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The world of forestry: Highlights of FAO forestry activities in 1982

New Chinese journal on bamboo
Pulp and paper conference
Logging with agricultural tractors

FAO IN IRAQ - 1959

... GREECE - 1964

... ETHIOPIA - 1980 a long tradition in forestry development projects

Forest resources. Assessment of forest resources at all levels is a prerequisite for sound forest policy and planning. In 1982, FAO continued the dissemination of tropical forest resources data compiled within the FAO/UNEP Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project and completed their computerization. In order to allow for a better appraisal of fuelwood production potential of woodlands and shrublands in arid and semi-arid zones, compilation was made of the corresponding existing data in the United States, Africa and Asia as well as of inventory methods used to determine them. Assistance to Asian countries in the monitoring of their forest cover was provided through a vegetation classification scheme which was tested in three countries of the region.

A great deal of progress still has to be made in the field of forest management in many countries. As a first step toward a better harmonization of forest development programmes throughout the tropics' FAO prepared an important document for the expert meeting organized together with UNEP and Unesco on tropical forests. Case studies were prepared as a tool for assessing the problems and constraints facing intensive management of existing forest resources in tropical countries.

Creating new forest resources in the form of plantations is indispensable in many parts of the world where deforestation is occurring at a rapid pace and existing resources are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of a growing population for energy, shelter and other uses. Exchange of seeds on a Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) basis continued to be supported by the Regular Programme of FAO. It was supplemented by assistance provided within the framework of the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) to eight countries in collecting and exchanging seed material for three arid and semi-arid zone tree species.

Forest-tree species can be useful in many ways to rural communities. This was highlighted during the 1982 meeting of the Executive Committee and of the subsidiary bodies of the International Poplar Commission and was demonstrated in some 200 information sheets concerning forest food and fruit trees produced by FAO during this year.

The Forest Resources Division prepared a number of audio-visual aids and filmstrips on integrated watershed development and respective problems in China, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Haiti for the use of field technicians, as well as for public education.

Country briefs for 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region were prepared and the results were synthesized in a state-of-the-art report together with a draft Project Document. These were discussed at the intergovernmental meeting in Kathmandu in December with a view to establishing a TCDC, watershed network in the region.

Two more FAO Conservation Guides on incentives and people's participation in upland conservation were added to the series. National workshops were organized on fuelwood production, sand dune fixation and the establishment and maintenance of shelterbelt plantations.

Several countries were assisted in the formulation of their wildlife management programmes with the aim of promoting proper management and utilization of wildlife resources for the benefit of the rural communities concerned. National-park and protected-area management was given a new orientation to enhance the benefits derived thereby to meet the immediate needs of the rural communities and obtain their active participation.

A training course on remote sensing applied to wildlife management was organized in Rome in July. There were 20 participants - from Bhutan. Brazil, China, Cyprus, Dominica, Ethiopia, India, Italy. Kenya, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Thailand. Turkey, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uruguay.

An FAO/SIDA Seminar on Forestry Extension was held in Semarang, Indonesia, from 18 to 30 January 1982 to exchange information on current activities and to discuss adoption of extension techniques applicable to forestry. The seminar was attended by 26 participants from 13 countries in the Asia and southwest Pacific regions.

Twenty-five participants took the Second Forestry Teacher Development Course held at the Centre for Forestry Education Development at Los Baños, the Philippines, from 5 January to 27 June. This was immediately followed by a meeting of the Regional Advisory Council of the Centre, from 28 June to 2 July, attended by 13 participants. The third Course began on 5 October, with 26 participants from the region in attendance. A longitudinal evaluation study to assess the impact of the Centre's training programme on forestry schools in the region is in progress.

Regarding institutional aspects of forestry development, emphasis was given to studies on forest policies, forestry-related legislation, education and training, forestry research, rural institutions for appropriate forest industries development, and forest revenue systems for tropical countries. The main purpose of these studies was to analyse the obstacles and constraints to forestry development and to develop tools to improve forestry programmes for rural development.

Forest industries. In line with FAO's long-term goal, the Forest Industries Division continued its programme on training. Agreements were reached on funding and hosting two training courses in 1983 and 1984. The first is the fourth in a series; the latter is new and will lay new groundwork in solving a problem more detrimental to industrial development in developing countries than the lack of technology - the lack of trained managers. The course, which will train managers for forest industries, is expected to be the first of a series. Moreover, the donor has indicated a willingness to consider the continuation of the programme.

In the framework of activities related to identifying investment opportunities or evaluating various investment alternatives, assistance was given to the Governments of Costa Rica and Panama in formulating terms of reference for feasibility studies on the establishment of pulp and paper industries. Assistance to the Government of Portugal continued through the study of a restructuring of the pulp and paper industry in view of Portugal's forthcoming entry into the European Economic Community.

The Division has now embarked on a programme designed to promote the utilization of wood residues in forest industries while, at the same time, pursuing efforts to solve the energy supply problem in developing countries by replacing fossil fuels with wood-related fuels.

During this period some eight publications were completed, all of which are designed to be used for training or as reference in the logging and mechanical forest industries.

The Division continued its cooperation with the other international agencies and is heavily involved in cooperation and co-sponsorship on consultations in 1983 with UNIDO and UNCTC.

Policy and planning. Work during the year continued to focus on improving the contribution of forestry to rural development. Several publications emerged from various elements of this work. Case studies describing successful programmes of participatory forestry in the Republic of Korea and in the State of Gujarat in India were published. A publication on fuelwood surveys was issued, providing guidelines on how to design viable project interventions in situations of fuelwood shortages. Work began on developing guidelines for the monitoring and evaluation of such participatory projects.

A new round of studies on the future outlook for the forestry and forest products sector was initiated. Because of the length of time involved in tree growing, perspective studies are particularly important in this sector. The new outlook work not only will be an updating exercise but will also expand the coverage to reflect the present emphasis on forestry's relationships to rural development. Complementing the outlook work, the programme of studies focused on assessing the impact of private foreign investment in forestry in the developing world.

Technical backstopping of the negotiations on tropical timber taking place under the Integrated Programme on Commodities of UNCTAD continued, and the year saw the completion of the Sixth and final Preparatory Meeting, at which agreement was reached on four components for a possible future international agreement on tropical timber. These are: research and development, market intelligence, further processing in the tropical producing countries and reforestation. UNCTAD also made arrangements for a Negotiating Conference on Tropical Timber, which was held in March 1983.

The Special Action Programme on Forestry for Local Community Development (FLCD) completed its first three-year phase, during which 50 countries requested assistance under the Programme and 37 projects became operational. New projects during 1982 included a national workshop on fuelwood in Ethiopia, assistance to the Indian Government in carrying out an in-depth evaluation of what has been achieved to date in the pioneer Social Forestry Programme in the State of Gujarat, support for the production of a film on agroforestry practices in the Philippines, and the provision of equipment and technical assistance for a pilot project in Uganda to support village-level afforestation. During the year, large-scale projects to follow up earlier FLCD Programme activities became operational in Burma. Kenya. Peru and Senegal.

In 1982 the Forestry Department started a new Action Programme on Forestry and Rural Energy geared to mobilize additional resources for assisting developing countries with major fuelwood deficits: in 1980 this affected approximately 1150 million people with a deficit of 400 million m3 in their basic fuelwood supplies. The first project became operational in Peru in 1982 with the support of the Government of the Netherlands. More projects are being prepared or are under consideration by several donors following the recommendation for special support to this Programme made by the 21st FAO Conference in 1981. In order to examine the proper location and nature of programmes to solve the specific fuelwood supply/demand problems, the particular fuelwood situation of one of the most affected areas, the Sahel, was analysed in detail. A special map was prepared and a report published. In developing suitable solutions for fuelwood deficit situations, particular attention is being given to the contribution that programmes to improve the production and use of fuelwood can make to rural development by involving women, stimulating self-reliance mechanisms, mobilizing local resources and directly benefiting the people concerned. Bringing fuelwood-related action within the broadest context of forestry's contribution to development is the major aim of the Forestry Department's work in this area.

New Chinese journal on bamboo

A new forestry journal is being published by the Zhejiang Forestry Institute, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China. Entitled the Journal of Bamboo Research, it will contain information on technical innovations and papers relating to bamboo taxonomy, culture, ecology, physiology, protection, management and utilization. Each issue of the journal, which will be published semi-annually, will contain about 100 pages focusing on the latest bamboo research results in China and, to some extent, abroad. (See article on bamboo in China in Unasylva vol. 35, no. 141.)

The subscription price per year is Yuan Renmimbi 8.00. The distributor is China National Publishing Industry Trading Corp., PO Box 614, Beijing. China.

Pulp and paper conference

The 21st EUCEPA International Conference will be held 14-17 May 1984 in Torremolinos, Spain. Sponsored by the Madrid-based Asociación de Investigación Técnica de la Industria Papelera Española, the Conference will have as its theme "Chemical processes in pulp and paper technology". The first part of the technical programme, to be held on 14-15 May, will concentrate on pulp while the second part, scheduled for 16-17 May, will focus on paper.

Topics covered under "Pulp" will include cooking, bleaching, different kinds of pulp (thermomechanical, chemimechanical and chemithermomechanical), micro-organisms, organic solvents and recovery. Topics covered under the technical sessions on "Paper" will include the general aspects of papermaking, fillers in paper, stock sizing, surface sizing, coating and miscellaneous activities.

Logging with agricultural tractors

Over the last two years FAO's Forest Logging and Transport Branch has been assessing forestry equipment that can be attached to agricultural tractors in Mexico, Kenya and Chile. It has also been assessing logging by machine and by animal power. Preliminary results indicate that logging by animal power will prove to be cheaper.

The equipment being used is based essentially on agricultural tractors. These tractors are fitted with forestry attachments suitable for logging operations such as wood extraction from the timber stands to the road, or transport on the road to the processing sites. The equipment comprises mostly winches, cable-cranes and small trailers.

Small equipment is suitable only when there are small trees, with logs up to one tonne. Considering the size of logs in tropical forests, equipment this small would not be suitable for final harvesting operations. Therefore its future use will probably be limited to plantation forests or thinnings in natural forests, where there are smaller trees.

For steep terrain a specific method would have to be applied. In this case there is an agricultural tractor with a cable-crane attachment. This means that logs can be extracted over longer distances and often off the ground, in which case the impact of erosion can be considerably reduced when the trees are taken from the felling site to the road.

Reports on the equipment are available from FAO Headquarters in Rome. (The preceding comments are taken from a recent BBC radio broadcast in its series The Farming World, where host David Dixon talked to Rudolf Heinrich of FAO's Forest Logging and Transport Branch.)

WALKING TRACTORS WITH TRAILERS agricultural equipment suitable for short-distance logging

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