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FAO conference adopts resolution on importance of forestry

Resolution: The key role of forestry in rural development and its long term aspects
Why agriculture needs forestry

The 21st Session of the Conference of the FAO adopted a resolution on "The key role of forestry in rural development and its long-term aspects." The resolution reflected the strong and widespread concern about forestry that was expressed throughout the Conference by many delegations The resolution was put forth by the delegations of Canada, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Netherlands; Norway and Zambia Following is its full text.

Resolution: The key role of forestry in rural development and its long term aspects

Recognizing the several functions the forests fulfill, such as the supply of wood for fuel and building materials, shelter, land stabilization, water quality enhancement and forest ecological reserves,

Noting that the consumption of wood in the world is rapidly increasing,

Recognizing that the ongoing deforestation, in particular in tropical areas, threatens to destroy the productive capacity of soils and the ecological balance in general,

Noting with concern that the available Forest Resources in the world are rapidly decreasing,

Stressing the fact that timely planning for long-term objectives is essential for forestry to meet future needs,

Noting that many communities already suffer from the lack of the most basic products and other benefits from the forests,

Noting that much gain can be obtained by the development of community forest areas and village forestry programmes,

Considering the socio-economic importance of the involvement of the local population in solving the problems of wood supply and particularly fuel wood,

Noting that the guidelines established by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development emphasize the key role of forestry in rural development,

Noting that "there will be food as long as there are forests,"

Recognizing the leading role of FAO within the United Nations system in forestry, primary forest industries, and rural development,

1. Calls upon Governments to take into account the key role of forestry in rural development and to devise and pursue policies to preserve the environmental and ecological heritage, so that resources of nature may be used wisely by the present generation, in order to be handed down to posterity

2. Supports the Director-General's Forestry Strategy for Development which is designed to assist Member Nations in giving full weight to the key role of forestry in rural development, with special reference to the conservation and regeneration of species important to all people.

Why agriculture needs forestry

What this picture means. The shifting cultivators came from over-populated Java to Sumatra. It took about fifteen years for the forests to be entirely cut and burned from the hills in order to gain crop lands, for erosion and loss of fertility to put an end to agriculture, for lalang grass to become the only vegetation that would grow, and for the farmers to be forced to move on again in search of other hills and forests. The light areas are deforested hills covered with grass. The dark areas are where this weed was recently burned of' in an attempt to grow something edible. The lalang grass, however, always comes back. This high altitude aerial photo was made by the Indonesian government in connection with a large-scale project for the rehabilitation of land and water resources in south-eastern Sumatra.

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