Forestry: the Jakarta declaration (eighth world forestry congress, October 1978)
67. The Conference considered that the "Jakarta Declaration", issued by the Eighth World Forestry Congress, reflected a turning point in the history of forestry and in the evolution of forestry's contribution to social and economic development in general and to the well being of rural people in particular. The Declaration highlighted the need for urgent action to safeguard the world's forest resources with a view to contributing to rural development, providing employment opportunities, promoting the use of wood as a renewable source of energy, maximizing support to agriculture and food production and maintaining their important role in environmental stability, especially through the control of floods and desertification.
68. The Conference noted that forestry and forest resources had a vital contribution to make towards rural development and that the underlying principles of the Jakarta Declaration were consistent with the outcome of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and should be brought to the attention of planners and decision-makers responsible for rural development If forests, however, were to provide more benefits to rural people, many of the current concepts on, and attitudes towards, forest management would have to be adjusted and re-oriented in order to ensure that the needs of people were better served by forestry development programmes. The Conference noted that the forestry community had proved in Jakarta that it had a clear vision of the potential impact forestry could make on the welfare of mankind and agreed that this alone was not adequate. There was need for political will and political support to forestry administrations.
69. The Conference noted that many governments had already considered the implications of the Jakarta Declaration for their national policies and invited all Member Nations to ensure, within the context of their national policies and priorities, that the far-reaching issues raised in the Declaration be given attention in the formulation and implementation of rural development programmes.
70. in considering some of these issues, the Conference stressed the need for greater investment in forestry and for its closer integration with agriculture, particularly through agro-forestry and agro-silvo-pastoral practices and the evolution of management systems harmonizing production, protection and social factors.
71. As regards changes within the forestry sector itself, in order to make it more responsive to the real needs of rural people, the Conference agreed that greater attention needed to be given to: energy needs, particularly for fuelwood and charcoal of both the rural and urban poor; the integration and involvement of women in forestry development programmes; the conservation and expansion of forest resources, especially in arid zones and in mountainous regions; the protection of forests from fires; the regulation of forest grazing, including ail expansion of the EMASAR programme; forest inventories; the promotion of the chemical utilization of forest biomass; the promotion of the lesser-used tropical forest species; wildlife conservation and its management for the production of protein; the promotion of small-scale forest industries, and of carpentry and wood-working shops in rural areas; Mediterranean forestry; training of forestry personnel at all levels, especially vocational training for forest industries.
72. The Conference noted that though the Jakarta Declaration did not address any specific recommendations to FAO, some parts of the Declaration in fact confirmed FAO's current programmes in the forestry sector, as proposed by the Director-General in his Programme of Work and Budget for 1980-81. The Conference endorsed the Jakarta Declaration and agreed that it had opened up new horizons for FAO's role in the forestry sector. Moreover, by implication, it had created a new challenge for the Organization in responding to requests by Member Governments for assistance to their own endeavours in implementing the principles embodied in the Jakarta Declaration.
73. The Conference decided to express its appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its very substantive conceptual and logistical effort in organizing a world forestry congress around the central theme "Forests for People", and to those governments and agencies that had provided financial and other support to several participants from developing countries.
C. Plan of action to strengthen world food security
74. The Conference had before it The Director-General's Report on the Implementation of the Plan of Action on World Food Security (C 79/23 and C 79/23-Sup. 2), which had been adopted by the Seventy-fifth Session of the Council in Resolution 1/75. The Council had requested the Director-General to report to the Twentieth Session of the Conference on the progress made toward implementing the Plan of Action, and to propose any further measures required to achieve the objectives of world food security.
75. In submitting his report to the Conference, the Director-General stressed the inadequacy of the action taken since 1974 to implement the International Undertaking on World Food Security. FAO could not sit idle while the world, and in particular the food-deficit developing countries, remained without protection against acute food shortages caused by crop failure. Following his proposal in March 1979 for a Five-Point of Action, food security had become a major issue of concern at several high-level meetings and a number of countries were now taking measures in accordance with the Plan. He stressed the special responsibilities of the grain exporting countries, and particularly developed countries. In urging the Conference to endorse the Plan of Action, the Director-General emphasized the precarious balance between starvation and survival in the poorer regions of the world and called on all governments to show a whole-hearted willingness to implement the Plan of Action now.
76. The Conference expressed its grave concern at the many disquieting features of the present world food security situation. These included the slackening in the growth in food production in the developing countries and their increasing dependence on food imports; the growing number of people suffering from malnutrition and undernutrition; the suspension of the negotiations for a new international grains arrangement and the consequential absence of an effective international mechanism for coordinating national stock policies; and also this year's decline in world cereal production, the sharp rise in wheat prices, the transportation bottlenecks in some of the main exporting countries, and the severe food shortages affecting many developing countries. A few members observed that good harvests in some major grain exporting countries brightened the situation somewhat.
77. The Conference agreed to the Plan of Action, which represented a timely initiative by the Director-General. The Organization had a special responsibility to help safeguard world food security. The Plan of Action, although not a substitute for an effective international grains agreement, was a feasible and realistic scheme which would help to fill the gap pending the conclusion of a new international grains arrangement. The Conference agreed that, in order to be effective, it would require the full commitment of all countries, which should take all possible measures for a speedy implementation of its provisions, on a voluntary basis and adapted to each country's circumstances and needs.
78. The Conference recognized that a two-pronged approach was required in order to achieve world food security. Firstly, long-term measures were needed to step up food production in the developing countries, which was the only lasting way of obtaining their food security. In this connexion, the links with rural development and, where appropriate, agrarian reform were stressed. The Conference acknowledged that the major responsibility for action to increase the food production and self-sufficiency of developing countries rested with these countries themselves, but it also agreed that these national efforts would have to be supported by external assistance. Secondly, while these long-term efforts were under way, immediate steps had to be taken in accordance with the Plan of Action to build up national stocks, or to continue to apply policies which permitted the holding of sufficient stocks, to assist low-income deficit countries to meet their current import and emergency needs, to increase assistance to the food security programmes of developing countries, and to foster the collective self-reliance of developing countries.
79. The Conference stressed the need to resolve the outstanding questions in order to facilitate the resumption of the negotiations on a new international grains arrangement as soon as possible. Several members, while endorsing the basic intent and objectives of the Plan, stressed that a coordinated system of national food stocks could only be effectively operated within the ambit of a legally-binding international grains arrangement with an agreed market regulatory mechanism. The Conference was informed by the Executive Secretary of the International Wheat Council that at present there were divergent views among the participating countries as to the possibility of an early resumption of negotiations.
80. The Conference welcomed the steps being taken by many developing countries to establish and implement national food security programmes including reserve stocks, both at the national and regional level, and recognized that additional aid was necessary for this purpose. It noted with satisfaction that the FAO Food Security Assistance Scheme (FSAS) had helped several countries and regional organizations to formulate appropriate stock policies, to prepare projects, and to mobilize the external resources required to implement their programmes. The Conference welcomed the new contributions which delegates of Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland had announced that their governments would make to the FSAS in 1980, and urged other potential donors to contribute on a voluntary basis, so that the Scheme's resources would be sufficient to respond to the large number of requests being received for assistance. It also welcomed the intention of several countries to increase their bilateral aid to food security, and to continue to coordinate their programmes closely with the FSAS, as proposed by the Committee on World Food Security.
81. The Conference endorsed the decisions of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes as adopted at its Eighth Session in October 1979 to give higher consideration, within its current priorities and the constraints of its resources, to requests to the World Food Programme for assistance for national food reserves, in cooperation with FAO's Food Security Assistance Scheme.
82. Special attention was also drawn to the contribution which the FAO Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses (PFL) could make to food security and many members urged that larger resources should be put at its disposal for promoting practical schemes to avoid waste and increase food supplies. The Conference noted that the work of the PFL and FSAS programmes continued to be fully coordinated.
83. The Conference stressed the vital role of food aid in meeting the current import requirements and emergency needs of low-income food-deficit countries. It regretted that the annual food aid targets of at least 10 million tons of cereals and 500 000 tons for the International Emergency Food Reserve had not been met. It stressed the need to maintain and, if necessary, to expand food aid in times of crop failure and high prices. The Conference welcomed the support expressed by many donor countries, including some countries which had not previously participated, for the conclusion of a new Food Aid Convention by mid-1980, without waiting. for the conclusion of a new Wheat Trade Convention and noted that some other countries were now reconsidering their positions. Some members expressed the view that, in this case, a certain linkage should be maintained between the new Food Aid Convention and the Wheat Trade Convention. They also stated that the achievement of the 10 million tons target should be a joint responsibility of the international community as a whole and not of traditional donors alone. The Conference expressed the hope that additional donors would join the Convention so that the minimum objective of 10 million tons of food aid in cereals could be reached.
84. The Conference noted that under the Plan of Action the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was asked to consider, within the context of its financing facilities, the feasibility of providing additional balance of payments support to meet the rise in food import bills of low-income food-deficit countries particularly in the event of domestic food shortages and rising import prices. This question had also been raised at the recent annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund held in October 1979 in Belgrade. Some members doubted whether the International Monetary Fund was the appropriate body to assist in meeting specifically food import bills, since its role was to assist governments to deal with overall balance of payments problems. It was also stressed that the stringent conditions attached to IMF aid might limit acceptability to many developing countries. The Conference was informed that the FAO Secretariat, in cooperation with the World Food Council, intended to submit a supporting document to the IMF Board which would explain the need for the additional balance of payments assistance and the conditions under which it might be useful.
85. The Conference strongly supported the increasing efforts by developing countries to strengthen their collective self-reliance in the vital sector of food security, in accordance with the Plan of Action, through the setting up of regional reserves, disaster funds, and mutual assistance in times of crop shortfall as, for example, among Caribbean countries, the ASEAN group, and in West Africa. Some members did not favour, however, mutual trading arrangements which would result in discriminatory trade barriers. The Conference agreed that the concerned international organizations and the developed and other potential contributor countries should extend all possible support to promote efforts by developing countries to strengthen their food security through collective self-reliance.
86. The Conference accordingly adopted the following resolution:
WORLD FOOD SECURITY
Recalling Resolution 1/64 of the Sixty-fourth Session of the Council (November 1974) which adopted the International Undertaking on World Food Security to which 81 Member Nations and the EEC have since subscribed,
Convinced that the current world food situation is again becoming precarious in view of the continued vulnerability to crop failures of many countries in different regions, the rising import requirements of the developing countries, the unsatisfactory distribution of food supplies, the absence of an internationally coordinated reserve stock system, the prospective decline in world cereal stocks in 1979/1980 and the danger that reserves may fall even below the minimum safe level for world food security,
Being convinced that the basic condition for obtaining long-term world food security is the achievement of a substantial increase in food production, particularly in developing countries, and being aware of the urgent need to take other measures aiming at world food security,
Emphasizing that food security is an essential element in progress towards the establishment of a Now International Economic Order as adopted in Resolutions 3201 and 3202 of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
Taking into account the Declaration of Principles and Programme of Action as adopted by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development,
Considering that the Council at its Seventy-fifth Session (June 1979) in Resolution 1/75 had approved a Plan of Action on World Food Security proposed by the Director-General,
Having examined the report of the Director-General on implementation of the Plan of Action on World Food Security,
1. Endorses the Plan of Action on World Food Security as adopted by the Council;
2. Urges all governments to take immediate steps to put the Plan of Action into operation;
3. Urges the participating countries in the United Nations Negotiating Conference on a new international grains arrangement to resolve questions impeding the resumption of negotiations and to conclude a new international grains arrangement as quickly as possible;
4. Invites governments which have adopted the Undertaking to establish national food reserves or to continue to apply policies which permit the holding of sufficient stocks, or to participate in the creation of regional or sub-regional food reserves, or to encourage the creation of special regional accounts based on voluntary contributions primarily from the countries of the regions or sub-regions concerned for the purchase of food to be stored for food security;
5. Calls on all countries, particularly the developed countries, to endeavour to pursue policies which maintain a regular flow of food supplies both in domestic and international markets at prices fair to consumers and remunerative to producers, which avoid the emergence of acute food shortage and which enable developing countries, particularly low-income food-deficit countries, to satisfy their import requirements on reasonable terms and without adversely affecting their economic development;
6. Calls on all countries, particularly in view of recent difficulties which have arisen concerning grain transportation, to take appropriate action so that their grain transportation, handling and port facilities be rendered sufficient to meet the rapidly rising needs of world trade;
7. Calls on all countries to implement relevant provisions of WCARRD, as adopted, to encourage food production and to improve distribution, particularly in food-deficit countries;
8. Urges governments and the international organizations concerned to provide the necessary technical, financial and food assistance to strengthen the food security of developing countries and in particular:
(a) to enlarge substantially bilateral and multilateral assistance to the food security programmes of developing countries where appropriate and to use the World Food Programme in accordance with the decision as reached at the Eighth Session of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes and the FAO Food Security Assistance Scheme to facilitate the coordination of efforts and to exchange information on requirements and ways of meeting them;
(b) to contribute to the FAO Food Security Assistance Scheme and/or to coordinate their bilateral assistance where appropriate with a view to maintaining, through the participation of existing and potential new donors, the resources available through the Scheme at least at their current level (approximately US$ 10 million per annum), and to ensuring that the Scheme's resources will be sufficient to respond to the increasing requirements for assistance;
(c) to take all possible steps to meet the rising food aid requirements of developing countries, including where possible through the use of triangular transactions, taking into account the FAO/WFP secretariat's estimate that food aid requirements are likely to increase to 17 to 18.5 million tons by 1985;
(d) to establish food aid reserves or take other measures designed to maintain continuity of food aid and to meet the exceptional needs of developing countries in years of widespread food shortages.
9. Urges that governments which have not yet accepted a new Food Aid Convention of at least 10 million tons without waiting for the conclusion of the new Wheat Trade Convention should reconsider their position, and also urges that every effort should be made both to enlist new contributors and to increase the commitments of existing contributors so that a new Food Aid Convention could be concluded by mid-1980;
10. Requests the Director-General to consider in cooperation with the World Food Council, the World Food Programme, the World Bank and other multilateral financing institutions, ways of assessing the needs and possibilities for improving food security infrastructure as a basis for a major investment effort in the countries which request such assistance;
11. Invites the International Monetary Fund within the context of its financing facilities, to consider, in response to the request made by the Director-General, the feasibility of providing additional balance of payments support for meeting the rise in food import bills of low-income food-deficit countries, particularly in the event of domestic food shortages and rising import prices;
12. Recommends that governments in regions or sub-regions vulnerable to food shortages take Initiatives to strengthen their collective self-reliance by organizing arrangements for mutual assistance in times of crop shortfalls, and examine, at the forthcoming FAO Regional Conferences, concrete ways in which such efforts might be advanced;
13. Requests the Director-General to assist countries interested in participating in the establishment of regional or sub-regional food reserves thus facilitating cooperation amongst these countries;
14. Requests the Director-General to keep under continuing review the food security situation and to present to the Seventy-eighth Session of the Council a report on actions taken in pursuance of the present resolution;
15. Calls on the Council to keep tinder continuous review the progress made towards implementing the Plan of Action in the light of the recommendations of the Commitee on World Food Security and the FAO Regional Conferences, to evaluate the overall impact on world food security of the measures taken, and to take such action and to make such recommendations as may be appropriate to the Twenty-first Session of the Conference.
(Adopted 28 November 1979)
87. The delegate of Canada made an interpretative statement on this resolution which is contained in the verbatim records of the Conference.
D. Preparations for the special session of the general assembly in 1980 and the new international development strategy
Assessment of progress towards a new international economic order including progress in international agricultural adjustment
"Agriculture, toward 2000" (FAO's study of prospects for world agriculture to the end of the century)
88. The Conference discussed the role of FAO in the preparations for the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1980 and in the elaboration of the new International Development Strategy (IDS). It noted that its current Twentieth Session was the last that would be held before the close of the Second United Nations Development Decade. It stressed the need for the new International Development Strategy to give full attention to the central place of the food and agricultural sector and of rural development, taking into account the recommendations of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and the objectives of a New International Economic Order.
Assessment of progress towards a new international economic order including progress in international agricultural adjustment
89. For its assessment of progress towards a New International Economic Order (NIEO) the Conference had before it the report which monitored progress on international agricultural adjustment (C 79/20) and a supplement (C 79/20-Sup. 1). This supplement reported the preview of the progress report undertaken by the Committee on Commodity Problems together with Secretariat's proposals for a timetable and procedures for revising the eleven policy guidelines on adjustment as adopted by the Eighteenth Session of Conference. A third document before Conference, FAO in a New International Economic Order (C 79/33), outlined FAO activities that contributed towards the establishment of an NIEC.
90. The Conference agreed that insufficient progress had been made in the period since the World Food Conference towards the objectives embodied in the adjustment guidelines and required for the establishment of a New International Economic Order. While there was room for some difference of interpretation of the findings of the monitoring exercises, the short fall of performance in major respects remained a basic fact. The average increase in food production in developing countries had remained well below the target of 4 percent and, although inputs to production were generally rising, there appeared to be a need to give higher priority to, and further increase the investment in agriculture. More governments were attempting to introduce integrated nutritional policies and special measures for vulnerable segments of their population. However, the persistent weakness in the trend of food production in developing countries meant that numbers of people critically under- nourished remained tragically high.
91. International trade developments in agricultural products had contributed little to the process of adjustment, and the rising ratio of imports by developing countries to their agricultural exports was particularly worrying. Negotiations in international fora had brought about welcome but limited improvements in trading arrangements and market access but the core problems of "protectionism" in many countries, particularly developed countries, remained largely intractable and curtailed the potential exports. There were indications that "protectionism" has added to market instabilities in some commodities.
92. There had been some improvements in food security such as increase in national stocks, particularly in exporting countries; but no agreement had so far proved possible on the establishment of an internationally coordinated system of national food stocks. The world remained vulnerable to the impact of bad seasons.
93. International assistance remained below estimated target levels despite a rise in the most recent years. Food aid, however, had reached close to target levels, although it was now estimated that larger volumes would be required in the future.
94. The Conference believed that in view of the vital importance of food and agriculture in the economies of the majority of developing countries as well as of a number of developed countries, it was important that international agricultural adjustment guidelines should continue to help to provide a framework for consideration and formulation of policies, both nationally and internationally.
95. Since the time of the adoption of the guidelines by FAO Conference in 1975 there had been changes both within agriculture itself as well as in international attitudes on matters bearing directly on agriculture. Some members felt that the revision of the guidelines was premature at this stage and that the present guidelines represented a balanced view of agricultural adjustment. Most other members, on the contrary, felt that a revision of the guidelines was necessary to reflect the consensus reached in various international fora since the adoption of the present guidelines. In order that the guidelines could adequately fulfil their role as signposts to policies and to ensure that progress could be monitored more effectively, the Conference agree that the guidelines for International Agricultural Adjustment should be reviewed and revised, as appropriate, in the light of developments in world agricultural production, consumption and trade, taking into account the objectives of the new International Development Strategy, to be decided upon by the United Nations General Assembly, and the relevant conclusions and recommendations reached in WCARRD, UNCTAD, World Food Council and other relevant fora.
96. The Conference furthermore agreed that the Secretariat should circulate draft proposals for revisions, drawn up with the help of independent experts, in February 1981 and that these proposals should be examined by a meeting open to all Member Nations in April/May 1981. The draft revisions emanating from the meeting should be presented to the Twenty-first Session of Conference. To the extent that their schedules permitted, the draft revisions should be examined by the Committee on Commodity Problems, the Committee on Agriculture, and the Council so as to assist consideration by Conference.
97. It was emphasized that the guidelines must not be watered down in the course of revision and that every effort should be made to improve them, by removing ambiguity and incorporating quantification and time frames where appropriate. Periodic monitoring of adjustment in the light of such guidelines would enable FAO to assess progress of the food and agricultural sector within the new IDS and the contribution of agriculture to the realization of a New International Economic Order.
98. The Conference pointed to the importance of improving the availability of data so that suitable indicators could be used to monitor progress and urged that countries endeavour to take steps in this direction with the help of the Organization. The Conference requested the Director-General in the course of monitoring not only to report the extent of progress but also, as far as possible, to ascertain. and analyse the reasons for progress or its lack.
99. The Conference also had before it the Director-General's report on FAO in a New International Economic Order, which summarized the main relevant activities of the Organization in this regard. It welcomed the reorientation of FAO's activities towards greater effectiveness at the country level and the concrete measures that were being taken for achieving progress towards a New International Economic Order. It regarded as central to the establishment of a New International Economic Order such activities as the strengthening of work on agricultural investment, the Technical Cooperation Programme, the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, and such action programmes and special purpose programmes as assistance to countries in managing and developing fisheries in Exclusive Economic Zones, the Action Programme on World Food Security, the Action Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses, the Seed Improvement and Development Programme, the Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis, support to UNCTAD in the integrated programmes for commodities, and assistance and support to economic and technical cooperation among developing countries in food and agriculture. It called for voluntary contributions for the early achievement of such financial objectives as had been set for these programmes.
100. It requested the Director-General to transmit to the UN General Assembly its report on this subject for consideration at the Special Session in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 33/198, and for possible use in connexion with any other global negotiations on international economic cooperation which the General Assembly might decide to launch.