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Combating desertification

Role of forestry In combating desertification. FAO Conservation Guide No. 21. Rome, FAO. 1989. 333 pp.

This document is not a field manual or a state-of-the-art report on arid zone forestry. Rather, it is intended to serve as a general guide to assist decision-makers and managers in designing appropriate forestry programmes in arid zones. As arid zone forestry is still an "infant" in the forestry profession, it is expected that the guide will help to strengthen and expand this field, generate new initiatives and promote increased cooperation at subregional, regional and international levels.

The document consists of five sections. Section I summarizes the main elements for a strategy on the role of forestry in combating desertification as well as in developing arid lands; and identifies the main objectives of an arid zone forestry programme and action proposals to enhance the contribution of forestry to rural development.

Section II is divided into three parts. It first presents an overview of recent developments in production, utilization and processing systems, reviewing forestry, silvopastoral systems, agrisilviculture and wildlife production systems. A second part on conservation and restoration systems highlights approaches and techniques for the control of wind erosion, watershed management, water harvesting, land restoration and revegetation, rehabilitation of saline environments, wildlife and genetic resources conservation. The final part of this section on policy, institutions and socioeconomic aspects examines the characteristics of policy and legal orientations, administrative and financial implications, and the status of research, extension, dissemination of information and education as related to dry zones. Action proposals for each area are identified.

Section III contains 14 selected papers on various aspects of arid zone forestry; each paper concludes with an extensive bibliography. Section IV summarizes the state of knowledge and experience in the world's arid regions, covering North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Sudano-Sahelian region, eastern Africa, North Africa, the Near East, India, Pakistan, China, the Asian part of the USSR and Australia. Section V analyses the role of arid zone forestry and its contribution to rural development.

The conservation guide draws heavily on documentation originally prepared for the FAO Expert Consultation on the Role of Forestry in Combating Desertification, held in Saltillo, Mexico in June 1985 as a satellite meeting to the Ninth World Forestry Congress.

Natural forest management

Management of tropical motet forests In Africa. FAO Forestry Paper No. 88. Rome, FAO. 1989.165 pp.;
Review of forest management systems of tropical Asia. FAO Forestry Paper No. 89. Rome, FAO. 1989. 228 pp.

These Forestry Papers are timely in view of the recent upsurge of interest in natural tropical forest management in the developing countries as well as in the international development and conservation community. At times during the past two decades natural forest management has seemed to take a back seat to investment in large-scale fast-growing plantations. These have not always been as successful as hoped, and the importance of natural forest management has been increasingly recognized in recent years.

The increase in interest could, in a sense, be considered a "reinvention of the wheel". As documented in these two publications, there were many important activities, trials and experiments in management by natural regeneration during the first half of the twentieth century in Africa and Asia. From its inception FAO has continuously supported management based on natural regeneration for timber and other products in tropical moist forests. For example, Tropical silviculture, Vols I and II of the FAO Forestry and Forest Products Study No. 13, published by FAO in 1953, was one of the more comprehensive studies of its time. The recent reissue of the publication by Periodical Experts Books in Delhi confirms its utility.

But if the "wheel" of natural forest management in the tropics is a reinvention, it can be refurbished, balanced and aligned with current needs. The primary purpose of these Forestry Papers is to document and synthesize the results of work that has gone before, thereby providing an extremely valuable pool of information for designing current programmes on natural forest management.

Forestry Paper No. 88 on Africa is based on several national studies that were synthesized and broadened by R. Catinot and M. Philip, respectively forestry experts in French- and English-speaking Africa. Their efforts were then combined and edited by R.L. Willan together with FAO forestry officers. The result is a unique combination of French and English-speaking African forest management experience. A French version, relying partly on Mr Catinot's original French text, is in preparation and will be published in 1990. Forestry Paper No. 89 on Asia is based on studies by foresters in India, Malaysia and the Philippines. A.J. Leslie, who stirred up controversy and interest on the topic in Unasylva articles in 1977 (Vol. 29, No. 115) and 1987 (Vol. 39, No. 155), provides an introduction, evaluation and summary of the studies.

Key conclusions of the studies are as follows:

· Although there are considerable gaps in our knowledge of the biology and ecology of the humid tropical forest these do not, per se, prevent management programmes from being initiated.

· Forests will survive only if the forest is seen by the people concerned to be more valuable than other forms of land use. Future survival of the forests thus depends on their productive utilization, at the same time ensuring the conservation of genetic resources and the maintenance of the environmental functions.

· A crucial factor in forestry development is political will to institute and implement effective forestry management programmes. The stakes are enormous: the quality of life of millions of people will depend on sustainable, productive land use. Ecosystem conservation and the conservation and management of genetic resources are inseparably tied to sustainable development. These Forestry Papers supply valuable detailed information and sources for further study for those technically involved in natural forest management in the tropics, and a good general background on practical forest management for ail those interested. A similar review of natural forest management in Latin America is in preparation and should be published in 1990.

Pulp and paper market research guidelines

Market research in the pulp and paper industry: guidelines for sponsors of investment studies in developing countries. Rome FAO 1989. 32 pp.

This manual has been prepared to respond to the identified need for reference guidelines to be used in the commissioning of market studies as a part of investment decision-making in the context of the pulp and paper industries in developing countries.

Pulp and paper industries are large-scale enterprises for, even when they are referred to as small, they produce tens of thousands of tonnes annually, while the investment required to establish a mill ranges from several million to several hundred million dollars.

Therefore, planning this type of industry requires specific attention and care. Because of the relatively small domestic markets in many developing countries and the substantial capital requirements, the establishment of pulp and paper mills in these countries may take place at very long intervals. Consequently, the specialized expertise for planning these industries is often not available locally but has to be sought from abroad.

One of the services provided by FAO is to assist developing countries in carrying out studies for the establishment of forest industries. Assistance is also provided in the appraisal of investment studies commissioned directly by governments.

Although guidelines exist on how to prepare studies for pulp and paper projects, in most cases they are intended for the specialists who carry them out. While the promoters or investors who commission studies are often not specialists, and do not need to know the full details of market research methodologies, they do need to understand what should be included in each phase of such studies to be able to utilize the services of the specialists fully and obtain reliable results.

These guidelines are therefore aimed at assisting the promoters of investment projects in determining the essential elements for inclusion in market studies and how to proceed with their implementation. In a concise, easy-to-use format, the guidelines emphasize the specific characteristics of industrial marketing.

The manual suggests that commissioning and implementation of market research for pulp and paper investment be divided into three main phases: preparation, actual study and follow-up. The activities of the preparatory phase concentrate largely on determining what needs to be included in the market study, what level of accuracy the study will aim at, the selection of experts, and timing.

During the second phase, the selected researcher prepares the actual study, and the guidelines include information on collection of data and information; analysis and evaluation; and preparation and presentation of the market research report.

Once the study has been completed, it must be reviewed to determine whether it meets the terms of reference, and whether the data and methods provide accurate and substantive information. The guidelines emphasize that such a review needs to be done by an independent consultant or organization to avoid any bias in assessing the findings of a market study. The guidelines provide a checklist to assist the promoter in evaluating the study and making final investment decisions.

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