CHAIRMAN: We will resume our discussion on Item 8.
M.I. MAHDI (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) (original language Arabic): The delegation of my country would like to express its full satisfaction with the report under discussion. We would like to congratulate Mr. Ingram on the success he has achieved despite the short period for which he has presided over the World Food Programme. The WFP has continued its progress despite the problems it has faced, particularly with regard to resources.
As to the IEFR, my delegation would like to express its satisfaction over the attainment of the target, of 500 000 metric tons which in fact has been exceeded in 1981.
My delegation supports in particular paragraph 16 of the report with regard to providing the cash component when contributing to the IEFR.
O. AWOYEMI (Nigeria): The Nigerian delegation joins with those who have expressed satisfaction with the World Food Programme and the activities of the CFA. My delegation is grateful to the World Food Programme for the well-deserved attention which low-income food deficit countries in Africa have received. We would like to draw the attention of this Council to the fact that food problems in Africa are a relatively new phenomenon, and if viewed in its historical perspective, what has so far been devoted to Africa is a relatively small part of the total WFP resources over the years.
In fact, it will be interesting to see at the future meeting of the CFA or Council an analysis by country and region of how the resources of WFP have been allocated over the past decade or two.
It is my hope that inasmuch as the World Food Programme maintains this current shift towards world food development more and more food-deficit countries will become self-reliant.
My delegation strongly supports the recommendation of the Committee with regard to the enlisting of new donors so that the 10 million ton target will be met in the near future.
Finally, my delegation would like to endorse the wish expressed by the delegate from Zambia that Africa will serve in more responsible positions in the World Food Programme.
I. MOSKOVITS (Observer for Malta): I wish to follow the instructions of the Chairman and be extremely brief. This delegation is highly appreciative of the brilliant introduction of Mr. Ingram and we thank him for the excellent work he has performed so far. We also wish to pay tribute to the very, very efficient staff of the World Food Programme who have so ably carried out the work during the meeting and also for the preparations of the whole session. We are also very much satisfied with the very good document before us which contains much highly interesting information.
Nevertheless, we feel that it is rather incomplete. In a period of history such as ours, characterized by - amongst other things - the economic stringencies and also the competition between unilateral and multilateral aid, and considering that the achievement of a multilateral agency depends greatly on the amount of resources it is able to collect for its work, we would appreciate it very much, therefore, if in any future working papers such as this one which is before us, a list of the donor countries could be added, also indicating the amount they are giving to the World Food Programme.
The success of a multilateral agency depends very much on the results it obtains from its members and on the resources it receives from them and from other sources; and in order to encourage further new contributions we think that such a list can make a very interesting contribution.
This suggestion which I have just made also completes the remark of the delegate of Italy and many others who have just mentioned the important role of the donor countries such as, for instance, Pakistan and Bangladesh who also made similar remarks. My suggestion is merely to enlarge a little bit the remarks asking for a list of the donor countries to be added to the working papers in future.
L. BERNARDI (Holy See): This observer would like to assure the CFA, the World Food Programme and the FAO of the appreciation of this delegation for this excellent report and for the other documents that have been presented to the Council during these three days. They provide clear evidence of the great strides that have been made in recent years in the struggle against hunger, in identifying its presence and its causes in different countries and concentrating strategy on a planned basis for its eradication. There is no other way of explaining the comparatively satisfactory position in regard to world food production that has been attained in the present year. And despite the precarious nature of this success, there is considerable ground for hope and even some optimism.
The strategy outlined for the future is the insistence on increasing production, especially in the food-deficit countries and this determination can hardly be called into question. It is only too obvious. And to this end the policies of the World Food Programme have been geared. Till this level of sufficiency is attained, food and financial assistance become imperative to these needy countries. Turning to food aid, food aid has two roles to play. It has to satisfy the needs of the hungry as emergency assistance, but once the emergency is over, it continues, or rather is expected to play, the role of being an agent of development. And it is at this point that doubts arise as to its capacity to fulfil this objective efficiently. In other words, does it really reach the needy person for whom it is meant? Or does it not often bypass him and get absorbed in other channels where the needs are far less? It is not only public food assistance that suffers from these drawbacks, but even private agencies working in the field of relief and rehabilitation of the poor within Church auspices that are often faced with this problem.
Naturally, one is lead to surmise that a mere increase in production without efficient distribution, is not likely to make a great impact on eliminating hunger. While there must be more production to enable better distribution to take place, some of the distributive aspects of the problem must be taken into consideration. This cannot be done on a mere hand-out or grant basis. The needy person must be able to obtain the purchasing power to buy the grains made available through aid. As long as this is not done, he will never be able to satisfy his hunger. Thus the strategy turns on the capacity to create opportunities for the poor farmer or the share-cropper or the landless labourer to obtain the income necessary to enter the market. Employment is therefore bound to become the king-pin in the whole chain of strategies in the struggle against hunger. Food aid is now being used to fulfil precisely this function of creating employment, and in this way it is being used as an instrument for development. More information and analysis of this new approach is urgently required.
On the other hand, this approach has the great advantage of concentrating attention not on merely technical components but on the human aspects of the needy person, be he the small farmer, the sharecropper or the landless labourer. Incentives in the case of the small farmer and the sharecropper are likely to be really stimulating if these individuals see clearly that their purchasing power is going to be increased. In fact this insistence on persons and not merely on technical components has been stressed in the latest encyclical of Pope John Paul II when he speaks of human labour as possessing two aspects: the subjective and the objective. In other words, the human worker or the farmer may be considered merely as a productive unit in the agricultural labour force, that can be quantitatively analysed. But the worker is also a family man and is often influenced deeply by the social and cultural elements in his environment. This is the subjective aspect that cannot be minimised in any attempt at increasing food production and ensuring a just distribution, and this needs to be emphasized in World Food Programme activities.
R.E. STENSHOLT (Observer for Australia): We also wish to join others in endorsing the report on the work of the World Food Programme, so ably introduced by the Executive Director Mr. Ingram. We appreciated his comments on the role of food aid in development, as we did those of the delegate of India. Referring in particular to the pledge for the Regular Programme of the World
Food Programme, we note that for the next biennium it has already, so to speak, broken the barrier of 1 billion dollars with the announcement this morning. This gives us great confidence for the future of the World Food Programme and its activities.
We participated actively in the March Pledging Conference and we pledged approximately an increase of one hundred percent in our contribution to the Programme. In fact, during the next biennium our FAO grain contribution to the Programme in wheat or wheat equivalent will go from 80 000 tons to 200 000 tons per annum. We have also made a substantial increase in our contribution of non-grain food and cash.
With regard to the IEFR and the Pledging Conference for that, we also join with and endorse the remarks of the delegates of Norway and Canada regarding the valuable achievement of that Conference, in spite of the extremely short notice. Australia, for its part, in 1981 provided 116 750 tons to the IEFR with special emphasis on the emergency assistance for refugees in Africa, Pakistan and elsewhere; and for this year we pledged in March 45 000 tons of wheat or wheat equivalent, and we are happy to say that in the recent Australian budget, this has been increased to 50 000 tons of wheat or wheat equivalent.
I would also like to say a special word of praise for the WFP field operatives. I have had the opportunity in the last two or three months to visit four or five countries in Africa and taken up the invitation to visit WFP projects and been thoroughly impressed by the dedication and efficiency of these people working for WFP in the field.
Finally, let me assure the Executive Director and the staff of the World Food Programme of my Government's continued support.
CHAIRMAN: I have received a request from the delegates of Thailand and Angola to have their written statements inserted in the minutes, and we are happy to do so.
B. SEQUEIRA (Angola): The Seventh Annual Report (CL 82/15) is an excellent document, therefore we wish to congratulate Mr. Ingram, the Executive Director of WFP, and his staff for the high quality of their work.
My country, Angola, has greatly and promptly benefited from WFP's assistance for development and its emergency aid which has enabled Angola to meet a very critical situation arising from the influx of refugees from Namibia and other countries. Therefore, my delegation appeals to the donor countries to strengthen their capacity of the WFP to deal not only with normal development programmes but also to respond efficiently and quickly to emergency situations.
We wish to emphasize that Angola's delegation strongly supports the policy and practice of triangular transactions. Inter alia, these transactions help the WFP to reduce the operational costs, the time between request and delivery of the goods, and they constitute an input towards the development of the country selling the goods.
My country strongly believes in the principle of the universality of the WFP. The contention by the delegations of Argentina and other countries of the Latin America Region that WFP has favoured Africa more than their region does not bear close scrutiny because firstly, in the initial period of the last twenty years of WFP's activities, Latin America was one of the principal beneficiaries; secondly, per capita food shortage in Africa is very much higher than in Latin America; thirdly, natural and man-made factors in Africa have led to food production and distribution problems which are the gravest in the whole world.
Accordingly, Mr. Chairman, my delegation strongly supports the operations of WFP towards Africa, as shown in tables A and B of doc. CL 82/15 because they show that food aid has gone to help the neediest countries to improve the conditions of their people. 1/
P. PONGPAET (Thailand): First, the Thai delegation would like to associate ourselves with the previous speakers to congratulate Mr. Executive Director on his success in handling one of the most difficult tasks as Head of WFP.
Though only a short time since he has taken office, Mr. Executive Director has shown his concern over the efficiency of the Programme and this has resulted in his submission for an expansion of activities of the Programme especially in strengthening the field work for emergency operations.
The request seemed to meet obstacles at the beginning but finally was able to obtain full support from the member countries.
My delegation wish to express our gratitude towards WFP as well as to the other international organizations such as UNHCR for their assistance to the afflicted Thai villagers and displaced persons along our border. It is impossible for us to cope with such situations without assistance from WFP and UNHCR.
To this end, my delegation would like to join with the other delegations in urging the donor countries to fulfil their commitment in time so that WFP would be in the position to extend its full hand of assistance to those in need. 1/
J.C. INGRAM (World Food Programme): I would like first to thank the Council for the support that so many delegations have expressed for the Programme. I have noted that there have been 38 speakers, 35 members of this Council and almost without exception they have been very praising in what they have said about the Programme. Now, of course, I realize that I cannot take any particular credit for that, I have only just joined the Programme. So when you praise it, you are, of course, praising the staff of the Programme and my predecessors. While I am mentioning my predecessors I think I should also say that I appreciate very much the support that I have had from Mr. Yriat. Unfortunately he is indisposed today, otherwise he would have been sitting beside me but I shall not, of course, refrain from letting him know of the kind remarks that were mentioned about him this morning.
I would also like to thank very much those countries that this morning announced new pledges to the Programme, in particular France and the European Community and as the representative of Australia has said a moment ago, those contributions will bring beyond the one billion mark the amount available for the next biennium, so they were particularly timely pledges announced this morning. But of course, in thanking those particular delegations that does not reduce to any extent the warmth of our appre-ciation for the support that has been given to the Programme by those who pledged earlier, particularly those who pledged at the March pledging conference.
Many useful ideas and suggestions were advanced this morning. I am not going to seek to catalogue them or comment on them to any great extent, but let me just mention one or two points that struck me as of some interest and in saying this I would not want anyone to think that if the points that they have raised are not mentioned that they are not of interest to the Programme. I can assure you that every point raised will be scrutinized with great care and action as appropriate taken in regard to it. Some of the points that struck me, for example, in relation to emergencies and the IEFR, several delegations pointed to the desirability of enlarging the IEFR target. Again several delegations spoke about the importance of speeding up WFP's reactions in providing assistance in emergency situations and I believe myself that this is a most important point, we must speed up our reactions. We are strengthening our capability to do this and I believe that over a period of time there should be a progressive reduction in the time taken to respond.
I noted also that several delegations expressed their satisfaction with the experiment that was conducted in March of holding pledging conferences for both the Regular WFP Programme and the IEFR. I noted also that delegations continued to be very interested in this issue of the decision-making process in relation to emergencies.
While I am on the subject of emergencies, several delegations mentioned this morning their desire to have additional information about who pledged what, both for the IEFR and for the regular Programme. Let me say first of all that we will circulate an information note for delegations which will show the contributions to the IEFR for 1981 and 1982. We will also circulate a note showing the results of the pledging conference in March but let me say that the document you have before you, which is the report of the CFA for 1981, was written before that pledging conference took place, so it is not in practice possible to include the resolutions of the pledging conference in that CFA report itself. I would also say that there is a great deal more information about the Programme in the report of the Executive Director. In fact virtually all the questions that were asked in regard to additional information are covered, I believe, in the Executive Director's report.
The CFA is fortunate in the plurality of organizations to which it sends its report, not only, of course, to this body but to ECOSOC and to the World Food Council, and we are enjoined by our governing bodies to be careful not to be wasting too much money on excessive printing and paper, so that I must just say that while I accept the point that was made one must see it also in perspective in relation to the total volume of documentation that is available about the work of the Programme.
To move on to a few other points that struck me also of great interest: I was very pleased to note that several delegations emphasized the importance of the Programme giving more attention to the work of women in its projects. I think it is a fact that in many instances more could be done to assist the impact of projects on women, to make appropriate modifications and beyond that to seek out projects which in themselves are beneficial as regards the role of women and the work that they do. I might say that my interest in the subject is reflected in the fact that I have recently had attached to my own office the women's adviser to the Programme.
Another point that I believe is very important that was made this morning is that the World Food Programme should be more active in assisting developing countries, particularly the least developed ones, in planning projects. In a sense I alluded to this in the remarks I made this morning when I said that quite often the projects done in other countries are of an enormous interest to neighbouring countries and I would like to see developing countries, with the help of the Programme, taking an interest in projects in neighbouring countries or other regions with similar geographical factors or economic conditions, because while we may present excellent evaluation reports - I think we do - the evaluation reports do not have the immediacy of seeing for one's self.
Again it was mentioned that great importance attaches to the non-food aid inputs if projects are to be successful. We heartily agree with this and we will be doing everything we can to increase those non-food aid inputs into our projects.
Another subject of some interest that was raised this morning by several delegations was the question of universality and I might say in this connection that my participation of what the representative of India was good enough to say, the delicacy of the Executive Director's part was heightened rather by those remarks this morning about universality. The fact is that in raising concerns about the level of resources allocated to a particular geographical region those countries were really dealing with a generic problem in the programme and that is the level of assistance that should be given to middle-income developing countries. The CFA which is the governing body and sets the policy in the World Food Programme as within those guidelines, stipulated that priority must be given to low-income food-deficit countries, and of course in reaching that decision the Committee has had regard to the decision and points of view expressed in other organs of the United Nations system. As again the representative of India said this morning, the purpose of the World Food Programme is to give aid to end aid. We were also informed by several delegations that the emphasis must be on need, without regard to political considerations. Well, it is in the light of all those factors that the CFA, in effect, as a rough rule of thumb, has effectively decided that about 80 percent of the resources of the Programme should go to the low-income food-deficit countries. This does not mean, of course, that assistance should not go to middle-income countries. On the contrary, what it does mean is that the task of the Secretariat in preparing projects for middle-income countries is an unusually difficult one because there are many such countries and many such considerations to be taken into account. Some regions are more fortunate than others to the extent that there are more middle-income countries in those regions than in others and this inevitably affects the allocation of resources as between regions but even that constraint, and having regard also to the fact, and it is a very important fact, it is not a whitewash which is stated in the report when it says in paragraph 40 that the preparation of commitments can be influenced by the approval of a few disproportionately large projects in any one year. That, of course, is a fact. There is also a very long lead time in the preparation of projects and at any one time and in any one year it simply is not realistic to single out the share that any particular region is getting but within the scope of those general remarks I would simply like to emphasize that the low-income food-deficit countries of Latin America, including Haiti, Bolivia, Peru, Equador, Guyana, most of the Carribean islands do receive substantial assistance from the Programme. I could even say that at the 14th Session of the CFA, that is the one that just concluded a few weeks ago, projects totalling $21.5 million for Bolivia and Equador for 60 000 rural families were approved. Under my own delegated authority I recently approved a project for Costa Rica and since my arrival I have recommended for the approval of the Director-General of FAO nine emergency operations for Latin American countries for a total of $6.1 million. At the next CFA there are four projects which we hope to submit in relation to Latin America for a total cost of $31 million. I would also say that WFP has recently been giving a lot of attention to this issue of how best to help middle-income countries and we have in fact chosen the Latin American region as the region in which we hope to make a number of innovations and to that end we are convening early next year a seminar of our project design officers and field officers for Latin America.
I would like to add that while the principle of universality has not been interpreted by the Committee on Food Aid to mean that no matter what the GNP per capita is, countries must receive assistance from the Programme, nor has it ever instructed the Secretariat that resources ought in some way to be split up between regions as distinct from countries. We agree that the concept of per capita income is by no means the only criterion to be taken into account, but equally it does have relevance, it obviously must have relevance. But in looking at projects for middle-income countries one looks also very much at the commitment that the government of that country may have to, say, a programme of rural improvement in which the WFP would participate. That is really a very important criterion in looking at whether or not it is possible to assist a middle-income country. I am pleased to say that in all regions of the world there are many middle-income countries who put forward what I can only call, to use a hackneyed word, catalytic projects which have been very important in the development of good ideas for application in other circumstances. That again is one of the functions of assistance in middle-income countries, they can provide an opportunity for us to try out innovative projects and ideas.
There was another aspect of the question of universality that was touched upon, and I think perhaps the word universality was not quite the right word, but rather the concept of equitable geographical distribution of posts in the Secretariat. Let me just say first that on taking up this position I did have a look at the geographical composition of the staff of the Programme, and the first thing I realized was that it is a very small programme in terms of the number of staff, there are only about 100 professional positions in Rome. Equally, there is very little movement over a period of time in the numbers of positions that become vacant. I also noticed some anomalies in regard to distribution as between not only regions but particular countries. Some countries and regions may be said to be over-represented, some - and there are some but it is really almost all regions of developing countries - under-represented. I think it would be invidious to give details but I think I should mention that the Latin American and Caribbean region does in fact have a very senior post in the Programme, the Director of the Evaluation Service comes from that region. We have also recently made, or are in the process of making, a number of appointments to the Programme, particularly in the field of Latin American people. So there is no question of the Programme, in effect a programme which has operated for many years, having any bias against any region; on the contrary, the Programme seeks to be as fair and even-handed as it possibly can in weighing these very delicate issues. I have certainly personally made a point of conferring with colleagues who are members of the CFA from all regions both individually and as groups and I am always ready at any time to discuss with any Member Nation any particular problem that it may have.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I am sure everyone would like to wish Mr. Ingram and his colleagues continued success, I would also like to express our Council's appreciation of the services of Mr. Yriartr I want to thank the 35 Council members and four Observers who were good enough to participate in the very important area of discussion. I cannot resist the temptation of adding a few remarks of my own in view of my rather long acquaintance with and admiration of the programmes of WFP.
I was happy to hear almost unanimous agreement to the view that WFP in the last 19 years has served a very important role and that in the four-pronged operational strategy which was outlined by Mr. Ingram this morning and which is contained in the report under discussion there is an optimum blend of both humanitarian and developmental aims.
I have seen at work the first of these aims, food aid as an engine of economic growth, employment generation, and the enrichment of the ecological endowments of a region. This is a very important aim and if it is done properly it confers great benefit. Similarly, assisting in achieving the goal of the right to food is a humanitarian goal, and the women's and children's programmes are equally important.
I am glad that many members have also voiced their appreciation that a third dimension which has always been talked about has now become feasible, namely the WFP operational strategy also becoming a mechanism for assisting farmers of developing countries in avoiding distress sales. The maize purchase in Zimbabwe and its distribution in needy countries in Africa is a classic example, and I hope these examples will multiply because too often one sees that as soon as production goes up farmers suffer from the increased production rather than benefit from it.
The fourth aspect of the WFP aid, the emergency aid with the International Emergency Food Reserve, has been an exceedingly important one and has alleviated distress in many places. We should give greater emphasis not only to the operational strategy of WFP but to the counterpart strategy of national governments because ultimately the success of WFP will depend not only on donor support which as we have seen today is abundant, in spite of the growing unemployment rate in donor countries, but more importantly on the user countries' own policies. If there is a policy for food aid on the part of the WFP there has to be a strategy for the use of food aid on the part of the recipient countries. Here I have seen personally the benefits from the Food-for-Work programme. One lesson which can be learnt from India, which has operated a very large Food-for-Work programme, not only with assistance from WFP but also from its own resources of grain reserves in drought years, is the need for a money component. To be able to create durable assets one-third cash component, two-thirds commodity component will be necessary. This is one lesson we have learned. Although we always say that the Food-for-Work programme is for developing productive assets like irrigation, forestry, conservation, and so on, ultimately without a monetary component to the Programme for the purchase of other material, the Programme is not effective and it is very important for reci-pient countries of food aid which are going to use it for the development of projects that they integrate this aid into the normal developmental expenditure.
The other aspect is Food for Nutrition which is a humanitarian aspect and is for pregnant and lactating mothers and pre-school children and for old and infirm persons, A national strategy of both food for work and food for nutrition, should be developed, so that all the vulnerable sections of the population can be insulated from hunger.
Disaster preparedness and pre-planning for disasters fortunately is now becoming more and more a scientific profession, but this is where emergency food aid could be very well used on the part of the national system in flood-prone areas, drought-prone areas and other disaster-prone areas if it were properly developed.
There are special programmes with specific socio-economic and social-justice goals. Mr. Ingram mentioned fair-price shops to ensure that the food is available at reasonable prices. But in addition there is considerable scope for the intelligent use of assistance, and you will find in the WFP programmes many innovative projects. For example, recently in India we were discussing the whole question of leprosy eradication. Smallpox has been eradicated in many parts but leprosy is still a scourge. One conclusion was that the people who suffer from leprosy are so poor that they will not be able to come continuously for treatment. Treatment is rather prolonged. A "Food for Leprosy Cure" programme will hence be valuable.
Then the need for girls' education was mentioned. This varies widely in developing countries. At the moment poor families have an economic stake in not sending the child to school. Can we not now create an economic stake in sending the child to school? For this a "Food for learning" Programme should be started. So, depending upon the particular socio-economic conditions, socio-cultural necessities, I think the assistance from WFP could be dovetailed with national resources.
Finally, the special development projects can be of great benefit. I would like to cite two examples from the Indian experience. There is the Operation Flood Programme with commodity assistance from the EEC, from WFP, and many other sources which is a classic example where nearly 10 million farming families have been organized into cooperatives. This is a classic example of getting aid for ending aid - in other words getting milk powder to raise resources for developing your own dairy industry.
More recently the same thing has been done in the vegetable oil industry with help from the Cooperative League of the United States and Canada (CLUSA). It sounds a very interesting project for improving vegetable oils with assistance from vegetable oils given by countries with a surplus.
Therefore I would plead that one must have an overall national strategy for the use of food commodity aid in which the WFP assistance can be woven together into an effective fabric.
I would like to join Council Members in wishing Mr. Ingram and his dedicated staff all success. Mr. Ingram mentioned that the twentieth anniversary next year will hot be an occasion for celebration but an opportunity for reflection and introspection or self-examination to see whether we have made progress and where we have succeeded and to learn appropriate lessons from past experience.
As I said on another occasion, one should learn from success and draw appreciate lessons from failure. I hope that the twentieth anniversary will provide an opportunity for learning and that this programme will go on.
I agree with all those who said that the ultimate success of WFP is the abolition of WFP. That is quite correct. But let us not deceive ourselves, because we do not see any possibility of this happening, and it should not happen from all the studies, such as Agriculture Towards 2000' and so on. At least for the next 18 years, until the end of the century, we know that with the maximum attempts, even the Rome .forum on October 16 stated that hunger could be eliminated by the end of the century. Therefore for this decade and probably for most of the next decade, we will not only need WFP but a more dynamic and active WFP with counterpart organizations in the low-income-food-deficit countries so that we have a template, and enmeshing of all these and we can have a multiplier effect of national resources and external resources.
With these words I want once again to thank the WFP staff and also commend the report, and to say that we are grateful, Mr. Ingram, for your introduction.
POINT OF ORDER
PUNTO DE ORDEN
A.F.M. DE FREITAS (Brazil): With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to raise a point of order.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, please do.
A.F.M. DE FREITAS (Brazil): Only today I had occasion to look at the new agenda. I see in part IV that no change was made according to the proposal made by Brazil. In fact, my delegation made a proposal supported by several other delegations; none spoke against; but the Secretariat resisted that change for reasons which I cannot understand. So I am not going to ask for another revision of this document. I will, however, appreciate that, when the Order of the Day comes up, item 15, which is not the item of my original proposal - as I wanted to make it item 12 - should be changed. Instead of "Other Matters Arising from the Reports of the Programme and Finance Committee" I would like to see another title: "Reports of the 42nd and 43rd Session of the Programme Committee" so that the Council may have an occa-sion to express its comments and discussions or anything else on those reports. I would appreciate that very much.
CHAIRMAN: The delegate of Brazil raised this point on the first day and was supported by several other delegates. I had then mentioned the reasons why the agenda papers were structured in the way that they were. The position was also explained by Mr. West. The major reason was that we have to take decisions on certain items arising from the proceedings of the Programme and Finance Committee. Therefore, in the revised one, taking into account what the delegate of Brazil said, those of you who have REV/2 will see that the items are now titled "Programme, Budgetary, Financial and Administrative Matters - Reports of the Programme and the Finance Committees".
The delegate from Brazil suggested item 15 might be reformulated as Reports of the 42nd and 43rd Sessions of the Programme Committee and 49th and 50th Sessions of the Finance Committee.
I suggest that we may amend this item as follows. "Reports of the 42nd and 43rd Sessions of the Programme Committee and 49th and 50th Sessions of the Finance Committee, in particular, personnel matters and the World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development". This is because we have to pick out a few items where the Council has to give its views. Well, if this is satisfactory we shall reformulate it in this way.
A.F.M. DE FREITAS (Brazil): In fact this is half satisfactory, but taking into consideration the lateness of the hour I will accept it. What I really had proposed before was to have a specific item on the Reports of the Programme and Finance Committees, that is all. And then other items could take care of the personnel matters, World Conference on Fisheries, format of documents and other topics that are also mentioned in the report. But I wanted to give a special item for the general discussion of the report. That was my point, because if we give a special emphasis to personnel matters and World Conference on Fisheries Management, one might get the impression that those were the two main points in those reports and this is precisely what I would like to emphasize, those are not the most important topics in those reports, so there should be an item for a general discussion on the reports like we have for constitutional and legal matters. There is a special item for a general discussion on the Report of the Constitutional and Legal Committee and then the other items take care of the other topics that need decision. But I will not insist on that. I think that we have an item which allows delegates to make 'statements on the report, that would satisfy my delegation.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): No vamos, Sr. Presidente, a prolongar el debate, solo queremos recordar que el hábil Secretario del Consejo Sr. Sylla acostumbra cuando se van a discutir estos asuntos de los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas a preparar unas hojitas donde aparecen los números de los párrafos y los títulos de los temas. Ruego, por tanto, al distinguido delegado del Brasil que se acerque al Sr. Sylla, Secretario del Consejo y de acuerdo con usted, Sr. Presidente, presente esto de la mejor manera posible en el calendario para la próxima reunion en la cual se van a discutir estos temas, ya que sería muy tarde para hacer una revisión del programa.
CHAIRMAN: There will be an opportunity for discussing the reports and we will amend the item in the way I have suggested.
R.A. SORENSON (United States of America): I beg your indulgence and that of the Council in order to make a couple of remarks. When I came this morning and found the Order of the Day, I must say that I was enormously flattered to see that, notwithstanding my last statement last night, the United States had been placed in the Contact Group to discuss the Agricultural Guidelines. It rather reminded me of the situation of one of our great generals, General Sherman, who was a leader during the Civil War and who was under great pressure to run for the Presidency of the United States. He resisted this pressure saying that, if nominated, he would not run, and if elected, he would not serve. Last night I tried to indicate that we did not want to run, and I arrived here this morning to find that we had already been elected, but I should like to clarify our position. We really do not want to - in fact, I am under instructions to say that we cannot be a member of the Contact Group, I feel that I owe my colleagues some explanation, and it is simply because we take this operation very, very seriously. The draft revision that is now in circulation contains targets and other language on issues of great importance, including agricultural trade, food aid, agricultural development assistance and many other things. Last night my Indian friend said that, if we fill this glass up, if we succeed in filling it up, then we ought to do so with the intention of drinking from it, and it is our conviction that in the past, these have been operations where we have not seriously drunk from the glass, and if we were seriously to go about negotiating the kind of things we are talking about, then we feel that that should be a very serious undertaking and should not take place within the Council. Indeed, our view of the Resolution in 1979 was that we should not negotiate new Guidelines but that we should consolidate and revise the Guidelines to incorporate understandings already reached in other fora, and we were quite willing to see that done; indeed, we tried to involve ourselves in that process, but it failed. So we are in a position where we just do not feel that the effort is worth it at this point.
Nevertheless, we wish our colleagues well. If it is the decision of this Council to set up a Contact Group, we wish them well. We will look at what they produce with great interest. Once again, we do believe that amendments could be useful in some cases, and we will support those changes that are justified by the existing international consensus, so at some future day - and I suspect that it will be some time from now - we look forward to seeing whatever the Contact Group produces.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for your clarification. I am glad anyway that you are still aware of this international consensus. We can go ahead, and I hope that the Contact Group can occasionally contact you to get some clarification.
M.A. FLORES RODAS (Subdirector General, Departamento de Montes): El documento CL 82/8 contiene en sus primeras páginas un resumen claro y conciso de los puntos del Informe del Sexto Período de Sesiones del Comité de Montes, que requieren atención por parte del Consejo.
Para indicar de entre esos puntos, los que a mi juicio son más sobresalientes, permítaseme en primer lugar, recordar brevemente algunos antecedentes. Este Consejo de la FAO al examinar hace justamente dos años el Informe del Quinto período de sesiones del Comité de Montes, aprobó el apoyo que dicho Comité había dado a la estrategia forestal para el desarrollo propuesta por el Sr. Director General, estrategia que, en palabras del propio Consejo, integran de manera equilibrada las funciones productivas, sociales y ambientales de los bosques y de las actividades forestales. A su vez, en noviembre del año pasado, la Conferencia de la FAO aprobó la Resolución 4/81, por la que insta a los gobiernos a que tengan en cuenta la función clave de los recursos y de las actividades forestales en el desarrollo rural, y a que determinen y apliquen políticas para que los recursos naturales sean usados" atinadamente por la generación actual y entregados a la posteridad.
Esta Resolución apoyó explícitamente la estrategia forestal para el desarrollo, ya aprobada por el Comité de Montes y por el Consejo, y reconoció el liderazgo de la FAO dentro del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas por lo que se refiere a los bosques, a las actividades forestales, comprendidas las industrias forestales, y a la contribución de tales actividades al desarrollo rural.
Estos antecedentes, Sr. Presidente, que he recordado, pueden contribuir a comprender mejor el contexto y la perspectiva en que tuvieron lugar las deliberaciones del Sexto período de sesiones del Comité de Montes en mayo de este año.
En efecto, el Comité sobre la base de una estrategia firmemente establecida en sus líneas generales, concentro sus esfuerzos en tres puntos principales: primero, maduración y elaboración ulterior de la estrategia, con referencia a tres temas concretos y particularmente importantes, los bosques tropicales y subtropicales, las industrias forestales apropiadas, y la investigación e instituciones para el desarrollo. Segundo, qué tarea específica le corresponde a la FAO al apoyar a los Países Miembros en la puesta en práctica de la estrategia. Tercero, qué es necesario hacer para que el Comité de Montes en su próxima sesión pueda evaluar adecuadamente el progreso logrado en la aplica ción de la estrategia y estar así en las mejores condiciones para seguir asesorando a la FAO en este campo.
Respecto a los bosques tropicales y subtropicales, merecen destacarse, a mi juicio, el énfasis puesto por el Comité en el liderazgo de la FAO dentro del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas en materia forestal, y la Recomendación del Comité para que la FAO armonice su trabajo en el campo de los bosques tropicales con el PNUMA, la Unesco y otros organismos, examinando para ello la conveniencia de reforzar el Comité de la FAO para el desarrollo forestal en los trópicos.
En cuanto a la industria forestal apropiada, el Comité hizo especial hincapié en el desarrollo de las bases institucionales, educación y tecnológicas necesarias para el planeamiento, establecimiento y buen funcionamiento de tales industrias, particularmente con la participación de la población rural en la toma de decisiones y en su beneficio.
El Comité también examinó la parte institucional y la investigación para el desarrollo dentro del marco de la estrategia mencionada. Hizo hincapié en las nuevas formas institucionales en las cuales es necesaria la cooperación dinámica de las instituciones gubernamentales, rurales y empresariales para lograr el desarrollo a través de armonizar la función social, protectora y productora del sector forestal.
En cuanto a la investigación se refiere, se destaco la importancia de la cooperación interinstitucional y la cooperación necesaria entre los países en desarrollo y entre los centros de investiga-ción de países desarrollados con aquellos de países en desarrollo. Las tareas específicas de la FAO en la puesta en práctica de la estrategia forestal para el desarrollo, fueron discutidas por el Comité, principalmente con referencia al Programa de la FAO en el sector forestal, con énfasis en el Programa a medio término y el programa de campo.
En particular el Comité recomendó el apoyo al desarrollo de la capacidad institucional a nivel nacional, un énfasis especial en atacar los problemas de las zonas áridas y semiáridas; el análisis de los obstáculos que frenan la aplicación de la estrategia forestal para el desarrollo, el aumento de la contribución forestal a la creación de empleo y de ingresos, principalmente en zonas rurales, y la integración de la producción de energía en las actividades forestales y en las industrias forestales.
Por último el Comité indicó un método para el seguimiento de los avances logrados en la aplicación de la estrategia comprendiendo los criterios desarrollados para ello, medidas adoptadas, obstáculos encontrados y recursos aplicados.
Todas estas recomendaciones y orientaciones, Sr. Presidente, han sido nuestra guía principal para introducir reajustes en los programas en curso y para someter a la consideración del Director General las propuestas iniciales para el Programa de trabajo y de presupuesto relativo al próximo bienio. Por supuesto la idea básica de todos estos programas es la de promover la capacidad nacional de autosuficiencia para lograr cuanto antes el desarrollo social y económico.
En este sentido se hace énfasis especial al apoyo que la estrategia del Sr. Director General da.a los problemas de seguridad alimentaria y de abastecimiento de energía procedentes de la biomasa forestal, principalmente en las zonas áridas y semiáridas donde estos problemas revisten particular gravedad.
No quisiera dedicar más tiempo a esta introducción. Naturalmente, estoy dispuesto a responder a cualquier pregunta y a hacer cualquier aclaración que Vd., Sr. Presidente, o los miembros de este Consejo, estimen convenientes.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for this most informative and very precise introduction.
A.F.M. DE FREITAS (Brazil): I would like to make a few comments on different chapters of the document CL 82/8. On forestry policy issues, my delegation joins in the concern relating to the continuing degradation of forestry resources. As the document points out, this is a challenge presented to foresters who are expected to manage the forests in such a way as to provide needed goods and services to the present generation and to future generations.
The production of energy for rural development, the production of fuel wood, those are the points that are usually to be included in any definition of forestry for various resources, especially for those of tropical forests. My delegation believes that it is the task of every single country to manage its own forest resources. International cooperation is fundamental - indeed, in many cases indispensible, but it must be subordinate to the international objectives of the interested state and respect the national legislation. On the other hand, my delegation shares the view expressed in paragraph 14 of the document that it is important to raise the awareness amongst the public at large, and amongst policy makers, of the vital linkages between forestry and such essential components to life and development as energy, environmental stability, and rural development.
It is precisely with those principles in mind that the Brazilian Government is implementing in the Amazon region a number of ambitious forestry programmes, but the Brazilian Government keeps a very close control on the conservation of this huge forest region which accounts for about half of the whole surface of the country.
There are three main instruments utilised by the government to this end. First, the Brazilian forests cover a monitoring programme. This programme, through remote sensing satellite images and field work prepares a map of the region which allows the government to follow carefully any change in the use of the Amazon land. Secondly, the government has established a network of watch-posts in order to control the flow of timber through the area. It has also established a network of timber commercial centres which have the job of promoting the trade of the local timber. Finally, the government is developing different research programmes on the water and wood format in order to preserve and utilise these abundant animal resources.
My delegation would also like to make some remarks on the question of appropriate forest industries. My delegation believes the committee on forestry dealt with the stoppage in a most helpful way; proper and important concepts were introduced in the report, and they do reflect the right approach to this problem, according to my delegation. The size of the forest industries is related to the internal conditions, including the political strategy for this specific sector. We support the concept included in the document according to which appropriateness is not a question of large versus small, but should encompass the whole range of operations.
As regards the question of research, my delegation would raise the question of need to strengthen the forestry research with regard to more effective management of tropical forest eco-systerns. This is the main concern of my government; if we cannot manage the tropical forest most of it will disappear. This is a vital discussion, and has high priority in our next Programme of Work and Budget. We think FAO can build a much stronger and important role in supporting research on tropical forests. The report of the Committee on Forestry endorses this idea, and my delegation fully supports it.
Turning briefly to the section of the document which deals with a review of the FAO Programme of Work for Forestry, my delegation would like first to commend the growing support of the World Food Programme to forestry field programmes. We are happy to notice that in the last biennium more than 20 development projects in the forestry sector were approved in the WFP. My delegation expresses the hope this trend will continue. We also strongly support the priority given to education and training programmes. We encourage the use of national staff in project execution.
Finally, my delegation thinks it may be useful that the next COFO paper should include a catalogue of ongoing projects, especially if this catalogue is followed by an analysis of the impact of the projects, including the successes and failures. This may be interesting, not only as regards forestry but perhaps for other selected programmes also. We night as well start with forestry.
As for medium-term objectives, my delegation supports the general remarks contained in paragraph 55 and which should be a permanent guideline not only for forestry but the Programme of Work and Budget as a whole.It says: "In view of the limitation of funds, it was stressed that priorities should be carefully established in order to achieve maximum impact and benefits from programmes ". This paragraph could be completed by paragraph 62 of the document which says that not always are priorities well established. In some cases, FAO programmes did not .take into consideration the need for an increase in agricultural production and productivity in developing countries. The document went on to say that it was felt that for this reason forestry programmes did not receive the support they deserved within the limited resources of FAO.
Finally, the hope was expressed that member countries through the FAO governing bodies would help the Organization improve the system of programme priorities.
My delegation believes there is no occasion more appropriate for this effort than the current session of the Council. Here is where member countries should express their views on how the priorities should be rearranged for the different programmes, and here is where we should verify whether those priorities have been correctly translated into the right allocation of resources among all the programmes.
The report of the Forestry Committee clearly underlines this important duty of the Council. My delegation would like to see all member countries take an active part in reviewing the work of our Organization, making suggestions thereon, and proposing changes where they think this is the case. This is how we see the efficiency of the Organization can be improved, and how it can maintain its lofty aims.
P.H. GRUE (Norway): Under this item I would make a few comments on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. My comments will be on some of the matters in the report requiring the attention of the Council. With regard to the alarming reduction and indeed degradation of the tropical forests documented in the report, we agree fundamentally with the views and recommendations made by the Committee on Forestry, aimed at maintaining and developing the tropical forests. We are fully aware of the fact pointed ont by COFO that there is a need for better participation by people in matters concerning forestry, particularly in the tropics. COFO reiterates that the potentials of forestry to contribute to rural development should be duly emphasized. This, in our view, is essential to bring about a broader insight into forestry and basic knowledge about the practical forest management and utilisation questions to people who are dependent on forest products and involved in rural development matters.
In connection with the people's participation,COFO recommends that forest policies should be formulated with emphasis on human resource objectives, taking into consideration inter alia, the sociological aspects of forestry. It is evident it is the duty of government to implement this principle. We would stress on our part that in the implementation of various policies account should be taken of the character of the forests as a renewable resource, the management of which is highly dependent on the skill and the strength of the national forest institutions,administration, research, as well as training institutions. We feel that this aspect cannot be expressed too strongly.
Regarding some other points emphasized by COFO, we associate ourselves with the recommendations indicating that FAO should work on tropical forests together with UNEP and other international bodies. Among matters which are useful to be dealt with on the broader international basis are the environmental problems which are attached to forestry. One present problem could be mentioned which is becoming of particular concern to European forestry, namely, air pollution, which is bringing about the so-called "acid rain" affecting the health and growth of the forests in some exposed regions. As this phenomenon seems to increase, it is worthwhile paying due attention to it in forestry all over the world.
Finally, we associate ourselves also with COFO in the view that the results of the FAO/UNEP study on tropical forest resources should be continuously updated and improves.
A. FEQUANT (France) : Comme vous le savez, la France a toujours considéré avec grand intérêt les activités forestières de la FAO. Ma délégation a donc examiné avec attention le rapport de la 6ème session du comité des forêts qui lui a inspiré les remarques suivantes :
Dans son introduction aux questions de politique forestière, le Directeur du Département des forêts a évoqué la stratégie forestière pour le développement, qui a été adoptée par le Comité à sa 6ème session puis approuvée par le Conseil et la Conférence. Il a rappelé fort justement ensuite que cette stratégie exigeait l'intégration de fonctions protectrices, productives et sociales de l'écosystème forestier.
Ma délégation souscrit pleinement aux idées développées à cet égard, la fonction sociale de l'écosystème forestier en particulier doit faire l'objet sans aucun doute d'une attention accrue.
Cependant, nous ne pensons pas que cette notion de foresterie sociale, de forêt au service de l'homme, puisse être réellement considérée comme une innovation. Les projets, réalisés dans le cadre du programme de développement des forêts pour les collectivités locales, de la FAO ont, depuis un certain temps, mis en lumière cet aspect des choses. Par ailleurs, les projets forestiers du Programme alimentaire mondial sont depuis longtemps un exemple de projets destinés à produire, dans un court délai, les biens et services nécessaires aux populations déshéritées. Enfin, certains pays comme l'Inde ont déjà mis en oeuvre un programme de foresterie sociale. Il ne s'agit donc pas tant de mettre en oeuvre une politique nouvelle, que de renforcer ce qui a déjà été commencé.
A cet égard, il serait important de définir les actions nouvelles que l'on peut entreprendre. Dans cet ordre d'idées, nous avons noté les propositions de participation de la population à la prise de décisions en matière d'aménagement des forêts et de planification. Jusqu'ici en effet, les forestiers ont souvent eu tendance à travailler dans leur tour d'ivoire, et nous voyons avec beaucoup de satisfaction une concertation effective avec les populations locales dans la définition des objectifs assignés aux ressources forestières existantes ou à créer. Toutefois, nous regrettons que le comité n'ait pas développé plus amplement cette idée et fait des propositions concrètes pour sa réalisation.
Le comité a examiné les questions de politique forestière au travers de trois volets : ressources, industries, recherche. Les trois volets sont très importants, mais il nous semble dommage que n'ait pas été abordé le volet de l'économie forestière. Entre les ressources, c'est-à-dire la disponi-bilité de la matière première, et les industries, c'est-à-dire la transformation de cette matière première, il y a toutes les questions de l'exploitation et de la commercialisation, avec les problèmes de prix qui sont souvent un des principaux goulots d'étranglement dans le fonctionnement de la filière bois. Ces questions nous semblent devoir être étudiées attentivement, si l'on veut appliquer une stratégie forestière cohérente.
En ce qui concerne les ressources forestières, je voudrais saluer l'excellent travail de la FAO dans l'exécution du projet, en liaison avec le Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement, sur l'évaluation des ressources forestières tropicales. C'est un outil de grande valeur et nous souhaitons bien sûr que cette étude soit élargie et mise à jour régulièrement.
Avant de terminer, je voudrais souligner un point supplémentaire. Le paragraphe 44 insiste sur le rôle que peuvent jouer - et à mon sens il faudrait dire : jouent - les projets forestiers dans l'atténuation de la crise de l'énergie rurale. Ma délégation estime que le patrimoine forestier est un des éléments clés de la solution au problème de l'énergie rurale et souhaite que le maximum soit fait dans ce domaine. A cet égard, je voudrais souligner au passage l'importance de l'étude réalisée l'an dernier par la FAO et qui a abouti à l'édition d'une carte de situation des disponi-bilités en bois de feu dans le tiers monde.
Pour conclure, ma délégation souhaite appuyer les propositions du comité détaillées aux paragraphes 63 et 64. La première exprime le souhait que soient présentés au comité des éléments de programme de façon à faire ressortir une hiérarchie des priorités dans le cadre des objectifs fixés La seconde demande que soit présentée une évaluation en profondeur des progrès de la stratégie forestière pour le développement.
T. SATONE (Japan): I would like to refer to one or two points about this item. First, forests play a vital role, not only as timber production, but also in terms of maintaining the natural environ-ment and protecting the soil. The strategy adopted at the Fifth Session calls for the development that pursues the integration and colonization of protective, productive and social functions of the forestry system. Forest management should pay special attention to those decisions.
I feel great concern, however, as in recent years the progressive destruction of forests on the global scale as the result of various factors including shifting cultivation, has been causing the collapse of balanced life cycles and the depletion of forest resources. The Committee drew attention to the importance of raising awareness at large and amongst policy makers of the vital linkages between forests and such essential components of life and development.
My delegation supports those conclusions of the Committee.
Secondly, I would like to touch upon the Tropical Forest Resources Assessment conducted by FAO/UNEP. This study emphasized some of its important results, especially those relating to present deforesta-tion and afforestation trends. More than 11 million hectares of forests were cleared annually to other uses. About 45 percent of the reduction of closed forests could be ascribed to shifting cultivation.
On the other hand, afforestations were being implemented by 1.1 million hectares every year, and the rate of replacement was only 1 to 10.
Japan would like to express its appreciation of this global study.
Japan has been cooperating in the creation and utilisation of tropical forest resources on a bila-teral basis, and intends to continue its cooperation with activities in this field in the future.
A. ACUÑA HUMPHRIES (Panamá): El Comité de Montes de la FAO informa a este Consejo, como en ante-riores oportunidades, a través de un documento que se caracteriza por recoger los distintos temas con precisión, agilidad y síntesis. Por este hecho en sí, así como por la presentación del tema felicitamos al doctor Flores Rodas, director encargado del departamento de Montes, y por su conducto a sus colaboradores.
En torno a los asuntos que el documento CL 82/8, Informe del 6o Período de Sesiones del Comité de Montes que somete a la consideración de este Consejo queremos señalar lo siguiente: En cuanto al importante tema de la contribución forestal al desarrollo destacamos en este Consejo lo referente a que la pobreza de los campesinos y el afán de satisfacer sus necesidades fundamentales es la causa principal de la degradación de los bosques tropicales, dado que todo esfuerzo que tienda a eliminar el hambre en el mundo en general y en las áreas de bosques tropicales en particular contribuirá a contrarrestar la peligrosa disminución y degradación de los bosques tropicales, y muy en especial de aquellos ubicados en áreas muy húmedas y que poseen un equilibrio ecológico muy frágil.
Igualmente destacamos lo señalado en el documento en discusión en el sentido de que la gente debe participar muy activamente en las decisiones sobre el manejo de los bosques, en especial de los bosques tropicales que llegue a afectar su situación. Es por esta razón por lo que somos partidarios de que el Director General dé mayor fuerza al Comité de la FAO sobre desarrollo forestal en el trópico.
Por otra parte, esta delegación acoge la recomendación formulada por el Comité de Montes en el sentido de que se sigan realizando todos los esfuerzos en materia de capacitación e industria fores-tales a todos los niveles, desde el gerente al trabajador, así como la capacitación dirigida tanto a funcionarios como a campesinos y que, por otra parte, los organismos financieros den prioridad a la investigación forestal; investigación sobre la cual hay todavía muchísimo que hacer en nuestros países en vías de desarrollo.
En torno al aspecto relativo al examen de labores de la FAO para el sector forestal subrayaríamos lo ratificado en el último período de sesiones del Comité de Montes en el sentido de estructurar los programas de campo forestales para apoyar los objetivos de desarrollo en general y el desarrollo rural en particular, al igual que destacamos el positivo rol que viene a jugar el Programa Mundial de Alimentos en apoyo de los programas tanto forestales como de reforestación. Y decimos esto por la experiencia que sobre este particular hemos tenido en nuestro país.
Igualmente creemos en la integración de la FAO en el manejo de los recursos forestales como en la prioridad que se le asigna a los programas forestales de la FAO, al desarrollo de las industrias forestales conveniente. Y sobre este particular, somos partidarios de la organización tanto de simposios como de otros eventos sobre este tema, así como el de promover al respecto diversas actividades de capacitación.
Señalamiento especial queremos hacer sobre el hecho de que la FAO ponga más énfasis en el desarrollo de una suficiente capacidad institucional forestal a nivel nacional.
Panamá ha acumulado sobre este particular, algunas experiencias aleccionadoras. Creemos que se debe de ampliar y publicar con más regularidad la revista UNASYLVA, esto por el valor que tiene la misma, en la situación mundial, de información especializada sobre montes. Finalmente, creemos que este Consejo debe apoyar la recomendación del COFO en el sentido de que su próximo período de sesiones examine como tema explícito lo logrado en la ejecución de la nueva estrategia de desarrollo forestal de la FAO, que con mucha satisfacción presenciamos que se aprobó tanto en este Consejo como en la 21a Conferencia de la FAO.
Sra. G. SOTO CARRERO (Cuba): En primer término, quisiera por su amable conducto, agradecer al doctor Flores Rodas la magnífica presentación del tema que nos ocupa. Estamos de acuerdo en que para mejorar la situación actual en materia forestal, es necesario fortalecer la cooperación internacional en áreas tales como Evaluación y Vigilancia de los Recursos Forestales, Manejo de Bosques, Plantaciones, Mejoras de Genética Forestal, Agrosilvicultura, Alimentos Provenientes de los Bosques, Productos Forestales Menores, Utilización de las Especias Secundarias, Investigación, Extensión y Capacitación, entre otras.
La delegación cubana apoya el Informe presentado por el Comité de Montes relativo a su sexto período de sesiones y que está contenido en el documento CL 82/8.
Mi país asigna gran importancia al papel que juega el sector forestal en el desarrollo rural integral. De ahí que apoyemos la idea de una mayor asignación de recursos en el Programa de Labores y Presu-puesto para el próximo bienio para este importante sector, habida cuenta también de la buena admi-nistración de recursos y excelentes medidas para priorizar los programas que tiene el Departamento de Montes.
Sobre el examen del Programa de Trabajo de la FAO en el sector forestal, apoyamos los aspectos con-tenidos en el párrafo 44 del documento, sugiriendo, tal vez, no olvidar la participación de la mujer en las actividades priorizadas dentro de las posibilidades de cada caso. Consideramos que es de mucha importancia que la FAO continúe poniendo énfasis en el desarrollo de todos los aspectos de la actividad forestal en el Trópico, asignando la prioridad necesaria al análisis de los obstáculos a la aplicación de las estrategias forestales, tal como aparecen en el Informe que analizamos.
Por último, mi delegación considera muy pertinente la idea de que en el próximo período de sesiones del Comité de Montes, haya un tema explícito sobre los logros en la ejecución de la Nueva Estrategia Forestal, y que el mismo incluya, entre otros, los aspectos que están señalados en el párrafo 64 de este Informe. Asimismo, nos permitimos hacer hincapié en las conclusiones del Comité Técnico sobre Fronteras Agrícolas y en especial las forestales, desarrollado durante la 17a Conferencia Regional de la FAO para América Latina, el cual colocó al hombre como centro de toda actividad de desarrollo. Consideramos que teniendo al hombre como protagonista principal, necesariamente tendrán el éxito esperado todas las tareas que se pongan en práctica para lograr la Nueva Estrategia Forestal.
S.M. MATIUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh): My delegation has gone through the report of the 6th Session of the Committee on Forestry, document CL 82/8 with great care and interest. Let me first congratulate the Committee on Forestry for the commendable task it performed in identifying the causes behind depletion and degradation of forest resources and for recommending action to counter this trend.
I must also thank the Assistant Director-General, Dr. Flores Rodas, for his excellent and precise presentation of the document.
My delegation would wholeheartedly support the views and the recommendations made by the Committe in the report. It has been mentioned in the report that according to the recently completed FAO/UNEP study covering 76 tropical countries that the present rate of annual deforestation is about 11 million hectares or about 0.6 percent of the forests but the afforestation rate is only 1.1 million. The rate of replacement is therefore only 1 to 10.
Against this background of the general trend let me be allowed to give some idea of the situation in my country. Bangladesh has a total area of about 35.5 million acres, out of which natural forest area is only about 3.25 million to 3.50 million acres. However, since 1976 there has been a small decrease in natural forest area but this has been more than compensated by man-made forests.
As our natural forest resources are very limited and there is heavy pressure on land for food crop production this limitation has made it all the more important for us to give greater attention to the questions of degradation of forest resources, forestry for rural development, wood for energy as well as training and research needs for forestry. In view of this our policy objectives for fores-try primarily are: preventing further depletion of the forest areas and raising new plantations; promoting afforestation to augment fuel supplies in rural areas; popularizing plantation of varieties which will also serve as sources of fodder, fuel and green manure; generating income for the landless from forestry activities; establishing strong linkage between research and extension activities and programme for manpower development connected with forestry.
Although our natural forests are not at present depleted the heavy demand for timber and fuel-wood is causing a high rate of depletion of the village wood lots in certain parts of the country. To combat this trend and the ill effects of such depletion we have launched a people-oriented community plantation programme with financing from the Asian Development Bank. The project is intended to increase fuel-wood supply, generate rural employment and income, provide tree cover and other benefits.
In view of our very low land/man ration, and as it is very difficult to bring food cropland to forestry we are using marginal land like slopes of embankments, roads and railway lines for tree plantations under this project. About 3 000 miles of such plantation are projected in this scheme.
Another similar scheme covering some other areas is also envisaged for replenishment and better management of rural forestry. These schemes would be implemented by the rural people themselves, with extensive service given by the Forest Department.
Whatever we are doing is only a small fraction of so big an issue and it is so vital from ecological, economic and rural development points of view that much more effort is required to be made. But financial constraints are the biggest bottlenecks which are standing in the way of realizing our objectives of implementing more such projects which would ensure greater participation of the rural masses in the forestry and forest based activities with due emphasis on equity and with the aim of promoting their self-reliance. Therefore in our efforts in this direction we need external financial assistance.
The Fund Mobilization is an area in which FAO could play a vital catalytic role. It can also directly contribute through the TCDC mechanism towards greater sharing of experience between countries. FAO can also help in promoting agro-forestry research and development as well as in appropriate forest industries in the developing countries like ours.
In this connection my delegation also appreciates the importance of on-going cooperative activities undertaken by FAO, IUFRO and the World Bank in strengthening forestry research in the developing countries.
Last but not least, it is further suggested that FAO, under its Forest and Rural Energy Programme, should provide technical support and assistance for strengthening of institutions, the mobilization of resources, as well as training, research in the fuel from wood-based energy systems in the developing countries.
AMIDJONO MARTOSUWIRYO (Indonesia): First of all I would like to thank Dr. Flores Rodas for his intro-duction of this item.
Having studied thoroughly the report of the 6th Session of the Committee on Forestry I would like to express my delegation's satisfaction with the report and support the recommendations and the findings. Forestry development has been carried out in Indonesia based on the principle that forest development is not for the sake of development but for the benefit and welfare of the people, in other words forestry for people. For this reason my delegation strongly supports the recommendation of the Committee on forestry as contained in paragraph 31 of document CL 82/8. One thing is certain, that forestry development is required and a lot of money, expertise and effort is needed which could be found outside the country to supplement what we already have. Exchange of experiences and information about forestry are still needed, therefore we must establish and promote international cooperation in this field.
We are aware that rural poverty and the need for food and energy are the main causes behind the deple-tion and decrease of our tropical forests. My delegation is indeed grateful that the World Food Programme is supporting our forestry programme, particularly reafforestation. Work in the programme for afforestation is highly commended since it has dual purposes, namely assisting forestry development and provinding additional income to rural people.
It is not necessary to repeat what has been said by the Executive Director of the World Food Programme. The important role of our nation for soil conservation and getting better ecological environment. My government welcomes warmly the global study on the degradation of tropical forest resources, including the impact on environmental conditions, agricultural and forest production, rural economy, eco-system and wildlife. The results of this study will certainly stimulate more awareness to avoid any actions harmful to development and/or conservation of these renewable natural resources.
As regards the appropriate forestry industry I must say that the development of these industries cannot be overlooked. My delegation believes that institutional framework for development appropriate for industries is indeed required and is looking forward to FAO arranging a symposium on this subject.
If the house adopts the recommendation of the Committee on Forestry as contained in paragraph 27 I am pleased to inform the Council that the Government of Indonesia is ready to host the symposium.
M. PIOTROWSKA (Poland): As you know from the report of the Committee on Forestry, in Poland since a few years there occurs a gradation of a dangerous pest, nun moth. In the year of top gradation as it seems 1982, the nun moth attacked over 2 million hectares of forests, that is about 30 percent of the total forest area. I would like to emphasize that although there is expected in 1983 a decrease of the entire forest area attacked by the nun moth to about half a million hectares, there is to be noted an evident tendency of the gradation shifting to the West, thus a direct menace to coniferous forests of central and western Europe.
Poland would highly appreciate any kind of further assistance through FAO or bilateral assistance in fighting this pest.
I. BARBOSA (Portugal): My delegation studied carefully document CL 82/8 with the report of the Sixth Session of the Committee on Forestry. Our interest regarding these matters is not recent; we cannot forget that Portugal is a country of large forests, rich in pine trees, Holm oak, cork trees, eucalyptus and other species in a total area of about 2 900 000 hectares, which is considerable if compared with the total area of the country of about 8 900 000 hectares. On this occasion I should like to state that Portugal gives its support to the recommendations and suggestions made by the Committee on Forestry in its last session.
Regarding its report I wish to limit myself to brief considerations about two of the several subjects analysed by the Committee.
The first one concerns forest industries which can present fundamental importance to the developing countries if integrated, as the report states, in a proper or appropriate policy bearing in mind the specific characteristics of each country, namely its financial and economic viability; the benefits and the participation of the rural populations in the projects of forest development, and the necessity of raising the general level of education of those populations. We are not going to speak at this stage about the remarkable part that the forest industries can play in the field of the new and renewable sources of energy. We will do it later when referring to the Ninth World Forestry Congress. We should like to evidence here the importance of the work of FAO in the field of the paper and pulp industry, as referred to in paragraph 2 of the report, assuming that industry, if conveniently structured, may become a source of development to the less advanced countries.
Our experience - and as a curiosity I can say that my country was one of the pioneers in the utilization of the tree for the manufacture of paper pulp in Europe taking advantage of the pinewood as the source of the then new cellulosic raw material - and I repeat, our experience indicates that it is essential to have a deep knowledge of the soils and of the species of the trees to be planted. The eucalyptus, as an example, grows easier and faster than the pine trees, but they are not adapted to the manufacture of all types of paper, as everybody knows. Afterwards it is essential to find the necessary incentives not only for the creation and installation of the industry - and in this process it is very important to consider the factor pollution - but also for the international markets, demanding several and different qualities of paper. I would also like to add to this information that in Portugal forest fires have assumed in the last years catastrophic consequences. The cellulosic industry has in a certain way minimised its effects since it has been acquiring, or absorbing, part of the burnt wood which would have no utilization.
Paper industries to be viable should concentrate more on export of finished products than on cheaper raw materials, known as "pulp". In this way we can ascertain that an increased transformation, locally, of the pulp and paper into finished materials can develop export and at the same time provide more employment and more foreign currency as a way to balance import deficit.
The second and last subject I should like to comment on refers to the Ninth World Forestry Congress to be held in Mexico in 1984.
In paragraph 67 of the report are indicated several possible items to be considered by the Congress. The Portuguese delegation suggests the adding of another item regarding forestry biomass as an alternative source of energy, since its inclusion may open, as we already mentioned, new perspectives in this field.
Effectively, as it has been emphasized in the last meetings of FAO, we are aware of the importance of fuelwood and coal as direct sources of energy in tropical countries, if compared with the economic difficulties of some of these countries to utilize oil as energy in rural areas.
The recommendations of the Nairobi Conference and the activities organized by FAO in the field of new and renewable sources of energy in rural areas cannot be ignored.
Besides that biomass is also very important as a normal source of energy in the technology of some agricultural products since it can guarantee its good conservation or render them in a technical condition for export.
We are also aware of the problems faced nowadays by some countries with considerable areas of forestry in order to obtain fuelwood and coal for cooking and other aspects of their development. In my country, as an example, the substitution of fuelwood as a domestic use by oil products is in diminuition.
The projects for planting with this goal, including the study of the areas presenting more favourable conditions, are presently in certain situations a reality not always completely successful, and in other cases a longing which is directly connexted with development.
These points, although briefly indicated in paragraphs 14, ?.l and 44 of the report deserve, in our view, greater consideration and analysis and this is why we are suggesting its possible addition to the agenda of the Forestry Conference.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany greatly welcomes the active work of the Committee on Forestry within the framework of the activities of FAO. In particular the concern about the worldwide conservation of forests is shared by the Federal Government for humanitarian, ecological and economic considerations. In the efforts to improve the situation of tropical and sub-tropical forests, where they are in danger, it is particularly important to develop living and economic conditions in such a way that specific measures will lead to a sustained success. Such measures should include conservation or restoration of forests, forest management improvement, education and training of the rural population in the field of forestry and forest industry, as well as increasing the primary and secondary conversion of wood. In this connexion particular attention has to be paid to the needs of the local population and the opportunities that arise because of the specific conditions prevailing in the individual countries, also in the research sector. These tasks require greater endeavours at the international level.
In the effort to improve the situation of the forests of the northern hemisphere, where these are exposed to the danger of air pollution, or were already affected by it, it seems to be indispensable to pay attention to the recommendations of the European and North American Forestry Commissions. We particularly welcome the ad hoc meeting on air pollution.
In order to be able to promote measures for the protection of forests it should be further clarified: (a) of what type and extent are the damages to the forests in the countries concerned: (b) what are the causes of damages; (c) what are the development trends; and (d) what research gaps do exist.
The problem of forest damage caused by air pollution requires also greater efforts at international level. The Federal Government is of the opinion that wood as a raw material is a valuable and unrenounceable renewable resource whose rational use is of increasing importance. It therefore welcomes the results of the ECE seminar on energy conservation and self-sufficiency in the sawmilling industry which was held at the invitation of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn from 13 - 17 September 1982. In the sawmilling industry, in particular in the drying sector, there are many possibilities for energy conservation and self-sufficiency of which greater use should be made than has been made so far. Likewise there are still substantial possiblilities for a greater use of bark, chips and wood residues for industrial processing.
MS. J.S. WALLACE (United States of America) : In our view, the Report is well-prepared and addresses the issues needing attention. Forestry has much higher potential for sustaining agricultural production and for providing fuel wood and employment. Improved forest management and conservation, particularly in upland areas, aids erosion control and water retention, both of which increase crop yields.
The United States fully supports the emphasis that the Committee's report in paragraph 56 has placed on forestry's role in the development process in developing countries.
Regarding the Committee's recommendation in paragraph 23 of the Report, the United States feels that the Committee on Forest Development in the Tropics should be revamped and strengthened with greater emphasis put on the role of forestry in rural development. This would include agro-forestry, fuel wood lots, forestry to protect watersheds and to support the agricultural resource base as well as industrial forestry. Likewise, the United States would particularly endorse the Committee's recommendations in paragraph 58 that FAO give continued emphasis to the development of forestry in the tropics and to the need expressed in paragraph 62 for added priority of forestry programmes within the limited resources of FAO.
ABDUL WAHID BIN ABDUL JALIL (Malaysia) : Malaysia participated in the Sixth Session of the Committee on Forestry last May. We found the Report of the Committee as contained in document CL 82/8 reflected the discussion that had taken place during the Session. During the Session, the Committee discussed the theme Forestry for Development and put forward a number of recommendations and proposals. These proposals and recommendations are acceptable to us, and I am sure merit the support of the Council. Strategies and programmes to implement the recommendations, however, require closer examination and careful evaluation to ensure their relevance to the individual countries, although rural poverty and the search to satisfy basic human needs for food and energy are the main causes behind the depletion and degradation of tropical forests in some countries. However, in some other countries, the main causes were the large-scale conversion of forests to industrial crops and over-exploitation to satisfy the insatiable world demand for primary commodities.
As I mentioned earlier, recommendations are basically sound, but the programme of work should be specific and problem-oriented in order to be of practical value. Local expertise should be preferred or required as counterparts to ensure perspective and relevance as well as transfer of knowledge and technology. We therefore felt that a regional rather than a global approach should be favoured, as the former tends to be more effective because of its greater homogeneity or lesser diversity.
Based on our own experiences in tropical forest management, we feel that the medium-term objectives and programmes in forestry should emphasize 1) conservation of critical natural forest resources, especially in watersheds, for production, protection and amenity through integrated rural development policies and programmes based on sound and optimal land use; 2) promotion of forest plantations as a vital source of essential primary commodities and as a rational and viable alternative form of land use and economic activity; 3) development of appropriate and effective sustained yield forest management systems and technologies by expansion and acceleration of relevant comprehensive and integrated research and development programmes.
With regard to appropriate forest industries, my delegation supports the recommendation made requesting FAO to carry out a study on the various possibilities of establishing appropriate village level forest base industries, taking into account those factors affecting the development and the benefit it will have on the local people. My delegation would also like to support the recommendations on the coordination and cooperation in the use of research results between countries and their institutions for the development of forestry in and for developing countries. In this respect, the availability of trained research staff and research facilities in the developing countries for forest research is no doubt very important. International support in this field could highly be appreciated.
My delegation also supports paragraph 64 of the document for an explicit item on the progress made in the implementation of forestry development strategy during the next Session of COFO. This assess-ment, I am sure, would enable member countries to monitor and evaluate their own forestry programmes and to take the necessary steps to overcome the problems faced by them.
Finally, the impact of economic recession on the production of major forestry products and the inter-national trade in forest products, as mentioned during the discussion on agenda item 4, should be a timely reminder to the developing countries not to deplete their valuable forest resources excessively for short-term economic gains, especially when such gains are not commensurate with the intrinsic value of the resources. In the light of growing environmental problems, agricultural labour shortages and rural poverty and under-employment in many developing countries, the sharp division between forestry and agriculture, especially in terms of land use and productivity inputs, should be critically reviewed. The integration of forests with agricultural and rural development will not only ensure ecological and environmental balance but will also expand farm employment and thereby contribute to the reduction of rural poverty. In the longer run, it will ensure rational and optimal use of land and enhance the sustained yields of goods and services for the social economic benefit of the people in the countries.
R.T. MOCHEBELELE (Lesotho) : Lesotho takes this opportunity to commend and applaud the Committee on Forestry for the excellent work they have done. The paper CL 82/8 really analyses and gets to the root of the problems surrounding forestry development and makes positive suggestions and recommendations as to the line of action to be pursued. We endorse the view that the success of an affores-tation programme depends on popular support. Every possible effort must be made to assure that the people are actively involved in all stages of forestry development that are planning implementation and management of the forests. This calls for patience on the part of forest technicians, and they must face the challenge of educating the people so that the people can actively and effectively participate in the programme. Forestry where possible should be approached as an integral part of the overall agricultural strategy aimed at a judicious utilisation of our resources and ensuring stability of environment on a sustained basis. Even as we talk about food security, we should not allow ourselves to destroy our forests, but food production should be increased through intensified methods based on relevant applied research and technology transfer. We note with concern the present annual reforestation of 0.6%,most of which is in Africa. We therefore request the Director-General to again mount a massive campaign to create awareness in Africa of the dangers of these actions of reforestation on the environment. This delegation fully endorses the idea that wild-life management should be integrated into the forestry programme to provide long-term economic benefits to these countries. It is important that action undertaken to expand our reforestation programmes should pay particular attention to local needs. In some of the developing countries, the greatest need is fuel wood, and this will continue to be of paramount importance in these countries.
My delegation feels that a special effort should be undertaken to avoid competition for land between forestry and agricultural uses. It is therefore essential that where possible, forestry should be on minor lands that do not lend themselves to intensive crop production. FAO should therefore mobilize the resources to make it possible for the developing countries to undertake detailed land use planning as a prerequisite to an expanded afforestation programme. It is hoped that the developed countries will make funds available to undertake research relevant to developing countries. Special attention should be paid to the indigenous species and their rehabilitation. The economic and environmental aspects of these indigenous species should receive consideration.
I ask this Council to request the Director-General to make funds available for trainine of locals at all levels in order to increase the capacity of the country to implement their afforestation programme and to manage their own forestry resources. This will also ensure that a greater portion of financial assistance from donor countries will go directly into production, as the need for technical assistance is correspondingly used.
The meeting of the nine ministers of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference in Zimbabwe this month reiterated the importance of forestry in the overall development of the region. It recognised the need for action and mobilization of resources at national, regional and inter-national levels.
S.P. MUKERJI (India): India and our Prime Minister give utmost and paramount importance to conservation and development of forests, and I would like to seek your indulgence, Mr. Chairman, and my distinguished colleagues, for a few minutes to indicate the situation which we are facing, the strategy that we are following so that the type of difficulties that we have come across in other countries should not be repeated and they are able to take corrective steps before it is too late. India has 14% of world population but has only 1 percent of the world's forests. Our annual fuel requirement is 184 million cubic metres, but only 20 millón cubic metres can be harvested from our existing forests, so only one-ninth of our total requirement of fuel wood can be had from the forests.
So far as industrial wood is concerned as against the requirement of 35 million cubic metres, our forests can yield only 11 million cubic metres; that is one-third. This will mean that a very massive afforestation programme has to be taken up. It is sometimes said that we may have sufficient food, but no fuel to cook that food. I would only mention this as a matter of warning to all of us, that the importance of forestry in relation to food and agriculture cannot be overlooked, or can be overlooked at the peril of great distress.
Our Prime Minister has included massive afforestation and social forestry, and a massive programme of biogas, as an important point in the new 20-point programme. We have in the sixth Five Year Plan an outlay on forestry which is more than the total outlay we had in the previous 30 years. The Central Government - that is the Federal Government - has by legislation taken over forestry as a concurrent step, and has passed legislation under which the provincial governments will have to seek the permission of the central government before any area under forests is yielded for non-forest use. This has to a great extent stemmed the tide of indiscriminate deforestation. We have done away with the systems of contractors who in complicity with certain officials at the lower level used to fell trees more than they were contracted for. We have a Forest Research Institute which recently celebrated its centenary. We have also established a Forestry Survey and an Institute of Forest Management which by their quality can justifiably be considered to be of international importance.
Our feeling is that forestry is very basic to plant and animal and human life. You are well aware that land, water and air: these three are the basic components of what is known as the life support system - land, water and air.
My thesis is that it is the forestry which itself supports the life support system.itself. Forestry supports land by soil conservation, forestry supports water by water conservation, forestry supports air by air purification. Therefore, I believe that forestry as the support of the life support system should be at the centre of our attention.
It has been indicated that forestry precedes civilisation and that deserts are the burial grounds of civilisations. Where any community has ignored their trees and forests, and deserts crept in, they have been buried under the deserts. Therefore when I read in this document that 11 million hectares of forest land are being lost per year it is an alarm signal which we cannot afford to overlook. I was going through some of the forestry area figures in the world, and I found that out of about 4,000 million hectares of forest area four countries,that is the USA, Canada, Australia and the USSR cover about 1600 million hectares, and thus these four countries cover as much as 40 percent of the forest area. The remaining countries put together have only 60 percent of the forest area, and therefore my feeling is that any conclusion from the world figures will not be reflective of the very acute situation that is prevailing in countries like India and other over-populated countries, and therefore a strategy will have to be adopted with particular reference to the problems of these countries so that whatever natural and rain-fed forests are left, are conserved.
I feel that FAO should give more attention to the development of forestry. I wonder whether FAO should not call itself only Food and Agriculture Organization but Food, Agriculture and Forestry Organization, considering the importance which forestry has. I fully support the recommendation of the Committee that the Forestry Committee should be strengthened. I would only request that the manner in which the strengthening would take place should be spelt out and should receive the serious attention of the Council.
My suggestion is that FAO should start working on formulating a World Forest Policy, and a world forest strategy, because this is very important and this should act as the basic principle or basic document on the basis of which FAO's programme should be directed and the various countries'programmes should be inspired. I would also suggest that in that policy there should be a clear indication of our determination to conserve all natural and rain-fed forests. I have a feeling by reading these documents that in some countries, perhaps justifiably, forestry is being linked with industry. While it may be all right for countries like the USSR, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and so on, where the per capita availability of forestry is many, many times more than in other countries, my feeling is that this industrial approach to forest management and forestry being considered to be the supplier of industrial wood, would not be very relevant to developing countries; I would go to the extent of saying it will be a very pernicious and damaging approach in the long-term economy of the developing countries. Therefore the industrialization aspect of forestry should, I think, be diluted and the forestry for its conservation and as a life-support system should be given due importance and therefore, in that forest policy while there should be a clear indication of conservation and protection of natural and rain-fed forests, as well as wild life, insofar as fuel wood and industrial wood requirements are concerned, my feeling is that there should be a clear-cut policy as far as industry is concerned in these areas. The industries themselves should be made responsible to produce their own requirements through man-made forests.
The FAO should also consider having a target of plantation or area to be covered under plantation every year for the world, because I think with 11 million hectares of deforestation which is taking place, only 1.1 million hectares of plantation is a sure road to total decimation of forest wealth on this planet. There should be a target of reducing the area to be deforested and increasing the area to be planted; and all of us should try to achieve those reduced targets insofar as deforestation or harvesting is concerned, and increase targets insofar as plantation is concerned. In certain vulnerable areas such as the Himalayas and other fragile geophysical areas, there should be some consideration of regulating and perhaps completely banning the felling of trees, on scientific considerations. FAO's role should be to build up a world opinion of world forest security as we are building up a world opinion on world food security. I do feel that food security and forest security are as important as the other FAO should have the role of warning, advising and assisting the countries in the matter of forestry where forests are dwindling or where they should need particular attention. FAO should have projects of afforestation, agro-forestry, sylvicultural practices and research also, which are location-specific and country-specific. It is for consideration whether we should not try to establish a World Forest Conservation fund, as we have a World Wildlife Fund, for protection of forests in critically deforested areas.
It would be worth the while of FAO if it could, on the basis of quick forest surveys based on satellite imagery, prepare a list of countries where forests are in danger of vanishing at a fast rate, so that these countries are given timely warning and corrective action is taken before it is too late.
The FAO should also help the countries to prepare management plans for the forests that are still there, and in that respect training of their forest officers in other countries would be very useful. One would like to know from the Secretariat what is the percentage of FAO's funds - agricultural rural development funds - which are dedicated to forest development. In India, much to our surprise, we found that in the provincial budgets it is sometimes less than one percent of the total planned budget that is devoted to forestry. We are proposing to the states that this percentage be increased to at least five percent as life-supporting and agriculture-supporting system. I do hope that in the case of FAO at least five percent of the development funds are being devoted for forest development.
People's participation is very necessary, not only for conservation but also for development of forests as well as for their protection. The FAO should start some projects for identifying alternative sources of energy so that rural populations in many of these countries need not depend on fuel and wood and trees altogether. Certain alternative methods of packing should also be found by properly structured research; efficient use of fuel consumption by designing of ovens and hearths would be very useful.
You will be interested to know that in one of our provinces, in Gujarat, it has been found that a funeral pyre, if well designed and lined with bricks, consumes a fraction of the total wood that is otherwise wasted and consumed in a traditional funeral pyre. So even the small matters, small advantages, small research results, would go a long way in reducing the pressure on our trees in areas which are already denuded.
My last petition is that in regard to the World Forestry Congress which we are going to have in 1984, our theme should be not only Forest for Development but Forest for Survival, considering the importance which forestry has. Forestry is so important for human survival that if God had given me a million mouths I would shout from a million housetops to all the peoples: please save your forests, save your trees and thus save yourselves, your children and your children's children.
Sra. D. SANCHEZ (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia piensa que el Consejo debe apoyar la recomendación del Comité de Montes en el sentido de que las políticas forestales deben formularse insistiendo en que los objetivos de los recursos humanos y las necesidades de la población ocupen lugar destacado en esas políticas. Para ello, se requiere, como lo dice el párrafo 21, la participación activa de la población local y la consideración conjunta de las actividades agrícolas, ganaderas y forestales. Estamos igualmente de acuerdo en que es necesario fortalecer la cooperación internacional en campos específicos como los de Evaluación y Vigilancia de los Recursos Forestales, entre otros, a fin de asegurar una posible coordinación de beneficios comunes entre productores y consumidores.
Apoyamos la acción de la FAO en el estudio global que da información objetiva sobre la disminución y la degradación de los recursos forestales tropicales, y sobre sus efectos perniciosos.
La delegación de Colombia comparte la opinión del Comité de Montes acerca de la gran importancia que tiene la capacitación a todos los niveles de personal que asegure adecuados funcionamientos y rendimientos de las industrias forestales. A tal respecto, apoyamos la cooperación en ese campo entre la FAO y la OIT en el Programa de Labores de la FAO para Montes.
La delegación de Colombia apoya esencialmente el mayor uso de personal nacional en la ejecución de los proyectos porque así somos coherentes con el énfasis en la capacitación que juzgamos indispensa-ble. Dentro de ese mismo orden de ideas, apoyamos la intensificación del desarrollo de suficiente capacidad institucional a nivel nacional y la atención preferencial al desarrollo de las actividades forestales en el trópico.
G.J. BOXALL (New Zealand): New Zealand was an active participant at the Sixth Session of the Committee on Forestry in May this year. We support the conclusions and recommendations of the Report of this Committee as presented in document CL 82/8. In particular we note among other things, the recommendations that the forestry field programmes be structured to support national objectives in general and rural development in particular, and help increase self-reliance among these nations, the increased use of indigenous species for re-vegetation to continue to support the high priority given to integrating energy production and use for all aspects of forestry, to increase emphasis on development of forestry education and extension; that higher priority be given to analyses of constraints, to implementing sound forestry strategies and that consideration be given to issuing Unisylva in a more expanded form and more regularly.
The Committee's work during the year has clearly focussed on tropical forestry. This aspect of forestry does not affect us directly in New Zealand. We are, however, a country of considerable forest resources and potential with long and significant experience in all aspects of forestry resources. The subject is of considerable significance to us for various reasons.
We are particularly concerned - as are others - at the alarming rate of deforestation that is taking place, estimated by the Committee at over 11 million hectares per year. Allied to this is the relationship of deforestation to other fundamental problems faced by the countries. We are thinking in particular of food and energy needs and the linkage between deforestation and alternative fuels and other concomitant issues.
As the Report points out, the high rate of depletion of tropical forests is therefore related to more fundamental problems faced by those countries where deforestation is taking place. Hence, a solution to the problems rests largely, in our eyes, on how other issues are solved. This is not an easy task. Following on from this, it is important that the activities of FAO and other inter-national agencies are closely coordinated so as to achieve maximum benefits. The close involvement of not only the governments of the recipient countries but also the people who are affected by changes is very important for the success of various projects.
Finally, the work on tropical forestry is also significant to us, bearing in mind New Zealand's involvementin providing bilateral forestry development assistance to many Pacific and Asian countries. Last year, for example, 26 New Zealand Forestry Service officers served overseas on aid programmes, many in conjunction with FAO projects. We also provide training in New Zealand to a large number of overseas forestry students.
In conclusion, we support the Report and the recommendations.
A.H. EL SARKI (Egypt) (original language Arabic): First of all, my country's delegation wishes to congratulate Mr. Rodas, the Assistant Director-General in charge of Forestry, because we participated in the work of the Sixth Session of the Committee on Forestry and expressed at that time, and continued to express, our appreciation for the efforts of the Organization in this field.
We also wish to express our support of the policies undertaken by this Organization especially insofar as adapting forestry to serve development in general and rural development in particular. My delegation also supports medium-term programmes in the field of forestry which are aimed at maintaining land and water resources as well as producing wood as a source of energy, in addition to directing forest projects towards rural development and people's participation.
We wish to stress the importance of training and research in forestry and the adoption of the system of twinning of research centres. My country's delegation wishes forestry research in arid and semi-arid zones to receive special attention. Mr. Chairman, Egypt does not have any natural forests, yet we do need to introduce forestry as part of our agricultural activities, since they can be used as wind breakers and for sand dunes fixation. Moreover, these natural forests can be instrumental in setting up sylvo-agro industries such as the silk industry and other research activities.
My country's delegation welcomes the efforts undertaken by FAO in these fields.
Finally, my country's delegation wishes to support and endorse the report submitted by the Committee on Forestry in general and express its agreement with the recommendations contained therein. We look forward to the progress report on the implementation of the new strategy for the development of forests.
J. M. SCOULAR (United Kingdom) : As we draw towards the end of this comprehensive debate - or at least this afternoon's debate - I think it seems very clear that no member of the Council is in any doubt about the importance of forestry or about the role played by the FAO's Committee on Forestry. As many delegates have pointed out, forestry plays a crucial role in development, whether as part of environmental control and development, as an important zone of trade, as fuel-wood, as a climatic factor and so on. We for our part are strongly in favour of the work of FAO's Committee on Forestry and generally endorse the findings of the last meeting at which we were represented.
We welcome the completion of the Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. This study is an important document which will be of great value for future planning. We therefore fully support the recommendation in paragraph 20 that the study should be continuously updated and improved.
We also support the use of the existing Committee on Forest Development in the Tropics as the respon-sible body for the continuing review of international action on tropical forestry. I believe the delegate of Panama made this point.
We welcome the call for a progress report on the implementation of the new Forestry Development Strategy. This point was also made by the delegate of Malaysia.
The need to examine the effectiveness of activities in such diffuse areas as social and community forestry and agro-forestry should not - and I am sure will not - be overlooked.
W. E. ADERO (Kenya) : Kenya attaches a lot of importance to conservation of our soil and water resources and we recognize that maintaining forests that we already have, establishing of additional forests in the appropriate areas of our land, is one of the many ways through which this can be done. Such forests should then be exploited in a manner that will make the people derive the most benefit out of them. My delegation finds the recommendations contained in document CL 82/8 which is before us to be compatible with this broad overview. We therefore support the report submitted by the Committee on forestry.
M.A. FLORES RODAS (Subdirector General, Departamento de Montes): En general, muy poco tengo que agregar después del resumen del distinguido representante del Reino Unido. Sin embargo, hago notar que hubo 20 intervenciones en las cuales se apoya totalmente el reporte del Comité de Montes, al cual todos los miembros que han hablado pertenecen, y muchos de ellos también estuvieron presentes durante las reuniones de la sexta reunión del Comité de Montes.
En términos generales, quiero mencionar que la estrategia de lo forestal para el desarrollo que rige la política del Departamento de Montes ha sido diseñada, precisamente, a raíz de las comunicaciones con los países Miembros del Comité de Montes y de la FAO en general. Esto nos ha permitido establecer las prioridades que hoy se ven reflejadas en este reporte al Consejo, y por supuesto, en el presupuesto y planes de trabajo del Departamento.
Como comentario general, y después de agradecer el apoyo al Comité de Montes por su reporte de su sexta reunión, quisiera decir que dentro del concepto de desarrollo en el cual estamos trabajando, es importante no sólo la participación popular siguiendo los lineamientos establecidos por la Conferencia Mundial de Desarrollo Rural y de Reforma Agraria sino también la generación de rentas y de entradas a la población rural asociada en forma institucional.
Esto también implica, en cierta forma, la redefinición del concepto de productos y por supuesto, del concepto de industria; es decir, lo menciono en el sentido de que no quisiera yo que ustedes se. lle-varan la impresión de que nablamos de la industria convencional, que también existe y debe existir, sino de que tiene que ser un concepto flexible que se adapte a las necesidades principalmente institucionales de cada uno de los países.
Por eso es que también es muy difícil hablar de una estrategia a nivel mundial, de un modelo mundial de desarrollo, puesto que en la FAO, por su propia constitución, cada uno de los Miembros de la FAO es tan importante como el otro, y su condición interna, política interna y condiciones de desarrollo y recursos implican un caso especial. Por lo tanto, la estrategia así como está concebida, muy general, trata de reflejar, y creo yo después de oír los comentarios de ustedes, que sí refleja esta estrategia del Director General las necesidades y las inquietudes de ustedes, por lo menos,a esta fecha, por lo que también es una estrategia dinámica que tendría que cambiar cada vez.
Creo que como comentario general, y después nuevamente de agradecer el apoyo que usted, señor Presi-dente y los demás delegados de la FAO le han dado, no me queda más que decir,
CHAIRMAN: I would also like to join the twenty members who have spoken as well as the others who have I think by silence endorsed the views of the other twenty, the chorus of praise for the work of the Committee on Forestry and the Forestry Department of the FAO and also the chorus of concern. This is one of the areas where unfortunately concern and awareness have not been followed up by commensurate action, because again we have been content mainly with living in a world of words, talking about forests and their importance. But what is the basic reason that forests are getting depleted? They are all economic reasons and unless one tries to apply through a malady-remedy analysis appropriate corrective action the process of denudation will continue. As Dr. Flores Rodas has said, we cannot generalize the reasons for damage to forests. The greatest silver lining, I think, in an otherwise unfavourable environment is the fact that people themselves today have become very much aware. In the Himalayas, for example, there are some spontaneous movements organized by illiterate women, the famous Chipko movement, where women go and hug the tree, when a contractor comes to fell it. In other words, their awareness has been aroused to the point where they know their very survival is endangered. Therefore while illiterate men and women are concerned with forests, qualified people have remained silent spectators. This is why we are grateful to FAO for the tremendous work they are doing.
I would like to add one word about research. Dr. Floras Rodas rightly said, and the Committee has also rightly said, that there is need for more research, particularly in the tropics. I think here is a great opportunity. We should try to achieve more and more linkages, even within FAO between the forestry work and the World Soil Charter, for example. The World Soil Charter adopted by the last general conference places a considerable emphasis on soil conservation but in its implementation there is a tremendous scope for linkages with the work of the Forestry Division. Similarly, there is need for linkages between forestry and atmospheric sciences. Both the "acid rain" and "Carbon-di-oxide" problems need serious attention. There are many other issues which ought to be studied in great detail as for example, forestry and chemical technology, the whole area of pyolosis, wood distillation, and the preparation of value added products in the wood rather than burning raw fuel. These are again areas of great interest in the tropics where the biomas production is much greater than in the temporate regions. Forestry and bio-technology is an area where I hope the FAO forestry wing will keep up its leadership because ,there are tremendous opportunities here in terms of modern tissue culture techniques, propagation, even transfer of material where there are quarantine problems and so on.
Finally, the social engineering aspects of forestry projects have not received the attention they deserve. Mention was made about wildlife. While we talk about wildlife, seldom do we discuss the forest dwellers who in many cases are called tribal people in developing countries. Now the
wildlife receives more attention and support than the forest dwellers. That is why frequently one finds a conflict between the forester and the forest-dweller. I know areas where the forest-dweller considers the forest officer as his enemy rather than his friend because he feels he is depriving him of the minor forest products and source of living.
There is also need for more accelerated research on quick-yielding fuelwood trees. Many of the tropical trees like neem, casuarina, and bamboo, have not received adequate scientific attention from the point of view of accelerating genetic improvement and breeding of high-yielding varieties. Selections have hardly been done for better yield and quality. Neem is a wonderful tree but nobody has really worked on the genetic variability in this tree. So there are great opportunities for productive research and I certainly support members who have stated that in the tropics, apart from disease and pest problems, we require a considerable degree of research work on all aspects, including social science.
I want once again to compliment Dr. Flores Rodas and his very dedicated band of officers and wish them continued success in their mission.
The meeting rose at 17.40 hours
La seance est levée à 17 h 40
Se levanta la sesión a las 17.40 horas
1/ Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
1/ Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.