Item 8 of the Provisional Agenda


Rome, Italy, 1-5 March 1998


The attached document is an extract from C 99/8 "Programme Implementation Report 1996-97" which was considered by the Council at its 115th Session. Only the section of this report referring to Major Programme 2.4 Forestry is attached, as background information for item 8 of the agenda. The Council, in discussing this report, did not make any specific reference to Major Programme 2.4.

Extract from C 99/8 "Programme Implementation Report 1996-97"




Programme Outcome

Regular Programme




US$ `000






24 431






21 730





Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000

(2 701)





Over/(Under) Spending, %



Field Programme




US$ `000





Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery

75 995





Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery





TCP and SPFS Delivery

3 367





Total Field Programme Delivery

79 362





Ratio of Field to Regular Programme






Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost

1 934





Technical Support Services, % of delivery



Programme Outputs


Approved in PWB


Unplanned Delivered

Total Delivered

DeliveredUnmodified Modified

Percent Delivered

Methodologies and Guidelines








Information Systems
























Direct Services to Countries

























198. The Major Programme continued to focus on sustainable development and conservation of forest resources. Priority was given to key areas to ensure this, i.e.: collection, analysis and dissemination of information on the world's forests; guidelines, criteria and indicators for the sustainable management of natural and planted forests and the role of forests and trees in rural development and food security; environmental issues and codes of conduct related to forest products utilization; the conservation of biological diversity through the management of protected areas and wildlife resources; policy, managerial and institutional frameworks for sustainable forest management at the national level through the formulation of national forestry programmes (NFPs); national capacity-building and community forestry.

Programme 2.4.1 - Forest Resources

199. The Inter-governmental Panel on Forests (IPF) was further supported, including substantive contributions to its intersessional meetings. A continuing information service was maintained on the state of and change in global forest resources. Assessment of the area of natural forests and plantations was made at national and regional levels. Guidelines and computerised tools were developed to facilitate implementation of improved country information. Extra-budgetary support facilitated capacity-building to assess and monitor national forest resources.

State of World's Forests (SOFO)

SOFO 1997 showed that the area of the world's forests (natural forests and plantations) was estimated to have been 3 454 million ha in 1995. Between 1990 and 1995 there was an estimated net loss of 56.3 million ha of forests world-wide, reflecting an estimated decrease of 65.1 million ha in developing countries and an increase of 8.8 million ha in developed countries. These new estimates indicate that, in developing countries, the annual loss of natural forests appeared to have been slower than in 1980-90 (13.7 million ha vs 15.5  million ha). The estimated area of forest plantations in developing countries reached a total of 80 million ha in 1995, whereas it was 40 million ha in 1980. 
SOFO 1997 was a much expanded edition and was very well received internationally, being quoted in many forestry journals and newsletters, and its Web-site version having had substantial readership.

200. The conceptualization and promotion of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management at national and eco-regional/regional levels continued. A joint FAO/UNEP Expert Meeting on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management in the Near East was held, supplemented by workshops involving countries in the arid areas of Africa and the Near East. A similar expert meeting was organized in Central America in collaboration with the Central American Council for Environment and Development (CCAD), again supplemented by sub-regional workshops and national implementation meetings. Support was also provided to the Inter-Governmental Seminar on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management and the International Workshop on Integrated Management of Sustainable Forest Management Practices.

201. Countries were assisted in the development of preventive measures and training for control of insects and diseases, particularly using integrated pest control strategies. The Eastern Africa Forest Insect and Disease Network was established. Work on strategies for natural disaster management, and forestry and climate change, included specific measures to address the 1997 fire disaster situation in South Asia. 

202. Support to the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources continued and links were established with the Secretariat of the CBD and CGIAR Centres to ensure complementarity of action. International collaboration was pursued through the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the IPGRI (EUFORGEN) network, and joint activities with the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) including establishment of a Task Force on Forest Genetic Resources. A practical guide to the in situ conservation of forest genetic resources was prepared and development continued of the information system on country priorities, programmes and activities in forest genetic resources. Support continued to networks, including the European Forest Genetic Resources Network, EUFORGEN and the Mahogany Network. A Tree Seed Suppliers Directory was published, in collaboration with the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and other international partners. 

203. A review of the use of waste water for irrigated plantations in North Africa and the Near East was carried out and plantation incentives were analysed, with special reference to Latin America. A forest plantations database was developed. Advice was provided to countries for planning of agroforestry systems and the use of agroforestry practices for soil conservation and food security, especially in dry and semi-arid zones in Africa. The Annotated Bibliography on Urban Forestry in Developing Countries was made available on the Internet and case studies prepared on several urban areas. Support was also provided to Latin American and Asia Pacific agroforestry networks.

204. A publication on the State of Art of Dryland Forest Management was completed, a document on the Role of Acacia Species in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Near East published, and manuals produced on the management of dry zone formations. An expert consultation on dryland forestry anddesertification control was organized. Contributions to the Convention on Desertification included formulation of National Action Programmes (NAP) in several countries. Support also continued to Silva Mediterranea and its research networks. 

205. Conservation and development of mountain ecosystems were actively addressed through: wide consultations with regional intergovernmental organizations and NGOs; an international Mountain Forum with nodes in Asia and the Pacific and in Latin America established in cooperation with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the International Potato Centre (CIP); conservation guides on Computer-assisted Watershed Planning and Management and Income Generation from Non-wood Forest Products in Upland Conservation; preparation of the 20th Working Session of the European Forestry Commission (EFC) Working Party on the Management of Mountain Watersheds and support to the Latin American Watershed Management Network.

206. Three regional quarterly magazines continued to be issued: Wildlife and Nature in Africa, Flora, Fauna and Protected Areas in Latin America and the Caribbean and Tigerpaper in Asia and the Pacific. Other publications included Husbandry of the African Grasscutter Thryonomis swinderianus, Utilization of Wildlife Resources in Latin America and Wildlife and Food Security in Africa. Meetings included organization of the Second Latin American National Park Congress and the African Forestry Commission Working Party on Wildlife Management and National Parks.

207. Assistance was provided to curriculum development and continuing education programmes in various countries and was the focus of the Advisory Committee on Forestry. The Directory of Forestry Education and Training Institutions was published and made available through the Internet, as was the Synopsis of Short Courses in Forestry and Related Areas. Work was also completed on a framework for analysis of extension programmes and resulted in the Trouble-shooter's Guide to Forestry Extension. The analysis of the issues and opportunities presented by shifting forest ownership patterns in Europe was completed and published. A Working Group on Pluralism and Sustainable Forestry and Rural Development was organized and supplemented by a regional workshop for North Africa and the Near East on Extension and Communication for Sustainable Forestry. 

208. Support to forestry research in developing countries continued and a Forestry Research Network for Sub-saharan Africa, (FORNESSA) was established in collaboration with IUFRO, the African Academy of Sciences and other regional and international forestry research institutions. A project on Strengthening National Capacities and Regional Cooperation in Forestry Research in Sub-saharan Africa was formulated and submitted for consideration to Expert Consultation on Forestry Research in Africa. The document New Institutional Trends in Forestry Research in Africa was published. Up-dating of the Directory of Forestry Research was postponed because of lack of resources.

Programme 2.4.2 - Forest Products

209. The Global Fibre Supply Study was produced in draft form (see box). Preparation of the draft report included a series of meetings with Government and industry representatives and data validation workshops in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Two sessions of the Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products (ACPWP) were organized as were three meetings of the GFSS Steering Committee. 

Global Fibre Supply Study (GFSS)

The Global Fibre Supply Study covers over 95% of the forest area world-wide. It includes the latest available statistics on forest area and growing stock volume, harvest intensities, commercial growing stock, ownership, area disturbed and area available for wood supply, along with recovered and non-wood fibre data. A relational database provides data on approximately 116 countries, sub-regional and regional data, bibliographic references, description of the methodology, assumptions, equations and definitions used. A model directly linked to the database explores three different fibre supply projections up to the year 2050 and the impact of critical factors on future fibre supply. It is a complementary effort to other ongoing activities, such as the Global Forest Resources Assessment and regional forestry sector outlook studies.

210. The non-wood forest products (NWFP) information system was developed including a directory on agencies, public and private organizations and individuals specialized in NWFP. Two issues of Non-Wood News were produced. Policy guidance was provided to several countries and a regional expert meeting organized for Near East countries. An improved wood energy data and information system was developed and publications covering OECD and Eastern European countries and Asia-Pacific countries prepared to disseminate the data collected within the Wood Energy Today for Tomorrow initiative in these regions. RNE organized an expert meeting on NWFP in the Near East.

211. The first issue of the newsletter Forest Energy Forum was issued. A draft publication Unified Wood Energy Terminology, Definitions and Conversion Factors was discussed with many partner organizations. A meeting of National Coordinators of the Latin America Cooperative Network on Dendroenergy was organized in collaboration with RLC. Assistance was provided on bioenergy utilization in the forestry and energy sectors and inputs made to ongoing international discussions related to greenhouse gases, carbon sequestration and carbon substitution.

212. The Model Code of Forest Harvesting Practice was developed and served as a basis for preparation of a Regional Code of Forest Harvesting Practice for Asia-Pacific. Case studies were carried out in selected countries on the application of reduced impact forest operations, as suggested in the Code, and the results distributed through the FAO Forest Harvesting Bulletin.

213. In cooperation with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and IUFRO, two International Research Training Seminars were held on Reduced Timber Harvesting and Natural Forest Management. The FAO/ECE/ILO Joint Committee Seminar on Environmentally Sound Forest Roads and Wood Transport was organized. In an effort to improve access to forest products marketing information, a compendium of databases was expanded and a study prepared to provide information on plantation timber prices. Cooperation with the ECE Timber Committee Secretariat and Finland continued, with joint sponsorship of workshops on sawnwood marketing in countries in transition. 

214. Reports were published on Trade Barriers Facing Non-Wood Forest Products, and Trade Implications of the Uruguay Round

215. As a result of budgetary and staffing constraints, publications on recovered paper data, seminars on technology transfer and environmental audits, the Interregional Expert Consultation on Bioenergy, Environment and Development and an expert consultation on forest products marketing were cancelled and the FAO/Austria Seminar on Environmentally Sound Forest Operations for Countries in Transition to Market Economies, a planned study on certification and the work on non-wood forest product classification were postponed. 

Programme 2.4.3. - Forest Investment and Institutions

216. This Programme coordinated preparation of the XI World Forestry Congress (see box). The Congress was organized under an agreement with the Government of Turkey and FAO provided the coordination unit. 

XI World Forestry Congress

The XI World Forestry Congress was successfully held in Antalya, Turkey. Some 1 200 papers submitted to the Congress were reviewed and keynote speakers and invited authors identified for 7 general and 45 special papers. The Congress was promoted through wide dissemination of information on the Internet, meetings and three information bulletins. Eight volumes of the Proceedings were edited and translated and made available on CD-ROM in four languages. The Congress was attended by 4 417 participants from 149 countries. 

217. The first phase of the study on Forestry Policies in Central America was completed in cooperation with the Central American Council of Forests and Protected Areas and other partners. A Forestry Policy Study in the Caribbean was launched in collaboration with the European Commission and forestry policy reports for 28 countries and territories were prepared to identify needs and opportunities for strengthening forestry policy formation and implementation in the sub-region.

218. New approaches to community forestry were developed, including methods and tools related to conflict management, participatory processes, gender, supporting local innovation processes, and managing forests as common property. A global electronic conference was organized on Addressing Natural Resource Conflicts through Community Forestry with 450 participants from 52 countries. A meeting was organized on Conflict Management and Community Forestry. The Gender Analysis and Forestry Training Package was produced for the training of trainers in gender analysis for forestry development. Local innovation processes were supported through research activities, case studies and organization of an international meeting on local innovations in Asia. 

219. The forestry action programmes process continued to facilitate international assistance, country capacity building and improvement of national forest programmes, including promotion and monitoring. Six training workshops, two each in Latin America, Asia and Africa, were organized on strategic planning, decentralized planning, policy formulation, project preparation and people's participation. Direct support was given to programmes in 31 member countries through TCDC experts and decentralized national forest action programme advisors. The Basic Principles and Operational Guidelines were revised and the concept of national forest programmes further elaborated. Briefing notes were prepared on Role of Women, Nutrition and NAP and Decentralized Planning. Networking activities with NGO's and a workshop on Pluralism in Forest Development contributed to broadening the context of collaborative efforts. 

220. Forestry sector outlook studies were carried out at global and regional levels to examine the situation and the major trends affecting the forestry sector and provide projections of global forest product consumption, production and trade to the year 2010. A provisional global outlook study was completed. A regional outlook study for the Asia-Pacific region was also completed (see box). Plans were prepared for similar outlook studies for Africa and the Caribbean, to be carried out with financial support from the European Union.

Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study (APFSOS)

APFSOS examined major trends which shaped the Asia-Pacific forestry sector in the past and will affect it in the future. It comprises a main report, over 40 working papers on individual countries and thematic topics, and a set of sector statistics and country briefs. The main finding was that, for the next 15 years, there will continue to be enough forest resources to meet a wide range of demands at a regional level, but that scarcity of some goods and services in some local areas may persist. The study reaffirmed the importance of a wide range of forest goods and services in addition to timber production and described some of the choices open to forestry policy-makers. Key challenges identified for the future were: improving information on the forestry sector; strengthening policies and institutions; and human resource development.

221. The Yearbook of Forest Products was re-designed and both printed and made available on the Internet. New editions of the Pulp and Paper Capacity Survey and Pulp and Paper Production surveys were completed, with the former also being made available on the Internet. Support was given to the preparation of methodological guidelines for improvement of forest statistics in Africa. 

222. A paper was prepared to review the state of the art and to develop a framework to better account for forest resources benefits in National Income Accounts. Four country case studies were jointly sponsored with the World Bank to test the framework and its valuation methodology. Guidelines for improvement of forest use and conservation were developed, and were reviewed in expert meetings in Africa and Latin America. A country case study was prepared on policy, legal and institutional changes towards greater participation and decentralization for sustainable forest management.