Enhanced forest plantation productivity through sustained pest management
Improved pest management in forest plantations is essential if plantations are to realize their potential as a key source of global wood supply in the future, said experts at the Workshop on Pest Management in Tropical Forest Plantations, conducted by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) in Chanthaburi, Thailand, 25 to 29 May 1998.
The objectives of the meeting, sponsored by the Thai Royal Forest Department, the FAO Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia and the Pacific (FORSPA) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were to assess emerging pest problems that will significantly affect plantation productivity and to review current practices of forest pest management. The possibility of a wider application of integrated pest management (IPM) practices was also discussed.
The participants - from Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam -recommended systematic pest control through the meticulous monitoring of transboundary movements and the strengthening of quarantine measures. The need to improve methodologies for assessing the impact of some pests, especially those that cause defoliation, was pointed out. Participants also noted the necessity to reduce drastically the reliance on insecticides and to use more silvicultural measures to minimize pest infestation.
The workshop reviewed current emerging pest problems and integrated pest management practices. New pest problems included the uranid Nyclalemon spp. on Endospermum peltatum, the cossid Xyleutes spp. on Gmelina arborea, the scolitid Dryocoetiops laevis on Dipterocarpus grandiflorus in the Philippines, the giant wood moth (Endoxyle spp.) and the longicorn beetle (Phoracantha spp.) on eucalypt plantations in Australia. The participants also discussed the following management practices: Hypsipyla management in mahogany plantations through shade regulation by planting Acacia mangium as an enclosure in Indonesia and Malayasia; management of Indarbela quadrimotata on Paraserianthes falcataria by surveillance and chemical pesticide application in India; use of ectomycorrhiza for the control of bacterial wilt of eucalypts in China; and chemical control and management of leaf and shoot blight of eucalypts in Thailand. A wider application of IPM practices was suggested for controlling chrysomelid Crysophtharta bimaculata in eucalypt plantations in Australia. IPM is a process for achieving long-term, environmentally sound pest suppression through the use of various technological and management practices. The participants recommended sharing the experiences and results of the above-mentioned practices with countries where similar pest problems occur.
The workshop emphasized the importance developing a database containing ongoing research data relating to pest problems and suggested that the FORSPA database be used as a starting point. The need to update information regarding pest management problems regularly while focusing on field application was stressed.
Noting the usefulness of exchanging information and sharing experiences, the participants recommended the publication of a regular newsletter on pest and disease problems in tropical forests. It was suggested that an electronic version of the newsletter also be developed. This newsletter would be supported by the IUFRO development fund.
Acknowledging the need to maintain regular interaction among the experts, the workshop recommended the development of a network. It was also suggested that a mailing list be drawn up of persons dealing with pest problems in Asia and the Pacific and that the creation of a pest identification facility be established through a network of persons and institutions in the region.
A copy of the workshop proceedings may be obtained by contacting: Forest Research Office, Royal Forest Department, 61 Paholyothin Road, Jatujank, Bangkok 10900, Thailand.
IUFRO new SPDC Deputy Coordinator for Africa hosted by the FAO Regional Office in Accra
Atse Yapi has been appointed Deputy Coordinator for Africa (DCA) of the International Union of Forest Research Organization's Special Programme for Developing Countries (IUFRO-SPDC). He is hosted by FAO in the Forestry Group of the Regional Office for Africa (RAFO) in Accra. The post of Deputy Coordinator for Africa is intended to help strengthen national research capacity-and network-building in Africa through special purpose projects and activities in collaboration with national and international research and donor agencies. The creation of this new position represents a significant step by IUFRO-SPDC in its mission to expand and foster research capacity in developing and economically disadvantaged countries.
A national of Côte d'Ivoire, Mr Yapi's professional career includes a period at Oregon State University, USA (where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in Natural Resource Economics and worked as a research associate). He has served as a consultant with FAO and as a research fellow with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Bamako, Mali. Mr Yapi has experience in international forestry issues, sustainability and economic impact assessment of agricultural and resource-based research.
The International Union of Forest Research Organizations initiated a Special Programme for Developing Countries in 1983 with the aim of enhancing research capacity in developing countries. Located within the IUFRO secretariat in Vienna, it is administered by a coordinator, Robert Szaro, and receives strong support from IDFRO's executive board and from donor agencies, including the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), which has initially funded the post of SPDC Deputy Coordinator for Africa for 15 months.
The mission of SPDC is to provide assistance to developing and economically disadvantaged country institutions and scientists for the purpose of strengthening the international community's forestry research capability and, in consequence, the community's ability to undertake sustainable forest and related resource development.
Recent activities include the enhancement of research capacity in Eastern Europe - addressing the effects of air pollutants on biodiversity conservation, ecosystem management and sustainability criteria in the management of the Carpathian Mountain forests - with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service cooperative research programme. It has also sponsored the Biotechnology-assisted Reforestation Project (BIO REFOR) workshops, the latest of which, Overcoming Impediments of Reforestation: International Workshop on Tropical Forest Rehabilitation in the Asia Pacific Region (1997), was organized with the support of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official Development Assistance Programme. SPDC continues to provide scientific assistance, promote existing research networks and contribute to project formulation by working with partners in a number of countries to act as a catalyst for joint venture initiatives.
FAO collaborates with IUFRO-SPDC through its programme Support to Forestry Research in Developing Countries. SPDC has been cooperating with the FAO-executed Forestry Research Support Programme in Asia and the Pacific (FORSPA) since its inception. In Africa, collaboration between FAO and SPDC has recently intensified and is focused on the establishment of a Forestry Research Network for sub-Saharan Africa (FORNESSA). A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between FAO and IUFRO-SPDC in June 1998 to provide a formal framework for cooperative activities which include the gathering and dissemination of information, the organization of training and research workshops, the preparation of regional studies and specific technical support to member countries and institutions.
Welcoming Mr Yapi's appointment Mr Szaro said: "The presence of the Deputy Coordinator for Africa at the FAO RAF Office in Accra not only provides IUFRO with much needed logistical support but also allows both organizations to foster productive relationships with existing subregional networks and key African organizations including the African Academy of Science (AAS)."
Mr Yapi will ensure that IUFRO-SPDC programme activities in Africa are coordinated and in harmony with those of FAO and other interested organizations, including the African Academy of Science (AAS), the International Foundation of Science (IFS) and the existing subregional forestry networks. In 1998, his activities will include the preparation for regional workshops in cooperation with AAS and other regional networks. In January 1999, he will help run a research management training session in Pretoria, South Africa prior to the IUFRO Conference on Contributions of Science to the Development of Forest Policies. Mr Yapi will also work closely with the FAO African regional office on the development of FORNESSA activities.
Germany hosts the Six-Country Initiative Global Expert Consultation
Methodologies and tools developed by the Six-Country Initiative to implement the proposals for action of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) at the national level were useful, according to participants of the International Expert Consultation on Operationalization for the IPF Proposals for Action at National Level, held in Baden-Baden, Germany from 29 June to 3 July 1998.
In 1997, the Governments of Finland, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Uganda and the United Kingdom joined in a Six-Country Initiative entitled Putting the IPF Proposals for Action into Practice, in order to facilitate the implementation of IPF proposals for action at the national level. Developed and developing countries were coupled (Honduras/Finland, Uganda/United Kingdom, Indonesia/Germany) to test the applicability of IPF's proposals with particular emphasis on national forest programmes.
Finding the South-North bilateral cooperation mutually beneficial, the initiative produced the "practitioners' guide", six national case studies, a synthesis report based on these case studies and recommendations to the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) on how to approach the implementation of IPF proposals.
The practitioners' guide is a user-friendly and annotated version of the 149 paragraphs of the IPF proposals. Using this guide as a tool, the six countries were the first to make a systematic national-level assessment of the IPF proposals. Both developing and developed countries stressed the advantages of this exercise and indicated that without the Initiative a consistent and systematic assessment of the proposals would not have been undertaken. The synthesis report noted that, as a result of the Six-Country Initiative, awareness of the IPF proposals increased owing to the involvement of a broader group of stakeholders.
Baden-Baden International Expert Consultation
The Six-Country Initiative cohosted this global expert consultation as an intersessional meeting of IFF in close cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and FAO. The consultation, attended by 109 experts from 37 countries, representatives of international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, reviewed the findings of the national case studies and the synthesis report of the Six-Country Initiative and elaborated recommendations for IFF-II regarding IPF Programme Element 1a: "to foster implementation of the IPF proposals at the national level, and to increase the cooperation between the national and international levels".
The consultation found the practitioners' guide practical and helpful for the national process, but felt it could be further developed. Pointing out that the value of IPF proposals is mainly strategic and the operational value should derive from their transformation into national action, the experts recommended that national forest programmes be seen as the most important vehicle for the implementation of these proposals at the national level.
The experts noted the positive results reflected in the synthesis report: increased dialogue with stakeholders and more transparency; review and increased enforcement of forest policy; harmonization of forest-related planning and policies; and enhanced coordination. For example, in Uganda the roles of different stakeholders were defined and national consultations started. The national forest programme in Indonesia was enriched and better integrated with the national development plan while individual policies are currently being revised and their enforcement strengthened. In Finland, a more holistic approach was adopted in the national forest programme process, including national and subnational-level consultations.
At the closing of the consultation, the experts agreed that the process initiated at the national level must continue and stressed that it should not be regarded as parallel to the ongoing activities within the forestry sector, but as an integral part of current national forestry activities at the country level. The case studies and the synthesis report of the Six-Country Initiative will be presented by the countries participating in the Initiative at IFF-II.