weight was given to fisheries in the formulation of food policies, that work toward the general objectives of the New International Economic Order was continued, and that there was further cooperation with all bodies dealing with the management of the living resources of the high seas.

64. The Council fully supported the request of the Committee on Fisheries that it sh ould meet once a year for at least the next few years in view of the importance of the present changes in the regime of the sea.

Report of the Committee on Agriculture (4th Session, Rome, April 1977) 4

65. The Council noted the report of the Fourth Session of the Committee, on Agriculture (COAG) (Rome, 20-28 April 1977).

66. The Council considered the four matters to which COAG had drawn its attention, namely: Medium and Long-Term Outlook for Food and Agricultural Development; Summary Programme of Work and Budget; Reducing Post-Harvest Food Losses; and the Agenda for its Fifth Session.

67.The Council agreed with the Committee that the two major programmes, namely incre asing production in developing countries and increasing world food reserves to a safe level, were of primary importance.

68. The Council endorsed the Committee's approval of the strategy and the six main p riority areas set forth in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, namely: Reduction of Post- Harvest Food Losses; Trypanosomiasis and Tickborne Diseases; Seeds and Fertilizers; Rural Development; CARIS; and Commodities and Food Security. It also agreed with COAG's endor sement of the consolidation of programmes in the Agriculture Department and the proposed additional programme changes.

69. 'The Council took note of the Committee's view regarding small farmers' development and agreed that the problem should be a major issue for discussion at the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development to take place in July 1979. The Council recommended that in view of the multidisciplinary aspects involved, an integrated approach to the analysis and evaluation of problems should be undertaken.

70. The Council unanimously endorsed the Committee's recommendations in regard to tr aining, education and extension and agreed that since these activities played a crucial role in the development process they should be given very high priority in future programmes. Several members noted the decisive role women play in agricultural production and stressed the need to improve their access to rural extension services, training programmes and appropriate technology. The Council agreed that the role of women should be given due importance at the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.

71. The Council took note of the preparations already under way for the World Conference, including arrangements for cooperation with other United Nations bodies who had expressed an interest in participating in the work.

72.The Director-General welcomed a proposal that he establish a high level advisory committee of experts, in consultation with Member Governments, to assist and advise him in the preparation for the World Conference, and this proposal was endorsed by the Council.

73. The Council agreed with the need for improvements in the productivity and in the income of small farmers and endorsed the view that new production potentials be opened up for them through improved policies and programmes in such areas as rural credit and marketing, cooperative development and use of technology adapted to their special requirements and conditions.

74. The Council recommended that improvement of pastures and utilization of rangelan d, in particular in low rainfall areas, be given further attention. It agreed that this would require additional applied research and, in turn, improvements in extension services.

75. Recognizing that a full debate had already taken place on the matter during the COAG Session, the Council appreciated the Committee's endorsement of the proposed action programme on the reduction of food losses and its strong support to the integration of post-harvest losses reduction with agricultural development and crop production systems.

76. The Council noted that a majority of the Committee supported the proposal to establish an FAO Special Fund for the Reduction of Food Losses. 5

77. The Council approved the two selected development problems recommended by the Co mmittee for inclusion in the Agenda of its Fifth Session: On-Farm Use of Water and Agricultural Mechanization and itsEffect on Employment and Income Distribution.

78. The Council suggested the following topics be put on the agenda of future sessions of the Committee: Pasture and range management; Production in low rainfall areas; Fruit and vegetables; Agricultural inputs and services, including credit, marketing and cooperatives; an well as the problem arising from the fragmentation of smallholdings.

Proposals for Strengthening FAO Activities Aimed at Reducing Harvest and Post-Harvest Losses 6

79. The Council noted that the Director-General's proposal for an Action Programme to reduc e harvest and post-harvest food losses was in response to resolutions of the World Food Conference, the Seventh Special Session of the UN General Assembly, the Seventeenth Session of the FAO Conference, and to a specific request of the Seventieth Session of the Council.

80. The Council unanimously approved the Director-General's proposals for an Action Programme to reduce losses of staple foods, as outlined in documents CL 71/4 and CL 71/9 and as endorsed by the Committee on Agriculture. It endorsed the guidelines presented f or loss reduction activities by member countries, by FAO and by other agencies, in which the key element was recognized to be strong integrated National Programmes for Loss Reduction, to be supported where necessary by external assistance.

81. The Council also endorsed the Director-General's proposals for the mechanism for implementing the FAO Action Programme, under which a small Central Unit in the Agriculture Department would coordinate all FAO activities in this area, collate the results of activities by member countries, and ensure FAO cooperation with other agencies' activities.

82 The large majority of the Council agreed with the need for an FAO Special Fund fo r Reduction of Food Losses to finance the FAO Action Programme and with the criteria proposed by the Director-General for the approval of projects to be financed from such a Fund.

83. A few members expressed reservations about the need for or operation of a Special Fund for the purpose in mind, and suggested other possibilities.

84. The Council further stressed the need for increased emphasis in the Regular Prog ramme for activities aimed at reducing food losses (particularly post-harvest losses).

85. The great majority of the members of the Council agreed with the Director-General's proposal to transfer up to $10 million from the 1976-77 Suspense Account as an initial contribution to the Fund, in order to ensure that an early start would be made to implementation of the Action Programme, pending receipt of voluntary contribution which the Council hoped would be forthcoming. In the light of dissenting opinion on the proposed resolution, and in an effort to ensure consensus, the Council decided, however, to defer final decision on the resolution to its Seventy-Second Session. It was decided, therefore, to include the Resolution in the Agenda of the Seventy-Second Session.

Proposal for an "A.H. Boerma Activity" 7

86. The Council recalled that at its Eighteenth Session the Conference had requested the Director-General to propose to the Council the terms of a new permanent activity which would recognize the services rendered to the Organization by its previous Director-General. 8

87. The Council welcomed the proposals of the Director-General in document CL 71/13 and was informed that these proposals had been reviewed in some detail by the Programme Committee 9 and also by the Finance Committee. 10

88. The Council considered the proposal for a biennial award for an article which wa s related to one or more of FAO's fields of concern, which should be of high quality, and which, by nature of the subject matter or treatment was likely to have increased public interest in, and support for, measures leading to solutions of the world food problem. The final selection of the award winner would be made by the Director-General.

89. The Council agreed that the award should be presented during Conference sessions and it recommended to the Director-General that:

  1. The prize, of $10 000, might be awarded to one, or shared between several winners.
  2. Instead of a lump sum, the prize or prizes might be divided into a smaller cash award plus a sum to cover travel and other facilities to visit developing countries and to gain greater knowledge of the problem at first-hand.
  3. The award need not necessarily be confined to the written word but, within the constrai nts of a practical nature, could be extended to productions in all the information media including particularly television and radio.
  4. The award could be presented to journalists or other persons writing on development questions or in any other manner contributing to a better knowledge of food problems by the general public.

World Food Programme: Second Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes to ECOSOC, the FAO Council and the World Food Council and Preparation for the Eighth Pledging Conference 11

90. The Council Considered the Second Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes (CFA) of the UN/FAO World Food Programme covering the period 8 May 1976 to 27 May 1977.

91. In his presentation of the Report the Deputy Executive Director drew attention to the fact that, since its preparation, the total pledges made for the biennium 1977-78 had increased from $572 million to $579 million. He informed the Council that the Executive Director had proposed a pledging target of $950 million for the biennium 1979-80, to enable WFP to meet disbursement requirements resulting from the commitments already made, including those for over $600 million in 1976, and to allow the Programme a level of $300 million for new commitments during 1977–80. The Committee had, however, decided to defer its recommendation until its Fourth Session

92. The Council, on the matter of the pledging target for the period 1979–80, approved the text of the following draft Resolution, on the understanding that a firm recommendation for th e target would be submitted to its next Session by the Fourth CFA Session:




Having considered the second annual report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,

Noting the comments of the CFA concerning the target for voluntary contributions to the Programme for the period 1979–80,

Recalling Resolutions 2462 (XXIII) and 2682 (XXV) of the UN General Assembly, which recognized the experience gained by WFP in the field of multilateral food aid,

1. Submits for consideration and approval of the Conference of the FAO the attached draft resolution,

2. Urges States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of t he Food and Agriculture Organization to undertake the necessary preparation for the announcement of pledges at the Eighth Pledging Conference for the World Food Programme.




Recalling the provisions of Resolution 4/65 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging conference,

Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of its Resolution 19/75 that, subj ect to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference should be convened at the latest early in 1978, at which time governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1979 and 1980, with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,

Noting that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the World Food Programme at its Third Session and by the FAO Council at its Seventy-First Session,

Having considered Resolution /72 of the FAO Council, as well as the recommendations of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,

Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by WFP since its incep tion and the necessity for continuing its action both as a form of capital investment and for meeting emergency food needs,

  1. Establishes for the two years 1979 and 1980 a target for voluntary contributions of $ million, of which not less than one third should be in cash and/or services in aggregate, and expresses the hope that such resources will be augmented by substantial additional contributions from other sources in recognition of the prospective volume of sound project requests and the capacity of the Programme to operate at a higher level;
  2. Urges States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of th e Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of the target;
  3. Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Director-General of FAO, to convene a pledging conference for this purpose at United Nations Headquarters early in 1978;
  4. Decides that, subject to the review provided for in Resolution 4/65, the following pledging conference at which governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1981 and 1982 with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, should be convened at the latest early in 1980.

1CL 71/8, CL 71/PV/16.

2 CL 71/7, CL 71/PV/16.

3 See paras. 221 - 227 below.

4 CL 71/9, CL 71/PV/13.

5 See para. 82 below.

6 CL 70/REP para. 20,CL 71/4 paras. 2.163-2.170 and 3.125-3.135, CL 71/4-Corr.1 (E only), CL 71/9 paras. 104-124, CL 71/PV/4, CL 71/PV/5, CL 71/PV/17, COAG/77/6.

7 CL 71/13, CL 71/PV/15, CL 71/PV/18.

8 CL 75/REP para. 4-Res. 1/75.

9 CL 71/4 paras. 2.190 - 2.194.

10 CL 71/4 para. 3.139.

11 CL 71/18, CL 71/PV/15.

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