FAO places its technical expertise in forestry directly at the disposal of member countries through its Field Programme. The FAO Field Programme is supported by a combination of extrabudgetary sources, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), trust funds under the FAO/Government Cooperative Programme, unilateral trust funds, and the World Food Programme (WFP). In addition, FAO's own Technical Cooperation Programme provides funding for urgently needed small-scale, short-term catalytic projects designed to stimulate further activities.
Through partnership arrangements based on the concept of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC), "visiting experts" from national, regional and international centres of high repute work together with FAO staff in programme activities of the Organization for mutual benefit. For example, in 1996 national experts in forest genetics from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka helped facilitate an FAO workshop on establishing an international network on neem trees.
In 1996, the Forestry Field Programme comprised a total of 179 projects with an annual expenditure of US$60 million.
A key feature of the Field Programme is its interrelationship with the technical work undertaken by staff at FAO headquarters and in the regional and subregional offices who backstop field projects and ensure two-way exchanges of expertise and experience.
Field projects are executed in diverse country situations and respond to varying needs but, across the board, forestry field projects are moving increasingly from technical assistance towards technical cooperation in line with the goal of building up national self-reliance. A basic condition for achieving this objective is the appropriate managerial, technical and institutional capacities in the country concerned.
Several projects are currently under : way to strengthen national planning capability - an example of. this is an Asia and the Pacific - regional project that has provided training in many aspects of forestry planning, including project formulation and incorporation of environmental impact assessment. In Ecuador, an FAO-assisted project is supporting the implementation of the country's national forestry programme (see box on National forest programmes). An FAO interregional project for participatory upland conservation and development is testing participatory planning methods in five countries.
An example of FAO's field work in: the development of forest plantations is the Asia and the Pacific regional project "improved productivity of man-made forests through application of technological advances in tree breeding and propagation (FORTIP)". An important aspect of the project is the establishment of twinning programmes between centres of excellence both within and outside the region.
FAO has helped develop field projects in a number of countries (for example, Turkey and Yemen) to encourage the integration of forestry considerations into urban planning and to promote urban and pert-urban forestry initiatives.
An example of FAO's work in the development of wood energy is the Regional Wood Energy Development Programme in Asia, grouping 15 Asian countries. The current phase of the project is promoting improved wood energy systems that could become competitive with alternative energy sources.
The FAO/UNDP/GEF project for Institutional support to East African biological diversity, completed in late 1996, helped strengthen regional institutions active in conservation, developed human resources and fostered regional awareness and cooperation in Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda.
Forestry Field Programme 1996
Facilitating investment in forest development
Through its Investment Centre Division, FAO provides a range of services aimed at assisting interested countries in mobilizing investment in forest development and at enhancing investment performance. Work typically begins with a review of forest sector policy and culminates in project formulation and presentation of project proposals to potential funding sources.
The Investment Centre Division has forestry specialists, natural resource planners and economists on its staff who are complemented by technical input from the Forestry Department and through short-term consultants. Strong emphasis is given to a participatory process involving all concerned groups and individuals. FAO facilitates this consultative process and assists in presenting the project proposal in a format suitable for financing agencies.
The aim is to generate the analytical studies and other documents required to enable financing institutions to proceed with their appraisal of the project and to provide the required loan or grant to implement the forest development proposal. The entire process is geared to strengthening national capacities to prepare investment proposals.
For example, FAO assisted Poland to prepare and secure World Bank funding for a US$300 million project aimed at improving forest health, minimizing the effect of airborne pollution on forest resources and establishing a forest management system compatible with the overall shift of the country towards a market economy.
Another World Bank-financed effort facilitated by FAO is providing Mexico with a US$30 million hen to improve management by local communities of land under communal ownership the ejidos.
In Viet Nam, a project financed by the Asian Development Bank is aiding the country in improving its entire forestry sector, particularly watershed management. An initial sectoral study set the stage for essential policy reform, while a combination of ground-level assessment by heal people and high-technology global information systems will lead to improved management of upland areas.
In Argentina, the Investment Centre Division is assisting the National Parks Administration in the preparation of a project to be submitted to the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) which would result in the creation of five national parks containing biological diversity of global significance.
FAO Forestry Department (FO)
For additional information on the FAO Forestry Programme, please contact:
and Information Coordinator,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
FAO Regional Office for Africa
PO Box 1625
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Calle Bandera, 150 (Pisos 6-10)
FAO Regional Office for the Near East
11, El Eslah El Zerai Str.
PO Box 2223
UN/ECE Trade Division
Palais des Nations
1211 - Geneva 1 0, Switzerland