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FAO's tropical forestry - Action plan

FAO Forestry Department

ASIAN TEAK THRIVING IN HONDURAS an increasing internationalization of forestry

In most countries of the humid and dry tropics, forests are being cleared or degraded at a rapid rate, mainly to satisfy the basic subsistence needs of poor rural communities. Despite this alarming situation, national and international funding for tropical forestry programmes have generally decreased in recent years. The Committee on Forest Development in the Tropics recognized this at its session held in Rome in October 1983. One of the main purposes of this FAO statutory body, composed of 45 member countries, is "to study and report on the international programmes in tropical forestry and on the concerted action which could be undertaken by governments and international organizations to ensure the development and rational utilization of tropical forests and related resources". At this same session, the committee also recognized the need to identify and describe areas of high priority, with the aim of providing the international donor community with a set of clearly defined development programmes, and recommended that FAO establish ad hoc groups to elaborate proposals for action programmes in the priority areas it had identified at the regional or global level.

The Organization acted on this recommendation and convened an informal expert meeting in March 1985 to review action programme proposals in the following five priority areas: (i) forestry in land use, (ii) forest-based industrial development, (iii) fuelwood and energy, (iv) conservation of tropical forest ecosystems, and (v) institutions. These proposals, as revised by the expert meeting, were submitted to the committee at its seventh session, held in Rome in June 1985, which endorsed them and recommended that they be presented at the Ninth World Forestry Congress and to other important forums and bodies.

The Congress issued the Mexico Manifesto, subsequently endorsed by the Twenty-third Session of the FAO Conference. The Manifesto emphasizes the importance and urgency of the Action Plan and fully supports all initiatives geared to accelerating its implementation. In November 1985 the Action Plan was vigorously supported by the special international consultation of forestry advisers held in The Hague, Netherlands.

The five action programme proposals that constitute the Tropical Forestry Action Plan should be considered as an overall conceptual framework for action in the field of tropical forestry. Governments and agencies concerned should use this frame as a common reference for the formulation of their own tropical forestry programmes and for the harmonization of action between them.

The committee also recommended that these proposals be complemented by national investment profiles carried out by governments with the assistance of the World Bank and other competent organizations. In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the World Resources Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization, the World Bank has worked out investment requirements over a five-year period in 56 tropical countries. Investment profiles have been formulated, corresponding to four specific fields related to the priority areas selected by the committee (indicated in parentheses): "rehabilitation of upland watersheds and semi-arid lowlands" (forestry in land use), "forest management for industrial uses" (forest-based industrial development), "fuelwood and agroforestry" (fuelwood and energy) and "conservation of forest ecosystems" (conservation of tropical forest ecosystems).

I am confident that the adoption by all governments and agencies concerned of the committee's action plan as a global conceptual framework will contribute significantly to the harmonization and strengthening of the much-needed cooperation in tropical forestry.

M.A. Flores Rodas


The tropical forests of the Americas, Africa and Asia in 1980 covered about 1935 million ha, of which 1200 million ha were closed forest and 735 million ha were open tree formations. In addition, fallow forest land amounted to 410 million ha. The potential sustained yield capacity of the closed tropical forests was estimated at 5000 million m3 of wood per year, assuming a growth of approximately 4 m3/yr/ha. Although this estimate may be on the high side, only a small fraction of this potential annual production is utilized because of inaccessibility, lack of forest management and, in some areas, low intensity of utilization. Thus, while they account for more than half of the world forest resources, tropical forests provide less than half of the world total output of wood and only about one-fifth of the total output of wood for industrial purposes. Of the 1400 million m3 of wood taken annually from tropical forests, little more than 200 million m3 is used for purposes other than fuel.

Fuelwood provides 63 percent of the total energy consumption of developing African countries, 17 percent for the countries of Asia and 16 percent for Latin America. In some countries, the figure may be more than 90 percent. Wood is of particular importance as the source of energy for rural communities. Increasing fuelwood demand and, to a lesser extent, repeated burning and overgrazing are aggravating factors in the annual rate of deforestation and degradation, which in turn are putting the continued supply of wood for rural energy at risk.

About 2000 million people live in the tropical zone, where the population is increasing at a net annual average rate of 2.6 percent. The increasing population is exerting pressure for the use of forest land for agricultural purposes. The annual rate of deforestation of closed tropical forests has been estimated to be 7.5 million ha during the early 1980s, mostly due to transfer of forest land to agricultural use through shifting and other forms of cultivation. As regards open tree formations, the rate of annual deforestation has been estimated at 3.8 million ha/yr. Thus a total of some 11.3 million ha of tropical forests disappear each year.

The rate of plantation establishment in the tropical countries has accelerated over the last decade and is now on the order of 1.1 million ha per year, the total area of plantations having reached some 12 million ha by 1980. This, however, amounts to only one-tenth of the area deforested each year.

Strategy for action

The development and conservation of tropical forest resources and the enhancement of their contribution to human welfare will need resources and imagination but, more importantly, a strategy for action that will enjoy public and political support. The scope for national and international action in realizing the development potentials of tropical forests is enormous. Given, however, the limitations in resources, it is clear that priority areas need to be established.

Considering the collective needs of tropical countries, five priority areas have been selected:

1. Forestry in land use Action in this area is at the interface between forestry and agriculture and aims at conserving the resource base for agriculture (watershed management and desertification control), at integrating forestry into agricultural systems (agrosilvipastoral development), and at a more rational use of the land (assessment of tropical forest lands and land-use planning).

2. Forest-based industrial development Action aims at promoting appropriate forest industries in an integrated way through intensification of resource management and development, appropriate raw material harvesting, establishment and management of appropriate forest industries, reduction of waste and development of capability in marketing forest industry products.

3. Fuelwood and energy Action aims at accelerating corrective actions and restoring fuelwood supplies in the countries most affected by wood energy deficits through global assistance for fuelwood and wood energy development, support to national fuelwood and wood energy programmes, development of wood-based energy systems for rural and industrial development, regional training and demonstration in support to fuelwood actions and intensification of wood energy research and development.

4. Conservation of tropical forest ecosystems Action aims at conserving, managing and utilizing tropical plants and wild animal genetic resources through the development of national networks of protected areas, the planning, management and development of individual protected areas, in situ conservation of plant genetic resources and research into the management of tropical forests for sustainable production.

5. Institutions Action aims at re moving the institutional constraints impeding the conservation and wise utilization of tropical forest resources through the strengthening of public forest administrations and related government agencies, and of institutional support for the private sector and local organizations, the development of professional, technical and vocational training, of forest extension, and of forestry research.

It is fully recognized that other projects and activities outside these five areas also deserve consideration since development priorities must be established at the country level and actions planned and implemented on a country-by-country basis. However, it can be said that the five proposed areas of concentration cover comprehensively the wide range of tropical forestry issues and prospects worldwide.

1 - Forestry in land use

A review of the status of conservation and development of the tropical forests was undertaken during the FAO/UNEP/Unesco Expert Meeting held in Rome in January 1982. Since then, a number of important forums and publications have continued to reflect the concern of the world community about the deterioration of the tropical forest cover and its adverse effect on sustaining balanced land use and the provision of goods and services on which many local communities, as well as society at large, depend.

In this context, a most important contribution of forestry to food security is ensuring environmental stability and productivity by mitigating the effects of climatic fluctuations, by providing a stable microclimate for animal and plant production and by conserving soil and water resources. The forest also makes a direct contribution. It is a source of edible plants, wildlife and freshwater fisheries - wild foods that are often of great if unmeasured importance in the diets of many rural peoples.

Forestry has always provided support to the traditional farming systems and food security of the rural people. With the advent of modern agriculture and its emphasis on commodities, these linkages have broken down. Further, the green revolution, which is a highly input-oriented response of the more developed societies to meet their own food needs, is unlikely to solve the food problems of predominantly agrarian societies in short supply of agricultural inputs. Consequently, the traditional farming systems that depend on forest linkages for food must be strengthened and used as a second front for food production.

In the interface between agriculture and forestry, four main areas where conflicts in land use are the most severe have been identified:

· the loss of productive forests resulting from their clearance and transformation into other land uses, either by spontaneous settlers practicing shifting cultivation or by planned colonization for agriculture;

· degradation of mountain and hilly catchments as a consequence of unsuitable land use;

· desertification and degradation of semi-arid and subhumid areas;

· degradation of important tropical forest ecosystems.

Cost estimates for technical assistance for ten years (In millions of US dollars)

Agrosilvipastoral development

Integrated watershed management

Arid zone forestry and desertification control

Assessments of tropical forest lands and land-use planning

First level of assistance

Average cost





No. of countries










Second level of assistance

Average cost





No. of countries










Total cost





The total cost for the technical assistance programme at the national level in all the four areas of action is US$707 million.

Forest clearing for agriculture

If forests are considered (as they are by many decision-makers) to be a readily available source of land for agricultural expansion, even the entire land area of the developing countries (nearly three times the area under permanent agriculture and pasture) would be insufficient to feed their projected population by the end of the century using current methods of farming. Currently, as much as 11.3 million ha of forest are cleared every year, 45 percent of which is attributable to shifting cultivation and long fallow agriculture.

Unfortunately, most of these lands cleared from tropical forests do not remain productive for long, as the nutrients needed to maintain vegetation are held in the biomass and not in the soil. These cleared lands become infertile, leading not only to decreased production but also to environmental degradation.

It has been estimated that by the end of the century no less than 64 countries - 29 of them in Africa - will be unable to feed their populations from their own land resources. Some 2450 million ha - almost two-fifths or their land area, with 60 percent of the total population - would be carrying more people than the land can support, with all the consequences that this implies for human survival and the environment. The same studies show, nevertheless, that the problems of 28 of these countries would cease to be critical with adequate conservation practices and intermediate levels of fertilizer inputs, and this would hold true for a further 17 countries if high levels of inputs were adopted and sustained.

Thus in many tropical countries a prerequisite for forest conservation and management is a parallel and urgent action to intensify and diversify agricultural production in order to relieve pressure on forest land. An additional equally urgent need is to bring back into production the degraded waste lands - 75 million ha of degraded but potentially productive lands in Asia alone.

Watershed degradation in mountain areas

Mountain areas in many countries have always provided a favourable and often preferred habitat for human settlement because of their relatively equable climate and easily accessible sources of water. With stable levels of population, the habitat could be sustained without damage. More recent population measures, however, have put pressure on the forests as elsewhere in the tropics, introducing destructive agricultural practices causing progressive degradation of the ecosystem. The consequences are soil erosion and reduced infiltration in the watershed, with effects downstream such as floods, droughts, siltation of reservoirs and waterways and irregularity of water supply for hydropower irrigation, industry and domestic use.

Colonization by land-hungry migrants from overpopulated or inequitably distributed lowlands is frequently uncontrolled, but even in planned migrations, inadequate site evaluation prior to agricultural settlement often leads to unsuitable land use and subsequent degradation of steep areas and forest lands with fragile soils.

AGROFORESTRY DEVELOPMENT IN AMAZONIA international assistance is needed

Desertification of semi-arid and subhumid areas

Tropical semi-arid and subhumid areas have been subjected to increasing desertification. Open savannah woodland is usually cleared for cropping by burning. This is mainly peasant subsistence farming and repeated burnings have led to the destruction of humus and the loss of fertility, stability and water-holding capacity in the topsoil. A consequence has been the disappearance of useful shade trees and shrubs. During periods of above-average rainfall, the system of food production has often encroached on neighbouring animal-based systems because of population increase or for the extension of cash cropping. Such encroachment accelerates desertification, affecting both agricultural land and the invaded pastoral areas. The subsequent pattern of decline in soil fertility in crop and animal yield, combined with a growing scarcity of food, fodder and fuelwood, is inevitable.

Priorities for technical assistance by programme area

Agrosilvipastoral development

Integrated watershed management

Arid zone forestry and desertification control

Assessment of tropical forest lands and land use planning

Level I











Burkina Faso


Dominican Rep.


Cape Verde


El Salvador





Cook Islands

Democratic Yemen

































Sierra Leone


Rep of Cameroon

Viet Nam









Sri Lanka

Utd Rep of Tanzania

Utd Rep. of Tanzania



Level II

(technical assistance reduced by 50 percent)







Central Afr. Rep.


Costa Rica




Côte d'Ivoire



Equat. Guinea


Dominican Rep.









Sri Lanka



Trinidad & Tobago




Papua New Guinea


Rep. of Cameroon



Saint Lucia


Saint Vincent & Grenadines



Sri Lanka


Degradation of important tropical forest ecosystems

The shrinking of the tropical forest belt, particularly in areas of extensive rain forests and humid tropical forests, may have long-term national and global effects and is thus a source of legitimate international concern. The management of heterogeneous rainforest ecosystems is extremely complex. In many areas, such forests are being logged without an established silvicultural management system that will ensure adequate regeneration. Repeated selective cutting systems are likely to degrade the forest structure, as has been the case in the dipterocarp forests of Southeast Asia. The rain forests of West Africa are disappearing at a rate of some 5 percent annually. Côte d'Ivoire, which once had 30 million ha of tropical rain forest, is now reduced to only 4.5 million ha. As the forest shrinks, cropland expands, and the accelerating pattern of degradation is under way.

Action programme on forestry in land use

The following principles will constitute the conceptual framework within which the action programme is conceived:

· the integration of forestry in the agricultural sector and in multisectoral programmes;

· broad-based rural development with emphasis on diversification of rural economic activities;

· recognition of the vital role of forests in providing improved conditions for agricultural and animal production through such factors as shelter-belts, regulation of stream flow and erosion control;

· provision of direct economic benefits to local communities from forests and forest products and from the generation of employment;

· expansion of the contribution of forestry to conservation and the prevention of desertification.

The above principles are in line with those elaborated by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD) and by the Jakarta Declaration, which emanated from the Eighth World Forestry Congress.

NEWLY PLANTED HILLSIDE IN THAILAND a need to restore eroded areas

Agrosilvipastoral development

In mountain areas with medium to high population pressure, the need for fodder and fuelwood and the density of population make it imperative that any small piece of land (e.g. patches of steep or stony land, strips along roads, areas in and around gullies) that is not cultivated should be planted with trees. Plantations and natural forests can be managed for multiple uses such as fuelwood, timber, resin, beekeeping, cutting of grass and protection of water resources.

On densely populated flood plains, coastal areas and islands, although most of the land is under cultivation, there is a pressing need for forest products and wide scope for introducing trees into the farming system. Trees can be planted around homes, along field boundaries and canals and on stream banks. Fast-growing species may be grown in intensively managed wood-lots for fuel, fodder and wood for local industry. Trees may be planted for a variety of uses such as fruits, fodder, gums, shade, windbreaks and honey.

In arid and semi-arid lands, the presence of a large number of deep-rooted trees is needed to produce fodder together with fuel and organic matter, and to act as a fodder source in general during drought periods. The sustained productivity of the semi-arid environment is related to the presence of trees in the landscape. The fuel production potential can be realized only if such factors as stocking rates, rotational grazing, closing of degraded areas and enrichment planting are carried out with the understanding and participation of the local communities and their leaders. In many areas, population and livestock densities have reached levels where tree plantations become a necessity. Plantations may include irrigated wood-lots, fodder crops, shelter-belts and wind-breaks or nut- and fruit-producing trees. Multipurpose trees and shrubs should be fostered. As agriculture becomes more intensive, more forestry products are needed, including shakes, fence posts, box wood and wood for drying and curing.

In lowland humid tropical forests with high population pressure, agroforestry has long been practised and new experience is being gained. Examples are many and include shade for coffee and cacao plants, live fences, alley cropping, tree fallow using fast-growing species, silvipastoral management and agrosilvipastoral systems. Wherever the resource is in danger of depletion, slash-and-burn agriculture should be replaced by continuous cropping and farming systems, supported by soil conservation, leading to a more rational use of land according to its suitability.

Integrated watershed management

Policy, regulations, financing and awareness

· Because silting of reservoirs significantly reduces their economic life span, it is essential to stabilize the watersheds. Financial institutions and water resources planners should be prepared to allot funds to this in view of the considerable investment at stake.

· With high rates of population growth and the need for development, national economies require optimal development and use of hydroelectric power.

· Downstream beneficiaries should contribute to the development of catchments and the well-being of upland populations.

· Politicians and decision-makers should be induced, through the mass media, pressure groups and timely information, to take appropriate measures to protect the mountain watersheds.

Institutions, planning and organization

· The watershed offers an appropriate unit for planning land and water development. This approach should permeate rural development programmes, establishing an explicit linkage between the land and water resources as well as between upstream and downstream populations and interests.

Implementation measures and techniques

· Whenever inefficient production systems exceed the environmental threshold, it will be necessary to increase the land's carrying capacity by means of conservation measures, improved technologies and intensive application of inputs. This will often include a diversification of the upland economy, releasing the pressure on the land by including new sources of off-farm income.

· The involvement of the local community is crucial for the success of watershed management programmes. It is necessary to test various types of incentives to determine their effectiveness.

· Unstable land tenure and complex user rights constitute serious constraints on the stabilization of rural populations. Appropriate solutions for these problems are a prerequisite if watershed management programmes are to develop effectively.

Arid zone forestry and desertification control

The solution to the problems of low production, environmental degradation and poverty lies in appropriate land use geared to sustained production and conservation. The key to these problems is the application of integrated agrosilvipastoral land management systems. The objectives of this component of the action plan are to promote technological capabilities to achieve the following:

· improvement of agricultural production by a combination of dry farming practices as well as protective measures such as shelter-belts, wind-breaks, watershed protection and management, and water resource development;

· improvement of animal production through the inclusion of drought-resistant fodder trees and shrubs in forestation and range management schemes;

· appropriate location of watering-points and management of water resources;

· alleviation of the energy deficit by improving the productivity of the existing woody resources, creating plantations and wood-lots and improving the conversion and utilization of wood-based fuels;

· provision of alternative sources of employment and diversification of income of rural people through better multipurpose forest management.

Assessment of tropical forest lands and land-use planning

It has to be accepted that tropical forest lands will to some extent continue to be cleared for various other non-forestry land uses including agriculture. The suggested course of action therefore will involve simultaneously increasing the productivity of present agricultural and grazing land while minimizing conversion of forest land and ensuring that unsuitable land is not transferred to non-forest uses. This calls for assessment of forest lands, delineation of various land uses including land for multiple use, and developing plans for better management of the forests so delineated. Among the actions to be initiated:

· development and implementation of land-use policies;

· establishment and definition of the criteria for various land uses and development of land-use plans indicating the forest areas for retention and management and those for release and alternative use;

· development through research and demonstration of forest management systems, including those for multiple use of mangrove ecosystems;

· training persons for land-use planning, development and implementation.

2 - Forest-based industrial development

Eleven million ha of tropical forests are lost annually and forest industries have often been marked as the main culprit. However, the fact is that all of this forest land is lost to shifting cultivation, permanent agriculture and built-up areas. Furthermore, the annual removal from the world's forests amounts to almost 3000 million m3 a year, less than half of which is felled in the tropics. Eighty-five percent of the felling in the tropics relates to fuelwood collection and only 15 percent to industrial wood. This figure includes felling in industrial plantations as well as commercial logging operations for export of roundwood to industries in other countries. There is a fundamental difference in the approach to logging in the form of mining for export and logging for a local industry. The latter normally causes less environmental damage.

A forest without industry is essentially of no financial value to a government although its social and environmental/ecological value may be considerable. Introduction of forest-based industrial activity makes an active contribution to development and provides social benefits, one of which is an income both to the government and to the local population. This income generated by the forest industry is an incentive to protect the forest and to improve and maintain the financial and economic returns obtainable from it. It also ensures appropriate forest management, providing raw material to the industry on a sustained yield basis, with due consideration given to environmental issues. In fact, it is a must for a forest industry to maintain its raw material base and thus to reduce the environmental impact of its establishment to a minimum. The establishment of forest industries can also contribute to resource conservation and development through the establishment of plantations on marginal or deforested lands.

In the discussions on forest industries, it is often assumed that the only important products are based on wood in the form of roundwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels, wood pulp and paper and there is a tendency to disregard other forest industry products as insignificant. Wood products no doubt constitute the most important forest product worldwide, but others may be of extreme importance nationally.

Important non-wood products obtainable from forests are naval stores products, gum arable, tannin, cork, honey, mushrooms, fruit juices, furs and hides, to mention the most obvious ones. In forest-based industrial development, these products need to be taken into account as well, since their economic importance and contribution to development on a local level may be extremely important. In fact, the prime concern in this context should not be the establishment of forest industries per se, but their contribution to local and national development.

Development assistance to forest industries

Development assistance will essentially be required in all regions and countries where forest resources are available to the extent that forest industries can be established. Over the next ten years, the estimated requirements of funds for the implementation of the action programme are as follows (in thousands of US dollars):


Donor contribution

Government contribution


Technical assistance




Training courses and manuals




Pilot projects




Techno-economic research








It could be added, to show the perspective, that total investment needs in forest industries in the tropical countries are estimated at about US$250000 million over the next ten years, including infrastructure, new plants, reinvestment and rehabilitation of old plants.

These investments relate to processing facilities. To these must be added those required for the development of forest resources for industries. The World Bank estimates at US$51225 million the amount of a five-year (1987-91) investment programme on "forest management for industrial use" for 25 tropical countries selected on "an analysis of declining exports and rising imports of forest products and their potential for accelerated industrial reforestation and improved management of industrial forests".

Forest industries and rural development

Organization of the rural population for development activities is one, of the major challenges to the establishment of forest-based industries. However, if the industrial enterprise is established in an appropriate manner, there are several ways in which it will contribute to rural development. First of all, since it is located near or in the forest, it contributes to reducing the migration of rural people to urban centres to seek employment that may not exist. Secondly, maintaining the population in the rural area by introducing new activities tends to preserve the family income contribution by all members so that, for instance, food is produced through gardening, animal husbandry or small-scale farming activities carried out by those family members not directly employed by the industrial enterprise. Thus, the new employment possibilities available to the male members of the family do not reduce the income earned or contribution made by the other family members, in contrast to what usually happens when the family moves to urban areas.

In addition to the employment offered by the forest industry, the economic activities generated by the industry through its mere presence may be considerable. Services required by the enterprise itself and the people it employs attract the establishment of shops, workshops and other facilities which, in turn, provide more employment, more training and more income.

Forest industries and national development

However, the impact of the establishment of forest-based industries is not restricted to rural communities alone. Its impact is, without doubt, of national importance as well. Establishing sawmills, for example, provides the base for the establishment of secondary wood-processing units for the production of furniture and housing, contributing to additional employment facilities in both rural and urban areas.

Establishing forest industries also provides a potential for foreign-exchange earnings or, if all production is consumed within the country, foreign-exchange savings. The magnitude of these is illustrated by the fact that in 1982 the developing countries exported roundwood and wood products for a total value of US$7100 million. On the other hand, the developing countries had a foreign exchange outlay of $10100 million for import of wood products in the same year.

If the export of industrial roundwood were reduced and at least some of it were converted within the developing countries into sawnwood for export, considerable earnings could be made through the increased value-added in comparison with log exports.

MURAL CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY IN JAMAICA forestry ran slow urban migration

There is no doubt that the greatest import expenditure with respect to products is in pulp and paper - a total of $5300 million in 1982 compared with exports to a value of $1100 million. However, owing to the capital-intensiveness of this industry and the small markets in most developing countries, there is much doubt as to whether a substantial change can be expected in the global import/export pattern of pulp and paper in developing countries, although some changes can be expected in individual countries or groups of countries.

Regardless of the products for which a change in the export/import pattern might be achieved, it could be mentioned, as an illustration of the possible implications, that if the value of exports of wood products from developing countries could be increased by one-third and the value of imports reduced in the same proportion, the net value of these changes would amount to about $5000 million a year on the basis of 1982 prices.

Specific problems and possible solutions

Over the past ten years or so, great emphasis has been placed in industrialization efforts on the introduction of technology that is appropriate to the conditions of the developing countries. In general, this has been understood to be small labour-intensive production units with a minimum of sophistication. The result has been directives and guidelines very often as inappropriate as the approach of establishing forest industries in developing countries based on blueprints from industrialized ones. The latter approach assumes that the conditions are the same in both developing and developed countries, whereas the former is based on an assumption that all developing countries have identical conditions. In addition, both approaches fail to recognize that the technology chosen has to take into account the market requirements and the competitiveness required of the forest industry to be established. Evaluation, adaptation and transfer of technology to suit the conditions and requirements of a specific developing country are, accordingly, a very important step in the introduction of forest industries.

However, the mere selection of technology in an appropriate manner does not provide the solution; the problem goes far deeper than that.

Developed countries as a rule have a strong private sector, a well-developed and functioning institutional framework, and a stable government structure which exercises adequate control over such issues as social welfare, lending policies and rates of interest. In addition, the income distribution is not unduly askew. Developing countries, on the other hand, in general have a weak private sector which is unable to provide for major investment requirements, uneven income distribution, and an inadequate institutional framework. Lending policies, rates of interest and related issues are affected by inflation pressures and by foreign lending agencies to a far greater extent than in developed countries. The weakness in the institutional framework also has an effect on the extent to which the government can exercise or maintain control over forest policy-related issues, such as utilization of forest concessions. Constraints on availability of foreign exchange may also have a serious effect on the industrial development of these countries.

Some of the constraints that affect the success or have been the reasons for failures in the past in the efforts of forest-based industrial development, in addition to a general lack of infrastructure, include the following:

· financing;

· lack of adequate wood supply;

· lack of adequate domestic markets and marketing capability;

· lack of trained staff and managerial capability;

· institutional problems;

· lack of involvement of the local population;

· constraints that do not allow modernization of existing mills to ensure competitiveness and lack of spare parts.

Structure of the action programme

The action programme will have the following priority elements:

· intensification of resource management and development;
· development of appropriate raw-material harvesting systems;
· establishment and management of appropriate forest industries;
· reduction of waste;
· development of capability in marketing forest industry products.

Intensification of resources management and development

Technical assistance will focus on a series of important development issues. The key issue will be to assist the countries in maintaining or improving the productivity of the forest to ensure that local, regional, national and export requirements are satisfied on a long-term basis. Therefore, the determination of forest land tenure and the development of guidelines for forest land use and concession agreements will have high priority for technical assistance.

Special attention will be given to the development of management and silvicultural systems for natural forests that will ensure future productivity and environmental stability and at the same time be economically feasible. Although the management of natural forests will continue to have high priority, plantation establishment and management will, in many cases, be included in the overall approach. Industrial plantations will diminish the pressure on the natural forests, the technology involved includes fewer uncertainties, and funds are easier to obtain than for the management of natural forests. Where appropriate, attention will be given to the development and production of non-wood forest resources.

NEW LOGGING ROAD IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA only the right roads in the right places

Appropriate raw-material harvesting

Since the lack of trained personnel is one of the main constraints on logging operations in developing countries, special consideration will need to be given to training logging personnel at all levels. Therefore, special training programmes will have to be designed, taking into account the introduction of appropriate logging systems with a view to minimizing damage to forests, increasing log production, reducing costs and increasing productivity.

This should be achieved by establishing regional wood-harvesting research centres to carry out research work and to train logging managers and instructors as well as by helping the few existing national wood-harvesting training centres to increase the training capabilities for supervisors, technicians and forest workers.

Furthermore, training courses should be held with special reference to planning, design, layout and construction of forest roads, management of logging operations, safety and ergonomics in forestry work and utilization of forest residues.

Appropriate forest industries

Numerous interrelated issues are involved in the establishment and management of forest industries which will be appropriate to the overall development and socio-cultural framework of a tropical country. The basic ingredients are the availability of raw material resources, human resources in the form of a trained workforce and management, capital, technology and markets.. The infrastructural factors, including provisions for the active participation of the rural population, are basic requirements for the development of appropriate forest industries.

Action required in tropical countries for the establishment and management of the appropriate forest industries includes the following:

· assistance in planning, evaluating and monitoring the industry projects to secure financing;
· provision of training at all levels, including improvement of management capabilities;
· rehabilitating, strengthening and restructuring existing industries in response to changing conditions;
· securing the institutional support needed for industrial operations;
· involvement of the rural population in industrial activities.

Reduction of waste

Most forest and forest industry operations produce varying amounts of residues, depending on the efficiency of the operations. Whether the residues become waste depends on the availability of uses for them.

Residues that require attention in tropical countries result from the operations based on natural forests and first thinnings of plantations. Owing to their heterogeneity such residues often become waste unless action to develop use for them is taken.

Action needs to be taken in

· designing and introducing industries capable of utilizing small logs and residues;

· involving the local population in gathering residues and using them as raw material in cottage industries;

· developing appropriate residue-based energy uses in various forms including briquetting of sawdust, production of charcoal and processing for power plants;

· promoting processing industries based on residue utilization;

· organizing training and demonstration in residue handling, storage and use.

Development of marketing capability

The role of marketing as one of the basic functions of forest industry enterprises in tropical countries needs to receive increased recognition, and its linkages with other functions need to be strengthened. Action will, therefore, be taken to increase awareness of the importance of marketing as a means to improve the efficiency of the industry. Furthermore, marketing capability in industry and the supporting institutional framework will be developed and strengthened through training, demonstration and financial assistance.

Under this priority element, action will be taken to

· increase the awareness of the importance of marketing in forest industry enterprises serving both domestic and export markets;

· provide appropriate training in marketing forest industry products;

· strengthen cooperative efforts and infrastructural prerequisites to provide marketing services for small-scale industries and rural communities gathering and manufacturing forest-based products;

· establish market intelligence services at national and regional levels to serve forest-based industries in tropical countries;

· develop and strengthen promotional activities, structure channels of distribution and improve grading and standardization;

· provide advice in trade policies, especially to protect the local markets against dumping.

3 - Fuelwood and energy

A fuelwood and energy priority action programme is justified by the situation and problems in tropical developing countries:

· Approximately 2000 million people - most rural people and many urban as well - depend on woodfuels as their main or sole source of energy to cook their food and keep warm.

· Nine-tenths of all the wood harvested annually is used for energy: it accounts for over two-thirds of total energy consumption in 24 tropical countries, of which 16 are least-developed countries.

· Increasing fuelwood demand from growing populations is an aggravating factor in the annual deforestation of 11.3 million ha of tropical forests to which should be added vast areas of land under accelerated degradation. The resulting destruction of fragile ecosystems threatens the agricultural potential and the production of food on an alarming scale.

· One hundred million people, half of them in Africa, were suffering from an acute scarcity of fuelwood in 1980; another 1000 million, mostly in Asia, were able to meet their energy needs only by overcutting all available biomass in their environment.

· As supplies diminish, the people who depend on woodfuels are suffering increasing physical or economic burdens in maintaining even a minimal daily fuel supply. Many people cannot secure sufficient cooked food to avoid hunger and malnutrition.

· No alternative source of energy will provide a viable substitute for fuelwood on a scale that could permit a major reduction of dependence on it within the next two decades.

· In places where a surplus of wood for energy exists or could be created, wood-based energy can make an important contribution to rural and industrial development and to national energy self-reliance.

Meeting the energy requirements of those who depend on woodfuels is much more than an energy issue: it is essential in maintaining a stable environment in vast areas of the tropics. The accelerating degradation of the fuelwood situation requires that massive action be undertaken now; the earlier this is done, the more effective and the cheaper will be the total effort. In this respect, time and scale are critical factors. Fuelwood shortage is a problem not only of survival but also of poverty and development; solutions can contribute substantially to the welfare of those who have no alternative sources of energy, employment and income.

Fuelwood was stressed as a priority area for action by the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy, held in Nairobi in 1981, and since then at many international meetings, such as the Twenty-first FAO Conference. Action so far is not proportional to the magnitude of the problem. A high level of political priority and commitment is indispensable.

Approaches to solutions

The previous analyses as well as recent experiences clearly indicate the steps to take:

· Where the remaining tree resources can still supply substantial quantities of fuelwood, priority attention should be given to their protection and management and to conditions of access. Special efforts are necessary to install the necessary infrastructure and to improve the productivity of the natural woody vegetation. The integration of such existing resources in agriculture/forestry land use planning and the intensification of agricultural systems productivity will make increases in food production less dependent on expansion to land at present covered by tree vegetation.

· In creating additional fuelwood resources, preference should be given to the multiplication of small wood-lots and trees grown in the vicinity of the users. The multiple benefits of trees in providing fuel, timber, fodder, food and environmental protection should stimulate people's interest in growing trees.

· Developing economic approaches that stimulate farmers' investment in tree-growing to produce fuelwood as a cash crop is crucial. Production aspects must be considered as well as market organization, price mechanisms, equitable distribution of income and benefits, extension and organizational support.

· People's participation on a massive scale is vital to the success of any fuelwood programme. No government or other institution can afford the cost and size of programmes required to solve the fuelwood problem. Information, motivation and extension based on appropriate socio-economic investigation of people's needs and aspirations are essential.

· Combined activities to increase supplies, to economize energy and to conserve natural resources are appropriate ways of demonstrating to people how to improve their capability to act directly and appropriately within their own cultural and socio-economic context.

· Because a large group of fuelwood users are landless and poor, ways must be found to safeguard their access to supplies and their participation in the benefits of fuelwood programmes; these may include providing access to land to grow food and fuel.

· Different approaches are needed to the supply of urban and other commercial markets and to the primarily subsistence-level rural demand, with emphasis on village and farm tree-planting for the latter and commercial operations for the former.

Priority areas with large fuelwood deficits

Acute scarcity


Potential deficit


· Botswana

· Angola

Côte d'Ivoire

· Burkina Faso

· Benin




· Sierra Leona

Cape Verde

· Guinea


· Chad

· Madagascar


· Malawi


· Mozambique

· Ethiopia


· Kenya

Rep. of Cameroon



· Mali





· Utd Rep. of Tanzania

· Niger

· Zaire

· Rwanda


· Somalia

· Sudan


Near East

Democratic Yemen



· Afghanistan


· Burma

· Nepal





Sri Lanka


Viet Nam

Latin America




El Salvador



· Haiti





Dominican Rep.


· Guatemala


· Paraguay

Note: Italics indicate a country classified by the United Nations as least developed or most seriously affected.

· Indicates a country that was depending on fuelwood for over two-thirds of its total primary energy consumption in the early 1980s.

Action programme on fuelwood and energy

The fuelwood/rural energy problem is complex in both nature and magnitude. It cannot be dissociated from the overall framework of rural development, the stability of the environment on which life depends and the multiple contribution of trees to the rural economy. Fortunately, ways of improving the supply, distribution and use of woodfuels do exist. Unlike other forms of energy, no new technology is required beyond the adaptation of traditional forestry techniques to local needs and possibilities. The task is to adapt and diffuse mature technologies and to mobilize the resources required for a massive effort. Time and scale of action are the critical factors.

Global strategy The United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy indicated fuelwood and rural energy as a priority area for action. The Nairobi Programme of Action identified the main lines of action, which fully apply to situations prevailing in the tropics.

Cost of the fuelwood and energy action programme over ten years (In millions of US dollar)

Global level

· Assistance programme for fuelwood development, wood-energy sector assessments and programme development


Regional level

· Regional training and demonstration programmes: Africa, Asia, Latin America


· Interregional programme on intensification of wood-energy research and development


National level

· Support to national fuelwood programmes

- preparatory assistance: 25 countries


- investment: 60 countries of which accelerated programme for 23 countries estimated by the World Bank at US$1300 million for the period 1986-90


· Development of wood-based commercial energy




Financial requirements of the fuelwood action programme

· Programme development activities: country fuelwood assessment and formulation missions for identification of assistance needs of national fuelwood programmes (25 countries)

$ 750000

· Ad hoc working group meetings including the travel of nine experts from developing countries - approximately

$ 200000

· Consultancy funds to prepare the annual meetings

$ 80000

· Reports and publications, including secretariat

$ 100000



Actions to increase the supply of wood for energy

· Protect and manage more intensively existing resources in all natural tree formations: rest over-exploited areas, use all available biomass, including residues, and apply active management techniques even to lower-quality woodlands for energy production.

· Grow more wood for fuel: increase massively the employment of fast-growing multipurpose trees in land use systems outside the forest, at farm and community level and in non-conventional areas, mainly through self-help activities by the users of the fuelwood produced.

Actions aimed at conservation and efficiency

· Organize distribution and marketing: ensure stable access to and more economical use of available supplies, organize the supply from distant resources to counterbalance local shortages, ensure equitable remuneration of the producers as an incentive to further investment.

· Use wood energy more efficiently: reduce the level of consumption through improved conversion technologies all the way from better fuel preparation and improved charcoal-making efficiency to improved stoves and other end-use devices in domestic as well as industrial uses.

Actions to diversify energy supplies and use

· Replace or complement wood energy with other forms of energy, either conventional or renewable, with particular attention to the end users' capability to absorb the technological change and to support the cost involved.

· Increase the production of commercial wood-based energy - for example, charcoal for urban or industrial use, electric or other power for rural applications whenever a surplus of wood for energy exists or can be created.

TANZANIAN ROADSIDE FUELWOOD PLANTATION one solution to a major problem

Development assistance needs

The magnitude and the complexity of the action required to meet the needs of populations that continue to depend on fuelwood cannot be overemphasized. The complexity of the problem makes it imperative to respect the manifold links between forestry, agriculture, environment and energy in the tropics. Well-directed development assistance can play a critical role in providing the necessary support both for strengthening the national capabilities and for stimulating concrete achievements which could serve at least as a demonstration base for wider diffusion

4 - Conservation of tropical forest ecosystems

The main goals of this action programme are as follows:

· to prevent loss or degradation of the tropical forest resource, while furthering development and the wise use of existing natural resources;

· to promote the sustainable use of tropical forest ecosystems, whether exploited or not, for the production of timber and wood, in such a way that the genetic resources they contain are safeguarded;

· to encourage and facilitate the integrated management of tropical forest ecosystems so as to provide wildlife and non-wood crops with minimal disturbance of the ecosystems and associated wild genetic resources;

· to promote the conservation and management of samples of ecosystems as reservoirs of species diversity.

If these approaches had been sufficiently implemented in the past, the urgent remedial action now required for the rehabilitation of watersheds, the provision of fuelwood and the building up of industrial wood stocks would not be necessary and many thousands of millions of dollars could have been turned to other uses. Failure to protect ecosystems and their genetic resources now will result in an inability to respond to future needs and challenges.

The following facts underline the urgent need for action.

· Tropical forest is being lost at a rate of more than 11 million hectares a year.

· This loss is selective. Certain types, such as the east coast rain forest of South America and the forests of Madagascar, have almost totally gone; a large proportion of others, such as the very rich lowland dipterocarp forest of Southeast Asia and the savannah woodlands of West Africa, have been seriously disturbed.

· Less than 5 percent of the productive closed forest is managed in a satisfactory manner for the sustained production of timber.

· A mere 3 percent of the closed forest area is safeguarded in national parks or other protected areas, and much is protected on paper only.

· Eighty-one endangered tree species have been identified by the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources for priority action and several hundred others are in need of attention. Few of them are satisfactorily conserved.

· Very large areas of fragile soils in catchments and arid areas have been totally devegetated.

Cost of the conservation action programme over ten years (In millions of US dollars)

· Development of national networks of protected areas


· Planning and management of individual protected areas


· Conservation of genetic resources, with special reference to in situ conservation


· Research into management for sustainable production




Main issues

There are seven main issues that require action.

1. There is a pressing and widespread need to design and adopt methods of sustainable silvicultural management for those forests that are not under controlled management.

2. In view of the rapid destruction or alteration of the tropical forest, it is urgent to select and establish a series of protected areas covering the whole range of variation of tropical ecosystems and the genetic resources of species of actual or potential socio-economic value.

3. There is a need to guarantee the permanence of existing and future protected areas by improving legislation, the administrative arrangements for implementing legislation, and the management of protected areas.

4. National parks and other protected areas should be treated as part of the pattern of land use that surrounds them and should be designed and operated in such a way that they are acceptable to local people and bring benefit to them.

5. Methods should be developed and adopted that enable the forest to be used for the production of wood, food and other non-wood products in a sustainable manner.

6. The concepts of conservation policy and management for conservation need to be expanded to include the maintenance of the intraspecific variation of species of actual or potential socio-economic importance; and the adoption of measures that conserve as much as possible of the variation of other species whose qualities are not known.

7. Closer links need to be developed between policies for the conservation of ecosystems and of genetics resources on the one hand and, on the other, measures to encourage the recovery of natural vegetation to provide protection for soil and catchment areas.

Main problems and possible solutions

Need to select and establish protected areas as part of national and regional networks Protected areas for the conservation of wildlife or ecosystems and areas for the conservation of genetic resources are chosen because of their characteristics in an unaltered state; for example, they are the best examples of a particular ecosystem, or they are very rich in species, or they contain a concentration of endemic species or support populations with a rich range of genotypes. If it is a question of choosing a typical example of an ecosystem, there may be alternatives, but in the other cases there may be only one suitable area.

Ideally, therefore, the selection of areas for protection should be carried out before decisions are made to convert forest to other uses. It should also be done on the basis of a national or regional survey that determines the whole range of variation of the ecosystems in question and the target species for conservation and then selects a system of protected areas to ensure that a reasonable sample of that range of variation is safeguarded.

Need to assemble the basic information for the conservation of germ-plasm The basic scientific knowledge that would provide a sound basis for establishing and managing in situ germ-plasm reserves requires developing for tropical plants. In fact, many tropical plants are being lost before they are properly understood or investigated for their potential usefulness. There is an urgent need to initiate and complete basic botanical surveys of plant diversity and distribution, and to initiate and complete investigations to clarify what measures are needed to conserve the intraspecific variation of any species, including those of current economic importance.

Need to integrate protected area planning into overall land use and regional planning A satisfactory and effective network of protected areas should be integrated from the beginning into national or regional land use planning. It is bound to be deficient if it is tagged on as an afterthought.

Need to integrate the management of protected areas and the conservation of genetic resources into rural development and to involve rural communities Too often in the past, the management of protected areas has not been planned in a harmonious fashion or related to the management of surrounding areas. It has paid scant regard to the prevailing land use before the protected area was established, and may even have extinguished traditional rights or displaced indigenous populations.

Moreover, protected areas are often too small to retain their value unless they are surrounded by less intensively used land (often known as buffer zones). Such a practice may, for example, allow grazing animals to migrate into and out of the protected areas at certain seasons.

The rural peoples who live in or around protected areas should derive some benefit from as well as understand and be sympathetic to such protection, a factor to be taken account of in planning and management.

HILLSIDE REFORESTATION IN VIET NAM rehabilitating tropical ecosystems

Lack of incentives for ecosystem and genetic resource conservation There is often no economic incentive for local people to support the establishment of protected areas. The profits from utilization accrue to people in the cities or, in the case of genetic resources, even to people in other countries and regions. Too often, protected areas do not provide direct benefits, income or employment to local people, who may, indeed, actually have been penalized when the reserve was established. One solution is to combine protection with controlled cropping of wildlife or to involve local people in wardening. Conservation is often compatible with the managed utilization of goods and services from a protected area or reserve. The key is to link it with furthering rural development.

In exceptional circumstances where systems to involve and benefit local people cannot be devised, it may be necessary to resort to compensatory mechanisms to ensure that communities are not penalized by the existence of conservation activities.

Lack of awareness of the need for ecosystem and genetic resource conservation This is a constraint at all levels. Politicians and decision-makers seldom see the force of the argument that, in the interests of conservation, some restrictions should be put on the exploitation or use of areas apparently suitable for development. To the public, conservation seldom appears to offer immediate benefits.

Many politicians and senior government officials are now becoming familiar with the arguments for establishing national parks and even nature reserves. But the arguments for genetic reserves remain unfamiliar to them. They seem also largely unaware that very large areas of forest and natural vegetation can, if managed with care, provide wood and protein in perpetuity and at the same time achieve most of the environmental and genetic benefits of protected areas.

Much of the problem of awareness is due to a gap in communications between the forester/conservationist, the decision-makers and the public, and it is the responsibility of foresters to bridge this gap. An urgent and sustained programme of extension and awareness is needed at all levels if the problems are to be understood, and if effective systems of conservation are to be established before many species and much genetic material have been lost.

Lack of financial support for conservation generally and tropical forest ecosystem conservation in particular This constraint is in part related to the low priority conservation is given by governments and to what is considered to be the long-term nature of the benefits that conservation provides. This unfortunate situation can be remedied only by an information and education campaign presenting the benefits of conservation and the costs of ignoring proper conservation measures. One aspect of the campaign would be aimed at the scientific community, while in the other, a more popular presentation would be beamed at the wider public.

Shortage of trained staff at all levels The lack of trained staff is a serious management constraint in protected areas. A number of training schools in conservation and wildlife management are operative, but the coverage of these is still insufficient and they need to be supplemented by further regional training facilities in areas inadequately served.

Action programme on conservation of tropical forest ecosystems

Goals, conceptual framework and strategy for action The general goal of the programme is to safeguard development now and in the future by ensuring the sustainable use of the forest resource and the conservation of representative samples of tropical forest ecosystems and of genetic resources of species of actual or potential socio-economic value. The action programme takes account of the fact that direct conservation measures can be implemented only at the national level by the sovereign states concerned. National programmes rely on establishing countrywide networks of protected areas and initiating genetic-resource conservation activities. Regional and global programmes, are built up from national efforts, and much of the emphasis is on promoting adequate geographical and ecological coverage.

The development of the programme will be governed by the following basic principles.

· The interests of local people are paramount, and partnership with them is essential. Work should be done at the request of local people, for them and by them.

· Natural ecosystems and genetic resources should be managed in a sustainable manner.

· The selection of protected areas to safeguard ecosystems and measures to conserve genetic resources in any country will be part of a global strategy. Responsibility for the development of this rests with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources for protected areas in general and with Unesco for biosphere reserves. Strategic global planning for the conservation of plant genetic resources, on the other hand, is the responsibility of FAO. Ultimately, however, countries themselves must decide and agree on priorities.

· Conservation of ecosystems and of genetic resources must be integrated and treated as an integral part of development and of overall land use policies and land husbandry

· The whole field of ecosystem and genetic-resource conservation is a joint interest of the members of the Ecosystem Conservation Group (ECG) and is being developed by them in close cooperation, each assuming the responsibilities that are most appropriate. The Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, at its first session in 1985, endorsed the role of the ECG in coordinating work on plant genetic-resource conservation.

5 - Institutions

From the action programme studies of the tropical forests, a number of technical problems have been identified in the field of management which present the greatest challenge to professional foresters. However, the factors having the greatest influence on forest development are both technical and institutional in nature:

· the development of human resources through education and training at the professional, technical and vocational levels;

· the development of appropriate institutional structures and tools such as policy and planning, legislation, human resources planning, extension and research.

Several studies have been made by the Forestry Department of FAO to assess the institutional situation in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The following appear the most common and important problems:

1. There is a growing need for trained personnel at all levels in all the regions. A survey of 24 African countries indicates, for example, that some 3900 professionals and 20000 technicians will be required by the year 2000; extrapolation from these figures shows that the requirements of the region as a whole would be in the order of 8000-9000 professionals and 40000-50000 technicians. A similar study of six Southeast Asian countries concluded that there were 4300 forestry professionals and 10500 technicians available in 1977, but that more than 11800 professionals and 33500 technicians were actually required. The likely requirements by the year 2000 are thought to be even twice as high. Case-studies for 18 countries in Central and South America show that up until 1978 a total of 3500 professionals and 1300 technicians had graduated, and estimate that an additional 3200 professionals and 14900 technicians would be required by 1985.

2. Vocational training of forest workers engaged in forest management operations is still at a very elementary stage in many countries. This is in spite of the fact that the task has long been acknowledged as important, and indispensable to improving the living conditions of field-workers and increasing the effectiveness of forestry operations. A study of five Latin American countries shows that for the period 1990-2000, approximately 31000 qualified workers will be needed. A survey covering eight Asian countries indicates that the requirements in 1978 were for 20000 skilled workers.

Although the demand for trained personnel at all levels is very substantial, the number of available schools and training centres remains small, especially at the technical level and for forest industry education and training.

In many countries the forestry sector is still playing an isolated role in the economy, jeopardizing the possibility of achieving adequate and well-balanced national development. This is reflected in policy and legislation mechanisms.

Cost of the institutions action programme over ten years (In millions of US dollars)

Technical assistance

· Institution-building (forest policy, legislation, institution-building. etc.)


· Research and extension


· Education and training




Investment - two types are considered:

1. Investment aimed at institution-building

· Institution-building (forest policy, legislation, planning, building up of forest services)


· Research and extension


· Education and training




2. Investment in sectoral or subsectoral activities/projects/programmes, in which institutional actions are complementary to the main objectives of the investment. This is unquantified but is estimated at about 20 percent of such investment.

Action programme on institutions

Owing to the complexity of institutional mechanisms, in which various disciplines are involved and where sustained action over a long period of time is needed to achieve concrete results, it is necessary to group them in a comprehensive way in order to facilitate action. However, it must be understood that such grouping has only a practical purpose, since these mechanisms are closely interdependent.

In order to develop its own institutional evaluation and approach, each sectoral or subsectoral activity, project or programme has to evaluate its own progress in relation to its objectives and institutional requirements in a self-contained manner. This must be done by systematic institutional build-up, through the following steps:

· evaluation of the present institutional situation;

· creation of new institutions;

· institutional support to existing institutions;

· improvement of links between institutions;

· improvement of working conditions and motivation of people working within the institutions;

· development of relations between institutions, policy-makers, local communities and the general public.

Goals of action programme

The main goals of this action programme are as follows:

· to integrate forestry development into national development;

· to improve human capabilities in forestry and promote support for forestry development;

· to improve the administration of tropical forest land through appropriate utilization of institutional support mechanisms;

· to ensure the active and integral participation of all institutions and social sectors in the forest area with a view to making forestry development technically efficient and productive and socially effective.

Major programme components

Strengthening the public forest administrations and related government agencies

· Improvement of existing and formulation of new forest policies, legislation and planning systems;

· improvement and change of organizational structures, both within the existing public forest administrations and between the public forest administrations and other government agencies;

· development of the motivation and effectiveness of staff within the public forest administrations and related agencies through improved personnel policies, career opportunities and in-service training;

· improvement of the capacity of the public forest administrations to present financial requirements within the existing budgetary system and at the appropriate decision-making level.

Research and development

· Evaluation of the need for and general structure of a research system;

· strengthening or establishing research institutes and making better use of research capabilities;

· establishment of appropriate mechanisms for national, regional and global cooperation and coordination between forestry research institutions;

· establishment of efficient mechanisms for transfer of forestry research results into rural systems.

TUNISIAN DUNE STABILIZATION PROJECT a key is institutional support


· Evaluation of the need for and the general structure of an extension system for rural forestry;
· strengthening or establishing permanent structures and mechanisms for forestry extension;
· building up a mechanism for forestry inputs into the agricultural and rural extension systems.

Professional, technical and vocational training

· Assessment of human resources needs at national and regional levels;

· establishment of new schools and training centres or expansion and improvement of existing ones at all levels;

· review and updating of curricula of forestry schools at all levels in order to relate them to the new objectives of forestry development;

· promotion of continuing education programmes.

Institutional support for he private sector and local organizations

· Establishment of a permanent structure for channelling forestry inputs and assistance into existing local organizations and agricultural and other rural associations;

· establishment of a permanent structure within the public forestry administration to support the participation of local communities and the creation and functioning of forestry-oriented rural associations and cooperatives;

· support to existing non-governmental organizations or the creation of new ones with the aim of an increased involvement in rural forestry;

· provision of incentives for industrial organization and promotion of contacts between the private sector and the rural organizations.

NURSERY WORKERS IN ALGERIA cooperation and financing bring results

Drawings by Nasser

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