b) Economic analysis
177. The Conference reviewed the Organization's activities in the field of economics in 1954-55, its program of work for 1956-57, and the trend in this program as envisaged in the following two years.
178. The Conference approved the efficient manner in which the work of the Organization in this field had been carried out in the past two years along the broad lines indicated by the Seventh Session. It noted with satisfaction the growing improvement and the high standard reached in the Organization's publications in economics and statistics. It affirmed the right of the Director-General to feel free to express his comments and criticisms and to give his views and conclusions in all analytical studies. The Conference recognized that closer coordination of work had been achieved, not only within the Economics Division, but also between the different Divisions of the Organization, and between Headquarters and Regional Offices. In this connection, it approved the action taken by the Director-General in setting up the Inter-Divisional Liaison Group on Economics and Statistics. The Conference noted the growing volume of technical assistance rendered to member countries by the Organization through the provision of experts, training centers and fellowships in statistics, agricultural programming and marketing, and the progress made in integrating the work of the Regular and Technical Assistance Programs. It stressed the need for the Organization to prepare the ground thoroughly so that experts are fully equipped for their tasks before they embark on their duties. It urged all Member Governments to take the necessary steps to ensure that experts arriving in their countries in response to their requests for technical assistance are provided with all the instructions, information and facilities needed to enable them to carry out their assignments.
179. In considering the program and budget for economics for 1956-57, the Conference recognized that the basic issues facing world food and agriculture were likely to remain much the same in the years to come and that therefore the Organization's program in this field for 1956-57, while it must remain sufficiently flexible to respond to any sharp changes in the pattern of economic development, did not involve any basically new activities. The Conference believed, however, that while improvements in the techniques of production remained of the greatest importance for many parts of the world, the most serious difficulties at present and for some time to come were likely to be largely of an economic character, involving problems of price policies, distribution, consumption and surplus disposals. The Conference emphasized that still greater attention must be given to these problems and accordingly assigned high priority to the program of work in economics as a whole. It concurred with the broad lines of work proposed for 1956-57, and found that the program submitted was well-balanced and its various parts integrated into a coherent whole.
180. Consideration was given to the fact that economies might be required in the overall program of the Organization to adjust expenditure in 1856 and 1957 to the budget for those years, to be established by the Conference. It was realized that the Economics Division would have to carry a proportionate share of savings with other Divisions in the event that economies were necessary. In this connection, full confidence was expressed in the Director-General, and he was authorized to effect these possible savings to the best of his judgment.
181. For his guidance, stress was laid on the program of work proposed in preparation of the 1960 World Agricultural Census, on the improvement of basic agricultural statistics; commodity intelligence; the promotion of the orderly disposal of surpluses, and the use of surpluses in economic development; regional consultations on the problems of selective expansion of production and consumption; work on marketing and distribution, especially in relation to the possibilities of developing and guiding technical assistance in this field; and work on price support measures used in various countries.
182. Looking beyond 1957, the Conference reemphasized that while surplus disposals and the expansion of consumption would remain the basic issues, the program must always be flexible enough to respond quickly and effectively to unexpected developments. Ways in which barriers to internal and external trade might be reduced so as to promote consumption and the more efficient use of agricultural resources would have to receive deeper study. Medium and longer term studies of the likely level of demand for agricultural products would be needed.
183. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the progressive nature of the statistical services rendered by the Organization since the last Session, of the quality of its statistical publications, particularly the Monthly Bulletin of Agricultural Economics and Statistics, and of the Organization's work of assisting the countries in the improvement of their national statistics. It emphasized that the work on statistics was basic to the activities of the Organization and stressed the need for ensuring its continuation and normal growth in the Organization's program of work.
184. The Conference reviewed in detail the program of work in statistics for 1956-57 and gave its general approval to the program proposed for more and better statistics of production, trade, stocks and prices. The Conference approved the extension of production statistics to include information on "means of production " in agriculture. It drew attention to the inherent difficulties of the international tabulation of data, particularly on land use, owing to the diverse classifications and concepts followed in the countries and emphasized the need for continuing cooperation with the regional organizations concerned with a view to improving comparability. It noted the steps proposed for improving the timeliness of production statistics by such means as cable reporting on a limited scale, and the preparation of the calendar of world harvests.
185. The Conference recognized that the IBM equipment had enabled the Organization to improve the scope and coverage of agricultural statistics, especially of trade. It noted the experiments in progress for mechanizing further the statistical work of the Organization and expressed the hope that the IBM Unit would be an effective center for co-ordination of statistical work in the Organization.
186. While recognizing that the statistics work on food consumption proposed for 1956-57 was important for providing basic information on nutrient intake of different income and occupational groups and for helping to assess income and price elasticities for different kinds of food, the Conference recommended that the work should be restricted to the assembling of the material available and to aiding the countries through technical assistance in undertaking family living studies with special reference to the economic aspects of food consumption. It emphasized that work should be carried out in close collaboration with the Nutrition Division and with the international agencies concerned.
187. The Conference unanimously approved the program of work on the 1960 World Census of Agriculture and adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 21 /55
1960 World Census of Agriculture
Recognizing the great importance of a decennial world census for obtaining internationally comparable statistics, for establishing satisfactory bench marks for checking current national statistics, and for introducing and improving agricultural statistical systems in countries where such are lacking or unsatisfactory;
Emphasizes the desirability of a wider participation by countries in the 1960 World Census than in the 1.950 World Census;
Recommends that member countries declare their willingness to participate therein within the framework of the program to be prepared by FAO; and
(i) that FAO undertake the preparatory work necessary for a maximum of international co-ordination of the census work, especially with a view to promoting the widest possible participation ill the census, the use of improved statistical methods, and a high degree of international comparability in the census results.
(ii) that this preparatory work, including tire submission of the draft program to FAO meetings and to regional organizations and bodies, be completed a, far as possible in 1956 and 1957, and
(iii) that the final draft program se evolved be submitted to the approval of the Conference at the next Session in 1957.
188. The Conference expressed its satisfaction at the work carried out ill disseminating information on sampling methods and in aiding the countries to use them for improving national statistics. It noted the growing shift in favor of the sampling method in the type of assistance requested by the countries for improving their national statistics and recommended that emphasis be placed on the practical application of the method rather than on theoretical aspects.
189. With regard to the work beyond 1957 the Conference stressed the need for widening the scope of statistical material and for the compilation of historical series relating to agricultural production and trade so as to provide an adequate basis for medium and longer term forecasts, e specially of the demand for agricultural products.
190. The Conference was assured that although the work in statistics was not centralized there was no overlapping and that the technical work in statistics in the Organization was coordinated through the Inter-Divisional Liaison Group on Economics and Statistics,
b) Economic analysis
191. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the work undertaken since the last Session, and of the quality of the annual reports on the State of Food and Agriculture, in particular the 1955 report which analyzed developments in the past decade. The projects proposed for 1956 and 1957 were generally approved, and it was agreed that they were directed towards the main problems at the present time. The value of the regional approach to economic analysis was emphasized, not only in the general field of programming and development covered under the heading of "selective expansion," but also in the work on, e.g., investment and price analysis. The work accomplished in the regional consultations and meetings already held was approved, and stress was placed on the importance of directing these towards the study of practical and concrete problems. It was emphasized, however, that the greatest value could be obtained from regional meetings and consultations only if representatives were fully briefed on their government policies and closely familiar with the subjects under discussion. The Conference therefore adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 22/55
Recognizing the importance of regional consultations as a means of facilitating discussions between member countries on their programs for agricultural development and for the selective expansion of production and consumption;
Believing that such consultations will have a maximum value only if participants from member countries attending such consultations are closely familiar with and fully authorized to discuss policy questions relating to the above matters;
Expresses the hope that Member Governments will take steps to ensure that their representatives attending such consultations ordinarily will be those who are associated With agricultural policy in their respective governments.
192. Much emphasis was laid on the importance of greater attention to marketing problems, particularly on the side of technical assistance. The main objective should be to find practical methods of reducing distribution costs by improved efficiency rather than the collection of statistics on price spreads as such. At the same time it was recognized that it was important to study the various measures which had been adopted to improve the marketing of agricultural products and the results obtained from those measures, both for the guidance of technical experts in the field and for the information of member countries. Stress was laid on the value of training courses and technical assistance fellowships in order to increase the number of marketing experts in underdeveloped countries, and on the importance of practical demonstrations of grading and standardization.
193. The need for increased attention, within the resources available, to work on price analysis was also stressed and it was suggested that the results of this work should be published in greater detail. Other suggestions included the possibility of using more extensively the resources of universities and economic research institutions in economic analysis work, the importance of the coordination of economic work throughout the Organization, and the need for further improvement of trade indices.
194. It was recognized that the field of work covered by the broad headings of work in economic analysis was very wide and that it would be impossible to cover all aspects in any detail without a very much larger staff than was at present available. At the same time it was necessary to keep abreast of main developments in each of these fields in order to maintain a balanced appraisal of world developments, in particular for the preparation of the annual report on the State of Food and Agriculture. Aspects selected for more detailed examination must therefore be limited in number, and such studies should be as concrete and precisely defined as possible. It is along these lines that the work on economic analysis is in fact organized.
195. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the work done by the Organization with regard to commodity intelligence and analysis, studies of commodity policies and arrangements, and the servicing of intergovernmental consultations on these matters.
196. The Conference recognized that the workload involved in reviews and studies of agricultural commodities, for publication and other purposes, was very heavy and that the policy followed of dealing with some of these matters in rotation and on a highly selective basis should therefore be endorsed. At the same time, it was also recognized, in line with the views expressed by the Director-General, that it would not be possible to exclude altogether any one of the large number of agricultural commodities from the work program and that a certain degree of specialization by commodity groups was necessary to provide expert services. It was noted in this connection that there is not at present within the United Nations family any other department specialized to the same degree for work on a wide range of agricultural commodities, With a view to avoiding duplication, full use should therefore be made of FAO's specialized services and skills. Governments should, however, exercise caution not only in meetings of FAO bodies but also in those of other agencies, in regard to requests for additional work on these matters.
197. The Conference commended the useful contributions made by the Commodity Notes and also welcomed the policy followed of using the Monthly Bulletin so far as practicable as a channel for the publication of commodity notes on special aspects and for the shorter types of commodity reports. At the same time it was recognized that contributions to the Monthly Bulletin needed to be supplemented from time to time by self-contained commodity reports, for handy reference, and particularly also by the much less frequent but more comprehensive commodity bulletins which contained information and analysis of a more than topical character.
198. In regard to procedures followed for the publication of articles and reports through more than one channel, as for instance publication in the Monthly Bulletin of reports which subsequently are also made available in self-contained form, it was recognized that decisions should be guided by the relationships of the extra cost involved to the additional uses served by such procedures. It might often be found that publication thorough more than one channel would mean merely a fractional addition of the total cost while the user-value of the contribution would be increased very substantially by making it available to wider audiences.
199. The Conference approved the work done in servicing the Committee on Commodity Problems. Stress was laid on the usefulness of the practical results which were being obtained with the help of contacts and guidance afforded to the FAO staff, through the medium of the CCP, in the shaping of the program of work in line with changing circumstances and priorities. Special satisfaction was expressed with work done on surplus disposal since the last Conference Session. It was noted that the servicing of the Washington Sub-Committee required much work of a highly skilled character and that the proposals made for servicing these activities were therefore fully justified.
200. Emphasis was laid on the usefulness of field missions, but it was also noted that resources for such activities were necessarily limited.
201. With a view to avoiding duplication and ensuring adequate co-ordination, close working contacts should be maintained with other agencies concerned with commodity problems. Here again the Conference recognized the need for the policy of selectiveness which was being followed, but it was also stressed that participation by FAO in discussions before other fore was important, not merely with a view to ensuring co-ordination, but also because of the value of the contributions that could be made on the basis of FAO experience. Periodic information on the activities of other agencies concerned with commodity matters, on the lines of the periodic reports made on these questions to the CCP, were also found to be of much practical benefit.
202. The Conference stressed the need to c continue and expand, as far as possible, studies of international commodity policies and arrangements such as those operating for wheat and sugar, with special reference also to the possible application of such arrangements to other agricultural commodities. This again was a matter on which FAO staff members could be of much help in keeping other agencies fully informed of FAO activities, findings and conclusions on commodity policy matters.
a) Fisheries biology
b) Fisheries technology
c) Fisheries economics and statistics
d) Regional activities
e) Technical assistance activities
203. The Conference examined the results achieved in fisheries during the past two years as well as the program of work proposed by the Director-General for the next two years. It commended the Director-General upon the achievement of a program which was well conceived and properly balanced. It felt that future trends in the work on fisheries should be based upon the logical development of the present structure. It noted the necessity for strengthening the staff in order to implement the projects in the 1956-57 program and approved the measures suggested to accomplish this purpose.
204. It was felt particularly desirable that projects should continue to be undertaken which were consistent with the status of the Organization as an international body and that member countries should continue to be encouraged to undertake work which could more appropriately be done nationally.
205. It was considered that, among the activities to be conducted under the Regular Program, those now in progress deserved the highest emphasis and that the danger should be avoided of spreading too few staff over too diverse a range of activities. Importance was attached to the concurrent development of production, processing, distribution and marketing in the domestic fisheries.
206. The Conference wished to draw special attention to the following aspects of the program of work for the next two years:
a) Fisheries biology
207. In the field of fisheries biology, the Conference considered that the establishment, first of all, of a common terminology and, secondly, a standardization of research methods deserved emphasis and that the initiative which had already been displayed in this direction must be commended. Such standardization of terms and methods was necessary in order that any one country might utilize the work done by other countries. It was regretted that it had not been possible to continue the work of preparing the schedules of scientific and common names of commercial species of fish since these contributed to the establishment of a common terminology.
208. The strengthening of the staff proposed to further the work of standardization and to assist in the preparation of a series of handbooks was considered desirable. It was thought that these handbooks should be compiled wherever possible by the member countries and that the Organization would be mainly responsible for editorial work.
209. It was pointed out that the work on terminology, undertaken in the field of biology was important both to UNESCO and to the Organization and, while the latter should play its full part in this, it was essential that close contact be maintained with UNESCO in its development. The coordination of work in the classification of plankton was noted and considered essential to the development of the fisheries.
b) Fisheries technology
210. The Conference fully endorsed the work carried out in the field of fisheries technology, including the strengthening of the staff. The method of presentation of the work in this field was approved and recommended for wider adoption.
211. It was noted that since the last Session of the Conference the gratifying results of the Congress on Fishing Boats held in Paris and Miami in 1953 had become fully apparent and stress was laid upon the desirability of a second Congress. If possible, this should be organized in three sessions in the Far East, America and Europe, and it was agreed that the feasibility of holding it simultaneously with the proposed congress on fishing gear and methods should be examined. It was hoped that the Organization would be able to promote a permanent international body to co-operate in the improvement in the design of fishing boats. At the same time the Organization should continue to take all possible steps to ensure the adequate circulation of information on fishing boat design. It was recommended that the staff of the Organization be strengthened to assist in this work in future and that if, in the meantime, savings were achieved in other directions they should be allocated to furthering work in this field.
212. The proposed congress on fishing gear and methods was considered to be of the highest importance. It was particularly requested that, since many of those likely to benefit by the proceedings would not be able to attend such a congress, wide dissemination of the information arsing out of it should be made in forms appropriate to fisheries workers at all levels.
213. The collaboration with UNICEF on technological problems in the manufacture of fish flour was noted and the continuation of this work during 1956 and 1957 was approved.
c) Fisheries economics and statistics
214. The Conference approved the strengthening of the staff in the field of fisheries economics and hoped that this would permit further broadening of its activities. The Conference noted that the work was hindered by the scarcity of well-qualified economists conversant with conditions in the industry, and that this impeded the execution of projects in both the Regular Program and ETAP. The policy of employing on fisheries studies consultants from member countries already engaged on similar or associated work was noted and highly commended as a method of accomplishing a great deal of useful work at a minimum cost to the Organization. This policy, moreover, assisted in focusing the attention of prominent economists and administrators on the problems of the fishing industries, and their assistance could be expected to make important contributions towards the solution of such problems. The pilot study on governmental services to the sea fish industry of Great Britain, at present being carried out in the United Kingdom, was considered to be useful both in itself and in setting a pattern which would be valuable when similar work was undertaken in relation to other countries. The Conference noted that until additional staff became available work on economic appraisal in fisheries could be carried out on an ad hoc basis only.
215. It was considered that the publications of the Organization in the field of fisheries economics were proving extremely useful to Member Nations, and particular mention was made of the Yearbook of Fishery Statistics. It was recommended that standardization should be carried further and the Director-General was asked to draw the attention of member countries wherever possible to the most desirable forms in which statistical returns might be compiled so as to provide a useful basis of comparison with those of other countries.
d) Regional activities
Asia and the Far East
216. In reviewing the fisheries work accomplished by the Organization in Asia and the Far East, the Conference noted the consistent growth and development of the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council over the past years. It felt that the work devolving upon the Secretariat in connection with the Council and the associated work in the Regional Office had now become so onerous that the Regional Office fisheries staff should be reinforced by an officer at an early opportunity.
217. One of the accomplishments of the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council had been the strengthening of fisheries administration in the region. It was also considered that means should be found to develop leadership among communities of fishermen and that the appointment of an additional officer to the Regional Office would strengthen these activities. At the same time it was recognized, however, that many persons were attached to the Regional Office, specialized advice was required from Headquarters from time to time. Visits from Headquarters staff had proved extremely valuable and it was only regretted that very often these were of comparatively short duration. It was recommended that Headquarters officers be assigned for longer periods to the Regional Office in order that they could the better cover the very extended area and diversity of conditions in the region. For this reason the Conference welcomed the increased allocation for travel proposed for work in this field in 1956-57. It was felt that a prerequisite of expert advice was familiarization of the officer with local conditions in the part of the world in which he was working.
218. The attention of the Conference was drawn to the existence of certain publications at present available only in Japanese, which might be of benefit to other countries where the fishing industries operated under similar conditions, but it was recognized that considerable difficulties in translation would have to be overcome before this work could be undertaken.
Europe and the Middle Fast
219. The conclusion was reached that, as in Asia and the Far East, the work of the Organization generally in the area as well as that of the Secretariat of the Regional Council should be strengthened and extended. It was noted that the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean afforded the means of carrying out co-ordination of work being done by a number of governments and institutions in the region to ensure standardization wherever possible. The Conference fully endorsed this line of approach.
220. It was hoped that the Director-General would pay full attention to the importance of promoting the production of fish flour in the Central American countries and that specialized advice and assistance would be given on this project wherever possible. The importance to this area of the survey of resources was stressed and it was considered that the early formation of the proposed Fisheries Commission for Latin America (FCLA) might contribute much to fisheries work in that region.
e) Technical assistance activities
221. The Conference recorded its appreciation of the Technical Assistance work carried out in fisheries. Much of this field work was directed towards immediate practical objectives and, by its nature, required continual guidance from Headquarters. The Conference felt that there should be an appropriate balance between the effort put into the Regular Program activities and the Technical Assistance work since the latter was dependent upon the Regular Program and both programs were mutually beneficial. The expansion of the Technical Assistance Program was approaching the limit which could be conducted by the existing and proposed Regular Program and Headquarters Technical Asistance staff. It was recognized that recruitment of experts to fit the particular posts required by requesting countries presented difficulties peculiar to the field of fisheries.
222. The systems of training were specially mentioned and the Conference hoped that it would be possible to hold a training center on fish processing technology in Latin America in 1956.
223. The publications program for 19561957 was approved, including the provision made for revising the Hand book on World Fisheries Abstracts. The Abstracts were considered to be most useful in both practical and research work. It was noted that the sales of fisheries publications had been substantially increased, thus fulfilling the hopes of earlier Sessions of the Conference. In this connection, the system adopted in the past two years of sending out press releases to fisheries journals all over the world relating to items of particular news value contained in the Organization's fisheries publications was noted and it was considered that these releases served an extremely useful purpose, were widely used and should be continued.
a) Regional activities
b) Technical activities
c) World forestry congresses
d) Program trends
224. The Conference considered that any review of progress in world forestry over the last decade testified to the wisdom of FAO's founders in deciding to include forestry within the scope of FAO. The place of forestry in the development programs of Member Governments had thereby been enhanced. Certain accompanying features of the Organization's work in forestry were especially gratifying; the establishment of closer ties and understanding between producers (the forester and forest owner) and the users of forest products (industry and trade), and between both these groups and research specialists; better appraisals of the extent and nature of existing forests; more scientific study of the demand for timber and of its rational use; wider recognition of the relationship between forest development and other sectors of national economies, and notably of the interdependence of forestry and agriculture.
225. While noting that governments had made some considerable progress in the past ten years in informing public opinion on the protective and productive roles of the forest, the Conference stressed the need, especially in the less developed regions, for more intensive mass educational work to arouse the " forest consciousness " of the populations, particularly of the younger generation.
a) Regional activities226. As a background to its consideration of the Director-General's program of work in forestry for 1956 and 1957, the Conference reviewed FAO's forestry activities in the past two years, region by region. It expressed satisfaction with the trend of the actions taken during this period by the regional Forestry Commissions for Europe, Latin America, the Near East, and Asia and the Pacific. The method of relying increasingly on working parties to deal with technical subjects, was commended. The world-wide scope of the Organization's forestry activities required that adequate travel funds should be at the disposal of the Director-General.
227. As yet, no forestry commission existed for the North American region, and the Conference noted with satisfaction that the countries concerned were planning to discuss this matter together on an informal basis.
228. As regards the Far East, the Conference urged an intensification of effort in projects relating to the housing problem and to sound watershed management. Attention should also be concentrated on the special problems involved in making inventories of tropical forests through the use of aerial survey methods. The Director-General was asked to give priority, under the Technical Assistance Program, to the development in the region of a research and training center in aerial survey techniques for tropical forests.
229. Notable precedents created in Latin America in the past two years had been the agreement reached between the Government of Venezuela and FAO for the establishment of a Latin-American Forest Research and Training Institute (see paragraph 372), and the convening, in collaboration with the Argentine Government, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the United Nations Technical Assistance Administration, of the Latin-American meeting of pulp and paper experts at Buenos Aires in 1954. The Conference welcomed the establishment of an advisory group of experts to give help to countries that wanted an impartial assessment of alternative schemes for pulp and paper industries and guidance in the planning and initiation of new projects.
230. In no region is the need for an expansion of forestry so pressing as in the Near East, and the Conference hosed with satisfaction the holding of the first session of the Near East Forestry Commission in Iran in September 1955. It commended the Director-General for the increased attention being given in his program of work to arid zone forestry. The compilation of a first Arabic forest terminology was noted with great interest.
231. The conclusions of the FAO/ECE study on European Timber Trends and Prospects had given direction to the current work programs of both the European Forestry Commission and the Timber Committee of the Economic Commission for Europe. The Conference noted with satisfaction the recent rising trend of industrial wood output in Europe, the increased European forest potential revealed by new national inventories, and the relative smoothness with which the timber market in Europe had adjusted itself to a rapid expansion in the international trade in forest products in recent years.
232. The Conference endorsed the activities of the Working Parties on Eucalyptus and Cork-Oak of the Joint Sub-commission on Mediterranean Forestry Problems, as weld as the work carried out by the International Poplar Commission and the International Chestnut Commission. It welcomed especially the collaboration of foresters in the deliberations of the group of experts meeting under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Europe to study specific plans of economic development in southern Europe.
233. The Conference hoped that the Organization would be able to play a more active part than hitherto in forestry development in Africa South of the Sahara. It particularly expressed the hope that collaboration between FAO and the Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara could be intensified in the coming years.
234. While fully endorsing the value of the forestry work carried out under the Expanded Technical Assistance Program, the Conference appreciated that the deliberations and recommendations of the regional forestry commissions showed that governments could in several instances derive greater benefit from this program at less cost if a higher proportion of the technical assistance funds available to the Organization could be devoted to regional as distinct from national projects. The formal expression of this view is contained in Resolution No. 15/55 " Use of ETAP Funds for Regional Projects " in paragraph 126 above.
b) Technical activities
235. The Conference found the Director-General's proposed program of work in forestry for 1956 and 1957 to be well conceived and appropriately balanced, from the standpoint of both subject matter and equitable distribution all over the world.
236. To help the Director-General in giving the right balance of emphasis to the various lines of activity of his program of work in forestry, the Conference wished to record certain comments:
Land-Use and Conservation
237. While in certain areas of the world the course of economic development generated increasing pressure to convert some forest land to animal and crop production, in no part of the world should such changes in land-use be sanctioned without the advice of the forest authorities, since the most drastic consequences for the soil and water regime could attend ill-considered deforestation. The Conference fully endorsed the emphasis given in the Director-General's program to forest influences, range management (forest grazing) and watershed management, and hoped that this work might be even further strengthened. It drew the attention of governments particularly to the need for more intensive study of forest influences in the tropics, where many countries were embarking on large river-valley development projects.
Forest Legislation and Forms of Forest Land Ownership
238. Although some delegates questioned the immediate value of analytical studies on forest legislation and on the relative value and effects of different forms of land ownership, it was generally conceded that this type of work was a pre-requisite for the initiation of sound forestry programs in the less developed regions and afforded essential background information for experts operating under the Technical Assistance Program.
Silviculture and Management
239. The Conference endorsed the emphasis given in the forestry program to improving forest production and singled out for special mention the work in tropical forestry and planting techniques. It approved the proposal to convene a world technical conference on Eucalypts in the autumn of 1956 and noted with great appreciation an offer made on behalf of the Government of Italy to act as host country.
240. The Conference wholly approved the program of work on utilization of the products of the forest, calling attention to its direct bearing on general economic development, especially of the less advanced countries. It commended the Director-General on his proposal to call a technical conference on fibreboard and chipboard and hoped that a wide attendance could be secured of technicians and representatives of producing and consuming interests.
Forestry Statistics and Special Studies
241. The Conference noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in many countries in raising the standard of national forestry and forest products statistics. It stressed the practical import to foresters and wood users of the joint FAO/ECE study now proceeding on trends in the utilization of wood and its products; of the study of timber trends in the Far East, due to be undertaken in cooperation with ECAFE; and of similar regional studies which of themselves would induce an improvement in statistical methodology and the scope of data collected.
c) World forestry congresses
242. The Conference expressed its sincere gratitude to the Government of India for having organized the Fourth World Forestry Congress in December 1954. It noted that the recommendations of the experts assembled at Dehra Dun were entirely in keeping with the objectives and program of FAO.
243. The Conference endorsed the recommendation made by the Congress that FAO should establish a panel of experts on forestry education, noting that the Director-General had already taken steps to implement this proposal. However, it could not at this time accept the Congress' proposals for the creation of new international commissions, sponsored by FAO, on exotic species for planting in the tropics and on forestry in arid zones.
244. The Conference authorized the Director-General to take such steps as are necessary and appropriate to assist in organizing the Fifth World Forestry Congress in 1960.