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I. The panel

The FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources was established in accordance with the directives of the Fourteenth Session of the FAO Conference (November 1967), which read as follows:

"244. Forest Tree Genetic Resources. The Conference requested the Director-General to take into account Recommendation N° 62 of document C67/AG/FO/1 in formulating the Programme of Work and Budget 1970-71. It recognized that, as development proceeds in the less as well as in the more advanced areas of the world, the reserves of genetic variation stored in the natural forests have been or are being displaced on an increasing scale. Moreover, efforts to explore and collect forest genetic resources were, on a world scale, inadequate and inadequately concerted.

245. The Conference requested the Director-General to establish a Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources to help plan and coordinate FAO's efforts to explore, utilize and conserve the gene resources of forest trees and, in particular, help prepare a detailed short-term programme and draft long-term programme for FAO's action in this field and to provide information to Member Governments."

The Director-General established the Panel in 1968. A list of current members of the Panel is shown in Appendix 1.

The Panel held its First Session in Rome, Italy in October 1968, its Second in Macon, Georgia (USA) in March 1971, its Third in Rome (Italy) in May 1974, its Fourth in Canberra (Australia) in March 1977, its Fifth in Rome (Italy) in December 1981, its Sixth in Rome (Italy) in December 1985, its Seventh in Rome (Italy) in December 1989 and its Eighth in Rome in June 1993. Reports of these Sessions have been published (FAO, Rome 1969, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1994).

The Ninth Session of the Panel was held at FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy from 3 to 5 October 1995.

Members attending the Ninth Session of the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources were:

Mr. S.J. Midgley


Mr. P.Y. Kageyama


Mr. Wang Houran


Mr. P. Mesén

(Costa Rica)

Mr. B.A. Ditlevsen

(Denmark) - Vice-Chairman

Mr. V. Koski


Ms. H.I. Joly


Mr. D.N. Tewari


Mr. R. Morandini


Mr. F. Patiño Valera

(Mexico) - Chairman

Mr. Suree Bhumibhamon


Mr. R.D. Barnes


Mr. Gene Namkoong


Mr. D.P. Gwaze


5 Represented also IUFRO.

Mr. J.G. Lorougnon (Côte d'Ivoire), was unable to attend due to health reasons. The following observers attended the meeting:

Mr. A.S. Ouedraogo


Mr. J. Turok


Mr. T. Simons


Mr. T. Boyle


Mr. N. Jones

(World Bank)

6 Joined, during part of the meeting, by other colleagues from IPGRI.
7 Coordinator of the European Forest Genetic Resources Network, EUFORGEN.

Ms. Christel Palmberg-Lerche, Chief Forest Resources Development Service (FORM) acted as Secretary of the Panel, assisted by Mr. Oudara Souvannavong, Forestry Officer (Forest Genetic Resources) and Mr. Christian Hansen (Associate Professional Officer, Plantation Forestry and Forest Genetic Resources), FORM. Mr. J.P. Lanly, Director, Forest Resources Division (FORD), and Mr. H. El Lakany, Office of the Director-General, attended parts of the Session, further joined occasionally by colleagues from the Agriculture and Sustainable Development Departments.

The Panel unanimously re-elected Mr. Fernando Patiño Valera of Mexico Chairman, and Dr. Bjerne Ditlevsen of Denmark Vice-Chairman. The Agenda adopted is shown in Appendix 2.

A list of Secretariat Notes discussed by the Panel, is given in Appendix 3. In addition, each Panel member made a brief presentation and submitted information on the region or sub-region covered by him or her. Observers also made brief statements. Such information usefully supplemented the information provided in the Secretariat Notes on the present state of forest genetic resources in the world, programmes, priorities and desirable action.

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